Mark Garrity, in New Jersey, has been emailing the College Republicans. Has sent four emails, and rec'd no reply. Nor action on his suggestion. Therefore, he now emails Bush/Cheney.
I write to you today about the very serious problems we have maintaining the US Army's fighting capabilities. In case it hasn't been stovepiped up to you the Army RecruitingCommand failed to meet it's enlistment quotas for the past four months in a row. Lt. Gen. James R. Helmly the head ofthe Army Reserve sent Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff a memo last December that said "his command is rapidly degenerating into a 'broken' force." This is a very real crisis. We are losing our young officers and noncoms, the backbone of our volunteer Army.
Secretary of State Rice said the other day, "The administration, I think, has said to the American people that it is a generational commitment to Iraq". This is news to me but if we're going to be involved militarily for a generation in Iraq then we'd better get crackin on the the Army retention and recruitment pronto. We can't stay the course in Iraq for another few years let alone a generation with a hollow Army. Sure if we outlaw abortion there will be plenty of unwanted babies growing up in poverty who'll be prime pickin's but that won't be for another...youguessed it...generation!
There is already mounting pressure for reinstituting the draft and while I don't agree with a lot of your policies I do agree with you that a new draft is out of the question. You don't want to be besieged in the White House while hundreds of thousands of hippies shout bad names at you like Nixon do you? So how do we solve this problem? Do we throw money at it as we have recently, proposing to up enlistment bonuses and provide mortgage assistance enticements? I think we can do it better and cheaper.
As your election team proved last year you're very adept at targeting specific audiences with specific messages.There's no need to waste money on targeting young Democrats to join. After all Democrats nominated a war hero last year, a man who earned a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and threePurple Hearts in Vietnam. Your administration and it's surrogates savaged his war record and questioned his patriotism and in doing so the patriotism of all Democrats.
Before your convention I heard Laura Bush, former President George HW Bush, and Karl Rove all insinuate Kerry's postwar activities were anti American and unpatriotic. TheSwiftboat Veterans claimed he never even earned his medals. As patriotic as they are Democratic kids aren't going to be an easy sell when they've been labelled blame America firsters. Especially when we're going to be fighting in Iraq for another whole generation with unclear goals.
Why do I say unclear goals? The stated benchmarks for withdrawal appear to have been met. Disarming Iraq of WMD, removing Saddam from power, allowing for free elections in Iraq have all been accomplished. Your administration says we've trained 169,000 Iraqis to protect their fledgling democracy against an enemy that I've never seen estimated at higher than about 20,000 deadenders. If, as you say VicePresident Cheney, the insurgrency is in it's last throes then you're not going to find many Democrats willing to go for mop up duty that's best left to Iraqis. Especially when their contribution will just be ridiculed. Let's not waste taxpayer dollars trying. Here's where you can get the recruits we need to fill the ranks.
The College Republican National Committee claims to have 120,000 members, all are of fighting age and potential Army recruits. They have a well produced website I've visited over the last week. On that website they have many job opportunites at such think tanks as the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute. Apparently business is booming in Republican political circles. But there isn't one link, one mention of any military recruiting site on their website at all.
And believe me I've looked. I've written them 4 emails since last Thursday asking them to correct this omission and have had no response. Maybe you could send them a note. Even better they have their bienniel convention coming up this weekend at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington VA. As of yet I don't see any military speakers scheduled to speak on the agenda. The biggest name is Tom DeLay and while I'm sure he'll give a rousing speech he's not qualified to talk about serving our country in combat. Maybe you could see to it that Army Recruiting Command can get in to set up some tables and hand out enlistment forms. These are your most likely candidates to support the long slog in Iraq.
But there's another good reason. I think it's very important that the next generation of Republican political leaders serve in the military and if need be see combat. So many of you in the current generation haven't and it shows. Maybe if they serve and see what war is really like they won't repeat silly mistakes like declaring "mission accomplished" at the beginning of a quagmire.
Another idea is Jenna and Barbara. I know you don't want to hear this Mr. President but hear me out. They've been out of Yale now for a year. As far as I know neither has landed a job. It would do wonders for Army recruiting if they were to sign up. They could pull safe duty in the Green Zone. It would show their true commitment to your policies. They'd be the biggest thing to hit the Army since Elvis and would do wonders for recruiting. What redblooded American boy wouldn't like to dive into a muddy trench when the mortars start falling with one of the twins?
I hear you're going to mount a new PR blitz soon explaining the need to stay the course in Iraq. Please use my suggestions as otherwise we run the risk of a true "Vietnamization" of Iraq. And we all know how well that worked last time.
TrueBlue Patriotically yours,