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Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
Why Fight It?
I joined the navy of my own free will in September of 1965. I first started my fight in April of 1967 by going AWOL for a period of 252 days. I returned to active duty in April of 1968. Since that time I have had 3 captain's masts and 1 summary court-martial - all because I have been standing up for my rights as a citizen of the United States. A troublemaker I am not. But my intelligence has been denied as long as I am going to let it. Any more of it, and I will go over the brink of sanity. I have turned the other cheek so many times that I have virtually run out of cheeks. But each time I get into trouble, I bounce right back with more vigor than before. I believe in my cause.
I know that one man alone cannot do anything much against such a powerful machine as the military. But, I have seen and incorporated the effects of teamwork.
The time has come for reconstruction within the military. Being a violent person myself, I am no less aware than other observers of the pathological character of all violent and I would be the last to defend it or sing its praises. But, on the other hand, you cannot drive people mad and then condemn them for being insane. And to those of us who use our intelligence and talents, that is exactly what is happening. We have accepted as much as we can. Now that we are speaking out and fighting for our rights, we are being condemned.
Sure. We're getting punished for exercising our rights and being kicked out of the service. But the belief in one's cause becomes so strong that all other moral considerations are swept aside. My beliefs in what I am doing are so strong that I no longer fear a BCD. Everything else ceases to exist except the termination of the evil use of unlimited power. I am against all those who think they are absoutely right.
Authority, for me, has becone a dirty word because of the sheer exhibitionistic, overactive and ever-present aspects of it. There is absolutely no freedom in any sense of the term. Living has become an exercise in bureaucracy. The individual either capitulates to the power machine or tries to destroy it. Violence becomes a groping for self respect, a self-assertion, a proclamation of independence. Victory is irrelevant; what counts is the old fashioned, seldom-heard-today word HONOR.
I was taught in school-to stand up and be counted for my convictions. Now that I am doing this, they condemn me.
Unless you have become completely amorphous, with your sensitivity killed by overexposure and you no longer care or react ( which is the first step toward a police state), then you have no recourse than to try to do something about the War and the Persidio 27 and your position in the service.
My contention is that the real danger to our future is not the violent-still a vocal minority merely magnified through the mass media. The real danger is our indifferent masses. The positive aspect of our violence is thatit may-awaken some stupefied, apathetic people. This passive hypnotized majority may still be awakened from its slumber by the so-called violent fringe.
We never hear a word about the 95% of the pople who are merely for law and order. The question is: What law and what order? The same as before - and more of the same? Then we will soon Need a police state to protect our rights and our goodies.
USS BELMONT (AGTR-4)
Rough Draft, no. 3