Those who serve in the military are restricted in what they can say. They have to follow orders; there is no room for dissent. There is little outlet for free speech for soldiers except for the long standing tradition of bathroom graffiti.

The soldier cannot come and go as he sees fit; there is no such thing as a “two-week notice” in his line of work. Limitations are placed on what he says, and free speech is certainly not free. Incorrect thoughts are to be kept silent, and dire consequences await for those who act on their convictions. Due to the absolute privacy found in bathrooms, what was once suppressed frustrations suddenly become an open forum of ideas and acquisitions. The latrine walls become what The Combine dreads the most, a podium of free speech for soldiers.

This article discusses the “FUCK THE ARMY” (FTA) movement and the political graffiti that finds expression in bathrooms across Iraq.

The article continues:

One thing very interesting is that of the FTA.

This is an almost underground cult within the ranks. The members of this secret organization refer to each other as Joe’s. Soldiers will know who is FTA just by looking at him.

He will immediately understand that “Joe” hates being oppressed by his superiors, disagrees with the army’s stupid rules, and resents the army for taking him to crazy 3rd world countries, only to try to kill him.

The actual graffiti “FTA” can be found in almost every portable toilet or restroom where others have left their opinions. It’s almost never written fancy or artistic, just three bold, simple letters…F.T.A.

The article also discusses how the bathroom walls are re-painted only to have the graffiti return. Like the author of the article, “I strongly believe in and support bathroom graffiti.” It’s an interesting forum for political expression and exersize of the right to freedom of speech!

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