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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Blood Runs Red, Not Blue

This reminds me of Michael Moore's movie Farenheit 9/11, when he stands on the street asking members of congress to sign up their kids for a tour in Iraq. The astonished look on their faces was priceless. Something like - "are you kidding me?"

BOB HERBERT of the New York Times New York Times writes:

"College kids in the U.S. are playing video games and looking forward to frat parties while their less fortunate peers are rattling around like moving targets in Baghdad and Mosul, trying to dodge improvised explosive devices and rocket-propelled grenades.

There is something very, very wrong with this picture.

If the war in Iraq is worth fighting - if it's a noble venture, as the hawks insist it is - then it's worth fighting with the children of the privileged classes. They should be added to the combat mix. If it's not worth their blood, then we should bring the other troops home.

If Mr. Bush's war in Iraq is worth dying for, then the children of the privileged should be doing some of the dying."

He makes a point don't you think?

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12 Comments: 'It's your turn to toss the ball'...

At 12:43 PM, Anonymous boondoggle said...

Like Bush says - it's a matter of the haves, and the have more... then there's the rest of us.

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At 3:55 PM, Anonymous dumbfounded said...

I noticed a trackback on this post and would like to comment on it. Copperhead Collumnist said:

"If you, your child, or the child of any other parent has to be coerced into civic responsibility, I do not want them sharing a foxhole with me. I do not want them in my Army. I do not even want them doing Army paperwork or mopping Army floors thousan..."

My response to that is do you really believe that most of these kids were not "coerced" into service? Really! For crying out loud that is the point.

Kids with no money, no education and no future see joining the armed services as their only ticket out of poverty.

Makes you think don't it? I certainly hope so.

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At 10:38 PM, Blogger RTO Trainer said...

I serve with these "kids." I'll trust my own experience of them over your observations, Dumbfounded.

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At 3:08 PM, Anonymous dumbfounded said...

You have all my respect sir, but while you and your fellow soldiers fend off RPGs in a sweltering humvee without adequate armour, your born into privilege commander-in-chief is spending the summer riding a bicycle.

Go figure.

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At 3:27 PM, Blogger RTO Trainer said...

Armor always plays catchup to the size of the munitions. Armor won't solve our problems, only better tactis and those take time to first learn and then teach.

The armor argument is a red herring.

The CinC got elected, twice, I begrudge hom nothing and would not take his job for anything. I volunteered for what I do.

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At 5:15 PM, Anonymous dumbfounded said...

You're beating a dead bush so to speak ;). Red Herring or not, apparently your superiors disagree with you about the armour.

Nonetheless, you have to at least agree with me on one point - that most kids who join come from lower income families and hope to get a better education out of it.

I'm sure you've seen Farenheight 911. Not saying that Michael Morre is not unbiased, but the facts do speak for itself.

Again, I stress the word MOST. There will always be exceptions such as yourself.

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At 8:36 AM, Blogger RTO Trainer said...

Why do you suppose my superiors disagree with me? The purpose of the next step up in armor is to provide the breathing room for learning and teaching the next generation in tactics techniques and procedures.

The terrorists have begun wiring two artillery shells together for their IEDs, because 1 wasn't achieving the desired results anymore. How long do you thiknk it'll take for them to start using 3 instead of 2, when the realize 2 isn't as effective anymore?

Most recruits (and these aren't children) are from lower and middle income groups. The very poor and the wealthy are under represented. That said, if you check teh demographis of teh killed and wounded, you'll find a better societal cross section than you'd expect. It has to do with the MOS choices these people are making.

It *does* have to do with economics. But the picture you offer is vastly over-simplified. The higher income recruit is more likely to chose a combat arms MOS. They know they have the opportunities to persue the mroe techincal or cerebral course later in life, or they may (like I did) already have. The lower income recruit is more likely to chose a Combat Support or Combat Service Support MOS. They are persuing the skills they desire for the future in the moment.

There is a trend in military service with lower income individuals enlisting and middle class individuals getting commissions. It's not too hard to figure out why and it's the persuit of the college education.

