Thursday, October 12, 2006

Please Ignore the Good News

The Secretary of the Army, Dr. Francis J. Harvey swears in Shirley Salvi, the Army’s 80,000th recruit for fiscal year 2006. This event marked the Army’s achievement of its annual recruiting goal.

Active Duty Recruiting Exceeds Goals

Last year the media obsessed over the news that the US Army missed its annual recruitment goal. It was the first time since the 9/11 attacks that the Army missed their goal. They came up short of their objective of 80,000 recruits by 6,600 soldiers. While it cannot be denied that the Army missed its recruitment target for that year, it would be relevant to address the fact that the goal had been substantially raised from previous years in order to meet the growing demands of the War on Terror.

The Secretary of the Army, Francis Harvey, pointed out that the 73,400 new recruits in 2005 were within 2% of the average recruitment amount for the past 10 years. So the higher goal made it seem much worse than it really was. In addition, the Army exceeded its re-enlistment goals to help compensate for the shortage.

Now that a year has past, why aren’t there any more stories about the dire straits that our military recruitment is suffering from? It turns out that this year the Army swore in its 80,000th recruit one week early. In addition, if you include this year’s surplus of re-enlistments (over 3,000 soldiers), we have more than made up for last year’s shortage! So now the Army has more men under arms than any other time over the last decade. The size of the active army is about 505,000, a 12,000 gain from the previous year and the highest since 1995!!!!!!! Of course, Good News is No News.

However, it is encouraging that the Army has exceeded its new elevated goal, which was adjusted to compensate for the War on Terror. This brings up serious questions about claims made by Congressman John Murtha and other leading Democrats that our military is “broken”.

As a decorated Marine you would think that Murtha knows what he is talking about, right? Let’s take a look at his statements which dominated the headlines last year. Now we can see how they have stood up to the test of time.

In December of 2005 Congressman Murtha was very concerned about the National Guard units from his home state of Pennsylvania that were deployed in Iraq. He stated that they were “stretched so thin” that they wouldn’t be able to send fully equipped units back to Iraq in 2006. However, Lt. Colonel Chris Cleaver, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania National Guard, said most of the PA Guard deployed at that time couldn’t be sent back to Iraq for a second tour of duty because of regulations that limit redeployment. So it was a moot point to begin with.

Regardless of that fact, just how stretched out was the Pennsylvania National Guard? If they were indeed impaired by the war it could have had serious consequences. The PA 2nd Brigade was headquartered in the bloody capital of the Al Anbar Province at Camp Ramadi. At the time it was considered to be the center of the Iraqi insurgency. On January 1st, shortly after Murtha had his nervous breakdown saying that the Army is broken and his state’s National Guard was stretched thin, the Pennsylvania Iron Brigade serving in Iraq announced that it was certified with a 94% operational readiness rate (around 90% is considered average). Towards the end of their deployment in May of 2006 they were rated at 96%. Since the brigade completed its deployment in great shape, maybe it’s not the National Guard that is broken.

The timing for Murtha’s attack on the military was very odd. Iraq had just completed a general election to select its permanent National Assembly on December 15th, 2005. In an operation that critics said couldn’t be done, his National Guard troops secured the volatile city for the elections. This allowed Iraq to move forward to the last step of reclaiming its full sovereignty. As the Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Sub-Committee on Defense I’m sure Murtha knew all of this.

The biggest test of whether or not the Army is broken would be its morale and a good measure of Army morale is the re-enlistment rate. If the troops are discouraged and beaten then they aren’t going to re-enlist. Since the Army met its re-enlistment goal a month early and the National Guard also exceeded their goal, it is clear that the morale of our troops is very high. It is Murtha himself that is broken and worn out.

Yet that’s not the end of Murtha’s misinformation. He has continually repeated his mantra that our troops have become the primary target of the insurgency. Yet sectarian violence between the Sunnis and Shiites has claimed the largest death toll during this insurgency. July was the bloodiest month of the year with 558 violent deaths in Baghdad and 77% of these casualties were the result of sectarian violence. Murtha has access to this information as well, he should know better.

