Sunday, September 18, 2005

Response to RedState.org

Operation Yellow Elephant agrees with adamsweb at RedState.org that many Republicans have served in the military; we respect their service to our country. Operation Yellow Elephant also salutes conservative, right-wing commentator Jon Alvarez for doing the right thing: At 39 and supporting the Iraq War, he's enlisted in the Army Reserve. We wish him well.

But that's not the point. Why is Jon Alvarez almost alone? Isn't anyone else so inspired?

Operation Yellow Elephant highlights hypocrisy: When the U.S. Army, fighting a war [don't forget], is about to miss its recruiting quota for the first time in six years, those who strongly and publicly support the war, and are eligible to serve, can legitimately be asked whether they have considered volunteering to serve, when their country so clearly needs them.

And their answers are On The Record.

Those not eligible to serve who strongly and publicly support the war can legitimately be asked whether they have encouraged their relatives and friends, their circle of influence, to consider serving.

And their answers are also On The Record.

If the strongest, public supporters of U.S. military intervention refuse to ask themselves or their circle of influence to consider serving, then they, themselves, really don't support the war.

And they should say so.

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26 Comments:

At 18 September, 2005 10:36, Blogger Karl said...

It's horrible how payday loan companies exploit our soldiers.

 
At 18 September, 2005 11:08, Blogger Rev. Sacrilege said...

Karl, you are absolutely correct. These are legitimate questions.

 
At 19 September, 2005 08:59, Blogger Jolly Roger said...

You might also consider that most of them don't want to talk about PAYING for anything either. I believe the quickest way to end El Shrubbo's Great Patriotic War would be to impose a tax on petroleum commesurate with the cost of prosecuting the war. You'd see a whole bunch of born-again pacifists in no time.

These "patriots" don't want to hear about any form of sacrifice-they have their yellow magnets and that's enough! Screw fighting, or even contributing-that's Commanism, man!

 
At 19 September, 2005 10:56, Blogger Clytemnestra said...

I read the link that you posted to RedState.org. adamsweb is correct, there are a lot of Republicans serving in the armed forces, these tend to be the poor and middle class, NOT the upper middle class, the wealthy or the powerful.

He wants to blame the liberals control the public high schools and the universities. Nice simplistic buzz words and blame for what teens and their parents are seeing and feeling (the new recruitment ads are targeting parents). Due to No Child Left Behind, the military has all sorts of access to children’s school records.

20+ years ago when I graduated high school recruiters would wait one year before high school graduates started getting the military recruitment mail. Recruiters felt that after a year, those who weren’t in college were probably at a dead end and would be receptive to the offers. I thought it was pretty aggressive, and it worked on my cousin. But it is nothing compared to what my eldest son navigates.

He finally asked the recruiter at his high school if they go to all the private high schools in the area, religious* and non-religious day schools too. The recruiter said “No.” My son asked why. The reply; because NO ONE at those schools will enlist.

In contrast, five of my sons friends from the public high school (in Massachusetts) have enlisted. My son understood the message: the poor and the middle class are fighting this war while the upper middle class, wealthy and powerful reap all the benefits without taking any risks. A rich man’s war, that the poor man is fighting.



*many of the religious schools are very conservative.

 
At 19 September, 2005 12:11, Blogger StealthBadger said...

I believe I'd like to know what his MOS and duty station wind up being (sorry if those are dated terms).

I believe his piece could be summed up as overblown commentary, since it started low with the "Hate America" label (Don't these talking heads just LOVE quoting each other??) and just went downhill.

I believe Mr. Alvarez has been sucked right out of reality, out of time, even. Into a place of talking points and shredded memorandums, of invective and sophistry. A place where the word dialogue has as much meaning as the phrase "Paris Hilton's empathy." You know it, it's the spin zone.

I believe I need to buy another Dixie Chicks album. Maybe two. ^^

 
At 19 September, 2005 16:21, Blogger "Radical" Russ said...

Thanks for replying to my anti-blogger (he's like Spock with the van dyke in old Star Trek... the "Radical" Russ in an evil, parallel universe). adamsweb is Adam Graham at http://www.adamsweb.us/blog/index.php?blog=2. He and I have been commenting back and forth on each other's blogs since February, as he fights for/against many of the issues I'm against/for, and has taken root in my hometown of Boise, Idaho.

He has told me that he can't join the military because he is far too overweight. This picture of us meeting in Boise to have pizza and go visit the Ten Commandments monument the Boise City Council removed from a public park should give you some idea what I'm talking about (he's the one on the right -- and I set up the picture that way on purpose). Of course, I pointed out that I was overweight in 1985 when I joined the military, and wouldn't you know it, the Army has this fabulous program called "P.T.", led by one heck of an aerobics instructor called a "D.I." that took care of my flab problem right away.

