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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

The most important line of the speech 

I listened to the President's speech on the radio, crossing California on Route 41 toward Yosemite National Park, whence I blog. I thought it was a good speech, but probably persuasive only to people who accept what is to me the obvious strategic link between the attacks of September 11 and the invasion of Iraq. Those who do not accept that connection at this point reject it because they simply look at the world in a profoundly different way. For those people, there is "no connection" if Saddam's regime did not have extensive and documented contact with al Qaeda prior to September 11. One speech is not going to change that.

The speech did, however, contain at least one critical line that caused me to bounce in my seat and point at the radio:
And to those watching tonight who are considering a military career, there is no higher calling than service in our armed forces.

Military recruitment is down. The left will argue that this is because people do not want to die in wars that are at best unnecessary and at worst criminal, and the right will argue that the constant harping of the press over Abu Ghraib and Gitmo and comparisons to Nazis and such has undermined respect for the military just when it should be at its highest. I imagine that both considerations come into play, depending on the political views of the recruit and, perhaps most importantly, his or her parents.

Whatever the reason in the particular case, in a time of war an all-volunteer military is not going to get the manpower it needs from slick advertising or recruiters who could sell ice cubes to Eskimos (although both are necessary). Our political leaders need to lead, and in this case that means they need to persuade Americans that the military is an honorable calling that performs an essential function. Politicians on both sides claim they "support the troops." Well, just about the most important thing they can do to support the troops is to recruit new ones.

President Bush needs to get out in front of this effort, and then every Congressman and Senator should follow. His speech yesterday was a great start. He now needs to repeat this effort in every stump speech he makes, at every breakfast he addresses, and at every press conference he hosts. He needs to go into high schools and meet with recruits and put them on the evening news. And he needs to demand that members of his cabinet and the Congress do as well. You either believe in the volunteer army, or you don't. You either support the troops, or you don't.

By the way, a campaign to bolster recruitment would make great politics, too. If the Republicans were able to define "support for the troops" to mean support for military recruitment, Democratic presidential aspirants would either have to get behind that effort -- which would enrage their base -- or explain why they did not actively support the volunteer army by helping to recruit for it.

63 Comments:

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jun 29, 12:29:00 PM:

So, Tigerhawk, when are you enlisting? Care to back up your bluster about bolstering recruitment by joining the army? Or sending your kids?  

By Blogger Parker, at Wed Jun 29, 12:32:00 PM:

So, anonymous, do you ever crawl out of your hole to address the substance of a post, or are you limited to ad hominem attacks?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jun 29, 12:35:00 PM:

Send anonymous#1 over to Salon.com and let him read the latest article by Chris Hitchens.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Wed Jun 29, 12:38:00 PM:

My son is 14, and if he chose to join the military when the time comes I would be very proud of him, and also (obviously) afraid for his safety. I would worry until the day he came home safely, and my heart would stop whenever I heard that soldiers had been hurt or killed. For my own part, I am a middle-aged load, and our army would not want me.  

By Anonymous grimmy, at Wed Jun 29, 12:38:00 PM:

Tigerhawk,

Allow me to apologize for Anonymous's poor comprehension skills. He obviously thought your post was demanding that he enlist.

His lack of critical thinking skills is my fault - for not signing up to become a teacher.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Wed Jun 29, 12:38:00 PM:

Also, anonymous, it wasn't "bluster." I think I was making a point that most people would agree with.  

By Blogger Peg C., at Wed Jun 29, 12:42:00 PM:

Anonymous #1, your comment is silly, non-germane and illogical. Do you support abortion? If you haven't had one or paid for one, how can you support it? Actually, if you aren't capable of having one, how dare you even have an opinion on it? See we can all play nonsensical games.

So let me get this straight: no one who is not (and whose children are not) actively fighting "Bush's War" has a right to support it.

Hey, I'm an ex-lifelong lefty, I know the dogma. But no one is fooled by it but moonbats.

Tigerhawk, excellent post.  

By Blogger exhelodrvr, at Wed Jun 29, 12:50:00 PM:

I think it would probably be enough if the left would stop actively interfering with the recruiters.  

By Blogger Otis Wildflower, at Wed Jun 29, 12:51:00 PM:

The whole 'send your kids' thing is, as Hitchens has thoroughly debunked, hogwash.

