Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Thousands of deserters from the US military

Apparently, there are about 40,000 deserters from the US military, half of them from the Army. I am torn over this. This is an all-voluntary military force. These people knew that there was a possibility of war, death, loss of limb, etc. How could they not know this?

On the other hand (I forgot to mention the first hand, sorry), I can see how some might come to their senses once enlisted. Talk about buyer's remorse! I can only think that most of these guys were thinking like Bill Murray in Stripes, that they were down on their luck, out of shape, had no direction in life, and turned to the military to redirect themselves.

Oh, but that silly little concept of war made them rethink their decisions. The military's main purpose is to fight wars. The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and National Guard are not here to rescue people from rooftops who were not smart enough / fortunate enough to flee one of the biggest storms ever. Oh, sure, they can be used, and certainly are used, for this purpose, but it's NOT their primary purpose.

No, it's to wage war. The President and Congress decided war with Afghanistan and Iraq was necessary (shame on them all for Iraq) and they enlisted our enlisted to go fight it. It's a simple concept. Civilians decide. The military goes and gets it done. It's all about the implementation.

I feel really sorry for the men and women who thought that they had nowhere else to turn but to the military for some education, training, and discipline.

But they should have known better. If the draft were in place, and I do think it'll come to this, I could have a lot more sympathy for the folks that now believe that the war is unjust, illegal, etc. I believe that too. But, BUT!, they enlisted. They volunteered. Did they not learn anything from Vietnam? Did they not know that the government could, and does, send armies to fight "wars" that are not always with the best of intentions?

If a draft were to be brought back, I might high-tail it to Canada or Mexico myself. Heck, I'd like to take extended visits to either. I love Baja. The fishing is awesome, the living free, cheap, and easy, and the people are beautiful, inside and out. The same could be said for Canada. Even rabid hockey fans are polite, the homeless say "thank you," and the place is litter-free.

I have been seriously considering a move. I just don't like where this country is headed. The religious fanaticism that we rail against is becoming more and more prevalent here. And I don't mean Islam. I mean "organized Christianity." The right is hell-bent on destroying anybody that's not "with us," the left is mired in a policy-less platform, and there is simply no hope that a third party could ever rise to an equal footing.

Thus, people like me (and there are more than you think!) have nowhere to turn. But I have this eternal optimism that if we just keep trying, we can turn the tide. I really think that bringing both the left and the right towards the middle is possible. Heck, it wasn't long ago where we were kind of there.

Sorry I got so far off topic. The main point of this post was that there are quite a few deserters from the voluntary military and this presents a problem with not too many solutions.