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Uncle Sam Wants You... Back

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
[rant]

I opened my browser to see this glaring at me:

"The Army is preparing to notify about 5,600 retired and discharged soldiers who are not members of the National Guard or Reserve that they will be involuntarily recalled to active duty for possible service in Iraq or Afghanistan."

The Bush Administration is now preparing to disrupt the lives of another set of Americans, those former soldiers who completed their obligations and left the military service.

"Any former enlisted soldier who did not serve at least eight years on active duty is in the Individual Ready Reserve pool, as are all officers who have not resigned their commission."

Apparently, Mr. Bush's little invasion of the Middle East has so heavily taxed the US armed forces that he needs more soldiers, and so these former soldiers will pay the price - forced to leave their good jobs for military pay (pittance) and benefits (cut by the Bush Administration to reign in exploding deficits), forced to leave their families and friends behind, and forced to disrupt their lives for the chance to lose their lives.

Before anyone starts criticizing me for being biased in my comments, let me explain that this hits a bit close to home. I was an Army officer and am, technically, in the IRR despite leaving the National Guard in 1994. I volunteered for service in the first Gulf War and have been very opposed to the current war, giving me several very different reasons for thinking this is so wrong.

I know how this would personally impact me. I am just starting a new job, earning four times what I would earn in the Army. I know how painful it was to have my life put on hold while I served the last time. This time would be far worse. I don't want to face it and I don't want others to have to go through it.

I have to question whether there is a certain "unfairness" to this. These people are former soldiers who have already offered their services to their country. Why should they, once again, have to shoulder the burden? Wouldn't it be more equitable to retrain existing troops, or to recruit or even draft others who have yet to serve? It doesn't seem right to "thank" our veterans for their service by forcing them to serve once again.

I have been opposed to the war in Iraq. I believed before it began, while it was being waged, and now, that it was morally and politically wrong for us to invade Iraq. I do not wish to be a part of anything I believe to be unethical, and I will state here that if I am called, I will not serve. Canada, here I come.

[/rant]
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,961
Points
41
My hopes are that it never comes to you having to head for the Great White North. And I agree that it seems like a stretch to expect former military people that have concluded their service to be expected to drop everything and head back to active duty.

Stories like this just flat out piss me off.
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
Cardinal said:
[rant]

"Any former enlisted soldier who did not serve at least eight years on active duty is in the Individual Ready Reserve pool, as are all officers who have not resigned their commission." [/rant]

Hmmm. I can think of an individual who joined the Texas Air National Guard (to avoid going to another war), who there is some doubt as to whether he completed his service and got out early to work on a political campaign. But apparently he did see an army dentist. Maybe they should call him up first.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
You and El Guapo were two of the three people I immediately thought of when I saw that post, although I wasnt familiar with the details of your service records.

Yes, it is unfair. Yes, it TOTALLY sucks in your current situation! Yes, Bush is WRONG to have initiated this, and let's hope he pays dearly for it in November. (for the record I consider myself a conservative and would have liked a republican primary this election cycle).
 

plannerkat

Cyburbian
Messages
204
Points
9
PlannerGirl said:
Amen I agree.


I second that amen!

My brother is in the Army and was looking forward to getting out next summer after serving 6 years. He is no longer optimistic about that exit date. He has served one year in Iraq and will likely have to go back. He left Iraq with a very strong feeling that this is not the U.S.'s battle to fight. He has been harassed by re-enlistment officers at his base for refusing to re-enlist and has gone so far as to remind them that this is supposedly a volunteer army. Most of his colleagues have similar feelings and experiences. The only men in his unit who are re-enlisting are those with few perceived choices in the civilian world. Morale among his unit is very low because of the treatment of soldiers by this administration. He has told me on several occasions that he and many of his military colleagues will not be voting for W this November.
 

