Rich Droste and Josh Randall are two of the most recent additions to the growing list of American soldiers turning their backs on the war in Iraq. The aggressive stop-loss policy, longer tours of duty, poor governmental support, and the fully-debunked reasons for going to war in the first place are hard on the moral of our already tired soldiers. According to the Army, 4,698 soldiers deserted in 2007, compared to 3,301 in 2006.
Peter Laufer covered this phenomenon in his book Mission Rejected: US Soldiers Who Say No to Iraq. On ChelseaGreenRadio you can listen to Laufer interviewing Clifton Hicks, Darrell Anderson, Joshua Key, and Robert Zabala; some of the soldiers from his book.
From the article:
Ask Droste if he fled because he was afraid to die and he grows restless. “I hate that question,” he said in an interview before Saturday’s presentation, vigorously objecting to the idea that he won’t fight because he’s afraid.
“I joined when I believed the war was necessary. I was great at my job. I loved it.
“There’s something very primal about it, something that you dream about since you were a little boy. You know, shooting and blowing stuff up.”
Droste, who came to Canada in March, hasn’t become an overnight pacifist though. Sometimes war is still necessary, he said.
“If it wasn’t a war for oil. If it wasn’t political and about one man’s agenda, then I would have considered fighting.”
The non-commissioned officer had completed almost all of a four-year commitment when his service was extended another four years under the U.S. “stop-loss” policy. He had been told about the possibility, but it was only supposed to happen if the Third World War broke out, he said.