Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Desertions Decreasing?

The Chicago Tribune, the least slanted of the Chicago newspapers, had a decent article Monday on folks who go AWOL or UA from the military:

Iraq War Spurs Few Deserters

American soldier Levi Moddrelle returned on leave from Iraq on Christmas Eve 2003, his mind and body scarred from war. A few weeks later, scheduled to deploy to Iraq again and telling friends he didn't want to die, the Kentucky helicopter mechanic went missing.

"Something happened to him over there that made him run away," said his mother, Susan Tileston, from her home in Stanford, Ky.

Moddrelle, 22, is one of more than 9,500 enlisted military personnel--from all branches of the service, including the National Guard--who have abandoned their service since the start of the war, according to military statistics.

Moddrelle, however, is part of a diminishing minority, not a growing trend. The number of desertions has dropped every year of the Iraq war, despite rising opposition to the conflict at home. More...

Why We Fight

Why We Fight... And Don't Fight

Did you know... One in six soldiers returning from Iraq experiences mental health problems; 60 percent of all recruits receive no college funding from the military; according to the VA, 90 percent of recent women veterans reported experiencing sexual harassment and a third of those were raped. . . . Read more of these hard facts, as well as devastating personal testimony of military members and their families, in 10 Reasons Not to Join the Military, a new book edited by Elizabeth Wiell-Greenberg and published by The New Press.

We also encourage you to get to the nearest theatre to watch Why We Fight, the brilliant new documentary by Eguene Jarecki, winner of the grand jury prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. Why We Fight examines how Dwight D. Eisenhower's prediction of an uncontrollable American military-industrial complex has been actualized in recent decades, especially in the Iraq War.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961

Monday, April 10, 2006

Enemy Soldiers Gather for Peace

The Christian Science Monitor reporter Ameilia Thomas reports on "Combatants for Peace," a group of Israeli and Palestinian soldiers who have been meeting in secret for a year to search for common ground. All are former combatants who struggled to defend their state - but half of them are former Israeli soldiers or pilots, while the other half are former Palestinian "freedom fighters," many of whom served time in Israeli jails. Combatants for Peace brings together these ex-fighters to encourage dialogue, peace, and an end to conflict in the region. Read the story...

Visit the Combatants for Peace Website.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Sailors learn Army basics

Sailors learn Army basics to prep for downrange deployment

With the Pentagon's call on the Navy to provide forces to ease the strain on Army and Marine Corps ground units, naval individual augmentees are flocking to South Carolina to learn the basics of ground combat.

"You take a sailor... who has lived on a 564-foot ship, and all of a sudden, you're integrating him into a ground combat environment. It's night and day for us," said Master Chief Petty Officer Anthony Evangelista, fleet master chief for U.S. Naval Forces Europe/6th Fleet. Read the Stars and Stripes article