Well-Known Member
Jul 3, 2006
Army deserter will return to face consequences—

I've been hearing about a lot of deserters from the Iraq war lately. Soldiers are not reporting for duty in the conflict, sometimes directly abandoning their posts and fleeing to other countries in the region. Others, like the one who is the focus of this article, flee the United States to Canada after they have returned from their tours.

Combined with the (underreported) combat deaths, I imagine that the army is understaffed. The current "stop-loss" program, which has been keeping some soldiers in combat longer than their periods of enlistment, is already indicating major problems. A draft would not be out of the question in these circumstances, especially since Bush doesn't need to worry about re-election.

What does everyone make of all this?
I'm torn on this subject. I was active duty for four years and then active reserve for another four, so there is a part of me that thinks people have taken an oath and need to fufill their obligation. Another part of me, however, is horrified by some of the stories I have heard from friends who went over there and I think there is only so much a person can take before they'll look for a while to jump ship, like a self-preservation tactic.
I can understand both sides of this, they did pledge to serve their country, but they are also being kept in combat past their enlistment dates. I can understand why they would want to go AWOL.
As the above, it is understandable...yet can even be seen as betrayal, AWOL soldiers were treated harshily through history..wonder what'll happen of the new wave.
I think that since it's during a time of war it's considered desertion, and this can actually result in being executed according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. I really don't think anyone gets executed for that sort of thing anymore, though.
I think you have to give the guy credit for deciding to deal with the issue this way.

As for the circumstances, I think our president tried to sell us a bill of goods for a number of reasons I'll never understand. The result is we're spending a lot of lives and money in a pointless engagement and we're not any less of a target than we were 5 years ago.
The soldiers need to be given some sort of leeway. You can't just expect people to deal with crap like this and not go AWOL.
Well on the other hand, it's not like the person was thrown all of sudden in it...perhaps he wasn't briefed as much as he should have been though...
I don't know, guys. When you sign up to serve your country you gotta know that there is a chance you'll be put into whatever situation the President deems necessary. Even if you don't agree with it you're still bound to serve.
Yes that is why I hold on both side. As you said, you need to be prepared...on the other side, I remember reading the testimony of a soldier who commited suicide, in which he mentionned that he saw men and women impaled in a hospital and other...similar attrocities that can happen in a hospital.

...I think no one, even the bravest man, could be prepared to such horror either :\
I agree with both sides of the issue also. I mean some of these guys are being asked to return years after they have been out. But then again when they sign up I am not sure if they agree to be available to have to come back for a certain amount of time. I would imagine some of these guys just feel like they are on a treadmill over their, meaning it doesn't seem to get any better for any length of time.
I have no sympathy for them and it makes me angry that Canada would harbor the deserter. The situations that they are facing are not different than any combat situation EVER in the history of the US and I think the veterans of the other wars would agree that when you take the oath, you serve.
Here's the thing. Soldiers have taken an oath to serve their country; that's a given. But the debacle in Iraq (and arguably in Afghanistan too) is not in the service of the United States. Iraq did not attack or even threaten us. The war was initiated by a corrupt set of politicians who have wanted to invade Iraq (and several other countries) for many years, not as a means of protecting America, but as a means of dominating the Middle East. And the same politicians who lied repeatedly to start the war are also making money from it (if not for themselves, then for their friends and sponsors).

The war has done nothing but hurt the U.S.—economically, politically, and militarily. As a result of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, more people now want to do harm to the U.S. than before. Furthermore, it has crippled the ability of the U.S. to defend itself against real threats and to be taken seriously in the international arena.

A soldier who goes AWOL from this war is doing a service to his country—by refusing to do it such a disservce.
Here's the thing. Soldiers have taken an oath to serve their country; that's a given. But the debacle in Iraq (and arguably in Afghanistan too) is not in the service of the United States.

Says who? You can not foresee the benefits (or lack of) in dealing with Iraq and Afghanistan.
I believe that Jim is making this statement based on a retrospective and current, not predictive analysis.