As Recruiting Numbers Dwindle, Podhoretz Bangs His Drum

An article in the Washington Post tonight caught my eye, almost simultaneous with the eye-catching (and popping) article from Norman Podhoretz that I'll get to in a minute. Army Off Target on Recruits, by Josh White, starts off with an interesting blurb:

The percentage of new recruits entering the Army with a high school diploma dropped to a new low in 2007, according to a study released yesterday, and Army officials confirmed that they have lowered their standards to meet high recruiting goals in the middle of two ongoing wars.

So, this means that as the Army fails to get the numbers of fresh bodies it needs going into the Iraq meatgrinder, it lowers the standards in order to expand the net and capture more folks -- folks who would not have formerly qualified.

Does this mean we'll have more soldiers who won't know any better than to follow idiot orders like those that led to the embarassments of Guatanamo and Abu Ghraib, or the horrors of Fallujah?

Does it mean that our soldiers are going to be less capable of making proper command decisions when under fire, where the stress and duress of a situation could be complicated by the loss of a leader?

Are we setting our troops up for failure, by yet again lowering the standard of base qualifications?

These are important questions, folks -- questions that I'm not qualified to answer, but which need to be asked. If the Army is eventually reduced to a mass of what is essentially fodder for the war machine -- boots on the ground to fulfill only basic functions while former DefSec Rumsfeld's dream of a "leaner, meaner" and highly equipped Special Forces-like elite handles the big guns -- aren't we failing our troops, our nation and our own security by allowing poor circumstances to set our path toward the creation of Rumsfeld's reality?

In the meantime, while the UN gains support for a new draft of watered-down sanctions against Iran, the neoconservative chickenhawk machine is gearing up once again to attempt to screw up enough courage to engage Iran in a bombing campaign. This time, the idiocy is coming from the pages of the Wall Street Journal, and takes the form of words from the bloody fingertips of Norman Podhoretz (Wiki entry), an original signatory of the PNAC.

Remember that? The PNAC? (Wiki) ...yeah, thought you might.

The article Stopping Iran is a sickening call for all keyboard kommandos and chickenhawks.

I'll spare you all the inane trivializing, and get right to the summation.

Third-to-last paragraph:

The upshot is that if Iran is to be prevented from becoming a nuclear power, it is the United States that will have to do the preventing, to do it by means of a bombing campaign, and (because "if we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long") to do it soon.

And yes, he's quoting Bush.

The last two paragraphs are the ultimate in idiotic idolatry and Godwinism:

When I first predicted a year or so ago that Mr. Bush would bomb Iran's nuclear facilities once he had played out the futile diplomatic string, the obstacles that stood in his way were great but they did not strike me as insurmountable. Now, thanks in large part to the new NIE, they have grown so formidable that I can only stick by my prediction with what the NIE itself would describe as "low-to-moderate confidence." For Mr. Bush is right about the resemblance between 2008 and 1938. In 1938, as Winston Churchill later said, Hitler could still have been stopped at a relatively low price and many millions of lives could have been saved if England and France had not deceived themselves about the realities of their situation. Mutatis mutandis, it is the same in 2008, when Iran can still be stopped from getting the bomb and even more millions of lives can be saved--but only provided that we summon up the courage to see what is staring us in the face and then act on what we see.

Unless we do, the forces that are blindly working to ensure that Iran will get the bomb are likely to prevail even against the clear-sighted determination of George W. Bush, just as the forces of appeasement did against Churchill in 1938. In which case, we had all better pray that there will be enough time for the next President to discharge the responsibility that Mr. Bush will have been forced to pass on, and that this successor will also have the clarity and the courage to discharge it. If not--God help us all--the stage will have been set for the outbreak of a nuclear war that will become as inescapable then as it is avoidable now.

That last line is nearly identical to the same pablum spouted when trying to lead up to the illegal attack, invasion and occupation of Iraq -- all of which, by the way, is now indisputably known to be based on a pack of lies. At least 935 of them at last count, in fact.

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The DoD and VA can always get their money back:

As Kathie Costos, 'Nam Guadian Angel says: File this one under WTF were they thinking‏!

Kathies site , you can find her post about this here.

Bill would clear vets’ estates of VA debt

By Rick Maze - Staff writer - Army Times
Posted : Tuesday Jan 22, 2008 17:26:38 EST

but Hutchison aides found that VA has collected more than $56,000 from the families of 22 deceased soldiers, mostly National Guard and reserve members called to active duty who received overpayments of GI Bill education benefits.

“The fact that VA is forced to collect a few hundred dollars from bereaved mothers and fathers for something as simple as a small debt for education benefits is ludicrous.”

Kudo's to Hutchinson with a message: "This came about as a result of
the atmosphere the previous congress and the administration set forth
while cheering on the Drums Of War!!!!" !

If they were sent to fight, they are too few. If they were sent to die, they are too many!

Is 'Funding' Really For Troops?

What Happened To Funding and Oversite For Military/Veteran Care In Previous Congresses?

"The wise man points to the stars and the fool sees only the finger - and discusses it 24/7 on cable."

.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has been doing terrific work connecting the recruiting practices with the "training and arming" of American Hate and Racist sects. A quick, older 2006 snapshot is Extremists in the Military

Separately, U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, Republican of Alabama, also urged Rumsfeld to adopt and enforce a zero-tolerance policy. "Military extremists present an elevated threat both to their fellow service members and the public," Shelby wrote (PDF). "We witnessed with Timothy McVeigh that today's racist extremist may become tomorrow's domestic terrorist. Of all the institutions in our society, the U.S. military is the absolute last place extremists can be permitted to exist."

A full report was in the July 2006 Intelligence Report, entitled A Few Bad Men

July 7, 2006 -- Before the U.S. military made Matt Buschbacher a Navy SEAL, he made himself a soldier of the Fourth Reich.
Before Forrest Fogarty attended Military Police counter-insurgency training school, he attended Nazi skinhead festivals as lead singer for the hate rock band Attack.

And before Army engineer Jon Fain joined the invasion of Iraq to fight the War on Terror, the neo-Nazi National Alliance member fantasized about fighting a war on Jews.

"Ever since my youth -- when I watched WWII footage and saw how well-disciplined and sharply dressed the German forces were -- I have wanted to be a soldier," Fain said in a Winter 2004 interview with the National Alliance magazine Resistance. "Joining the American military was as close as I could get."

"Ever since my youth -- when I watched WWII footage and saw how well-disciplined and sharply dressed the German forces were -- I have wanted to be a soldier,"... [...snip...] ..."Joining the American military was as close as I could get."

Sheesh.

has the raving lunatic William Kristol...

yeech.

infiltration and pollution.

On Buzzflash, his comment suggests that

There are many people that are illiterate or semi-literate that are very effective warriors...snip...People who would be skipped, NeoNazis and KlanThugs, who's hatred and violence would have disqualified them as unstable, are now being actively recruited.

insights, and they go hand-in-hand with the changes that are ~preceding~ them on the homefront vis-a-vis the "domestic terror" bills.

Talk about manufacturing fate...