Friday, August 31, 2007

Will Move America Forward's Robert Dixon Be A Man! Enlist!?

Robert Dixon, Executive Director of Move America Forward, is quite busy sponsoring next month's "Fight for Victory Tour." As we've pointed out before, he joined Move America Forward in July 2005, shortly after Jesus' General founded Operation Yellow Elephant.

We've asked Mr. Dixon whether he, too, will join in America's Fight for Victory. Not the Tour, but the Real Thing. Why don't you ask Robert Dixon yourself?

Hat tip to Wek.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Illinois Joins Operation Yellow Elephant

Here's a puff piece from the Bloomington [IL] Pantagraph:

Gather to show support for military, Iraq victory

A few months ago, a young man had a vision for a rally to support the troops and victory in Iraq and Afghanistan. Continually disheartened by the media that maintains negative news coverage of the war on terror; he wanted to send a message from the heartland of America to show the county, state and nation that McLean County supports the military and their mission to secure Iraq and Afghanistan.

I share his vision and I am very proud of this future leader in McLean County.

Who is this young man? He is Josh Carrigan, a senior at Normal Community West High School.

From notes on a napkin to typed mission statements to setting a date and finding a venue, Josh has worked tirelessly for this event. He has contacted potential speakers, worked with the city of Bloomington and told every person he knows about the rally.

Through his efforts, we now have an opportunity to show our support for the military and victory.

The speakers for the event include U.S. Marine Corps veteran and McLean County Sheriff Mike Emery, state Rep. Dan Brady; Iraq War veteran Judge Robert Freitag, Lt. Adam Kinzinger and Vietnam veteran Rodney Worth.

In addition, the Fifty American Flags Living Memorial will be on display.

This is sure to be an electric event with an all-star list of leaders from McLean County. The rally will be on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Miller Park Bandstand. Be there to support the military and victory in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is our opportunity to show the county and the country that McLean County supports victory and those that fight to achieve it.

Guy Hanna


OYE Comment:

As many of the commenters have already said [Please Join Them!], if young Mr. Carrigan really wants to Support Our Troops, he'll contact a military recruiter to enlist under the Delayed Entry Program, to take effect when he finishes high school.


150 Real Americans, men and women, took the Oath of Enlistment administered by General Peter Pace, USMC, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, August 5, 2007 at the NASCAR Pennsylvania 500 auto race at the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.

Operation Yellow Elephant salutes every single one for having the Courage to volunteer for military service. We wish them all the best.

And, we cannot help but ask why those who see themselves as the future leaders of President Bush's party cannot similarly ask themselves at least to consider finding the same Courage to do the right thing for America.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Military Recruiting Lead: All Across America

The pro-war group Move America Forward holds its "Fight for Victory Tour" all across America September 3-15.

Military recruiters in uniform may wish to set up booths or tables at rally sites, and encourage organizers to urge participants eligible to serve [healthy heterosexuals 41-or-under] to Be A Man! Enlist!

After all, if Move America Forward's "Fight for Victory Tour" cannot convince healthy heterosexual young men to volunteer for military service on the spot, how will Move America Forward possibly convince Congress, and the American people, to support their position?

Hat tip to War Room.

Calendar Check: Sept. 15, Washington, D.C.

Operation Yellow Elephant has not taken a position on the war.

However, we see an opportunity at the September 15 March on Washington to encourage pro-war counter-protesters, if healthy, heterosexual and 41-or-under, to show the courage of their convictions by volunteering for military service. After all, our Army will have less than two weeks to make its recruiting quota of 80,000 new Soldiers.

Certainly all Americans would agree that pro-war counter-protesters should be the first to Be A Man! Enlist!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Newsweek Joins Operation Yellow Elephant!

Marine CPL Mark Finelli served in Iraq from July 2005 to February 2006. Here's why he's endorsed a Draft:

Why We Need a Draft: A Marine's Lament

He was in the firefights of Fallujah. He saw gaps in America's arsenal that he believes can only be filled when America's elite puts its sons on the battlefield. A plea for selective service.

[Private contractors have Mine Resistant Ambush Protective vehicles, or MRAPs. Marines and other real American servicemembers don't. They have trucks. It's that simple.] . . . Because until the wealthy have that vested interest, until it’s the sons of senators and the wealthy upper classes sitting in those trucks—it takes more than the McCain boy or the son of Sen. Jim Webb—the best gear won’t get paid for on an infantryman’s timetable. Eighteen months after the Marines first asked for the MRAP, it’s finally being delivered. Though not nearly at the rate that’s needed. By the end of the year, only 1,500 will have been delivered, less than half the 3,900 the Pentagon had initially promised.

[ . . . ] The real failure of this war, the mistake that has led to all the malaise of Operation Iraqi Freedom, was the failure to not reinstitute the draft on Sept. 12, 2001 . . . President Bush was determined to keep the lives of nonuniformed America—the wealthiest Americans, like himself—uninterrupted by the war. Consequently, we have a severe talent deficiency in the military, which the draft would remedy immediately. While America’s bravest are in the military, America’s brightest are not.

[ . . . . ]

I don’t favor a Vietnam-style draft, where men like the current vice president could get five deferments. I am talking about a World War II draft, with the brothers and sons of future and former presidents answering the call (and, unfortunately, dying, as a Roosevelt and a Kennedy once did) on the front line. That is when the war effort is maximized. Quite simply, the military cannot be a faceless horde to those pulling the purse strings of our great economy.

OYE Comment:

Operation Yellow Elephant thanks CPL Finelli for leaving a high-paying Wall Street job to Be A Man! Enlist! What is even more stunning is the fact that none of our civilian national leaders has even called upon real Americans to serve. [Seriously.]

If President Bush cannot encourage even Shawn Fago to Man Up!, how can he possibly lead our nation to re-institute a no-deferments, no-excuses, National Service to Defend America? [Step One: Get rid of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell.]

Monday, August 27, 2007

Operation Spring Break

Attention College Republicans:

As summer vacation concludes, you're probably already planning what to do during Spring Break in 2008. Why not Support President Bush and Serve Your Country?

Here's what U.S. Marines did on their Operation Spring Break earlier this year in and near the city of Sharqat, Iraq. Please click on Next to see all the pics.

Serving Our Country in uniform gets you into the best shape of your life, which certainly helps you to enjoy your next Spring Break. After you publicly support military recruiters' access to your campus, why don't you make it worth their while by asking if you, too, can Be A Man! Enlist!?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Media Lizzie on Operation Yellow Elephant: Monday, August 27

Media Lizzie just announced she'll discuss Operation Yellow Elephant and Our Topic on Monday, August 27, at 3:00 p.m. Eastern /12:00 noon Pacific, on The Media Lizzy Show.

Call-in to 1-646-652-2565.

Arizona joins Operation Yellow Elephant

From the student newspaper at the University of Arizona. Money quote:

[ . . . . ]
Are you serious about supporting our troops? Then go to Iraq and help them. Desperate to bolster its numbers, the Army is offering significant incentives. A new program allows recruits to serve only 15 months on active duty. Coincidentally, that is how long soldiers are spending in Iraq these days, if they are lucky enough to avoid an early trip to Walter Reed Army Medical Center or Arlington National Cemetery.

You have no excuse for not going. Sign up now, and you will be done in three semesters. This university will still be here when you get back. You will return with a sweet scholarship and the pride of knowing you stood up for what you believe in. No prospective employers will look down on you for taking a break from college to serve your country. Quite the opposite, I assure you.

