Sunday, December 31, 2006

March on Washington January 27, 2007: A Positive Message for America!

United for Peace and Justice has called for a March on Washington, January 27, 2007, with the Mobilization continuing through January 29. Click here for details. President Bush is expected to give the State of the Union address on January 23.

We can expect the College and Young Republicans and other strong supporters of the war/surge/etc. in Iraq to demonstrate in Support of President Bush. That's where you come in.

Operation Yellow Elephant can add a positive, patriotic theme to the March on Washington by calling on all war supporters eligible to serve (healthy heterosexuals 41 and under) to Be A Man! Enlist!

That's right: No more nonsense about merely "to consider volunteering for military service." President Bush needs public support to win in Iraq, and his strongest supporters, if they still support him, have to step up to the plate.

It's time.

Has Montana Joined Operation Yellow Elephant?

See for yourself:

Go to

Do a search on "yellow elephant"

Then see what the Montana Standard published on December 29.

Is the NYT/IHT's Roger Cohen a Yellow Elephant?

Steve Gilliard thinks so, and we agree. Money quote (from Steve):

Roger, here's reality.

Americans avoid enlisting to fight in Bush's war. We're taking criminals and 40 year olds to fight because the best and brightest of America would rather work in Wal Mart than face multiple tours in Iraq.

Not one of your friends or your kids' friends has one person they know serving in combat overseas. This is all abstraction to you.

But understand this: the American people have tired of your war and the cost of it. They want it to end. You and a bunch of warmongers won't change that.

All of you geostrategic eggheads have forgotten one basic principle of national leadership: Credibility.

If President Bush is correct that success in the Global War on Terrorism is essential for our national survival, or whatever, then why has neither he, nor Roger Cohen, ever even bothered to encourage those eligible to serve who agree with them, including their own relatives, friends, and circles of influence, at least to consider volunteering for military service?

As long as the New York Times/International Herald Tribune et al. think that our servicemembers are a mere abstraction, just "other people," the American people will continue to join them and their own circles of influence in pursuing their own "other priorities."

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Steve Gilliard Says It Best

So, please check out some very good recent posts, including comments. Thanks.

It isn't that bad, really.

Idiocy in Action.

2007: The Last Year in Iraq.

Why I hate chickenhawks.

Suicide over Iraq.

The bleeting of cowards.

Oh, it's worse than that (re enlisting foreign mercenaries).

Friday, December 29, 2006

Is Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (CT) a Yellow Elephant?

Attention Connecticut residents:

Please read Senator Joseph I. Lieberman's op-ed, "Why We Need More Troops in Iraq," in today's Washington Post.

We wonder if Senator Lieberman gets any info on how things are going in Iraq from any enlisted servicemembers or junior officers whom he knows personally. [As opposed to having to depend on official sources of information, such as the MSM.] So we've asked him.

Why don't you? Click here. And let us know what you find out. Click here.

Is Thomas Donnelly of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) About to Join Operation Yellow Elephant?

There may be many very good reasons, mostly strategic, for the U.S. not only to remain militarily engaged in Iraq, but to enhance our commitment to success, but almost nobody citing them has actually thought everything through:

If America needs more troops to protect its interests, then America's national leaders must call on real Americans, if qualified (healthy heterosexuals 41 and under) to volunteer for military service, even if they plan other careers later in life.

And if America's national leaders are unwilling, perhaps for legitimate reasons, to call on real Americans to volunteer, then perhaps also America's national leaders should reconsider their objectives. Steve Gilliard said it best June 22, 2005.

According to the Boston Globe, Thomas Donnelly of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) thinks that recruiting foreigners abroad for service in our military has some merit:

"It works as a military idea and it works in the context of American immigration," said Thomas Donnelly , a military scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington and a leading proponent of recruiting more foreigners to serve in the military.

Here's something else that Donnelly has said about a surge:

Much will depend on the president himself. He will have to take drastic steps, not delegate them to subordinates: insist on a strategy to secure Baghdad and generals who can achieve that goal; call on the active Army and Marine Corps to make greater sacrifices; mobilize a larger proportion of the National Guard and reserves; spend tens of billions to recruit, train, and equip larger land forces for the duration. He will need to summon every power of the commander in chief as well as mount the bully pulpit.

Well, Mr. Donnelly, we've been urging President Bush to encourage real Americans to Be A Man! Enlist! since June 2005. You know the best way for him to do so: Show the American people that our national elites, including the Bush clan and his own campaign contributors, are also personally participating in the GWOT.

Wouldn't it be great if this were news and not a snark?

Calendar Check: Young Republicans National Convention, July 4-8, 2007, Hollywood, Florida

Operation Yellow Elephant started at the College Republicans National Convention (CRNC) in Arlington, Virginia, in June 2005 and the Young Republicans National Convention (YRNC) in Las Vegas, Nevada, one month later.

YRNC 2007 takes place July 4-8 at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa in Hollywood, Florida. Please get started on plans for infiltrating and reporting on the event.

Stay tuned for further ops.

Hat tip to Miami Beach 411.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Has Frederick W. Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Joined Operation Yellow Elephant?

Frederick W. Kagan, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, may have said some of the magic words. Money quote:

Choosing Victory: A Plan for Success in Iraq

- - - - - -
This approach requires a national commitment to victory in Iraq:

- - - - - -
The president must request a substantial increase in ground forces end strength. This increase is vital to sustaining the morale of the combat forces by ensuring that relief is on the way. The president must issue a personal call for young Americans to volunteer to fight in the decisive conflict of this age.

OK, Mr. Kagan, shouldn't he start with his strongest supporters? We welcome your comments.

Are You a Real American? Be A Man! Enlist!

Well, the latest neocon salvation for Iraq, a Frenchified version of an American Foreign Legion, is back in the news. Given perennial recruiting problems, this is an easy filler of a story, but we've already discussed it before. At least the Boston Globe agrees. Let them know your opinion. Click here.

