December 6, 2007, - 3:37 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
More evidence that today’s military isn’t what it once was. It’s far more lax. Robin Moroney, in today’s Wall Street Journal “Informed Reader” summarizes an article in the January issue of Details Magazine:
Since the start of the Iraq war, hundreds of U.S. soldiers have fled to Canada, retracing their boomer forebears’ steps in Vietnam. They needn’t have bothered, writes Melba Newsome in men’s lifestyle magazine Details. The military isn’t avidly pursuing many deserters, nor does it seem to be harshly punishing those who turn themselves in.
The government says some 20,000 soldiers have deserted since the start of the Iraq war. About 3,300 deserted in 2006, while this year’s tally is on track to be about double what it was last year, says Ms. Newsome.
Despite appearing on a national criminal databases, some deserters have been able to lead fairly open lives in the U.S. Chris Capps-Schubert, who went AWOL earlier this year, has been able to get his passport, get married, and work with Iraq Veterans Against the War. James Circello, who also went AWOL earlier this year, openly attends major peace demonstrations.
An Army spokesman explains it would be a waste of resources to actively track down deserters. Lawrence Hildes, an attorney who has represented about two dozen deserters since the start of the war, says few of his clients have received punishments much worse than an “other-than-honorable” discharge, which denies them military benefits and government employment.
In other words, it pays to be a deserter. There are few consequences and even less embarrassment. Not that these disloyal cretins care about embarassment.
Well, it’s like I’ve been saying about American citizens who engage in marriage fraud with illegal aliens:
Why stop doing it, if you know you won’t pay any price?
Looks like Wassef Ali Hassoun can stop worrying.
Tags: Ali Hassoun, Army spokesman, attorney, Canada, Debbie Schlussel More, Details, Iraq, James Circello, Lawrence Hildes, lifestyle magazine, Melba Newsome, Robin Moroney, United States, Vietnam, Wall Street Journal