You know who you are. You feel the weight of your own cowardice and hypocrisy every time you hear about an IED cutting short yet another young life. You know you should be there, but you just can't bring yourself to enlist. You probably think I am rude for bringing your dishonor out into the open.

You need not feel ashamed. If you don't think this war is worth fighting, then stop saying so. If you do think it is worth fighting
[OYE Comment: and are eligible to serve], go fight. If you do neither, then you can live with the knowledge that your fellow Americans are dying to protect someone who doesn't deserve it. No amount of pro-war cheerleading can drown out that shame.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

will the lack of recruits force a draft?

Waco (TX) Tribune columnist Rowland Nethaway extols the positive values of national service:
The all-volunteer military has a number of advantages, not the least of which is that everyone wants to be there. It works well as long as the demand for troops does not exceed the supply.

[Army Lt. Gen. Douglas] Lute was issuing a small wake-up call that the time may come when national security will require reinstating the draft.

Although I volunteered, I served in the military at a time when the draft was in full swing — before draft-dodging became popular.

Besides providing warm bodies trained to protect the nation, the draft provided significant benefits to both draftees and society.

Draftees learned valuable lessons in getting along with people from all walks of life irrespective of race, religion, education, wealth or poverty.

Draftees learned discipline and the need to work cooperatively with others.

They learned to how to overcome adversities unimaginable to most civilians.

Society benefited from the lessons the draftees learned when they returned home. The veterans made reliable workers and committed students.

G.I. Bill benefits awarded to veterans gave society a boost in young men who went back to school to get college degrees or attend trade schools.

Perhaps the greatest benefit the draft provided for society was the influx of veterans who had sacrificed for their country. This feeling of sacrifice and giving for their nation vested them in their nation in a way that made them proud of their country and the benefits it bestows on its citizens.

Lute invites consideration of reinstating the draft.

Better yet, a universal draft for both males and females should be enacted, not just for the military but for some form of national service.

The draftees and society would benefit.
As Mr Nethaway makes clear, national service and shared sacrifice can only strengthen the fabric that is America. Many national leaders were veterans of the armed services, including some recent Presidents (Eisenhower, JFK, Johnson,Nixon, Ford, Carter, G H W Bush)[1] as well as many other national leaders (McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis, Gore, Kerry, Kerrey, Cleland, Daschle, Glenn, Inouye, Dole, Hagel, McCain).

National service has the power to keep America strong by reminding Americans of this country's core values. By declining the opportunity to serve, the Yellow Elephants are not taking this golden opportunity to show their leadership and willingness to take the hard way. How will this look later when they look to assume more responsibility?

As the nation concludes the 5th year of hostilities, with no end in sight, it's not too late for the leaders of tomorrow to Man Up today. Stop by your local recruiting office and volunteer.

1. I omit Reagan as his service time was spent making training films during the war while other movie stars like Brig. General Jimmy Stewart, who would have been rejected by his draft board as underweight, were actually in harm's way, and G W Bush's service record is less clear than the others cited.

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Military Recruiting Lead: Orange County, California, August 30

Attention Military Recruiters:

The Young Republicans of Orange County, California, are hosting a Mixer on Thursday, August 30, at 7:00 p.m. at Ling & Louie's, 85 Fortune Drive, Irvine, CA [at the Irvine Spectrum].

As OCYR President Shawn Fago states in his President's Message, the Mission of the OCYRs is to help elect Republicans to office. That's where you come in.

All over the country, real Americans cannot help but wonder why so many of the future leaders of President Bush's party, all healthy heterosexuals 41-or-under and eligible to serve, cannot find the courage within themselves to Support Our President to WIN the Global War on Terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere by volunteering for military service.

We understand: Not a single civilian political leader in our great nation has publicly called on real Americans eligible to serve to Be A Man! Enlist!, even if they plan other careers later in life. Our nation's political leadership has delegated this serious responsibility to military recruiters and this blog.

You certainly know that the future of our two-party system depends on credible national leadership. It's up to eligible Young Republicans to restore credibility to their Party by leading from the front: Not in the 'War' of Ideas, but in The War on Terror!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

He has $. He has looks. Does he have courage?

Shawn Fago, the president of the Orange County [CA] Young Republicans, describes his interests on his myspace page as "politics, girls, golf, coffee, real-estate". Mr. Fago's political profile reveals that if he can clean up his 'liberal' ethics score he'd be an across-the-board conservative:

Overall: 95% Conservative, 5% Liberal
Social Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal
Ethics: 75% Conservative, 25% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 100% Conservative, 0% Liberal

Shawn is also a supporter of Rudy Giuliani in the 2008 Presidential Election and since the former mayor's stance on the Iraq War is not to set a time table to withdraw Our Troops we'll assume that Mr. Fago's belief in the conflict match his idol's. Reading over the details on Shawn's myspace page reveals he made no mention of having served Our Country in uniform, nor were we able to confirm with him that he has intentions on doing so. Although he did describe himself as being a heterosexual, athletic, and had some background in taking college courses. To OYE, this would make him a perfect candidate as an Infantryman in The Army.

Support for a candidate this early before the primaries binds one to the ideology of the office-seeker (currently, there are enough candidates to match nearly every one's prescribed doctrine). If Mr. Fago were to truly 'support' the Bush/Giuliani Iraq strategy he'd consider going from the back nine to the frontline. Like many 20-somethings, Shawn just may need a little encouragement to leave the sandy beaches of SoCal for the sandy river banks of the Tigris and the Euphrates. After all, chicks dig a guy in uniform.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Welcome the Blogosphere to Operation Yellow Elephant!

The Army 2.0

Nashville is Talking

My Left Wing




Cafe Philos

Eschaton [Atrios]

LeftWord [copied from Eschaton]

Librarian 2

Someone on LiveJournal

Urban Dictionary


Stop Me Before I Vote Again

QT at the Chicago Sun-Times.

Max Blumenthal in The Nation in July 2005

And a great posting from Steve Gilliard (RIP)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Time for Peter Beinart to Save America

Former New Republic Editor Peter Beinart has an obligation to volunteer for military service.

He's a liberal who strongly supported the war and appears eligible to serve.

If he's unwilling to Be A Man! Enlist!, then he's a yellow pussy.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Patriots, your country calls.

The news from Iraq isn't getting any better: our soldiers are still being asked to sacrifice beyond any reasonable demands. A drawdown of forces may have to come as a result of commitments the Army has already made to the troops in the field.

My Way News - Army Too Stretched if Iraq Buildup Lasts:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Sapped by nearly six years of war, the Army has nearly exhausted its fighting force and its options if the Bush administration decides to extend the Iraq buildup beyond next spring.
The Army's 38 available combat units are deployed, just returning home or already tapped to go to Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere, leaving no fresh troops to replace five extra brigades that President Bush sent to Baghdad this year, according to interviews and military documents reviewed by The Associated Press.
That presents the Pentagon with several painful choices if the U.S. wants to maintain higher troop levels beyond the spring of 2008:

  • Using National Guard units on an accelerated schedule.

  • Breaking the military's pledge to keep soldiers in Iraq for no longer than 15 months.

  • Breaching a commitment to give soldiers a full year at home before sending them back to war.