In addition to all that it means for credible national leadership of our great country [that is, how little is left], there are many practical problems, to wit:

1. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Once you're in the Army and a naturalized American citizen, just say you're not heterosexual (whether true or not is irrelevant), and you're home free.

2. Security clearances. Real Americans (i.e., either native-born or longtime citizens) who have spent time in exotic places learning the languages and living in the culture, have had serious difficulties getting security clearances. Why would new Americans have it any easier? Without security clearances, they're not that useful.

3. Secondary effects. Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) may be worried about increasing Muslim immigration to the United States. Well, if we're going to focus on people with special, needed skills, this would facilitate that process. Wouldn't it be easier to focus on inspiring real Americans (including legal immigrants) to Be A Man! Enlist!?

It really requires strategically thinking things through. As we've said before, a country that must outsource its national defense is not worth defending.

Hat tip also to Steve Gilliard.

Does U.S. Army Recruiting Command Need a Flog?

Well, high-powered corporations are hiring fake bloggers (floggers) to shill for them by creating "buzz." We've been doing the same for U.S. Army Recruiting Command since mid-2005, for free.

We don't want money; we want something far, far more valuable for America: Renewed commitment to credible national leadership by our President and our governing party [as of January 4, 2007, parties].

Our Army could help by posting some "Army Strong" images in easily downloadable format. Here's the best one we could find, an awesome pumpkin design.

That's the least they could do.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Are Some Talking Heads Out of Date?

The LA Times did a great article on military recruiting, but Staff Writers Julian E. Barnes and Peter Spiegel should have challenged one commenter. Money quote:

Current and former defense officials deny that changes in recruitment standards have adversely affected quality.

"The quality of the force is outstanding," said Bernard Rostker, a former undersecretary of Defense and onetime head of the Selective Service system. "There are plenty of people who we don't take today who are quite adequate to do the jobs we need."

Mr. Rostker, Mr. Barnes, and Mr. Spiegel, is that really true today? We don't think so, and here's why:

-- Too many reports of serious recruiting violations and standards being ignored (not waived, for which a process exists). The only fraudulent enlistments that come to light involve active, engaged, articulate relatives with clear, documentary evidence of ineligible conditions. Even then, multiple complaints to Members of Congress and the media are required before the military does the right thing.

-- What about inarticulate or non-existent relatives or a lack of clear, documentary evidence? Nobody cares, because they can pretend that they don't know about it.

-- High school journalists catching recruiters on tape showing them how to evade screening requirements, e.g., drug tests, high school diploma.

-- Are these the only such situations? Of course not. We just don't - yet - know about the rest, e.g., Army PFC Stephen D. Greene.

-- Army OCS 100% selection rate and extremely high promotion rates to Major (O-4).

Operation Yellow Elephant salutes all real Americans who have volunteered for military service in the GWOT, including those that recruiters have, or should have, found not qualified to enlist. We Thank those for Stepping Forward and wish them the best.

We also thank Mr. Rostker for his service to our country, but he should not be speaking in the present tense about matters about which he clearly knows nothing. And the LA Times should have at least challenged him on that. Journalism is not mere stenography.

Real Americans Join Operation Yellow Elephant!

Let's welcome Michael Gaddy from Lew Rockwell via Freedom Underground to Operation Yellow Elephant. He is one of the few commentators who knows that the wealthy and well-connected serve as our strategic reserve; it's time to go all out:

The Warmonger's Brigade

If this country is indeed in danger of having to fight the enemy on our soil, it is time to pull out all stops. If the Bush administration is serious about "protecting our freedom" and this is not a war started on lies to increase the bottom line of companies from the Military Industrial Complex, it is time to deploy the Warmonger’s Brigade.

First battalion would consist of all male and female members of the immediate families of everyone in the Bush administration. . . . Included in this battalion would be the children of all cabinet members, led of course by any eligible children of Alberto "torture is ok" Gonzales. I’m sure Karl (the leak) Rove has some children [He does; his son Andrew is 17 and a good marksman.], nieces or nephews that would make good cannon fodder.
- - - - - -
So he would not feel left out, all of Donald Rumsfeld’s eligible kin would be immediately drafted for service, even though he is no longer with this administration. They of course would be required to ride in unarmored Humvees while wearing Vietnam Era flak jackets.

- - - - - -
Second battalion would consist of all family members of those in Congress who have supported the war in Iraq. Chelsea Clinton could vie for command of this battalion with eligible members of the McCain family. . . .

- - - - - -
Third battalion would consist of all male and female members of those at FOX, NBC, CBS, ABC, and the Weekly Standard. Of course all relatives of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and William Kristol, followed closely by relatives of those at the New York Times and the Washington Post would receive orders for immediate deployment. All other media outlets in this country that have supported this war would also see their children deployed for immediate service in the "global war on terror."

Fourth battalion would consist of members from all the church leaders in this country who have blindly supported the illegal invasion of a country that posed no threat to us. . . . Recon battalion would consist of family members of all executives of companies in the Military Industrial Complex who has realized such huge profits from this war.
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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Why Argue with Statistics? Be A Man! Enlist!

Well, it seems that the non-liberal-leaning Heritage Foundation and the non-conservative-leaning National Priorities Project are both looking at military recruiting. Here are their dueling studies (and, perhaps, conclusions):

Heritage Foundation.

National Priorities Project.

Everyone is welcome to have fun reviewing them, as they appear to be based on the same data. Of course, are any conclusions drawn statistically significant? Even if so, do they support what the dueling press releases (Heritage Foundation, National Priorities Project 2005 data) claim?

We do have a question for the Heritage Foundation: If so many rich or "wealthier" Americans, however defined, are lining up to enlist, why hasn't the national media, including Fox News and the Washington Times, introduced us to at least a couple of them?

