required reading: the deserter's tale

I spent all day yesterday reading The Deserter's Tale - The Story of an Ordinary Soldier Who Walked Away from the War in Iraq by Joshua Key with Lawrence Hill. It usually takes me weeks, sometimes months, to read a book, but I simply could not put this one down until I finished it.

The Deserter's Tale is one of the most riveting - and important - books you will ever read. I only wish it could be required reading for every adult American, especially any who still think there's a legitimate reason for the US to occupy Iraq.

The book should certainly be required reading for every Canadian jurist, every member of the Immigration and Refugee Board, and every Member of Parliament who may be asked to decide whether or not to Let Them Stay.

You can read the prologue here.

Buy it, read it, spread the word.


L-girl said...

Why not get further educated on the issue? Calling the US Army "volunteer" is like calling breathing optional.

All the AWOL troops in Canada *did* finish their commitment to the contract they signed. Then the US changed the contract.

If you knew the facts, you wouldn't spout falsehoods like this.

But who knows, maybe you would.

M@ said...

It's pretty clear from your comment what this commenter said. It's also pretty clear that mere facts are no match for the abject, submissive stupidity that compels people to defend the military in the face of a story like Key's.

We can expect this person commenting on your Lorraine Rothman post next, saying that the left loves death.

L-girl said...

I didn't realize he deleted his comment. He's posting this on his blog as well, so maybe I'll go perform a futile act over there.

Unhypentated Canadian said...

If that is the case, and I am sure you will send me a link that will confirm your statement, then I will apologize because the thinking of most people I speak with is that the further "commitment" applies if you are a reservist.

L-girl said...

The thinking of most people you speak with? No idea what that means.


I would start with the sworn testimony to the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board of the 30+ AWOL Americans who have applied for refugee status in Canada. If they are lying, they are committing felonies, and their lawyer Jeffry House (who represents them pro bono) is suborning perjury. In other words, they are not lying.

After that, I would direct you to:

- this Wikipedia entry on stop-loss policy

- this article from Stars & Stripes (military newspaper) about reservists suing over stop-loss (scroll past item on divorce case)

- this article in Rolling Stone magazine

- this blog of an Iraq war veteran who is trying to end the stop-loss policy

- this article from the Christian Science Monitor

- this article from USA Today

There's much, much more, but this should suffice.

L-girl said...

Of course, my links do not touch on the larger issue, which can be called the "poverty draft". Who volunteers for the US military, and why do they do so? They are largely people with no health insurance, no well-paying job prospects, and no higher education nor means of paying for any.

While it may (may) be technically a "choice" to volunteer, that's akin to saying it's a choice to work for minimum wage. Why not just get a higher paying job? Who would "choose" to flip burgers when they could be an engineer or investment banker?

Before one calls the military a choice, one has to look at what choices are available. Military or family goes homeless? Military or children have no health insurance?

Some choice.

L-girl said...

In addition, prospective soldiers are routinely and constantly lied to when they enlist. Joshua Key, for example, was repeatedly promised that he would not see combat, because he was married with three children.

The recruiter - who works on a quota system! - told Key to be quiet about the kids, not to tell anyone, so that he would be eligible.

The recruiter promised Key over and over and over that, because he is a father, he would not see combat, that he would be sent to a non-combatant unit, unless "WWIII broke out".

As soon as Key signed, he was immediately sent to basic training with a combat unit, then immediately sent to Iraq.


redsock said...

If that is the case, and I am sure you will send me a link that will confirm your statement, then I will apologize ...