Tuesday :: Dec 20, 2005

Rank Has Its Privilege ...

by pessimist

... and Bu$hCo is more rank than anything! How else to explain this blatant favoritism?

Army allows Reserve officers to leave rather than go to war

Faced with growing unrest among soldiers called back to active duty, almost two-thirds of the Army officers in the Individual Ready Reserve program have been allowed to resign rather than go to war, the Army has disclosed. The 265 officers are among 410 reservists who had orders that likely would have sent them to Iraq or Afghanistan.
That option has not been granted to enlisted soldiers who also have been called back to duty from the Ready Reserve.

Eighty remain in open defiance of orders to appear.

Including many single parents.

These two examples presented here of single parents called back to active duty are reporting as ordered, but there are many others who face similar problems and choose not to appear:

Single mom, son, learning how to soldier on

Sgt. Ricci Moore is stationed at an Army training camp in cold, windy Ft. McCoy, Wis., 535 miles from her 9-year-old son, Joey, and dozens of other relatives in Detroit. Joey is being cared for by his aunt.

Moore is one of thousands of military parents who have or will leave their children in the care of someone else while they serve their country far from home. She's also one of a smaller, but growing, number of single military parents who have no other parent to leave a child with during their absence.

Like this mother called back to active duty:

Medford single mother called back to active duty in Iraq

As Christmas nears, Patricia Arndt, 43, is trying to sell the Medford home she says she will not be able to keep on an Army salary of approximately $60,000 a year, and is searching for someone to care for her 13-year-old son, Shane.

Her return to active duty will leave her teenage son without a parent for 18 months, she said, and cost her more than $100,000 in income during that time. "People have no idea what this is doing to families." She said her son's emotional well-being worries her the most. "He says, 'My father's not here, you're not here, why should I be here?'" Arndt said. "His life as he knows it is gone."

U.S. Army officials said Arndt is not being treated unfairly. "Single parents are treated no differently than any other soldier, and are expected to have a family care plan at all times," said Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Pamela Hart. Almost 8 percent of all current Army personnel -- and 13.8 percent of female soldiers -- are single parents, the officials said.

It isn't just the Individual Ready Reserve that is being treated extremely badly just so that Bu$hCo can avoid reinstituting the draft and sending rich kids to the Oil War. Our own active duty troops who have done their part are being coerced into additional service as well:

US troops 'coerced to re-enlist'
A tip of the Titanium Tam O'Shanter to reader (:Tom:) for the lead

A US congresswoman has called for an investigation into claims that Iraq war veterans were threatened with being sent to Iraq unless they stayed on. Diana DeGette said she had been contacted by soldiers based at Fort Carson, near Colorado Springs.

"There are legitimate questions as to whether officials at the White House or civilian leadership at the Pentagon is pressuring army officers at Fort Carson and other military installations to coerce Iraq war veterans to re-enlist in order to maintain the force levels necessary to fight the war in Iraq and war on terror," Ms DeGette told the Denver Post newspaper.
According to local media reports, soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team nearing the end of their duty were told they faced re-assignment to units expected to be deployed to Iraq or South Korea unless they re-enlisted at the end of the month or extended their duty until the end of 2007. Those who re-enlisted or extended their stay would stay with the brigade, which has already spent a year in Iraq.

There is unrest among the ranks, and Big Time was sent in to quell it:

Cheney Fields Tough Questions From Troops

Vice President Dick Cheney rode the wave of last week's parliamentary elections during a 10-hour surprise visit to Iraq that aimed to highlight progress at a time when Americans question the mission.
Military commanders and top government officials offered glowing reports, but the rank-and-file troops Cheney met did not seem to share their enthusiasm.
Marine Cpl. R.P. Zapella, asked, "Sir, what are the benefits of doing all this work to get Iraq on its feet?"

"From our perspective, we don't see much as far as gains," said Marine Cpl. Bradley Warren. "We're looking at small-picture stuff, not many gains. I was wondering what it looks like from the big side of the mountain - how Iraq's looking."

