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 not.



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.