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So, who is going to fight Bush's war?

The Army, which expects to miss its 2005 recruiting goal by about 12,000, already is falling behind for next year.

The pool of recruits who sign up as much as a year before they report for training is dwindling. So far, 3,100 have signed up for 2006, according to Army Recruiting Command at Fort Knox, Ky. The Army says it hopes to have 7,200 recruits in the pool by Oct. 1, when the 2006 recruiting year begins. By comparison:

  • The Army started the 2005 recruiting year with about 14,700 recruits in the delayed entry pool. It is making up some of the shortfall in recruiting by re-enlisting soldiers at a higher-than-expected rate. But the Army also has tried to trim this year's shortfall by rushing many delayed entry enlistees into basic training.

  • In 2004, the Army had more than 33,000 enlistees signed up ahead of time. It met its recruiting goals.

Note that the 12,000 shortfall is based on reduced recruitment targets, yet still represents the equivalent of a combat division. And the Pentagon conitnues to fail its recruiting goals despite continuously raising the age ceiling for recruits and jacking up enlistment incentives.

The war cheerleaders still can't match words with deeds. The war preachers, war pundits, war politicians, and 101st Fighting Keyboardists all talk a good game, but they're not rushing to enlist, and very, very few are urging their followers and readers to enlist (lest it expose their own personal hypocrisies).

They want their war, they should pay the price. Or, they can accept the folly of Bush's Iraq adventure and admit that the time for withdrawl has arrived.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 08:12 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Why does the GOP hate (none)
    America?  Why does the GOP not want to fight the fight against terror?  Why does the GOP think that staying here and going to business school is more important then fighting in Iraq?

    Why? Because they don't know the true meaning of patriotism, and they never will.

    "September 11, 2001, already a day of immeasurable tragedy, cannot be the day liberty perished in this country." Judge Gerald Tjoflat

    by SanJoseLady on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 08:18:41 AM PDT

    •  But we're winning... (none)
      The war is going fine according to our president so why should we be calling for anybody to enlist?  Sure the recruiters aren't making their goals but according to everything we hear from the whitehouse it doesn't matter, it's all okay.

      I mean if I was a genuine Bush supporter who believed 90% of what they said, I wouldn't feel much rush to sign up.  I mean things are going okay aren't they?  Sure there's some reports of problems recruiting, but if it was a serious problem, they'd start asking for us to make that sacrifice, non?  

      •  Kos is right... (4.00)
        I think that everyone is starting to come to the realization that it is time to prepare for exit.

        Rumsfeld in his press conference today said the drawdown would begin in the middle of next year.

        Once the Constitution is voted into law by the public the transition out of Iraq will most likely begin.

        •  The something or other (none)
          against violent extremism is the new term, replacing the "war on terra."  War implying that the military will be involved.  Gotta get that notion out of the minds of everybody.  Now, diplomacy, economics and other means will be used to try and change the thinking of people who would otherwise be drawn to violent extremism.  Either they finally finished reading Wes Clark's book, Winning Modern Wars, or they've been watching him on FAUX.  It's a twisted sort of admission that they were wrong. Seriously, does anybody think they can stop Dubya saying "war on terra?"  It's his theme.

          Winning without Delay.

          by ljm on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 09:28:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism (none)
            I think that's the new buzzword. It sure doesn't have the same punch the "war on terror" did.

            Amateurs talk strategery, professionals talk logistics

            by Young Freud on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 09:47:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But, but... Didn't Rove say WAR is the ticket ? (none)
              Didn't he deride blame Dems for thinking of police action, diplomacy or any other measures, while saying the GOP deserved kudos for planning a war ?

              Rove, Bush's chief political adviser, said in a speech last month  that "liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." Conservatives, he said in the speech to the New York state Conservative Party just a few miles north of Ground Zero, "saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war."

              If being anti-child-sodomy is now considered the partisan position, then I'm going to be the biggest f---ing partisan on the planet.. - Hunter

              by lawnorder on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 09:55:00 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  rove is a joke.... (none)
                The only war Rove prepared for was a war on the buffett line, or perhaps the dessert cart.

                This was one paunchy, pathetic old man trying to talk tough with other paunchy, pathetic old men.

                BTW, the "chickenhawk" label stings; you should have seen the howling over at redstate.org over it a month ago.  I almost got booted to "the pile". :-)

            •  You're Right (none)
              That is the new buzzword. And you're not alone in your criticism of it.

              ITSALONGWAYTOGO when you don't know where you're going; you don't where you're going when you're lost...

              by Omen on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 12:38:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Did anyone ever (none)
          believe Bush wouldn't start some sort of reduction in forces before the 'o6 elections???
          No matter what is going on over there, troop reductions WILL start!!
          •  And it is solely driven by the midterm elections (none)
            and the need to get Turd Blossom off the front pages.

            Wounded Warrior Project Give till it hurts. They already did.

            by soonergrunt on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 10:26:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  And then where does...... (none)
            this leave the Iraqi people?  It will leave them deeply mired in a civil war, with plenty of foreign terrorists still in Iraq to further de-stabilize Iraq.  

            We will be leaving the Iraqi people in the worst shape that that country has ever been in in modern times.  Way to go BushCo.  Bastards!

            •  In fairness it's a lose-lose now (none)
              I don't think it's fair (as I fear many critics of Bush may do) to clamor for troop withdrawals until they become policy, and then clamor for the troops to stay.   I'm not accusing you of doing this, and in fact I would hope most people value internal consistency enough not to do this.

              What I do think is fair is to clamor for withdrawals and then blame the administration for the mess that will result.  In fact, even after the war lost my support, I thought our troops probably needed to stay there and win given the vacuum that their departure will leave.   I'm no longer convinced we can afford to do that -- the cost to our military readiness and morale, not to mention the human cost of keeping our people in danger is just too great -- but I don't see a withdrawal as a good thing, either.

              Not a Democrat. Not a Republican. Just sick of George Bush's son and other big-government "conservatives".

              by EqualOpportunityCynic on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 01:46:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  What about the oil? (none)
            Phil S 33, I'm not so sure about the troop reductions before the '06 elections.  The Bush Administration still covets the oil, does it not? And bases are being built, which suggests long-term military presence.

            Is there any way that the Bush Administration can make the war more palatable to Americans, other than troop reductions? Can they hold on to the dream of getting the oil, while reducing the troops?

            •  First war for oil ... (none)
              The real question is ... what else can a oil hungry country do. Don't the "democrats" covet oil too ?

              This is only the first war for oil ...

              World runs out of oil before social security runs out of money

              by nataraj on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 03:33:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I question whether that many of the supporters.... (none)
        believe 90% of what the White House is saying.   I suspect many are in a state of cognitive dissonance which may, if our country's lucky, be a precursor to where I found myself in Spring 2004: the sucker, the dupe who trusted those claiming to share his core values to do the right thing.

        The good news is, once people really figure out we've been had, we can get very vengeful very quickly.   That's why I feel more at home here, where I differ with 90% of the population on 90% of my political philosophy, than at RedState with "fellow conservatives".

        Not a Democrat. Not a Republican. Just sick of George Bush's son and other big-government "conservatives".

        by EqualOpportunityCynic on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 10:12:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Be Patriotic: Just continue to buy stuff (none)
        I agree. We could have bought war bonds or conserved gas. But heh, I just need to accept the huge tax breaks, drive my SUV to the shopping mall and have those neat W and support the troop bumper stickers.
        Have my kids join the military? nah, we are already doing our part....
        •  They actually do think that way. (none)
          This was the attitude that I diaried about some time back when a friend was home on leave from Iraq.  It's the attitude that many if not most of them still have.
          They--republicans, and conservatives in particular, are the lowest form of life on this continent.

          Wounded Warrior Project Give till it hurts. They already did.

          by soonergrunt on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 01:11:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  GOP Postponing the Defense Bill (none)
      Ostensibly so they can pass some NRA bill to protect gun makers from liability.  Can't do both before the recess.  Shows their priorities.

      But I bet it has more to do with trying to get McCain and Graham to back down on their attempt to limit torture.