Michael Kinsley of the Washington Post Joins Operation Yellow Elephant!

OK, so he focused on Presidential twin daughters Jenna and not-Jenna, rather than all of those healthy heterosexual military-age Presidential nephews in the extended Bush clan, but the point is the same. Money quotes:

by Michael Kinsley

- - - - - -
Living your life according to your own values is a challenge for everyone, and it must be a special challenge if you happen to be the president. No one thinks that the president should have to give up a child to prove that his family is as serious about freedom as these other families he praises. But it would be reassuring to see a little struggle here -- some sign that the Bush family truly believes that American soldiers are dying for our freedom, and that it's worth it.

- - - - - -
But no amount of eloquence can overcome the bald contrast between [President Bush's] rhetoric and how his own family lives. His daughters are over 21, and he can't control them, but that doesn't let them off the hook. They are now independent moral actors, and their situation requires that they either publicly oppose their father's war or do something to support it. Is it unfair to expect Jenna and Barbara to shape their lives around their father's folly? Of course it's unfair. If this is war, then unfairness comes with the territory.

Let's welcome Michael Kinsley of the Washington Post to Operation Yellow Elephant!

Here's how one reader responded:

After reading the side-by-side op-eds on Dec. 5 -- Michael Kinsley's "Sins of the Father" and Richard Cohen's "How's Your War?" -- I decided there was a better possible retort from Sen.-elect James Webb (D-Va.) to President Bush's question. When Bush asked "How's your boy?" Webb should have replied: "It is tough serving in Iraq. And how are your girls?"

-- Priscilla K. Kirby
Oakton, VA, whom we also welcome to Operation Yellow Elephant.

Be A Man! Enlist!

Monday, December 25, 2006

The Soldier and the Grinch

Don't forget: The insurgents in Iraq, the Taliban in Afghanistan, etc., are not taking our holidays off.

Operation Yellow Elephant thanks all of our servicemembers for everything they have done, and are doing, and are preparing to do, for our nation.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

From a Soldier Going to Iraq . . .

The Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone
In a one bedroom house, made of plaster and stone.

I had come down the chimney with presents to give,
And to see just who in this home did live.

I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stocking by the mantle, just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.

With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
A sobering thought went through my mind.

For this house was different, it was dark and dreary,
I'd found the home of a soldier, I could at once see clearly.

The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled upon the floor in this one bedroom home.

His face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,
That's not how I'd pictured a United States soldier.

Was this the hero of whom I'd just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?

I realized the families I saw on this night,
Owe their lives to these soldiers, who're willing to fight.

Soon round the world the childen would play,
And grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.

They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
Because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.

I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.

That very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.

The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,
"Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice;"

" I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more,
My life is my God, my country, my Corps."

The soldier rolled over and drifted back to sleep,
I couldn't control it, I started to weep.

I kept watch for hours, so silent and still
And we both shivered from the cold night's chill.

I didn't want to leave on that cold, dark night
This Guardian of Honor so willing to fight.

The soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure,
And whispered, "Carry on, Santa, It's Christmas Day, All is secure."

One look at my watch and I knew he was right
Merry Christmas, my friend, and to all a Good Night!

The Real Recruiting Challenge: Parents

At least the New York Times is trying to do its job, with a major story on future military recruiting challenges even if the overall size of the Army and Marine Corps remain the same. Money quote:

Part of the struggle, recruiters said, is economic. Attracting young people to military service is difficult when jobs are plentiful and wages are on the rise.

The pool of eligible candidates is also small, as Army requirements that recruits meet certain physical, mental and moral standards mean that only 3 of 10 18-year-old Americans may apply.

Parents are another major obstacle to recruitment, Pentagon studies have shown. For some recruits, signing up means risking alienating parents, or just plain ignoring them.

Luis Vega, for example, after being sworn in to the Army Reserve on Friday at Fort Hamilton, said he had not told his parents.

“They think it’s just a phase,” he said.

His head was already shaved; he planned to ship out in April. And besides his fiancée, who he said supported the move, Mr. Vega, 28, said he was the only one in his hometown of East Rutherford, N.J., who seemed to understand the value of military service.

“Everybody thinks I’m crazy,” Mr. Vega said.

Such parents include President George W. Bush (R) and outgoing Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (R). [Yes, just sit through the Salon ad; it's brief and worth it.]

Hat tip to Dogged.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Oregon Congressman Joins Operation Yellow Elephant!

Rep. David Wu (D-OR) visited wounded servicemembers at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland (just outside Washington, D.C.). Money quote:

WASHINGTON -- As Rep. David Wu visited wounded soldiers in the National Naval Medical Center this week, he thought about President Bush considering a move to send more troops to Iraq.

Wu fears the White House will quietly roll out the "temporary surge" over the holidays, as if it were a company marketing a new product.

"We need to focus on whether we would choose to send our own son or daughter, our own wife or our own husband off for a temporary surge in Iraq," said Wu, D-Ore. "If we wouldn't do that, then should we permit this administration to roll out a potential product like that?"

Please join us in welcoming Congressman David Wu to Operation Yellow Elephant!

Hat tip to Buzzflash.

More from Matt Damon on Hardball with Chris Matthews

Matt Damon did the College Tour at George Mason University in northern Virginia for MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews. The transcript is out. Here are more quotes on our topic:

MATTHEWS: Do you think if you waterboarded Cheney, like in the movie, that you’d get a different truth out of him?

DAMON: Well, there’s two answers to that question. One is he doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who has any real personal courage. When it was his turn to go, he didn’t go. He deferred six times.

MATTHEWS: He said he had other priorities.

DAMON: Yes, he had other priorities. And he doesn’t seem to have other priorities about sending other kids there and other peoples kids.