The military doesn't accept people under 18 anymore AFAIK. Therefore anyone entering the military is making an adult choice to do so.

Implying otherwise reveals a slave mentality: the child, even after becoming an adult, is a slave to the whim of the parent, and can be packed off to war like so much chattel?

Anyone who thinks so reveals a deep, deep stupidity.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jun 29, 12:52:00 PM:

It's time to start talking about a draft. Damn the politics and let's do it.  

By Blogger h, at Wed Jun 29, 01:02:00 PM:

And let's not forget aggressive anti-recruitment lobbying by gay interest groups that have led to many learning institutions banning recruitment on campuses. We need strict enforcement of laws banning government funding to institutions who do so. To me, a guy who volunteered (well, there was no war on at the time, I admit) the draft should be an absolute last resort.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jun 29, 01:19:00 PM:

If I can be so presumptuous (and assuming this blog allows links), I've just written an account of the week I spent in Colorado with 40 military families. Some soldiers were just back from Iraq, some were going, and a few left during the week. ALL support the mission. Very moving and eye-opening week.

here's the link:

http://thebigthink.org/?p=4848

server is having trouble sometimes. Sorry.

J  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jun 29, 01:26:00 PM:

@anonymous..
do you believe in the need for police? yes? well are you going to become a policeman or do you want your family to? NO? that is about how logical your argument is.  

By Blogger Crank, at Wed Jun 29, 01:28:00 PM:

We need a new Godwin's Law to deal with the knee-jerk invasion of lefty trolls to every thread on every conservative blog with the "why don't you enlist" whine. I'm tired of even bothering to link back to the many refutations of this point. Heck, we'll make it Crank's Law if nobody else wants to claim it: every time a left-wing blogger or commenter cries "chickenhawk" or complains about war supporters not fighting the war, the left-winger has lost the argument.  

By Anonymous A Veteran, at Wed Jun 29, 01:32:00 PM:

Anonymous, I've been there and done that, I have multiple T-Shirts. What about you?
I do not hold a grudge against anyone who soes not serve, but whiners I do. Either quit whining or sign up. Or, send a check a check to your local VFW Post so they can send a care packege or visit Soldier Angels and do so.

Commander
VFW Post 9949  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jun 29, 01:32:00 PM:

1. I would not want my kids fighting under a President who fled to the National Guard using his parents' connections. I am not saying Bush is sending people lightheartedly, but someone who has been there would have more credibility for me.
2. Parker should look up "ad hominem". My remarks were not ad hominem. But "crawl out of your hole" is an excellent example of ad hominem.
3. I don't support abortion.
4. My remarks were to point out how many of the pro-war activists are never going to see action. It is much easier to send people to war when you have never seen action yourself. See point #1. I would have similar reservations about Clinton as well.
5. Think about where the support for the war would be if we had a draft. I am all for the draft. Of course, rich people like Bush would find ways to dodge the draft anyway.
6. My use of bluster was inappropriate. My apologies to tigerhawk.  

By Anonymous A Veteran, at Wed Jun 29, 01:33:00 PM:

Sorry for the typos, I'm just so tired of the chickenhawk argurement VS the liberal chickenshits.

Cdr, VFW Post 9949  

By Blogger Rita, at Wed Jun 29, 01:36:00 PM:

Excellent idea, Tigerhawk. Hope it catches on.

My son joined the Navy in the spring of 2001. I actively advocate the military as a career to anyone who'll listen, including my daughter, who's thinking about joining. I have other friends & family members in the military as well. I looked into joining JAG myself after 9/11, but alas, I'm too old & broken down. Not that I think that makes me special or anything, but I reckon by anonymous' reasoning, all that makes my opinion more qualified.  

By Anonymous David, at Wed Jun 29, 01:37:00 PM:

Anon #1: Aids is the scourage of Africa. Why aren't in Africa helping? Are you a racist? You have no right discusing the Aids in Africa problem unless until you go to Africa to help. See how easy it is to play this game....  