      "False language, evil in itself, infects the soul with evil." ----Socrates

      by Mimikatz on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 09:45:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just Remember (none)
      We are ruled by a pro corporation White House and in a war fought by a large number of private "mercanry" soldiers, which means we are paying them far more than we pay our own soldiers. Perhaps the decline in enlistment is only the start of what is to come - a private corporate Army defending our nation. The chief stockholders incclue Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and George Bush. Rmember the GOP - small government and big business.

      http://intoxination.blogspot.com

  •  Hasn't Hillary called for a bigger army? (none)
    You know, to stay the course.
    •  But She Doesn't Have The Gonads... (none)
      ...to call for a draft. She's as bad as the war-preachers and other war-cheerleaders. She won't have dear Chelsea's pale ass driving a truck in Iraq the way Shashona did.

      Just Doing My Small Part In Pissing Off The Religious Right.

      by chuco35 on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 08:24:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The last thing we need is a Democrat calling (3.50)
        for a draft.  If a Democrat calls for a draft, it is either partisan politics just trying to make Bush look bad or another Chicken Little saying the sky is falling when everythig is going swimmingly over in Iraq.

        Fact is that if we can have a troop draw down starting early next year, Bush will have his victory, no matter what happens over there afterwards.  Conservatives and Bush supporters will just say that any problems afterwards arre the Iraqi's fault, and not Bush's failings.

        global warming is junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools...

        by proudVet on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 09:10:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just Talking Hyposcrisy Here. (none)
          She voted for the war, supports the war effort, but is willing to man it with reserves and the guard. In the meantime Chelsea's out of harm's way. No reality here -- just plain old avaricious posturing.

          She's as hypocritical as Bush and the R war-cheeleadrs, IMHO. Which makes her even more dangerous cause she's a wolf in sheep's clothing.

          Just Doing My Small Part In Pissing Off The Religious Right.

          by chuco35 on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 09:19:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Chelsea is worth 40 goats! (none)
            Sky.com is reporting that Former US president Bill Clinton has been offered 40 goats and 20 cows for his daughter by a love-struck African government official.  

            Mr. Clinton was offered the deal on a recent trip to Kenya.  

            He was offered the animals as a traditional African way of getting a father to give away his daughter in marriage. The dowry is a very generous one by the country's own standards.  

            There is no word on whether Mr. Clinton is considering the offer. But still, hey, 40 goats!

            http://www.bizarrenews.com/archives.php?op=viewissue&id=15038  

            If being anti-child-sodomy is now considered the partisan position, then I'm going to be the biggest f---ing partisan on the planet.. - Hunter

            by lawnorder on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 10:00:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Me Like Big (none)
      We should have a bigger army and the simple solution to solving the recruiting woes is to double military salaries.  It'll give people the economic incentive to join and it will be more competitive with the private sector and help continue to attract intelligent soldiers.

      I am an ILL State Assassin. Legalize Qualo. Those in or around Chicago - listen to Boers and Bernstein on 670 AM The Score 10AM-2PM. You'll be glad you did.

      by Larry Horse on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 04:27:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Has anyone found (none)
    recruitment numbers by month for previous years? It would be interesting to compare them to this year's numbers and see by how much they're lowering the bar.
    •  Monthly recruiting goals - FY 2000 (4.00)
      These numbers are suprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly) hard to come by on the web. I did find the monthly Army recruiting goals for FY 2000 buried in an Army Word document here.

      Actually 2000 is a good comparision since the yearly goal was 80,000 which is the same as it is for 2005. Anyway, here's the breakdown for FY 2000:

      Oct 5000
      Nov 7000
      Dec 500
      Jan 7900
      Feb 6500
      Mar 6300
      Apr 6200
      May 6500
      Jun 7100
      Jul 8700
      Aug 9600
      Sep 8700

      Total 80000

      So if these 2000 numbers can be used as a guide (and there's no reason the monthly breakdowns would be much different between years) it was totally bogus for them to say last month that they had a goal of 5650 for June and they beat it by 9 percent. But I think we already knew that.

      They're really just delaying the inevitable by fudging the monthly goals. They're not even going to come close to the yearly goal.

      •  great find. (none)
        I think this information needs to be on the front page. At the time of the June announcement, I remember kos saying that we didn't have previous year data to compare to. Now we do, and as everyone assumed, the summer months are the best for recruiting.
      •  Army recruiting goals 2000 vs 2005 (none)
        I made this with the data you provided as well as data I dug up on the internet. Notice how the 2005 goal trendline goes in the opposite direction as the 2000 trend. It's the only way they were able to meet the June goal.

        If anyone has data for previous months, please pass it along. This is what I have for 2005:

        2005    actual   goal
        Feb      5,114    7,050
        Mar      4624     6800
        Apr      3821     6600
        May      5000     6700
        Jun       6150      5650

           

      •  Candidate Bush's goal, 2000 (4.00)
        I agree that our military is the strongest in the world today. That's not the question.  The question is it will be the strongest in years to come. And the warning signs are real. Everywhere I go around the campaign trail I see people who -- moms and dads whose son or daughter may wear the uniform, and they tell me about how discouraged their son or daughter may be.

        A recent poll was taken amongst a thousand enlisted personnel, as well as officers, over half of whom are going to leave the service when their time of enlistment is up. The captains are leaving the service. There is a problem, and it's going to require a new commander-in-chief to rebuild the military power.

        The other day I was honored to be flanked by Colin Powell and General Norman Schwarzkopf, who stood by my side and agreed with me. They said we can -- even though we're the strongest military, that if we don't do something quickly, if we don't have a clear vision of the military, if we don't stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we're going to have a serious problem coming down the road. And I'm going to prevent that; I'm going to rebuild our military power.

        It's one of the major priorities of my administration...

        http://www.debates.org/pages/trans2000a.html

        Abject failure, again, on a major priority of his administration.

        And what has he done about it?  Has he called on Americans to make the sacrifices necessary to defeat the enemy? Has he even acknowledged the recruiting problem?  No...not one word about sacrifice ever uttered.  

        He detailed the risk of declining enlistment to national security in what his campaign called a PERIOD OF CONSEQUENCES...and that is precisely what five years of his incompetence has produced.  

        Abject failure.  And this from the candidate who was going to usher in the era of responsibility:

        From the first day of this campaign, I have talked about the goal of a responsibility era.

        And even before that, it was my concern as a governor.  For too long, our culture has sent the message, "If it feels good, do it. If you've got a problem, blame somebody else." Each of us must understand we are responsible for the choices we make in life...

        Abject failure.  

        Comments referring only to ratings are a nuisance. Noise. They waste time and bandwidth. We're all dumber for having read them.

        by willowby on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 10:39:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is too long for an epitaph (none)
          Or even a soundbite.

          "if we don't have a clear vision of the military, if we don't stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we're going to have a serious problem coming down the road. And I'm going to prevent that; I'm going to rebuild our military power.

          It's one of the major priorities of my administration..."

          What does Bush stand for?  Does he even know?  He seems like the lead from Memento. It's as if Bush only exists in a slice of time, adrift from the past and no idea what may lie in the future.  He just reads the speeches, villifies the opposition and praises the patriots.  

  •  Doesnt matter...theyre coming home anyway!! (none)
    Yayyy!!! We won!!! Victory and liberty and all that!!

    http://tinyurl.com/a2hqb

    Reigning Welterweight Female Piefighter since 1998

    by ablington on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 08:22:10 AM PDT

    •  Kudos to us! (4.00)
      Our voices screamed for more than 2 years, but America heard us.

      Under the MSM radar (recruitment failing for over a year), the people of America heard and understood the reality when it came down to their kids' lives being put on the line for lies.

      It took a while longer for the rest of Bushco's lies to be recognized, but the tide has turned and I believe will soon become a juggernaut.

      So a very, very WELL DONE to the liberal blogosphere.

      We made a difference.

      I am I and you are you, and we are both each other too -- Clair Huffaker, The Cowboy and the Cossack

      by xysrl on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 08:30:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i hate to say it (none)
        but I don't think it's because of us. They're just running out of bodies and the hawks are afraid of totally running the military into the ground. They need it for their next sandbox adventure.
      •  I don't know... (4.00)
        I really think they're bringing people home because of mid-term elections. Nothing matters to them as much as staying in/keeping power.
      •  We are winning, but haven't won. (none)
        Attacking the Bushies and NeoCons; exposing their lies; it's all paying off and the liberal blogs and other liberal voices (Howard Dean for example) have been an important part of this.  But we have to keep pushing until those troops are out!!