The skepticism that Cheney faced reflects opinions back home, where most Americans say they do not approve of President Bush's handling of the war. It was unique coming from a military audience, which typically receives administration officials more enthusiastically. [H]e delivered the applause line, "We're in this fight to win. These colors don't run."
[T]he only sound was a lone whistle.

Vermont governor wants troops home

Governor James H. Douglas of Vermont, a Republican whose state has lost more soldiers per capita in Iraq and Afghanistan than any other in the United States, said last week that the Bush administration and Congress should prepare a withdrawal plan to bring troops home from Iraq. Fifteen residents of Vermont have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, the most per capita in the country, according to a tally kept by the Associated Press.
There are still about 400 Vermont National Guard members in Iraq. Most are serving in Ramadi, a restive city about 75 miles west of Baghdad. There are other Vermont soldiers elsewhere in Iraq, in Saudi Arabia, and in Afghanistan.

Douglas also said that given the apparent success of the national election last week in Iraq, it should be largely up to the Iraqis to decide when the United States should pull out of the country. "It's up to them," he said. "They ought to be the ones to make the call as to whether they feel their security is adequate and their infrastructure is prepared to assume responsibility for the country."

"Our goal is not to stay in Iraq any longer than we have to."

The question of when the United States should bring its troops home has dominated headlines in recent weeks.

That sentiment is reflected in the following post:

Hell Yes We Should Pull Out Of Iraq Now - We Should Have Long Ago

[T]he Democrats don't quite have the courage yet to really lay out the simple reality: that not only shouldn't we stay in Iraq now, that we should have pulled out long ago - and, that the reason we are still there has nothing to do with terrorists or democracy.

The reality is that the law makes plain what should have been done in Iraq. For those who supported the 'preemptive' war based on 'intelligence' about WMD's, once we found out there were none, we had no other choice but to leave and pay the price for our misguided actions.

[T]he Republicans are fighting back with their holier-than-thou lies, giving their disingenuous, FOX News-brand answer to why we are supposedly still there. The 'terrorists', they say, and 'democracy', throwing strong-sounding but inaccurate claims.

The reality is that 'terrorists', which never existed in Iraq before we made them through our actions, and 'democracy' have nothing to do with why we are still in Iraq. In fact, many of the 'terrorists' who are there now popped up because they saw what was happening: that we were never leaving, but instead going to stay to ensure we had control of whatever government was there so we could have control of the oil.
* The first U.S. Marine to die died securing an oil field.

* The first task accomplished was securing oil fields.

Even during President Bush's address to the nation on the eve of war, when he said he had a message for the Iraqi troops, before he said not to use chemical weapons, before he said not to commit atrocities, the first thing he said to them, with all of America and the world watching, was, "Do not destroy oil wells, a source of wealth that belongs to the Iraqi people."
The Iraq war is not an attempt to free Iraq, it is an attempt to further enslave America in servitude to the family of anarchists named Bush that has entirely taken control of every branch of the government and seeks to dismantle our democracy and replace it with a religious fascist state that exists to perpetuate their own personal power and wealth.
They like war because war is anarchy - they can kill as they wish without trial or lawyers - make a deck of cards and kill everyone whose face they decide to put on it without trial or even clear charges; they can hand out and take our tax dollars as they wish, without accounting or legislative approval for the particulars.
That is what the Bush vision of "freedom" is: anarchy, freedom to commit criminal acts without the impediment of law.
The war only exists to perpetuate the anarchistic state of war and further the Bush family's designs on permanently controlling America, turning it into a fascistic, religious state over which they preside, as the Saudi rulers preside over their nation.
America has a different definition of what freedom is, and it is the freedom to pursue happiness in a nation where all men are equal, and where strong arm bullies with no respect for the law are called criminals and locked up accordingly.
It's just that simple. It is time to get the courage - people in both parties, as well as us Moderate Independents - to deal with this ugly, obvious truth and so to immediately end this mess in Iraq.

And to take up dealing with the incredible mess that Bu$hCo made of the formerly United States of America.

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pessimist :: 6:06 PM :: Comments (31) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!