Thursday, September 14, 2006

An interesting piece on US policy over the last 5 years

here.

For instance, check out this Orwellian doublespeak example:
Not Conscription
During the 2004 presidential election
debate, President Bush told a nationwide television
audience to “forget about all this talk
about a draft. We’re not going to have a draft
so long as I am the president.”8 In order to
evaluate the accuracy of that statement, one
must pay careful attention to the word
“draft”—for, as the economist Thomas Sowell
once observed, “All statements are true, if you
are free to redefine their terms.”9
Shortly after 9/11 President Bush declared
a “national emergency” and simultaneously
authorized Pentagon officials to issue “stoploss”
orders. A stop-loss order means that
members of the military may not leave the service—
even if they have fulfilled the terms of
their enlistment contract. Once a stop-loss
order is issued, an individual’s duty status
changes from voluntary service to involuntary
service. Although the legality of the stop-loss
orders has been upheld by the judiciary, those
orders have clearly changed the nature of military
service for many soldiers.10 In military circles,
the orders have been dubbed the “backdoor
draft.”11
The National Guard has tried to attract
recruits with a program called “Try One.” A
website advertisement tells veterans who are
leaving the service that they are eligible for a
special program in the Guard or the Reserves.
The Try One contract allows veterans to try
the Guard or the Reserves for a year—and then
decide if they wish to commit to a full enlistment.
The Pentagon has ordered persons in
that program to Iraq—even though they have
already served a year and wish to return to
civilian life. According to the fine print,
recruits could end up serving many years in
the military, not one. When a reporter confronted
Army personnel director, Brigadier
General Sean Byrne, about the misleading
nature of the Try One program, the general
said, “I am not the marketer, but maybe it’ll
have to be re-looked.”12 Eighteen months after
that interview, the government continues to
mislead young men and women into what it
keeps calling its “Try One” program.
I mean, ye Gods, what a scary place to live!

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