Third Party & Independents Archives

Will The U.S. Army Survive The Bush Presidency?

I wondered how long it would take before a report like this hit the streets. Of course it will make few waves in the ocean of the American publics’ opinion of the war, or their attention span. There will be no public outcry, nor demonstrations on the streets of campuses of our nation; everyone is too preoccupied with themselves to care about the nations soldiers.

I have long advocated the creation and staffing of at least two new Army Corps each in Iraq and Afghanistan; an Army Corp consists of between 20,000 and 45,000 men. But what is really needed is a whole new theater Army consisting of 50,000 men plus, just in Iraq alone.

This of course would mean re-instituting the draft which no one in Congress or the Bush Administration has the courage or leadership to propose, let alone act on. Meanwhile, the U.S. Army fight for it's life, and will be left ill-prepared to fight an all out war for years to come. Iran can breathe easy; the U.S. will not be invading anytime soon, thanks to Bush and his crooked little war.

The strange, sad, maddening, and increasingly puzzling thing is that the military by-and-large still support Bush (scratching head).

Posted by V. Edward Martin at January 27, 2006 12:40 AM
Comments
Comment #116710

Edward,

Great article.

I just finished reading the same article in the paper. It’s disconcerting to say the least.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at January 25, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #116727

V. Edward, nice piece.

The article you’ve linked to is just one more bloody incredulous example we have where everyone who is not within the tight circle of the Neocon wagons is saying one horribly alarming thing, while they’re claim the exact “thumbs up!” opposite.
It makes me SO SICK how they endlessly mouth the platitude “support our troops”, while nothing they do actually has or does.

“The strange, sad, maddening, and increasingly puzzling thing is that the military by-and-large still support Bush (scratching head).”

It’s positively bizarre.
But don’t you think this might be due to the fact that while these folks are in the military they’re generally being given the GOP’s views on things?
Seems to me that there is a very large percentage of servicemen and women whose views undergo a transformation as soon as they leave the miltary.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 25, 2006 4:30 PM
Comment #116729

Adrienne—

You stated: “But don’t you think this might be due to the fact that while these folks are in the military they’re generally being given the GOP’s views on things?”

That might account for it…when I was serving politics at the non-commissioned officer level were non-existent, and religion was never discussed. Now I understand politics is part and partial of the military lexicon as is the open discussion of religion within the ranks. On only needs to look at the recent scandals at the Air Force Academy for proof that the U.S. military is becoming, or might be becoming, the standard bearers from the evangelical Christian Right; how frightening and dare I say sickening!

V. Edward

Posted by: V. Edward Martin at January 25, 2006 4:37 PM
Comment #116748

“This of course would mean re-instituting the draft which no one in Congress or the Bush Administration has the courage or leadership to propose, let alone act on.”

I would like to point out that many in the military establishment are also opposed to a draft; there is the perception that draftees are less reliable than volunteers, and given how the military works now (small teams, rather than large engagements circa WWII), volunteers are more trustworthy with the much faster paced environment of modern warfare.

Nonetheless, I still agree with you, because the draft would give current troops a break. I think we can avoid a draft if we would pay troops what they deserve (say, the levels at which private contractors are getting paid at….).

Posted by: ant at January 25, 2006 5:20 PM
Comment #117363

Just to say one good thing about Rumsfeld, he’s busting up the divisions and building the component brigade’s into standalone fighting forces. I think that’ll get rid of a lot of administration and put rifles in the hands of a lot of guys who are holding pencils right now. The ratio of administrators to fighters is way too high.

Ok, two things: I also like the way he forced the Pentagon to take Afghanistan and Baghdad with a much smaller number of shock troops than they wanted to use — the lack of follow-up occupation troops will sully that achievement, unfortunately.

Basically, for all his big mistakes, Rumsfeld put the military back under civilian command — and they hate him for it. I wish Cohen had done it.

Having said that, once it became clear the military wasn’t going to pack up and leave Iraq in 2003, drastic steps should have been taken. That would have been the time to fill out the ranks, back when everyone was impressed with our military.

Senator Kerry proposed raising two more divisions worth of troops back in 2004. Mostly Civil Affairs and Special Forces. Those are the guys necessary for occupation — [Ahem!] I mean nation building, of course — and counterterrorism. Senator Clinton raised the same issue last year.

Unfortunately, President Bush thinks everything is fine.

Posted by: American Pundit at January 27, 2006 2:24 AM
Comment #117398

deja vu…

Is it just me or did I post on this thread a while ago? Did the thread disappear?

Maybe it was a dream…

Posted by: Aldous at January 27, 2006 3:17 AM
Comment #117475

V. Ed:

This of course would mean re-instituting the draft which no one in Congress or the Bush Administration has the courage or leadership to propose, let alone act on.

Actually, a bill to create the draft WAS proposed and WAS acted upon: > “The House voted 402-2 yesterday against a bill that proposed reinstating the draft. Introduced in January 2003 by Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY), who represents some parts of Harlem and some parts of Columbia, the bill “would reinstitute a draft to compulsory military or alternative national service for men and women, aged 18 to 26, who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States.”

It was really just a political stunt for publicity purposes, as evidenced by the 99.5% rejection of it by the House. But it was proposed and acted upon.

Personally, I’d be in favor of a national conscription of up to 2 years. Looking back, it would have been great for me, and I think it would be great for a lot of young people to learn military discipline, serve their country, help others in other countries in humanitarian efforts etc. But in order to be in favor of it, it would need to reach into all segments of society, and not allow people to “opt out” simply because of the political pull or power of their families.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 27, 2006 8:33 AM
Comment #117496

Mr. Martin
“The strange, sad, maddening, and increasingly puzzling thing is that the military by-and-large still support Bush (scratching head)”

Why is this puzzling?
If the military, by-and-large, still support Bush, then maybe the left needs to look at the way they support the troops and adjust. It is not an impossible feat.
Creating conspiracy theories about them being brainwashed or some part of an evil Christian takeover, will not get their vote either.
Prove to them that you really do care more and they will give you their vote.
Nice post.

Posted by: kctim at January 27, 2006 9:48 AM
Comment #117498

I believe the reason for our military personnel being optimistic about the “war” has nothing to do with whose war it is.
When these young people join the military, they do it for idealistic reasons and then, once they are involved up to their ears, they are pumped up daily by their leaders and so, over a short span of time they become supporters and cheerleaders for the status quo.
I watched two sons join up and they both became stalwart supporters of the services they joined.
jcp

Posted by: jcp at January 27, 2006 9:50 AM
Comment #117524
The strange, sad, maddening, and increasingly puzzling thing is that the military by-and-large still support Bush (scratching head).

This isn’t very puzzling. These guys go over to Iraq and get shot at and watch their buddies lose arms and legs while passing out sweets to the kids and they need to believe it means something. That’s why you also see high retention rates in the military — these guys have a big emotional stake in the project.

On the other hand, the military is having trouble attracting new recruits…

Posted by: American Pundit at January 27, 2006 10:38 AM
Comment #117566

A couple of things.

Folks have mentioned the need to expand the size of the military. Don’t forget that a great deal of the work done in years past by soldiers in uniform is now being done by contractors (everything from KP to armed security). And of course, contractors get paid a lot more. So when we talk about our military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, I really wonder what the true size of our “military presence” is.

Second, on the draft. Someone said they prefer the volunteer army because it is better trained. This is true, but even with a draft you will still have both. Think of the Marines who are all volunteer and better trained. They’ve been a visible part of the military establishment during draft times and non-draft times alike.

Posted by: Steve K at January 27, 2006 12:21 PM
Comment #117585

FYI. The ratio of Democrats to Republicans in the Military is 40:60. So its not that big an advantage for Republicans.

Posted by: Aldous at January 27, 2006 1:34 PM
Comment #117614

KcTim,

I spoke nothing of brainwashing or conspiracies, the current trend of Onward Christian Solider is a fact, I didn’t create it or wish it into being. But whatever you call it, its deeply troubling.

V. Edward…

Posted by: V. Edward Martin at January 27, 2006 4:06 PM
Comment #117627

“But don’t you think this might be due to the fact that while these folks are in the military they’re generally being given the GOP’s views on things?”

“That might account for it”

Soldiers are given the military view of things, not a particular party’s views.
Saying or agreeing, that they are being given the GOP’s views is the same as saying they are being brainwashed by the GOP. A reference often used to describe why soldiers tend to support the GOP more.

“One only needs to look at the recent scandals at the Air Force Academy for proof that the U.S. military is becoming, or might be becoming, the standard bearers from the evangelical Christian Right”

The AFA also had a problem with some rape scandals.
Does that mean we need to start fearing that rapists are trying to take over the world?

To stay on your topic, you said it was “puzzling” that the troops still support Bush, even though you don’t believe his policies support them.
That should tell you that the soldiers believe Bush’s policies are better than the policies of those who don’t support him.
If the anti-Bush crowd wants the soldiers support and votes, they need to re-evaluate their policies and change them so that the soldiers will support them.

