Slaves May Not Leave Their Masters

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The number of soldiers absconding from the British Army has trebled since the invasion of Iraq. The high profile case of RAF officer Malcolm Kendall-Smith, who has been jailed for refusing to return to Iraq to fight what he regarded as an illegal war, is an indication of the discontent within the armed forces.With hardly a mention in the press, the British parliament passed, with very few votes against, a new Armed Services Act, under which soldiers who desert the armed forces because they refuse to serve in a foreign military occupation could now face life imprisonment.

The aim is clearly to deter soldiers from following their conscience, whether by going absent without leave or by refusing to participate in invasions.

From Workers Solidarity 93, Sept/Oct 2006

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