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US troops vote with their feet

Issue No. 1932

THE US army is facing desertion and recruitment failures as the disaster in Iraq bites into troop morale. Over 5,000 US soldiers have deserted since the war began.

The National Guard missed its recruitment target of 56,000 this year, for the first time in a decade. It signed up only 51,000 people.

The army has called up 5,600 former soldiers, who can only be mobilised in times of national emergency. The casualty rate for US troops in Iraq was 747 in September, compared with 415 per month before June.

More misery for Fallujah refugees

NOT CONTENT with devastating the city of Fallujah, the US is now intent on exercising extreme control over its population.

When the US allows Fallujah’s refugees to begin returning home on Christmas Eve it will force them to go through a checkpoint. Every citizen will have their fingerprints taken, along with DNA samples and a retina scan.

Residents will be issued with badges with their home addresses on them. It will be an offence not to wear these badges.

It is still not known how many civilians died in the US assault on Fallujah.

Does Bush know what vote is for?

GEORGE BUSH claimed last week that, in the Iraqi elections set for January, “when people realise there’s a chance to vote on a president, they will participate”.

But the Iraqi people will not be able to vote for a president in the upcoming elections.

The elections will select a transitional national assembly, which will then choose a transitional government.

The assembly will also draft a new constitution that will be voted on in a referendum in 2005.

1,000 US dead in Iraq combat

THE THOUSANDTH US soldier to be killed in action in Iraq died last week. Some 1,293 US soldiers have died of all causes in Iraq since the war began.

The assault on Fallujah has not broken the back of the Iraqi resistance. It is carrying out attacks and ambushes across Iraq. Eight US Marines were killed in Al-Anbar province last Sunday. US army colonel Mark A Milley said of the resistance, “They want to demonstrate that the government is not successful, and they want to create a climate of fear.”

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Sat 18 Dec 2004, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1932
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