Conservative Liberal

FDR would have been a Republican today.

Myth of disadvantaged military personnel and the draft

Here is an interesting article from Fox News:

It’s been 33 years since America got rid of the draft and moved to an all-volunteer military. Is it time to return to the days of conscription?

Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., thinks so. He plans to hold hearings soon after the new Congress convenes in January.

For years, Rangel has been saying wealthy Americans are “absent” from the military. More recently, he dismissed any sense of duty in America’s youngest generation.

“If a young fellow has an option of having a decent career, or joining the Army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq,” he said on “Fox News Sunday” on Nov. 26.

This is a bizarre slur on the volunteers in uniform. Class warfare rhetoric is a staple of liberals, but it is stunningly insulting when applied to the integrity of American troops engaged in real warfare. Rangel is talking about people in the profession of arms, men and women who believe it to be the most honorable path in life.

The pernicious myth that the armed forces are filled with stupid soldiers has got to stop. It spews from Michael Moore’s film, Fahrenheit 9/11. It slipped out in John Kerry’s botched “joke.” And it has been echoing around the Left unchallenged for too long.
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In 2005, some 80,000 young adults enlisted in the Army, and they came from some surprising places. From 2003 to 2005 — i.e., after the Iraq War began — the richest one-fifth of the population was overrepresented in the military at 23 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of recruits from the poorest neighborhoods dropped from 18 percent in 1999 to 14 percent in 2005.

I personally know of people who enlisted in the military. They come from the upper middle class families: computer programmers from Silicon Valley or furniture store owners from San Diego should qualify as such. And, in case you are wondering, those families are Jews from the former Soviet Union. Immigrants from the former Soviet Union represent one of the most successful immigrant groups in this country. They came to this country often with nothing and made very good lives for themselves. I should know: I am one of them. They also tend to be very patriotic: the comparison with the old country is quite startling. Those people I know are not the only ones: click here. My point is, those people are pretty well to do and have plenty of opportunities. But they chose to serve out of sense of patriotism. While we are at it, let’s bust the myth of underprivileged fighting in Vietnam.

December 30, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Breath of the Beast

Yesterday a friend sent me a link to a new blog called Breath of the Beast. Here is an excerpt from the very first post:

…It was a sunny Sunday morning and Amy went out right after breakfast and met Amir in his backyard. We watched as they began to play and turned away to read the Sunday paper. We were surprised when Amy came back inside a short while later. She walked by us with her head down and started up the stairs to her room. We had expected to have to call her in for lunch so it was odd that she came back so early. I called after her and asked her what was wrong. She told me how little 5-year-old Amir had matter-of-factly informed my innocent 5-year-old daughter that because she is a Jew it is his duty to kill her.
I went right over to talk with my friend and neighbor. Hamid was deeply embarrassed. He hastened to explain that: “Over there, the radio and TV were full of that kind of thing – you simply couldn’t avoid it. He assumed that Amir had heard this kind of thing on the radio or TV because no one in his family believed such things. He was sure, he told me, that now that Amir was back here he would soon forget it. He assured me that he would talk with Amir and was sure that the boy didn’t even understand what he was saying.
I could see how distressed he was and told him that I understood and that I appreciated his concern. We looked at each other and shook hands and patted each other on the shoulder. I was sure that it would not change things between our families.
Remember that this was twenty years before September 11, 2001. It was a few years after the fall of the Shah so, before they had left, I had actually wondered if his kids were going to be exposed to anti-American rhetoric and how that would sit with them. It had never entered my mind though to expect the anti-Semitic to be the dominant theme. Back then many of us believed the myth of the benevolent caliphate and the benign toleration of “Dhimmis” under Muslim rule. After all, I mused, Iran was at war with Iraq. And Israel had recently bombed the Osirac reactor thereby preventing Iraq from developing nuclear weapons.
In the light of everything that has transpired since then, it now seems hopelessly naïve of me but in the dim light of that historical moment I was amazed that what had surfaced first from this child’s sojourn in his homeland was genocidal anti-Semitism. As I lay awake in bed that night I found I couldn’t get the event out of my mind. The idea that a child could have such an idea in his head was staggering by itself. What kind of madness had he been exposed too? What infernal clatter of hatred and fear was there in the streets and media over there that could make it possible for a five year old say such a thing?

Read it all. And visit Yaacov’s blog regularly. I personally can relate to everything he says. Whenever my 5-year old daughter has a friend of Arabic or Iranian descent, I have this nagging question in the back of my mind. So far no problem came up. I hope against hope that it stays that way. But I dread the day when this issue does come up.

December 30, 2006 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment