By Douglas W. Phillips
"Moral courage is as important as physical courage. It is the courage to stand firm on your values, your moral principles and your convictions. You show moral courage when you do something based on one of your values of moral principles, knowing that the action may not be in your best interest. It takes special courage to support unpopular decisions and to make it difficult for others to do the wrong thing. Others may encourage you to embrace a 'slightly' unethical solution as the easiest or most convenient method. Do not ease the way for others to do wrong; stand up for your beliefs and what you know is right. Do not compromise your professional ethic or your individual values and moral principles. If you believe you are right after sober and considered judgment, hold your position."
U.S. Army FM 22-100, 1990, Chapter 4, WE THE PEOPLE, P. 23. Title of Field Manual: "Military Leadership"
OCTOBER 18, WASHINGTON, DC:
In a distant military base in Europe, one American battalion awaits its orders for deployment to Macedonia. Unlike the hundreds of thousands of deployment orders that have been issued and then recorded in the annals of United States military history, these orders have special significance: America's peacetime forces are about to be placed under foreign leadership. Commander-in-Chief Bill Clinton has ordered these American troops to doff the uniform of the United States and to don the insignia and dress of the United Nations. In a matter of days these American boys (and girls) will be under the authority of the Secretariat of the United Nations and the command of its officers.
One of the 550 soldiers ordered to submit himself to the authority of the United Nations will not be participating. Specialist Michael New, a 22-year-old medic from Texas and veteran of Desert Storm, is about to discover that patriotism is an expensive virtue for the soldiers of Mr. Clinton's new global army.
"I AM NOT A U.N. SOLDIER"
On August 21, 1995, Michael learned that he would be ordered to wear the U.N. uniform and fight under foreign command. Believing that such an order was not only unconstitutional and immoral, but would require him to violate his military oath to uphold the Constitution, Michael informed his superior officers that he could not comply. New explains: "I told my superiors that I am an American soldier and will serve as a medic where I am sent and will seek to help my fellow soldiers. But I am not going to wear that uniform. I believe they [the U.N.] are a foreign power no different from a foreign government. For the same reason I won't wear [the U.N. insignia] I would not wear a Russian uniform or salute a Russian flag." The Army was not impressed with Spc. New's patriotic fervor. They ordered him to report in U.N. uniform or be subject to disciplinary measures.
On Tuesday, October 10, Michael took his stand. That morning the American troops from his battalion assembled adorned with the insignia and uniform of the United Nations. Michael New was the only one to report dressed as an American soldier. For this act Michael faces the likelihood that he will be court-martialed. If convicted, he could be sentenced to six months in jail at hard labor, loss of two-thirds pay for six months, and a bad conduct discharge.
Specifically, Michael has been charged with a violation of Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice " … a violation of a lawful order." Although the Army offered Michael a form of non-judicial punishment as an alternative to court-martial, he declined because "court-martial is a public hearing with a record made." This option also opens up the opportunity for appeal outside the Army, and to have civilian legal counsel from outside the Army represent him. Also, the proceedings would be open to the public. Michael's attorney, Colonel Ronald Ray, comments, "After standing since August 21, 1995, on his Constitutional oath and his right to decline to wear the uniform of the United Nations, a foreign power, Michael wanted an open hearing and a public record made surrounding this matter for all to see no matter the cost to him personally."
Word of Michael's stand quickly spread through the Internet. Within a matter of days, more than one thousand letters of support had arrived on base for Michael. The story of Michael New then attracted international media attention.
But Michael is significant for yet another reason—he is the product of more than a decade of home education. For seven of Michael's 22 years, much of his home education took place while working with his family in foreign missions in the South Pacific where they specialized in linguistic research and community development. This missions work took his family from Texas to New Zealand to Papua New Guinea to the Philippines.
"Through Christian home education Michael learned the difference between right and wrong," Michael's father Daniel New explains. "Home schooling is tough. You often wonder if the sacrifice is worth it all. But then you see that the years of character training have paid off. It is every father's dream to have a boy who will be willing to stand up for truth. God answered this father's dream."
At a time when home educators have been fighting to thwart the efforts of those who would place our children under the sovereignty of the United Nations through treaties like the Convention on the Rights of the Child, one of their very own has inadvertently but courageously become the point man in an international battle with the very same architects of the new global society.
