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Bush Administration’s Attacks on Soldiers and Vets Continue

May 21st, 2004

The Bush administration is still looking for ways to send people to Iraq. As the living hell people have gone through there, and the administration’s massive mistreatment of soldiers and vets has led to falling recruitment and retention numbers. The administration needs warm bodies, and badly; recently a decision was made to pull 4,000 troops out of Korea and send them to Iraq–that’s more than 10% of all U.S. troops in South Korea, which has angered South Korea, whose leaders claim this will leave them vulnerable. Other ways they’re trying to scrape up recruits is–as part of the unfunded “No Child Left Behind” sham–by requiring schools to give military recruiters students’ names, addresses and phone numbers. But even with all of this, the Bush administration is having trouble finding the soldiers they need to fuel the war they’ve started.

How to solve the problem? Lie to reservists and trick them into re-enlisting.

Now, there are about 118,000 IRR (“Individual Ready Reserves”), people who finished their 4-year service but who could be called upon to serve during another 4-year period.

Army recruiters started calling reservists and telling them that if they did not voluntarily re-enlist and choose an assignment in the Army Reserve or the National Guard, they might well be called up involuntarily and be placed in a unit they did not want or were not familiar with. More than 1000 reservists signed up for service under this threat.

The problem? It was a lie. No involuntary assignments are forthcoming.

Now there is a movement to allow those who felt they were Shanghaied into re-enlistment to appeal and, hopefully, be allowed to retract their decision–but there are no guarantees as of yet.

This article in the Oregonian does an excellent job of summing up the situation.

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