        This volunteer army is interesting because there is surrogate monthly vote on this stupid war in Iraq--and it's recruitment numbers.  Polls can be a little misleading, because the R's can plant the question in a way that guides the answer.  But young men and women are making key life decisions when they enlist, or don't enlist.  And clearly the great liar Bush is losing that vote--by a lot.

      •  We probably had a role, but (none)
        I don't know how much credit we can claim.

        We are the reality-based community, and we have been continuing to keep reality on the front burner. But I think the main reason recruiting is down, from what I've read over the last six months or so, is that Iraq lost the support of the parents, including families that have proudly risked their lives defending us for generations. The reality of Iraq, of the ways veterans are being shafter, of the way the military is being mismanaged outweighed the family tradition in these families.

        I don't know how much influence our outlets have on these families. I suspect many of them are multi-generational Republicans and many of them perhaps will continue to vote for neocons. But the realities of the war and who is really paying for it are all too visible to them, much more so than chickenhawk rhetoric. Reality itself gets the "credit" though I hate to use that term.

        •  We had no role (4.00)
          This isn't about politics, it is about economic arithmetic.  It was obvious from late fall of 2003 that the army and marines would be facing a serious shortfall within two years because of the growing military resistance to the American Occupation.  Anyone who did the numbers could see this.

          Young kids may be dumb but they aren't stupid.  They see guardsmen coming back in body bags or with missing body parts and do the arithmetic.  It's too damn risky and they know it.  Unlike in my day when you were safe in Vietnam if you could type 60 words a minute, nobody is safe in Iraq.  

          Political resistance has nothing to do with this, except the deep resistance to re-institut8ng a draft to prosecute a war that a majority of the American people now believe was started on a lie.

    •  Don't call it victory yet (none)
      when/if the few they pull out at first could end up with a return ticket to the middle east anytime now courtesy of the next neocon war... Maybe Iran?

      I'll allow myself a small smile, since it is a small step in the right direction, BUT the bushies could just as easily jump right back on their crazy train.

      IWT News
      Independent World Television

      by m16eib on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 09:13:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They are going to withdraw (4.00)
    See headlines on MSNBC, CNN, Washington Post.  Some diaries are up already.

    They have reached the end of the line.  

    It's important for Democratic leaders to have a quick response to this.

    Incidentally, what does it really mean that David "Walks on Water" Petraus, the man in charge of training Iraqi police and defense forces, is leaving Iraq to head the big Leavenworth supply operation?

    My Liberal Values: a clean earth, universal access to health care, human and civil rights, a broader distribution of wealth, and a global perspective

    by Pellice on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 08:23:57 AM PDT

    •  Claiming Mission Accomplished... (4.00)
      ...just in time for the November elections next year. How fucking convenient (as the Middle East goes to hell in a hang-basket).

      Just Doing My Small Part In Pissing Off The Religious Right.

      by chuco35 on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 08:27:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Iraq Prime Min. tells Rumsfeld withdraw quickly (4.00)
      Bush has been telling the American people that we can't have a plan for withdrawal because that would allow 'enemies' to just wait us out.

      But we have been negotiating with the Iraqi government about a 2006 draw-down.

      Now the Iraqi government tells Rumsfeld, face to face, that speedy withdrawal is needed:

      Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said at a joint news conference with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that the time has arrived to plan a coordinated transition from American to Iraqi military control throughout the country.

      Asked how soon a U.S. withdrawal should happen, he said no exact timetable had been set. "But we confirm and we desire speed in that regard," he said, speaking through a translator. "And this fast pace has two aspects."

      The only people in the world that BushCO doesn't want to know US plans are American citizens.

      Is this typical of BushCo, or what?

      "pay any price, bear any burden"

      by JimPortlandOR on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 08:55:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bay "Triple Dub" Buchanan (none)
        said the same thing on CNN yesterday, that even the thugs were reaching the end of their patience with Iraq.  

        BTW, "Triple Dub" is short for "Wicked Witch of the West".

      •  More distraction to stop Plame / Rove talk (none)
        also...

        Didn't they jump the gun a bit ? A toughened up insurgency will prove deadly for Bush's votes...

        If being anti-child-sodomy is now considered the partisan position, then I'm going to be the biggest f---ing partisan on the planet.. - Hunter

        by lawnorder on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 09:48:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  employment (none)
    Whats really stunning about those numbers is that unemployment has not declined substantially in the past 2-3 quarters. There's often an inverse correspondence between unemployment rate and recruitment. Moreover, recent surveys have shown pessimism about their employment opportunities.

    IN other words, working people are voting with their feet; looking harder for scarce employment rather than joining the service.

  •  Claim victory and hold a parade (none)
    Like everything else in Bushworld-bullshit, bogus.
  •  Rumsfeld, Iraq Prime Minister: WITHDRAWAL (none)
    Link
    "Iraq's prime minister today called for a speedy withdrawal of US troops, and the top US commander in the country said he believed a "fairly substantial" pull-out could take place next spring and summer.

    Both men's hopes were, however, conditional on curbing the insurgency, which US military officials have said shows no signs of abating and which has claimed hundreds of lives in recent months.

    Ibrahim Jaafari, the transitional prime minister appointed after January's elections, made the call for a quick withdrawal at a joint news conference with the visiting US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld."

    Rumsfeld is making lemonade out of the troop shortage, turning it to the advantage of Bush, who needs politically to begin to withdraw.

    Those in the Democratic leadership who are advocating more troops are gonna look VERY STUPID, imho.

    •  yep (none)
      Those in the Democratic leadership who are advocating more troops are gonna look VERY STUPID, imho.

      Completely agree. They already look stupid saying we shouldn't withdraw. They are so afraid of taking a bold stance against the president.

    •  Reminds me of.. (4.00)
      That "fake" British memo that came out a little while ago - only difference is that it predicted a large withdrawal in early 2006 and they're saying Spring to Summer
    •  "Declare victory and go home." (none)
      That's the plan, and truthfully that is the only thing we can do at this point.

      We are going to "turn over" things to the barely existant Iraqi security forces and pull out, no matter what happens in Iraq next.

      Bush is hoping that once he pulls out, we'll forget all about Iraq like we forgot about Afghanistan.

      But I don't think we'll be able to forget, since Iraq is going to be a worse terrorist incubator than Afghanistan ever was.  The next attack 9/11 is going to be based from Iraq, for real this time.

      Good going, Duhbya.

  •  Once Again (4.00)
    The Dems are going to be the ones shoveling the shit left behind by the big ol' Elephant Party's party: massive debt, a ruined national defense policy, an emaciated military, and various and sundry civil liberty and legal messes.

    We will be splattered with shit, and the [R]'s will say we stink.

  •  "Our" Dems (none)
    We've gotta seriously think about replacing a lot of Democrats.

    Most are acting like idiots- following the "leaders" toward the cliff, the leaders veer away but our Dems just go off the edge.

    Maybe they really aren't idiots, but why do they act it?

    In Your Face From Outer Space

    by mike101 on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 08:57:09 AM PDT

    •  Pelosi? Conyers? Boxer? (none)
      Where is the Congressional leadership?  Who, among the Dems, is prepared to lead and develop a democratic alternative to the hollow Bushian army?

      ""Look Daddy, I--" "Don't say anything. Sit down." "Look here, let's try to forget this. If you promise--" -- Song of Solomon, CW

      by chloe wofford is my fav on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 08:59:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Because most of them can not think for (none)
      themselves and only have knee jerk reactions
      to offer for any serious situation.

      Someone said it in a post above.

      We need to seriously start thinking about
      replacing a lot of our current Democrat leaders.

      Regardless that is something we need to work
      toward starting now and for years to come.

      When we learn to not support those Democrats who
      do not have our Country's and our party best
      interest as priorities. The sooner we learn that
      and start doing it the better off we as a party
      will be.

      I watch Cspan much of the time and the number of
      Democrats that fall in line with the Repugs on
      every bill that benefits Big business against
      the working person makes me sick at my stomach.

      I don't care how much Senator Evan Bayh is good
      for his home state, he is a curse on the
      Democratic ideals in Washington.

      He is just one example of several of them.

