According to the Associated Press in an article written by Lolita C. Baldor, the imperialist wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are beginning to take an increasing toll on the willingness of soldiers to participate in this aggression. In the army that takes the brunt of the casualties, 9 out of every 100 soldiers in fiscal year 2007 which ended on September 30 took to the highway. A year earlier it was 7 per 100. Some 4700 soldiers deserted, and should be given the Congressional Medal of Honour. This compares to 3300 desertions in fiscal year 2006: an increase of 42%. The military construes desertion as a period of at least one month without reporting to duty.
In an accompanying graphic in the prowar, no authentic business section, right-wing Chicago Tribune, which hopefully will cease publication under Sam Zell, the number of army deserters has increased some 80% since 2003.
I am not claiming this is due to mere ideological awareness that torture, waterboarding, killing of p.o.w., baby-killing–which sometimes occurs in random acts of violence, shooting vehicles that dare traverse near checkpoints, assaulting buildings of civilians and generally creating an American Empire in the heart of the Muslim world are immoral and disgraceful. Clearly multiple tours of duty, stop-losses, a war without end despite significant reductions in U.S. casualties, an administration that disavows ending the war until “victory” is achieved, and a growing number of post-traumatic stress disorder casualties are also contributing factors.
We are not witnessing levels of heroic dissertions that were so impressive during the Vietnam Genocide. Of course there was a draft then and a much greater heightened awareness of the evil of that war. Nevertheless, even with an all-volunteer force, the numbers of A.W.O.L. are increasing dramatically in a much smaller force than was sent to Vietnam. Hopefully this will contribute to a decision on the part of the Bush-Clinton clique that their religious wars must end, and that aggressive imperialism is not only a disgrace to the nation but also a disincentive for vulnerable working-class Americans to enlist in an army of imperialism and racist occupation.