On Atrios today:
THE ARMY can't find enough recruits.
Could there be a clearer expression of Americans' disenchantment with the war in Iraq?
This is democracy where it matters. No one should doubt that young Americans would willingly go to war if they believed in it. But this is a war of choice that began with fabrications and has been marked by blunders at the highest level -- blunders that have resulted in many lives lost.
Over two years, the aims of this war have shifted like dunes in the desert. President Bush, moreover, has told Americans they need not make any sacrifices; to the contrary, he has pursued tax cuts. This is not inspiring. This is deceptive and dishonorable. Yet the Army expects young idealists to sign up anyway, for hazardous duty in a treacherous country, where the violence shows no signs of letting up and the generals show no signs of knowing what to do about it.
It's no surprise that the idealists are staying away. Certainly, the sons and daughters of the unimpeachably idealistic neoconservatives who prayed for the war and brayed for what they stupidly supposed was victory back in 2003 are staying as far away from it as they possibly can.
So now the Army's recruiters, who reached their goal in June for the first time in five months, but still expect to fall short for the year, have another plan. What they're essentially saying is that the continued survival of the American empire depends critically on the success of Operation Yellow Elephant. Please, Young Republicans, do not let us down. I myself am feeling rather optimistic, because according to the head of the Young Republicans:
Most of our members either serve, have served, or plan to serve in the United States Armed Forces, or have participated in events or projects supporting the United States Armed Forces. We will not be intimidated.
There you go. Most serve, have served, plan to serve, OR HAVE PARTICIPATED IN EVENTS OR PROJECTS, such as Operation Drink a Beer for the Troops, Operation Burn a Dixie Chick CD, or Operation Put a Yellow Ribbon on my SUV, supporting the United States Armed Forces.
Email Mr. Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details about how he is serving his country.
4 hours ago
Reminds me of something I saw on TV the other night. San Diego, Texas, a small town where the graduating class always joined the guards. It was how they recieved money for college. Their English teacher encouraged them to do so; however, now the English teacher is telling them not to join, to apply for grants, loans, or whatever they can, but not to join the military. This is a small town, and in the last year, they have buried two young men. Side by side they are buried, they grew up together, they graduated together, joined the military together, and died a few months apart. Other young men and women have come home damaged and now this English teacher who believes in college no matter how you get there, is telling them not to join. She is begging her students not to listen to the recruiters. For the first time in many years, the recruiters are not getting any of the young boys and girls from San Diego, Tx. If the rest of the country will just follow her example and council their youth to just say NO.
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