- - - - - -

QUESTION FROM STUDENT: I was just wondering, would either of you go to war right now? Not right now, I guess, but would you go to war if you were us?

DE NIRO: Well that’s such a complex question.


MATTHEWS: If you were drafted?

DE NIRO: Well, I don’t know, that’s another thing about the draft and so on, if it ever would come up again. I mean, I was for going to Iraq originally and then I saw, I realized that when we went in we didn’t know how to deal with it once we were there. We just thought they’d all cheer us and we’d be out and then they’d want Democracy. We’re dealing with—we were just talking about before—the thousands of years old cultures that have all their in-fighting, whatever. I mean, we can’t come in unless we have a real plan or strategy and I never thought that.

DAMON: There is this great book that just came out about that called “Imperial Life in the Emerald City.” That’s definitely a book worth reading, just about that. We kind of blundered in there with the best intentions, but nevertheless without a plan. So, but in terms of your question, I agree with Bob that it’s a complex question. It would depend on certain situations. I don’t think that it’s fair, as I said before that it seems that we have a fighting class in our country that’s comprised of people who have to go for either financial reasons or you know, I don’t think that that is fair. And if you’re going to send people to war, if we all get together and decide we need to go to war, then that needs to be shared by everybody, you know. And if the president has daughters who are of age, then maybe they should go to. [emphasis added.]


[OYE Comment] OK, Matt Damon. You're eligible to serve. Now that the loyal opposition is poised to take over the Legislative Branch of our government, have you considered volunteering for military service?

Friday, December 22, 2006

70 percent Disabled with PTSD, but not Gay

We can thank President Bush, former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and the outgoing Republican-controlled Congress for their tireless efforts in protecting our military from non-heterosexuals, as reported in the Hartford Courant on December 10. Money quotes:

Broken By War, And Ordered Back

Nothing was stranger for Mary Jane Fernandez than the events of last Christmas, which had her 24-year-old son, newly returned from the war in Iraq, downing sedatives, ranting about how rich people were allowed to sit in recliners in church, and summoning the Waterbury police to come arrest him.

This Christmas may top that.

Despite being diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder and rated 70 percent disabled by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Damian Fernandez has been called back to duty and told to prepare for another deployment to Iraq.

- - - - - -
Steve Robinson, director of government relations for Veterans of America, said he knew of a number of other war veterans with PTSD who had been called back to Iraq.

"If you have a war-related injury that you're being compensated for," he said, "to be sent back into a situation that might exacerbate the problem just doesn't make sense."

- - - - - -
Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, an Army spokesman, said veterans can seek exemptions from being recalled and receive medical screenings before being deployed. But he said a physical or mental disability, including PTSD, was not "an automatic exemption" from serving.
[OYE Comment: Only being Gay is "an automatic exemption" from military service.]

- - - - - -
Mary Jane Fernandez said she already has notified the Army about Damian's chronic PTSD, and is stunned that he has not been excused. She said a friend of Damian's, who also has severe PTSD, has opted to go back to Iraq because "he misses killing people," the friend told her. A veterans' counselor familiar with the case confirmed that account.

- - - - - -
A new Pentagon policy deems PTSD a "treatable" condition, but directs that troops with psychiatric disorders should be sent to war only if they are stable and "without significant symptoms" for at least three months prior to deployment.

- - - - - -
"He feels guilty that if doesn't go back, he'll be deserting his buddies," Mary Jane said of her son, who received commendations for prior tours in Korea and Africa. "But if he does go back, he's afraid he won't be able to do his part.

"He's all torn up now."

- - - - - -
Because the Army has no policy exempting soldiers with PTSD from returning to war, counselors at the New Haven Vet Center have been unable to offer Damian assurances he will be excused. Mary Jane said one counselor suggested that Damian's best bet might be to stay "locked up" in the hospital through January.

Still, Donna Hryb, team leader at the Hartford Vet Center, said she would be surprised if the Army deploys a soldier as severely impaired as Damian."It would be counterproductive for the unit and for him," she said.

Hilferty, the Army spokesman, acknowledged that redeploying soldiers with "severe" psychological problems could jeopardize other troops' safety. He noted that the Army is not calling back soldiers who have served in combat within the last 12 months, to allow them time between deployments. Hilferty also said officials are working to better monitor soldiers' "readiness."

- - - - - -
Update (December 22): He's been discharged. Finally, and only after major negative publicity and the personal intervention of Senator Dodd (D-CT) and the Connecticut Attorney General. This veteran has honorably served his country and needs help. And it still took them twelve days to give him his life back. If he had made a "homosexual statement," he would have been discharged immediately.

OK, Yellow Elephants, when, if ever, will you decide to Be A Man! Enlist!?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

"An Honest Conversation," by Steve Gilliard, posted June 22, 2005, and still current

Wednesday, June 22, 2005 - but now more relevant than ever.

An Honest Conversation by Steve Gilliard

This will be brief.

We need to be honest here: Iraq is not worth one more dead American.

People on the right and left want some deus ex machina to save Iraq, but we have, collectively, come to a simple conclusion:

Iraq is not worth dying for. Not for the warmongers on the right or the liberal hawks on the left.

It's bad the soldiers are trapped there, but we have made it their problem. No one is willingly going to join them, and 5,000 have deserted so far.

When you ask liberal hawks to enlist, they are offended by the question.

When you ask conservatives to enlist, they are offended by the question.

And America's parents are NOT sending their kids to die in Iraq if they can, at all, help it. No one blows up IEDs at Wal Mart.

We have a volunteer army with fewer and fewer volunteers, and people reenlisting only to save their friends. There is a time limit to their ability to be in combat. They cannot serve forever. They will have to be replaced. And fewer and fewer are willing to replace them.

What I want people to do is be honest.

If you will not serve in Iraq, and no one you know will serve, stop expecting someone else to do what you will not.