      How the hell do we need people like that in our party?

      Popeye

      I dream about waking up and finding out Bush has fell through his own Butthole and hung himself :)Popeye

      by eaglecries on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 10:11:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What about Iraq and Afghanistan? (none)
    Rumsfeld was (reportedly) in Iraq this week.  Did anyone hear anything about the state of the American military in these very troubling times, in a very dangerous region of the world?

    ""Look Daddy, I--" "Don't say anything. Sit down." "Look here, let's try to forget this. If you promise--" -- Song of Solomon, CW

    by chloe wofford is my fav on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 08:57:56 AM PDT

    •  The funny thing is (none)
      He was here, at my installation, yesterday and I had no idea until the Public Affairs guy sent out an email after Rummy had left with pictures from the trip.

      It's probably best for everyone that I didn't know beforehand, I don't know if I could have resisted the temptation to protest. Maybe stood next to the flight line holding up a giant sign saying "DOH! QUAGMIRE!" or "SHOULDN'T HAVE FIRED SHINSEKI" or "BET YOU WISH YOU'D LISTENED TO CLARK".

      I'm tryin' to stay oughta trouble, dammit.

      In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. -Thomas Jefferson

      by jabbausaf on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 03:31:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  home before the 06' election... (none)
    Iraq is now a political liability for the GOP, and with elections next year, of course it's time to bring the troops home.  
  •  It's all our fault (none)
    Our friends at Powerline have put their finger on the problems with recruiting:

    At Swanblog my colleague Peter Swanson comments on this Minneapolis Star Tribune article on military recruitment of Minneapolis high school students: "Minneapolis schools: Military recruiters criticized." Peter comments in "Recruiters, protestors and packets." The Minneapolis school board speaks:

        "Everyone knows military recruiters are going after students that are poor and students of color. That's many of our students," Board Member Peggy Flanagan said. "When I talk to students, it's what they're passionate about."

    Where do you suppose Minneapolis high school students learned that they have to fear a phone call from a military recruiter? I suppose the schools are instructing them in one of the great lessons of history: First they call you and ask that you consider volunteering to join the Army. Next comes the sound of jackboots and the knock on the door in the middle of the night. As Peter points out, however, fortunately for a country at war, the left-wingers running the schools of course support the troops.

    I agree that our young men and women need better role models to encourage them to sign up.  Any suggestions for who should go first?

    •  What??? (4.00)
      Why, in the name of anything you hold sacred, should any kid want or be encouraged to sign up for the kind of screwing this administration has done to its military?

      Yeah, kids, sign on to go fight people, who never did a damn thing to us, in their own homes, with insufficient troops and armor, so that Haliburton et al can make a killing (a slightly different killing than the ones you'll be making), and George Bush can feel like his dick isn't microscopic. And if you get hurt, you're on your own.

      More power to them that they aren't falling for the lies.

  •  So, who is going to fight Bush's war? (none)
    The Bush Twins, Hillary and the DLC (they said we need more troops), Pig Face and the rest of the right wing talking heads, everyone who voted for the dorky chimp in 04, and last but not least, everyone in Washington who voted for this freakin war.  
  •  And after (4.00)

    "Mission Accomplished"

    came

    "Mission Impossible"

    Forget the myths the media's created about the White House. The truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand. - Deep Throat

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 09:03:53 AM PDT

  •  "Urgent wartime support initiatives..." (4.00)
    From an article in the Army Times July 19, 2005 with the headline "Uncle Sam wants you - even if you're 42 years old":

    "The Defense Department quietly asked Congress on Monday to raise the maximum age for military recruits to 42 for all branches of the service.

    Under current law, the maximum age to enlist in the active components is 35, while people up to age 39 may enlist in the reserves. By practice, the accepted age for recruits is 27 for the Air Force, 28 for the Marine Corps and 34 for the Navy and Army, although the Army Reserve and Navy Reserve sometimes take people up to age 39 in some specialties.

    The Pentagon's request to raise the maximum recruit age to 42 is part of what defense officials are calling a package of "urgent wartime support initiatives" sent to Congress Monday night prior to a Tuesday hearing of the House Armed Services military personnel subcommittee."

    Also I re-posted a piece on the latest DOD report on metrics which came out on July 18, 2005, in "Report to Congress - Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq" to be used to measure performance in Iraq.  The piece talks about an American Military at its breaking point.

    Naturally, the real info on US Force deployment issues and retention figures are in the classified appendix of this required report forced upon Rumsfeld and defense by Congress.

    The Army is now converting 11 Field Artillery Brigades approx. 30,000 troops into transportation units (truck drivers) in order to keep the huge Haliburton truck fleet and supplies to Iraq from Kuwait moving. KBR guys are not making their numbers on people or tons supplied.

    I noticed that when Gen. Myers was asked at the National Press Club this time about whether there would be a need for the draft, he said (very quietly, almost under his breath) "not right now", but made no statement about next week or into the future.  This personnel crisis is looming, no doubt.

    •  Tactic: When a Rightie wants to be a tough... (none)
      ...guy and say that the war in Iraq was justified no matter what you argue while canvassing, cocktail partying, or whatever...

      Just ask (politely, not like a smart#@%):
      "Are you under 42?" and if they say "yes"...

      Pull out a National Guard application form and hand them a pen and say, "Well you are still young enough, if its the right thing to do, SIGN UP."

      This tactic really works well, particularly if you have a combat veteran in your group to hand over the forms with the comment:

      "Wars are basically the same, people get hurt, I've been there in ____, how about taking someone else's place so they don't have to go for you?"

      You can really see people start thinking hard when you do this.  Was very effective during the 2004 cycle, particularly with a college crowd.

  •  Who will fight Bush's war? (4.00)
    Old people who can't afford prescriptions!  Shoulda thought of that demographic....

    HOPE I DIE BEFORE THE NEXT RE-FILL
    http://www.gregpalast.com/blog.cfm
    Friday Jul 1, 2005
    A July 4th note from Greg Palast's journal I was in the drug store today out here in Podunk. Some old guy in front of me was picking up his little paper bag of prescription medicine. The lady behind the counter handed him a credit card slip and said, "I'm sorry." She was sorry because the bill was over $1,200. The old man stared at the charge card receipt and stared at it some more. Hesitating, he signed, then said, "I hope I die before I have to pay for the next re-fill." He wasn't joking. The lady behind the counter said, "Oh, don't ever say that." And she said it in such a way that it was clear she'd heard the same thought before, in different words, from too many of the old folk that come by. And I was thinking, "I wonder if he voted for Bush?" I mean, did he vote for the man who would stop boys from kissing boys, who would allow big stone icons of the Ten Commandments in the Podunk courthouse, who would get Saddam before he got us? In other words, was he a blind soldier in Karl Rove's army of the angry who would rather vote against themselves, for deadly high drug prices dictated by Big Pharma, for no national health insurance, in return for a promise from George Bush that he will be the malicious defender of their prejudices? The polls tell us that Americans are in an ugly mood: too many jobs leaving for China, too many body bags returning from Iraq, and a bad feeling about a President grabbing for grandma's social security check. America is hurting. But what really hurts is that the wounds are self-inflicted. Happy Fourth of July, compadres. And stay healthy.

  •  There's always immigrants (4.00)
    NPR reminded us this week that a 'calculated risk' to citizenship is to enlist. 1/33 of enlisted members are immigrants. The highest number since Vietnam. It's a guaranteed way to get citizenship.

    So, you know... give us your tired, your poor... so you can fight our wars!

    (Or more seriously, stop kicking out gays and lesbians.)

  •  Today's Warriors: (none)

    "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -Plato

    by Bcre8ve on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 09:14:16 AM PDT

  •  Iraq Wants Quick Withdrawal of U.S. Troops (none)
    Iraq Wants Quick Withdrawal of U.S. Troops - Yahoo! News

    Ahhh... The GOP election year plan rears it's ugly head...  Bush didn't want to pack and leave Iraqis in a bind, but they asked for it... -- law

    BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's transitional prime minister called Wednesday for a speedy withdrawal of U.S. troops and the top U.S. commander here said he believed a "fairly substantial" pullout could begin next spring and summer.

    Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said at a joint news conference with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that the time has arrived to plan a coordinated transition from American to Iraqi military control throughout the country.