Posted by: kctim at January 27, 2006 4:41 PM
Comment #117670
the current trend of Onward Christian Solider is a fact, I didnⴠcreate it or wish it into being. But whatever you call it, its deeply troubling.

No, what is troubling is that you think it troubling that soldiers are Christians. It is never troubling for someone to accept Christ as their savior.

Posted by: Kirk at January 27, 2006 8:10 PM
Comment #117684

A couple things.

In times of peace or times of war, there have always been factions in the Pentagon who say that the military needs more of everything and is at the breaking point—that they need more weapons, more men, more money, more of everything. This is the nature of those whose existence depends on budgets passed by Congress.

If there weren’t some saying this, then the armed forces would be ONLY ones who depend on goverment funds and programs not saying it. Teachers, policemen, firemen, transit workers—they all say the exact same thing.

Secondly, the recruiting problem faced by the armed forces (and I don’t say it’s not is a problem) is one of recruiting new personnel for non-combat related roles, which undercuts the notion that Iraq and Afghanistan are the main reasons as opposed to economic factors such benefit packages and the demand/availability for workers in the civilian sector. Even before Iraq and Afghanistan, the recruitment bureaucracy of the Army in particular (as opposed to the other branches) has been criticized for systemic inefficiencies and a poor “public image” projected by its recruitment advertising.

It’s also important to remember that during last year’s recruiting slump, there was no shortage of people enlisting who wanted to fight. In fact, there were (and are) actually TOO many people who want to enlist and join elite front-line forces like the Army Rangers. There is limited demand and training resources for such troops, however, and a high percentage of those who want to serve in that capacity are always turned away.

Also, re-enlistment of those in combat roles—including those who already had been in Iraq—was at record highs last year.

So again, the problem has been with enlisting people for non-combat logistical support, and the reasons for this aren’t so easy to peg down.

If it were as simple as changes in the public’s attitudes toward the war, it doesn’t explain why the Army fell short of its recruiting goals while other branches of the military did not. And it doesn’t explain why combat veterans, as opposed to others, re-enlist at higher rates than they did before Iraq or Afghanistan.

Posted by: sanger at January 27, 2006 8:54 PM
Comment #117714

“There is limited demand and training resources for such troops, however, and a high percentage of those who want to serve in that capacity are always turned away.”

the army does not turn anyone who is capable
of serving in any capacity away. if turning people away were the problem, then there wouldn’t really be a problem, would there. now if you’re suggesting that, upon learning that they won’t be able to serve on the front lines, they decline to join - this is (perhaps) logical.

Posted by: Diogenes at January 27, 2006 10:51 PM
Comment #117720

….moreover,

the proposed draft legislation was titled the Universal National Service Act of 2003 - notice the lack of ‘draft’ in that title. this was obviously an attempt to slip the legislation in under the radar. when the content of the bill was made known, it naturally quickly lost popularity and support.

within this legislation there were *no* exemptions. men *and* women were to be drafted. there was no exemption for college attendance. the draft age was raised to 26…which brings up another point against the theory that the military is not hurting for recruits.

“The U.S. Army, which missed its fiscal 2005 recruiting goal, said on Wednesday it has raised the maximum enlistment age for new soldiers by five years to 39, greatly expanding its pool of potential recruits.”

these hardly sound like the actions of a military which has to turn people away at the door.

logically, professions that are highly sought after don’t generally necessitate recruiters, or large incentive packages (which they are considering expanding)… but way to be optimistic.

Posted by: Diogenes at January 27, 2006 11:05 PM
Comment #117721

Diogenes, the Army turns away LOTS of people. And qualifying to enlist doesn’t mean you’ll get the job you want, and a recruitment officer will tell you that. And yes, a high percentage of those who show up and want to go to the front lines are told that it will never happen, resulting in their seeking employment elsewhere.

If you’re a high school dropout, if you’re obese or have other health problems, if you have a criminal record, you could very well be bounced out the door if you turn up at a recruitment center.

The days when they took anybody with a pulse are long gone. If you try to enlist, they’ll look at your complete educational and personal background.

The military is actually much more selective today than they were in the past. Not everybody is qualified, and many, many people are turned away.

Posted by: sanger at January 27, 2006 11:10 PM
Comment #117729

“qualifying to enlist doesn’t mean you’ll get the job you want”

i’m well aware of that… but a recruitment officer *won’t* tell you that. they will tell you exactly what you want to hear.

“a high percentage of those who show up and want to go to the front lines are told that it will never happen, resulting in their seeking employment elsewhere.”

if there are so many eager to jump to the call of serving our great nation, one would think that;
They would be willing to serve in any way which would benefit America, as that would be the patriotic thing to do.
They would realize that no job in the military is trivial.
They would recall that some soldiers have already been redeployed multiple times and that they are therefore very likely to get their chance in time (which reminds me - they have also tried and in some cases succeeded at forcing those whose military enlistment contracts had expired to return…forced to return!?).

“If you’re a high school dropout, if you’re obese or have other health problems, if you have a criminal record, you could very well be bounced out the door if you turn up at a recruitment center”

yes, this is also common knowledge, i think. however, if you’re telling me that these are the only types of people attempting to join, then i’m telling you that we most definitely have a major military problem.

Posted by: Diogenes at January 27, 2006 11:36 PM
Comment #117735

kctim:
“Soldiers are given the military view of things, not a particular party’s views.”

I definitely think people in the service are being given the GOP’s views. I’ve even had people in the military who are liberal voters tell me that they leave their personal political views unspoken, because the general view being given is that they’re now all expected to be very pro-Republican.

“Saying or agreeing, that they are being given the GOP’s views is the same as saying they are being brainwashed by the GOP.”

I wouldn’t call it brainwashing, I believe it’s more like very intensive and specialized marketing.
Just like the GOP has basically taken over the MSM, they’ve managed to sell their party like it’s a brand name product within the ranks of the military, until people like the ones I know feel they have to keep their left leaning views on the low-down. The general idea being pushed is a lot like what we see many people saying in this blog — that it’s not considered patriotic to be a Liberal. We’ve been thoroughly and unfairly demonized as being somehow anti-military, even though that isn’t true. It’s stupid, sure, but it’s just an trick of American marketing — kind of like people who drive Ford trucks can’t stand those who drive Chevy’s. It’s all about Brand Loyalty.
If one really stops and thinks about it, the Neocons’s really have approached everything they do with specialized marketing techniques ever since the Reagan years. And now we’ve got a president that does nothing but mouth slogans, use catchphrases repetitively, and has never left the campaign trail since getting into office. It’s all marketing, all the time — and often with a military backdrop.

“That should tell you that the soldiers believe Bush’s policies are better than the policies of those who don’t support him.”

Sure Tim, that must be it. They really love not having decent armored vehicles and body armor, and having their wages and benefits cut, and serving 3 and 4 tours of duty due to stop-loss, and having to fight against a growing insurgency without a war plan. Bush’s policies are terrific!

Posted by: Adrienne at January 27, 2006 11:49 PM
Comment #117741

If, there are so many liberal voters with left leaning views in the military, why is it that the Neolibs have fought so hard during the last two presidential elections to not count their absentee ballots?

Posted by: Kirk at January 28, 2006 12:16 AM
Comment #117744
if you’re telling me that these are the only types of people attempting to join, then i’m telling you that we most definitely have a major military problem.

Nope, that’s not what I’m telling you at all. What I’m telling you is that the military is still highly selective, and if they were as desperate as you suggest, they would take anybody—which you seem to agree they’re not doing.

Posted by: sanger at January 28, 2006 12:25 AM
Comment #117753

“What I’m telling you is that the military is still highly selective, and if they were as desperate as you suggest, they would take anybody—which you seem to agree they’re not doing.”

…highly selective? definitely not. i do not see how you can possibly contend that, because they will not accept those who could not be of any value whatsoever, that this qualifies them as anything but wise.

if a man can’t fit into the body armor, he won’t be much use in the field; if a man has committed a crime which brings his loyalty into question, only a moron would give him a gun; if a man hadn’t the discipline or intellect to finish highschool, how can he be expected to have the discipline or the intelligence requisite for military service?

- this is commonsense of the most basic form. it is the fact that our government was considering a draft, that they have raised the age for enlistment to 39, that they are conscripting soldiers who are no longer soldiers…etc. - that makes it blatantly clear that they are desperate, as this is exactly what desperation would yield - desperation, pure and simple. nothing more, nothing less.

Posted by: Diogenes at January 28, 2006 12:40 AM
Comment #117764

Diogenes, what are you talking about?

They are conscripting soldiers? They are considering a draft? Charlie Rangel has talked about conscripting soldiers in a draft, but nobody of consequence has.

If they raised the age of enlistment, that just opens the door to additional volunteers. If people in their late 30s want to enlist of their own free choice, more power to them. If anything, that says something about the appeal of the military to a wider range of people, not the opposite.