Big Easy King

Cyburbian
Messages
1,361
Points
23
I'm upset about hearing this, Cardinal. This war in Iraq has been out of control for a long time now and I can only pray that no more U.S. soldiers lose their lives. :-\
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
29
Sad words indeed when you hear guys morale is low and they wont be voting for the Prez. I wish him the best (your brother not W)
 

RoadRunner

Member
Messages
39
Points
2
question: aren't the people being called up a part of the "ready reserve" (i.e., people who have finished active duty obligations, but who are still part of the reserves)?

not that this address the merits of the war itself, and it's unfortunate that people's lives should be disrupted this way; but as i understand it, part of the obligation that many (if not all) of these people signed up for in the first place was the possibility that they would be called to serve again in this way.

can anyone enlighten me?
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,995
Points
31
Me? Why, I'm looking forward to casual gun play, meeting old friends, fresh air, exercise, and the 30-40K salary cut. Is there a Starbucks in Falujia? Should I bring my road bike or the mountain bike? Where can I find a Wi-Fi hot spot? Will the local water gum up my home barista?

el Guapo
Too freaking old, fat and slow to go back. :)


P.S. Commies would have to be parachuting into Salt Lake City for the government to get around to activating me.
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
What would happen to people that refuse to go back? I though if you're out, you're out and they can't make you come back.
 
Messages
7,649
Points
29
el Guapo said:
P.S. Commies would have to be parachuting into Salt Lake City for the government to get around to activating me.
Or perhaps merely occupying the white house. |-) (double entendre fully intended)
 

Wulf9

Member
Messages
923
Points
22
We have lost the war. It's time to declare victory and leave.

It's going to be a long time before our volunteer military recovers from this war of choice. Who is going to want to sign up for the military knowing that some president can send them off to war based on a series of lies?
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
Wulf9 said:
We have lost the war. It's time to declare victory and leave.

Yes, lets just pretend the occupation of Baghdad was a flashmob hybrid with burningman.

"Dude.... that was cool. see you here next time...."
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
el Guapo said:
Too freaking old, fat and slow to go back. :)
.
LOL...sad but probably so true for many......I just went to my 20th reunion... and I couldn't believe the shape a lot of the former althletes were in....
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,232
Points
52
Ok by know many of you know that I am a conservative, but I think that what W is doing is stupid. I think that if a person has served, and is done, he or she should not be called back unless they volunteer to go. There have been many times that I have tossed around the idea of going into the services, but I don’t think that a person should have to go, if they are done.
 

Fijo29

Member
Messages
5
Points
0
I sincerely hope I'm not offending anyone, but am I the only one who doesn't see an equivalence between invading Iraq and "service" to your country? I agree with what you said, Cardinal, except for the part about (god forbid) instituting a draft, to make the burden of service more fair. I get the impression that many people in our country think that War = patriotism = service to country = military, etc... without really thinking about WHY we're going to war, or WHO is deciding to go to war, or the consequences of war, etc. As a citizen of this country, I don't feel like I'm being "served" by the troops in Iraq. I feel like the soldiers are laboring and risking (and sacrificing) their lives under the misconception that they're performing some service to their country, but really they're only serving the interests and desires of George Bush, while further inciting every nutcase jihadist out there... if those same soldiers were guarding our borders, airports and ports, or gathering meaningful intelligence about terrorism, or whatever, I would say that qualifies as serving their country. But invading Iraq? anyway, I don't mean to rant. And again, I apologize if anyone (especially those with military experience) takes offense to my statements. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?
 

Wulf9

Member
Messages
923
Points
22
Chet said:
Yes, lets just pretend the occupation of Baghdad was a flashmob hybrid with burningman.

"Dude.... that was cool. see you here next time...."


My point is that one has to make the assessment whether we will ultimately pull out and leave Iraq in chaos. I think that's the ultimate result.

If that's the case, why not pull out now and save a lot of American soldier's lives?
 

Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
W

This is a way for W and Rummy to avoid the D word, at least until after the election. It also puts a lot of former service people in a sad dilemma - to go or to go north. I'm not sure Canada would be such a safe haven. One of the main reasons people went north in the 60s and 70 was to avoid the D. Since we now have a volunteer service the D is no longer the issue. And, the people who signed up knew of their total obligation when they signed those papers. I have never supported the war in Iraq (Please don't read this as not supporting the troops, especially the enlisted grunts. They have to be considered as victims of W's sandy little war.) But now that we're in there, we've got to deal with the situation as best we can. And, if that means more troops, so be it. We've got to do it right or we will be back in there within the next 5 -10 years. But I guess it would be too much to ask the administration to be honest and straightforward about it all. Reinstating the D would raise some interesting issues regarding socioeconomic classs and gender. Too hot of a topic for W.
 

RoadRunner

Member
Messages
39
Points
2
it's lonely on this side of the iraq war fence...but there are others out there who agree with the war and disagree with the media's portrayal. i'm not saying anyone is right or wrong with respect to the war itself, but it's not nearly as bad as the america media would have us believe; nor is it nearly as good as the bush administration would have us believe...

http://www.commentarypage.com/johnson/johnson062904.php

Fijo29 said:
I feel like the soldiers are laboring and risking (and sacrificing) their lives under the misconception that they're performing some service to their country, but really they're only serving the interests and desires of George Bush, while further inciting every nutcase jihadist out there... if those same soldiers were guarding our borders, airports and ports, or gathering meaningful intelligence about terrorism, or whatever, I would say that qualifies as serving their country. But invading Iraq? anyway, I don't mean to rant. And again, I apologize if anyone (especially those with military experience) takes offense to my statements. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?

you make good points; however, as someone who supports the war in iraq (if not the administration that's executing it), i would disagree with your argument.

going to war in iraq (and in other countries if need be) is the republican version of the democrat's domestic policies. strange comment, you might think, but stick with me here for a moment. whereas the republican party would simply throw criminals into prison and throw away the prison, the democratic party would prefer to improve public schools, provide health care and attack the source of social problems. we all know that preventive medicine is the better than waiting until an emergency surfaces.

similarly, militant islam and terrorist attacks are not the result of bush's policies. they existed long before him, and unfortunately, the will exist long after. for those of us who support going to war, it's about going after the source of terrorism, which by and large is fueled by the fact that you have several hundred million (if not nearly a billion) arabs and persians (i apologize if i'm leaving other ethnic groups out) who live in abject poverty and have little to live for and nothing to lose. as a result, carrying out suicide bombings and going to the afterlife and collecting your 70 virgins sounds like a pretty good deal. but if we can change this, if we can help give common iraqi (and syrian, saudi, iranian and others) citizens something more to live for, then suddenly, terrorism doesn't seem like such a hot idea.

i'm not saying there aren't consequences and that those consequences aren't painful.

i have no doubt that most posters on this board disagree with my argument, and i welcome those disagreements, but i'm simply asking that you consider the possibility that there are good arguments for doing this that have nothing to do with helliburton and the great neocon conspiracy.

cheers...
 
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Tom R

Cyburbian
Messages
2,274
Points
25
W

[quote RR] similarly, militant islam and terrorist attacks are not the result of bush's policies. they existed long before him, and unfortunately, the will exist long after. for those of us who support going to war, it's about going after the source of terrorism, which by and large is fueled by the fact that you have several hundred million (if not nearly a billion) arabs and persians (i apologize if i'm leaving other ethnic groups out) who live in abject poverty and have little to live for and nothing to lose. as a result, carrying out suicide bombings and going to the afterlife and collecting your 70 virgins sounds like a pretty good deal. but if we can change this, if we can help give common iraqi (and syrian, saudi, iranian and others) citizens something more to live for, then suddenly, terrorism doesn't seem like such a hot idea.

i'm not saying there aren't consequences and that those consequences aren't painful. [end quote RR]

I guess the big question is, has what W et al have done made things better or worse? Time will tell, but I'm not optimistic.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
28,931
Points
71
el Guapo said:
Commies would have to be parachuting into Salt Lake City for the government to get around to activating me.
Ditto for me too.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,995
Points
31
michaelskis said:
Ok by know many of you know that I am a conservative, but I think that what W is doing is stupid. I think that if a person has served, and is done, he or she should not be called back unless they volunteer to go. There have been many times that I have tossed around the idea of going into the services, but I don’t think that a person should have to go, if they are done.

