Soldier and deserter Carl Webb in Madison…

Carl Webb is in Wisconsin to speak out against the war on Iraq. While not officially listed as AWOL by the Texas National Guard he nonetheless refused to return when recalled under a US Army stop-loss action. The Army ordered him to return for extended duty in January after serving for seven years on active duty.

Over 6,000 soldiers share Carl’s fate, preferring AWOL status to their complicity with the illegal war. But, the military is not prosecuting them. Carl says he thinks the military is avoiding legal action in order to avoid drawing more attention to the problem of soldiers who refuse to comply with stop-loss orders.

“My unit in the Texas Army National Guard just told me that my paper work for an honorable discharge from the military has been filed,” Carl says. “I was told that the day of discharge on the official paper work is going to be back dated to make it seem as if I never deserted.”

He explains that a soldier agrees to serve in the National Guard can complete their tour and still be called back for an extended tour within 90 days, thus making the stop-loss action a “backdoor draft.”

Carl openly admits that he joined the National Guard for the money. “I walked by a news stand this morning and there were two papers side-by-side. One read ‘Over 1,000 jobs lost in Wisconsin.’ The headline on the other papar read, ‘1,000 Wisconsin soldiers called up to serve in Iraq.'”

Carl will speak this evening in Madison at the Rainbow Bookstore, 426 W. Gilman Street at 7 PM.

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