Skip to main content

View Diary: Hollow Army: Parents kill recruitment (277 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  me (none)
    I feel pretty dense now.  I thought all your talk about getting the conservatives to enlist was because you honestly thought the armed forces were still worth more enlistments.  I still don't understand that whole discussion and have mostly stayed out of it.

    Politology.US - Politics and Technology in the United States

    by tunesmith on Thu Jun 02, 2005 at 09:38:53 PM PDT

    •  Check It Out Again... (4.00)
      It was about the hypocrisy of the war-mongering wing-nuts.

      Iraq is deja vu all over again.

      by chuco35 on Thu Jun 02, 2005 at 09:43:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah... (none)
        I get that... and it's not a bad point or anything, it's just more cynical than I first thought.  At the time I actually took it as a partial support-the-troops thing.  And it's really not.  Kos supports the troops plenty in other ways, but this was really just an exercise in exposing hypocrisy.  I'm all for exposing hypocrisy, but... honestly, it is possible to be supportive of a war or foreign policy, and also recognize that fighting in that war on the ground isn't one's right path.  

        Politology.US - Politics and Technology in the United States

        by tunesmith on Thu Jun 02, 2005 at 10:05:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe if (none)
          there are plenty of volunteers to staff the war without you.  Not the case with this war, which is why kos is making such a big deal of it.  Not only are the cheerleaders happy to let someone else fight and die and get maimed--ok, they did choose the military--but there is a dire lack of soldiers to fight this war.  As a consequence, our soldiers and national guardsmen are being asked to sacrifice way more than they bargained for, a grossly disproportionate sacrifice.  That's why the chickenhawk failure to put their own asses on the line is contemptible
          •  well, (none)
            then I suppose my failure to put my ass on the line is laudible, because I'm on the correct side?  Somehow, it doesn't seem to balance out, but it's late and I'm tired.

            NOTICE: No warning shots fired on this unit.

            by moltar on Thu Jun 02, 2005 at 10:49:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  yeah (none)
              it's complicated... there's something in there that tugs at me, too.  like, that most of the folks over there in Iraq didn't make the explicit choice to join up just so they could fight in Iraq, so... it's holding people to a different standard.

              Don't get me wrong, I agree that painting it as "they're in support of it enough to cheerlead, but not enough to join, therefore they are cowards" is a pretty effective frame and all... but... I'm just not sure who the audience is.  It pisses off the conservatives, which is fun and all, and it riles up the base, which is fun too, but... I don't see it as being a convincing argument to the middle.

              Politology.US - Politics and Technology in the United States

              by tunesmith on Thu Jun 02, 2005 at 11:10:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  RE: Why don't you join up ... ? (3.50)
                You know, if you think rape and murder should be stopped, why don't you join the police force?

                What .. you're willing to let other folks be at risk from criminals, but you don't want to do it yourself ... ?

                Folks, the "why don't you join up" argument is wearing a little thin.

                •  Well, yes. (none)
                  If someone came around saying that rape and murder are horrible, and wanted MY child to join a police force that was taking big hits both in recruitment and serious casualties due to high crime that were talked down by the mayor, you bet I'd ask why they aren't signing up themselves!

                  It's not just the belief, it's the aspect of 'This war is just, why don't you all join up?' thing.  'you all', not 'we all', which as we know is impossible because the author will always have some better reason to stay here as a private citizen.  Back in WW2, you were looked down on if you were of age and ability to go overseas and weren't there.  It's not that way today.

                  PS: It's funny you should post this, every day on my drive in to work there's a big flashing sign advertising one of the local police forces' tests tomorrow.  It doesn't try to guilt people into it, however.

                  "You're either with us or against us in the war on terror." - George W. Bush
                  "Only a Sith deals in absolutes." - Obi Wan Kenobi

                  by Stymnus on Fri Jun 03, 2005 at 09:02:58 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Line wearing thin ... (none)
                    Oh, so you WOULDN'T sign up for the police force ... ? Gosh, that's got to mean you're in favor of rape and murder.

                    Do you see how both sides of the political spectrum get pretty damned silly ... ?

                •  Here's the difference (none)
                  You can walk past a man bleeding to death in a ditch, and have a reasonable moral debate about whether to invest your resources, perhaps put yourself in danger, to help him.  If you do help, that generous, altruistic, virtuous.

                  It's another thing when you are the person who beat the guy up and left him in the ditch in the first place.

                  The chickenhawks started this war.  They have a direct responsibility for it.