The miltary funds college for the lower income groups through tuition assitance and the GI Bill, serve first, then college. For the middle class, they have the "seed money" to get started, but they often need a little help, again tuition assistance (especially state national guard programs) and ROTC represent the bulk of that.

Still, there remains a spark of something in each of us that make the decision to sign the dotted line that, if not present will not allow for that signature to be made.

A variety of analyses show that parents and family are the largest determinators for military service. Studies have also shown that exposure of service age young people to veterans is of critical importance. The dwindling number of veterans is the most probable cause of lower enlsitment rates.

For every question, like this one, there is an explanation that is simple, easily understood and communicated, and wrong.

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At 12:41 PM, Anonymous dumbfounded said...

"Why do you suppose my superiors disagree with me?"

Simply because it's all in the news that's why. The new armour is supposed to save casualties in Iraq. If you are saying that we don't have the technology to stay ahead of home-made bombs then all the more reason to skedaddle out of there.

You attempt to dance around the point of this discussion very well. The wealthy hold most of the power in this country, and yet on the whole their kids are not putting their lives on the line.

It's called HYPOCRISY, and if the war is such a noble venture then they ought to put their blood where their mouths are.

BTW, if you are going to quote demographics you should at least provide the links to support your theories.

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At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would also like to add to the above comment by saying that most of the so-called leadership who run the show in this country belong to that elite group of hypocrites.

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At 8:22 AM, Blogger RTO Trainer said...

http://www.ijoa.org/imta96/paper29.html

I look forward to seeing the support for your contentions.

You ought to look into the history of arms development. Armor has always played catch-up to bigger and better munitions. Compare a US soldier in full body armor to the Samurai armor. The similarities are striking. The next step in technology will be (because that's what it has always been)not better armor, but better mobility. Better tactics will see us to that point.

If paretns, of whatever calss, want their children to serve, then they must do a better job of instilling the values that lead to choosing service. I will never be willing to compel any one to serve, short of a matter of national survival.

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At 7:30 PM, Blogger Cyborg said...

dumbfounded,
I'm tired of being painted with the same ole brush. You see, under your logic, it's impossible for me to serve for any other reason besides leaving my humble beginnings behind.
Are you in the military, Dumb? Somehow, I sorta doubt it. You seem to be the sort who lacks perspective about what we do and why. You'd have looked at my blonde/blue stick buddy in flight school and assumed he's in because of family tradition...a West Pointer after all. I'm in simply because I wanted out of the ghetto, yet another black man fighting a white guy's war.
Do you have ANY idea how insulting that is to me?
RTO have gone round and round on more than a couple of issues. Howsomever, make no mistake in understanding what he refers to; about that 'spark of something' each of us had when we signed the dotted line.
Do consider this the next time you decide to summarily assign those of us from the lower and middle ends of the social economic ladder as mere refugees from YOUR idea of our torrid lives.
Consider it our gift to you that you would even wonder why we serve.
Cyborg.

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At 7:30 PM, Blogger Cyborg said...

dumbfounded,
I'm tired of being painted with the same ole brush. You see, under your logic, it's impossible for me to serve for any other reason besides leaving my humble beginnings behind.
Are you in the military, Dumb? Somehow, I sorta doubt it. You seem to be the sort who lacks perspective about what we do and why. You'd have looked at my blonde/blue stick buddy in flight school and assumed he's in because of family tradition...a West Pointer after all. I'm in simply because I wanted out of the ghetto, yet another black man fighting a white guy's war.
Do you have ANY idea how insulting that is to me?
RTO have gone round and round on more than a couple of issues. Howsomever, make no mistake in understanding what he refers to; about that 'spark of something' each of us had when we signed the dotted line.
Do consider this the next time you decide to summarily assign those of us from the lower and middle ends of the social economic ladder as mere refugees from YOUR idea of our torrid lives.
Consider it our gift to you that you would even wonder why we serve.
Cyborg.

 Edit Comment

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