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December 29, 2003

THIS THE STORY THAT UPSET ME THE MOST TODAY

It comes off a comment I left, yesterday, at
Classless Warfare. It was actually off-topic to the post but on topic to the way the comments went, temporarily.

Michael Demmons had written, essentially, that "troops shouldn't sign up if they aren't willing to fight for any cause that America has for them. I replied:
If they didn't want to fight for this cause, should not have enlisted?

Michael, I respect your point of view, but this was very badly expressed. By definition they enlisted before this conflict started - in many cases years before. There are causes that troops should not be made to fight. If you're saying that it is not the troops right to say that, well .. that's debateable. But for the rest of us, liberals can speak for them - as the right, as Michael Demmons and others do frequently.

I think you're right that the troops over there are seeing a situation that makes them proud of what they are accomplishing - but only to a point. That can quickly be counterbalanced by looking at what's left, looking at the cost in human life of hat they - as a whole - are doing. They might also start to question what kind of plan is in place.

That happiness can only last so long before you start wondering - so where's the end? and before they start asking - as has been expressed by them before - is this worth it?


Are you smarter than the troops? The answer, of course, is yes ... and no.

[Bolded added here]

And so, what do I see today? The Washington Post's story: Army Stops Many Soldiers From Quitting.
Staff Sgt. Justin Fontaine, a generator mechanic, enrolled in the Massachusetts National Guard out of high school and served nearly nine years. In preparation for his exit date last March, he turned in his field gear -- his rucksack and web belt, his uniforms and canteen.

Staff Sgt. Peter G. Costas, an interrogator in an intelligence unit, joined the Army Reserve in 1991, extended his enlistment in 1999 and then re-upped for three years in 2000. Costas, a U.S. Border Patrol officer in Texas, was due to retire from the reserves in last May.

According to their contracts, expectations and desires, all three soldiers should have been civilians by now. But Fontaine and Costas are currently serving in Iraq, and Eagle has just been deployed. On their Army paychecks, the expiration date of their military service is now listed sometime after 2030 -- the payroll computer's way of saying, "Who knows?"


Talk about your breach of contract. I'm beginning to see why George Walker (Texas Ranger) Bush went AWOL. Ahem.

These people have served. They want to move on. If people are going to bitch about McCain-Feingold being an abridgement of free speech and expression (Btw, fuck you if you believe that) than surely not allowing a person to get out of a potentally deadly situation when their time of duty is up, is a much worse transgression.

Agree? I'm so glad.