Adam has written to me that one does not need to have been a soldier to support our current use of the Army, anymore than one needs to have been a firefighter to support the fire department. I tell him that when you voted for a serial arsonist who's been running around burning down the town, your support of the fire department and refusal to join in the firefighting rings kind of hollow.

 
At 19 September, 2005 21:57, Blogger Jesse G said...

Maybe the GOP Chickenhawks want to know if Cheetos are available in Iraq before commiting to serving their country,

 
At 19 September, 2005 22:48, Blogger Adam Graham said...

I read the link that you posted to RedState.org. adamsweb is correct, there are a lot of Republicans serving in the armed forces, these tend to be the poor and middle class, NOT the upper middle class, the wealthy or the powerful.

So, its not an ideology issue, its a CLASS issue. Do you really think that bloggers or college Republicans all belong to the upper class? Most rich people's sons don't go into war, some do and they're quite admirable.

He has told me that he can't join the military because he is far too overweight. This picture of us meeting in Boise to have pizza and go visit the Ten Commandments monument the Boise City Council removed from a public park should give you some idea what I'm talking about (he's the one on the right -- and I set up the picture that way on purpose). Of course, I pointed out that I was overweight in 1985 when I joined the military, and wouldn't you know it, the Army has this fabulous program called "P.T.", led by one heck of an aerobics instructor called a "D.I." that took care of my flab problem right away.

Look, Russ, my brother is about 30 pounds lighter than me and same height. He talked to a recruiter recently who asked him his weight and after hearing the answer, the recruiter responded, "Thanks for your time."

many Republicans haveserved in the military


Don't give me have served, if you read from Red State, you'd see the military is disproportionately Republican at this point:


69% of the Military had a favorable view of Bush, while 23% had an unfavorable view. 29% had a favorable view of Kerry, while 54% had an unfavorable view according to an Annenburg study.

 
At 19 September, 2005 22:59, Blogger Adam Graham said...

By the way, if we're going to talk about Military retention, take a look at this from the Heritage Foundation:


The Army and the Air Force fell short of their 1999 recruiting goals by 6,300 and 1,700 recruits, respectively. 57 The U.S. Navy was forced to change its recruiting standards in 1999 to make up for the nearly 7,000 sailors it lacked in 1998. That year, many Navy ships deployed with too few sailors onboard. 58

Retention is also a problem. With the exception of the Marines, the military is facing a severe manpower shortage. Although the Army is generally retaining enough soldiers, it is falling short on personnel with occupational specialties. For example, the 3rd Brigade of the 2nd Infantry Division was short on Bradley fighting vehicle turret mechanics, Abrams tank mechanics, and motor transport operators by 75 percent, 50 percent, and 36 percent, respectively. 59


But wait! This was all supposed to be Bush's fault. What I want to know is where all those people who supported bombing Aspirin factories and bombing Serbia back to the 1940s were when the military recruitment dropped.

 
At 20 September, 2005 01:00, Blogger Clytemnestra said...

Adam said...
"So, its not an ideology issue, its a CLASS issue. "

Frankly, it is both.

It is a class issue, just like it was a class issue in Vietnam. The poor served, while the rich did not. Or they found the magical hard to find by joe average ticket to the National Guard.

But it is also a party issue, I doubt if are many wealthy Democrats/liberals are supporting the war, wealthy Republicans/Conservatives on the other hand. . .

So if;

Democrats/liberals, rich, middle class and poor, do not support the war, then it is understandable why none of their socio-economic groups would enlist.

But . . .

If Republicans, rich, middle class and poor, SUPPORT the war, then they should be breaking down the doors to enlist. They should not be pointing fingers at or shaming the Democrats/liberals for not enlisting, unless and until they have a strong showing of enlistment from all Republican socio-economic groups.

Take the log out of your own eye first.

Lead by example.

 
At 20 September, 2005 01:48, Blogger Adam Graham said...

If the top 1% are underrepresented, really its not a huge deal because its only 1% of the population.

 
At 20 September, 2005 06:33, Blogger dedmike said...

So, adam, when are you going to lose that unhealthy fat and enlist, as I did 27 years ago?

 
At 20 September, 2005 07:10, Blogger Clytemnestra said...

ah ... so says one who does not lead by example.

 
At 20 September, 2005 12:25, Blogger Adam Graham said...

When liberals start fighting the war on poverty with their own money rather than robbing from taxpayers for wasteful bureaucracy.

That has as much to do with the War in Iraq as anything said here.