                  The second difference is this:  It would be one thing if our volunteer army were adequate for the task.  (The reason that the Kosovo conflict is not analogous.)  Then we could all relax on the home front.  But it isn't.  Those who support the troops so vocally (and pat themselves on the back for their SUV ribbon magnets), should give the troops real support: sign up, so some poor soldier doesn't get sent for his third tour of duty, some poor guardsman doesn't lose his livelihood activated for an unnecessary conflict, etc

            •  well (none)
              Laudible?  Perhaps not.  However, if you don't think a war is just(or practical, or needed, or whatever), then there's far less moral and intellectual pressure upon you to put yourself in the line of fire.

              It's understandable that questions such as 'Why aren't you in Iraq if you're so gung-ho?' make many people, even people who oppose the war, uncomftorable.  Each of us may be able to think of a conflict that we thought was reasonable, yet would not have wished to participate in or even actively avoided.  This does not, however, make it unreasonable or ridiculous.  People should absolutely be made to be uncomftorable at the prospect of sending young men and women off to die, as well as kill, in a cause that they themselves do not believe is worth their blood or that of their loved ones.  And in a war like that in Iraq, which is largely fought and will continued to be fought by relatively poor and politically uninfluencial portion of our society, a war in which the threat of personal sacrifice is far removed from the pundits and policy makers and crucial blocs of support, it is all the more essential to keep asking the uncomftorable questions to personalize a war that to so many is  all yellow ribbins, soundbites and, most of all, someone else's war.

          •  I think I can see the point being made here: (none)
            but... honestly, it is possible to be supportive of a war or foreign policy, and also recognize that fighting in that war on the ground isn't one's right path.  

                 Let's do a thought experiment with a young, parallel-universe Einstein who's a warhark instead of a pacifist. He might support the war, but reason that he's of more use at home designing weapons to give his side an advantage than simply going and adding another body to the front lines.

                 A more generalized form of this rationale might be appropriate for some individuals (other examples might be that you're an expert at psyops, or combat training, or hell, even recruiting), but since most people simply won't fall under this rubric, by and large, kos'  principle holds up.
                And even if they were more useful in back of the front, as it were, they should first prove to everyone beyond a reasonable doubt that this is indeed the case, then encourage anyone who would be more useful in combat to go and sign up.

                                              SR

                 

            •  well, partially (none)
              Yeah, that's partly it.  But you're talking mostly in terms of utility.  I just would also defend my own right to be in favor of a foreign policy and not join the armed forces, and my right to not justify myself.

              Politology.US - Politics and Technology in the United States

              by tunesmith on Thu Jun 02, 2005 at 11:46:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  that's your right, of course (4.00)
                I just would also defend my own right to be in favor of a foreign policy and not join the armed forces, and my right to not justify myself.

                It's also anyone else's right to question whether that's just a covenient way of having your cake and eating it, too.  Theoretically, of course.

                I also think you're not fully acknowledging that this Iraq War is a unique circumstance.  

                This was a war of choice, trumped up on false evidence, and opponents of it have been flayed relentlessly as un-American, unpatriotic, and scum of the earth in general for not lining up and accepting it uncritically.  I mean, there's been a sickening display of abusive nationalism directed against people who questioned this war, and didn't jump to their feet to salute our Great Leader's crusade.  (And I'm not even talking about Afghanistan or the "war on terror" in general...I just mean the CHOICE to invade Iraq.)

                Now this war has the country in a gigantic mess.  We're losing hundreds of American lives, we have many more severely injured soldiers that we rarely hear about, we're spending hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars, our armed forces have dire manpower trouble, and we still have NO exit strategy except to hope for the best.

                And still, the people who bleated and browbeat anyone who questioned the wisdom of this war don't have the integrity to go serve this adventure that THEY made a test of one's love of America.

                So this is not simply being in favor of a "foeign policy" or not.  This is a national crisis.  And the people who got us there won't take a damned bit of responsibility, and never have.   To me, that issue is far more important than us parsing our own motives for pointing that out.  There are other people who owe the country explanations now.  Why won't they help get us out of the tragedy they created?

                •  Fuckin' AY, Chumley! (none)
                  If you see any of what you just wrote come back to you in an email, its because I started forwarding it to my email folks.

                  I'll be sure to note you as the author.

                  And still, the people who bleated and browbeat anyone who questioned the wisdom of this war don't have the integrity to go serve this adventure that THEY made a test of one's love of America.

                  Why do they hate America?  I know we make a joke out of it on this website, but seriously, using their own argument, wouldn't it be accurate to ask them this?

                •  asdf (none)
                  I also think you're not fully acknowledging that this Iraq War is a unique circumstance.

                  Yeah, that's a good point.  As a liberal, I'm urged to abstract things out to make sure we're acting with consistent integrity, but it's also easy for that to factor out and gloss over certain things, such as just how out of hand this particular foreign policy is and how we should pull out all the stops to oppose Bush's history with it.  So this all just reflects my own uncertainty about the Iraq War.  

                  In general though, I don't like using lies in service of the truth.  I don't really want conservative war bloggers to join the Iraq War.  I don't want anyone to join the Iraq War.