By Anonymous A Veteran, at Wed Jun 29, 01:38:00 PM:

Not as many "Rich" folks dodged the draft during Vietnam as people think. Many signed up, served, and died or were wounded. My father served with many of them during two wars Korea & Vietnam. If you did a little research you would find that this is true and not some liberal folklore. That's it for me today....  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jun 29, 01:39:00 PM:

Recruitment would 'enrage the base'!?!?! TigerHawk , What a pretentious post!! Many don't accept the war because of all the corrupt and evil failings of Bush, not because they 'hate America' or 'hate the military' or 'like Saddam Hussein'. I swear, the right-wing is all about creating enemies that don't exist, and ignoring reality and truth.

A life of continual misery, if you ask me…I don’t see Bush asking his kids to join the army, do you!?!?

By the way, I supported the Iraq war, and still do, but don't support The Corporate Whore: Bush, and his corrupt cronies feeding off the criminal war profiteering.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jun 29, 01:42:00 PM:

Anonymous,

1. My uncle was in the National Guard. My uncle went to Vietnam. My uncle was killed there. F*&^ YOU.
2. The above was ad hominem attack. Sometimes they are justified. F^&* YOU.
3. I didn't support abortion, until I read your "chickenhawk" comment and subsequent attack on Vitenam era national guard service. But I can see why your parents might have wanted one. F%^& YOU.
4. So, you think it's easier to send people to war if you haven't seen it? That's only true if you lack an ounce of human compassion, which you don't need to go to war to have. This comment essentially reveals to me that you are a monster. F%^& YOU.
5. See 1, 2 and 3 above, since you obviously view national guatrd service as draft dodging. F$%^ YOU.
6. You don't just owe Tigerhawk an apology, you owe one to me, my dead uncle, George W. Bush and everyone else who's ever served their country whether it be in the armed forces (which, last I checked, included the NATIONAL GUARD) or out. Until then, F%^& YOU.  

By Blogger Rita, at Wed Jun 29, 01:48:00 PM:

Oh sure, the president's daughters in the military. Now there's a practical idea. That's the silliest thing I've heard all day.  

By Anonymous Bernie W, at Wed Jun 29, 01:51:00 PM:

Anonymous:

You really do not get it on many levels.

Why does some one need to enlist to support the effort. As it happens, my son is a Marine Corporal in 1/1. He is stationed in Camp Pendleton and just came back from Iraq as part of the 15th MEU. My son left college as a sophomore after 9/11 to join the Marine Corps as a direct result of 9/11.

Does that give me some special right to have an opinion? It should not. I will tell you that my son and his Marine friends are totally committed to this fight. They gladly go to Iraq and Afghanistan risk their lives. In fact, one of my son's best friends died in a cave in Afghanistan on Mother's Day.

What is really dumb (and that is polite) is the National Guard comment. Were you old enough to know what went on during the late 1960's and early 1970's? If not, have you read about the time period and what guys were doing?

I knew all kinds of people back then who joined the Guard to try and avoid active duty. These people did not have any connections, they just signed up with the Guard, or the Reserves. It was not unusual at all.

That did not necessarily work out, since many Guard and Reserve units wound up in Nam for a couple of tours.

A guy who joined the Guard is worthy of more respect than some clown who went to Nam with his own camera, got three quick Purple Hearts and then went home and turned against his own comrades.

If you do not believe that he turned on them, read statements of some of the POWs. Read about how John Kerry is an honored man in Vietnam. That is much worse than joining the Guard, with or without connections.  

By Blogger RPD, at Wed Jun 29, 01:51:00 PM:

It's interesting that nearly the only people who are in favor of a military draft are those who want to use it as an anti-war tool.

As we saw during the Cold War and during the Reagan build up, it is entirely possible to have a more than adequate armed force through volunteerism.

I suspect who the guy is in the big chair is overrated as a factor too. I served under Clinton even though I didn't care for his politics.

Incidently, only Army recruitment is under target, the other services are over their targets. That suggests to me that potential recruits are more concerned about getting shot or blown up than whether the war is "right" or not.  

