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June 11, 2005


We have about 150,000 troops in Iraq and about 1600 have been killed. That is about 1%.

There are 296 million people in the United States, most of which ride in cars, and by your figures 42,000 are killed in auto accidents. That is about 0.014%.

I think the recruiting problems are because people are beginning to realize that the reasons that were given for the war were simply not true and that Iraq is starting to look like a quagmire. There was no problem with recruiting in the aftermath of 9/11. Lots of young men were willing to sign up to defend America against terrorists knowing full well what the risks were, but now it is much less clear that Iraq has anything to do with defending America.

Pres. Bush is maing the same mistakes that Pres. Johnson made. When you take the country to war, that is all a president can do. While Bush spends his time on Social Security, NCLB, stem cells, etc, he distracts from the war and makes the war look very unimportant.

It also does not help that Bush is so inarticulate that he cannot "talk" to public about why the US is in Iraq.

I can assure you that the low recruiting has nothing to do with any young kid thinking about how the war was started for the wrong reasons. Frankly, if that were the case then re-enlistment rates would be suffering too and they are not. Yes, you are going to have lower rates of enlistment during a war -- that makes sense no matter what the war was started over -- and when you add in the negative media lies well it is a wonder anyone joins up.

And the quagmire argument might hold more weight when, a) we are in the war for a few more years, and b) had it not been used two days after we invaded.

I think you guys are trying to pick a media fight over a fact of life. It's more dangerous to be in the army right now, thus less people want to sign up. Simple, clear cut.

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