    Asked how soon a U.S. withdrawal should happen, he said no exact timetable had been set. "But we confirm and we desire speed in that regard," he said, speaking through a translator. "And this fast pace has two aspects."

    First, there must be a quickening of the pace of U.S. training of Iraqi security forces, and second there must be closely coordinated planning between the U.S.-led military coalition and the emerging Iraq government on a security transition, he said.

    "We do not want to be surprised by a withdrawal that is not in connection with our Iraqi timing,"' he said.

    Speaking earlier with U.S. reporters traveling with Rumsfeld, Gen. George Casey, the top American commander in Iraq, said he believed a U.S. troop withdrawal could begin by spring 2006 if progress continues on the political front and if the insurgency does not expand

    Iraq Wants Quick Withdrawal of U.S. Troops - Yahoo! News

    If being anti-child-sodomy is now considered the partisan position, then I'm going to be the biggest f---ing partisan on the planet.. - Hunter

    by lawnorder on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 09:42:15 AM PDT

  •  As a Parent (4.00)
    One thing I find interesting is how the recruitment push has changed over the last five years.

    I have two daughters, one that graduated this spring and one that graduated five years ago.  Both of them scored in the upper 90's on their ASVABs (I'm looking at the younger one's scores as I write, wow!).  

    My family is from a long line of military officers, with mine being the first not to enlist for like, well, ever.  And this is directly a result of the Vietnam War, because my father decided, after that, that he wasn't going to encourage his kids to join the "new Army".

    My older daughter was bombarded by calls from the recruiters before she graduated.  We actually had to tell them to please stop calling - it wasn't going to happen.  The one that just graduated?  A couple of flyers in the mail.

    I asked her if she had done anything special to get them to leave her alone, and she just shrugged her shoulders and said that it just never happened.  And she actually did have some interest in joining the AF to participate in their languages program in Monterey.  (Can't say that I'm unhappy she changed her mind!)

    I'm wondering if they just aren't even trying to enlist kids in the white, middle class neighborhoods anymore.  After hearing all the horror stories about these low income, or recently immigrated kids being hounded and deceived into joining up, I'm just surprised that I'm not hearing the same sorts of stories coming from the more middle-class areas.

    It's not just my daughter, none of her friends, her boyfriend, or his friends are getting any pressure to join.

    Is the Army starting to give up?  Have they come to the realization that only people that have no other options are willing to enlist?  Or that only giving large sums of cash to mercenaries will fill the ranks?

    Vietnam, by the end, had become a war fought by the underprivileged against the underprivileged.  This war is fast on track to be the same.

    It's time that those who aggitate for war, glorify war, and yet avoid war are sent to do the fighting.  How about something like - if you've ever written in support of the Iraq war, you should be sent to fight it?

    Guess what?  All of a sudden, there wouldn't be so many war advocates.

    Just kidding- but wouldn't it be nice to see them put their money where their mouths are!

    "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -Plato

    by Bcre8ve on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 09:48:39 AM PDT

    •  Recruiters Still Cruising Working Class 'Hoods (none)
      The military may have concluded that they can't recruit in middle-class neighborhoods, but I can assure you that they are still cruising working class neighborhoods in Queens with a vengeance.  Just last week I noticed three teams of Marine recruiters working the Glendale/Ridgewood area of Queens/Brooklyn in NYC.  They're easy to spot since they do wear their Marine uniforms and they come in pairs, like all missionaries do.  They also had that lean and hungry look.  I can sympathize with them, because their careers are being sacrificed for Dubya's war too and they've sacrificed many years to get to a level where they might even be considered for a recruiting assignment.  Everbody but Dubya and his cronies are being pitched into the maws of this war.
    •  Recruiting in middle-class neighborhoods. (none)
      It's not that they can't recruit in middle-class neighborhoods, it's that they won't recruit there.  If they placed an emphasis on recruiting in middle-class neighborhoods, they would surely gain more recruits.  But they fear pressuring chickenhawks.

      A message of "Uncle Sam Wants You!" directed at the middle-class would make chickenhawks turn against this war really fast.  Bush talks about sacrifice, but the only people who sacrifice are the poor.  If war supporters find it to much of a burden to even be asked to enlist, they must not be very committed.

    •  Defending the Defense Language Institute (none)
      I asked her if she had done anything special to get them to leave her alone, and she just shrugged her shoulders and said that it just never happened.  And she actually did have some interest in joining the AF to participate in their languages program in Monterey.  (Can't say that I'm unhappy she changed her mind!)

      I almost was an AF linguist. I flunked out of Persian-Farsi and got reclassed into mechanic. Didn't have the ability to learn that quickly. But I do have a whole lot of linguist friends still. It's good work if you can get it, but it's some serious secret squirrel stuff. Really, I wouldn't discourage her from at least looking into it, especially if she goes AF. It'd be relatively safe, and linguists learn a helluva lot and make a helluva lotta pay. It's interesting work too, even if you can't tell anybody about it. I've got 4 good friends who are linguists, 2 are Navy and 2 are Air Force, and it isn't too bad for any of them.

      It's hard work learning though. But a beautiful place to learn in, Monterey is effing gorgeous. Been meaning to go back there. The school is nice too. The job training in Texas sucks though, from what I've heard.

      On the whole, I'm kinda glad I didn't make it as a linguist, since Persian is the language of Iran and it's also prevalent in Afghanistan, so I would have been way to busy. I see a former classmate of mine every so often at unpleasant desert locations cause he's flight crew.

      (Sorry if this posts twice, tech problems)

      In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. -Thomas Jefferson

      by jabbausaf on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 03:39:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One of the reasons (none)
        we thought she would be OK was because she studies Japanese.

        It doesn't look  like we'll be fighting them anytime soon, I hope.  But for the program, you need to study two languages, which would have pushed her towards.....Uh Oh, Korean or Chinese!

        But I hadn't even thought what would happen if she didn't make the grade.

        Thanks for the info.  BE SAFE!!  

        "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -Plato

        by Bcre8ve on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 04:55:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's odd (none)
          They changed it then. When I was there, Japanese wasn't a language that first-term airmen could take, it was very rare indeed. They focus on teaching languages with tactical importance.

          Most of my friends are Korean and Chinese linguists, they're actually really safe. They're too valuable to risk. You have to be smart though. They're on the short list of people I know who are smarter then I am.

          If you flunk out like I did, they find another job for you based on you ASVAB scores. Mostly for the Air Force they go to computer or admin jobs. I was unfortunate enough to have a higher score on Electrical then General (93 as opposed to 92), and a very respectable 80-something in Mechanical, so I found myself a generator mechanic. Dirtier, but I can talk about my job.

          Oh, and even though my friends aren't undercover, they don't tell people what they do because, due to working with classified information, even though they're always far behind the lines, they're at risk. That's what pisses me off about the Rove apologists. Ask my friends what they do, and they will say "desk job", because if it involves national security you keep your fucking mouth shut. Cover or no cover. Just commmon sense, that. You won't even get me to identify them any further then "my friends".

          In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. -Thomas Jefferson

          by jabbausaf on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 05:12:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm sorry - (none)
            Since I have two of them, sometimes I can be less than clear.  

            My oldest one already has 4 years of Japanese in college and has gone to the Middlebury language immersion program, so she had the potential to go straight into the Japanese program.  But you're right.  It is extremely difficult to get in to.  Her friend, who just finished four years in Japanese at Carleton College, a good languages school, took the test and wasn't able to pass it.

            My younger one, just out of high school, has done 3 years of HS Japanese, so she would have to start with another language.  I don't know much about ASVAB, but I'm looking at hers, and the only thing she tanked was auto mechanics(56!).  Otherwise, a 99 General, 96 Electronics, 99 Mechanical, so I'm not sure what they would do with her.

            Like I said though, coming from a long line of military officers, I have nothing against the military as a career, per se, but I think that the military is being horribly abused by this administration.  Not just now, but they're trying to screw them, through their policies, in the future also.

            What I really don't understand though is how the military, if the pundits are right (are they ever?), can be firmly behind the Republicans.

            If you look at the history of my lifetime, it seems that the Dems look out for the soldiers, the Repubs only support the weapons.  Just one example was Carter - he put in place significant pay raises for military personnel, and then Reagan rescinded them.  The military couldn't have despised Carter any more than they did.

