Seven-year Army veteran and Texas Army National Guardsman stop-lossed for Iraq deployment in November 2005. Went AWOL to resist deployment and has been publicly speaking out against the war since. “The war is unethical and illegal U.S. aggression,” he says. “It’s all about oil and profits.”
Carl Webb is a soldier and political activist fighting to avoid being sent to Iraq under an approved federal program designed to supplement the number of active duty troops in Iraq. Webb, now 41, is a member of the Texas Army National Guard and a U.S. army veteran. In 2001 following a 7-year break in service, he enlisted in the National Guard expecting to serve for only three years. His term of service was due to end on August 22, 2005, however, less than two months shy of the end of his service completion he was informed that his term had been involuntarily extended and he would be sent to Fort Hood for training and deployed to Iraq in November. Webb refused to report for duty, made the decision to go AWOL and then went public with his war resistance.
Webb is one of many reservists compelled to serve in the war in Iraq under the ‘stop-loss’ program. This program, which made its first appearance in the Persian Gulf War of the early 1990s, keeps soldiers scheduled for deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan from leaving when their term of service ends. At the time Webb refused to fight, more than 10,000 soldiers were covered under the ‘stop-loss’ rules.
Webb, who served in the U.S. Army for 7 active years, conscientiously objects to being sent to Iraq for numerous reasons. Webb stated in a 2005 press release: “the reasons that the U.S. government used to justify the imperialist war in Iraq have proven to be unfounded; however, even if they had been, [I] still would oppose the U.S. going to war against the Iraqi people.”
“The war is unethical and illegal U.S. aggression,” he said. “It’s all about oil and profits.”
Webb vehemently protests the use of the stop-loss program that imposes a lengthened term on reservists and soldiers who have already fulfilled their military service and are within 90 days of being deployed to Iraq. In his press release, Webb stated: “This policy is practically an unofficial draft,” he said. “It is conscription against a person’s will … in my mind this policy is not only unethical, it is illegal.”
In an effort to have the stop-loss program revoked, Webb has consulted legal counsel to protest his deployment orders and is considering taking legal action that could include filing a class action lawsuit against the United States government.
After Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans, Amy Goodman interviewed Webb on her radio program “Democracy Now.” Webb, whose entire family is from New Orleans, stated: “This hurricane is just another example of how oppressive the capitalist system that we live under is. It’s an extreme example. It’s just one more example of why I refuse to fight for this government, for this system. And I’m sure that there are other people in the military on bases and ships and planes around the world are wondering why, you know, they weren’t sent in or allowed to come back home and help. So it’s not going to be a recruiting tool.
He added: “That’s one of the misconceptions that people have about the National Guard. The National Guard is not an institution primarily there to assist in natural disasters, it’s not there to protect the population, it’s just there to augment the regular army to go around the world to oppress people.”