"Support our troops"

Here’s a heart-warming story that doesn’t warm my heart at all:

“On Monday, it was Oprah Winfrey, who came to congratulate

the soldiers’ wives expecting babies between September and December — all 640 of

them. Each became pregnant after their husband returned from Iraq.

“This is incredible. This is the biggest blessing. It’s

unbelievable,” said Holly Munster, a military spouse.”

I happen to know a pregnant Guardswoman who has been told that she will be sent to Iraq two months after the baby is born. The GI Rights hotline tells me that she has virtually no options. The military is hard up for warm bodies, and they’re grabbing everyone they can find and taking a very hard line on all petitions for exemption.

She finished her two years of active service three or four years ago, but still has two or three years of obligation in the “Individual Ready Reserve”. GI’s are led to believe that the IRR is never called up except in case of national emergency, but Rumsfeld’s lean and mean new model Army, combined with the Bush administration’s disastrous mishandling of the Iraq War, means that the National Guard and the reserves are being drawn on the way they never have been before. (Ex-Guardsman Bush likes to hide behind this fact: unlike today, however, the Vietnam era Guard really was a way of staying out of combat).

“Support our troops” is an age-old lie. Being lied to, ordered around, and sent to die or to be mutilated is what troops are for. They support us, and the best way for us to support them is to bring them back home. Unless something changes, the young Guardswoman I know is going to have her life made a living hell.