Socialist Worker

‘We won’t go to Iraq’

Issue No. 1920

AN ENTIRE battalion of 653 South Carolina National Guard soldiers has been placed under disciplinary lockdown after revolting against orders to go to Iraq.

The troops were due to go on an 18-month tour of duty.

Some 13 members of the battalion went absent without leave over the weekend of 4 September, mainly to visit their families before being shipped out.

Poor morale also led to fights breaking out between troops.

These incidents sparked a clampdown by military authorities. Soldiers were locked in their rooms, except for drills, and even banned from stepping outside for a cigarette.

Many reservists have little interest in a military career, only signing up for the education and health benefits that the US army provides.

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Sat 25 Sep 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1920
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