Who are the brave
soldiers fighting for "Freedom and Democracy” for George Bush, the USA and "The Free World?
There is, in the
southern United States, perennial migration from Mexico and South America
mainly young men seeking a better life. Many have no papers or permission to
work but work just the same in the "black" economy. Without them
service industries would collapse overnight. Some are sent back, but others are
With the Iraq war need for "foot soldiers" for
front line duty, there was a recruitment drive. A Bush executive order of July
2002 offers inducements to sign up for service in the 'War on terror".
Hispanics get automatic leave to stay in the US, legal papers and green cards. Also offered
are scholarships, post service employment, and medical
and pension benefits. With few prospects otherwise, many seize the opportunity
of status with potential for better employment, housing and education. Those
with memories of past empty government promises warn against the deal - and
Bush has cut social expenditure.
About a third of the US forces serving in Iraq are "non-US citizens"; including Hispanics
who are disproportionately represented in front line combat such as the
invasion and Falluja assault. They are two-and-a-half
times more likely to be casualties than other service personnel. The majority
of combat deaths are of the lowest rank and paid, the least educated and the
worse trained; amongst whom Hispanics are over represented. Of the first
thousand deaths 120 were Hispanics. Many veterans, particularly if injured, may
actually be worse off after military service.
WELL! ... LONG LIVE
FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY!