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Sunday, June 12, 2005

AN ARMY OF ONE?
Yep, that's what it'll be if the Pentagon doesn't get its shit together right quick. If you haven't heard, the US military is having difficulty filling its ranks. The chief reason for these difficulties is obvious: when at least "one to several" American soldiers are killed every day in Iraq, there just isn't a whole lot of interest in signing up. Young Americans, and their parents, have figured out that the joining the military isn't like playing a video game. They can't 'restart' and play again. More importantly, they've figured out that this administration doesn't seem to know what the hell its doing, as evidenced by recent polls on Iraq.

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This dilemma has spurred desperate recruiters to take desperate measures, such as this story from the Seattle suburbs, where recruitment has been particularly difficult:


The next step of Axel's misadventure came when he heard about a cool "chin-ups" contest in Bellingham, where the prize was a free Xbox. The now 18-year-old Skagit Valley Community College student dragged his tail feathers home uncharacteristically late that night. And, in the morning, Marcia learned the Marines had hosted the event and "then had him out all night, drilling him to join."
This is but one story of many that have been reported about aggressive military recruiters attempting to do anything they can, by hook or by crook, to get young Americans to join the ranks. This is a serious problem, so serious in fact that even conservative pundits such as Robert Novak have spoken out about it. Novak argues that we shouldn't blame the recruiters we should blame the war, and for once, I agree with the douche bag. Iraq is a mess, and it's not because of the men and women who've been sent there, they've surely done the best they can. No, it's because of the incompetent fuckers who did the sending. Families are being torn apart, our morale is low and our defenses are down. Even Big Dick Cheney can step out of his fantasy chamber long enough to admit that much.

So, how does the Department of Defense propose to solve this problem? Well, for one, it has decided that if it doesn't talk about it maybe it will go away, taking the decisive action to simply stop reporting whether or not it has reached its monthly recruiting goals. This is, of course, part of an ongoing pattern for the Bush government. From global warming to terrorism trends to economic woes, if the administration doesn't like the facts it simply doesn't report them.

Other solutions proposed to solve the recruitment crisis include increasing the cash bonus for new recruits and relaxing requirements for new officers, although they're still not willing to let the openly homosexual in. Criminals? Sure. Homos? Hell no. And hey, maybe not requiring recruits to accept Jesus Christ as their personal lord and savior would expand the recruitment pool a bit, ya think?

Of course, there's always the possibility of a draft. Oop, did I just say that word? Obviously, the president would never let that happen, even if he has had the occasional Freudian slip. No, the best way to solve this crisis, in my opinion, is to encourage all those vocal cheerleaders who continue to support the war to sign on up. Ann Coulter? She'd look fabulous in a pair of combat boots. Sean Hannity? He was born to captain a Bradley fighting vehicle. Jonah Goldberg? The recruitment office is that-a-way.

We'll have this thing licked in no time.

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MORE
Enjoy the Awesome Draft!
Hebert: They Won't Go
ITT: Moving in to Middle Schools
Clark: Bush Ruining the Military
SFGate: Recruiting Stand Down
Wonkette: Army Revises Sales Pitch


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