A Liberal Marines Progressive Perspective

Marines are defenders of the republic and the Constitution. That is our oath, that is our purpose, that is our calling. Many are Democrats. This is the journal of one such Marine. This leatherneck's progressive perspective is as follows...

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Location: Southwest, United States

U.S. Marine,0300 MOS,eight years in,honorably discharged,college-educated. To all the damned trolls, you better believe there are liberal Marines. Read "War Is A Racket" by 2-time Medal of Honor recipient Maj.Gen.S.D.Butler, plus Lewis B. Puller, Jr.'s "Fortunate Son" and maybe then you'll understand. Semper Fi!

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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

A Dearth of Young, Bright, Eager Faces: The Recruiting Nightmare of 2004/2005, It's Impact on the Future of the Republic and the Inevitability of a DraftPosted by Hello
A good morning to you all. Got a documentary on DVD from Blockbuster last night titled 'Super Size Me' (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0390521/combined). In short, it was genius. The film delves into the obesity crisis that is sweeping the United States and how the fast-food industry is playing a herculean role (McDonald's especially, hence the title) in facilitating this crisis in American health by placing profit margins over the public well-being and the public welfare. The brain-child of Mr. Morgan Spurlock (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1041597/), the film points a damning finger in the courtroom of ethics and social responsibility squarely at the pre-packaged/fast-food industry as a whole. For his efforts (and at great personal risk to his health I might add...he ate McDonald's three times a day for thirty days...folks, you have got to see how this impacted his health), Mr. Spurlock deserves a medal in that he has done a great service (from a sociological perspective) in shedding light on an obesity crisis that can only be described (and indeed, MUST BE described) as a genuine threat to our national security. I recommend this documetary to everyone and anyone aboard the blog. In short, it is simply a riveting and fascinating piece of quality documentary journalism that certainly delivers the goods. Now, on to today's topic which is the lack of manpower inflow vis a vis the Armed Forces of the United States; an armed forces that is (unfortunately) not lacking when it comes to a lot of manpower "out-go", i.e., (1) not many going into the military, (2) many leaving the services prematurely a/k/a attrition and (3) the KIA's and WIA's that are taking place in those areas of operation even as we speak. In fact, the Army finally came off of their most recent recruitment numbers after delaying their release as long as they could and let me tell you, the number aren't good (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/08/politics/08recruit.html). Even AFTER lowering their recruiting standards (which in itself is certainly not good, http://slate.msn.com/id/2120146/ ), the numbers are nothing to write home about. These are troubling times for the U.S. Armed Forces, to be sure (and the country as a whole) due to the hyper-extension of American forces to far-flung theaters around the globe in the prosecution of the so-called 'Global War on Terrorism'. "Global" is the key word, you see. In other words, this is a huge endeavour of massive logistical and personnel proportions. The strain on the military with its overheated operations tempo (or OPTEMPO, as it's called in-house) is enormous. I really feel sorry for the warriors whose primary mission is to make and mold new warriors for the Republic, i.e., the Marine drill instructors and Army drill sergeants (et al.). These good folks are charged with the already incredibly difficult responsibilty of turning undiscipined globs of human slobbery into hard-edged, hard-razored warriors of the first class ready to protect and defend the Constitution and soverignty of the United States of America. Did you notice I didn't mention anything about being utilized in "wars of pre-emption"? But, alas, that is a subject for another time. Like the saying goes, "...an artist is only as good as his/her material...", and the material these drill instructors are getting (in my opinion) ain't much to work with, both physically and in terms of character. Before I press on, allow me to first define what it is meant by the term "young people". The term "young people", as far as my understanding of the definition is concerned, means all of those Americans (males generally, but if it gets as bad as I think it will, it can easily apply to females as well) between the ages of 18 and 35 years of age. In fact, 'Stars and Stripes' (the American warriors newspaper of record since 1918) reported a short time ago that, for the second time in a row, the Marine Corps has failed to reach its recruiting goals (http://www.estripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=27556). This is an extermely disturbing trend, in that the Corps has always served as a kind of barometer in terms of how popular the military, or a protracted military operation, is at a particular time. In other words, if those fanatical-types of young people the Marine Corps has ALWAYS attracted...you know the type, those that are the backbone of the "warrior-class" or "warriordom"; those young people that are definitely NOT in it for the money; but are in it for something more intangible, something more magnanimous...like the ability to stand before the world and declare oneself a Marine, knowing that just about EVERYONE on the face of the Earth knows what a U.S. Marine is; succinctly, I am talking about the EXTREMELY motivated...the ones whose military locus of control is BIG TIME internal, as in "uber self-motivated"...or, in a word, fanatical. You see if THOSE young people, who are by their very nature attracted to the Marine Corps, if these same young folk are second guessing their enlistment into the Corps for God and country...than trust me, things are REALLY, REALLY bad! The Army isn't faring much better either quite frankly, with their numbers coming up slack as well, as the 'New York Times' article reports in the following link, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/04/politics/04recruit.html. The bottom line here is that the current Administration, in their zeal and lust for offensive operations and strategic pre-emption, has bitten off way more than it could possibly chew by having this country engaged militarily around the globe in a way unseen since the days of the Vietnam War. But, unlike the Vietnam War, the pool of recruits that today's armed forces must get their conscripts from is dangerously fat-nasty and NOT PHYSICALLY FIT. This pool is unsatisfactory, VERY UNSATISFACTORY. In short, they are simply out-of-shape (as the 'Super Size' documentary referred to at the beginning of this post makes so painfully clear). Seriously, our American young people (generally speaking, because there are some fit kids out there...just not nearly as many as there should be!) are not up to par when it comes to military service (don't take my word for it, read Alison Stein Wellner's 2003 article for more on the subject at http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0GDE/is_6_23/ai). Furthermore and even more disturbing, many of the young people of this country are unable to run, jump or lift anything of any consequence for any pertinent amount of time (http://www.femalemuscle.com/wilkins/seds.html). Folks, if I can see this and if I am understanding the gravity of this crisis within the American draft pool, than you know our enemies around the world are well aware of this and smiling with glee. They know our pool of recruits is lacking and not fit for duty. With the mission continuing to get tougher day by day for our recruiters (http://www.theunionleader.com/articles_showa.html?article=51303, http://wcco.com/localnews/local_story_151094121.html and http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/08/politics/08recruit.html), Bush and his neocons will have no choice but to reinstate the draft in order to fill the critical manpower shortages that are always a consequence of war and the continued prosecution of a war effort (and perhaps "woman-power" shortages too, if it becomes necessary to draft young women as well); for more on the subject, read Rodney Voger's brilliant 1 March 2005 article titled 'Inbox: Students Should Prepare for Imminent Military Draft' at the following link, http://www.dailyemerald.com/vnews/display.v/SEC/Commentary. In other words, at this rate, a military draft is simply inevitable (http://freeinternetpress.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=3030). With the young folks of this country immersed in an apathy unprecedented in American history, plus not having the physical fitness capabilities which would allow them to do one pull-up, let alone engage in the physical strenuousness that is modern combat, I can just feel the frustration that must be permeating from the very core of most (if not all) drill instructors/drill sergeants around the country. God bless them, because we have certainly given them a mission that will require from them a performance above and beyond the call of duty. The country will be looking to them to turn soft, young Americans into the warrior razors that are needed to fill the inevitable "gaps in the ranks" created by Bush II's war against the world. What we're asking of our drill instructors, I dare say, is a "Medal of Honor"-esque endeavour of effort...what a mission! It's a sh***y deal, but the drill instructors/drill sergeants will rise to the occasion (as they always have) or die trying. Semper Fidelis


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