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 Post subject: Thousands of Troops Say They Won't Fight!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 11:28 am 
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HOW DID WE MISS THIS STORY? DID IT FALL BELOW THE RADAR OR WERE WE JUST PAYING ATTENTION TO OTHER NEWS?


Thousands of troops say they won’t fight

"Since 2000, about 40,000 troops from all branches of the military have deserted", the Pentagon says

July 05, 2006
Airforce Times Article

Swept up by a wave of patriotism after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Chris Magaoay joined the Marine Corps in November 2004.

The newly married Magaoay thought a military career would allow him to continue his college education, help his country and set his life on the right path.

Less than two years later, Magaoay became one of thousands of military deserters who have chosen a lifetime of exile or possible court-martial rather than fight in Iraq or Afghanistan.

“It wasn’t something I did on the spur of the moment,” said Magaoay, a native of Maui, Hawaii. “It took me a long time to realize what was going on. The war is illegal.”

Magaoay said his disillusionment with the military began in boot camp in Twentynine Palms, Calif., where a superior officer joked about killing and mistreating Iraqis. When his unit was deployed to Iraq in March, Magaoay and his wife drove to Canada, joining a small group of deserters who are trying to win permission from the Canadian government to stay.

“We’re like a tight-knit family,” Magaoay said.

The Pentagon says deserters like Magaoay represent a tiny fraction of the nation’s fighting forces.

“The vast majority of soldiers who desert do so for personal, family or financial problems, not for political or conscientious objector purposes,” said Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, a spokesman for the Army.

Since 2000, about 40,000 troops from all branches of the military have deserted, the Pentagon says. More than half served in the Army. But the Army says numbers have decreased each year since the United States began its war on terror in Afghanistan.

Those who help war resisters say desertion is more prevalent than the military has admitted.

“They lied in Vietnam with the amount of opposition to the war and they’re lying now,” said Eric Seitz, an attorney who represents Army Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment to the war in Iraq.

Watada is under military custody in Fort Lewis, Wash., because he refused to join his Stryker brigade when it was sent to Iraq last month.

Watada said he doesn’t object to war but considers the conflict in Iraq illegal. The Army has turned down his request to resign and plans to file charges against him.

Critics of the Iraq war have demonstrated on the lieutenant’s behalf. Conservative bloggers call him a traitor and opportunist.

Joe Davis, spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, said deserters aren’t traitors because they’ve done nothing to help America’s enemies. But he rejects arguments that deserters have a moral right to refuse to fight wars they consider unjust.

“None of us can choose our wars. They’re always a political decision,” Davis said. “They’re letting their buddies down and hurting morale - and morale is everything on the battlefront.”

Because today’s military is an all-volunteer force, troops seeking objector status must convince superior officers they’ve had an honest change of heart about the morality of war.

The last time the U.S. military executed a deserter was World War II. But hundreds face court-martials and imprisonment every year.

Members of the armed forces are considered absent without leave when they are unaccounted for. They become deserters after they’ve been AWOL for 30 days.

A 2002 Army report says desertion is fairly constant but tends to worsen during wartime, when there’s an increased need for troops and enlistment standards are more lax. They also say deserters tend to be less educated and more likely to have engaged in delinquent behavior than other troops.

Army spokesman Hilferty said the Army doesn’t try to find deserters. Instead, their names are given to civilian law enforcement officers who often nab them during routine traffic stops and turn them over to the military.

Commanders then decide whether to rehabilitate or court-martial the alleged deserter. There’s an incentive to rehabilitate because it costs the military an average of $38,000 to recruit and train a replacement.

Jeffry House, an attorney in Toronto who represents Magaoay and other deserters, said there are about 200 deserters living in Canada. They have decided not to seek refugee status but instead are leading clandestine lives, he said.

Like many of the people helping today’s war resisters, House fled to Canada to avoid the Vietnam War. About 50,000 Americans sought legal residency in Canada during the Vietnam era.

“You would apply at the border and if you didn’t have a criminal record, you were in,” House said.

He said changes in Canadian law make it harder for resisters to flee north. Now, potential immigrants must apply for Canadian residency in their home countries. Resisters say that exposes them to U.S. prosecution.