By Anonymous Lt Col Fred, at Wed Jun 29, 02:01:00 PM:

Glad to see someone challenged this "send your kids" nonsense. I enlisted at 17 with my parents' signature of approval, but it was my decision. There was a war on at the time (Vietnam), and yes, I did my year there. I have stayed in uniform for 35 years in a combination of active duty and National Guard status. I recently completed a 9 month tour of duty in Afghanistan. Some people "support the troops" by sending care packages. Some by telling the soldiers' stories. Some by joining them. All such contributions are valid and are important. What isn't supportive is undermining the mission at hand for partisan political gain.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jun 29, 02:03:00 PM:

The idiot who won't give any kind of name for himself is typical of liberals. They just cannot abide the truth.
They like to call Bush a whore, tied to corporate profits...well I will tell lyou something. I bet you work for a corporation or live off your daddy and what about their profits? I have every right to say what I think. I enlisted and served in the navy for four years, saw and learned a lot. It would probably do you good to serve yourself but of course you do not love even yourself, so why could you do it. I support my country, my leaders and if they are wrong sometime, so be it, I have been wrong a couple times myself...You got Bush, for 3 1/2 more years, so you better get used to it or maybe you could call up Kerry and tell himl how much you agree with him...I feel sorry for you. You cannot stand the truth........Cokeman  

By Anonymous T A W M, at Wed Jun 29, 02:03:00 PM:

Anon #1... here's a website (at bottom) to debunk your preconceived notions of the "RICH" and Vietnam... I wasn't around during Vietnam, so I can't say much... but you seem like a bit of a blow hard with some screwy "facts" behind your ideas...

If I remember right, there was never proof that Dubya didn't fulfill his part of his duty... and his unit did deploy to Vietnam, but if I remember correctly, it was before he joined the unit... which would be something out of his control, no?


http://www.blackfive.net/main/2005/06/godspeed_john_w.html

They don't get much "RICHER" than him... read the whole thing...  

By Blogger Jehane, at Wed Jun 29, 02:05:00 PM:

FWIW (not much) my father and father in law served in VietNam (my father in law served two tours). My husband is a career Marine with 24 years under his belt. His brother is Navy and has been in 21. Their Grandad was a career Naval officer and WWII vet, My Grandad was in the Army and also a combat vet. I have military forebears going all the way back to the Revolutionary War. So what??? Who cares?

We all accept civilian control of the military - it's in the Constitution.

I had some moron try to tell me I should be over there in combat because I support the war. What an asshat. I'm female and 46. Besides, one doesn't have to do everything one supports in theory - as I pointed out, I also support the right to commit homosexual acts in private, but I don't have to go out and commit sodomy to prove my commitment.

Moron...

We should have started No Child Left Behind a lot sooner.

No one in the military wants a draft. No one. Do us a favor and drop that idea like a hot potato.

"I WOULD NOT WANT MY CHILDREN SERVING UNDER A PRESIDENT..."

Specious argument of the century.

The military serve the nation, not the President. Otherwise we'd all have quit under Clinton.  

By Blogger Jehane, at Wed Jun 29, 02:16:00 PM:

W applied for the Palace Alert program at the encouragement of his roommate, Dean Roome and another officer, which did deploy to 'Nam. He was denied because he only had 500 flight hours at the time. By the time he had enough hours to go, the program had been discontinued because the jet he was qualified to fly (the F-102)was being discontinued. This is also why he didn't fly and didn't take a flight physical his last year: they didn't even fly F-102's at the Alabama unit where he drilled. Duh... people who know anything about the Reserves know this is not unusual. He had a 6-year commitment vs. Kerry's 4 years.

I debunked this whole thing in a very exhaustive post about a year ago if anyone is interested over on I Love Jet Noise:

http://joatmoaf.typepad.com/i_love_jet_noise/2004/09/note_to_big_med.html  

By Anonymous iowahawk, at Wed Jun 29, 02:23:00 PM:

It's time we all stand up for America's real heros: Bitter Anonymous Blog Commenters!

But I have to say I'm curious; for all that bluster about BushCo's horrible genocidal Corporatist war, and ChimpHitler's evil imaginary draft plans, they seem rather loathe to actually do anything to stop it; rather than indignantly fuming on HaloScan, shouldn't they be headed to Syria to train for the insurgency? Chickendoves, I guess.

I'll say this for the Jihadis; Unlike the MoveOn morons, they have actually put the nards on the line for their Bush-hate.  

