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Friday, March 18, 2005

NY Times Still Hoping For Defeat

You have to give the people at the New York Times credit. Long after major military operations have come to an end in Iraq, this once-great newspaper is still trying to prop up Saddam Hussein by undermining our efforts to transform the region. Today's (feeble) attempt, with a hint of Vietnam nostalgia, is to get us all to believe that there is a movement afoot involving military personnel who refuse to serve.
Un-Volunteering: Troops Improvise to Find Way Out

The night before his Army unit was to meet to fly to Iraq, Pvt. Brandon Hughey, 19, simply left. He drove all night from Texas to Indiana, and on from there, with help from a Vietnam veteran he had met on the Internet, to disappear in Canada.

In Georgia, Sgt. Kevin Benderman, 40, whose family ties to military service stretch back to the American Revolution, filed for conscientious-objector status and learned that he will face a court-martial in May for failing to report to his unit when it left for a second stint in Iraq. One by one, a trickle of soldiers and marines - some just back from duty in Iraq, others facing a trip there soon - are seeking ways out.

Soldiers, their advocates and lawyers who specialize in military law say they have watched a few service members try ever more unlikely and desperate routes: taking drugs in the hope that they will be kept home after positive urine tests, for example; or seeking psychological or medical reasons to be declared nondeployable, including last-minute pregnancies. Specialist Marquise J. Roberts is accused of asking a relative in Philadelphia to shoot him in the leg so he would not have to return to war. (link)

Why is this a story? Well, it can't be because the number of conscientious objectors is on the rise.
Department of Defense officials say they have seen no increase in those counted as deserters since the war in Iraq began. Since October 2002, about 6,000 soldiers have abandoned their posts for at least 30 days and been counted as deserters. (A soldier who eventually returns to his unit is still counted as a deserter for the year.) The Marine Corps, which takes a snapshot of how many marines are missing at a given point in time, reported about 1,300 deserters in December, some of whom disappeared last year and others years earlier. The figures, Pentagon officials said, suggest that the deserter ranks have actually shrunk since the years just before Sept. 11, 2001 [my emphasis].
So the fact is that a declining number of troops are going AWOL since 9/11.

And this makes front page news.

Only at the Times.

And The Washington Post Lends Support

While the New York Times attempts - on its front page - to undermine our war effort in Iraq, the Washington Post does its part - is this coordinated? - by running a story this morning on the disintegration (or not) of conditions in Afghanistan.
Afghan Crime Wave Breeds Nostalgia for Taliban Child
Abductions in Kandahar Crystallize Discontent With Governing Ex-Warlords

By N.C. Aizenman, Washington Post Foreign Service

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- "We are savage, cruel people," the kidnappers warned in a note sent to Abdul Qader, demanding $15,000 to spare the life of his son Mohammed, 11. The construction contractor quickly borrowed the money and left it at the agreed spot. But the next morning, a shopkeeper found the boy's bruised corpse lying in a muddy street.

A wave of crime in this southern Afghan city -- including Mohammed's killing two months ago and a bombing Thursday that killed at least five people -- has evoked a growing local nostalgia for the Taliban era of 1996 to 2001, when the extremist Islamic militia imposed law and order by draconian means. (link)
I seriously doubt it. The people in Afghanistan don't want the thugocracy to return. Only the people at the Washington Post pine for the days when the Taliban were foisting their reign of terror on the people there.

Nostalgia for the Taliban era. Please.