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Do the active duty military people who are petitioning against the war have a right to do what they are doing?
Legally, yes, as we've just heard from the Judge. Yes, under certain conditions.
They can criticize the war out of uniform, off duty, and they cannot name their superiors under any specific criticisms. But they can oppose the war.
Is it something to get excited about?
There are always soldiers against the war they are required to fight. Usually it's a small number, as in this case. I would submit that soldiers are voting on the war with their re-enlistment rates, which are hugely high. The fact two or three or four active duty military think the war is wrong, or the war is run badly, or generals and colonels are idiots is not unusual.
Joseph Heller thought out "Catch-22" while a soldier in the war. The author of "MASH" certainly was someone living the Korean War up close and personal and one supposes was on active duty when he noticed the lunacy. These are people who comment on wars and there have been such people as long as there have been wars.
The issue is whether they go back to their active duty unit and try to subvert the war. That could be a problem. But the fact they don't like the war is a big so what.
Nobody much likes the way this war is going except the insurgents. And we can't give the Iraqis forever to get it together.
I don't think the active duty soldiers who are criticizing this war are helping particularly. But I also don't think it's such a big deal at this point that we should pay a lot of attention, frankly.
Let 'em speak. Their colleagues have already outvoted them.
That's My Word.
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