|Marine who resigned over ‘conscience’ speaks at MU
Matthew Hoh, who previously served in the Marines in Iraq, said he is opposed to war in Afghanistan.
OXFORD — The only known U.S. official to resign in protest of the war in Afghanistan visited Miami University, Tuesday March 2.
Matthew Hoh, who spoke to about 100 students, faculty and community members during a lecture at Pearson Hall, resigned Sept. 10, 2009, after five months from his post as senior civilian representative Zabul province of Afghanistan.
“It became an issue of conscience for me, as a political adviser or officer, my job was to represent U.S. policy,” said Hoh, 37. “If I did not agree with that policy, it was very difficult for me to serve.”
Hoh, who previously served as a Marine Corps captain in Iraq, said he failed to understand why the U.S. was stationed in Afghanistan. Also, he said the armed forces in the country are no longer fighting against those who were behind the 9/11 attacks.
“Many people, a lot of the American public thought we were in Afghanistan, and in our current operation in Afghanistan, we were fighting the people that attacked us in 9/11,” Hoh said. “That simply was not the case, we are fighting people that don’t want to be occupied, that had nothing to do with 9/11.”
The Afghani people are being forced to adapt to an American way of government and life, Hoh said.
“The people in rural populations do not want to be subjugated by the central government,” Hoh said. “We’re propping up the Karzai regime, for what benefit to us?”
During the 2008 presidential election, Hoh said both parties used the war in Afghanistan for political advancement.
“Sen. (John) McCain and Sen. (Barack) Obama both campaigned on who was going to win the Afghan war,” he said. “Afghanistan was somewhere they could both leave their mark on and win it.
“Unfortunately, I think that’s why the president (Obama) authorized more troops to go to Afghanistan,” Hoh said. “In the 2012 elections, he’ll need something to point to, that he campaigned to, that he won.”
The lecture was sponsored by Miami University's Foreign Affairs Club, with funding help from the Associated Student Government.