Monday, May 16, 2005

Say What?

As a pacifist, I've never been a cheerleader for the war machine. Yes, I realize that each country needs a military presence, but, as the US has shown repeatedly, far too many resources are poured into military muscle at the expense of more humanitarian needs. It's a sad day when you find the nation's infrastructure crumbling and schools lagging behind, YET defense contractors are sitting pretty.

What's more, the US military seems highly adept at doubletalk. Who can forget hearing years ago about the insane rationalizations for $500 toilet seats or $81 hammers?

Today, a friend sent me another fine example of military mumbo jumbo. An article in The Independent (UK) reports the following:
As the death toll of troops mounts in Iraq and Afghanistan, America's military recruiting figures have plummeted to an all-time low. Thousands of US servicemen and women are now refusing to serve their country. Andrew Buncombe reports... Staff who run a volunteer hotline to help desperate soldiers and recruits who want to get out, say the number of calls has increased by 50 per cent since 9/11. Last year alone, the GI Rights Hotline took more than 30,000 calls. At present, the hotline gets 3,000 calls a month and the volunteers say that by the time a soldier or recruit dials the help-line they have almost always made up their mind to get out by one means or another.
Sounds like we might have a bit of a problem here. Aaah, but not to worry. Our military brass is on top of it.
The Pentagon says it does not keep records of how many try to desert each year. A spokeswoman, Lieutenant Colonel Ellen Krenke, said the running tally had declined since 9/11 from 8,396 to the present total of 5,133. She added: "The vast majority of those who desert do so because they have committed some criminal act, not for political or conscientious objector purposes."
OK, let me get this straight. Though our military doesn't keep tabs on deserters, a spokeswoman assures us both that the numbers are down AND we now WHY most of the deserters desert.

Only in the US (well, maybe in London too) could a public spokesperson say such a thing with a straight face. If we aren't tracking such statistics, then how can Krenke provide statistics AND reasons?

There are ONLY two conclusions. Either we do track such things and the Pentagon is lying OR Krenke is blowing smoke.

My bet is that both of these things are true!


  1. There are ONLY two conclusions - Either the Rambling Taoist is a true peace loving Taoist OR he is just another whining liberal that rather enjoy the labor and sacrafices of those that fight for freedom. Hmmm - Seems from his posts and his history he is the whiner.

    Ah, the torturous wellspring of a liberal zellot.

  2. JustaDog,
    Two things. First, "zealot" is the correct spelling, not "zellot".

    Second, your comment is off point. Do you approve of $500 toilets and/or the military claiming they don't track deserter stats while, at the same time, attempting to provide stats?

  3. I have found that when posters turn their attention to the grammar of a person making a comment they have lost any essence of attempting to prove the point they started out with.

    I have no idea of what those toilets are intended for, do you? Have you actually seen these toilets? Have you actually seen the invoices for these toilets? Do you really think they are the very same that you might buy at Home Depot or do you think they might be "miliarized" in some way? Did you bother checking into the facts or are you just spewing out more leftie logic?

    As far as tracking deserter stats my guess is they can approximate but given the shear numbers involved it would be impossible to have any accurate number (unless you wish to embed some type of tracking device to each solder).

    Now I have to grab some wine, enjoy some music, and meditate on how wonderful the world is and how much better it is with thousands of terrorists dead!


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