: “By David H. Hackworth
Top military managers insist that our all-volunteer Army isnt stretched too thin from this countrys heavy and hazardous commitment to hot spots like Iraq and Afghanistan and cooler places in another 131 countries around Planet Earth. They spout positive numbers like carnival hucksters, hyping enlistment and re-enlistment rates they keep insisting are at an all-time high.
Loyalty, patriotism and seeing the results of successfully accomplishing their missions are the key factors in this success, said Col. Elton Manske, an Army personnel chief in the Pentagon.
Except thats exactly 180 degrees out from what hundreds of soldiers have told me during the past few weeks.
It also doesn’t square with the fact that the Army is currently extending 44,000 soldiers under stop-loss provisions which, like a form of the draft, arbitrarily keep a soldier in service beyond the agreed-upon term of enlistment.
‘Stop loss is not only a breach of contract, its a form of slavery,railed a Special Forces (SF) senior noncommissioned officer. There’s a tidal wave of folks getting out. … The number of senior SF NCOs leaving is amazing. Our battalion had three of five sergeant-majors retire, and our sister battalion had two of five. The number of master sergeants was well into double digits. I predict that the exodus will devastate the senior NCO corps at a time when experience and stability are most needed. “
New York Daily News – Ideas & Opinions – Richard Cohen: W’s blind to the Iraqi reality show: “On a recent Sunday, four men, stripped to their underpants, were paraded through a city on the back of a pickup truck. They were escorted by scores of masked men shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ (‘God Is Great’), and their backs were bleeding from the 80 lashes each had received for selling alcohol.
Where did this happen? Fallujah, the Iraqi city described by President Bush in the most serene terms in his address at the Army War College the other night. He mentioned the city when he said military commanders had exercised commendable restraint in not leveling the place after American contractors were killed and hung from a bridge.
‘We’re making security a shared responsibility in Fallujah,’ the President told the nation. ‘Coalition commanders have worked with local leaders to create an all-Iraqi security force, which is now patrolling the city.’”
The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Editorials: “Bill Nevins, a New Mexico high school teacher and personal friend, was fired last year and classes in poetry and the poetry club at Rio Rancho High School were permanently terminated. It had nothing to do with obscenity, but it had everything to do with extremist politics.
The ‘Slam Team’ was a group of teenage poets who asked Nevins to serve as faculty adviser to their club. The teens, mostly shy youngsters, were taught to read their poetry aloud and before audiences. Rio Rancho High School gave the Slam Team access to the school’s closed-circuit television once a week and the poets thrived.
In March 2003, a teenage girl named Courtney presented one of her poems before an audience at Barnes & Noble bookstore in Albuquerque, then read the poem live on the school’s closed-circuit television channel.
A school military liaison and the high school principal accused the girl of being ‘un-American’ because she criticized the war in Iraq and the Bush administration’s failure to give substance to its ‘No child left behind’ education policy.
The girl’s mother, also a teacher, was ordered by the principal to destroy the child’s poetry. The mother refused and may lose her job.
Bill Nevins was suspended for not censoring the poetry of his students. Remember, there is no obscenity to be found in any of the poetry. He was later fired by the principal.”
The true ‘obscenity’ is the stiffling of free speech in America.
Naked Truth (PNEWS) Portal – US Tried to Plant WMDs, Failed: “According to a stunning report posted by a retired Navy Lt Commander and 28-year veteran of the Defense Department (DoD), the Bush administration’s assurance about finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was based on a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) plan to ‘plant’ WMDs inside the country. Nelda Rogers, the Pentagon whistleblower, claims the plan failed when the secret mission was mistakenly taken out by ‘friendly fire’, the Environmentalists Against War report.”
Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: May 16, 2004 – May 22, 2004 Archives: “Department of unintended Chalabi ironies. From President Bush’s commencement speech at LSU: ‘On the job, and elsewhere in life, choose your friends carefully. The company you keep has a way of rubbing off on you. And that can be a good thing or a bad thing.’”