For a war-fatigued nation and a Congress bent on bringing troops home, none of those is desirable.
But are those the only options? There are two unspoken choices:
  1. that recruiting offices across the country see a surge of enlistees to replace those men and women who have already given more than a grateful nation can expect, and
  2. that the military leadership asks for and receives the permission to draft the troops it needs to complete the mission.
Conscription is unpopular, to be sure, but is it preferable to a forced retreat? Can we expect the brave men and women already deployed to do still more? Enlistment by the many young heterosexual men and women who have called for victory these past five years would prove that they are sincere and would remove the possibility of a divisive draft.

The choice is yours, young patriots. Nothing worth achieving comes without a fight: this could be your chance to demonstrate your commitment.

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Blessing the Royal Wedding

Operation Yellow Elephant and thousands of patriotic Real Americans will Show Our Support for the Royal Couple and President Bush!

We'll be in Lafayette Square, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, while the Royal Wedding takes place in the Rose Garden, with the following signs:

Prince Henry: Be A Man! Enlist!

Miss Jenna: Share Our Sacrifice!

Please join us!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Royal Engagement

Operation Yellow Elephant has long encouraged Jenna's beau Henry Hager to Be A Man! Enlist! [Just do a Search Blog on Hager and you'll get lots of hits.]

Now that he's about to become the Prince Consort, of course, perhaps he'll take a cue from the world's most famous Royal Family about Duty, Honor and Country.

Henry Hager has a proper Republican pedigree. His father is John Hager, Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia and a former Assistant Secretary of Education. Chairman Hager deserves respect for his service to our country in the Army and Army Reserves. Has he encouraged his son Henry, a healthy heterosexual well under 41, at least to consider volunteering for military service? Ask him yourself: John Hager.

Has Henry Hager considered volunteering for military service?
Ask him yourself: Henry Hager.

There's still time to enhance the credibility of President Bush and his Administration. And if Henry Hager and Jenna can find the courage within themselves for Henry to Be A Man! Enlist!, that would do more than just about anything.

OYE 106: for Candidates and Officials

Attention Officials and Candidates for Public Office-

As a non-partisan grass roots citizens initiative to Support Our President, Operation Yellow Elephant has not made political endorsements.

We do, however, take an active role in sharing with the American people what public officials, and candidates for public office, have said about our topic.

Our Questions for You:

Have you called on eligible* Americans to consider volunteering for military service? Have you any plans to do so?

Have you encouraged your own eligible* relatives and friends, your circles of influence, to consider volunteering for military service?

Have you encouraged your own relatives and friends, your circles of influence, including campaign contributors, not personally eligible* to serve, to encourage their own eligible* relatives and friends, etc., to consider volunteering for military service?

Do you support repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which would allow otherwise qualified non-heterosexuals to volunteer for military service?

If you support the status quo, have you publicly called on heterosexuals to Be A Man! Enlist!?

We welcome anything else you wish to say that addresses our topic. This includes your own biographies or other personal experiences you may choose to share with all Americans.

Please send to Operation Yellow Elephant. Thank you.

* healthy heterosexuals 41-or-under

Friday, August 17, 2007

Henry Hager: Be A Man! Enlist!

Thus far, he's certainly no Prince Harry.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

The King

On the 30th Anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley, Operation Yellow Elephant would like to thank "The King" for stepping up. Fifty years ago this December, Elvis received his Army draft notice. He was granted a brief deferment so that he may finish a movie he'd been working on and then promptly reported to basic training in March of 1958. To his credit, he did not seek preferential treatment (yes, he was offered this) that would have enabled him to continue his music/acting career while serving. As part of the 1st Battalion-32nd Armor, Elvis was posted in Friedberg, Germany. When he returned to the United States on March 2, 1960, Sergeant Presley was Honorably Discharged and continued his career as a musician and actor.

Elvis Aaron Presley
Jan. 8, 1935 - Aug. 16, 1977

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Congressional Candidate Charlie Brown (D, CA-04) Answers The Question

As a non-partisan grass roots citizens initiative to Support Our President, Operation Yellow Elephant has not made any political endorsements. We do, however, publicize statements by public officials and candidates that address our topic.

Here's how Charlie Brown, running for Congress in California's Fourth District, Answers The Question:

CA04: My Son is Off to Serve his 4th Rotation in Iraq

by Charlie Brown for Congress

Thu Apr 12, 2007 at 09:30:44 AM PDT

Most Americans woke up this morning ready to read the morning paper, listen to the news, and check their computer to see what the day would bring.

Jan and I woke up knowing that today our son deployed for his fourth rotation in Iraq. We woke up knowing that for the next several months, the last thing we do at night and the first thing we do in the morning will be checking the internet for news out of a war zone...for word from our son.

We are in the minority: parents, spouses, and friends with a loved one in Iraq. Knowing from experience about the true cost of war, we questioned the justification and execution of this policy before it was popular. We learned first hand about the lack of proper equipment before others read about it in the newspaper. We checked prices for top quality body armor to send our son while the GOP led Congress fiddled. And long before the Walter Reed scandal broke, we followed the aftercare problems facing our troops, their families, and surviving dependents as our son talked about the injured and dead his unit flies out of Iraq.

The truth doesn’t only set you free, it strengthens your resolve to fight for what’s right.

Like many other veterans and military parents, my wife (who served as an Air Force Nurse) and I have borne the burden of far more truth than is typically presented to the general public. We learned about contractor fraud from an auditor I used to fly helicopters with who monitors contracts in Iraq---about the slower than reported progress on Iraqi civil infrastructure projects from a Marine civil engineer who was stationed in Iraq---about our long since discredited intelligence on the war from people on the ground who I worked with during my own 26 year military career. And, as a longtime subscriber to ‘professional’ military publications, I learned years ago that the military has not been quiet about the problems it is facing--you just had to know where to look, and you had to be willing to listen to the experts on the ground.

Now that this information is more public, most Americans disapprove of U.S. policy in Iraq, and are justifiably outraged over the care given to our troops when they come home.

Welcome to our world.

We thank those of you reading this for caring, for working to spread the truth, and for helping to elect a new Congress in 2006 that is fighting for change. That’s what "supporting the troops" is all about, but it is only a beginning.

Representatives like my 2006 opponent John Doolittle are still voting to send people like my son into combat without proper equipment, training, or a plan for success. They are still refusing to make personal sacrifices to support our armed forces, or hold the administration and Iraqi politicians accountable for results instead of rhetoric.

I suppose that’s easy to do as long as it’s someone else’s child fighting and dying, but it is not the American way, and it is certainly not patriotism.

We need good people in the military, and we owe those who serve the benefit of competent civilian leadership, and seamless aftercare when they become veterans. Families like ours know this truth all to well. We know that resolving these issues at a human level is not about having all the answers---it’s about having the right priorities and the courage to ask the right questions.

We are proud of our son and the troops who protect our beloved country. They truly are our best and brightest.

And that’s why Jan and I are as determined as ever to ensure we have a government that cares as much as we do about the safety and success of our men and women in uniform.

Be safe son. And come home soon.

Charlie Brown, Lt. Col. USAF Ret.

[Complete statement posted; emphases in original]

OYE Comment:

We thank Charlie Brown and Jan for their service to our country. We salute their son and wish him all the best.

We've been making this point for quite a while, and Charlie Brown explains why: If our national leaders personally know junior and mid-level officers as well as enlisted servicemembers, they don't have to depend on official sources of information, including lazy, corporate media, to know what's really going on in the Global War on Terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Not everyone has a son eligible to serve, but a lot more people personally know young men who are, or could be, or should at least consider serving in our military. Credible national leaders are personally committed to success.