                  Politology.US - Politics and Technology in the United States

                  by tunesmith on Fri Jun 03, 2005 at 12:31:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  That's a parallel universe? (none)
              But that's exactly what Einstein did in THIS universe during WWII.  He just wasn't young by that time any more.
            •  You're Correct (none)
              ...If Einstein had joined the military he would not have been sent to the front as a ground pounder.  In fact, folks with advanced degrees and special aptitudes are placed in jobs that fit their talents...the military is not stupid, they don't cannon fodder their best and brightest.

              Remember, during WWII all kinds of people joined up: Hollywood producers, journalists, scientists - and for the most part they were given a rank, some training, and allowed to continue doing the work they were already doing in the cause of war.

              Let's take Fat Rush as an example.  If Rush went down to his recruiter and said, "Boys, I'm a fat sack of shit with a bad back, but I'm with you and I wanna serve my country," within fifteen minutes the newly minted Major Limbaugh would be on every goddamned radio station in Iraq.  

              That a ridiculous example, but true.

              No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

              by CrazyHorse on Fri Jun 03, 2005 at 07:30:18 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What? I thought he was, already. (none)
                Oh wait, that's only every military radio station in Iraq.

                But... I suspect the civilian radio stations are mostly in Arabic. How well do you suppose Rush would manage learning a new language?

                Folly is fractal: the closer you look at it, the more of it there is. - TNH

                by Canadian Reader on Fri Jun 03, 2005 at 10:24:43 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  responsibility (4.00)
          Personally I've always found it to be sickening that those who push for war the hardest ('carthago delenda est') are those who have the least first-hand experience with it, and those who are the most unlikely to end up in it. The idea here is that if those people really knew what they were advocating, they'd be a lot more subdued about it--once people start dying, it stops looking so much like an innocent position on foreign policy, and more like shouting fire in a crowded theater. My proposal for the draft is that those (and only those) in favor of having a draft should be signed up for it immediately.

          For example, for those who thought storming Fallujah was a great idea, maybe that's because they didn't have to see the consequences.  Because they weren't there. Believe me, that's not what the media is reporting, it's not what the military is out there telling people, and it dosn't even enter into the consciousnesses of the rabidly pro-war bloggers.

          But how is that? Aren't bloggers informed? Don't they read the news? Well it doesn't help when the newspapers report what the military says, and don't do any further research. It doesn't help when the President of the United States either ignores or suppresses human rights groups, or--when that doesn't work--calls them "absurd", with no proof.

          However, bloggers don't just read newspapers, they read blogs; they scour the internet for facts, for alternative sources of information. But far too many despicable war-hawk right-wing bloggers discount all the 'liberal' facts they may inadvertently encounter, and just go right back to shilling for the war, trying to convince others that it's a right and just cause, while ignoring any information to the contrary. Maybe if he went to war, he'd find out the truth--maybe then, he couldn't ignore it anymore--maybe then, he'd learn some humility, some honesty, some integrity, some basic human decency. This isn't some video game--people are dying.

        •  It sure is possible but it's also hypocritical (4.00)
          honestly, it is possible to be supportive of a war or foreign policy, and also recognize that fighting in that war on the ground isn't one's right path.  

          That is true, if one is, say, elderly or ill.  But that doesn't apply to many, many of those who support this war.  They just want somebody else to do the dirty, dangerous stuff.  And that is not only hypocrisy, it's classist, racist, and the worst sort of elitism.

          In WWI, the British aristocracy fought on the ground.  Their kids died along with everyone elses.  Same with the US in WWII.  

          Not this war, though.  If you support it, you should be willing to either go fight it or send your kids.  Otherwise, don't ask someone else to do it for you.

          •  we are so afraid of the Vietnam syndrome (none)
            where the soldiers were spit on and reviled that we buy into support the troops. This is a real stiky wicket because I do not support the war and I do not support what the soldiers are doing - killing for haliburton. So I guess I support AWOL soldiers, which would mean I support the famous AWOL DimSon I guess. Yes, that's it! Support the President and go AWOL in solidarity with his fine example.
            •  I don't blame the troops for this at all. (4.00)
              It is not for them to decide when a war is right or ethical.  They are responsible for the way they carry out their orders... they should not abuse, torture or kill when it can be avoided.  But they cannot be held responsible for deciding if the mission is correct.  And, frankly, an army of soldiers who all question the mission is no army at all.  A level of discipline is required that includes accepting the mission from your superiors.  It is up to us, not them, to punish the politicos for their stupid decisions.
            •  Please! (4.00)
              Vietnam vets were not spit on.  There is not a single, substantiated instance of this happening.  OTOH, to cite just one instance, antiwar protestors really were assaulted by hundreds of blue collar workers from the World Trade Center construction site in lower Manhattan in an action that was probably orchestrated by their right-wing union leaders with approval from someone at the Nixon White House.

