Saturday, July 22, 2006

Stop loss

Did you know...?
The US military is able to unilaterally extend the duration of service of their personnel, forcing individuals to continue beyond the contractually agreed period of their employment? I first came across this 'hidden draft' when an in-law from the States was told he had to keep serving for an extra three years, rather than finishing up next year. He's not alone. It's a policy called 'Stop Loss', and it's been implemented in huge numbers (tens of thousands of soldiers) since 2001 (after a Sept 14 executive order from Bush). Some have had their term of employment extended to Dec 24, 2031! Of course, I realise that the US government faces very difficult decisions, but the 'army of volunteers' just moved another step closer to Newspeak.

8 comments:

John P. said...

This type of spin in politics has become nearly unbearable for me...I watched the president give a speech after vetoing the recent bill on stem cell research.

his quote was something to the effect of "I do not believe that taking the life of one person to save the life of another is ethically right."

is this not the entire foundation of the "war on terror" (another ridiculous phrase)...

its hard to see the political rhetoric ever regaining its integrity...few in washington seem able/willing.

Joanna said...

Ah Byron,

you clearly need to join me in the ridiculous indulgence of Boston Legal on a Monday night.

James Spader's character Allan had a whole case on the "Stop Loss" policy about 1 1/2 months ago, in which a girl was suing the military for her brothers death, after his contract had been extended so that he stayed in Iraq. Her basic argument was, 1. he shouldn't have been there and 2. he was forced to disable a bomb, for which he had absolutely no training, and that's why he was killed.

It was a really fantastic episode, and it contributed to the increasing cracks in popular support for the US military's approach to the war.

Boston Legal often tackles such interesting issues, you just have to get past the crazy camerawork...

One of Freedom said...

How come this does not surprise me?

At least you don't have 'W' for your neighbour.

Emma said...

Lucky everyone has plenty of guns though, isn't it? Imagine if they weren't part of the equation? Nations would just have to resort to striking one another off their birthday party lists...

Emma said...

And, Lord Byron, I worked out how to link and linked to you!

byron said...

Jo: I've heard some good things about Boston Legal. Don't have a TV at the moment, so might have to wait for DVDs...

Frank: why does one's neighbour stop at national borders?

Em: sounds like a great idea - national birthday party snubs as WMDs (weapons of mass dishonour). And thanks!

Joanna said...

I'll be sure to get the DVD's if I ever can, and promise to lend them to you!

There's another fantastic scene which makes them totally worth watching where Allan goes all "music man" in a restaurant singing, "we've got trouble! Trouble? Yes trouble! Right here in Boston City! We've got one, two three and four kinds of trouble!" and continues on about Atlantic Salmon in fact being farmed salmon from the pacific. It's fantastic!

byron said...

Jo - I look forward to seeing it. Feel free to dump DVDs on us randomly if you ever come back to look at this very old thread...