Statement of VoteVets on Calls for Military Response to Protests

WASHINGTON, DC — Will Goodwin, Director of Government Relations for VoteVets, and an Army veteran, released the following statement on comparisons of protests in American cities to war, and the calls for a military response to them:

“Today, the president of the United States told governors he wished he had an ‘occupying force’ he could send into Minneapolis.  His Secretary of Defense described protests as a ‘battlespace’ that had to be dominated.  Meanwhile, Senator Tom Cotton has called for mobilizing the active duty component of the military, to illegally face off directly with protesters and order them to give ‘no quarter,’ which isn’t just against the rules of our own War Manual, but is a war crime under international law.

Every war comes with human collateral – that is, innocent people being killed.  Never in the history of modern warfare has one been fought without the loss of innocent human life. We try to avoid it, but we know we cannot completely stop it.  So, when planning operations, we plan for that loss of innocent life, and accept it as part of the horrible cost of war.

So, to the war fetishists in the administration and in the US Congress, we ask one simple question. If protests on our streets are a war that requires a military response, then what level of collateral can be expected?  Before mobilizing our military to illegally fight this “war,” how many innocent American lives would be an acceptable level of collateral? 

If the answer to that question is zero, then we’d suggest you stop comparing this situation to a war, and start acting like responsible leaders. That is if you’re even capable of that.”