Posted by: sanger at January 28, 2006 1:04 AM
Comment #117765
it is the fact that our government was considering a draft,

No, it is a fact that Ultra Neolib, Rep. Charles Rangle was considering a draft. If you will expend the effort to look at the Congressional Record I believe you will see that a grand total or 2 people voted in favor of that Bill. So, no, the government did not consider a draft.

they have raised the age for enlistment to 39,

This you have correct. But, have you stopped to consider that life expectancy has increased, people are remaining productive much later in life and maybe just maybe, the older recruits have knowledge and skills from their year in the civilian work force that would be very beneficial to the military?

that they are conscripting soldiers who are no longer soldiers…etc.

Here you have it wrong once agian. You see when you enlist in the military you not only sign up for your “tour of duty” you are also signing up for a prescribed number of years as a ready reserve subject to call up in times of need as provided by law (10 USC 12301(a) and 12302).

that makes it blatantly clear that they are desperate, as this is exactly what desperation would yield - desperation, pure and simple. nothing more, nothing less.

So, a fat man can’t be an automated logistics specialist, information systems operator-analyst, civil affairs specialist, administrative specialist, laundry and textile specialist or one of any other non-cobat mos’s? I would say that there are a multitude of jobs that a man who could not fit in body armor could do in the military, and yet they are not accepted.

if a man has committed a crime which brings his loyalty into question, only a moron would give him a gun.

Then there must be some major morons in the judiciary because judges did it for years. Gave countless young men the choice of joining the military or going to jail.

Now they are not being accepted either.

So, I don’t see the desperation you seem to shout about. In fact the Army was the only service to miss their recruiting goals. In fact the other branches far exceeded their goals.

No, it is a fact that

Posted by: Kirk at January 28, 2006 1:10 AM
Comment #117768

Diogenes,
I agree — they do seem desperate. Check out this article. They may be trying to say this means nothing, but they’ve raised the age because they just couldn’t meet the recruiting goal last year. Also, they’ve now doubled their enlistment bonuses — it’s now $40,000 for regular Army, and up to $20,000 for Army Reserve.

Posted by: Adrienne at January 28, 2006 1:24 AM
Comment #117773

you are both sorely mistaken, or misunderstanding; they have attempted, and in some cases succeeded in (now pay attention) *recalling* soldiers whose enlistment contract (read “prescribed number of years”) has EXPIRED. failure to return results in criminal charges… or hadn’t you heard about this? perhaps you should do a little expending of your own?

as for the draft, *BOTH DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS ATTEMPTED THIS*!!! don’t believe me? LOOK IT UP! hence the comments of *both* candidates that they were *never considering a draft*. why would they need to deny it, had it not been an allegation?

“Following Rangel and Conyers, Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-SC) introduced a companion version of their bill in the Senate. In April, 2004, Republican Senator Chuck Hagel endorsed a reinstatement of the military draft.”

again ***LOOK IT UP***. you people can’t see the tree for the forest. nice of you to point out your own ignorance, saves me the trouble. Ultra-neolib. no such thing. listen, NeoCon’s are NOT your friends. They are destroying the Republican Party. Neolib? the liberals are less liberal than ever!

before you go assuming, as is the current trend for you republicans and democrats, i am *not* a liberal - i am not a conservative. i am independent, as in; independent thinker, independent views; independent individual. perhaps you should consider taking off your partisan blinders and take a good look at the horse manure the american public is being fed from *both* sides.

YES the military is spread thin. YES they need recruits, as they *always* have. now we are in a *WAR* - an UNPOPULAR war - *duh* we ARE desperate for troops.

Life expectancy? wider range of volunteers? do you hear yourselves? honestly, exactly what DOES constitute desperation, in your expert opinions? when they start giving out blow jobs and humvees to the first 100 through the door?

not desperate - that’s rich - Iraq denied having WMD’s (and in fact, DID NOT)- we had the means, we attacked - against the will of the *entire* free world (excluding England)…now North Korea has TOLD us that they *HAVE* WMD’s - what do we do? NOTHING. Iran has RENEWED their Nuclear (Weapons) program - and what do we do? we *STRONGLY* suggest that the U.N. do something (they support us on this one, and *still* NOTHING).

You tell me, why the **** is that?

not desperate…what then, dumb?

Posted by: Diogenes at January 28, 2006 1:51 AM
Comment #117789

(Now pay attention) they are *recalling* ready reserve soldiers whose active duty enlistment contract has expired. Both my father and father in-law were veterans of Viet Nam and both after retiring were subject to recall for a certain number of years (I don’t recall the exact number) after leaving active duty. That is the case with every single person who joins the military.

Bush needed to deny it because people like Rangle and Kerry were saying during the campaign that Bush would be forced to enact a draft to maintain troop levels. So, you are correct there was an allegation, a false politically driven, campaign soundbite allegation but an allegation none the less.

Just because a few Congressmen or Senators discuss the issue or even put forth a Bill does not mean the government was considering a draft any more than saying the Supreme Court considered making the age of consent in statutory rape cases 12 because that is what Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg suggested.

The liberals are less liberal than ever
- are you serious or just delusional?

Dean as head of the DNC, Al Gore running around all over the country screaming his “speaches” at the top of his lungs, Pelosi, Schumer, Boxter, Dick Turbin, Kennedy need I go on. Less liberal? Less liberal than what? And I hope you are not basing your comments on Hillary’s move to the center to get the votes smoke screen.

Since I don’t agree with you I am a partisan hack with no independant views or thought?

I whole heartedly admit to being both a fiscal and social conservative but that does not mean that I agree with everything this administration or the Republican party does. Campaign Finance Reform and the Medicare Drug Program are two major issues that should have been vetoed and never seen the loght of day.

Iraq denied having WMD’s (and in fact DID NOT)
Have you heard of Iraqi Air Force General Georges Sada? He was the highest ranking officer in the Air Force under Sadam who says he has first hand knowledge of WMD’s being placed into a 747 and 727 and flown into Syria under the guise of aid to Syria after a damn collapse in the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq.

Israel’s top general has also said they have intelligence showing that chemical weapons were moved into Syria.

So, just because we have not found them in Iraq doesn’t necessarily mean they had none.

Posted by: Kirk at January 28, 2006 2:58 AM
Comment #117798

I recently went through the enlistment process. I went to MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) in Atlanta, GA twice. One time for the ASVAB test, medical exam, and paper work and the other time for the DLAB test. On both times, I saw a lot of people joining the Army, Marines, Navy, and Air Force, and in that order. It’s inconsequential, of course, but I think of my experience everytime someone utters the phrase “recruitment is low.”

It’s quite the experience. After reading books and watching movies about the military, I was surprised to see the makeup of people at MEPS. I’ve read a lot about soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines in World War II. Todays military is very different. The number of whites equaled blacks. One quarter of enlistees were Asian and Hispanic. There were a lot of women joining too. There were enough women there that us men were on our “best behavior.” Or at least most of us were.

I believe our nation still hasn’t overcome the sting of Vietnam. While we fought a noble cause in WWII, many Americans consider Vietnam an embarrassing defeat. To enact a draft after the “quick win” run up to this war would remind many Americans of Vietnam and the sense that Vietnam would never end. Any comparisons to Vietnam is something this administration wants to avoid at all costs.

In any case, to not put more boots on the ground over there, is not giving us a chance to win.

Posted by: Joseph Ragsdale at January 28, 2006 3:28 AM
Comment #117806

“Both my father and father in-law were veterans of Viet Nam and both after retiring were subject to recall for a certain number of years (I don’t recall the exact number) after leaving active duty. “

…hmmm, and the recruiter tells you this? yah…*no*. the point that you so smoothly avoid addressing, *remains the same*. they don’t recall troops unless they *have to*.

delusion? yes. on your own part. perhaps self-delusion? sure, or brainwashing. whatever.

“Bush needed to deny it because people like Rangle and Kerry were saying during the campaign that Bush would be forced to enact a draft to maintain troop levels.”

a couple democrats suggest it, and the rest of them vote it down = liberal conspiracy.
a couple republicans suggest it, ‘they don’t represent the whole’…all hail king bush.

“Since I don’t agree with you I am a partisan hack with no independant views or thought? “

no, since your partisanship blinds you to reason, and you spout token republican propaganda, your views are patently not independent…by definition.

liberals are not for truly liberal policy, but have shifted towards the center, hence, less liberal than ever. perhaps i should have balanced that statement with the fact that conservatives are not for truly conservative policy either. feel better? i could cite you a plethora of examples, but seeing as you’ve avoided confronting my actual point in any fashion, i shall not bother.

“So, just because we have not found them in Iraq doesn’t necessarily mean they had none.”

how exactly does one prove that ‘they had none’?
does one find video footage that does not contain images of them? does one find empty crates which do not contain them? does one find an empty silo which is not prepared to launch one? …but very good point!!

perhaps, in order to prove that they did not *have* any, let’s say just to be silly, one must only NOT FIND ANY WMD’S ANYWHERE, OR ANY PROOF WHATSOEVER THAT THEY EVER HAD ANY! nah, i’m just being naive.

