A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION
by Brent Budowsky
Plans are secretly underway for a suprise new call up of National Guard and Reserves to be announced sometime after the election.
The Washington Post has now reported that plamning that is now classified, being kept secret from voters and military families until the election is over, could well include what the Post calls a policy change forcing a new wave of involuntary call ups.
With violence and chaos escalating in Iraq, with Iraqi police infiltrated by murderous pro-Iranian militia, with more than 20% of the Iraqi army on leave at any given time, the fact is: American troops are doing even more of the work that Iraqis should do and more will be sent to Iraq unless the policy changes.
The American people should demand full and complete disclosure, prior to the election, of any plans for new recalls of our Guard and Reserve units.
The American people should demand full and complete disclosure, prior to the election, of any plans for policy changes that will include new waves of involuntary recalls, of our Guard and National Reserve units.
The American people should demand, prior to the election, plans for stop loss policies or any other form of involuntary or surprise troop rotation hardships, about to be imposed on those who serve in the United States Army and Marine Corps.
The American people should demand, prior to the election, the full budget cost of the Iraq war for the coming year, which is being kept secret until after the vote.
The American people should demand, prior to the election, public disclosure of a summary of the pending National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. This estimate undoubtedly descibes the major deterioration into chaos, which is driving the coming wave of involuntary calls ups being kept secret from the American people.
On Monday the Military Times will call for the firing of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld in a couragous act that demonstrates the failure of the policy and the urgent need for change.
The Army Times, Marine Corps Times, Navy Times and Air Force Times are the most informed sources of information and truth about what our commanders and troops believe, in fact.
The truth is, to implement the current failed policy, without change, there will be a clear need for more Americans in uniform to serve in Iraq almost immediately. As a pure military judgment, if the policy continues unchanged, more troops will be urgently needed and more rotation abuses and involuntary call ups will be force fed to those who serve and their families.
As the Military Times publicly suggests and our commanders privately believe, there is an urgent need for a new policy that will be more successful and will not require such unacceptable abuses.
Military families and all Americans should consider this:
If the Democrats were in control of Congress, there would be public hearings and an informed discussion about upcoming policy changes regarding involuntary recalls and rotation abuses.
If Democrats were in control of Congress, national intelligence officials would be called to public hearings, and Americans would have a clear and honest understanding of the failures of the policy, and the destructive implications for those who serve.
If the Democrats were in control of Congress, the President, Congress and both parties would sit down and the policy would change.
It is shameful and wrong to have these abuses of troop rotations and these endless policy changes of involuntary recalls which are kept secret from the people, and forced by the failures of the policy.
It is time for the practices of secrecy and deceit to end. They violate the basic notion of American democracy, they violate the most basic rules of common sense, they violate the trust of our troops, their families and the American people.
We should demand full and immediate public disclosure.
We should demand full accounting of what force structures and budgets our military will need and work on a bipartisan basis to meet those needs of the Army, Marine Corps, Guard and Reserves with no further abuses of rotations and recalls.
We should end permanently these constant abuses that have done so much damage to the mission and to those who serve with such bravery and honor, and deserve better from our government.
The truth should be disclosed before the election. The coverup of coming recalls must end.
A Nation of informed voters would then have the chance to elect a Congress in the election, to bring about change after the election.
A BUZZFLASH GUEST CONTRIBUTION