I have no doubt that Murtha was motivated by compassion for the wounded soldiers he has visited and was inspired to go on a crusade on their behalf... But something went terribly wrong. In January of this year he was presented a “Pink Badge of Courage” award for his anti-war activism by the protest group, CodePink.

It is a bit ironic that this group has also been involved in the controversial protests of the Walter Reed Military Hospital where a large number of soldiers go to recuperate from wounds they received in Iraq. When you read about Murtha you will note that he often brags of his visits to wounded troops whenever he denounces the war. For his sake, I hope he coordinated with CodePink so that he wasn’t seen associating with protesters who harassed wounded soldiers.

The protests were known for featuring mock coffins and inflammatory signs designed to agitate the wounded troops that traveled in and out of Walter Reed. Signs like “Maimed for a Lie”, “Enlist Here to Die for Halliburton” and a particularly nasty one labeled “Bloody Hands” (with blood red hand prints all over it).

In their hatred for the military CodePink has been quite active in the counter recruitment movement. As a matter of fact since 9/11 there have been a number of attacks on recruiting stations. In February of 2005 Brendan Walsh was sentenced to five years in prison for firebombing a recruiting station in upstate NY. Other recruiting stations have had their windows smashed and have been shut down by protesters.

Yet all of these counter recruitment efforts are failing.


Anonymous said...

There is a general arrogance towards people who serve in the military and to a lesser degree DHS
eminating from the far left. The view is two fold that those who serve are societal misfits and that defense is someone else's job.

The far left likes to talk of blind patriotism. However, left unsaid is the evil of mindless self loathing. The far left has a hyper obsession that all nationalism is evil except Arab nationalism.

There is a class based arrogance to the notion that defense is someone else's job.

The Merry Widow said...

Beaker- That disdain of the military has been around for a long time! Being an AF brat, you notice the disdain and contempt stated or silent! The sneers, the looking down the nose, the ignoring of those in uniform who are hitchhiking(common in the '50's and '60's). Oh yeah, there is a segment of our society that thinks(or is convinced) that only lesser beings go into the military, those who can't make it in the real world. They are so clueless as to the truth of the matter,, that I ignore them for the most part, because they are fools. Murtha had a choice, he chose politics over truth. I have no respect for him, apparently he was a political animal even in the Marines! Those types have earned my contempt! Yes, they served their country, but they served themselves first! McCain and Kerry fall into that catagory. My late was a Sole Surviving Son, he couldn't be drafted, he served in the army for 4 years anyway! My Dad was Army Air Corps before WWII, he was "riffed" but recalled just before the war! Murtha has not earned my respect, but rather my contempt. Along with his fellow twits! Sen. Jeremiah Denton had my respect, that was a gentleman and officer! He served in the Navy and the Senate to "serve" his country!
Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!


Freedomnow said...

You know I only scratched the surface of Murtha’s fallacies.

He also said that most U.S. troops will leave Iraq within a year because the Army is “broken, worn out” and “living hand to mouth”. Well it’s almost a year already and it was announced that troop levels will probably stay the same until 2010.

The guy clearly doesn’t know what he is talking about.

He wants to lead Congress if the Democrats win the upcoming election and he isn’t even qualified to represent his own district.

kuhnkat said...

To begin, out of a 30 year career that the Dhimmi's tout so much, Herr Murtha spent about 2 years in war zones. It has still not been proven to me by anything I have read that he was ever actually IN COMBAT!!!!!!!

With that out of the way, I want to point out that the LEFTARDS ALWAYS scream the loudest when we are doing the best job of mopping up the bad guys. The next time you hear a lot of accusations about failure look for what the MSM isn't telling you. That the military or the conservative agenda in general is WORKING!!!!