Therefore, it is time to stop calling for more troops, or the U.S. to make Iraq safe. We cannot do this and even Americans are refusing to join the fight. It is time to look at your actions and realize that, despite your ideals, you oppose continuing this war. In practical terms, you have decided that this war is not worth your life or anyone you know. And millions of Americans have joined you in this decision.

So, with this fact evident, it is time to call for U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq. Not save it, not add more boots on the ground. You have already voted by your actions. It is time that you match it with your words.

from Steve Gilliard's News Blog, June 22, 2005.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

People Magazine Joins Operation Yellow Elephant!

Yes, so much for lazy, corporate MainStream Media, it took People Magazine to Ask The Question of President Bush:

PEOPLE: This year, we invited readers on our Web site to ask you questions. Here's one: Nina Frazier of New Braunfels, Texas, asks: If you believe in the war, why didn't you encourage your own daughters to fight for your country? Or did you?

THE PRESIDENT: I believe Americans can contribute to the security and well-being of our country in a variety of ways. That's why we have a volunteer army. What we say to young people is that if you want to serve your country you can do so in the military, or you can do so by teaching children in inner-city Washington, D.C., like one of our daughters did. Or you can help form education programs in New York City, like our (other) daughter. There are all kinds of ways to serve.
- - - - - -

PEOPLE: Are your daughters coming home for Christmas?

MRS. BUSH: They are. Jenna is working with an international organization in Central and South America about education policy. And Barbara is working for a museum in the education department.

Well, at least someone Asked The Question. The President didn't really answer it, however. He didn't say whether he had encouraged Jenna and not-Jenna or, more importantly for Operation Yellow Elephant [since women cannot, in theory, serve in combat], his nephews, to consider volunteering for military service in the Global War on Terrorism.

Hat tip to Steve Gilliard.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Can Basic Training Straighten-Out JEB Bush Jr.?

It seems that the younger son of Florida Governor JEB Bush (R), JEB Jr., right, needs some discipline and direction in life. He's had some run-ins with the law, but we know he's a healthy heterosexual, and he seems like a good kid. The structure of military service might bring out the best in him.

Plus, he could serve our nation in the Global War on Terrorism and help to Save America!

Hat tip to Wonkette.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Navy PT: Be A Man! Enlist!

To support our efforts to encourage President Bush's strongest supporters to Be A Man! Enlist!, we're going to post an occasional video showing what it's really like to serve your country in uniform.

Don't be afraid, Yellow Elephants, maybe you have it in you to succeed. If you at least give it a try, you're not yellow.

Military Recruiting Lead: The Pentagon

Spiderman and Captain America joined outgoing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon December 15 for his final farewell to the Department of Defense. Let's hope the recruiters were ready.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Let's Thank the Sun Kings of VAW-116!

Those videos are awesome, and so is Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron ONE ONE SIX (VAW-116), the Sun Kings! Here's their official website. Please send fan letters to VAW-116, encouraging them to continue to share their spirit with Real Americans!

Commanding Officer
13th St. Hangar #553
Point Mugu CA 93042

Yes, please send via snail mail. It'll be forwarded to VAW-116 wherever they are, and they'll appreciate it more. Thanks!

Matt Damon Joins Operation Yellow Elephant

Yes, we all remember 2003 and Citizens Against Celebrity Pundits, a nonpartisan grass roots citizens initiative telling celebrities to shut up and stop telling people what to think about, say, going to war in Iraq. If President Bush's strongest supporters don't want the well-connected to serve, maybe this will revive their movement:

Actor Matt Damon has publicly urged the Bush Twins, Jenna and not-Jenna, to Support the President by volunteering for military service in Iraq. Money quote:

"I don't think that it's fair as I said before, that it seems like we have a fighting class in our country that's comprised of people who have to go for either financial reasons or, I don't think that that is fair," said Damon, 36. "And if you're gonna send people to war ... then that needs to be shared by everybody, you know, and if the president has daughters who are of age then maybe they should go too."

The interview, on MSNBC's cable show, "Hardball with Chris Matthews," is scheduled to air Monday, December 18.

Don't forget: Matt Damon was born in 1970, so he's also eligible for military service. Let's see what else he says.

Hat tip to Steve Gilliard. Also Crooks and Liars.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Military Recruiting Lead: Late Night Shots, Washington, D.C.

Attention Military Recruiters:

You'll never find more healthy heterosexual well-under-41 patriotic pro-war supporters than at Late Night Shots (LNS), a social club for political conservatives in Washington, D.C.

LNS founder Reed Landry (above, right) and Dandridge Payne (seriously), above left, certainly seem like good recruiting prospects for the Global War on Terrorism in Iraq. Serving in uniform, if eligible, would contribute more to our national security than whatever they're doing now. [It's not working at Wal-Mart.]

We welcome tips including e-mail addresses so we can Ask The Question. Send to operationyellowelephant - at - gmail [dot] com. Thanks!

Major hat tip to Wonkette.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Michelle Malkin Accepts the Challenge!

Slightly OT, but not really:

Conservative Commentator Michelle Malkin has accepted an invitation to go to Baghdad and do some reporting. She attacks lazy liberal media for supposedly huddling in the safety of the Green Zone and only reporting bad news.

Think what you will about her opinions, but if she goes to Baghdad with no more security than she'd have in any U.S. city, then she clearly has more balls that the Yellow Elephants.

And if, as I sincerely hope, she wimps out, well, then at least she won't think ill of the journalists actually working in the Red Zone.

Hat tips to Steve Gilliard, Liberal Avenger.

From VAW-116, the Sun Kings (2 of 2)

The Black-Eyed Peas, "Pump It!" Another well done by U.S. Navy Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron ONE ONE SIX (VAW-116), the Sun Kings!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

LA Times: Draft Democrats to help run Iraq?

