Saturday, December 15, 2007

Mutiny in the military

By Libby

Charles uncovers an under-reported story on a platoon in Iraq that decided they were mad as hell and just not going to take it anymore. Read the whole thing at the link, but here's a key graf or two.

[The commander] didn’t know 2nd Platoon had gathered for a meeting and determined they could no longer function professionally in Adhamiya — that several platoon members were afraid their anger could set loose a massacre.

“We said, ‘No.’ If you make us go there, we’re going to light up everything,” DeNardi said. “There’s a thousand platoons. Not us. We’re not going.”

They decided as a platoon that they were done, DeNardi and Cardenas said, as did several other members of 2nd Platoon. At mental health, guys had told the therapist, “I’m going to murder someone.” And the therapist said, “There comes a time when you have to stand up,” 2nd Platoon members remembered. For the sake of not going to jail, the platoon decided they had to be “unplugged.”

The platoon was a tight unit whose men had strongly bonded. Losing their comrades to roadside bombs and the suicide of a beloved NCO put them over the edge and they bravely risked their careers, rather than inflict mindless mayhem on the population out of an implacable anger. It speaks volumes about how stretched our military is that they weren't courtmartialed. Instead the military punished them by breaking up the unit, separating buddies that had fought together throughout their long deployment.

Somehow, I doubt that eased their mental anguish and who is going to help them deal with these unresolved issues when they get home? Certainly not an administration that discards them like damaged freight once they've served their purpose. [via]

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