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Friday, January 12

Support the Troops: Bring Them Home

I cannot comprehend how anyone can support the troops and simultaneously support bush's war. It's unconscionable to send them back over and over again for longer and longer tours of duty. The troops and their families are the only people in this country actually sacrificing for bush's folly and least likely to get anything out of it other than aggravation and sadness.

And it gets more surreal by the day...

FORT BENNING, Ga., Jan. 11 -- The pictures were just what the White House wanted: A teary-eyed President Bush presenting the Medal of Honor posthumously to a slain war hero in the East Room, then flying here to join the chow line with camouflage-clad soldiers as some of them prepare to return to Iraq.
[...]
To ensure that there would be no discordant notes here, Maj. Gen. Walter Wojdakowski, the base commander, prohibited the 300 soldiers who had lunch with the president from talking with reporters. If any of them harbored doubts about heading back to Iraq, many for the third time, they were kept silent.

"It's going to require sacrifice, and I appreciate the sacrifices our troops are willing to make," Bush told the troops. "Some units are going to have to deploy earlier than scheduled as a result of the decision I made. Some will remain deployed longer than originally anticipated."
After a while, certain soldiers were allowed to speak to reporters. The soldiers were not as enthusiastic and boisterous as they usually are when visited by their commander in chief.

Meanwhile,
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon has abandoned its limit on the time a citizen-soldier can be required to serve on active duty, officials said Thursday, a major change that reflects an Army stretched thin by longer-than-expected combat in Iraq.
[...]
Until now, the Pentagon's policy on the Guard or Reserve was that members' cumulative time on active duty for the Iraq or Afghan wars could not exceed 24 months. That cumulative limit is now lifted; the remaining limit is on the length of any single mobilization, which may not exceed 24 consecutive months, Pace said.

In other words, a citizen-soldier could be mobilized for a 24-month stretch in Iraq or Afghanistan, then demobilized and allowed to return to civilian life, only to be mobilized a second time for as much as an additional 24 months. In practice, Pace said, the Pentagon intends to limit all future mobilizations to 12 months. Read the rest of the article for more details. feh.

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