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The military recruiters ask if prospective enlistees can kill.
Do they ask if they can kill children?
Do they explain that soldiers’ lives will be in the hands of a president who was AWOL, missing from Alabama during the war that was supposed to end all wars? Do they tell our young that Poppy Bush arranged the safety of George with a stateside assignment but that they must be prepared to serve wherever their commander-in-chief sends them?
Do the recruiters show them the impressive uniform but avoid mentioning the inadequate body armor?
Do the recruiters talk about the morphing reasons for the invasion of Iraq? Do they explain, “Mr. Bush said there were weapons of mass destruction?” Or this: “Mr. Bush really thought that Saddam Hussein could have been responsible for the events of 9/11.” If challenged, would the recruiters admit that the president linked Hussein and 9/11 to inspire patriotism and support for the war? Do the recruiters know that George Bush wanted an excuse to invade Iraq, an incursion he began planning even before taking the oath of office?
Do the recruiters tell our young that Iraq had no connection to the suicide bombers of 9/11, that the president has admitted this but continues to tie Iraq to 9/11 when promoting the continuation of his war? Do the recruiters buy Bush’s statement that retreat will mean that the terrorists will follow the troops home?
Do the military recruiters tell potential troops that their president has cut funding for their care if and when they return from battle? Do they know that George and Laura visit the wounded at Walter Reed but that Bush blamed others when reports surfaced about the deplorable conditions at military hospitals? Have the recruiters heard any of the statements made by Iraq war veterans’ families about their care at these facilities? One spouse said, “If Iraq don’t kill you, Walter Reed will.”
Do the recruiters mention exposure to depleted uranium? If so, do they talk about the implications of this for the troops’ families? Do they mention what this means for Iraqis?
Do the military recruiters talk about the day that George Bush landed on an aircraft carrier two months after the war began and announced an end to major combat?
Do the recruiters explain that a military assignment may violate the Nuremberg Tribunal Charter, the Geneva Conventions, and the Constitution of the United States? Do they inform potential recruits that under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), a soldier is obligated to disobey unlawful orders by the president if those orders are in violation of the Constitution and the UCMJ? Do the military recruiters tell them that if the war is illegal, they have the right, and in fact are required, to resist illegal orders? Do the recruiters realize that the international community deems the war in Iraq to be illegal?
If asked, would the recruiters explain the findings of the National Intelligence Estimate? Would they tell potential soldiers that this report found that the invasion and occupation of Iraq has made us less safe and has given rise to a new generation of terrorists?
More than 3,360 of our troops have died and thousands have suffered debilitating brain injuries and amputations. More than half a million Iraqi civilians have been killed-all because of the lies of the Bush Presidency and its war of terror, packaged and sold to our military, a neutered Congress, and a frightened public as a war “on” terror, packaged and sold so that military recruiters can meet their quotas.
Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She’s written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she’s a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a novel last year, but since the death of her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley, in Iraq on August 6,’05, she has been writing political articles. She can be reached at: Missybeat@aol.com