By Blogger DaKruser, at Wed Jun 29, 02:30:00 PM:

well, I guess I walked into a real hornet's nest here. Last nite's speech did NOTHING to point out WHERE he have been, WHERE we are now, and MOST IMPORTANTLY .... WHERE THE HELL ARE WE GOING?
I'm an admitted Demo. I voted against the present Administration. I am in the Military, and have BEEN there twice now.
This whole thing continues to devolve into a question of "Loyalty" to our nation. That is crap. I'm not a hated "Liberal Troll" what ever that might be. I'm just saying that the President made a BIG mistake in passing on the chance to turn myself and others like me into a supporter. I guess the Repubs believe they can win without us in the Middle next time. Count on a loss if that is what the current ideology is.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jun 29, 02:35:00 PM:

I have 3 years active reserve experience in the Army National Guard from the 80's, graduated from their NCO school, am a former paramedic, nurse and present lawyer. I would do my part in Iraq or Afghanistan to relieve some younger person if I were allowed.

But the military absolutely bans anyone above their mid thirties from enlsiting, they tell me repeatedly. They tell me one big reason is the cost of health and retirement benfits to those who are so much closer to needing them without having the years left to contribute.

What about the cost of not having enough soldiers to defend our safety? Or the cost of using involuntary enlistment extensions or draftees to fight a fight that requires the utmost perseverence and conviction?

With our high tech force that accomodates women as participants, surely we can figure how to tap the wasted millions of willing, skilled Americans who are older, but more experienced and perhaps focused on what they want to contribute.

And if we ever draft, our older citizens should also be asked to serve in an appropriate capacity. For both logistical and socially equitable reasons.  

By Blogger jcrue, at Wed Jun 29, 02:42:00 PM:

to the first anonymous, what have you done for this country beside pay your taxes?

i would guess since there probably is not a military record with your name on it anywhere, it seems to me someone you accused of being a 'dodger' by joining and supposedly not living up to his military commitment has still done a hell of a lot more than you have.

it makes me laugh to hear criticism of our president's military service from those who have completely dodged national service themselves. it really boils down to the fact that you are a bigger coward than he is by your own logic.

you are the bleacher geek whining at the coach for a close game...get a life.

being a whiny birth-right american must be shameful given your need for anonymity.

there are far more of us who feel disgust and pity for you than support you.

Semper Fi, TigerHawk, keep up the good work.

//jcrue  

By Anonymous artbyruth, at Wed Jun 29, 02:47:00 PM:

Cassandra wrote:

"...he had a 6 yr. commitment vs. Kerry's 4 yrs. "

Actually, Kerry only served 18 months of that 4 yr. commitment....12 mos on a ship way off shore.

Then Navy reserves when he met with the enemy in Paris.

As far as I know, Pres. Bush never met with the enemy to negotiate "peace" while in uniform.

He served his country honorably.

Which reminds me: according to most Libs, Hillary can never be President because she (#1) never served in Viet Nam nor did she (#2) ever wear the uniform (which means she loses credibility as Com.in Chief to most Libs).

Oh well....  

By Anonymous BobF, at Wed Jun 29, 02:49:00 PM:

It may be (to go back to the original comments on President Bush's 'recruiting effort')that the statement was as much a public positive counter to the negative 'Nazi, Pol Pot, Gulag' invectives hurled at our military?
After all he is Commander-in-Chief and should be in the forefront defending the troops.
Or am I too simple or dense to see the subtle nuances that both the left and right inject into their interpretations?

USN retired, so don't ask if I'll be enlisting.  

By Anonymous Paul Hager, at Wed Jun 29, 02:57:00 PM:

At the risk of offering a substantive comment, an issue I've not seen discussed about recruitment is the historical connection between a booming economy and a drop-off in enlistments. To what extent is the economy-based drop-off factored into the equation? It may be that recruitment is actually up, all other things being equal. Does anyone have hard data on this?  

By Anonymous John steele, at Wed Jun 29, 03:24:00 PM:

...Incidently, only Army recruitment is under target...

As I understand from recent reports it is the Army's 'non-combat' jobs that are having recruiting problems. Apparently the Army is not having problems recruiting for 'trigger-pullers.'  

By Anonymous John Steele, at Wed Jun 29, 03:27:00 PM:

cassandra
re: W during Vietnam

The left is not interested in truth, only the fairy tales that let them sleep at night.  