…let’s be real…your logic is flawed, your assertions do not correctly follow your facts, and the focus of your argument seems to change with every post.

rather than prove that Iraq had WMD’s, perhaps you should instead focus on reminding me of your point - because, by your lack of a pertinent, valid counter, my point stands uncontested; the military is desperate, are you?

Posted by: Diogenes at January 28, 2006 4:30 AM
Comment #117807

“Both my father and father in-law were veterans of Viet Nam and both after retiring were subject to recall for a certain number of years (I don’t recall the exact number) after leaving active duty. “

…hmmm, and the recruiter tells you this? yah…no. the point that you so smoothly avoid addressing, *remains the same*. they don’t recall troops unless they *have to*.

delusion? yes. on your own part. perhaps self-delusion? sure, or brainwashing. whichever.

“Bush needed to deny it because people like Rangle and Kerry were saying during the campaign that Bush would be forced to enact a draft to maintain troop levels.”

a couple democrats suggest it, and the rest of them vote it down = liberal conspiracy.
a couple republicans suggest it, ‘they don’t represent the whole’…all hail king bush.

“Since I don’t agree with you I am a partisan hack with no independant views or thought? “

no, since your partisanship blinds you to reason, and you spout token republican propaganda, your views are patently not independent…by definition.

liberals are not for truly liberal policy, but have shifted towards the center, hence, less liberal than ever. perhaps i should have balanced that statement with the fact that conservatives are not for truly conservative policy either - they’ve shifted to the extreme right - towards the authoritarians (neocon=nazi). feel better? i could cite you a plethora of examples, but seeing as you’ve avoided confronting the original point in any fashion, i shall not bother.

“So, just because we have not found them in Iraq doesn’t necessarily mean they had none.”

how exactly does one prove that ‘they had none’?
does one find video footage that does not contain images of them? does one find empty crates which do not contain them? does one find an empty silo which is not prepared to launch one? …but very good point!!

perhaps, in order to prove that they did not *have* any, let’s say - just to be silly, one must only NOT FIND ANY WMD’S ANYWHERE, OR ANY PROOF WHATSOEVER THAT THEY EVER HAD ANY!
nah, i’m just being naive.

…your logic is flawed, your assertions do not correctly follow your facts, and the focus of your argument seems to change with every post.

rather than prove that Iraq had WMD’s, perhaps you should instead focus on reminding me of your point - because, by your lack of a pertinent, valid counter, the underlying subject of my statements stand uncontested; the military is desperate, are you?

Posted by: Diogenes at January 28, 2006 4:40 AM
Comment #117859
In any case, to not put more boots on the ground over there, is not giving us a chance to win.

Up until the election last month, I totally agreed with you, Joseph. It’s too late now, though. Even if President Bush was willing to accept the political consequences to the GOP of sending more troops, the Iraqi government wouldn’t accept them.

BTW, did you see how President Bush handled the shrinking Army Reserve and National Guard numbers? He just cut back the total number authorized to the current number serving. Voila! No more shortage.

Posted by: American Pundit at January 28, 2006 9:59 AM
Comment #117874

To Whom It May Concern:

I just happen to have a LOT of Army Recruiter Friends. I get a percentage for every person I refer to them. Since I am a sadistic bastard, I have been refering all my Republican Friends to them. Even if they refuse, their names are listed in a Database as part of any future Draft Pick.

Come on, guys!!! Post your name and email below. YOU can help fight the War on Terror and give some extra cash too!!!

Posted by: Aldous at January 28, 2006 10:57 AM
Comment #117905

Diogenes, your knowledge of this situation is so flawed, and your bias is so evident that it’s downright comical.

I served in our armed forces. I *was* told by my recruiter, by the person swearing me in, and by other people at different steps along the way, that I was signing up for 8 years of service. In my case 4 active and 4 in the Ready Reserve. Everyone who signs up for military service signs up for 8 years, and they have all been informed of this. To assert otherwise demonstrates a complete lack of insight regarding the topic at hand.

When I served there was no brain washing, GOP branding, etc. We had access to the same press that you have access to….in fact more because we had better access to worldwide news items that were classified and not spoken of in the normal media channels. Politics and religion were spoken about just as much as they are outside of the service. And for the record, at the time when I served I was pretty liberal.

I served in the intelligence corp. I saw the photos that Colin Powell held before all of America and I know what they depicted. It was no coincidence that all of the WMD’s in question were all stock piled in western Iraq on the Syrian border. In fact, the biggest failure in this war was not finding a means to invade Iraq from the west. Turkey not allowing our troops to use their air space was a much larger blow than most people realized. Thinking that there were no WMD’s in Iraq is indeed *naive*!

BTW, I am in the process of trying to get back into the military. And the process is much more difficult than I expected. I thought that being prior service in an area of need would pretty much be an instant qualifier….its not! The Army is not only much more selective than during Vietnam they are even more selective than they were 12 years ago. Getting into the Air Force…forget it! The recruiter won’t even call me back.

Posted by: Chad at January 28, 2006 1:45 PM
Comment #117913

“Diogenes, your knowledge of this situation is so flawed, and your bias is so evident that it’s downright comical.”

while i appreciate your erroneous comments which follow this statement, you haven’t been paying enough attention to warrant a thorough verbal battering. once again, the recall of troops i was referring to was *obviously* not in reference to members of the army reserve. i was referring to soldiers whose enlistment contracts have *ended*, as you would know, if you’d read my posts.

as for the rest, mere hearsay. the *facts* which i related are easy to find. the experiential opinions you countered with are your own. my experiences with recruiters are obviously far different from your own. there for, to counter the bulk of your argument, i simply respond ‘nuh uh’.

(fyi; the photographs you refer to as being of WMD’s, in fact, were not).

Posted by: Diogenes at January 28, 2006 2:01 PM
Comment #117916

I wish you would bring on this verbal battering that you have suggested. So far, your rhetorical skills haven’t intimidated me.

I was referring to this echange:

“‘Both my father and father in-law were veterans of Viet Nam and both after retiring were subject to recall for a certain number of years (I donⴠrecall the exact number) after leaving active duty. ‘

…hmmm, and the recruiter tells you this? yah…no. the point that you so smoothly avoid addressing, *remains the same*. they don’t recall troops unless they *have to*.

delusion? yes. on your own part. perhaps self-delusion? sure, or brainwashing. whichever.

This is where you demonstrate your ignorance of the subject. Recruiters are required to tell soldiers that they serve both Active and reserve time. And they are told this at several steps along the way….this is not anecdotal…this is the truth.

As for the military recalling, or retaining soldiers after thier enlistment contract ends, this too you know nothing about. It has been military procedure and has been practiced for decades. I saw it happen to soldiers when I served in the mid nineties….when there was no war and when enlistments were at an all time high. So, again….you are not grounding your arguments in fact. Yes, this is strategically done when the military feels that it needs to be done. It is not however objective proof of desperation as you claim.

And if you intend to assert that the photographs that I saw were indeed not WMD’s then you ought to be ready to prove that point and not to simply state, “nuh uh.” Are you prepared to do so.

BTW, I apologize for the triple post. I kept getting error messages, so I kept trying to post not realizing that the posts were getting through the whole time.

Posted by: Chad at January 28, 2006 2:35 PM
Comment #117939

I too was in the military and we did not discuss religion or politics either. No one did… it just wasn’t relavent really to a person serving in the military. We were serving the country, not the particular party in power at the time. As far as religion? Who cared!

Okay… here we go. A CNN article today cites the top general in Iraq, Gen. George Casey, as saying that the troops are stretched. He does say that things will get better.

Now, because of the source, this gives some the opportunity to immediately discount anything… regardless of who said what… because they have decided that only their news sources tells the truth and all the others lie.

It is a very grave mistake to believe that silence from senior military leaders equals acceptance of the President or his policies. This President’s or any Presidents’!

What this is doing is putting words in the mouth of professional soldiers that will not speak out against their commander-in-chief. Regardless. I am not talking about illegal stuff… but whatever is placed within their orders to do they will do.

If you are a professional, and a superior makes a decision you don’t agree with do you conform because you are a professional and he has the right to make the call? Or, do you run around and tell everyone that he is an idiot and you don’t agree? If you maintian your professionalism and act the way you should… no one should ever be able to tell what you do or don’t agree with.

The military is supposed to be run by civilians who set policys and strategic political objectives. The sernior military are supposed to carry it out. They are professionals and will not generally make known their opinions.

Just because there isn’t a major bitchin’ fest coming out of the Pentagon, don’t believe this equals support.

Look at Vietnam. Many many senior military members did not believe that the civilians should be making tactical decions… but they didn’t say anything. Because of the roles as the civilian control of our military.

