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It's about fucking time!

Robert Gates says that stop-loss is going away.

Let me just say this for the record: there is nothing more devastating to a serviceman's morale than stop-loss. What is stop-loss? It's the Army - or any branch of the military, really - telling someone that yes, you signed a contract for four years, and you're planning on going home and starting a family and going on with your life, but you know, we need bodies on the front lines, we're going to hold you as long as we want, and there's nothing you can do about it. Needs of the country, kid. Now shut up and report back to your station or we'll put you in jail.

This makes no sense to a lot of you, I'm guessing, so let me put this in perspective: imagine being in the worst environment you've ever been in, be it a bad school, bad home situation, bad relationship, whatever. Now imagine that you endure that twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, and you have no way out. Now imagine that you have the possibility of being killed by a covert attack at any time, on top of that. But it's OK! Because there's a set date when this hell can end, and you can move on with your life; you were promised it before you decided to sign up for four to six years, and it's written in stone.

Now imagine that whatever you're doing, you're told just before you're about to stop doing it, that you have to keep doing it. You have no choice in that matter; you're being held on to, and it's happening indefinitely. Your life is on hold, until someone says so, and not only that, you're going to be doing this in the worst possible conditions for whoever knows - or cares - how long. That contract you signed? Oh, it's not worth the paper it was signed on; the Needs of the (fill in the branch) supercede that. And in addition to that, unlike a job or a relationship, you cannot quit, and if you try to do so legally, you will be ostracized or possibly physically harmed or killed by people that are supposed to be your allies; if you do it through other means, you will be put in jail, or if you're gone long enough, you could be executed. Meanwhile, your story will travel. People that have been around and are staying around for their full time in, they will laugh at you, tell you tough shit, and make you the butt of their jokes. "This motherfucker thought he was getting out! Hey, let's put this jackass on the front line, he'll make a good bullet sponge!". The ones that are getting out? They know that this could happen to them now. Morale plummets. And that family you wanted to start? That job you wanted? The odds are that the job's gone, and your mate isn't sticking around, either. Or maybe they are, but they're getting laid on the side. Don't think it happens? Divorce rate on the USS George Washington for married couples within twelve months of our return to Norfolk in December of 2002 was around 35%.

Stop-Loss was meant to keep people in with very specific skills that were necessary to fight in specialized wars; in other words, people with knowledge in Arabic are kinda necessary nowadays. However, as the war was proven to be one big, steaming lie by a Republican junta that increasingly thinks of it's people as chess pieces in their own game, the volunteers in an all-volunteer military started to drop out. One way to mitigate this was to force the National Guard - you know, the people that are supposed to be guarding OUR shores? - into service in Iraq. After that, they needed still more people; that's where Stop-Loss became abused.

Let me make this clear: people like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld ruined - through death, dismemberment or shell-shock - good American lives by treating their soldiers as disposable resources; after all, you go to war with the army you have, right Donny? The arrogance and sheer disregard they have has gotten thousands of ours killed, hundreds of thousands of theirs killed, and thousands more irrevocably affected for the worse. I maintain that Cheney is a war criminal who should be on a gallow's pole, and that Rumsfeld, if he doesn't hang for his gross negligence in terms of getting troops body armour and properly armoured trucks, should be in jail for the rest of his life. The reversal of this policy by Mr. Gates is just the first step in righting the wrongs that predominantly belong to these two evil men, and if anyone had any balls anywhere, the second step would be to take the money from their pensions and personal fortunes and use them to replace the funding that was lost from Veterans' Affairs in this latest "stimulus", not to mention all the money that was cut out, which turned Walter Reed Medical Facility into the rathole - literally - it became. It'll never happen, and the chickens in our current administration will never give more than a passing glance to the crimes that have been committed since 9/11... but a man can dream, can't he?

Maybe now, at least, my brothers and sisters can retain hope of being treated like humans instead of as resources.

Comments

samuraiter
Mar. 21st, 2009 01:22 am (UTC)
*applause*

One of the worst abuses of the war, and I'm not sorry to see it go!