Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Holy crap

Read this.

(via Kos)

18 comments:

Dr. Strangelove said...

A few more "bad apples," I guess. That's how the conservatives will dismiss this story. But this marine recruitment nightmare is an aspect of the same phenomenon as Abu Ghraib.

For some reason, conservatives seem happy to forgive the military for ignoring the law of unintended consequences. If one puts strong pressure on one's subordinates to produce results, yet one fails to provide any counterbalancing oversight, it is inevitable that some subordinates will do whatever they feel they have to in order to produce the desired results, ethics bedamned.

Certainly the individual soldiers who misbehave are the ones most liable for their actions, but those who enticed them to do so are also culpable. The military knows there is going to be a certain percentage of "bad apples" in every group--no surprise here. So it is irresponsible to design policies that ignore their existence.

In the Rumsfeld era, when civilian leaders of the military demand results and turn a blind eye to the process (or even, as in the case of interrogations, encourage stretching the limits of the law!) it's no accident that this kind of horror story is what you get.

The fish rots from the head down.

Anonymous said...

Remember, we're "at war." That means that it is unpatriotic to criticize anything in the government, or to point out any flaws in the military. Just talking about a potential recruiting problem is un-American and unpatriotic. Sssssssssssshh 

// posted by Law Talking Guy

Anonymous said...

I agree with what Dr. Strangelove and LTG have said so far. I especially agree with Dr. Strangelove that the intentional neglect of appropriate oversight makes the DOD and White House ultimately responsible for this kind of thing.

I'll add that the pressure on recruiters is going up because (as has been a topic of discussion on Daily Kos) the number of recruits is falling far short of the need. Market forces at work! The invisible hand is telling George Bush that his dirty little war in Iraq isn't worth it! But I guess his devotion to the principles of the free market only goes so far as it means white collar crime remains consequence free. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

Well, RBR, this recruiting problem ties into your theory of rural vs. urban. NPR reported from Seattle this morning that recruiters in that area have missed their goals 25 out of the last 26 months. A Seattle high school Parent-Teacher-Student organization adopted a symbolic resolution to bar recruiters from campus. And when the recruiter comes, he is given a police escort.

In rural areas outside of Seattle, the response is much more hospitable. The recruiter, a 14 year man, pointed out that when you hear of deaths in Iraq, they are soldiers from rural areas. This, of course, raises class issues. He pointed out that if current trends continue, the draft may have to be reinstated.

There you go, boys, the "D" word.
 

// posted by USWest

Anonymous said...

And why are rural kids more open to the idea of joining the military? I think its a combination of several things. First, religious indoctrination. We have all seen military ads or spokesmen saying "The military is a values based organization." At the same time, conservative preachers are "Patriot Pastors " (their own word for their movement) and are preaching nationalism from the pulpit.

Second, economic decline in rural areas and small towns. Families that used to own their own land are now merely employees of big multinationals like ADM. It's 21st century shrae-cropping! At the same time, manufacturing jobs are leaving and the result is that opportunities for young people in small towns are few and far between. So you have no options and your pastor tells you it's God's will that this war be faught and that the military are "God Fearing" or "Righteous" or whatever. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of another Bill Hicks qoute (and I'm paraphrasing here):

"Since when did the military become so moral? Aren't you hired killers? 'Yeah, I don't want any gays around me when I'm blowing up litte children'!" 

// posted by Siddharthawolf

Anonymous said...

Good points, all, RBR and SID. And consider that even inner-city youths (usually Black or Hispanic) are less willing to enlist. Unlike the rural kids, they feel so disenfranchised from the system, they wonder why they should bother to serve it. Thus, it is the rural kid from the heartland given the task.

I wonder if having the body bags coming home to Lincoln, Pierre, and Kansas City has any effect on the attitudes of those voting red. The Administration that imposes a draft and those who support it, will take a pretty severe hit. And I'd like to point out that in all the recruiting stories I have heard, they have all featured either the Army or the Marines and they have all focused on recruiting men. Pair this with recent moves to bar women from combat roles, and you have a real interesting dynamic.
 

// posted by USWest

Anonymous said...

So far it seems like families that have lost people in Iraq are moving to the right. We are still in the phase where people are trying to justify their family's loss by exagerating the neccessity of the war. From a cognative dissonance point of view, this is pretty predictable. Opposing the war now would be like admitting your son, daughter, husband, wife or whatever died for nothing. It is easier psychologically to just keep voting for Bush et al. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

Draft the college students at the pro-war rallies and from the GOP clubs. That should shut them up quick. 

// posted by Loyal Achates

Anonymous said...

I don't think preachers are preaching military enrollment as much as you do, RbR. Values, yes, but not "Go out and die for your country." Not to mention the parents who are horrified at the idea that their kids might be sent to Iraq. 

// posted by Bell Curve

Anonymous said...

Bell Curve. Did you check out the website for "Patriot Pastors? " The page is supposedly a religious website but it is full of flags and banners. The rhetoric is very militarized "spiritual warfare" etc. There is rhetoric about how HIV kills more Americans than "every war this country has ever faught." The United States is on a divinely ordained mission to "share a living savior with a dying world." I'll let you read about the increase in birth pain and other signs of the coming rapture. But I stand by my assertion that conservative Christians are pushing a militarized, nationalist form of Christianity. I've been trying to get the folks on this blog to check out these people with little success.

Besides, the selling point isn't "die for your country." The selling point is "kill for God...oh, and your country."  

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

I have to wonder how broadly spread these "Patriot Pastors" are. How many are there that think "American universities have become the arteries of spiritual toxic waste."

Yikes another crazy born every minute.

 

// posted by USwest

Anonymous said...

This group is closely linked to the current Republican Secretary of State for Ohio. He is using them to push his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the Governorship. They may not be reflective of most Americans or even most Christians but they are certainly "main stream" for the Republican party. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

So long as Republicans can scare people into thinking that we're under attack, the bodybags only increase devotion to the cause. Wars become unpopular when casualty rates are high AND people don't see the reason for the war. The rural areas can take lots of bodybags and will call anyone who points them in criticism of the government as a traitor.  

// posted by Law Talking Guy

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