Attention Public Officials and Candidates:

If you have an Answer to Our Question, please let us know: Send e-mail to operationyellowelephant - at/ gmail- dot /com.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sam Bond, a Credible Republican

Here's a column on the Iraq War by Missouri Senator Kit Bond (R). OYE Money quote (at the end):

U.S. Sen. Kit Bond’s only son, Sam Bond, is serving in Iraq on his second tour of duty. [emphasis in original]

OYE Comment:

Operation Yellow Elephant salutes Lt. Sam Bond, USMC, and his father, Senator Kit Bond, for their service to our nation. We wish them all the best. It's clear to America that Senator Bond's only son wearing the uniform and serving - twice - in Iraq is relevant to possible respect for his opinion on the war; that's why the Kansas City Star mentioned it.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Why Rove Quit: His Son Andrew is 18

Curt Schilling - Board Game Infantryman

Curt Schilling is one of the most accomplished pitchers of the past generation. He owns two World Series rings, he's a member of the 200 Win Club, and although his ERA has ballooned a bit this year his lifetime ERA is just 3.47. It would be unfair to characterize Mr. Schilling as a 'dumb jock' since his interests are broad. These include his blog, playing the war game Advanced Squad Leader and collecting war memorabilia. Mr. Schilling also campaigned for President Bush in 2004 and is rumored to run against Senator John Kerry in 2008.

We're not sure how 'playing soldier' on a board game can adequately prepare the Red Sox ace to lead as a Senator in a time of war, especially since the seat is currently held by a Combat Veteran. Fortunately for Curt there's still time for him to Be A Man! Enlist! Because he's a professional athlete we assume he can pass a physical. Because he's a married, born again Christian we assume he's a heterosexual (or he has at least trained himself to suppress any type of homosexual thoughts). Because he won't be 42 years old until November 2008 he is of age to serve for the next 14 months.

Unlike most known figures in Our Country, Mr. Schilling makes public appearances once every 5 days when he takes the mound. This is an opportune time to encourage the All-Star to truly support Our President with action rather than vocal support and campaign dollars. We feel Mr. Schilling would be a valuable asset to The Army. No bad guys would want to be on the business end of a grenade toss from a future Hall Of Fame pitcher. Additionally, he would be upholding the Red Sox tradition of Military Service; Ted Williams, arguably the greatest player to wear their uniform, was a pilot during WWII and the Korean War with the United States Marine Corp.

This brings me to WEK'S CURT SCHILLING CONTEST. If a fan(s) can hold up a banner behind the backstop of a Curt Schilling pitched game encouraging the All Star to Enlist I will send them a Operation Yellow Elephant T-shirt.

The Rules:

- The banner must be seen on television (and be easily read).
- You must send me the link to document it made it onto the teevee.
- I will limit the reward to 4 T-shirts (1 per person involved).
- Be able to provide proof you did it (i.e. ticket stub, picture of you with the scoreboard in the background, et cetera).
- I reserve the right to add rules as the challenge progresses.
- Contact only Wek with regards to The Curt Schilling Contest

Mr. Schilling's next scheduled start is this weekend in Boston against the Angels. We look forward to welcoming some baseball fan(s) in joining Operation Yellow Elephant. If you live in a town that does not have a MLB team you can still encourage Curt to Man Up by commenting on his blog (You must have a WordPress account or sign up for one. It only takes a minute to do so.).

David Corn echoes the thoughts of Operation Yellow Elephant

Fortunate Son...and Daughters/Bush and Tillman/Thompson's Disorder:
During a press conference on Thursday, George W. Bush said,

The first question one has to ask on Iraq is, is it worth it? I could not send a mother's child into combat if I did not believe it was necessary for our short-term and long-term security to succeed in Iraq.

This was part of his response to the last question of the session. So there was no chance for a reporter to ask a follow-up. But what would be the natural next question?

Mr. President, given that you believe the Iraq war must be prosecuted in order to protect the United States, have you asked your own daughters to join the armed services in order to fight in Iraq?

That would be a tough but fair query. If he's sending other children into battle, why not his own? But would a White House reporter put such a pointed question to Bush? Given that the war will not be over anytime in the near future, the chance to pose this question to Bush will come again.
If the President thinks there is more fighting to be done, what better way to indicate his desire to win than to encourage his own children and those of his friends and family to Man Up and Enlist? After all, the reigning Queen of England wore khaki during WWII, training and serving as a truck and tank mechanic during her service.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Weekly Standard on Be A Man! Enlist!

OYE Comment:

This is not a parody. The Weekly Standard, with Associate Editor Matthew Continetti [right], actually published this cover story on The 9/11 Generation, by Dean Barnett. Money quotes [seriously]:

In the 1960s, history called the Baby Boomers. They didn't answer the phone.

[ . . . ]

Few of the leading lights of that generation joined the military. Most calculated how they could avoid military service, and their attitude rippled through the rest of the century. In the 1970s, '80s, and '90s, military service didn't occur to most young people as an option, let alone a duty.

But now, once again, history is calling. Fortunately, the present generation appears more reminiscent of their grandparents than their parents.

I've spent much of the past two weeks speaking with young people (and a few not-so-young) who have made the decision to serve their country by volunteering for the military. Some of these men have Ivy League degrees; all of them are talented and intelligent individuals who--contrary to John Kerry's infamous "botched joke" ("Education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq")--could have chosen to do anything with their lives. Having signed up, they have either gone to Iraq or look forward to doing so. Not surprisingly, the mainstream media have underreported their stories.

[ . . . ]

Tom Cotton is another soldier who knew what he was doing. When 9/11 occurred, Cotton was in his third year at Harvard Law School. Like most Americans, he was "shocked, saddened, and angered." Like many on that day, he made a promise to serve his country.

And Cotton meant it.
After fulfilling the commitments he had already made, including clerking for a federal judge and going to work for a large Washington law firm, Cotton enlisted in the Army. He jokes that doing so came with a healthy six-figure pay cut.

Cotton enlisted for one reason: He wanted to lead men into combat. His recruiter suggested that he use the talents he had spent seven years developing at Harvard and join the JAG Corps, the Armed Forces' law firm. Cotton rejected that idea. He instead began 15 months of training that culminated with his deployment to Iraq as a 2nd lieutenant platoon leader with the 101st Airborne in Baghdad.

[ . . . ]

[Some thoughts:] "Everyone in the Infantry has volunteered twice--once for the Army, once for the Infantry. These are all grown men who all made the decision to face the enemy on his turf. The least you can do is respect them and what they're doing."

Now serving in the Army in Virginia, still enjoying his six-figure pay cut, Tom Cotton says he is "infinitely happy" that he joined the Army and fought in Iraq. "If I hadn't done it," he says, "I would have regretted it the rest of my life."

[ . . . ]

About a month ago, I attended the commissioning of a lieutenant in the Marine Corps. The day before his commissioning, he had graduated from Harvard. [ . . . Later,] as he entered [his] dorm in full dress uniform, some of his classmates gave him a spontaneous round of applause. A campus police officer took him aside to shake his hand. His father observed, "It was like something out of a movie."

[ . . . ]

It is surely a measure of how far we've come as a society from the dark days of the 1960s that things like military service and duty and sacrifice are now celebrated. Just because Washington and Hollywood haven't noticed this generational shift doesn't mean it hasn't occurred. It has, and it's seismic.

OYE Comment:

Operation Yellow Elephant salutes U.S. Army Lieutenant Tom Cotton and all other servicemembers mentioned in this article for their service to our country and wishes them all the best. Please read the entire article for all of their stories.

