Item description for Road from ar Ramadi: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Mejia: An Iraq War Memoir by Camilo Mejia & Chris Hedges...
Staff Sergeant Camilo Meja became the new face of the antiwar movement when he applied for discharge from the army as a conscientious objector.
After serving in the army for nearly nine years, he was the first known Iraq veteran to refuse to fight, citing moral concerns about the war and the US occupation. His principled stand helped rally the growing opposition and embolden other soldiers.
Meja was eventually convicted of desertion by a military court and sentenced to a year in prison, prompting Amnesty International to declare him a prisoner of conscience. Here Meja tells his own story, from his upbringing in Central America to his service in Iraq-where he witnessed prisoner abuse-to his struggle today to end the occupation there.
In this stirring book, he argues passionately for the end to an unjust war. As New York Times columnist Bob Herbert writes, "The issues [Meja] has raised deserve a close reading by the nation as a whole. . . . He has made a contribution to the truth about Iraq."
Includes a new afterword by the author.
Camilo Meja grew up in Nicaragua and Costa Rica before moving to the United States in 1994. He joined the military at age nineteen, serving as an infantryman in the active-duty army for three years before transferring to the Florida National Guard. He fought in Iraq for five months. He lives in Miami.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.25" Weight: 0.9 lbs.
Release Date Mar 1, 2008
Publisher Haymarket Books
ISBN 1931859531 ISBN13 9781931859530
Availability 0 units.
More About Camilo Mejia & Chris Hedges
Camilo Mejia grew up in Nicaragua and Costa Rica before moving to the United States in 1994. He joined the military at age nineteen, serving as an infantryman in the active-duty Army for three years before transferring to the Florida National Guard. He fought in Iraq for five months. He currently lives in Miami.
Reviews - What do customers think about Road from ar Ramadi: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Mejia: An Iraq War Memoir?
Don't waste your time with his garbage Nov 8, 2007
Mejia is the true mark of a dirtbag. He joined the Army to leech the benefits, then when war comes, he cries and runs like a little girl. He does not represent the United States Army.
A title important for both military and general-interest libraries. Oct 19, 2007
Conscientious Objector status is suppose to exclude one from military service - but what if you're already in the military? "Road from Ar Mamadi: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia" tells this story as a veteran of the war has enough of it, and requests discharge - only to be marked as a deserter and imprisoned. Now free, Mejia tells his story and urges Americans to support an end to what he calls an unjust war in Iraq. A chilling first person perspective not often heard, "Road from Ar Mamadi: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia"is a top pick for any community library collection focusing on current events.
One brave voice in a nation of silent cowards Aug 16, 2007
I couldn't put Mejia's book down b/c he takes readers back to the early days of the war when we had to rely on biased governmental claims about what was going on in Iraq. I really appreciated hearing from an eye-witness about what truly went on in the war zone. He shows how from its inception, this war was based on a stronger nation's sense of superiority over a weaker one and how the US went there with a belief that Iraqis were less than Americans and proceeded to do dehumanizing things to them. It's embarrassing to read how our military had no respect for Iraqis, whom our leaders never bothered to understand culturally or religiously. Mejia describes more bravely & honestly than i believe most people would his own internal struggle with what he was assigned to do and how he was torn between being a good soldier & feeling morally aghast at the military's cruelty. He is not only a good role model for other soldiers, who should refuse to participate in immoral acts--no matter what propaganda the government attach to a mission--but also for regular citizens, who should be denouncing this war more vociferously & demanding that all the money (5 billion a month)our leaders are spending there be brought back to our communities. This book is a very gratifying read; it's good to see that all individual thinking has not been co-opted in our service people!
what happens when a soldier gets bad legal advice Aug 15, 2007
Camilo Mejia writes an interesting story, and it's easy to see how he got into the mess he made for himself. An intelligent writer, he paints a vivid picture of the personalities in his unit and the stresses that soldiers feel in the current conflict; future or current officers might well benefit from his observations about his small unit leaders. He also admits to a few war crimes (unprosecuted ones, at least until some prosecutor reads his book). But what's harder to explain is the bad legal advice about immigration issues, discharges, and how to obtain conscientious objector status that he got from Army JAG attorneys, as well as from his "progressive" lawyers. There are easier ways to get out of the all-volunteer Army than making a public spectacle of yourself.
Mejia should have added all of his court documents as an appendix, so the reader could independently verify his story with some facts. He doesn't go into much detail about what he actually argued before the court, and having this information would have been helpful to the reader.
On another note, Mejia should have gotten his US citizenship long before he was deployed to Iraq--and it would have been smart for him to get it then, because now he's possibly ineligible now, and could be deported.
A Real Look into Iraq Jul 29, 2007
Amazing is not enough to describe this book and Camilo's personal story. Reading this book, you become a passenger on the arduous journey into Camilo's soul, and for that I cannot thank him enough. We all know what this war has done to the US image abroad, to the citizens at home, and to some extent, to the people of Iraq. However, we conveniently ignore the effects it has on our soldiers. Whether you are a staunch supporter of Operation Iraqi Freedom, or a pacifist opposed to all war, you NEED to read this book.
While I was lost in the stories of atrocities, camaraderie, and battle, I kept forgetting it was real. This isn't a tale invented by the mind of a brilliant writer, as Camilo is, but a glimmer into his world, a story that intersects the many stories being laid out daily in this seemingly unending war. These stories must stop being ignored by the American people, who sit at home comfortable, flipping channels when news about Iraq breaks.
Camilo's story not only brings us closer to Iraq than we can ever hope to be, but also brings us closer to true courage. We have all done things we are not proud of, or have sat idly by when we knew we could stop injustice. And Camilo is no exception. But after his experiences totaled more than he could bear, he realized what he needed to do. And the road he had to take was not any easier because of it. Standing up for ideals is what makes change in this world, and Camilo realized he needed to sacrifice to do just that. The book takes us from the tough streets of Ar Ramadi to the tougher streets of discovering one's own resolve and human responsibility.
For all these reasons, people need to read this book. As Camilo says in his book, "Whether we squeeze the trigger, give the order, or simply stand idle in the face of senseless missions that result in the spilling of innocent blood, it doesn't make a difference. We die, little by little, each time someone gets killed, until there is no soul left, and the body becomes but a corpse, breathing and warm but void of humanity." As citizens, we can no longer stand idly by as this war progresses. Read this book, learn where you stand, and become an instrument of your ideals. That, I believe, was the point of Camilo's sacrifice and the gift he has given us.