There are indications… some generals are speaking out after they retire, some don’t say the exact “script” that turns out admitting issues, the military is having to increase their enlistment of Category IV recruits to fill their ranks… re-enlistment bonuses are rising.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 28, 2006 3:58 PM
Comment #117942

Chad,
I get those error messages too. What I do is click into the text box… hit Ctrl and “A” which selects all my text I wrote. Then I hit Ctrl and “C” which copies it. (Or, just use the right mouse button to do all this)

After I post if I get the error message I use the back arrow or Alt and “left arrow” key to go back.

I then press F5 to refresh the window and look to see if my post actually did make it through (which it does 9 out of 10 times). If it doesn’t, I can then paste it back in and try again.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 28, 2006 4:03 PM
Comment #117983

To set the record straight, once one is honorably discharged from the military, they are out unless they sign up for the Regular, Ready, or Inactive reserve Reserves component. My father spent 20 years in the Navy, retired, and spent another ten years in the inactive reserves, and was subject to recall if needed. I, on the other hand, spent 15 years in the Navy, took early retirement, did not sign up for the inactive reserves, and I am not subject to recall.

Posted by: V. Edward Martin at January 28, 2006 7:21 PM
Comment #118022

This debate is really a sidebar.

If you don’t believe in our country’s military engagements, any problems they encounter are too many problems in your opinion. Because you don’t agree with their mission, you’ll tend to highlight their obstacles over their accomplishments.

If you do believe in our country’s military engagements, you feel that setbacks and obstacles are worth the cost.

Wasn’t World War II, the American Civil War or for that matter the American Revolution a strain on our armed forces? If so, does that mean those wars shouldn’t have been fought?

“Will the U.S. Army survive the Bush Presidency” is the wrong question. Of course it will.

The real question is whether or not the American military, or the country it fights for, will survive those who see all of the world’s problems as a problem with America and as a result try to keep America for fighting on behalf of its own security and survival.

Posted by: sanger at January 28, 2006 9:48 PM
Comment #118039

Sanger,

“Wasn’t World War II, the American Civil War or for that matter the American Revolution a strain on our armed forces? If so, does that mean those wars shouldn’t have been fought?”

Gee, if I remember my history correctly, in WW2, we fought a war on two fronts half a world apart, kicked ass, and it was over in three years.

Now, what’s wrong with the picture we have now?

Posted by: Rocky at January 28, 2006 10:44 PM
Comment #118049

Rocky, that’s not a hard question at all. The reason it takes longer now is that we’re far more senstive to humanitarian concerns and no longer wage total war against our enemies.

We defeat our enemy’s goverments with as little impact as possible, and before the fighting is even over, we try to food, clothe, house and provide health care to the citizens of those of whose goverments we’ve defeated.

A little different, don’t you think, from nuking Hiroshima and Nagasiki and firebombing Berlin or Dresden, or Sherman’s march through the South, where he burned every building and farm in his path.

We don’t do that now, though we easily could, and at less expense in both dollars and lives than how we actually behave.

If all we wanted to do was pacify our enemies, we could turn North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Venezuala—who am I leaving out?—into gigantic parking lots before the sun comes up tomorrow without the loss of a single American life.

But that’s not a way we work, though if the tables were turned, they would gladly do that to us in a second.

Posted by: sanger at January 28, 2006 11:25 PM
Comment #118053

“This is where you demonstrate your ignorance of the subject. Recruiters are required to tell soldiers that they serve both Active and reserve time.”

my young friend, i feel that, were you to open your eyes, it would be much easier to understand my posts.

i was not referring exclusively to the reserves when i mentioned recalled soldiers… understand?

regardless of what you think recruiters are or are not required to tell you, they tell you whatever they can to secure your enlistment contract…as this is their *job*, and this is why there have been instances of recruiters being reprimanded for misconduct recently. they tell you a great many things which aren’t necessarily true… they promise aid which you may not necessarily receive. don’t believe me? that’s alright, because it’s *entirely* unrelated to my point. now, try to stay focused;

“How long am I required to be a mobilization asset?

By law, retired solders are mobilization assets FOR LIFE. Current Army policy removes you from mobilization and recall to active duty at age 60. However, volunteers may be recalled up to age 70. Retirees with critical skills may be recalled at ANY AGE.”
(cap emphasis mine)

thus, yes, they can in fact recall you after your reserve time is up! again, they DON’T DO THIS UNLESS THEY ARE, IN FACT, DESPERATE. which was my point, if you’ll recall.

Do you feel ignorant yet? perhaps you wanna rethink your hasty, uninformed comments? do a bit of research before you sign anything…

as for the WMD’s,
Colin Powell, I believe, *admitted* that the evidence was lacking, and based on faulty intelligence. am i ready to prove it? no, no, no! i don’t need to waste my time! the burden of proof is *entirely* on your shoulders! here’s an idea, before i waste any more of *my* time refuting your…let’s call them arguments…perhaps you could provide me with some sort of proof of your own?

now, disregarding the insignificant comments concerning reservists and WMD’s, do you have anything intelligible regarding the desperate state of our military forces?

for anyone else who cares to jump down my throat for some perceived fractional innacuracy in my facts, feel free to, i welcome the knowledge - as a human, i am incapable of knowing everything - but do not use such base and inconsequential details as an attempt to disprove my logic, merely because you cannot develop a practicable counter.


Posted by: Diogenes at January 28, 2006 11:51 PM
Comment #118057


fyi,

“there are now confirmed reports of recruiters lying, forging reports, and threatening jail time in order to sign new recruits this past May. Army recruiters in Colorado were caught on audio and video tape advising a potential recruit on how to go about getting a fake high school diploma, as well as where to purchase a special concoction to drink in order to pass the drug test. Another Army recruiter in Texas was also recorded leaving a message for a potential recruit threatening them with an arrest warrant and jail time if they didn’t show up for a scheduled meeting with a recruiter…These high-profile cases of recruiter misconduct have forced the Army to cease recruiting operations nationwide on May 20,”

this problem has been addressed, but not solved.
recruiters will lie, cheat, and steal to get you to enlist; afterall, they are desperate for recruits. before you sign your life away based on the honorable word of an upstanding, completely upfront recruiter, do some research.

Posted by: Diogenes at January 29, 2006 12:00 AM
Comment #118067

Sanger,

That is why I disagreed with going into Iraq. We screwed around for too long securing the country, and tried to pull in contractors to rebuild before it was secured.
I also would have used local contractors and local materials to do the rebuilding. Iraq’s second largest export was concrete.

Go figure.

Posted by: Rocky at January 29, 2006 12:43 AM
Comment #118076

And in the mean time we are spending more in real dollars than we did during Vietnam and Korea for defense and getting less of an army. The huge budget is going to useless,dangerious and insanely expensive weapons systems designed for the cold war instead of the low tech stuff like adaquate body armor or enough ground troops.

The poster child for this outrage is the intercontinental missile defense system. A.it does not work.B.It is never likely to work.C.It is terribly expensive.D. It is destableizing. If they ever did get it working The other nuclear powers would just make better missles anyway.E.It will not protect us from a terrorist nuclear weapon rowed in on a canoe or shipped UPS. A much more likely prospect than an ICBM.
The point is the military-industrial complex is not just out of hand. It is making us less secure by deverting resorces needed to fight the war we are actually in.This has to stop.

Posted by: bill at January 29, 2006 3:31 AM
Comment #118080

Diogenes,

“the point that you so smoothly avoid addressing, *remains the same*. they don’t recall troops unless they *have to*.”

Please look back at my previous post.

You see when you enlist in the military you not only sign up for your “tour of duty” you are also signing up for a prescribed number of years as a ready reserve subject to call up in times of need as provided by law (10 USC 12301(a) and 12302).

I clearly state in times of need. Maybe not the words you use but that pretty much means the same as *have to*.

“how exactly does one prove that ‘they had none’?
does one find video footage that does not contain images of them? does one find empty crates which do not contain them? does one find an empty silo which is not prepared to launch one? …but very good point!!”

No, one is given video footage of the weapons being destroyed. No, one finds a destroyed silo incapable of launching one.

The UN / UNMOVIC criteria was for documentation and photographic evidence of destroyed weapons, systems, and materials.

In Hans Blix’s report to the Security Council he stated the following.

The substantive cooperation required relates above all to the obligation of Iraq to declare all programs of weapons of mass destruction and either to present items and activities for elimination or else to provide evidence supporting the conclusion that nothing proscribed remains.

Paragraph 9 of Resolution 1441 (2002) states that this cooperation shall be “active”. It is not enough to open doors. Inspection is not a game of “catch as catch can”. Rather, as I noted, it is a process of verification for the purpose of creating confidence. It is not built upon the premise of trust. Rather, it is designed to lead to trust, if there is both openness to the inspectors and action to present them with items to destroy or credible evidence about the absence of any such items.

Blix goes on to tell of a lack of evidence for the destruction of VX Nerve Agent, Anthrax and Balistic Missles as three examples of this lack of evidence.