By Blogger Dymphna, at Wed Jun 29, 03:49:00 PM:

RE the economy and the downturn in Army enlistments (note that all the other services have met their goals more than 100%) --

Servicemen and women have always been disgustingly underpaid. Especially as the learning curve gets longer and the term 'grunt' becomes more obsolete as these guys have to develop technological savvy.

Let's get rid of a few shiny boondoggle airplanes and fund a decent pay raise for service people. CARE packages, etc., are fine, but what they need is a pay scale commensurate with the risk and sweat profile of their jobs.  

By Blogger Dymphna, at Wed Jun 29, 03:50:00 PM:

And the good Lord knows I wouldn't want one of my kids serving under a Clinton. Shudder.  

By Anonymous George Turner, at Wed Jun 29, 04:09:00 PM:

The Army exceeded its recruiting goals this month.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jun 29, 05:10:00 PM:

Though I don't agree with the vitriol shown by previous anonymous posters,

I do somewhat agree with the message.

I understand that not everyone can be in the armed forces. It wouldn't be practical, for one thing. For another, many have families and obligations that provide difficult choices to be made; what's the point of going to war to defend one's family if there is no famliy left to defend?

Yet we need more recruits, and skilled recruits at that. This presents a large problem, and one that requires a more thought-out solution than just saying 'why haven't you recruited.'

It does seem rather odd though that the most stringent supporters of the war haven't come right out and said 'You, yes, you right there. Sign up and go fight. We need YOU.' I mean, any Republicans who got behind this effort would score mucho political points not only for seeming quite patriotic but for addressing our very real need (something the guys at the top seem incapable of doing).

Bush should have flat-out asked people to come fight. Those are the terms that it should be presented in: come fight.

Then let's see what happens to the numbers of recruits.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jun 29, 07:26:00 PM:

I don't need to "send my kids". They are the children of 9/11. While they're two young for enlisting they both intend to. The highschooler is eyeing the Air Force and trying to meet their physical requirements. Middle schooler hasn't decided on a branch of service yet, but he wants to serve as well. BOTH are college bound and have great grades. BOTH are in gifted programs. And neither were told they needed to serve. BUT both intend to before going on with their lives/career. (If all goes well and they're not called to the ultimate sacrifice.) They saw 9/11 on TV. They understood. They remember. I worry about adults who've already forgotten.

P.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jun 29, 07:27:00 PM:

"And to those watching tonight who are considering a military career, there is no higher calling than service in our armed forces."

"And to those watching tonight who are considering joining the Jihad, there is no higher calling for a Muslim."

The line that freaked me out was the Osama Bin Laden "Third World War" quote; or rather, that the President of the United States chose to plant that seed during his address to the planet.

fyi, the Wikipedia entry on "Jihad".

Peace.  

By Blogger Milhouse, at Wed Jun 29, 07:34:00 PM:

1. I would not want my kids fighting under a President who fled to the National Guard using his parents' connections.

Yeah, I guess I'd have a problem with that too. It's a good thing we haven't yet had any presidents like that, isn't it? When someone like that is elected president, come back and we can talk. Meanwhile, when GWB signed up for the TANG, his parents had no useful connections, nor would he have needed to call on them had they had any, since there were more vacancies than applicants. Anyone qualified who walked in and was willing to sign a 6-year commitment could get in.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jun 29, 08:03:00 PM:

"Strike terror (into the hearts of) the enemies of Allah and your enemies.; But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou (also) incline towards peace, and trust in Allah: for He is One that heareth and knoweth (all things)." (8:60-61)
- from the Wikipedia entry on "Jihad".  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jun 29, 09:01:00 PM:

Turn the other cheek, huh? That has always worked so well with the sort who dance in the street upon hearing about 9/11.

-Not a Vetran  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Jun 29, 09:47:00 PM:

The war against the Taliban in Afghanistan was an appropriate response to 9/11.

Peace.  

By Anonymous GoLakers, at Wed Jun 29, 11:17:00 PM:

Thank-you to the posters who have provided a very meaningful discussion. I have learned.

What I'd like to know is why the anti-Bush crowd takes it as "fact" that Bush is "corrupt." Is there any evidence whatsoever?

Sorry. The fact that Halliburton is involved in rebuilding Iraq doesn't count. Otherwise, we'd have to ask liberals why they don't send their kids to Iraq to cash in on the gold mine they claim is being handed out to the contractors over there.

