I have never wanted to serve in the military. However, I have family members and friends that have either served or are serving in one branch or another of our nation’s armed forces. While not all of those currently serving are in Iraq, a few are and I worry and pray for them everyday. I have told them and others who serve, past and present, “Thank you for putting your life on the line so that I can enjoy my freedoms.”
One of the reasons that I won’t serve in the military is that once you are in, you are the property of the US government (for at least 30 years). Now, while this may not be true legally (de jure), it is technically (de facto). And I am growing more and more concerned for the civil liberties of our men and women in uniform. (continued)
Stop-loss measures and the recall of the Individual Ready Reserves are threatening the basic citizenship rights of these people.
While the US military operation in Iraq is generally referred to as a war, it is not a congressionally declared war. The California lawsuit challenging the use of stop-loss by the Bush administration is an action that we should all be paying close attention to as it will challenge the legality of the Iraqi military operation.
So, this is not a declared war. Does it meet the criteria of a national emergency? The current spate of stop-loss orders was initiated by executive order after 9/11. Normally, it is Congress that provides the armed forces with the authorization for this type of action as it did during Vietnam and the Gulf War. Has the Bush administration overstepped its legal authority? Could this be grounds for impeachment?
One can only hope.