            My father always votes Repub, but they are cutting his health benefits and closing local bases, making it increasingly hard to get the medicines and such that he needs.  The ones who seem most concerned about protecting the health benefits of the soldiers is the Dems, but the military couldn't seem to despise them any more than they do.

            What am I, or we, missing in this puzzle?  Why is it that the military despises the Dems so much?  What could they do to regain the trust and confidence of the military?  What sort of Democrat would the military get behind?

            I'm sure that any one person doesn't have all the answers, but I'm guessing you hear things.  What would you say the answer is?

            "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -Plato

            by Bcre8ve on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 05:50:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  All the INTEL people I know (none)
              are liberals. And I know quite a few.

              The Air Force and Navy have much higher ratios of Democrats to Republicans. They also have a higher minimum ASVAB score for entry. I'm sure you see the connection I'm making here. There's a lot of people in the military who either aren't too bright or just don't care. Another part of it is that the Republicans have never had a vocal anti-war anti-military movement. The Democrats have, and thats the sort of thing that has somehow managed to stick in their minds. Also, AFN means you never hear the bad news. AFN being Armed Forces Network, which has lots of helpful radio and tv spots illustrating how great the war is going. Most of the Intel people I know listen to NPR.

              For getting into the DLI, you need to take the DLAB, IIRC, the Defense Language Aptitude battery. After that, they pick the language they want you in, sometimes based on what your listed preferences are. After the language school, in order to pass and maintain proficiency, you have to take the DLPT, or Defense Language Proficieny Test. I think you can take that test before coming in, and if you score high enough, skip the language training and go straight into the super secret squirrel highly classified technical training.

              In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. -Thomas Jefferson

              by jabbausaf on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 06:15:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That makes sense (none)
                It also explains comments like these from the right:

                "We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture."  
                - Ray Mummert, a parent and pastor at a Dover, PA Evolution/Creationism debate

                All of us "educated" people are just too smart for our own britches.

                It also explains why they are attacking NPR the way they are.

                Thanks for the insight, you intelligent person, you! ;-)

                "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -Plato

                by Bcre8ve on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 07:04:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Important Reminder to parents (none)
    of high school students:

    The "opt-out" forms should be signed and returned AS SOON as you get them the first week of school in the registration packets.  In some places, they must be returned in 10 days to be effective for the school year.

    [For those of you happy to let your offspring speak to recruiters at this time - no flames, please.  Mine know where to find recruiters if they want to initiate a discussion.]

    The truth always matters.

    by texasmom on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 09:49:40 AM PDT

    •  I may be wrong (none)
      or maybe I'm thinking of a different "opt out" scheme they have come up with, but I thought that they said that schools wouldn't have to provide info to the recruiters if the parents opt out, but that the parents would then have to provide the info themselves.

      But, like I said, I may be wrong, since my youngest just graduated.....

      "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -Plato

      by Bcre8ve on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 11:32:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  BushCo Surrenders WARONTERRA (none)
    Henceforth we are in a Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism

    Maybe it's a recruiting ploy...military service sounds more palatable if we're not really at "war"....
  •  Democratic party (none)
    Where is the Congressional leadership?  Who, among the Dems, is prepared to lead and develop a democratic alternative to the hollow Bushian army?

    as the ole saw goes...
     
    "if your not the lead dog, the view doesn't change"...
     
    as for my request for the dem's is to...
     
    "lead, follow or get the hell outta the way."...

    Just don't do something...stand there

    by anamorphic on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 09:54:11 AM PDT

  •  The irony of the draft (none)
    I bet that BushCo is now thinking that more troops would be better in Iraq, but because they can't admit their mistakes and because a draft would be politically unpopular, they won't do it.  Screw the troops by sending them there, and then screw them again but not supporting them.

    Personally, I'm not convinced that sending more troops would make the troops already over there safer.

  •  A neighbor who was a navy seal (4.00)
    expressed the opinion that they screwed up the war by not sending enough troops to begin with and then failing to rid the place of tons of explosives now being used by the insurgents. (It's not news, but the conversation made an impression.)

    We all know the invasion was about the oil. We knew it at the beginning. Some of us Commie Peaceniks find murder and theft for personal gain morally offensive. Yet the Bush Administration clearly does not.

    Why did they bother to sugar coat it with lies about WMD? If getting control of middle eastern oil reserves was, in fact, a national security issue, why didn't they say so? Why didn't they build a case for it? Because they predicted we wouldn't want our lives and tax dollars spent to make oil companies rich, even though our infrastructure does depend on the oil? If nothing else, such an approach fits in with U.S. history nicely, all the way back to stealing the land out from under the Native Americans. If they're going to rape, pillage & plunder, why not have the balls to be proud of it? Because they're incompetent?

    Is it a surprise no one wants a part of this? Who in their right mind would join the military in this situation?

    Okay, end of rant.

    Join the army, get a dinette set:

    http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=22219

    "the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace" - James 3:18

    by bluebird of happiness on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 10:00:15 AM PDT

  •  I can narrow the gap by two. (none)
    Why not find Jenna and Barbara at whatever nightclub they're partying at, sober them up, drive them down to the local Induction Center, and ship them off to Iraq?

    If, George's God Forbid, they get killed in Iraq, the Bushes can afford a really top-notch set of funerals for them after their remains are shipped home in the dead of night under a press blackout like some shameful secret.

  •  When the down-sizing starts... (none)
    The troops will come out very quickly.  The insurgents will be all over the last to leave.  So watch this maneuver carefully.

    The withdrawal will be much more dangerous than the invasion.  So the evacuation could still hurt BushCo.  Myself ... I worry about the targets ...our kids.

    Borrowing a line from a movie, "We can't get out. When they see live troops getting on those helicopters, they'll be all over us.  Then they'll get their massacre."

    American Engineer :== loser!

    by jnmorgan on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 10:41:10 AM PDT

  •  Recruiters: No One Left to Lie To (none)
    Another problem is there lies are becoming too obvious. My friend was duped. He joined up for the Air Force after his recruiter told him, "Oh, we never send Air Force guys to Iraq. Unless they're pilots."

    Well, a few weeks ago he found out that things have changed and he'll be there in November. I find it hard to believe that I know the first non-pilot Air Force soldier to be sent to Iraq. Now, they are telling him, "Don't worry with your job, you'll never have to leave the base."

    Another guy I know, Phil, who is voluntarily going into the Army after he graduates in college, mainly because his father, all of his uncles and his grandfather are all former military men. His ARMY recuiter told him, "We may be able to set something up so you don't have to go to Iraq." Phil said, "I know what I'm getting into, you don't have to play those games with me."

    He is the biggest pro-military person I've ever met and he admitted that "all those guys lie," when we discussed it. These lies are getting harder to believe in a time of war when recruitment is low.

    David Masciotra
    http://soldierofthought.blogspot.com

    •  I'm glad you posted this (none)
      because my daughters both thought that they would maybe want to join the AF to get into the languages program they have in Monterey.

      The only reason they even considered it was because they also thought that the AF was not being sent "over there".  Their father and I weren't so sure.....

      Now we've heard differently.  The lure of free college is strong, but self-preservation is stronger.

      Thanks - Because knowledge is power.

      "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -Plato

      by Bcre8ve on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 11:40:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We're winning! (none)
    I agree!   By the time Bush's war reaches our shores there will no army left to "defend" us.   That will save many lives right there.   "Submitting" is a small price to pay for permanent world peace.   Especially if you don't mean it when you give up your "infidel" status and especially when the other option is beheading.  

    Yesterday, I was searched for the first time boarding a NJ subway (I thought that was only in NYC -- guess not).  I'm blue-eyed, blond haired and was only carrying a small bag.   But random searching tagged me for a thorough search.   I was happy to do it and I didn't miss my train.  While I was being searched, several young men who looked middle-eastern and who were each carrying big back packs passed by.   All the searchers were busy with me.  Now the wacko right would say random searching instead of some ethnic profiling is a waste of time and they're probably right.  But so what!  Our liberties are too precious to give up even if it means many of us getting killed.  I arrived at my stop and guess what?   None of the young men who would have been racially profiled in a Gestapo country blew us up!    What if one had?   What if I had been buried in pieces?   Call me crazy but I would have been proud (posthumously) to have done my part to advance our Cause and help bring down this evil country that is the cause of all of the world's poverty, misery, famine, pollution and (you fill in the blank).  