LINK TO REST OF STORY

Thanks, Glass Race, for the link at your website! :)

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 8:15 pm 
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I spent over 20 years in the military and I really cannot say what I would do if I was still in the service. On one hand I want to think that I would go because that is what the military does, but, then I think about why this war is being faught and I wonder. I certainly would not want to die or have any of my men die for a unjust war.

I don't know how I feel about those that refuse to go, because thankfully, I am not in that position.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:24 pm 
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which branch? passes a brewski to dk...

:D

obtw... what's your opinion of chickenhawkscum?

:twisted:

Do you, like I do, despise them to their yellow core?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:30 pm 
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and obtw, on topic... certainly you don't expect the pentagon to admit that their troopers are leaving in droves, do you? why that would be counter to their propaganda that all the troopers support the mission...

hell, as I recall, all the troopers in Viet Nam supported the mission, too... that didn't make it right, nor did we win because of it... we lost, in fact...

:(

it's a pity that none of the civilians in charge, or their spawn for that matter, didn't go to nam, but then again... chickenhawkscum only SEND others to war... they don't ACTUALLY go themselves...

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:34 pm 
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which branch? passes a brewski to dk...

Takes a big swig and says aaaaaah thanks. Army here and you?

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obtw... what's your opinion of chickenhawkscum?

They are fast to yell about being un american if you don't support their war, but, are afraid to even join up. I think we need to ship them all off and let them see what it is first hand and the first one to go should be what's his name LOL

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it's a pity that none of the civilians in charge, or their spawn for that matter, didn't go to nam, but then again... chickenhawkscum only SEND others to war... they don't ACTUALLY go themselves..

your right and not to beat a dead horse, but, this president is a prime example. Jumped in front of some 50 thousand Texans to join the guard and then instead of at least pretending he was in the military, decided to campaign for another politician. Now he lands on a aircraft carrier in flight gear and some actual believe he flew the plane and landed on the carrier himself.

From some of your comments I think you understand what I am talking about..


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:51 pm 
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Now he lands on a aircraft carrier in flight gear and some actual believe he flew the plane and landed on the carrier himself.


:shock: :P Really? I've not heard that one.

Maybe it's because he was wearing a codpiece?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:18 am 
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I had a person working for me and we got talking politics. One thing led to another and he said, hell the president even landed on a aircraft carrier. I could not believe it and asked him.

He told me, well you saw him get out of the plane and he was in flight gear and he was a pilot. Hell yea he landed the plane.

I shook my head and simply walked away. If this guy believed it, I am sure there are thousands more out there and that I believe was the entire purpose of flying in a jet and wearing the uniform that he was not entitled to.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:47 am 
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He told me, well you saw him get out of the plane and he was in flight gear and he was a pilot. Hell yea he landed the plane.


Sheesh...You should've asked him if he dressed up in a monkey suit does that make him a monkey? If he dressed up in a monkey suit, could he then live in trees and eat bugs from the coats of his fellow monkeys?

Your employee takes the term "clothes make the man" down to a whole new level.

Did you fire him on grounds of deep-rooted stupidity?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:59 am 
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Did you fire him on grounds of deep-rooted stupidity


That is too funny. Thanks for making my morning. Almost spilled coffee all over the keyboard. :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 8:01 pm 
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We shall not be moved

Some joined the US military as a patriotic duty, some to better themselves, but the horrors of serving in Iraq, including Abu Ghraib, changed everything. Deserters tell Gary Younge why they had to quit

Saturday August 26, 2006
The Guardian

For Camilo Mejia there was no epiphany. In fact, his refusal to rejoin his regiment in Iraq barely represented a decision at all. It was more a weary submission to months of anxiety that had gnawed at his sense of duty until there was nothing left but his conscience. "I didn't wake up thinking I wouldn't go," he says. "I just went to bed and didn't get up in time to catch the plane. But I kept thinking maybe I would go back sometime."

