Monday, January 30, 2006


The Backdoor Draft: When Janissaries Just Aren't Enough

50,000 Americans serving in Iraq have just been told that unlike what was implied when Bush posed in a flight suit on an aircraft carrier nearly three years ago, their mission really isn't accomplished:

The U.S. Army has forced about 50,000 soldiers to continue serving after their voluntary stints ended under a policy called "stop-loss," but while some dispute its fairness, court challenges have fallen flat. The policy applies to soldiers in units due to deploy for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The Army said stop-loss is vital to maintain units that are cohesive and ready to fight. But some experts said it shows how badly the Army is stretched and could further complicate efforts to attract new recruits. "As the war in Iraq drags on, the Army is accumulating a collection of problems that cumulatively could call into question the viability of an all-volunteer force," said defense analyst Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute think tank. "When a service has to repeatedly resort to compelling the retention of people who want to leave, you're edging away from the whole notion of volunteerism."
Bush is willing to use being "at war" to justify these soldiers' sacrifice. But he'll be damned if he gives up his billionaire tax cuts -- even though no president besides him has had the gall, not to mention the idiocy, to promote tax cuts for the rich when those who aren't rich pay the ultimate price in faraway lands.

"Stop-Loss" means the soldiers come home when they're dead.

Any sooner would adversely affect the tax cuts of the rich. No good, that.
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