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Gen.: G.I.s who rip leaders will pay

by C/O Diogenes Saturday, Jul. 19, 2003 at 2:49 PM

If Morale is low casualties go up. Dispirited Soldiers, with no confidence in the Justness, or their cause are too mired in their own woes to be as vigilant as they need to be. It is also when atrocities are most likely to happen.



New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com

Gen.: G.I.s who rip leaders will pay

By HELEN KENNEDY

DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU

Thursday, July 17th, 2003

WASHINGTON - The military will punish demoralized soldiers in Iraq who are bluntly venting their frustration to reporters, the Pentagon said yesterday.

"None of us that wear this uniform are free to say anything disparaging about the secretary of defense or the President of the United States," said Gen. John Abizaid, head of Central Command. "We're not free to do that. It's our professional code. Whatever action may be taken, whether it's a verbal reprimand or something more stringent, is up the commanders on the scene."

This week's abrupt cancellation of homecoming plans for the Army's 3rd Infantry Division unleashed a remarkable and widespread flood of fury from troops who are hot, homesick and hunted by guerrillas.

"If Donald Rumsfeld was here, I'd ask him for his resignation," Spec. Clinton Deitz of the 3rd Infantry's 2nd Brigade told ABC News.

"I've got my own 'Most Wanted' list," said a 2nd Brigade sergeant. "The aces in my deck are Paul Bremer, Donald Rumsfeld, George Bush and Paul Wolfowitz."

Many soldiers are openly asking why they are in a country that wants them out. They complain that their commanders have gone home. Frustration with the powers in Washington is a main theme.

"I can guarantee you they've never stood out in a checkpoint in the heat of the day, day after day, full battle rattle, always wondering if today's the day somebody's going to shoot me. Do they even care?" one soldier told a Knight Ridder reporter.

The 2nd Brigade, in the Persian Gulf since September, had been told it would be home by May, then July, then August. When the announcement came that the deployment was being extended until at least September and maybe beyond, "you could hear a pin drop," said Sgt. 1st Class Eric Wright of the 64th Armored Regiment.

The Code of Military Justice bars officers from using "contemptuous words" against civilian or military leaders. Punishment is rarely stringent, said military law expert Eugene Fidell.

"People always grumble in the trenches," he said. "Typically, administrations are extremely well advised not to throw gasoline on the fire by creating martyrs."

The White House took no public offense at the soldiers' gripes. "We know that they are making significant sacrifices," said spokesman Scott McClellan. "We are going to do everything we can to support them and get them home as soon as we can."
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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 18 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
A Military Force... Diogenes Saturday, Jul. 19, 2003 at 2:53 PM
War Crimes Tribunals: Bring 'Em On! Soldier Saturday, Jul. 19, 2003 at 3:59 PM
Congress shall make no law mymicz Saturday, Jul. 19, 2003 at 4:16 PM
troops have nor rights? Meyer London Saturday, Jul. 19, 2003 at 4:31 PM
Bring the troops home now Brian OConnor Saturday, Jul. 19, 2003 at 4:56 PM
B.O.H.I.C.A. Diogenes Saturday, Jul. 19, 2003 at 5:28 PM
To Mymicz Diogenes Saturday, Jul. 19, 2003 at 5:33 PM
Constitution Meyer London Saturday, Jul. 19, 2003 at 6:11 PM
you think its bad now systemfailure Saturday, Jul. 19, 2003 at 7:48 PM
McVey? Sheepdog Saturday, Jul. 19, 2003 at 8:14 PM
agreed, definately inside job matt Saturday, Jul. 19, 2003 at 8:26 PM
We are fucked Sheepdog Saturday, Jul. 19, 2003 at 9:29 PM
No, you are fucked fresca Sunday, Jul. 20, 2003 at 12:56 AM
Not only that... Diogenes Sunday, Jul. 20, 2003 at 1:09 AM
not sure I'm sane, but thanks. Sheepdog Sunday, Jul. 20, 2003 at 2:02 AM
ho hum fresca Sunday, Jul. 20, 2003 at 2:19 AM
fresaw appears not so fastidious... Diogenes Sunday, Jul. 20, 2003 at 2:55 AM
Hey this is great! Sheepdog Tuesday, Sep. 02, 2003 at 2:05 PM

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