Mejia, 30, never did go back. He went on the run for five months, staying with friends and relatives, using only cash, travelling by bus and not calling his mother or daughter, before he turned himself in as a conscientious objector. A military tribunal sentenced him to one year in prison.
Like Mejia, 24-year-old Darrell Anderson went on the run just a few days before he was due to redeploy. "I was supposed to leave for Iraq on January 8th. On the 3rd I started to talk to people about the war. By the 6th I woke up and had hit a brick wall. I just knew I wasn't going to be able to live a normal life if I went back."

He told his mother, Anita, who said she "had been hoping for that". "I packed up the car and took him to Canada. It was the first time I slept through the night in two years," she says. Anderson is now essentially a fugitive seeking asylum in Canada.

And then there was Joshua Casteel, an interrogator at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison. His turning point came when a 22-year-old Saudi who came to Iraq for jihad was brought before him for questioning. "He admitted it," says Casteel, 26, a deeply religious Catholic convert from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. "I asked him why he had come to Iraq to kill. Then he asked me why I had come to Iraq to kill. He said I wasn't following the teachings of Jesus, which was pretty ironic. But I thought he sounded just like me. He was not a maniacal kind of killer. He had never fired a weapon in his life ... I know what it's like to proselytise. At one time I had been a pretty nationalistic kid. I understood where he was coming from but in order to do my job I couldn't look at him as a human being. I had to look at him as an object of exploitation."

Two days later Casteel went to Qatar on leave. When he came back he told his commander that he would be applying for conscientious objector status. "I said I wouldn't turn in my weapon while I was there or talk to the media but would carry on doing my job and when I got back home I would ask to leave the military." He filed his application on February 16 and was granted an honourable discharge on May 31.

Whether you call them deserters, conscientious objectors or resisters, every story of American soldiers who left the army prematurely because of the Iraq war shares the same emotional trajectory. They begin with doubt and end with determination. And somewhere along the way comes that ill-defined but crucial moment when the psychological struggle and moral angst overwhelm their military commitment.

The number applying for conscientious objector status has quadrupled since 2000 but remains small, though many more simply go awol. In 2004, 110 soldiers filed, of whom around half were successful. The rest went back to war, refused to serve, were jailed or are still in hiding. Yet there has been a huge increase in enquiries, according to JE McNeil, director of the Centre on Conscience and War. Before 9/11, she says, its GI hotline received roughly one phone call a month from those seeking information about how to get out of the military. In the year after, it went up to one or two a week. Currently it stands at more than one a day.

Which could explain the army's increasingly hardline attitude towards deserters. In the past the overwhelming majority of deserters (94%) were released - if not with an honourable discharge, at least with little fuss. But as the war on terror started, the military had to get tough on those who went missing. Shortly after 9/11 it issued new rules that deserters should be returned to their military units for evaluation. In May 2004, Major General Claude Williams of the Army National Guard issued an internal memo saying: "Effective immediately, I am holding commanders at all levels accountable for controlling manageable losses." He ordered commanders to retain 85% of the soldiers who were scheduled to end their active duty and "execute the awol recovery procedures for every awol soldier".

In one instance, one of those in command had a change of heart. In June Ehren Watada became the first commissioned officer to refuse to deploy. "This war is not only morally wrong but illegal under international and American law," he said. "I took an oath to defend the laws and constitution. My participation would make me party to war crimes." When we spoke, Watada's unit was due to ship out in a matter of days and he was getting ready to do time.

In July he was charged with conduct unbecoming an officer, "missing movement" and contempt toward officials. "I will probably go to jail but I think it's my duty to say it's not a lawful order," says Watada, who plans to challenge the legality of the war at any trial that may ensue. If convicted he could face nearly eight years in prison and a dishonourable discharge.

There are at least 50 ways to leave your regiment. Many simply go absent without leave and hope they are never found, others flee to Canada or apply for release as a conscientious objector. Some pursue less confrontational avenues. "People try for medical discharges, or discharge on grounds of hardship," says McNeil. "They take drugs and hope they get caught. They come out as gay."