This is not a joke. Republican political consultant Mike Murphy wrote this op-ed and the LA Times printed it. Seriously. Money quotes:

Bush likes to move boldly and preemptively. He would be well advised to do so right now by adopting a strategy that he would find immensely painful but that is the best option he has. He should trump the Baker commission by extending its bipartisan spirit to make the Democrats an offer no patriot can refuse: He should establish a bipartisan war council made up of his national security team and the Democratic leaders of the key national security committees in Congress.
- - - - - -

Democrats now have congressional power, and they will use it. Far better for Bush to demand a partnership in the national interest, even if painful concessions are the necessary price. Far better to force the Democrats to accept the sober responsibilities that come with power than to keep them on the sidelines and become engulfed in a domestic political civil war over Iraq that the president no longer has the power to win.

The president could, in one statesmanlike gesture, end the paralysis in Washington, force Democratic maturity, reestablish his leadership and show our enemies American unity and resolve at a critical time for our nation. The public would reward it, and the national interest demands it.

Well, Operation Yellow Elephant has been suggesting one statesmanlike gesture for President Bush for quite some time now, saying this to the American people:

I urge all Americans eligible to serve (41 and under) to consider volunteering for military service. I have already urged my own relatives, friends, and political supporters, my circles of influence, to do this, and I ask you to join us. If you are not personally eligible to serve, I ask that you urge your eligible relatives and friends, your circles of influence, to consider serving.

Because we need all qualified Americans to consider military service, I have also asked Congress to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Victory in the Global War on Terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere is far more important to America than hate and bigotry. I urge Congress to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" without further delay. Thank you.

As we've been saying far too long, if President Bush cannot convince even his strongest supporters to volunteer, how can he possibly lead our nation, and the international coalition, to a successful outcome of the GWOT?

From VAW-116, the Sun Kings (1 of 2)

Outkast's "Hey Ya." Well done by U.S. Navy Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron ONE ONE SIX (VAW-116), the Sun Kings!

Monday, December 11, 2006

November 2006 Recruiting Statistics

Where are the November 2006 Recruiting Statistics?

The Pentagon usually posts them by the tenth of the following month.

What's the problem?

UPDATE 12DEC06: Here they are.

All active-duty services met or slightly exceeded their November quotas, which are seasonally adjusted over the eleven months of the recruiting year (October-September). Nobody starts basic training in December, although prior-service recruitment continues.

"Older" recruits (35-41) have worked out well; some have even performed the best on the PT test. We salute the Army Reserve for thinking outside the box. Operation Yellow Elephant thanks all October and November 2006 recruits for their commitment to service to our country in these difficult times.

Will Rep.-elect Adrian Smith (R, Nebraska) Accept the Challenge?

Nebraska Republican
Congressman Adrian Smith
Challenge the Democrats
Save America?
Here's the letter we sent to Rep.-elect Adrian Smith (R, Nebraska):
10 December 2006

The Honorable
Adrian Smith (Rep.-elect, Nebraska)
House of Representatives
Washington DC 20515

Dear Congressman-elect Smith:

I write to congratulate you on your election to Congress. It must have been wonderful to see President Bush visit Nebraska two days before the election to help you win.

As you know, the major challenge facing our great nation is the war in Iraq and whether all elements of our national power, including our military and diplomatic services, under President Bush’s strong leadership, can achieve success. Conspicuous in their absence from military service are those closely connected to the national leadership establishment of the White House and our current governing party.

No member of the extended Bush clan is serving, or has served, in the Global War on Terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere. Few Bush Rangers (raised $200,000+), Bush Pioneers ($100,000-$199,999), senior Administration officials, right-wing media figures or neocon think tank members personally know any enlisted servicemembers. This is a failure of national leadership.

That’s where you come in. At 35, you are the only new GOP Member of Congress young enough to serve (under 41). Assuming that you are healthy, heterosexual, and otherwise qualified, it’s up to you to Save America!

After being sworn in on January 3, 2007, I urge you to challenge the Democrats to Save America! Offer to resign your seat and volunteer for military service if a Democrat does the same. [Don’t worry about the other party winning your seat. If the good people of Nebraska can vote Republican even in November 2006, they’ll vote Republican no matter what.]

If Nancy Pelosi cannot convince one Democratic Congressman to Be A Man! Enlist!, then the Republicans will return to power on Capitol Hill in no time. But only if you have the courage of your convictions.

I hope you will accept the challenge.


Karl Olson
Operation Yellow Elephant

Operation Yellow Elephant is a non-partisan grass roots citizens initiative to Support Our President by encouraging his strongest supporters, if qualified, to volunteer for military service. As only healthy heterosexuals 41 and under are eligible, we focus on College and Young Republicans. If a particular patriot is not accepted for enlistment, Your Country Thanks You for stepping forward.

After all, if President Bush cannot convince even his strongest supporters to volunteer, how can he possibly lead our nation, and the international coalition, to a successful outcome of the Global War on Terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

News from the Department of Defense

Here's the latest News from the Department of Defense [as of 10DEC2006]