We cannot help but wonder why Dean Barnett didn't Ask The Question of Weekly Standard Associate Editor Matthew Continetti.

Can't pro-war conservatives find a more credible spokesman?

Prof. Charles Moskos Joins Operation Yellow Elephant

From National Public Radio's Morning Edition, July 10, 2007:

RENEE MONTAGNE (host): Every day, as people in Washington talk about how to end the war in Iraq, military men and women continue to pack up their gear and go there. Some line up at Baltimore/ Washington International Airport with their rifles in long metal cases. [ . . . ]

MONTAGNE: At this airport, some civilians reach out to shake a soldier's hand or offer a quick thanks. It's a good place to start a conversation about service, sacrifice and support at this stage of the war.

NPR's Neva Grant spoke to servicemembers headed for Iraq and also civilians traveling elsewhere.

Ms. JOAN MASON BAINES(ph): I think it’s because I don’t have any family members or know anyone in the military that I probably don’t support as much as I should.

NEVA GRANT: May I take your name, ma’am?

Ms. BAINES: Joan Mason Baines. I do look at them. Give them words of encouragement. Just non-verbally I just look at them. I don’t actually speak to them.

CATHY(ph): What’s interesting is my boys are that 20-something age, and if we had a mandatory draft, my boys would be there.

GRANT: And may I take your name?

CATHY: Cathy. I’m really divided because I would not want my boys going over there, and their friends are the ones that are over there now. And my son said to me, you know, we’ve got to be supportive for John(ph) because he hates it right now.

GRANT: And for you right now, what does supportive mean?

CATHY: You know, you just almost have to verbalize it. We have to just do it by words.

Mr. JEFF MCBRIDE(ph): My name is Jeff McBride. We’re going to be a facility engineering team in Iraq.

GRANT: You’ve mentioned that it’s very helpful to have complete strangers come up and say thank you.

Mr. MCBRIDE: I’ve had a lot of people come up in the airport, but I also had a lot of people in the local community where we are – people from church, or people that I know. They know that I’m going over there to serve and they’re like, if you need anything, if your wife needs anything, just give us a call.

Mr. ROBIN ATKINS(ph): My name is Robin Atkins. I just got out of high school. I’m still trying to figure out what I’m trying to do with my life. I’m definitely grateful for the soldiers being there. And there are so many people that are sitting on their asses here that aren’t even helping.

GRANT: Have you ever considered going into the military yourself?

Mr. ATKINS: Personally, I don’t think I’m cut out for the Army. If I went in the Army, I don’t think I’d come back. [ . . . ]

MONTAGNE: Voices of travelers at Baltimore/Washington International Airport. We played this tape for two scholars who’ve written about military service and public opinion in wartime. First, sociologist Charles Moskos. He believes when the U.S. fights, it should draft people for the military and national service. His response to those airport travelers…

Professor CHARLES MOSKOS (Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Northwestern University): What struck me was that the civilian responses were so hypocritical. Oh it’s good that somebody’s fighting and dying for us so I don’t have to do it myself. I call that patriotism lite, L-I-T-E. Those who are not serving are not willing to do any sacrifice, don’t really pay much attention to those who are dying, and that reflects poorly, I think, on American character today.

MONTAGNE: Of those voices that we’ve heard just a moment ago, to my ear some of them sounded just a bit lost, like they didn’t know what they could possibly do.

Prof. MOSKOS: Well, short of signing up, I think what we say let’s raise our taxes, let’s have gasoline rationing, and let us try to encourage the children of Congress to join the military. You have to have privileged youths serve as well as people throughout the social spectrum. I want to see Congress’ kids in there. I want to see Jenna Bush and Chelsea Clinton there.

MONTAGNE: Some civilians are doing more than just putting yellow stickers on their bumpers. They’re sending, perhaps, packages to troops or making donations to the USO. Perhaps lobbying employers to hire veterans from the war. Is that serving in any sense?

Prof. MOSKOS: No. It’s – those kinds of steps, while obviously appreciated by soldiers, is not the same as having our privileged youth serving. It’s a way of avoiding the issue. So here, I’ll give you a package instead of my own son or daughter.

MONTAGNE: Charles Moskos is professor emeritus of sociology at Northwestern University, [whom we warmly welcome to Operation Yellow Elephant.]

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

More from Jon Stewart of The Daily Show on the Five Brothers Romney

Jon Stewart of The Daily Show on the Five Brothers Romney

More than a hat tip to RawStory. Click here and see the entire video there, too. You'll thank us.

Talk of a Draft amid July 2007 Recruiting Statistics

As expected, the Army and the other services made their recruiting goals in July.

Our Army enlisted 9,972 new soldiers last month, 102% of its goal of 9.750. Those extra 222 soldiers made all the difference.

Meanwhile, Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan, expressed concern about ongoing recruiting challenges and significant stresses on our forces to National Public Radio's All Things Considered:

Question: When military leaders, though, talk about the breaking point, what are they talking about? What's the real worry there?

Lute: I think that most who have talked about the stress on the force are concerned that in today's all-volunteer force, especially with the sort of quality individuals that we're interested in attracting to the all-volunteer force, that we're actually competing in the marketplace — in the labor marketplace — for a very narrow slice of high school graduates without records with the law who come to us with a clean bill of health and the potential to serve this country in some very demanding missions.

Lute: So when you're competing in that marketplace, I think the concern is that these people are challenged and feel the respect to the nation and feel a calling to something beyond themselves, beyond just a personal calling, and that these things remain in place and, therefore, make the all-volunteer force viable in the long run.

Question: You know, given the stress on the military and the concern about these extended deployments for an all-volunteer military, can you foresee, in the future, a return to the draft?

Lute: You know, that's a national policy decision point that we have not yet reached, Michele, because the —

Question: But does it make sense militarily?

Lute: I think it makes sense to certainly consider it, and I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table, but ultimately, this is a policy matter between meeting the demands for the nation's security by one means or another. Today, the current means of the all-volunteer force is serving us exceptionally well. It would be a major policy shift — not actually a military, but a political policy shift to move to some other course. [ . . . ]

OYE Comment:

OK, College and Young Republicans and eligible-to-serve war supporters, just try to convince us that everything's perfect with military recruiting. Frankly, we're surprised that our Army exceeded its mid-surge July 2007 recruiting quota by only 222.

It seems we're now in the era of the "Strategic Recruit."

Jonah Goldberg on Narcissism

National Review's Jonah Goldberg recently wrote in the LA Times about narcissistic American youth. Money quote:

Our centers of the universe

America's youth are narcissistic, but they eventually come around.

[ . . . ]the hand-wringing about youth's sense of entitlement can go overboard as well. Volunteerism is on the rise, not something you would necessarily expect even after discounting for the desire to pad transcripts and resumes. The best of our supposedly pampered young men seem more than able to adjust to the culture of self-sacrifice animating our armed forces.

OYE Comment:

Of course, that doesn't include Jonah Goldberg himself. His money quote:

As for why my sorry a** isn't in the kill zone, lots of people think this is a searingly pertinent question. No answer I could give -- I'm 35 years old, my family couldn't afford the lost income, I have a baby daughter, my a** is, er, sorry, are a few -- ever seem to suffice.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Army to offer more lucrative bonuses

Yahoo News has reported The Army is offering incentives of up to $45,000 (tax-free) for those that choose to Be A Man! Enlist!