When one elists or is commissioned one knows fully well the obligations they incur. There is no small print or hidden sub paragraph that sneeks in the IRR obligation. Even a 2 year enlistment obliges one to a full 8 years of service, 6 of which will beserved in the IRR. The IRR makes sense for the nation's force structure. Remember, the needs of the nation come first. If the elected government decides you need to come back for more trigger time on the beach, then who are you to scream "not fair"?

My total reserve and active duty time exceed 8 years so when I left the service I was a free man. But if my nation were to call, and it was not an undue hardship to my family, I'd have no problem serving in one capacity or another.

I should also go on the record saying the war in Iraq was the right decision, and while the PR campaign to go to war (WMD's) bit W in the ass, there were thousands of other reasons to take out Saddam's regieme that all had their own legs. :)

Fijo29 said:
...As a citizen of this country, I don't feel like I'm being "served" by the troops in Iraq. I feel like the soldiers are laboring and risking (and sacrificing) their lives under the misconception that they're performing some service to their country, but really they're only serving the interests and desires of George Bush, while further inciting every nutcase jihadist out there... if those same soldiers were guarding our borders, airports and ports, or gathering meaningful intelligence about terrorism, or whatever, I would say that qualifies as serving their country. But invading Iraq? anyway...

All service personnel, by simply following legal orders of the chain of command of a democratic nation, are serving their country. While your ability to discriminate between desireable forms of service and those you deem undesireable is great in your civilian status, giving soldiers the ability to pick and choose the services they wish to perform would quicky result in the military becoming the Berkeley Lesbian Womyn's Vegan Coop. You don't want to live in a country served by an army or soldiers that decide if the objectives assigned to them have merit.

Service is following the legal orders of the chain of command of this democratic nation.

It is up to civilians, through the ballot to assign the soldier's duties. I'm fairly sure we have an election coming up where this issue will be decided. :)

PS My grandfathers really could have given a **** if the Nazi's occupied France.
My dad could have given a **** if the Vietnamese were commies.
I didn't much care for the Emir of Kuwait's managment methods, or if the Russians had plans for Western Europe.
 
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jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
I can't believe I actually agree with el Guapo. :-c

Many soldiers have no misconceptions of what this war is about, but they go over there anyway because it's their duty. I believe this war is unjust, but if Bush ever quits being they lying, cowardly weasel that he is and does the only honerable thing he can do, which is reinstitute the draft and deal with the consequences, then I'll go and serve there too, because it's my duty as a citizen to answer the draft when called.
 

Duke Of Dystopia

Cyburbian
Messages
2,713
Points
24
I agree with El Guapo on the requirements upon signing.

I will take the ball further though. This is the oportunity needed to make fundamental changes in military services on a social level. Inducting (Draft) a large number of people that do not want to be in the service could be a good thing.

The draft need not be limited to men only. In this day and age of equal rights, there is NO REASON women should not also have an equal obligation to meet HALF of the people inducted into the services.

Induction should legally require that your sexuality has no basis in weather or not you are compelled to serve. In other words, Gays and Lesbians do not get out of carrying a gun.

All immeadiate relatives of potential inducties should be required to index tax returns to ensure that those in higher incomes are selected for service at equal percentages as is representative of thier economic status.

All draft age members of political families should be compelled to serve....In front line units.

Use this oportunity to carry change to the institution.

I would go, again, if asked but I would not feel compelled to be kept in line as I was before. I would know my mission, but that does not mean checking my brain at the door.
 
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