The sentence has come down in the case of Fort Hood soldier Victor Agosto, who has refused a stop-loss deployment to Afghanistan after doing a stint in Iraq.
Agosto, an IT specialist, never saw any up-close combat in Iraq, but he says the Afghan War is illegal and hell no, he won't go.
The Army held an hour-long hearing today at the base and came down with its verdict -- 30 days in jail.
He'll also be demoted to private from specialist and receive a less-than-honorable discharge, but come on -- You have two choices: a) Go to war against an enemy that has been defeating empires for thousands of years, in awful terrain which they know how to use to their advantage, so you can put yourself in harm's way; or b) Serve a month in jail and never see another expert guerrilla fighter intent on killing you.
The fact that more soldiers don't take that deal is a tribute to them and their sense of honor, to be sure.
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Whatever happened to breaking rocks for years? Thirty days? What movie is it where someone says "Thirty days? I can do that standing on my head"? We think it's The Ballad of Victor Agosto.
Agosto's case has generated support from some groups; he told one that he fully expected to go to jail.
When IPS asked Agosto if he is willing to take whatever consequences the Army is prepared to mete out, he replied, "Yes. I'm fully prepared for this. I have concluded that the wars [in Iraq and Afghanistan] are not going to be ended by politicians or people at the top. They are not responsive to the people, they are responsive to corporate America."
Agosto added, "The only way to make them responsive to the needs of the people is if soldiers won't fight their wars, and if soldiers won't fight their wars, the wars won't happen. I hope I'm setting an example for other soldiers."
We're guessing he didn't think he'd have to go for only 30 days, though.