It's all part of an Army effort to fill its ranks even as the percentage of young people who say they plan to join the military has hit a historic low — 16 percent by the Pentagon's own surveying — in the fifth year of the Iraq war.

As part of a push to make its 2007 goals, the Army is boosting the size of its 8,000-member recruiting force with 1,000 to 2,000 assistants — including some former recruiters.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates wants to increase the size of the active-duty Army by 65,000 to a total of 547,000 within five years. In part, that's to ease the wartime strain on the Army, which is the largest branch of the military.

"Recruiting next year and beyond will remain challenging and will ... require additional innovative approaches," said Lt. Col. Michael Rochelle, the Pentagon's deputy chief of staff for personnel. He asked lawmakers last week on Capitol Hill for money to pay for the new program.

We, at OYE, feel Our Armed Forces have been abandoned by Our Country's leaders. The Army is clearly asking for help in attracting new recruits, but no one in the White House, The Senate, or the House of Representatives has asked their constituents to Step Forward to help those in uniform. It's well past the time for the elected officials to stop anguishing over turning off potential voters and to do the right thing for those that serve and ask the civilians that voted them in office to truly Support Our Troops by enlisting.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

He's Off The Hook with Operation Yellow Elephant

Glenn Murphy, Jr., of Indiana, the recently elected National Chairman of the Young Republicans National Federation, abruptly resigned.

Apparently, he's been charged with a sexual offense based on a Complaint by a 22-year-old who did not consent nor choose to participate.

Were the Complainant a female, a waiver might be possible. However, since the Complainant is a male, Murphy's off the hook with Operation Yellow Elephant.

Hat tip to AmericaBlog.

A Great Way to Support Our Troops!

[OK, slightly OT] Operation Yellow Elephant salutes U.S. Army Major General Rick Lynch, Commander of the Third Infantry Division based at Fort Stewart, Georgia, for his courage, vision and common sense in facilitating both troop safety [force protection] and morale while also allowing real Americans to Support Our Troops.

Rather than having young soldiers about to go to war risk accidents and worse by driving off post to socialize with the local community, he's created an on-post nightclub, Rocky's, where civilians are welcome and our brave troops can relax in a safe and welcoming environment. Here's how Rocky's got its name (scroll down to Report from Fort Stewart)

FT. STEWART, Ga. - It is Saturday night at Rocky's nightclub. DJs are blasting music, and the lounge is packed with people shooting pool, playing video games and drinking $3 cocktails.

On the dance floor, soldiers -- many of them days away from deploying to Iraq -- move to the sounds of hip-hop artists like T.I., Soulja Boy and Beyonce.

Cars are bumper to bumper on their way to the club, and the line to get inside extends around the building. This is the hippest spot around this rural area about 45 minutes southwest of Savannah, and it's no accident that it's on an Army base.

To address a growing concern about drunken driving among soldiers, commanders at Ft. Stewart spent $300,000 last year to convert an old sports bar into a thriving nightclub, where soldiers could party all night with civilians and drink as much as they like without having to get into a car and drive afterward.

"It's a great place to relax and unwind," said Spec. John Davis, 26, a Chicago resident who will head to Iraq in a few weeks. In Iraq, "alcohol is not something you want to make your best friend, so this is a good place for soldiers to come."
[ . . . ]

Officials said Rocky's has helped curb the number of accidents while giving soldiers an atmosphere where they can relax before deployment.

"The No. 1 killer of soldiers [outside the war zone] is privately owned vehicles," said Jimmy McCullough, installation safety director at Ft. Stewart. "When we lose a soldier, it is catastrophic."

Rocky's has become particularly popular with younger soldiers. No uniforms are required here. It is one of the few places where soldiers in their late teens and early 20s can wear baggy pants, oversize T-shirts and athletic shoes. Except for the military haircut, they blend in with the civilians.

"Their jobs are the military but they want to have fun like normal people," said Julie Cortina, general manager of Rocky's and other clubs at Ft. Stewart.

For soldiers like Pfc. Brent Sciulli, 22, the club has been a reprieve from the rigorous training since he arrived at the base in early July. He said he enlisted in February, and in three weeks he will leave for Iraq to join the 1st Brigade.

"When we got here, the commander said we should stay on base and do our partying," said Sciulli, of Tampa.
[ . . . ]

OYE Comment:

Operation Yellow Elephant salutes not only Major General Lynch, but also all of those of-age real Americans in the region who choose to Support Our Troops before they go off to war. We wish everyone concerned all the best.

Has The Washington Post Joined Operation Yellow Elephant?

See for yourself.

Here's a June 9 article on the Five Brothers Blog. Money quote:

Five Brothers was launched on April 12, and the Romneys post entries, load photos and videos several times a week. The blog is edited by the campaign communications staff, and comments and questions are allowed, though answers are not guaranteed.

A query such as, "Being a Mormon, does Romney campaign on Sunday?" gets a reply -- yes, Romney tries to make it -- while something like, "Have any of the five Romney brothers, all healthy heterosexuals well under 42, considered volunteering for military service in the Global War on Terror?" is ignored.

OYE Comment:

We couldn't have said it better ourselves. In fact, that's precisely the formulation of The Question we submitted.

Hat tip to David Boaz of Cato@Liberty.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Romney Boys in their own words

In May, 60 Minutes host, Mike Wallace, asked Mitt's sons why they are reluctant to Be A Man! Enlist!

"I feel guilty for having not done it."

"I've seen a lot and read a lot that it. . . . .that it made me say my goodness, I hope I never have to do that."

"I hope to be able to make a sacrifice of that. . .ummm. . .of that caliber at some point in my life."

OYE COMMENT: Fear not, 5 brothers, war doesn't have to be for 'commoners' any longer. If just one of you will trade your Wimpabago keys for those of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle you will serve both Our Country and take the heat off of your father's campaign. Just consider it a 'dual sacrifice'.

Romney Answers The Question about His Five Sons

Here's former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Answering The Question in his own words:

Question: "Hi, my name's Rachel Griffiths, thank you so much for being here and asking for our comments. And I appreciate your recognizing the Iraq War veteran. My question is how many of your five sons are currently serving in the U.S. military and if none of them are, how do they plan to support this War on Terrorism by enlisting in our U.S. military?"

Governor Romney: "Well, the good news is that we have a volunteer army and that's the way we're going to keep it. My sons are all adults and they've made their decisions about their careers and they've chosen not to serve in the military and active duty. I respect their decision in that regard. I also respect and value very highly those who make a decision to serve in the military. I think we ought to show an outpouring of support just as I suggested. A surge of support for those families and those individuals who are serving. My niece, for instance, just to tell you what a neighborhood can do and how touching it can be.

"My niece, Misha, living out West, her husband I think he got a call on a Tuesday. He's in the National Guard. He got a call on a Tuesday that he was going to be called up and shipped overseas on a Thursday. And they just bought a home -– they hadn’t landscaped it -– but the rules in the neighborhood were that unless you got your home landscaped within a year of the time that you bought your home, they began fining you, because they didn’t want people having mud holes in front of their homes. And she was very worried and just before the year expired, she woke up one morning and looked out the window and all the neighbors were out there, rolling down sod, putting up trees, getting it all done.

"It’s remarkable how we can show our support for our nation and one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected, because they think I’d be a great president. My son, Josh, bought the family Winnebago and has visited 99 counties, most of them with his three kids and his wife. And I respect that and respect all of those in the way they serve this great country."