Think about the silence about our excellent economy. About how well welfare reform, pushed by the Republican controlled congresses, worked. How the Bush tax cuts have increased the economy and in turn tax receipts to the point that the inflated deficit wartime budgets are actually decreasing in magnitude!!

Right now we have 3 operations being run by the US in Iraq doing severe damage to the militias AND the terrorists!!! Where is the news about the Taliban and al-Qaida being shot to pieces in Afghanistan?? All the MSM is telling us is that there is a lot of violence happening, implying we are losing control!!!

The best one I read lately is the ludicrous game of make up the body count that tells us there were 655,000 excess deaths in Iraq since the start of the war. Of course they include EVERY death that would not have happened in a peaceful, moderately well run, third world country (Iraq was exceeding those numbers BEFORE we invaded). All that aside, 655,000 works out to 162,750 a year for 4 years, 13,645 deaths a month, 448 deaths a day!!!

That's compared to the MAXIMUM of 3000 deaths a month that actually happened recently that the LEFTARDS like Little Che Sucky the Retard was screaming about!!!!

Can anyone explain to me how even our BIASED LEFTARD PRESS can report on something this ridiculous with a straight face??


Freedomnow said...

Hmmmm... this new body count is such an obvious fraud that I think it will help the Republicans in this election.

Just like in the 2004 elections some Leftists got together and put together an exaggerated body count to influence the voters.

Americans are not stupid, they know exactly what this report is meant for.

Attacking your opponents can be helpful to a political campaign, but it can boomerang... And this one will.

nanc said...


do not try to confound the left with the truth!

Freedomnow said...

Hey it was Kuhnkats fault. He told me to light the candle of truth.

How was I supposed to know it was really the Flamethrower of Truth?

(Well, I guess I could of read the stenciled lettering that said, "Flamethrower of Truth", but that would be too easy. You might also point out that it is a little bigger than a candle, but I thought it was a really fancy Roman candle.)

Russet Shadows said...

Yup, I touched on this in a recent post called The Memory Hole is Obsolete. The press has moved beyond color and distortion to just plain ignoring whatever doesn't fit with their Pravda line. Isn't it strange that the good news is never news, even though by definition, it would be different (and thus newsworthy) than what the press usually prints?

Freedomnow said...

The press is in a jam. Our country is way more conservative than they are so they have to tone down their rhetoric, but their brethren in the extreme Left accuses them of being controlled by the Neo-Con conspiracy.

I think the press is broken and needs to de-politicalize itself. They wouldnt get so upset at White House press conferences if they werent so damn partisan.

That kind of behavior is bad for their blood pressure. So they should try to focus on writing news stories for a refreshing change...

nanc said...

if you'd really like to discuss serious issues - i've posted a somber "oh boo" moment. no tears, please.

Always On Watch said...

I keep asking myself, "What the hell is Murtha's problem?" But maybe it's more a question of "What is his hidden agenda?"

Always On Watch said...

I love your "oh boo" postings.

Laughter is healing.

Freedomnow said...

In Murtha's case I dont think he has a hidden agenda, he wants to stop the violence no matter what. His thinking is not strategic, its emotional. So he lashes out in a fevered pitch like a madman.

His judgement is too clouded to realize that what he suggests will lead to a bloodbath even worse than the post Vietnam era.

Why do people forget the million+ boat people, mass executions and Cambodian genocide?

If we were to leave abruptly from Iraq, the Iraqi government and security forces would collapse, just like South Vietnam did.

Whole villages of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds will be massacred. Neighboring countries like Iran, Kuwait, Jordan and Saudi Arabia will be sucked up into the fighting.

It will be the bloodiest mess in the history of the Middle East, putting Saddam's genocide and the Armenian genocide to shame.

Somewhere down the road we will have to fight the same people we are fighting now, somewhere else. They are not going to go away. They will not stop after taking Iraq.

Freedomnow said...

Nanc is so cultured and I'm not talkin' bout yogurt...