 
At 20 September, 2005 14:18, Blogger StealthBadger said...

Adam... WE DO. We give, and we give, and we give. And personally, since the richest in the country make an obscene amount of money off the poorest, I believe that because the richest AREN'T giving their fair share, that perhaps a nudge from the government is the only way to equitably redress that.

Because the "market economy" (where you get the very best laws you can buy) has only made the problem worse.

 
At 20 September, 2005 15:01, Blogger Adam Graham said...

According to the Generosity Index the top 25 most generous states in the nation are Red States, as are 27 of the top 28. And I didn't say give money, the point of this whole Operation Yellow Elephant is that giving money and moral support is not enough, you have to go and give up your careers, become social workers and join non-profits.

 
At 20 September, 2005 19:48, Blogger melior said...

What Adam failed to note is that his source considers being scammed by Operation Blessing to be a "donation", rather than what it is, feeding a Ponzi scheme of charlatans who prey off the naivete and vulnerability of senior citizens. That money doesn't go to the troops, or the hurricane victims, or the needy, it goes to buy satellite time, diamond mines, and hookers for radical cleric Pat Robertson and his cronies.

The whole point of OYE is pointing out the hypocrisy of having others die for your jingoistic, fake patriotism.

Draft Jenna and not-Jenna!

 
At 20 September, 2005 22:32, Blogger Adam Graham said...

First of all, Operation Blessing is a seperate entity from CBN. There've been some allegations , some concerns, mainly a lot of innuendo. The independent Ministry Watch which reccomends people NOT give to TBN or Benny Hinn has this to say on TBN, for efficiency in their operations, they rank 2nd of 457 ministries, in addition they get an "A" grade for their financial transparency.

Here's some of what Operation Blessing has done:

Holiday of Hope offers opportunities for gift-giving and volunteer involvement in making traditional seasonal and religious holidays memorable for low-income and impoverished families.

Hope Works offers economic stimulus, development resources and entrepreneurial imagination to struggling communities, families and individuals through broad co-operation of local churches and other Christian volunteer groups. OBI involvement ranges from education in business and development strategies to training in life skills. OBI’s International involvement emphasizes culture specific ideas and solutions to local problems.
Hunger Strike Force transports tons of donated fresh and canned produce, essential dry goods and non-perishables, medicine, nutritional and agricultural supplements, cleaning and building supplies, and varied appliances to disadvantaged and disaster victims across America and around the world. Begun with three tractor-trailers in the early nineties, HSF today has traffic routing hubs on both coasts, accepting donations from nationally recognized retail chains and facilitating volunteer humanitarian efforts of local and nationally recognized groups from every profession and walk of life.

Medical Services undertakes to provide a broad range of emergency medical services and urgent health care necessities to poor and underdeveloped areas world wide, through volunteer medical personnel, medicine, vitamins and equipment. Quick-strike teams numbering in personnel as few as 8 and as large as 150, followed by volunteer support personnel and educational services have provided a full range of needed medical responses in dozens of countries around the globe. Long-range support and preventative services have included establishment of pharmacies, mobile clinics, prenatal care and immunization programs, continuing-education, and ongoing co-operation among churches, volunteer support groups and existing government agencies.

Project Hope enhances local direct-service efforts to address basic, currently unmet human needs with a view toward instilling a sense of individual significance, personhood and human dignity. In perhaps the broadest effort of its kind, Project Hope assists existing, demonstrably sustainable programs with promising track records in improving access, availability, and administration of a broad range of services, from community-based transportation needs to low-income home ownership.


The fact is that by creating Operation Blessing, whether you like him or not, Pat Robertson has done more good for humanity that every member of Operation Yellow Elephant combined.

Now, having examined that record of financial responsibility, if you still doubt it, then consider that Operation Blessing only got $193 million last year of all the charitable dollars given, which is about a 1/5 of what Feed the Children gets. Operation Blessing has a small piece of the pie. Secondly, when we're dealing with left wing causes and ideas whether they work is irrelevant, its the thoughts and feelings behind the action. 70% of welfare dollars used to go to federal bureaucracy, yet its all good because of good intentions. Apparently, there's a different standard for Christian charities. And how many people strongly avoided religious charities and encouraged giving to the Red Cross despite the scandals that surrounded their efforts after 9/11.

 
At 21 September, 2005 02:59, Blogger shystee said...

What Adam also fails to note is that the hurricane Katrina relief effort has absolutely jack nothing to do with the shortage of recruits for the war in Iraq.

