Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 16, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

RECRUITING....Military recruiting has been tough lately, and that's produced both good news and bad. The good news: there's much less interest in kicking out gay soldiers. The bad news: one in five recruits enters service on waivers, and as a result gang activity is up. Rep. Mike Thompson (D–Ca.) is trying to do something about it.

Kevin Drum 7:23 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (19)

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Oh my stars.... gays...
still the most pressing problem for US; deny history, deny science; deny , deny, deny..
hehe... i'm a religious right activist bent on making the gay agenda a non-issue. I' counter-counter-counter right wing

Posted by: gt` on December 16, 2007 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

Gang activity might not be such a bad thing. In fact, skip the soldiers...why not just send our gangs to Basra? Kill two birds with one stone.

Posted by: Phil on December 16, 2007 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

"why not just send our gangs to Basra?"

Done already. How else would you characterize Blackwater et al. if not as gangs?

Posted by: R Johnston on December 16, 2007 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

And the Number One Answer to the prior question, "Why We Torture"?

Because we can!:

Former US interrogator recounts torture cases
By Juan Cole

Discharged US army private Damien Corsetti has described the "morally unacceptable" cases of physical and psychological torture he says he witnessed as an interrogator at the prisons of Bagram in Afghanistan and Abu-Ghurayb in Iraq. Speaking in an interview with a Spanish paper, he said the vast majority of the individuals he questioned in the course of his duties "had nothing to do with either the Taleban or Al-Qa'idah" and that while he never took part in acts of abuse, many were tortured "to make them suffer, not to get information out of them". ...
.

Posted by: Poilu on December 16, 2007 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

Remember Corporal Klinger in M.A.S.H. ?

Something about the synopsis I read on TPM made me think that maybe gays on their 3rd Iraqi tour with no end in site might see an advantage in playing the gay card. Or, maybe some other folks see the same exit strategy. Anyway, in the end, at least regarding the soldier described at TPM, I think it was more a matter of a guy trying to be transparent, which I applau. But, if I was National Guard with no relief in sight making personal sacrifices to save Republican face I'd reconsider my sexuality, at least in official circles. More power to them.

Posted by: dennisS on December 16, 2007 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

This is more retention / standards than recruiting, but the Boston Globe had a rather troubling report today on widespread cheating on the online exams the Army uses to certify soldiers' skills and allow them to gain promotions.

Posted by: mc_masterchef on December 16, 2007 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

Gangs are just an important element of civil society.

Posted by: Ross Best on December 16, 2007 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK

Yup; Edmund Burke would have agreed enthusastically.

Posted by: BruceMoomaw on December 16, 2007 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

gang activity is up

From the link:

Gang membership has been a steadily worsening problem for about twenty years, but a dramatic jump in the reporting of serious gang activity (from 25 incidents in FY 2005 to 60 in FY 06) seems to have penetrated the bubble a little bit.

60 incidents - out of what, nearly 1 million people in uniform? - still seems to me a relatively infinitesimal problem (esp compared with say, the number of domestic violence incidents and sexual assaults reported every year)

Posted by: Kolohe on December 16, 2007 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

This is just one more example of the Bush administration reshaping the military in its own image.

Posted by: Boronx on December 16, 2007 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

You know, sometime in the near future some anti gang unit is going to bust in on some crip or blood operation and encounter a bunch of homies who served together in Tikrit or Fallujah. Not being impressed with all the neato tactical gear and being armed to the teeth with their favorite weapons from their service days, they will wipe out said po-lice commandos to the man.

I wonder who the law and order types will blame for that?

Lets call this the Ossama syndrome when it happens.

Because you know, we made that guy what he is. Trained him up and everything.

Posted by: SnarkyShark on December 16, 2007 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder who the law and order types will blame for that?

Never mind, stupid question.

They will blame liberals of course.

Posted by: SnarkyShark on December 16, 2007 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK

Gang Members were Iraq Urban Combat Experience going back to their cities and teaching their buddies all about it.

Perhaps the police should stop focusing so much on people who pick up trash and tazering innocent citizens.

Posted by: MNPundit on December 16, 2007 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

"Edmund Burke would have agreed enthusastically"

Edmund Burke, aka E-Cube

Posted by: Ross Best on December 17, 2007 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe our soldiers can beat Osama to death with their purses...

Posted by: Joe Bob Briggs on December 17, 2007 at 6:31 AM | PERMALINK

or maybe you can slay him with your hopelessly stereotyped jokes...
.
.
or not.

Posted by: snicker-snack on December 17, 2007 at 7:05 AM | PERMALINK

It is a sad day when conservatives are more scared of gay germs/cooties than gang activity.

Posted by: ET on December 17, 2007 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe our soldiers can beat Osama to death with their purses...

Just the approach taken by Epaminodas at Leuctra, by Alexander at Issus and Arbela, by Caesar at Alesia, by Frederick the Great at Rossbach and Leuthen, just to mention a few gay soliders . . .

Posted by: rea on December 17, 2007 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

The anti-gay rule is still in place and can still be used when someone just doesn't like gays, is in a bad mood, is upset a lesbian wouldn't have sex with him, or doesn't want to have to pay benefits. Having one's rights depend on someone else's mood is not progress.

Posted by: wendywriter on December 17, 2007 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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