The fact that I'm no longer threatened with imprisonment if I don't work for them does nothing to justify the previous 1,516 days during which that was an ever-present reality. The truth is that despite having only filed my written request to be classified as a conscientious objector 131 days ago, I could not have freely left any day prior to today.
While I'm thrilled that the injustice of my forced labor for the Navy has ended, this is not a victory of right over wrong, nor is it proof that, however slowly, "the system does work."
Before praising the Navy for having done the right thing, think of it this way: if a slave-owner suddenly decided to release one of his slaves would you speak well of him even if he never publicly admitted that he was horribly wrong for having enslaved someone in the first place? What if the slave owner did nothing to try and make restitution to the individual he had enslaved? Finally, and perhaps worst of all, would you have kind words for the "Master" if after releasing one slave he continued to threaten hundreds of thousands of other slaves if they quit working?
Sadly, this is not merely an analogy, but it is the reality of what has happened with myself and the Navy. In ending their threat of imprisonment today, those comprising the Navy have never admitted the immorality of having forced me to labor for them for the previous 1,516 days that I did. Additionally, they have not in any way sought to make restitution for this grave injustice. Finally, and one of the major reasons this blog will continue, they continue to threaten hundreds of thousands of other people with imprisonment should they leave their jobs without the "papers" I was given today.
Ultimately, war is immoral, and part of this immorality is the manner in which people are forced to risk their lives, limbs, and property to either fight in it or fund it. Were it not for the perceived legitimacy of military enslavement (generally read "enlistments"), the likelihood and destructive power of war would be greatly reduced, if not eliminated. Therefore, I will continue to apply my talent and effort toward promoting the truth of military slavery and the overall immorality of war. I do this not as a man embittered by his personal experience, but rather as an individual who is inspired by the possibility of creating a voluntary society.