Solid Surfer said...

Both Murtha and the mainstream media in general incessantly promote their own political views while entirely ingoring and suppressing all evidence against them. Maybe this is why they never seem to understand when reality disproves their leftist presumptions.

nanc said...

pearls i'll bet!

Anonymous said...


I disagree with you on Murtha. Murtha has taken the adulation of the same people that spit on him thirty years ago. He has gotten a swelled head and like Clinton is lokking for a legacy at our expense.

Freedomnow said...

Well I am only going by intuition because everyone lies about their intentions (hey, even politicians, I swear!). So it can be hard to acertain someone's real motivations.

I just think the guy is off his rocker and so partisan that he will do anything to "help" our troops. Including defame them, condemn them and discourage them from their mission.

He thinks he knows better and its for their own good. Its called arrogance, but I think there is some good intentions in there somewhere.

Regardless, we can both agree that his tactics are not honorable.

Jeff Bargholz said...

Great reporting FN.

I'm so tired of hearing from the left that "enlistment is down." Every moonbat in the country makes that claim ad nauseum.

You exposed Murtha as the ignorant fool that he is.

Your story highlights why the left is an evil force: it lies reflexively and smears opponents rather than offering solutions to the countriy's problems.

Jeff Bargholz said...


It was the same leftists at the British medical journal, "The Lancet," who tried to influence the 2004 elections with grossly exaggerated body counts. They're up to the same old games, and they aren't fooling anybody but the moonbats.

kuhnkat said...

Ya know, this has GOT to be a bunch of RIGHT WING PROPAGANDA!!!

With all the money the LEFT spends on propagandizing the kids in this country it is just IMPOSSIBLE that there could be that many who still believe in this country!!


John Brown said...

So open bribery works... what's the surprise there?

Lots of people are willing to die for empire if they get PAID!

All that means is more HEAD COFFINS - ship these sorry fools off on one, two, three, and four deployments; poison them with DU; and send them out to get their ass kicked by the Resistance in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And be sure and give away all their personal info and screw them over at the VA.

Freedomnow said...

Mr. Brown,

You may not be aware of this but we have an all volunteer force, so they need to be compensated for it. This is actually quite common in the free world.

If our troops are going to take the chance to be what you so crudely put, placed in "Head Coffins" we'd better show them our appreciation for their heroic work.

So you actually bring up a good point. America does appreciate our fighting men.

What are you doing to help your allies in Iraq? Al Qaeda recently admitted losing over 4,000 foreign fighters killed by coalition and Iraqi forces. This doesn’t even include the number of Iraqi insurgents and terrorists killed - a number that is dramatically higher. Your allies are losing manpower, while our military is growing bigger and more experienced.

I don’t know why Beak bans you. You defeat your own cause with every word you write. Your Hezbollah avatar says it all…


Freedomnow said...

Bargholz and Kuhnkat,

My favorite Leftwing propaganda machine, Rock the Vote, is sadly a bit worn down these days. They only have 2 employees when they used to have about 20.

They use the typical leftist misinformation approach, saying that they are non-partisan. Yet they were affiliated with P. Diddy and the Dixie Chicks.

Their "Vote or Die" campaign was based on scare tactics against the Republican conspiracy to "take our rights".

But the best was how they comically tried to defend P. Diddy after he made his comments before the 2004 election. He said, "I want Bush's ass up out dat ofc" (this was in addition to countless other attacks on President Bush by P. Diddy). They continued to say that P. Diddy was taking a bi-partisan approach!!!!!!!!!!

For entertainment value - Leftists are the best. Bargholz I hope you have had a chance to see Team America already, the puppet of Kim Jong-il in my post yesterday was used in the movie.

on-my-mind said...

"Of course, Good News is No News." -- You said it all right there, buddy, but I'll come back and read the rest of the good news soon. God bless.

Freedomnow said...

Thanks for being neighborly...