The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Pat Tillman’s brother speaks out against Iraq war

Oct 30, 2006

Kevin Tillman, the brother of former professional football star Pat Tillman, is speaking out against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pat Tillman was killed while serving as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan. Kevin Tillman served in the same unit with his brother when he was killed.

Kevin Tillman explains that the two brothers joined the military because they believed they were fighting for national security, against weapons of mass destruction, or to establish democracy.

When Pat Tillman gave up a multi-million-dollar-per-year NFL contract to go to fight in Afghanistan, the media and the politicians portrayed him as a war hero, ready to sacrifice everything for his country. When he died, the military tried to say that he gave his life in combat with enemy soldiers. Eventually, it turned out that he was killed by “friendly fire.” Now, it turns out that he and his brother both came to oppose the war.

Kevin Tillman now protests, “Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is. Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnaping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few ‘bad apples’ in the military.... Somehow the more soldiers die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.”

The ruling class thought they could use Pat Tillman as a recruitment poster boy for their so-called “war on terror.” Instead the real conditions of this war caused Pat and Kevin Tillman, like many others, to oppose the war.