Blame Liberals

Good lord—these people have no shame:
Several Senate Republicans denounced other lawmakers and the news media on Thursday for unfavorable depictions of the Iraq war and the Pentagon urged members of Congress to talk up military service to help ease a recruiting shortfall.

Families are discouraging young men and women from enlisting "because of all the negative media that's out there," Sen. James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, said at a U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

Inhofe also said that other senators' criticism of the war contributed to the propaganda of U.S. enemies. He did not name the senators.
That’s right—it’s the negative media that’s discouraging enlistments, not the terrible tragedy that is the Iraq War itself.

Meanwhile, the Army met its recruitment goal for June, for the first time since January, even though it’s still 14% behind year-to-date. And how did it manage to meet that goal despite all the negativity? By relaxing standards.
Army officials insist that they can still reach their annual goal, especially with hundreds of new recruiters on the street, armed with big enlistment bonuses and greater leeway to recruit more high-school dropouts and lower-achieving applicants.
Ezra notes:
I'm a bit nervous about our new strategy of attracting the most hopeless, directionless, and uneducated recruits we can find. When "a few bad apples"* can do as much harm to the cause as the bushel running Abu Ghraib did, it kind of underscores the need for a military representing the best of our society, not one formed by trawling the bottom of Lake America and enlisting whatever floats up.

* Abu Ghraib, of course, was not the work of a few bad apples, but a host of bad directives, poor leaders, inadequate oversight, and so forth. Nevertheless, since conservatives seem to think we really do have an Army of Ones, they should be fairly nervous about recruiting individuals who the Army, mere months ago, would've rejected out of hand.
Right. And perhaps the Republican wankers who are yowling about Dems and the media being at fault for decreased enlistments could stop for a moment and consider that perhaps it’s exactly that host of bad directives, poor leadership, inadequate oversight, and so forth that’s preventing people from signing up, rather than people who seek to point out those issues in the hope they might save the lives of the soldiers who are already there.

Of course, that would undercut their steady drumbeat of “Blame liberals!” which is becoming increasingly necessary as they desperately scramble for a scapegoat to take the fall for this failure of a military mission.

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