    We are closer to winning than we realize.   MUCH closer.   The 14th century is coming again and we will all be better for it.   All those who now oppress the world will be gone and all of the freedom fighters everywhere will triumph.  They are very aware of (and thankful for) us who are helping from the inside every day in every way. We will be spared and even honored.   It will be a much different world but one we will be proud to have created.   Let us all continue to do our part in this end-time of the world-wide struggle.  Our contribution IS important and we ARE winning!

    •  When you put it that way... (4.00)
      I see the light, it's all clear, we should all
      raise joyous noise to the one called Dubya.  I personally think God will give special consideration for those that proudly state, "I died for George W Bush!"
      --------
      There is no country mightier than the US, and I'm hoping that it was due to patriotic furvor that we allowed ourselves to be led into this war.  (Candidly, I think this is an nation of people too lazy to think for themselves, and Dubya and Fox news knows it well).

      We told ourselves that George W Bush was an honorable man and would not have our son's and daughter's lives taken without reason.  

      But to all things there is a season and the season for this lie is passing quickly.

      American Engineer :== loser!

      by jnmorgan on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 11:46:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Huh? (none)
      I'm not sure I get your point - Go 14th century?

      Rah, rah the Dark Ages?

      "One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -Plato

      by Bcre8ve on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 11:46:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Read history (none)
        With all due respect, I'd encourage you to read history and write and speak from knowledge instead of just repeating what others write on the KOS (accomplishes little in my opinion except makes thousands feel good) or by just writing your "feelings".   You've apparently not read the speeches and writings of Osama Bin Laden beginning in 1982 (and before).  Or the many thousands of pages of Islam written and spoken for 1,400 years.  Have you read the true Quran?   I have.  

        You've probably never heard of Al-Andalusa.  That's Spain before Islam lost it in 1492.  Osama Bin Laden has said liberating Al-Andalusa is the first objective of world-wide jihad.  He (and Mohammed) has also said every living being is either a believer or an infidel and all infidels are to submit or be killed.   This was long before Bush, capitalism or even 1776.  We want to destroy this evil country and he and millions of his followers are commanded by Allah to render the world to Mohammed.  We can work together!   If we really want to succeed, there is pride in being among the "useful idiots" (read the history of Stalin for the definition or just "Google" the term).  This is a compliment if you truly believe in the Cause.   We may not want to live in an Islamic world of the 14th century but that is the only way to realize our own goals (at least for the next 100 years).  

        Unless you're a woman, living under fundamentalist Islam as a believer doesn't sound too bad.   Especially if the Western World as it exists today is destroyed as a result.  Sorry, you can't have it both ways (that I can see).  Read history and stop blaming Bush and "Big Business".   As I say, what is going on now is just a snippet of 1,400 years of history.   I was part of the same peace movement in the 60's (what is going on now is just an extension of it) and absolutely believed in "Better Red Than Dead".   "Better Islam than Dead" doesn't rhyme but it works for now.  Bush wants to fight the unstoppable wave and we're doing all we can to stop him.   Personally, I think we're winning.  

        Destruction of the Western World of today and
        living in 14th century Islam (read Osama Bin Laden) is a small price to pay to rid the world of the evils others have created in our name.   You and others can live in a dream world of "you can have your cake and eat it too" or read history and embrace reality and the future.  Or just repeat what others repeat adnauseum and write your "inner feelings" to feel good.   Or read history and realize the world becoming pacifist TODAY and submitting to Osama Bin Laden and Mohammed is the only answer (if you truly want no more killing and world peace).  Read history (I think I said that already).    

  •  Watch for double-counting (none)
    Remember a few months back, the army exceeded its recruiting goal? Besides having lowered its quota, it counted for the first time delayed recruits. In the past, it counted them at the time when they actually joined, not when they signed up. I'll be anything they'll count them twice.
  •  Seems like those "Club Gitmo" shirts (none)
    aren't working too well.
  •  Draft the twins (none)
    It's time to hand Jenna and Barbara each an M16 and herd them to Vietraq.

    Bring back the draft, but without the possibility of deferrments, or leave Vietraq now.

    •  see (none)
      The thing is, most of the public who supported Bush's war in Iraq want an out.  They want to be done with the whole thing, and move on.  And certainly do all the GOP'ers and democrats who voted repeadetly for the War in many various forms.  They all want an out.  

      But your policy suggestion makes it impossible.  IMPOSSIBLE.

      In your view, just leaving Iraq NOW is the solution.  Put all the troops on a plane and leave.  

      How could anyone grounded in reality approve this idea?  How could ANY democrat anywhere vote for a proposal like this?  Answer, they can't.

      The ramifications of a unilateral pullout from Iraq go much further than disgracing further Bush, or making the GOP look bad.  It touches so many aspects of policy and law that it's stunning.  

      I cringe every time I see such a fanciful post.  As soon as we comitted to invading Iraq it was too late to pull out suddenely.  That's the bottom line.  It can't be done!

      Please, please, please re-think your position.  What is needed is a valid real-world alternative to Bush's vision of "everything is fine in Iraq".  [b]Everyone knows Bush has failed.  What is needed is an alternative.[/b]

      •  The ramifications of a unilateral pullout... (none)
        are much worse than unilateral invasion.

        It's not like you can play like you got the wrong address or something ... I mean really ...

        (In plain words ... you have to protect the lie!!!)

        American Engineer :== loser!

        by jnmorgan on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 12:10:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's not jue the lie (none)
          it's not just protecting the lie.. there are real tangible problems with just leaving.

          1.  If we left Iraq today, Iran would very likely simply take over Iraq either literally merging the governments and extending martial law over all of Iraq, or through a strong "sphere of influence".  This is such a disaster that, literally, it makes me sick to my stomach.

          2.  If we left Iraq today the US friendly government of Pakistan would probably fall.  The president of Pakistan has already been nearly assistanted a handful of times.  He is hanging on by a thread.  A re-nuncation of the Iraq war would be a death blow to his moderate control of Pakistan.  

          3.  If we left Iraq today Afganistan would surely follow briefly and the pro-US government there would fall.  
          •  damned if you do... (none)
            If we left Iraq today, Iran would very likely simply take over Iraq either literally merging the governments and extending martial law over all of Iraq, or through a strong "sphere of influence".

             The Iranians are going to get this kind of influence whether the US goes or stays; the new Constitution is being written by Shi'as friendly to the Iranians. They won't get all of Iraq under their control easily unless they fight the Kurds but they'll roll over the Sunnis with the US-trained and equipped New Iraq Army. The only way to prevent this would be for the US to put a Sunni strong man, a Saddam MkII in place but I don't think this government is actually competent enough to do even that. Of course Saddam MkI is still available...

            If we left Iraq today the US friendly government of Pakistan would probably fall.

             That's the military dictator Musharref you're talking about, yes? What is it with the GOP and their love affair with brutal military dictators and despots?

             The Pakistani Army's Intelligence division, the ISI is well-known as a supporter of militant Islam, sponsoring the Kashmir crisis and direct terrorist attacks on India as well as covert and not-so-covert support for Talib and peshmerga groups in Afghanistan. When they decide Musharref is better off dead then he will be and the US will have no say in the matter.

             I think this is a common failing of American thinking, that they cannot believe that they are irrelevant. Iraq isn't about the 1200 or so American combat deaths, it's the constant deaths of Iraqis, the lack of amenities like clean water and electricity, the bickering of the three main ethnic groups. The civil war everyone has been warning about has been going on for the last three months or more, with car bombs and gunfire a daily occurrence. The US forces are not being attacked as much as they used to be because the insurgents have bigger fish to fry. Why bother wasting a car bomb on an irrelevancy when you can use it to kill Iraqi policemen?

             When the US leaves is not that important any more, at least to Iraqis. Leave, stay, the car bombs, kidnappings and shootings will continue. It's a strange sort of comfort to believe otherwise but right now the US adminstration doesn't really have much left to cling to.

            •  not to defend (none)
              [i]What is it with the GOP and their love affair with brutal military dictators and despots?[/i]
              Not to defend the GOP, but Musharef is moderate for Pakistan.  If he was out of power the people we'd get instead would make you literally quake in your boots.