OYE Comment:

Well, Governor Romney's Answered The Question, more or less. We can conclude that he has not encouraged any of his five sons, all healthy heterosexuals 41-or-under, even to consider volunteering for military service in the Global War on Terror. He's answered it and we thank him at least for that.

As the Five Romney Brothers continue to campaign for their father for President, real Americans remain free to Ask The Question of each one. We would also appreciate any further explanation they choose to share with the American people about the deliberations leading up to their individual decisions.

Operation Yellow Elephant salutes Real American Rachel Griffiths for offering the American people essential information to choose our national leaders.

Hat tip to Talking Points Memo and everyone who wrote to us with the tip.

The Romney boys: not made of the same stuff as the Sullivans

Romney's five service-eligible sons opt out of national service:
Governor Willard "Mitt" Romney did not serve in Vietnam due to his Mormon missionary work and a high draft lottery number. He was asked the question after a speech in which he called for "a surge of support" for U.S. forces in Iraq by Rachel Griffiths, 41, of Milan, Ill., identified herself as a member of Quad City Progressive Action for the Common Good, as well as the sister of an Army major who had served in Iraq.

"Of course not," Griffiths said when asked if she was satisfied with Romney's answer. "He told me the way his son shows support for our military and our nation is to buy a Winnebago and ride across Iowa and help him get elected."

So Governor Romney has been asked the question so his boys didn't have to answer. But he may find that isn't a good enough answer, especially in Watertown, Iowa, home of the Fighting Sullivans, the five brothers who all perished while serving on the same ship during WWII.
Not all fortunate sons take their responsibilities so lightly:

Rival John McCain's son, Jimmy, a 19-year-old Marine, had orders to go to Iraq this summer. The Arizona senator is a decorated Vietnam War veteran and former POW.

"The good news is that we have a volunteer Army and that's the way we're going to keep it," Romney told some 200 people gathered in an abbey near the Mississippi River that had been converted into a hotel. "My sons are all adults and they've made decisions about their careers and they've chosen not to serve in the military and active duty and I respect their decision in that regard."

He added: "One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president."

Romney's five sons range in age from 37 to 26 and have worked as real estate developers, sports marketers and advertising executives. They are now actively campaigning for their father and have a "Five Brothers" blog on Romney's campaign Web site.

Romney noted that his middle son, 36-year-old Josh, was completing a recreational vehicle tour of all 99 Iowa counties on Wednesday and said, "I respect that and respect all those and the way they serve this great country."
Operation Yellow Elephant salutes Jimmy McCain on his service with the USMC and acknowledges his father's distinguished service during the Vietnam War.

Since Governor Romney supports escalating the conflict in Iraq with more troops on the ground, it's disappointing to learn that his five service-age sons find working the rubber-chicken and coffee-klatch circuit more valuable to this great nation than taking part in the escalation themselves.

Is it too much to ask that one or more of them to Man Up and Enlist?

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Sweden Doesn't Need Operation Yellow Elephant

Many European democracies have mandatory national service for all young people, including military conscription of men. [Alternative civilian service is also possible in Sweden; women must volunteer for military service.] Here's what happened when Sweden told some would-be recruits, "Sorry, no thanks."

Conscripts protest in bid to join Army

Would-be conscripts to the Swedish army have inundated the National Service Administration with protests after they were told that no regiment could take them. Now, around a hundred conscripts have had their protests rewarded with a place in the army.

The 614 young men and women were told in July that, contrary to expectations, they would no longer be called up to serve from January 2008. They were told by military chiefs that there were too few officers to command them. They were told that they could do another form of national service or skip it entirely.

Six out of ten of those who were turned down contacted the National Service Administration, demanding to be allowed to serve.

"First, I was upset. What was I going to do for a year," asked one 19-year-old man who spoke to Svenska Dagbladet.

"I hadn't applied for university. I called wrote letters and sent emails. Now I've been told I can do national service," he said. [ . . . ]

OK, College and Young Republicans, isn't it your turn to Man Up!?

Hat tip to News of the Weird. Hat tip also to NATO's KFOR.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Siva Joins Operation Yellow Elephant

Sivacracy is a blog that opines on various subjects. Money quote:

Yellow Elephants and Chickenhawk Rich Kids

The issue is duty. The problem is hypocrisy.

People who support a war have a duty to enlist in the arms service. As William James wrote, "a belief is that upon which you are willing to act." If our nation is so threatened that it is worth sacrificing the life of any of us, then it is worth sacrificing the lives of all of us. Anything less is a lie to yourself and others.
[ . . . ]

When rich Republican men and women start acting on their beliefs instead of leeching off the work and dead bodies of the working poor in the this country, we will shut up about Yellow Elephants and the like. [ . . . ]

Of course, Siva has acknowledged [in the comments] that he just turned 35. Well, the Army Reserve's maximum age is now 41-or-under. He's also stated that he's out of shape [i.e., not currently otherwise qualified]. On the other hand, if our national leadership evolves into something you can support, please do what you urge of others and at least consider volunteering for military service.

In the meantime, start getting in shape.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Romney: Military Service for "Other People"

Former Massachusetts Governor and Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a born-again military groupie, just butched up his website (above), but has yet to encourage a single one of his five healthy heterosexual sons even to consider volunteering for military service.

We know that Mitt Romney personally knew at least one casualty in the Global War on Terror, Army 1st Lieutenant Andrew J. Bacevich. Money quote:

Army 1st Lt. Andrew J. Bacevich, 27, served as a legislative aide to then-Gov. Mitt Romney in 2004, handling all bills sent to the governor's desk for review and signature.

Romney said Tuesday that he talked with Bacevich about his decision to enlist before he left the Massachusetts Statehouse.

"I got to know Andrew as a legislative aide in my office, and before he left we met and talked about his plans," Romney said in a statement. "He was driven by a desire to serve, first as part of our team and then as a member of the military. His loss is a deep personal loss for me and for all of those who knew him."

OYE Comment:

We note that Governor Romney's way to "'Support' the 'Surge'" consists exclusively of making contributions to worthwhile organizations supporting our troops and veterans. Nowhere does he even come close to encouraging those eligible to serve [healthy heterosexuals 41 and under] who support the 'Surge' even to consider volunteering for military service.

OK, Governor Romney, if you cannot summon the courage within yourself even to encourage your own eligible supporters at least to consider enlisting, how can you possibly expect to convince the American people that you are capable of leading our nation, and the international coalition, to a successful outcome of the Global War on Terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere?

Hat tip to Red Mass Group.

AmericaBlog's John Aravosis Joins Operation Yellow Elephant

John Aravosis of AmericaBlog has urged California Congressman David Dreier (R) (pictured) to Be A Man! Enlist!:

Why doesn't Iraq war supporter David Dreier (R-CA) just enlist?

Dreier is the latest expert on how great things are going in Iraq.

“Now that we are seeing some progress on the ground in Iraq, the Democrats don’t want to believe it,” said Representative David Dreier, Republican of California. “Democrats should stop fretting and simply focus on supporting, rather than undermining, the strategy finally yielding results.”

That sounds great, Congressman Dreier, so why don't you just enlist? Oh, that's right.

PS: A grown man using the word "fret"? Kinda gay.

We warmly welcome AmericaBlog's John Aravosis to Operation Yellow Elephant.

Friday, August 03, 2007

How to Why Not Just Enlist?

Here it is direct from, with OYE Comments as indicated.

Why Not Just Enlist Right Away?