And could someone explain why some Bush-haters demand to see a connection between Saddam and al-Qaeda before considering the Iraq War justified?

Is this not the war against terror? Is it not a hugely important and well-documented fact that Saddam Hussein financially supported terrorism?

We will still have a war against terrorists even after Bush's term is completed. Certainly, they'll find some way to claim Bush was too weak.

It's why the country is shifting more and more towards conservatives - as liberals refuse to put forth rational viewpoints. Hysteria won't win elections, as Howard Dean proved last year.  

By Anonymous Not a vet, at Wed Jun 29, 11:46:00 PM:

To the anonymous poster earlier: I think that the military *should* take enlistees into their thirties if they can hack it. You'd more than likely be drafted anyway, and to to me the fact that you are willing, at that age, more than likely with a real career and a wife and kids, to enlist and go serve your country is a greater act of patriotism and sacrifice than an 18-year old signing up (sorry if that offends anyone on the board).

I wish I could have enlisted. I went to USAFA's summer program and wanted to go out there. Unfortunately, there happens to be a rather nasty little policy in place that bars me from enlisting. That's the only thing. I'm gay. Could I lie about it and enlist anyway? Possibly, but since I'm an engineer, they'd want me to do engineering things, and that kind of thing gets checked in the process of getting the relevant clearances (and I'll point out, the intelligence community would take me, but the private sector pays more, and they'll pay for higher education more readily).

So to the liberal posters who ask, why don't we enlist? Many of us can't, because we knew who and what we were long before we had to make decisions about the military. The irony is, we can play sports in college, but not join the military without guilt. Look at Britian, Israel, Canada, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. All the Anglosphere countries have gotten rid of that requirement and it hasn't hurt them.

We're losing manpower and not meeting recruitment goals -- I can assure you that at least 10k more soldiers would be in uniform now if it weren't for that policy. There are a lot of my friends that would love to join up -- but we will *NOT* lie under oath to do so. I'm a card-carrying Republican (mock me for being self-loathing if you dare), but I respect myself too much to lie about who I am.  

By Blogger TigerHawk, at Thu Jun 30, 01:03:00 AM:

Wow. I wander off for 12 hours to hike around Yosemite, and all heck breaks loose around here. Thank you to everybody for the great debate in my absence.

Not a Vet, I hope the day will come soon when we will figure out how to let gay people serve in the military. I appreciate that the emotions run high on this issue, but I suspect that if the military actually let in openly gay people, it would find that today's soldiers were very accepting of them.  

By Blogger GaijinBiker, at Thu Jun 30, 03:54:00 AM:

The logical consequence of the "chickenhawk" tactic:

Warblogger enlists in Army, wins argument  

By Blogger Jehane, at Thu Jun 30, 11:59:00 AM:

So...Hawk...when *are* you enlisting???

*running away*  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 30, 01:32:00 PM:

"What I'd like to know is why the anti-Bush crowd takes it as 'fact' that Bush is 'corrupt.'"

Easy enought to learn why: spend 30 days in the left wing media space. Deprive yourself of all your usual Internet haunts / relationships. Start here: democracynow.org

You can make the same suggestion to lefties. You yanks are losing it.

You'll find the left does actually "put forth" rational viewpoints. For instance, this article on war strategy. The only irrational viewpoint is believing half your nation to be irrational.

That said, how can you not recognize that the right is emotional? Romantic, even. The values stuff you guys lay on is just soooo much gooey syrup smothering an ugly truth: the USA supports democracy when it's in your economic interests and opposes democracy when it's not.

Nobody knows (yet) why your country is shifting more and more towards conservative values, specifically religious values. According to sociologists, the more modern a country is, the more secular it is. The USA bucks the trend, and sociologists are baffled.

Peace.  

By Blogger Cardinalpark, at Thu Jun 30, 02:58:00 PM:

I must respond to a comment by the final anonymous poster juxtaposing modernity-secularism and antiquity-religiosity. We've now drifted off the original post, but this is an interesting topic.