Iraq never supplied evidence of the destruction of multiple banned substances and systems. Sketchy evidence that they did supply often conflicted as to the number or ammount produced and the number or ammount supposedly destroyed.

“rather than prove that Iraq had WMD’s, perhaps you should instead focus on reminding me of your point”

You said Iraq had no WMD’s. My point is that two high ranking officials have stated that there is evidence that Iraq transfered WMD’s to Syria. There is also testimony before the UN Security Council by the Chief Inspector that Iraq had failed to account for Chemical Weapons, Biological Weapons and Banned Missle Systems.

So, ther is a very real possibility that they did indeed have them (as we know they did because they used them against Iran as well as Iraqis) and moved them prior to the Coalition invasion.

Oh and by the way since your partisanship blinds you to reason, you spout token liberal propaganda, and resort to emotional rhetoric when you are confronted with facts, your views are patently not independent…by definition.

Posted by: Kirk at January 29, 2006 3:46 AM
Comment #118106
There is also testimony before the UN Security Council by the Chief Inspector that Iraq had failed to account for Chemical Weapons, Biological Weapons and Banned Missle Systems.

That’s not the same as having them. You long-windedly repeated a wacky Rumsfeldism: “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” The corollary, of course, is that it’s not evidence of possession, either.

You may want to read Hans Blix’s book, “Disarming Iraq”, before you misinterpret his reports.

There is no credible evidence that Iraq possessed or moved any WMD immediately prior to the invasion. Do you think that, if the administration knew there were WMD, that they wouldn’t have made a HUGE deal out of it?

Posted by: American Pundit at January 29, 2006 5:55 AM
Comment #118132

Okay… When I enlisted, Vietnam era rules were a total of 6 years total committment. That can be any combination of 6 years… 4 active and 2 inactive, 6 years active, whatever. It was then changed to 10 years total for those enlisting after a certain date. Thus, 4 years active with 6 years inactive or any other combination.

Inactive meant no drills, meetings or formations. It meant you are a civilian subject to recall in the case of an emergency. After the 10 year committment… nope!

“Retirement” is not retirement, per se. It is considered deffered compensation. As an aside, this is why vets were trying to argue that spouses were not entitled to a portion of their “retirement” pay… was because it was not retirement pay. It was deffered compensation. That is why I remember it.

People want to point fingers. This one is more patriotic than that one. This one supports the military more than that!

Okay.. once again into the fray! Did he have WMDs or didn’t he? Did he have ties to terrorism or didn’t he? Were his intentions to use them or weren’t they?

The Democrats DID support the decision to go into Afganistan because there was a clear connection between there and our enemies! Clearly an indication that the Democrats can identify the enemy and respond appropriately.

The evedience, many did not believe, was sufficient to justify the invasion of Iraq. Gee, even after all this time, with hindsight, it is still valid whether or not he had the means and desire to use them.

In this case, comparing the previous wars of WWII or the Civil War is not valid. There are many reasons for this. One, we are not mobilizing the entire population in this war, such as we did in those wars. Do we have enough young men of military service age to support a two front war? Of course we do. Possibly a 3 front war or a 4 front war.

Are the Republicans going to support a draft? Yes, I know the military has found that an all volunteer military is prefferable! However, boots on the ground are boots on the ground. Previous drafts used defferments that were successful in shielding some and placing an undue burden on others. Would this draft remedy that?

The question is, do we have a sufficient number of people to volunteer, train and arm them? Hmmmm. It is appearing that we don’t. Increasing the Cat. IV enlistees to increase our numbers… increased re-enlistment bonuses to try to keep them in.

Strategic thinking and planning are not something that many can do. There were so many false assumptions on the part of the administration.

1) We would be welcomed with open arms.
a) He was a dictator, but he was their dictator!
b) Likening the war on terrorism to a Crusade gave the enemy more aide and comfort than any speech by a democrat against this war!
2) We had sufficient forces to do the job. This is a tactical truth but a strategic blunder of the first magnitude!
a) We had enough to defeat the enemy on the ground. Our military is the best!
b) This is a tactical consideration in which the senior military is trained to accomplsh. It cannot be done with a spreadsheet based on political considerations of future civilain military manpower and structure agendas.
c) The strategic considerations fall into the category of civilian oversight. What are the goals? What do we need to do to reach them? Defeating an army in the field does not win a war! It hasn’t really since the Treaty of Westphalia, considered by some to be the founding of nations. Now it isn’t a battle and a truce between rulers.
d) There were not enough forces sufficient to ensure the safety of the Iraqi people or to stem the flow of insurgents into the area.
3) Using American contractors would return a large part of the cost back to America.
4) Not using local resources to help establish jobs and a sense of ownership among the Iraqi people… to them, we broke it and we were not fixing it… and the money spent to not fix it was not helping them… it was helping the American companies… the companines of the country that invaded them!
a) These are the civilians that we liberated from the dictator Saddam. They were not the enemy… they were powerless and we ignored them so Haliburton could enjoy “no bid” contracts.

Do I believe that we need to stay there and clean up our mess? Yes. And, consider, I am a Liberal Democrat.
1) We broke it, we are now morally obligated to fix it!
2) Do not assume that my support of the need to fix this problem is in anyway supportive of the President and his decision to get us where we are.
2) As noted above in a previous post… do not assume the silence of the military leadership is an endorsement of the President and his leadership.

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 29, 2006 8:32 AM
Comment #118184

Army forces 50,000 soldiers into extended duty

Posted by: womanmarine at January 29, 2006 12:05 PM
Comment #118251

kirk,

i have to view your insistence on avoiding my point as a concession. as for the point you have shifted to, you have proven nothing.

“So, ther is a very real possibility that they did indeed have them”

the ‘very real possibility’ of WMD’s in no way constitutes proof. i never argued that it was not possible, and never intended to. the burden of proof, however, remains on those who claim that Iraq had them. if you wish to debate this, then you’d better come up with a stronger argument than ‘very real possibility’. either way, it makes little difference to me.

as for my ‘blind partisanship’, i am a self-declared independent, hence, nonpartisan. your continuous bashing of all views democratic or liberal, and consistent defense of all views Bush demonstrate your loyalties to the Republican party - thus you are partisan by definition. get your facts straight.

if you wish to attempt to rebut *my* point, then do so. otherwise, seeing as there is no way for you to *prove* your point, let it go. i intend to.

Darren
“After the 10 year committment… nope!”

incorrect, subject to recall for life. check it out. should have read the contract a little closer…

https://www.hrc.army.mil/site/Reserve/soldierservices/mobilization/retireemobilization.htm#mobilize

By law, retired solders are mobilization assets for life.

read it and weep.

Posted by: Diogenes at January 29, 2006 3:07 PM
Comment #118360
Do I believe that we need to stay there and clean up our mess? Yes.

Two obeservatins: It would require a hell of a lot more US troops in Iraq than we have now to “clean up our mess”, and the freely elected government of the sovereign nation of Iraqi don’t want any more US troops.

At this point, the only options President Bush has left America is whether to withdraw our troops quickly or slowly. The outcome will be the same.

Posted by: American Pundit at January 29, 2006 11:44 PM
Comment #118371

Whether or not, by law, retired military members are “mobilization assets for life” is moot. The likelihood of someone being recalled into the military service after being honorably discharged 4 years ago is slim. Unless we declare war on a nation as large and formidable as China, retired military members will be left alone.

Those in Iraq being held past their active duty obligation know they’re obligated to serve, at worse, six months after the war ends if ordered by the President. My enlistment contract states nothing about I being a “mobilization asset for life.” However, it does state I’m obligated to serve for 6 years on Active Duty and 2 years in Ready Reserve. In those 8 years, I know that I could serve until the war ends if ordered by the President. After those 8 years, I see nothing that states I have any further obligation.

To be fair to recruiters, it’s not their responsibility to sit in front of a recruit and read his or her enlistment contract to him or her. Furthermore, recruits in Atlanta, GA were asked “Do you have any questions about your contract?” by their recruiter, one of the MEPS personnel in the swearing-in briefing, and again by the swearing-in officer that signed their contracts. Other MEPS should operate the same.

Some excerpts:

9.

c. In the event of war, my enlistment in the Armed Forces continues until six (6) months after the war ends, unless my enlistment is ended sooner by the President of the United States.

10.

a. FOR ALL ENLISTEES: If this is my initial enlistment, I must serve a total of eight (8) years. Any part of that service not served on active duty must be served in a Reserve Component unless I am sooner discharged.

b. If I am a member of a Reserve Component of an Armed Force at the beginning of a period of war or national emergency declared by Congress, or if I become a member during that period, my military service may be extended without my consent until six (6) months after the end of that period of war.

And, of course, the one that gives everyone the “warm and fuzzy” feeling:

I, [name], do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
Posted by: Joseph Ragsdale at January 30, 2006 12:18 AM
Comment #118378
The likelihood of someone being recalled into the military service after being honorably discharged 4 years ago is slim.

