Thursday, February 17, 2005


You are definitely not the only one who hates this war but what I can't figure is why we aren't hearing more protests and questioning. I read this morning that the President is asking for an addt'l $81.9 billion which will bring the total cost of Iraq and Afghanistan to $300 billion. More than the entire Vietnam war. I think this is unconscionable and I truly fear for what our children and grandchildren will have to deal with in the future. sf

ANSWER. My basic belief is that we don't hear more protests because most Americans are relatively uninvolved in the war--their lives are not effected, they don't have one single investment--no kids, nothing is changing how they live, etc. It is pathetic and morally reprehensivle that Americans are willing to let other parent's children fight their war.

Saturday, February 12, 2005


What about Iraq? I'm already seeing the news coverage shift; now not on page one or even two but eight. Not sure what this means. And, I'm not so sure that we have this much support for troops other than mouthing although Congress is doing some good things like raising the death benefits, long overdue. But, not sure that there's not a false support: more of a detachment, not my children. If you think that serving your country is so great, then why would you not want your children to serve.

In a sense, I have been totally off base in my thinking that many would think that a form of the draft would be good. Especially vets. Not so. One of my best buddies, a real hero, was a Marine platoon leader in Nam, wounded badly; but, when I questioned him about draft, thinking he would be all over it as great. He was vehemently against it! Why? Didn't want his two boys to serve? Interesting.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Military recruitment

Once I sat in a parking lot outside a big mall. Two military recruiters walked by: one a Marine, dressed to the nines. I love those Marine uniforms and the other in Army greens, both spiffy! What attracted my attentiion was not so much them but their actions. It was kind of like they were stalking this kid. Later on they walked up to him and began talking. I was reminded of Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons. I don't know what was said but hey gave him some literature and off he went. For a moment, I felt incredibly sorry for the Recruiters.

First of all, they are under enormous pressure. Most of them are "detailed" to it for a certain period of time. They have to produce. They are under pressure--most are career soldiers and if they don't do the job, will find themselves at a career dead end. They shouldn't have to do this: stalk youngsters, spend time talking them into the military. It is demeaning. It should be a privileged to serve.

There's a big hullabaloo in recruiters telemarketing High School seniors. How did they get the numbers? How dare they do this? There's a kind fo beliegerance: how dare a military recruiter try to talk to my kid. Disdain!

And, the military falls further behind especailly in the National Guard; they are as much as 30 percent behind what they should have. The military has doubled its advertising spending, to recruits. Standards have been lowered with benefits while signup bonuses have been increased. The Army is bombaring MTV with ads, suggesting a visit to to play a video game. It has sponsored a NASCAR entry and even has a dragster.

What does all this mean. Plain and simple it means that the American public is distancing itself from the military. It is what having a Volunteer Army does. As long as the public can keep the military isolated to only those kids who want to serve, then the vast majority of kids can be free to pursue their lives at college or whatever it might be sans military. Most parents don't want to take the chance of having their eighteen year old talk to some salesman's pitch on the military.

I also wonder something else. Is all this hype and glory in honoring the soldier truly sincere on the part of the public. With the fervor of "honoring the military," I've begun to wonder. Is this a kind of projection: we really don't want to feel guilty or bad