The US comfort with religiosity is not a recent trend. Far from it. It is a historical fact since inception. The original settlers of America were escaping government-established monopoly religion which had deprived them of religious freedom in their home countries. They were all intensely devout, but deeply estranged from the established government churches in their home countries. They were essentially all small p protestants (think about the root). The US was born with true religious freedom, and therefore hasn't purged itself of religiosity in public life -- it has worked here without oppressing people's beliefs or denying them freedom of worship. By contrast, the nation states of Europe dictated religion to their citizenry, never had religious freedom, and solved this oppression in modernity by doing away with government-monopoly religion in favor of secularism (given the ultimate appalling societal conflagrations caused by established religion.

This distinction is never appreciated by those who talk about separation of church and state. The founders didn't intend that religion or faith or belief be purged from public life. They merely believed that the state should not impose a single "established" or monopoly religion, which would serve to oppress those who chose to worship (or not) in some other fashion. This was principally what immigrants to America were seeking - freedom to follow their own faith.

There is no more modern country than America. And yet we have an enormous population of devout people worshipping freely the religion of their choice. A free market, as it were. So the historical record and empirical evidence both are very much at odds with your comment.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 30, 03:26:00 PM:

"By contrast, the nation states of Europe dictated religion to their citizenry, never had religious freedom, and solved this oppression in modernity by doing away with government-monopoly religion in favor of secularism."

Cardinalpark, I think you're giving the state a bit too much credit here. Check out the lecture, it's interesting! (However, I don't want to encourage a discussion of religiosity in the USA, since I've only visited your country a few times and I'm a humanist.)

I figure Japan is the most modern country in the world.

I'm far more interested in encouraging Americans to "do time" in one another's media pools, as TigerHawk himself had been encouraging for a while. With the new media, it's never been easier to immerse yourself in echo chambers. I sorta dig the idea of a 30-day immersion, a la Morgan Spurlock.

Peace.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 30, 05:23:00 PM:

Even more interesting is the MIT lecture on "The Arab Discourse." Want an intelligent survey of what Arabs are thinking? Check it out!

Peace.  

By Blogger Cardinalpark, at Thu Jun 30, 05:55:00 PM:

Thanks Anonymous the Humanist - I appreciate your friendly tone, and I did check out the lecture. It didn't talk much about Europe. But if you want to check out some interesting and beautifully written views on the subject, check our Mark Steyn's interview #2 on www.rightwingnews.com. He describes the European switch from Establishment Church Monopoly to Radical Secularist Monoply.

He is an incredibly articulate and knowledgeable fellow. And he'll make you laugh.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Jun 30, 07:57:00 PM:

"The era of the state church has been replaced by an age in which the state itself is the church. European progressives still don't get this: they think the idea of a religion telling you how to live your life is primitive, but the government regulating every aspect of it is somehow advanced and enlightened."
- from "Mark Steyn Interview #2"

Hmmm.

Well, he doesn't hold up to a close reading, does he? It's science fiction to suggest that Europeans worship the state and that the government regulates every aspect of their lives.

What is it with all the macho posturing on the right? And why do so many right-wing websites have that muscled skinhead fitness program ad? lol!

Peace.  

By Anonymous GoLakers, at Fri Jul 01, 05:37:00 AM:

"Science fiction"?

I think not.

An exaggeration, maybe, but certainly NOT fantasy.

I happen to be a member of DemocraticUnderground. I do, in fact, read both sides extensively. I resent the implication that because I haven't found a logical, factual discourse on the "corruption" of George Bush, it means I haven't had a broad enough inquiry.

Until I see some truth, some facts, some reality to support the concept that the President is corrupt, then I reject the premise. I firmly believe that the Left has repeated the charge so often that it actually has convinced itself regardless of reality.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Jul 01, 12:18:00 PM:

"I do, in fact, read both sides extensively. ... I firmly believe that the Left has repeated the charge so often that it actually has convinced itself regardless of reality."

I find it hard to believe you've read both sides extensively and can't find any arguments on the left that build a case that Bush is corrupt. Just check out the archives at Democracy Now. But I would really prefer not to argue. It's pointless.

That said, I don't give a damn about the issue of Bush. I don't trust him, but I'm not an American so who gives a shit. I'm just tired of the Bush administration and its tactless foreign policy.

The MIT lecture on "The Arab Discourse" that I mentioned earlier is something I wish every American could watch and discuss.

Peace.  

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