DiscoverBreaking Cadence: Insights From a Modern-Day Conscientious Objector
Breaking Cadence: Insights From a Modern-Day Conscientious Objector
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Breaking Cadence: Insights From a Modern-Day Conscientious Objector

Author: Rosa del Duca

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You probably think that you would never join the military. Think again. Every year thousands of young Americans surprise family and friends, signing long, legally-binding contracts with an organization they know very little about. Many of them join to pay for college. But what happens when pride and optimism turn into regret and refusal to play a role in war? Hear perspectives about the military, the Iraq War and conscientious objection you have likely never heard before. Strong voices in the war against the war. More info on Breaking Cadence the podcast and Breaking Cadence the memoir at or

13 Episodes
Congress is poised to expand draft registration to young women. Some argue it's a sign of equal rights, of progressive feminist values. But during a panel at the 2021 Peace and Justice Studies Association Conference, three remarkable speakers debunk that theory and explain why the draft should be abolished once and for all. The panel was called “Intersectionality & the U.S. Military Draft" and features Rivera Sun, Edward Hasbrouck, Sebastian Muñoz-McDonald (and Rosa del Duca. )Suppo...
The author of Guys Like Me: Five Wars, Five Veterans for Peace has a new book out, focused on women and members of the LGBTQ2S community. It's called Unconventional Combat: Intersectional Action in the Veterans’ Peace Movement. What is "intersectional action" and why is it important? How does "situated knowledge" play a vital role in the next generation of activism? Listen in to find out. Find out more about the book here: out more about Mich...
A conversation between a conscientious objector from the Vietnam War and a CO from the Iraq War. Longtime political activist and writer Joel Eis reflects on war resistance, counter-recruitment, and famous protests he was involved in during the 60s and 70s, including the strike at San Francisco State. Also, the debut of a special online Truth in Recruitment program. Coming soon at the Show.
Culture Shock

Culture Shock


Three veterans who joined less than a year before 9/11 share their stories of enlistment, service and life after wearing the uniform. Victor Inzunza and Eddie Falcon join host Rosa del Duca in a panel discussion.Victor Inzunza grew up in Stockton, California. In 2001, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and served with 1st battalion 2nd Marines. He did two tours in Iraq, one in 2003 and one in 2004. After his enlistment, he graduated from University of the Pacific with a B.A. in English and recei...
Ethics expert and Santa Clara University professor David DeCosse explains Just War thinking and how it went very wrong in the lead up to the Iraq War. We explore America's martial culture, how PTSD can also be viewed as an ethics issue, and much more. DeCosse is the Director of Campus Ethics Programs at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, a center designed to guide students, business leaders, government leaders, scientists, and others, through ethical decision making in the real world. Ho...
After living what he saw as a charmed childhood, Michael Mihalakis was bound and determined to find some adversity, and to overcome it. He joined the Army National Guard in 2002, at 17 years old. He was still 17 when he was deployed to Iraq. And then, on December 26th, 2003, the unthinkable. His sister, Kristine Mihalakis shares his story, as well as her family’s journey into the depths of grief, and the struggle to climb back out.Support the Show.
Hear songs like "Ft. Lee, VA," "Firestarter," and "Orion" explained. "Ft. Lee" was inspired by the strange experience of celebrating the 4th of July during boot camp. "Orion" is a tribute to all those suffering from PTSD, the war after the war. Rosa reflects on the lyrics, and the experience of co-creating these songs with guitarist Will Decher. Find all Rosa and Will's music here.Support the Show.
Ah Youth

Ah Youth


That junior and senior year of high school, the pressure is on to make some big decisions that will affect the rest of our lives. And yet we often make those decisions based on whims, on chance, or incomplete pictures. In our late teens, we are still coming to some major epiphanies. The parts of our brains that calculate risk and reward won’t be fully developed for several more years. We test limits. We feel lost, overwhelmed, and confused and don’t admit it. A discussion on all this, and mor...
Longtime activist Siri Margerin talks about manning the phones at the G.I. Rights Hotline, and much more. If you think folks only call when they are looking for a discharge, you'd be wrong. Sometimes even officers call, seeking answers they can't seem to get anywhere else. Siri is also part of an innovative program called Drop the MIC, or Drop the Military Industrial Complex. Find out more here.Support the Show.
Vietnam veteran turned peace activist Gregory Ross doesn't like being thanked for his service. He doesn't want to be wished happy Veterans Day. He shares what he would love to hear intead, and more. In a wide-ranging interview, Ross opens up on his top secret Navy job, what kept him from being a conscientious objector during Vietnam, and what he thinks of the War on Terror, and those fighting it through America's new draft, the "economic draft."Support the Show.
Habeas Corpus

Habeas Corpus


Steven Collier, a San Francisco lawyer, represented the first public conscientious objector in the Iraq War. He also went up against the federal government and won two habeas corpus proceedings for conscientious objectors. What is habeas corpus? In short, an old writ that protects soldiers and others from being "unlawfully detained." Because when the military denies CO cases, sometimes they do so out of spite or assumption. Support the Show.
Fanny Garcia, photographer, artist and veteran, tells us her story of becoming a conscientious objector during the Iraq War. She joined out of a desire to escape a small, confining life. Later, she realized she was a conscientious objector. And she took a big risk. She based her CO application on being vegan. Can vegan values help prove you have strong morals? Find out. After you listen, find out more about Fanny and her artwork at the Show.
The Deal

The Deal


In the fall of 2000, I was a low-income, high school senior, itching to get out of my small town. Strong-willed, independent and a know-it-all, I impulsively signed a six-year contract with the National Guard to pay for college. My escape route was paved.At first, I was excited and proud to wear the uniform. But as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq unfolded, I became anxious, depressed, and furious with myself for signing that contract. I became increasingly conflicted about my role in war. Ev...
Comments (2)

Lilian Ramey

Very nicely done. I enjoyed the music, details, and composition of these podcasts. What a great in-depth look at being a conscientious objector in the U.S. military.

Aug 6th
Reply (1)