Sorry, I should have said “…discharged 4 years prior.”

Posted by: Joseph Ragsdale at January 30, 2006 12:45 AM
Comment #118380

“To be fair to recruiters, it’s not their responsibility to sit in front of a recruit and read his or her enlistment contract to him or her.”

to be fair to the recruit, recruiters should be sure that recruits know *exactly* what they are signing - if that means reading the enlistment contract to him or her and explaining it word for word, then that is exactly what a recruiter *should* do - regardless of whether or not it is their official ‘responsibility’.

for instance, you didn’t know about the aforementioned “mobilization asset for life” clause - regardless of whether or not you saw it in your contract, they may at some point hold you to it. now, would you feel a bit cheated and resentful if this happened?

(i doubt very much they would leave something as important as this out of your contract, as a contract is the legally binding means by which they would force you to return - thus, i would postulate that the reason you didn’t see this in your contract is because it was hidden in vague and complex legal jargon, or perhaps merely referenced somewhere therein.)

Posted by: Diogenes at January 30, 2006 1:28 AM
Comment #118382

ahh, here’s a couple little clauses that can mean oh so much;

9. FOR ALL ENLISTEES OR REENLISTEES: Many laws, regulations, and military customs will govern my conduct and require me to do things a civilian does not have to do. The following statements are *not* promisses or guarantees of any kind. They explain *some* of the present laws affecting the Armed Forces which I cannot change but which congress *can change at any time*…

b. Laws and regulataions [sic] that govern military personnel may change *without notice to me*. Such changes may affect my *status*, pay, allowances, benefits, and *responsibilities* as a member of the Armed forces *REGARDLESS of the provisions of this enlistment/reenlistment document*”

(the ** emphases were mine, cap emphasis was theirs)

here they basically leave themselves a legal loophole to make you do anything forever, without your consent or any knowledge prior to the act. a lawyer would have told you this, had you one present at the signing. maybe the recruiter should have made it known… but that wasn’t *their* responsibility, was it?

Posted by: Diogenes at January 30, 2006 1:37 AM
Comment #118384

p.s. a handy way of making such information unavailable to recruits is to make said information unavailable to recruiters….

and perhaps if this fact is underreported and isn’t widely known (as the lack of familiarity in these posts suggests), someone should make strides to publicize the subject on a wider scale?

Posted by: Diogenes at January 30, 2006 1:51 AM
Comment #118455

Adrienne
“Sure Tim, that must be it”

Please dont go off and assume my post was partisan. I believe it was a legit question.
You believe the anti-Bush policies are what is best for the military, the military still, would rather support his policies over yours. Why is that not seen as a clue to work towards a policy in which the military will see as supportive and in turn give you their vote?
The left says Bush “staying the course” is wrong, so why is the left “staying the course” when it comes to the military? Fix it and get their votes.

Posted by: kctim at January 30, 2006 9:27 AM
Comment #118548

“i have to view your insistence on avoiding my point as a concession. as for the point you have shifted to, you have proven nothing.”

Sorry but I have avoided nothing.

“the ‘very real possibility’ of WMD’s in no way constitutes proof.”

Never said it did. History proves he had them, he used them in Iran and his own citizens. We know he had them and the UN Security Council Resolutions demanded proof that they had been destroyed or were no longer usable. Those demands for proof had been in place for over a decade so, the Iraqi presentation to the UN on Dec 7 2002 should have included this proof.

“the burden of proof, however, remains on those who claim that Iraq had them.”

Sorry, but the burden of proof was with Iraq. Read the Security Council Resolutions. It is right there in black and white.

“as for my ‘blind partisanship’, i am a self-declared independent, hence, nonpartisan.”

Yeah and I can declare myself King of England but that doesn’t make it so.

Posted by: Kirk at January 30, 2006 2:57 PM
Comment #118573

you can declare yourself whatever you wish, but your prior posts belie any claim you may stake on nonpartisanship. i, on the other hand, hold equal contempt for both parties (though i admittedly absolutely abhor the current administration). thus, my contempt notwithstanding, i am effectively nonpartisan through a process of negation. moreover, i simultaneously hold libertarian, conservative, liberal, and other ideological beliefs. now then,

“History proves he had them, he used them in Iran and his own citizens.”

past possession does not automatically prove present guilt (nice try though). if one confesses that they have tried…hmm, let’s say cocaine… in their crazy college years, can we now convict Bush…i’m sorry…this unspecified person for possession?

no. we can’t. your argument does not hold water, but does manage to reek of partisan ignorance.

if you are claiming that U.N. resolutions gave us the authority to invade Iraq (if this is the *new* argument you intend to lose), then I must request that you visit my previous posts on watchblog, because this is an argument i have buried many times over…. and i do not wish to waste time revisiting it, so here’s how it would go;

you make some (relatively good) points which are based on misinformation and liberties taken with the facts, i point out the law and where it states in the UN resolutions that they have sole authority to act, you get mad and make (more) derogatory remarks, and *then* we drop it. again, i suggest you *read* the resolutions before you pursue this one (as i unfortunately feel certain you will).

good day king kirk

Posted by: Diogenes at January 30, 2006 11:06 PM
Comment #118659

Diogenes,

“past possession does not automatically prove present guilt”

Never said it did.

You made the blanket statement that “Iraq denied having WMD’s (and in fact DID NOT)”.

Again history proves you wrong Iraq did in fact have them and used them.

“if you are claiming that U.N. resolutions gave us the authority to invade Iraq “

Please show me where I said anything about the resolutions authorizing the US to invade Iraq. You can’t because I did say it.

What I did say was that the UN Security Council Resolutions placed the burden of proof for not having WMD’s squarely on Iraq. This totaly refutes your claim below.

“the burden of proof, however, remains on those who claim that Iraq had them.”

Last but not least.

“you get mad and make (more) derogatory remarks,”

Lets just see who has been making the derogatory remarks (and not just to me, so I don’t take it persoanl, but to anyone who happens to disagree with you) shall we?

“nice of you to point out your own ignorance, saves me the trouble.”

“no, since your partisanship blinds you to reason, and you spout token republican propaganda, your views are patently not independent…by definition”

“while i appreciate your erroneous comments which follow this statement, you haven’t been paying enough attention to warrant a thorough verbal battering.”

“my young friend, i feel that, were you to open your eyes, it would be much easier to understand my posts”

“don’t believe me? that’s alright, because it’s *entirely* unrelated to my point. now, try to stay focused”

“Do you feel ignorant yet? perhaps you wanna rethink your hasty, uninformed comments?”

“now, disregarding the insignificant comments concerning reservists and WMD’s, do you have anything intelligible regarding the desperate state of our military forces?”

“your argument does not hold water, but does manage to reek of partisan ignorance.”

You claim to be an Independent and yet follow the age old Liberal tactic of twisting people’s comments and quickly resorting to personal attacks when you can’t make substantive arguments on an issue.


Posted by: Kirk at January 31, 2006 12:26 PM
Comment #118688

“You claim to be an Independent and yet follow the age old Liberal tactic of twisting people’s comments and quickly resorting to personal attacks when you can’t make substantive arguments on an issue.”

this is not an ‘age old liberal tactic’, nor is it my intention to employ it. (liberals claim the same of conservatives, btw). moreover, i have already noted that it is you that twists the conversation, to fit whatever argument you feel it is within your capacity to ‘win’.

while none of my previous posts were meant as personal attacks, and as you note, many were not addressing you - i concede that some of them do in fact exude a certain arrogance which some might find offensive - for this i unreservedly apologize (yet i feel certain it will happen again).

on the other hand, several of your comments could be as easily called into question. for instance, your incessant unfounded insinuation that i am a liberal - merely a tactic to dismiss my arguments as colored by party, without having to refute my facts. if you have read me at all, you will know that i do not support either party (in fact, i oppose both parties).

“Please show me where I said anything about the resolutions authorizing the US to invade Iraq.”

I have no idea where you’re going with any of your most recent posts, as they stray widely from the subject which i have been addressing; this was my point. Hence, again, my frustration that it appears to be yourself who is ‘twisting people’s comments’ to suit your own ends. i was attempting to elucidate my concern by providing an example of the unpredictable nature of your comments - perhaps this was unclear.

as you yourself point out, many of the statements which you consider offensive merely sought to underline your own ‘twisting of comments’. your assertion that Iraq had WMD’s, for instance, is irrelevant to whether or not *our military is desperate* (my point since the beginning), ok? - thus for all intents and purposes, this is just the sort of liberal tactic of which you complain.

i still do not agree with your assessment of the WMD issue. i think, though, that there is little ground to be made on either side of this debate. obviously, you’re welcome to try. certainly, i view my conclusion as superior (no offense).

fyi, i have little trouble developing substantive arguments relating to the issues on which i write - if i had no argument, i would not bother to post. i think, upon rereading my posts, you will find that i have remained largely on topic, and made several uncontested arguments supporting my analysis of the situation.