At a time of war, this is an essential question for Americans to ask themselves seriously and regularly. The question is especially urgent now, when it is clear that we lack sufficient troops in Iraq and in the military generally. The Pentagon has said that it will have difficulty maintaining the “surge” just for a year. Many commentators, including Frederick Kagan, one of the architects of the new strategy, have indicated that 30,000 additional troops is the bare minimum required to effect progress. Kagan and many others of various political persuasions have been pointing out for years that we do not have enough troops to respond to another conflict. If North Korea attacked Japan or South Korea, if China invaded Taiwan, if radical Islamists in Pakistan took over the government, we might be unable to mobilize enough soldiers to push back the aggressors. We should have the choice to intervene rather than being forced to respond weakly - or not at all - because we lack the resources.

Are there good reasons not to sign up right away?

Yes. In fact, there are several reasons.

Some eligible Americans should be excused indefinitely from enlisting. Most eligible Americans should be excused only temporarily. Each American should consider honestly which reasons apply to his case.

OYE Comment: Americans must volunteer to serve in our military, so all Americans are already "excused." [We're otherwise not certain exactly what you mean.] This blog seeks to Ask The Question of anyone apparently eligible to serve who publicly supports the war, "Have you considered volunteering for military service?" We trust the American people to evaluate their responses in making their own decision whether specific war supporters should be "excused," and whether their opinions deserve the respect of the American people.

But none of the reasons justifies inaction! We are all obliged to help America win its military engagements. If we will not help by carrying a gun, we must actively lend a hand in other ways.

The most effective way to increase the military is to change national policy.

In the 1980s, we had a 16-division, all-volunteer army. Now we have a 10-division army. If we persuaded the legislative branch to increase funding for the military, and we persuaded the executive branch to call for greater enlistment, we could rapidly gain the servicemen we need. Without this change in policy, there simply would not be enough slots to accept as many volunteers as are needed.

Many eligible citizens are not joining the military simply because they have not been asked. The thought does not cross their minds, or, if it does, they tell themselves that there must be enough troops already. Others are not joining because they fear being forced to do three and four tours in Iraq while their friends continue to enjoy private careers and the company of their families.

Persuading and pressuring our government to change its military policy will do the most to promote victory and support our current troops. It will also rally popular support for persevering in Iraq. Some citizens do not think it is terribly important to persevere because the government’s policies, military and otherwise, do not demonstrate that it is terribly important.

OYE Comment: That's precisely why we have encouraged Our President's strongest supporters, the College and Young Republicans, to demonstrate their national leadership responsibility to set a good example for the rest of us. We have also urged President Bush and Our Nation's civilian political leaders to encourage "greater enlistment." One cannot help but wonder why our national leaders have yet to do what you recommend. Isn't that why the American people elected them - to Lead Our Nation?

The war must be fought on the home front as well as in Iraq

Sustaining the will to fight is at least as crucial as doing the actual fighting. Wars are contests of will as well as of armies, and the American will is slackening.

Many members of the anti-war crowd on the right and the left know this well. They have been working for years to reduce the American will to persevere, and they have had the help of the headlines in most major newspapers and news programs across the country. Furthermore, there has been relatively little response to their attacks. The Bush Administration has defended the war effort inadequately and infrequently. Pro-victory congressmen have generally remained silent and left the work to the President. Pro-victory citizens groups, while not entirely ineffective, have failed to organize a concerted national and grassroots effort to counter much of the major media and groups like Add to these factors that Americans dislike war, especially when it drags on without significant progress, and it is not surprising that support is falling.

Now approximately 40% of Americans want to fight on, while 40% more want to retreat right away, and 20% in the middle want, paradoxically, to leave without losing (i.e., want to retreat but without suffering defeat). The country wavers, and very soon it may give in.

Rallying and building upon existing support for the war will be as important to winning as conquering the enemy on the battlefield. Indeed, at this point, it is more important.

OYE Comment: Other than encouraging war supporters eligible-to-serve [healthy heterosexuals 41 and under] to Be A Man! Enlist!, given the stated absence of such initiative from Our Nation's civilian political leadership, how do you expect to do this effectively?

Certain citizens serve the country better in other ways

Some Americans, right, left and center, will serve the country much better as teachers, entrepreneurs, scientists, scholars, fundraisers, engineers, organizers, artists, doctors, and even lawyers (perhaps). The needs of the military at this time are great, but not nearly so great that every able-bodied man between the ages of 18 and 41 [corrected from 45] must join. Citizens of high talent in non-military fields should consider remaining in those fields, even if they want to fight instead.

This does not entail a broad deferment program, which would only cause national resentment and division. There are few Americans who are so talented that the country would suffer from their absence. The military may be able to recognize some of them and prevent them from joining if they attempt to. Others might have to apply for individual exemptions.

OYE Comment: This is theoretical right now; absent a draft, Americans must volunteer to serve in our military.

Not every American would make a competent serviceman

Some Americans would make poor or even incompetent servicemen. It may be a question of personal temperament or of physical meekness. It may be a question of pacifist principle.

We must scrutinize ourselves not only to see if we are making up excuses not to serve, but also to decide if we would help further victory more as a military member or a civilian.

OYE Comment: We agree. A responsive answer to The Question, "Have you considered volunteering for military service," is all we ask of those eligible to serve who support the war.

Some have overriding duties to their families

Parents are not in this category simply because they are parents. But those who are obliged to take care of ailing, infirm, handicapped, retarded or otherwise dependent family members should be able to continue to do so.

OYE Comment: We agree. A responsive answer to Our Question can cover such situations.

Americans should still act for victory even if they do not enlist

Even if someone has good cause not to enlist, he should still take his part in helping the country to support its troops and reach victory. Americans can give money, conserve energy, volunteer, write letters to elected officials and to newspapers, call radio programs, and form local action groups to encourage others to take similar steps.

Most of these things would not require more than an hour or two per week. Hardly a high price for victory.

OYE Comment: We agree. There are many good ways in which those either ineligible or unable [for reasons stated in response to Our Question] to serve, can Support Our Troops. The easiest is to encourage one's own eligible relatives and friends, or circles of influence, to consider military service.

Most eligible Americans should eventually volunteer for the military

Most would not be accepted, of course. Even if our military were 16 divisions instead of 10, there would not be nearly enough slots for 20 or 30 million volunteers. But, in the end, eligible Americans should make themselves available to the military.

Especially if the government agrees to increase the military sufficiently and if popular support for victory grows to 55% or more, eligible Americans should volunteer. Some would have to continue working in the U.S. to sustain popular support, but most of that work could be done by those unable to serve in the military.

Even if the government does not expand the military, and if popular support does not rise, eligible Americans should eventually volunteer in order to relieve our current soldiers from their additional and extended tours. Some have chosen such tours, others have not.

Most of us have enjoyed the fruits of peaceful, free existence at home while our brave and selfless compatriots have sacrificed in myriad ways to protect us. They deserve the chance to enjoy what they have fought for.

And those of us who are turned away by the military should continue to work for victory on the home front.

OYE Comment: We basically agree. With respect to our topic, please let us know how we can work with you to make this a reality.


Posted on Thursday, July 26, 2007 at 03:56PM by Josh Levy

UPDATE: Hat tip also to Sarpedon on Daily Kos. Great comments!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Army Does the Right Thing

We are pleased that the Army has recognized that Sergeant Erik Botta, U.S. Army Reserve, has done his part for our nation through four combat deployments (one to Afghanistan, three to Iraq).

Although it is not at all clear how, exactly, they did it, the Army has cancelled its plans for a fifth deployment.

OK, Josh, how about you?