12/09/2006: DoD Identifies Army Casualties
12/09/2006: DoD Identifies Army Casualties
12/08/2006: DoD Identifies Marine Casualty
12/08/2006: DoD Identifies Army Casualty
12/08/2006: DoD Identifies Army Casualties
12/08/2006: DoD Identifies Marine Casualty
12/07/2006: DoD Identifies Army Casualties
12/07/2006: DoD Identifies Army Casualty
12/07/2006: DoD Identifies Army Casualty
12/07/2006: Comparative Testing Office Announces Projects for Fiscal 2007
12/07/2006: DoD Identifies Army Casualty
12/06/2006: DoD Identifies Army Casualty
12/06/2006: DoD Identifies Army Casualty
12/06/2006: DoD Identifies Marine Casualties
12/06/2006: DoD Identifies Army Casualty
12/06/2006: DoD Identifies Marine Casualty
12/06/2006: DoD Identifies Navy Casualty
12/06/2006: Navy to Christen USNS Alan Shepard
12/06/2006: National Guard (In Federal Status) and Reserve Mobilized as of December 6, 2006
12/05/2006: DoD Identifies Army Casualty
12/05/2006: DoD Identifies Army Casualty
12/05/2006: DoD Disability Awards Announced
12/05/2006: DoD Identifies Air Force Casualty
12/04/2006: DoD Identifies Army Casualty
12/04/2006: DoD Identifies Army Casualty
12/04/2006: DoD Identifies Army Casualties
12/04/2006: DoD Identifies Marine Casualty
12/03/2006: DoD Identifies Air Force Casualty
12/02/2006: DoD Identifies Army Casualty
12/01/2006: DoD Identifies Army Casualty
12/01/2006: Soldiers Missing in Action from the Korean War Are Identified
12/01/2006: Stephen A. Cambone to Resign
12/01/2006: DoD Identifies Army Casualty
12/01/2006: DoD Identifies Army Casualty
12/01/2006: Peter C.W. Flory Receives NATO Assignment

Here's the Iraq Casualty List by Home of Record. For the state-by-state totals, click here.

Along with "Fuck Peter Beinart," Editor of the New Republic, by Steve Gilliard. Click here for an awesome read. Update: Here's more.


October 2006 Recruiting Statistics

As expected, all services exceeded their goals, but not by much. Click here for the details.

If success in the Global War on Terrorism is so important, is that the best we can do?

If our national leadership establishment is personally participating in the GWOT, why is the White House, the Heritage Foundation and the Republican National Committee so reluctant to publicize actual examples?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Fighting First Family

I created this tribute to the contribution the Bush children, nephews, and nieces are making to the war effort.

Elsewhere: The First Family fights on another front.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Republican Party-Building in Massachusetts

Here's how the Massachusetts Federation of Young Republicans can best Support Our Troops:

Help Get Rid of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell!"

In Boston, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network is challenging the policy in Cook et al. v. Rumsfeld et al., now in the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Despite the clear need, our military continues to fire otherwise well qualified gay and lesbian Arabic linguists. Hel-lo!

Even the Pentagon has stopped defending the policy, and now refers all inquiries and comments to Congress.

If the Massachusetts Federation of Young Republicans are unable to volunteer (and their Vice Chairman Patrick told us he applied and was not accepted; We Thank Him for Stepping Forward), at least they can support repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

It's not like anybody they know will have to share a shower in basic training.

Remember, the Massachusetts Federation of Young Republicans event is Saturday, December 9.

New Republican Members of Congress Support President Bush!

Operation Yellow Elephant congratulates all twelve new Republican Members of Congress, whose strong support of President Bush carried them to victory against overwhelming odds nationwide.

Unfortunately, the only Iraq veteran running on the Republican ticket, Van Taylor in Texas [the district includes President Bush's ranch in Crawford], lost to the Democratic incumbent. Furthermore, eleven of the new Republican Members of Congress are too old to serve. None is a veteran.

That leaves Rep.-elect Adrian Smith of Nebraska (above in red shirt, white slacks), who is 35. Assuming he's healthy and heterosexual, he's eligible to serve. [Don't worry about holding the seat for the Republicans. President Bush visited Nebraska November 5, 2006, to help Adrian Smith win; of course he'll do the same once again.]

So, please encourage Rep.-elect Smith to Support President Bush and Be A Man! Enlist!

The Honorable
Adrian Smith (Rep.-elect, Nebraska)
House of Representatives
Washington DC 20515.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

It's time for National Leadership of all Americans

The Iraq Study Group report is out; it's worth a read. Key quotes:

[Letter from the Co-Chairs (p. 4)]

What we recommend in this report demands a tremendous amount of political will and cooperation by the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government. It demands skillful implementation. It demands unity of effort by government agencies. And its success depends on the unity of the American people in a time of political polarization. Americans can and must enjoy the right of robust debate within a democracy. Yet U.S. foreign policy is doomed to failure--as is any course of action in Iraq--if it is not supported by a broad, sustained consensus. The aim of our report is to move our country toward such a consensus.

[C. Some Alternative Courses for Iraq (p. 30)]

3. More Troops for Iraq

Sustained increases in U.S. troop levels would not solve the fundamental cause of violence in Iraq, which is the absence of national reconciliation. A senior American general told us that adding U.S. troops might temporarily help limit violence in a highly localized area. However, past experience indicates that the violence would simply rekindle as soon as U.S. forces are moved to another area. As another American general told us, if the Iraqi government does not make political progress, "all the troops in the world will not provide security." Meanwhile, America's military capacity is stretched thin: we do not have the troops or equipment to make a substantial, sustained increase in our troop presence. Increased deployments to Iraq would also necessarily hamper our ability to provide adequate resources for our efforts in Afghanistan or respond to crises around the world.

[3. Security and Military Forces]

A Military Strategy for Iraq
- - - - - -
(p. 50)

Because of the importance of Iraq to our regional security goals and to our ongoing fight against al Qaeda, we considered proposals to make a substantial increase (100,000 to 200,000) in the number of U.S. troops in Iraq. We rejected this course because we do not believe that the needed levels are available for a sustained deployment. Further, adding more American troops could conceivably worsen those aspects of the security problem that are fed by the view that the U.S. presence is intended to be a long-term "occupation." We could, however, support a short-term redeployment or surge of American combat forces to stabilize Baghdad, or to speed up the training and equipping mission, if the U.S. commander in Iraq determines that such steps would be effective.