A few resort to truly desperate measures. In December 2004, Marquise Roberts, 24, got his cousin, Roland Fuller, to shoot him in the leg , then told the police he'd been struck by a stray bullet. "I was scared," he told police after they found no blood or casings in the area and the cousins couldn't keep their story straight. "I didn't want to go back to Iraq and leave my family. I felt that my chain of command didn't care about the safety of the troops. I just know that I wasn't going to make it back." Fuller was sentenced to up to 30 months in prison; Roberts got a year in military prison; his wife, Donna, who helped them, got four years' probation.

The process for becoming a conscientious objector is both involved and tough. Soldiers have to show that they are opposed to all wars, not just a particular war. They must also inform their commanding officer, who then appoints an investigating officer. The investigating officer arranges for the soldier to be interviewed by both a chaplain and a psychiatrist, both of whom write reports. Then the investigating officer writes a report and, finally, the commanding officer delivers his verdict in his own report. This usually takes between 12 and 18 months, during which time the soldier must remain with his or her unit. "The standard is pretty high and the military can be capricious about following its own standards," says McNeil. "Basically it's a crap shoot. And you're still in the military until they decide. The only thing they can't make you do during that time is pick up a weapon. The response of your colleagues can vary. Some soldiers have been raped; others were told, 'I don't agree with you but I'll support you any way I can.' "

Desertions - those who leave without permission - rose steeply from 1,509 in 1995 to 4,719 in 2001, only to drop again last year to 2,500. For soldiers to be classified as deserters, they must be awol for 30 days. At that point they are dropped from the military rolls and a federal warrant is issued for their arrest, although for many years they were rarely pursued for lack of resources.


LINK TO REST OF STORY

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 10:53 pm 
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As az retired military person I find it terrible that this man and woman would decide to put on a uniform and then decide that they did not want to go to war. I understand their feelings and can even say I don't blame them. But,when your in the military you cannot question the why, you do what you are paid and trained to do. Not what you want to do.

They enlisted, they were trained and some of them trained others. To send your men into combat while you are afraid to go is plain wrong. I don't care for those that have sent our soldiers to war, they are called chickenhawks. Well, those that desert are in the same boat. They send others to do the job they are afraid to do.

They are cowards, hiding behind the words "I don't believe in the war."
I am sure 58,000 did not believe in the war they died for either. But they went and gave their lives.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 8:40 am 
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Soldiers have to show that they are opposed to all wars, not just a particular war.


What is a person to do if they believe this war is illegal and feel they are upholding the Constitution when they refuse to fight what they consider an illegal war?

Not goading you, just interested in your thoughts.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 10:34 am 
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What is a person to do if they believe this war is illegal and feel they are upholding the Constitution when they refuse to fight what they consider an illegal war?


There that word is again Constitution. LOL. When you join the military you take a oath, in that oath you swear to defend the United States against all enemies both foreign and domestic. It does say only if you agree with the war, or only if you want to. You don't have the option.

You are in the military. When you joined you knew there was or is always the possibility of going to war. You should have thought of that before you joined, not after.

A person of course is free to do whatever they want to do. As long as they are willing to pay the price. For those that are in the military and refuse to go to a war that THEY feel is unjust that is their right. Nobody has taken that away. But, they have to be willing to pay the price for their actions.

As much as I agree that this is a unjust and personal war, I know that my military training and my sense of pride would not allow me to say, I am not going because I don't believe in it.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:27 pm 
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Draft means you chose to go to war? If you see people ripping babies out of incubators and smashing their heads against the wall, as ordered, that is a good thing and worth fighting for? What are you when you enlist - a zombie? Oh right you're not supposed to think for yourself

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When you join the military you take a oath, in that oath you swear to defend the United States against all enemies both foreign and domestic. It does say only if you agree with the war, or only if you want to. You don't have the option.

You are in the military. When you joined you knew there was or is always the possibility of going to war. You should have thought of that before you joined, not after.


Yeah sure, what does agreeing with the war entail? When you walked in and enlisted did they sell you a glamorous flyboy, sailors dream of career, education and payment for enlisting? That it was a legitimate war? That it wasn't another false flag operation? When you figure out that the terrorists are homegrown and you're in a stinking hole in the ground defending the rights of elitist America to send your ass to hell, it's time to bring the war home. There is a clause in the Constitution (That damn "C" word again) that states you can bear arms against tyrannical governments too. What happens if you figure out what is really going on after being so gung-ho about joining "To defend Life, Liberty and the 'Merikan way of life. What happens if you grow up from your infancy and decide you made a mistake?

