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By Kevin Stoda, Germany (but off the US military bases there)

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"A soldier put his anger at being sent back to Iraq in a rap song. The military, however, did not think it was fun or creative." So, the young soldier, Mark Hall, was arrested and his free speech banned.

Why did the military leaders get so mad? Why did they overreact and put a creative rapper and soldier, Mark Hall, in jail?

"Stop-Loss" is a policy of shanghaiing American soldier from one month to 14 month over the term of his contract. It is similar to impressment, a form of soldier slavery or kidnapping by which America and England got into the War of 1812. At that time, Americans were being kidnapped by the British and forced to fight in the wars against Napoleon, i.e. against the American sailor or soldier's will. [This kidnapping and involuntary military service was know as Impressment--i.e. the British "impressed" the young man to join their war effort.]

I think Stop-Loss should be considered Impressment in the United States and banned by the courts, however, I do not have much faith in the Supreme Court right now to handle cases fairly. What do you think?

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Admittedly, violence is advocated in the song, but many rap songs due that and are still played on military radio stations and barracks--even in Iraq. So, it sounds like a lot of drivel has been made into a dangerous flood of anger against Mark Hall, who had already served a term of duty in Iraq before he wrote the "Stop-Loss" rap.

Some of the threats included phrases, like ""Like Obama said, somebody be held responsible. But some of y'all gonna be held in the hospitals." I would call such phrases rather innocuous--even after the Ft.Hood massacre of last autumn.

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KEVIN STODA-has been blessed to have either traveled in or worked in nearly 100 countries on five continents over the past two and a half decades.--He sees himself as a peace educator and have been-- a promoter of good economic and social development--making-him an enemy of my homelands humongous DEFENSE SPENDING and its focus on using weapons to try and solve global (more...)

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