              Demanding democracy is great.  But Pakistan is such a volitile mix of political forces that to lose this nation as an ally (which 100% will happen if he falls out of powwer) would be... so bad as to be unthinkable.  The ISI is being suppressed and it's a constant struggle between that pro-Isalmofascist wing and the more moderate ruling wing.  Withdrawing from Iraq will be the end of the contrainsed ISI and Pakistan will be taken over by fanatics with certified nuclear capability.  Not good.

      •  Men, what are you smoking? (none)
        I sure could use some of that. Unless you are still stuck watching The Matrix, it should be pretty clear to everybody that Iraq is a lost cause. The best thing would have been not to invade in the first place. Once the invasion happened, the damage was irreversibly done.

        Mark it down somewhere: Iraq is headed for a civil war. It doesn't matter how long our troops stay there. That country will descend into chaos and anarchy the day after US troops leave, regardless of whether it is tomorrow or ten years from now. We might as well cut our losses and pull out. Of course it would be disastrous to do so, but again, the damage was done once Pinnochio decided to invade. I'm sorry this isn't good news, but this is likely the price we have to pay for not being able to defeat Moron boy last year.

        •  I am not disagreeing (none)
          I am not saying you are wrong.  But the damamges we will suffer for just leaving outweight what will happen no matter when.

          It is not politically feasible for any democrat to put his/her name on a unilateral unconditional surrender.  

          I wish we lived in such a world, but getting on board that train will lead to 15+ more years of total GOP control.  

  •  white stripes (none)
    lambeth
  •  It's all about the next election (none)
    Rove and Bush's war was a political gamble and now they know it was a big mistake. They will put whatever lie on this war they need too in order to win the next election.  The war was Bush's ticket to 2004 and now it's looks like it's going to be a hard sell for the Republicans for 2006/2008.

    Don't forget, we never had a chance to win this war because it was planned by a bunch of losers.  Unfortunately, our greatest lost are the soldiers who died for a lie and who the Republicans don't even have the decency to honor with truth.

    With the exception of the soldiers who have died or been horribly wounded and their families who are now left forever mourning, NO ONE ELSE has been asked to sacrifice for this war.

    Bush&Co, they are nothing but scum!

    "...that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." TRoosevelt

    by hws on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 11:26:48 AM PDT

  •  This jumped out at me (4.00)
    It is making up some of the shortfall in recruiting by re-enlisting soldiers at a higher-than-expected rate.

    Didn't I read a diary here not so long ago which quoted some wives of soldiers who have been basically pushed into reenlisting with threats of stop-loss?  In other words, re-enlist and you get the cash bonus, don't reenlist and we stoploss your ass anyway...

    So that higher than expected rate is due to thug tactics.

    (haven't read all the comments, so if someone else pointed this out, sorry to repeat)

  •  asdf (none)
    The war preachers, war pundits, war politicians, and 101st Fighting Keyboardists

    You forgot "couch potato Pattons."

  •  There are two classes of Americans (none)
    You are either Cash Flow or Blood Flow.  But, be sure that the money generated turning a healthy American into a cadaver is greatly and patriotically appreaciated.  

    Singing "God Bless American," all the way to the bank!

    American Engineer :== loser!

    by jnmorgan on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 11:56:58 AM PDT

  •  *I disagree on one point* (none)
    Republicans talk tough, but do not talk a good game. In order to talk a good game, one would have to "have a game". And, in order to "have a game", one would have to think for one's self. Thus the dilemma!! Republicans have the same lily liver that George Bush has!!!
  •  Where are the neo-cons & keyboard kommandos? (none)
    If all the politicians and pundits who pushed for the war would sign up, the army would have plenty. [that is if they signed up to fight, not issue press releases]
  •  But you don't understand ... (none)
    They have to stay home and advocate for the war and counter lib'rul media bias, you see? See, no one did that during Vietnam and that's why we lost.

    Seriously, if they get around to developing a talking point on this one, they'll say it's because of the liberal media's biased reporting about the war that no one wants to join up. They couldn't imagine that anyone might find fault with their beautiful war and work at Wal-Mart instead.

    Proof that they're aware of their chickenshit chickenhawk hypocrisy: None of them have even remotely called for a draft (of course, when they do, they'll say that regretfully liberal media bias made it necessary and that if all of us had just shut up about the war, all the troops would be home by now).

    Great slogan we should use, borrowed from Walter Hewlett's campaign against the HP-Compaq merger (oh, and they all laughed at him but he was right, too):

    THE MARKET KNOWS THE WAR IS A BAD DEAL

  •  It's not a war, it's GSAVE!!!! (none)
    Didn't y'all get the memo? We're not at war anymore! We're in a "Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism." They've renamed the thing to take the focus off of Iraq. We're going to start sending the troops home next year and declare victory! Who cares if the Mullahs are in charge of Iraq, it's "their" government they got to pick it!

    Freedom is on the march! Hooa!

  •  Make it easy for the warmongers....er... (none)
    ...strugglemongers.  Here's a free pdf to download and stick under the windshield of every car with those magnetic 'support the troops' yellow ribbons.

    It's an application to serve.....or to sign up a family member to fight in Bush's war.

    Worth giving out....it might make someone think.

    Mybe.

    http://www.tvnewslies.org/JOIN_UP2.pdf

  •  more new admissions/info (none)
    consider the source, from World Peace Herald but sounds like a lot of people are suggesting that not only have we not turned the corner, we don't even know where it is:
    Both the Iraqi government bureaucracy and the new security forces have been heavily infiltrated, they said, by insurgency agents. The insurgents continue to enjoy excellent intelligence that enables them to attack Iraqi security forces and even massacre them at large gatherings. They remain able to kill officials in the new state structure at will around the country.

        The U.S. forces' ability to protect Iraqi officials apart from the most senior remains "minimal," one U.S. military source said.

        Therefore, sharing information about the details, times and routes of U.S. withdrawals with Iraqi authorities and forces could greatly increase the risks of disruptive insurgent attacks upon them.

    ... a remarkable admission that even with the current troop levels, U.S. military leaders acknowledge that they do not realistically hope to break the insurgency or even significantly depress the levels of violence from it over the next year or so.

        Yet even as things are, as one U.S. military analyst told UPI on condition of anonymity, "We're operating at the margins. We're running to stand still."

        Another highly respected U.S. military expert, speaking on condition of anonymity Tuesday, said that the levels of U.S. forces in Iraq were far too low to be able to secure the country against the current level of the insurgency and that the trend of the insurgency over the past two years had been "consistently upward" in terms of the number of incidents recorded by U.S. forces and in terms of the numbers of casualties inflicted, especially on Iraqi civilians and military forces.

        "We're not making forward progress," he said. "The insurgency has great untapped resources. The insurgency isn't defeated. It just isn't so. The overall trend is up."

        The sources did not dispute Gen Jack Keane, a former deputy chief of staff of the Army, who claimed at a meeting Monday of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy that U.S. forces had killed or imprisoned 50,000 insurgents over the past seven months. But they cautioned that this figure included thousands of detained suspects as well as confirmed insurgents and that the insurgency among the 30 percent or so Sunni Muslim minority in central Iraq continued to enjoy massive popular support and extensive, decentralized organization.

        U.S. military analysts believe that only 5 to 10 percent of the insurgents are of foreign origin. And although this number includes most of the suicide bombers, it does not include the gunmen who continue to operate at will, carrying out assassinations around the country, they said.

        In many cases, gunmen routinely killed their victims in front of their own families and didn't even bother to hide their faces behind masks, these U.S. sources said.

        "The ability of the insurgents to kill large numbers of Iraqis remains unimpaired," the respected military analyst cited above said. "They kill at all levels. They even kill washer-women working at U.S. bases. When they make a threat, they carry it out. Their ability to kill people is only increasing."


       
  •  a theory on falling enlistments (none)
    The difference in enlistments before and after the Jan 30 Iraqi elections interests me.  The victory of pro-Iranian parties should have woken most potential enlistees and their parents to what the Iraqi majority really thought of American occupation.
     

    Live in the truth - Bjornstjerne Bjornson

    by multisect on Wed Jul 27, 2005 at 08:58:48 PM PDT

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