Will 92,000 believe this stinker?

Has this one hit the mainstream yet? Twistings of truth and outright lies — exaggerated promises of benefits, downplayed odds of seeing combat — are sadly not uncommon military recruitment tactics. (Neither is parking outside of a high school in a tricked-out Hummer with an awesome sound system, and flat screens on which you can play video games specifically designed to encourage new juvenile enlistees.) As recruiting has gotten harder, we’ve also seen high-profile incidents of recruiters encouraging applicants to lie.

Needless to say, a recruiter who believes his cause is noble should pride himself in honest recruitment: There’s no honor in duping a 16 year-old potential recruit who’s scrambling to find money for college. And then it’s bad for morale and public trust in the military when promises aren’t kept.

(A group of us worked to reform recruiting in Providence high schools a few years ago, and succeeded in having a number of changes instituted — like helping to make sure that students and parents knew what information they needed to release to recruiters, and what they didn’t. And no, I don’t mean to imply that all recruiters misrepresent facts.)

The tack at hand is especially nefarious because it comports with a wide-spread misconception of Obama’s military policy. I hope Obama gets us out of these conflicts, but that’s not what he’s saying he’s going to do: It’s unclear what path he’ll take in Iraq, and he plans to ramp things up in Afghanistan and increase military ranks by 92,000. (The Rahm Emmanuel pick is understandably worrisome to many anti-war activists.)

It’s hard to know if this particular recruiting tactic is widespread, or whether the guy who sent this email is on his own; whether similar lines are being used with potential new recruits, or just with reservists, etc. Some people over at VoteVets are on the lookout…

Army Recruitment

5 thoughts on “Will 92,000 believe this stinker?”

  1. joe bernstein

    I appreciate your very well thought out comment.My point is precisely that an army of draftees makes the President more accountable on the use of military force because a wider cross section of the population is directly affected.It can act as a speedbrake on military adventurism.
    The enforced mixing of people from all socioeconomic backgrounds and racial/ethnic groups is good too,and promotes better understanding.People of other backgrounds than one’s own become less “other”if you get my meaning.
    The more comfortable we all are around each other,the less mistrust and misplaced anger will result.It’s not about “kumbaya”bullshit-it’s about taking some time to realize that the world doesn’t revolve around you and that under the stress of teamwork under tough conditions differences don’t seem that significant anymore.
    In case you haven’t read my comments before,I very strongly opposed the Iraq War.
    By suggesting a draft I am emphatically not beating a war drum.Having been in a war,I don’t much like the human cost.It has to be for a good reason.

  2. Joe, sometimes I think the only thing the draft would do is mobilize everyone and their mother, and give them the training they’d need to effect revolution. Remember what happened the last time we started pulling our nation’s youth away from their families and careers to send them off to a pointless war? Massive social revolution.

    Wait. Maybe we -should- re-institute the draft. We need an upheaval.

    This isn’t World War II, there’s no defined enemy, and nobody is marching all over the world looking to dominate humanity. Hell, If you ask most conservatives ‘what is the objective of the current war on terror?’ they get all flummoxed. We have ‘conservatives’ telling us that there’s no money left to take care of the problems we have in our own borders, because they’ve gone and spent 500Bil, 100,000 innocent civilians, and 3,000 US Soldiers on hunting down a few thousand (if that) bad guys. We would have done better (including total destruction of Al-Quaeda) with a few surgical strikes rather than undertaking the just-as-wrong-as-it-always-was ‘nation building’.

    Joe, I’m a -patriot-, I believe in the constitution, and in the military, and in the ‘peace through strength’ idea. I update my draft registration whenever I move, and I’m ready and willing to go fight at the request of the Commander in Chief, whoever he may be, and for whatever reason, but there’s no need for -more- military right now, we just need to carefully and judiciously apply the military we have, and that means removing it from unnecessary deployment.

  3. joe bernstein

    One more thing-if we’d had a no exemption draft in 2003 Bush wouldn’t have had the stones to try invading Iraq-think about that!

  4. joe bernstein

    Why do you care,David?It’s not like you’d go in any event-too busy saving the Earth and society aren’t you?What makes you and your friends so Goddamn special?Too bad there’s no draft nowadays-it was a great social levelling device-it would’ve been better without the deferments for college students,teachers,”divinity students”and all the other people whose lives were too precious to “waste”. Nowadays the people in the military are out of sight,out of mind to so many Americans.

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