But he sounds like he's from the same group that associated Saddam with 9-11 so it's not entirely surprising.

giving money and moral support is not enough, you have to go and give up your careers,

A huge portion of the troops in Iraq are National Guard, meaning that most of them went and gave up their careers to serve their country. So you're basically calling them suckers, aren't you Adam? You're not going to go and do something as foolish as what they did are you?

I'm sure a National Guardsman reading your words from Iraq would really appreciate your kind of moral support.

 
At 21 September, 2005 03:09, Blogger Adam Graham said...

What Shystee fails to note is that I wasn't talking about Hurricane Katrina, I was talking about the War on Poverty which may have caused Hurricane Katrina by making a permenent underclass with little incentive to move up in society.

I was suggesting that leftists have committed us to a never-ending war on poverty that we've spent 7 TRILLION dollars on with little result, and a lot of bureaucracy.

Nor am I suggesting guard members are "suckers" for giving up their careers. I'm merely suggesting if every Conservative who has any support for the War in Iraq should enlist in the military than every liberal should dedicate themselves to fighting a war on poverty that's not working and where people are still poor after 40 years of it.

 
At 21 September, 2005 07:44, Blogger Clytemnestra said...

Adam said...
"When liberals start fighting the war on poverty with their own money rather than robbing from taxpayers for wasteful bureaucracy."

"That has as much to do with the War in Iraq as anything said here."

Uh, after Katrina and the highway budget do you really want to get into the subject of "wasteful bureaucracy?"

Adam I am the mother of 4, and quite frankly they do a better job of diverting and trying to change the topic and focus of an argument. I'm not biting on the change.

The topic is this unnecessary war and who serves, who does not and who reaps the greatest financial gain without sharing equally in the risks.

If you want to divert onto the subject of poverty then please also divert to the "War on Drugs." At least with the war on poverty Democrats have shown more of an understanding of how to break cycles of poverty (such as all those programs the Republicans cut that were designed to keep kids in what was/is for them the safest most secure environment they have, school. Democrats also seem to understand that you can't go after the drug suppliers, you need to dry up demand. Surprisingly after the example of prohibition Republicans, and especially supply siders, still don't seem to grasp. Since these two issues are intrinsically linked (more so that your weak diversion) we can also talk about Republican failure, and indifference when they’ve been in the in control of both congress and the white house.

 
At 21 September, 2005 10:25, Blogger Adam Graham said...


At least with the war on poverty Democrats have shown more of an understanding of how to break cycles of poverty


Which is why we have generations on welfare.

 
At 21 September, 2005 10:54, Blogger Clytemnestra said...

"Which is why we have generations on welfare."

sigh ... typical. Treat the problem with indifference, complain about what has been done but never put up a plan of your own.

And you guys run the white house and congress, you've had ample opportunity to show us something different, bring us a plan that shows how your way was/is far superior and yet, there has been nothing.

The only time when the Republicans have even begun to deal with the issue is after Katrina, when the face was laid bare. Bush has to sound more like a Democrat to win back support. All while his administration rolls back labor laws, immigration laws and a requirements for decent pay.

There are volumes and volumes of welfare success stories, but please, by all means ignore them just as you've ignored those stuck in poverty too.

 
At 21 September, 2005 12:44, Blogger shystee said...

If every Conservative who has any support for the War in Iraq should enlist in the military

Not every conservative, heavens! The military is only short 5 to 10,000 recruits so that should do. And only those in the appropriate age group. If half the country is truly "red" then it should be no problem finding 5 to 10,000 patriotic conservatives, no? By the way, how old are you?

Unless this country goes all communist and stuff, a capitalist system requires a certain percentage of the population to be poor and unemployed. Otherwise, if we had 100% employment companies would have to raise wages dramatically (horrors!).

So what do we do with these + or - 5% of unemployed Americans? The conservative solution is to blame them for their situation and deny them any government assistance. Let the lazy bastards starve and die, basically.

As Clytemnestra mentions, Conservatives have been in charge for the past 5 years. How has their tough love approach to poverty been working out? Pat Robertsons' faith based initiatives? There seem to still be a lot of desperately poor Americans out there, from what I saw of the Katrina coverage.

 
At 21 September, 2005 12:53, Blogger Adam Graham said...

First of all, liberals have made implementing the faith based initative very hard.

In addition, there are not enough Conservatives to make needed changes to a lot of these programs that are going to have to be made. They're solutions out there, they're just not coming out from members of Congress.

We believe charity starts at home, liberals believe it should be taken by force at the point of a gun. We contribute and build charities and I've already shown.

 
At 22 September, 2005 23:08, Blogger Clytemnestra said...

Adam, I'm not leaving this discussion I've jsut had two very tiring days and, like yesterday, am heading to bed early.

 

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