“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Thursday, March 23, 2006

More on an anti-recruiting pamphlet

I received an email about the anti-recruiting pamphlet idea. And I’ve been spinning around ideas in my head. But LI needs suggestions.

The army is having problems. This is from one of the slew of newstories recently about recruiting

“Blacks make up about 23 percent of today’s active-duty Army, but the share of Blacks in the recruit classes of recent years dropped. From 22.7 percent at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the share slid to 19.9 percent in 2002; 16.4 percent in 2003 and 15.9 percent last year, according to figures provided by Army Recruiting Command and cited in published reports. The slide has continued, dropping to 13.9 percent as of Feb. 9 of this year.”

13.9 is outstanding. I think the African-American community, which has collectively turned its back on this president, has done a good job making joining the army now vaguely shameful. However, this can be accelerated. One of the things that I am always impressed with is how the conservative sphere is continually making good suggestions to the left about this, and how indignant the left gets. For instance, suggesting that the bad news from Iraq is just to demoralize Americans. I think that is an excellent suggestion, and one of the things this pamphlet should do is make going to Iraq seem, a., unsupported by the American population, b., dangerous beyond any risk that you would want to take, and c., futile at that. The extremely high rate of injury, much higher than in Vietnam, will I think give even the most testosteroned up 18 year old pause. The thing is, how to convey this in such a way that, a., it makes not joining up – abstinence - seem patriotic, and b., that it is written in a far less preacherly tone than the pamphlets I have seen. My ideal would be that the pictures would be stark and hard – comparisons of the ideal be all that you can be with pics of wounded men – that the message would be, no, you will not get support after your leg is blown off – the money for V.A. is being cut, and you will have to battle your entire life long against prejudice and the government – that you can actually help bring the war to a close by not signing up, and thus helping others – and that other patriots, including President Bush and Vice President Cheney, exercised the option of not going during Vietnam and instead devoted those years to getting ahead – and look where they are now. Nobody calls them unpatriotic for dodging the war in Vietnam. This is a subtle but I think very necessary point – the people who go will fall behind because the people who stay here – even the people who support them, and go yeah, go to Iraq – are really getting ahead in the game of life. It is, in essence, a sucker’s game to go to Iraq. This point has the advantage of being true, and the disadvantage of being one of those points people try to sentimentally ignore.

Since I am not used to writing for 18 year olds, though, I am a little unsure of what kind of thing works. Probably I ought to go out and by teen people and the like. Ultimately, I would like the tone of this to be don't tread on me, with the treading being by the Executive Branch, using the voluteer army as a government funded mercenary corps to do what it likes. I think I'll look up all those Readers Digest attacks on the IRS and apply them to this issue.

Do drop me some suggestions. rgathman@netzero.net

No comments: