On the “volunteer” army

In this post I assert that as long as the U.S. Gov has the “right” to “stop-loss” the troops, promise them things and then not keep the promises, etc. . . THERE IS NO VALID CONTRACT between the parties in any commonly known “legal” sense of the word.  Imagine if each U.S. Soldier would refuse to honor his side of the contract because the USG had breached their side of the contract.  That would lead to a true “volunteer” army.  Do you think the Armed Forces could afford to court martial everyone?

Definition of volunteer:

“To perform or offer to perform a service of one’s own free will.”  – American Heritage Dictionary

“a person whose actions are not founded on any legal obligation so to act.” – Dictionary.com

 “Consideration” is a benefit or right for which the parties to a contract must bargain; the contract is founded on an exchange of one form of consideration for another.

From a legal perspective, for a contract to be legitimate, the terms of the contract must be certain and they must be binding on both parties.  If the terms are not certain, then there is not a “meeting of the minds.”  If the terms are not binding on one or both of the parties, then there is no contract because without mutuality of obligation, then there is not sufficient “consideration” and the contract is void.   Further, if one party prevents another party from knowing the character or essential terms of the transaction, then a fraud has occurred and the apparent contract is void.  Finally, a failure to abide by the terms of the contract is a breach of that contract.

From William Norman Grigg’s blog:


 “A contract that is binding only on one party, and can be revised at will by the other party, isn’t a contract in any sense I can recognize. The Government claims that it can extend the period of service required of enlistees; equity demands that enlistees be able to abbreviate their service at will as well, perhaps forfeiting some portion of their enlistment bonus in the process.”

“If we truly had a volunteer military, would “desertion” be a crime? I can’t see how it could be. Under the Nuremberg Principles, there are times when desertion, or something closely akin to it, is a moral imperative. ”

“Joshua Key, who enlisted in the Army in 2002 and served seven months in Iraq, recalls asking his sergeant about the sanctity of the contract he had signed — and his sergeant’s Cheneyesque reply.

The conversation began with Key asking “What’s the point” of the war. He was part of a unit that routinely raided Iraqi homes in search of supposed terrorists and arms caches, only to find neither — even though every male taller than five feet in height was routinely zip-cuffed and taken away to heaven only knows where.

What’s the point of this? Key asked his sergeant.

“There is no point — it’s just your job,” came the reply.

“But what’s the justification for this war?” Key persisted with touching, if misplaced, faith in human reason.

“The justification is that you signed a contract and you’re told to be here,” pronounced the sergeant, channeling Cthulhu with remarkable fidelity.

“But when do I get to go home?” Key pressed, no doubt with a growing sense of disillusionment.

“Private,” the sergeant hissed, “we can keep you here just as long as we want, and we ain’t never got to send you home.”

Key wasn’t afraid of combat. He came from a small, economically depressed Oklahoma community in which fighting and firearms were common. Violence was also common during his distressed upbringing. He actually enjoyed basic training, and was blessed with an impressive skill-set (he was an adept welder and automotive mechanic) that made him very valuable.

But he couldn’t abide the sense that he had become implicated in a hideous, world-historic crime as the result of a bait-and-switch.

Yes, he did sign an enlistment contract.

Sure, the recruiter had told him to conceal the fact that he and his wife already had two children and a third on the way — a status which would disqualify him from enlisting.

Sure, the same recruiter had likewise told him to keep to himself the fact that he was seriously in debt — another impediment to both Joshua’s enlistment, and the recruiter making his quota.

And, well, sure, the same recruiter had promised him, in all apparent sincerity, that Joshua would be given “nondeployable” status as a bridge-builder for the Army Corps of Engineers.

“You’re going to be building bridges from nine to five every day and spending every evening home with the family,” lied the recruiter, who scribbled the acronym CONUS — for “Continental United States” — on the enlistment contract as supposed surety of this agreement. Asked later for supplemental reassurance, the recruiter promised that “Because of your growing family, you would be the last person sent overseas.”

All of this took place in 2002. In 2003, Key was among the first to be sent to Iraq.

His training at Fort Carson clearly anticipated that deployment: During bayonet drills, he and the other recruits were urged, “Kill! Kill! Kill the sand niggers!” The rules of engagement, he was told, were quite simple: “If you feel threatened, kill first and ask questions later.”

His training with C-4 explosives was sometimes set to an inventively depraved cadence that could just as easily have been chanted by trainees at an al-Qaeda camp in Pakistan: “Take a playground, fill it full of kids; drop on some napalm, and barbecue some ribs.”

Where his unit was concerned, Joshua writes, “Iraqis were not people at all — they were terrorists, suicide bombers, sand niggers, and ragheads….. We were taught to think of Iraqis in degrading ways during military training, and those attitudes crossed the oceans with us when we flew into battle.”

Although he and his comrades came under enemy fire on numerous occasions, they never fixed their sights on actual combatants: They “were on the run and gone while we were still diving for cover against flying shrapnel. We fought back by lashing out at civilians who had no means to defend themselves. It seemed the only way we could fight back — but it was wrong.”

Shortly after Joshua’s above-quoted conversation with his sergeant, he went on patrol with another sergeant named Fernandez. As their APC passed beneath a grove of palm trees, Joshua described how easy it would be to ambush the unit. “To my surprise,” Joshua recalls, “the sergeant did not lecture me for speaking my mind. Softly, he told me, `I’d do the same thing if people invaded America.'”

That brief conversation catalyzed Joshua’s misgivings about the war. If a foreign power occupied the United States, if its soldiers “blasted into my home and terrorized my family,” Joshua writes, “I would become a force to be reckoned with. I would invent my own booby traps and come up with the most unexpected methods of mayhem. I would give the occupiers hell and keep at it until I was dead and gone, twice over.”

For this reason, Joshua decided that he was fighting the wrong war, the wrong way, against the wrong enemy. The real enemy was at his back — the Decider, his adult handler, and the Power Elite they represent. They had orchestrated the horrors in Iraq and taken cynical advantage of those who enlisted in the mistaken belief that they would take part in the actual defense of our country.

Joshua was deceived into signing his contract, misled about the cause and purpose of the war, and put into a position in which would be among those who would be sent into Iraq as many times as the Decider considered necessary, to kill and terrorize people for no reason that made sense.

So when he was sent back to the United States on furlough, Joshua excused himself from any further responsibility for a supposed commitment that had been made in bad faith. Because the Government ruling us didn’t obey the terms of its contract, Joshua simply quit. This meant that he and his family (which has now grown to include four children) had to flee to Canada, since the Government still claims the supposed right to murder soldiers who decide to quit their jobs and seek other employment.”

Published in: on April 3, 2008 at 6:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

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