- - - - - -

Second, the long-term commitment of American ground forces to Iraq at current levels is adversely affecting Army readiness, with less than a third of the Army units currently at high readiness levels. The Army is unlikely to be able to meet the next rotation of troops in Iraq without undesireably changes in its deployment practices. The Army is now considering breaking its compact with the National Guard and Reserves that limits the number of years that these citizen-soldiers can be deployed. Behind this short-term strain is the longer-term risk that the ground forces will be impaired in ways that will take years to reverse.

- - - - - -
(p. 51)

Restoring the U.S. Military

U.S. military forces, especially our ground forces, have been stretched nearly to the breaking point by the repeated deployments to Iraq, with attendant casualties (almost 3,000 dead and more than 21,000 wounded), greater difficulty in recruiting, and accelerated wear on equipment.

- - - - - -
(p. 52)

RECOMMENDATION 49: The administration, in full consultation with the relevant committees of Congress, should assess the full future budgetary impact of the war in Iraq and its potential impact on the future readiness of the force, the ability to recruit and retain high-quality personnel, needed investments in procurement and in research and development, and the budgets of other U.S. government agencies involved in the stability and reconstruction effort.

- - - - - -
(p. 60)

U.S. Personnel

The United States can take several steps to ensure that it has personnel with the right skills serving in Iraq.
All of our efforts in Iraq, military and civilian, are handicapped by Americans' lack of language and cultural understanding. Our embassy of 1,000 has 33 Arabic speakers, just six of whom are at the level of fluency. [sic] In a conflict that demands effective and efficient communication with Iraqis, we are often at a disadvantage. There are still far too few Arab language-proficient military and civilian officers in Iraq, to the detriment of the U.S. mission.

[OYE Comment: Isn't it time to get rid of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"?]

OK, President Bush, on Pearl Harbor Day, it's time for Real National Leadership, including setting a personal example for the rest of us.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Military Recruiting Lead: Massachusetts

Now that outgoing Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is seeking the Republican nomination for President, it's time to see how well he's been urging his strongest supporters, including the Massachusetts Federation of Young Republicans, to Support President Bush.

We encourage Real Americans to invite Military Recruiters to the following event:

An Open Forum on Party Building: All Ideas Welcome

An open forum hosted by the Massachusetts Federation of Young Republicans in order to place all good ideas in public debate for Party Building.

Saturday, December 9th 2:00PM - 5:00PM
Boston Marriott Long Wharf, First Floor Conference Area

296 State Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02109

This venue was chosen to allow activists from everywhere easier access and a spouse or family member can shop in Faneuil Hall or Downtown Crossing while the activists attend. It is also to ensure a better attendance by the media.

Since the Massachusetts Federation of Young Republicans won't talk to us for publication (but did post some great quotes on their website), even though we welcomed communications from their active-duty members (or even associates), and haven't heard directly from any such individuals, it's time to remind them of the best party-building strategy of all: Personal commitment to responsible, credible leadership.

OK, Real Americans in the Boston area, please encourage all these healthy heterosexual 41-and-under American Patriots to Be A Man! Enlist!

Bring your own Recruiter and Sign'Em Up!

UPDATE: Please see the first comment and our response.

Military Recruiting Opportunity: CPAC Conference, March 1-3, 2007, Washington, D.C.

Attention Military Recruiters:

The Conservative Political Action Conference takes place March 1-3, 2007, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Inspirational speakers invited include Vice President Dick Cheney, Ann Coulter, Gov. Mike Huckabee (AR), Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin, Senator Bill Frist (R-TN), David Horowitz, Wayne LaPierre, David Keene, Newt Gingrich and Grover Norquist.

We'll also be urging Real Americans to encourage all those healthy, red-blooded heterosexual American males to Be A Man! Enlist!

Saturday, December 02, 2006 joins Operation Yellow Elephant

Pretending that November 7 Never Happened

It's a great article. Money quote:

There are some other things we are not hearing, or have begun to hear only on very rare occasions because they would be a sea change. True, we have begun to hear, now and then, complaints that the big shots don't send their own family members to run the risks of war; they only send other people's family members. That this simple fact has finally begun to penetrate the thick headed media and public consciousness is an improvement over previous brainlessness.

--Lawrence L. Velvel.

Welcome to Operation Yellow Elephant!

It's the American People's Fault!

Thanks to Talking Points Memo, here's some commentary from the right [Roll Call's Morton M. Kondracke, subscription only, alas] blaming the American people for President Bush's current troubles:

[from Kondracke:]

All over the world, scoundrels are ascendant, rising on a tide of American weakness. It makes for a perilous future.

President Bush bet his presidency -- and America's world leadership -- on the war in Iraq. Tragically, it looks as though he bit off more than the American people were willing to chew.

The U.S. is failing in Iraq. Bush's policy was repudiated by the American people in the last election. And now America's enemies and rivals are pressing their advantage, including Iran, Syria, the Taliban, Sudan, Russia and Venezuela. We have yet to hear from al-Qaida.

[from Talking Points Memo:]

Let's first take note that the 'blame the American people for Bush's screw-ups' meme has definitely hit the big time. It's not Bush who bit off more than he could chew or did something incredibly stupid or screwed things up in a way that defies all imagining. Bush's 'error' here is not realizing in advance that the American people would betray him as he was marching into history. The 'tragedy' is that Bush "bit off more than the American people were willing to chew." That just takes my breath away.

[from OYE:]

Well, as we've been saying since mid-2005, if President Bush could not even persuade his strongest supporters, the College and Young Republicans, to Be A Man! Enlist!, it's no surprise that he's facing serious challenges in leading our great nation, and the international coalition, to a successful outcome of the Global War on Terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

OK, Mort Kondracke, has Roll Call ever encouraged real Americans who support the war, if healthy, heterosexual and 41-or-under, to volunteer for military service? If not, I blame you. Don't try to squirrel away from responsibility for your actions.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald: The Tom Friedman disease consumes Establishment Washington

Greenwald on Friedman