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I find it terrible that this man and woman would decide to put on a uniform and then decide that they did not want to go to war. I understand their feelings and can even say I don't blame them. But,when your in the military you cannot question the why, you do what you are paid and trained to do. Not what you want to do.


So enlisted soldiers are nothing more than a flagdraped, glorified poorly paid mercenaries is what you're saying?

Spend your whole childhood pretending to be an individual, just to get retrained not to think- just do. This isn't a conflict of the psychical? What the reality here is that youths are torn between acts of conscience and acts of attrition while too inexperiewnced to make choices concerning life and death. Their decision making has been fed a healthy diet of programming that doesn't provide them the tools to reason logically from their strengths. Instead their emotion are eliscited to respond to stimulus. This is what these young men and women work with. Emotional choices.

The first stage of life is a lie set up to indoctrinate you into the belief that you are great, your country is great, that all you have to do is lve and all will go well. When the dreamstate leaves you find only an illusion of ideas that made sense when you were safe at home with mommy and daddy. Now that you're in your 20's and "All Growed up" these illusions no longer apply in the real world. It is up to you to forget that you matter, that what you think is important? But of course "Where's the money"? Wheres the babes and hunks that would complete your lifes purpose and meaning? Some see no option but to enlist. It is a safe haven, a gang, if you will, that accepts you, nurtures you and gives you that drive. It could be a lifelong career as well and there is education possibilities. War is a far thought in the minds of a young recruit during peace time.

But when you're number comes up, when duty calls, it is up to you to serve and not regret. Just shut up and do what you're told- individual asshole! How long does it take a drill sarge to render these clowns into a well oiled goon squad? Not thinking, not individual, just a group of hired well trained murderers doing the psychopatic " Duty" that their country chose for them.

What if this war is the one where we figure out that we don't need war any more? Should old soldiers just fall out of favor and realise that the sacrifices they made each time their country called was nothing more than a cover for grand theft, by supporting the bourgeoisies love of sending other peoples children to die for the sake of their lying, cheating and stealing.

War is obsolete and should be declared dead. It is time to declare war on war and end its ridiculous power struggles for good.

Cheers for the dodgers and deserters- they have regained their capacity to think for themselves again. Of course the government thinks their dangerous, as anyone out of the groupthink industry knows. A tsunami starts with a small tremor and becomes a great force capable of erasing the environment that created it. This is the fear that the government has- "What if they gave a war and nobody came". Would they be forced finally to do the fighting themselves or would they choose the one thing that seems impossible to them? Negotiate? Diplomacy based on solutions and not threats?

HEAVEN FORBID- IT IS JUST SOOOOOO MUCH EASIER TO SEND SOMEONES CHILDREN TO DO THEIR DIRTY WORK AND THEN BLAME THE VICTIM- WHEN THEY COME TO THEIR SENSES-isn't it.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:42 pm 
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Cheers for the dodgers and deserters- they have regained their capacity to think for themselves again


Do you then agree with what Bush did, by going AWOL or would you have rather he say


"I am against this war and refuse to fight?"



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HEAVEN FORBID- IT IS JUST SOOOOOO MUCH EASIER TO SEND SOMEONES CHILDREN TO DO THEIR DIRTY WORK AND THEN BLAME THE VICTIM- WHEN THEY COME TO THEIR SENSES-isn't it.


If they were drafted then I might agree with you, but, each person serving in the military now is there by choice. No body force them to go in. The military offered them schooling, training and in some cases a college education. Then when it came time to pay back what they had received some of them want no part of it.

If they had objections to fighting in a war, there are steps that they could have taken, prior to a war starting. They could have registered with their commander, been given different jobs etc.

I believe that most of them are using the excuse of not agreeing with the war, when in fact they are just plain cowards. For those that are truly against the war, then I applaud them for standing up for themselves. They are doing that knowing full well what can and will happen to them.


Oh and unlike those who sit in a factory or behind a desk and do the same thing day in and day out , we in the military are not mindless robots.


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