Posted by: Diogenes at January 31, 2006 2:36 PM
Comment #118692

“not desperate - that’s rich - Iraq denied having WMD’s (and in fact, DID NOT)- we had the means, we attacked - against the will of the *entire* free world (excluding England)…now North Korea has TOLD us that they *HAVE* WMD’s - what do we do? NOTHING. Iran has RENEWED their Nuclear (Weapons) program - and what do we do? we *STRONGLY* suggest that the U.N. do something (they support us on this one, and *still* NOTHING). “

here we have the foundation of the entirely unrelated argument concerning the alleged possession of WMD’s by Iraq… i brought it up - yet the utility of this argument does not rely on Iraq’s possession of WMD’s, or lack thereof.

the matter at hand is whether a military force would be left pleading for a collective UN intervention in the latter two cases if they were not already spread thin, incapable of conducting an unaccompanied policing action as in the case of the former.

and the twist… in your estimation, Iraq *had* WMD’s. again, this does *not* attend to the argument i posited (which you ostensibly surrendered); moreover - were this true (which i maintain that it wasn’t), it *still* would not disprove my premise. in fact, you have not so much as mentioned your current opinion concerning this matter - what do you think now, are they desperate?

Posted by: Diogenes at January 31, 2006 3:01 PM
Comment #118734

“I have no idea where you’re going with any of your most recent posts, as they stray widely from the subject which i have been addressing”

If you will look back at where you claim I am straying widely, I believe you will find that my straying was in direct response to statements that you made. In fact in most of my posts your statement/question is copied and then followed by my response, just as with the WMD example you cite.

So, if there was any straying going on it was it was at best mutual and at worst me following the trail you were laying out.

“in fact, you have not so much as mentioned your current opinion concerning this matter - what do you think now, are they desperate?”

No

Here is a portion of an American Forces Information Services news article dated Oct 12, 2005 discussing FY 2005 recruitment.

“The Army recruited more than 73,000 active duty enlisted soldiers for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. That amounted to 92 percent of the Army’s goal of 80,000 recruits for fiscal 2005.

The Navy and Marine Corps achieved 100 percent of their active duty enlisted recruiting goals for fiscal 2005, while the Air Force notched 102 percent. In total, the services signed up 163,259 new active-duty enlisted members between Oct. 1, 2004, and Sept. 30, 2005.

The Army National Guard and Army Reserve didn’t meet their recruiting goals for fiscal 2005, finishing the year with 80 and 84 percent of their quotas, respectively. The Naval Reserve and Air National Guard missed their quotas as well, finishing with 88 and 86 percent of their fiscal 2005 recruiting goals.

However, the Marine Corps Reserve achieved 102 percent of its recruiting quota, while the Air Force Reserve also did well, achieving 113 percent of its goal.

And the Army, Marine Corps and Air Force all exceeded their annual retention goals for fiscal 2005, according to DoD statistics. The Navy achieved a 91 percent retention rate for its mid-career sailors.”

As I said earlier the Army was the only active component to miss their new-enlistment goals last year while all branches except the Navy exceeded their retention goals.

Not nearly enough to cause desperation. I will give you concern possibly but not desperation. However, the Army has exceeded their last 7 monthly new-enlistment goals and overall recruitment is running ahead of current year goals.

Additionally the increase in the age to 40 for new recruits effects only the Reserve components.

Again from the American Forces Information Services Jan. 10, 2006

“In addition to increasing its recruiting force, the Army raised the maximum age for enlistment in the reserve components by five years, Smith said. The change, which went into effect last March and does not apply to the active force, enables prospects who have not yet reached their 40th birthday to join the Army Guard and Reserve, Smith said. The previous age limit was 35.”

Posted by: Kirk at January 31, 2006 5:27 PM
Comment #118739

i appreciate your meticulous response.

“So, if there was any straying going on it was it was at best mutual and at worst me following the trail you were laying out.”

mutual only in the sense that i made the mistake of countering your statement - never was my post leading in that direction, as i stated several times. everywhere you went, you were at the wheel.

now, if your interpretation of the situation holds, why then do we hesitate to make Iran (or NKorea) the next Iraq? concern? sounds like an effort to downplay a much graver situation. we did not demonstrate such consternation or reservation when we invaded Iraq… nor were we much concerned with the international community.

i expect that a ‘concern’ vs. ‘desperation’ debate will be simply a study of semantics, with your description being the safest conservative answer (politically speaking), and my own being favored by the liberals; thus, i can understand the reluctance to adopt ‘desperation’ as a descriptor.

nevertheless, for me this is not an issue of political positioning - the democrats voted us into this war as assuredly as did the republicans, and must share the blame. (i’ve heard the democratic argument regarding ‘faulty information’…and reject it - i think they were afraid to appear cowardly or feeble, or perhaps they were hoping to tout their patriotism and ride Bush’s coattail). regardless, we must bring our troops home - certainly not for a democratic victory, as they would claim, but in order to retain any semblance of an American one.

Posted by: Diogenes at January 31, 2006 6:16 PM
Comment #118741

here’s something to ponder (though perhaps a bit late given the reality of the situation);

had the republicans withdrawn troops at the democrats’ behest, Iraq would have fallen apart (as it inevitably will) - and at this point, the UN would have stepped in to assume a regulatory position, relieving America of the vast share of the burden. the republicans could have then claimed the political victory their own, citing the ‘lack of political foresight’ of the democrats as a demonstration of their inadequate leadership.

while i would no more support this claim than i would support a withdrawal as a democratic victory, it would have at least negated any claim the democrats could have made. it would have at least saved countless American lives.

alas, foresight is far from 20/20 (as both parties have proven).

Posted by: Diogenes at January 31, 2006 6:35 PM
Comment #118742

Diogenes,

“By law, retired solders are mobilization assets for life.
read it and weep.”

Why should I weep? I was just trying to clarify the topic of committment. Maybe if you would have read what I wrote, instead of reading what you thought I had wrote, you would have seen that I was not wrong and that would have saved you all that time and effort of finding and posting the link just so you could tell me to “read it and weep.”

Your ink is about Retired which is a different class of what I was talking about. A person serving 20 or more years and drawing retirement pay.

I was saying that a person has a total of 10 Years committment and they can be served in 6 years active, 4 inactive, or 10 years active or any type of combination you can make.

What you have shown, is what I was saying… that a retirement is not a real retirement. It is deferred compensation and you are, as a retired (20 or more years service) open for recall.

So, I do believe I was correct. What you showed was the committment that a retired person, 20 or more years service, drawing retirement benefits has. Not a person that served a total of 10 years and then got out. His committment is OVER.

AP,
“Two obeservatins: It would require a hell of a lot more US troops in Iraq than we have now to “clean up our mess”, and the freely elected government of the sovereign nation of Iraqi don’t want any more US troops.”

My support of the cleaning up or mess is only because of our moral obligation to do whatever we have to because we broke it.

What I hate more than just about anything is if someone were to try to make it seem like my supporrt for fixing this mess is in any way, shape or form an endorsement of President Bush’s justification of the war, conduct during the war and his actions since then.

I tried to make it very clear in my postings that the strategic blunder of not having enough troops to ensure security will go down in history as one of the biggest mistakes militarily.

If we are going to invade a country then we are morally (and should be legally) responsible for its citizens until such time as peace can be restored and a new government in place.

Rumsfeld blew it big time with his focus on numbers and the ability to win decisevly in a battle… and not focusing on what the civilian overseer’s are supposed to be doing! Setting long term strategic goals for after the enemy is defeated in battle.

If this had been achieved by having enough forces to secure the safety of the people… stemmed the insurgency and Iraqis used to help rebuild their country instead of using American companies then it is possible the people elected would want us there.

But, since we have been there we have not been able to provide them with much, have we?

Posted by: Darren7160 at January 31, 2006 7:23 PM
Comment #118760


the open-ended nature of the enlistment contract leaves the potential for endless possibilities regardless of the applicability of the previously mentioned mobilization clause.

granted, those whom have been discharged, it would seem, cannot be recalled by any method short of an act of congress (unless there is a similar clause elsewhere referencing discharged persons, which i am not entirely prepared to discount).

regardless, i stand corrected.

Posted by: Diogenes at January 31, 2006 8:59 PM
Comment #118802

A friend of my wife’s was in the reserve and was diagnosed with cancer, yet she was sent to Iraq.

That sounds a little desperate to me.

Posted by: Rocky at January 31, 2006 11:54 PM
Comment #118804

yes

Posted by: Diogenes at February 1, 2006 12:01 AM
Comment #118846

Thank you womanmarine, that was the article I was thinking of and couldn’t remember it. Also there was something on a newshow about people who have been out of service both active and inactive that are being recalled years after they should have been. If thats not a problem I don’t know what is.

Posted by: Sherri at February 1, 2006 1:40 AM
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