Friday, October 15, 2004

So here's the situation.

You're a Reserves soldier in Iraq. You've got crappy machinery because the Army skimped on spare parts. Your trucks are on the very edge of a breakdown.

You're ordered to make a delivery to a distant city. You know that you will almost certainly be attacked along the way. And you are told that the usual escort of armed Humvees and helicopters will not be available.

You will be driving crappy trucks, top speed 40 mph or so, through hostile territory. It's a suicide mission.

What do you do?

If you're a 17-member Reserves platoon from Mississippi, you say "F*ck you, arrest me."

So they did, and they did. They're in prison in Iraq, and the Army is "investigating" the situation.

To state the obvious, they're in a world of sh*t. They have disobeyed a direct order of a commanding officer, which means that they're looking at jail time unless the order was illegitimate in some way. Their only real hope is public opinion, which makes me glad that the story is getting some play on national media outlets. Unfortunately, some of the stories are omitting some of the more salient details, like the soldier that called home and said "I'm in prison because I refused to go on a suicide mission." Or words to that effect.

Here's the story, and it's developing here, and here. Here is the Daily Kos diary that keeps track of it.

I don't need to tell you that this is a very bad sign. And I don' t need to tell you that if things are really that bad in Iraq, our soldiers are going to need every bit of support we can give them.

 5:15 PM

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