              "L'enfer, c'est les autres." - Jean Paul Sartre, Huis Clos

              by JJB on Fri Jun 03, 2005 at 06:58:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  They only think this war is worth the sacrifice (none)
          when it is someone else's sacrifice.  Would you want your kid to sign up for this war?  Lose a limb or get killed in this useless exercise?

          I do think there is one more option besides draft or get out - privatize.  Watch for huge increases in the number of mercenary "troops" we are paying for over there.  If you offer a big enough paycheck, people will sign up.

    •  well (none)
      your fucking in it now. These assholes that spew chimpy shit should sign up, go to Iraq, get killed, and then they won't be around to send our sons and daughters to this bushit
      •  sheesh (none)
        if you're going to argue that they should be killed, why even advocate the circuitous go-to-Iraq part?  this makes me feel kind of sick, and not in the way that the Iraq war does.

        Politology.US - Politics and Technology in the United States

        by tunesmith on Thu Jun 02, 2005 at 09:58:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They aren't supporting what they cheer for (4.00)
          Not with taxes, not with their enlistments, nada.
          That's the issue that I see. I don't want anyone killed.  I just want the people that have rah-rahed for the past 4 years to put their lives where their mouths are or shut the hell up. THEY love this war so much? Then go fight it.
          Not my son.
          I saw an Army recruiter in our neighborhood today, cruising up and down the streets.  "Army of One," it said on the back of his van.  Yes, isn't it?  

          War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

          by Margot on Thu Jun 02, 2005 at 10:09:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Next Time (none)
            Hail him, go over, talk to him a bit, talk about you nephew who could do with a bit of straightening up, you know, make a man of him.

            Look through all the brochures, while he waits, ask him lots of questions, nice ones. If you don't have kids, ask him to call round so you can get the real story straight and help him recruit you nephew.

            Spend plenty of time talking to him, listening to him. Then, after a few weeks tell him you called and talked to your nephew who laughed and used words about the Army and the war that you never thought to hear a relative say.

            Waste his time; the longer spends talking to you, the less time he will have to find cannon fodder.

            "Till the Last Dog Dies"

            by Deep Dark on Thu Jun 02, 2005 at 10:31:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Or tell him he can find your son at such-and-such (none)

                an address across town which just 'happens'
            to be a gay bar.

                                            SR

              ["I'll have a Waste of My Time with an Embarrassment chaser, please."]

               

            •  Good idea! (none)
              I'm not really sure if we even have a gay bar here anymore.  I know we used to, I've been in it, but that was back in the (relatively) libertine 1980s.
              We have stripper bars now, which is new. I'd be interested to see if there's a correlation between fundamentalist churches and strip joints.  

              War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

              by Margot on Sat Jun 04, 2005 at 12:14:31 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I believe (none)
          I was saying they should step up and do what they preach...and leave us sane people and our chilhdren alone. How come it's okay to send our kids to fight this illeagle cluster fuck and they stand by and cheer and sign loyalty oaths to this BS. Send the bush twins...see how fast this thing ends. If you want to offer your kids to the sacraficial bush alter, my prayers are with them....and think you should go instead.
          •  hrm (none)
            I'd see the "do what they preach" thing if they were seriously guilting people for not signing up for the war, without signing up themselves.  But this is more about them simply supporting a stupid foreign policy.

            Politology.US - Politics and Technology in the United States

            by tunesmith on Thu Jun 02, 2005 at 11:12:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Either they believe it's right (none)
          and worth dying for, or not.  As it stands, they believe it's right and worth someone else's dying for.

          I didn't support the war and I think the troops should come home.  However, if one supports it, one should be in line to join up and fight it.  The army needs soldiers.  That is clear.  The reason they need them is because of the war.  

          Like many others, my father was desperate to sign up to fight in WWII.  He cheated on an eye test (was color blind) to get in.  There are thousands (if not more) stories like this.  People in their 50s joining up to serve, people who were not well enough to serve trying to volunteer anyway.

          If this is really about US security (as the supporters say) then what is different now?  

    •  dunno (none)
      I don't think kos is saying the younger conservatives should join the military because he particularly thinks the military, as it's currently being used, deserves to have them(which he may or may not, who knows).

      I think the point is that the more wargasmic conservatives  absolutely and vehemently approve of the way the military is being used, as shown by their cheerleading leading to the war and continued enthusiastic support of US military policy.   Now that said policy is leading to various problems with cost and lack of bodies they should do what they can to keep the war effort they support going, such as enlist.

      Either that or they can come clean and admit they don't think the war in Iraq is worth fighting, or at the very least not if anything is expected of them beyond bloviating.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site