Michael is ably represented by Colonel Ronald Ray, a highly decorated military veteran, a former First Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration, and himself a home schooling father. HSLDA President Michael Farris is assisting Col. Ray with strategy and advice on constitutional issues. "It was only because Michael has studied the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and American history, and compared them with the U.N. Charter, history and objectives," Col. Ray notes, "that he asked for an explanation about how his oath to the Constitution could be reconciled with service under the U.N. Charter."
As a home school student Michael studied the differences between our American system of government where the rights of life, liberty, and property are God-given, inalienable rights, and the U.N. Charter which explicitly declares that rights are derived from the United Nations. Consider the U.N. loyalty oath administered to members of the U.N. Secretariat:
I solemnly affirm to exercise in all loyalty and conscience the functions entrusted to me as a member of the international service of the United Nations, to discharge those functions and regulate my conduct with the interests of the United Nations only in view, and not to seek or accept instructions in respect to the performance of my duties from any government or other authority external to the organization.
New has repeatedly offered to accept a transfer to another unit, " … anywhere in the world, as long as it is an American uniform with American officers." The U.S. Army has rejected this proposal. New contends that:
"I don't regard the Charter of the U.N. and the Constitution of the United States to be compatible documents. If an American soldier who took an oath voluntarily to defend the Constitution of the United States can be forced to serve another power or army, furthering an internationalist agenda and documents alien to American Constitutional principles, then that American is not truly a free man. The U.S. Constitution has been made strong by many who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend it. I'll stand on the Constitution and let others defend the U.N. Charter."
Congressional lawmakers are responding to Michael New's courageous stand. At the time of this writing more than 44 Congressman have shown solidarity with New, by signing a letter to the President addressing the injustice and unconstitutionality of placing members of the United States Armed Forces under foreign command. The letter was drafted by Congressmen David Funderburk and Bob Dornan. Home School Legal Defense is encouraging its members to show solidarity with Michael New by writing their Representatives and Senators and urging them to sign the letter.
Other lawmakers have paid lip service to conservatives who are worried about U.S. troops fighting under foreign flags, but these leaders have refused to address the plight of Spc. New. Presidential candidate Bob Dole commented: "We need to stand shoulder to shoulder against any Democrat attempt to disarm the military, surrender our sovereignty, and/or force U.S. soldiers to fight and die under U.N. command and in a U.N. uniform." Senator Phil Gramm, another contender for the GOP Presidential nomination, recently told an audience at a Concerned Women for America national conference that he would fight against any attempt to require Americans to wear U.N. uniforms. However, Gramm, a Texan, has opted not to act on behalf of his constituent Michael New, and the senator even waffled when confronted with Michael New in a face-to-face conversation.
By forcing New to serve in the U.N., the Commander-in-Chief is now challenging the long-established rule that the fundamental allegiance under God of the American soldier is to the defense of the liberties enshrined in the charter document of this nation, not to the global aspirations of potentates or international organizations. As Brigadier General Albion Knight (formerly chief logistician for NATO) poignantly observed, "America has always been distinguished from Nazi Germany or other totalitarian nations by the fact that our armed forces pledge an oath, not to the 'Fuhrer' or the Commander-in-Chief, but to the Constitution of the United States."
History records examples of ranking military leaders who were willing to stand against unconstitutional or immoral orders. Are we reduced to a military in which the only soldier with the clarity and courage to say, "no," when commanded to serve the United Nations, is a 22-year-old home school graduate who bears the rank of E-4? Thomas A. Lane, a retired four star general, describes the military's vacuum of moral leadership in his book America on Trial: The War for Vietnam:
The military services have in recent decades undergone a drastic transformation. Standards of professional conduct which before World War II had been firmly established have since that war been abandoned. Instead of conceiving a responsibility for the military security of the nation, for the lives of men committed to battle, for the economy of national resources, military leaders now conceive only an obligation to obey the ruling political administration. They have shed all traces of moral responsibility by blaming political leaders for the course of policy.
Now is the time to reverse this trend. It is up to military leaders to decide the fate of one patriotic, plainspoken, 22-year-old home school graduate who holds to the archaic notion that it is more honorable to be court-martialed than to violate a solemn oath before God.