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The US army is short on personnel. So they’re arming ex-convicts too. Like soldier Steven Green.

Three sentences. All wrong. The U.S. Army is not short on personnel, therefore it could not be cause for arming ex-convicts. Steven Green is not an ex-convict. The only thing I could find about previous legal problems is Days after a misdemeanor arrest for alcohol possession, Green enlisted in the US Army in February 2005.

Now, is it the case that as the mission in Iraq evolves, personnel with different skill sets are needed that are not currently deployed? Yes. But overall troop levels in Iraq have been declining.

In contrast, NATO yesterday failed to find any volunteers to contribute 2,500 reinforcements that are needed for combat duty in Afghanistan.
After two days of talks in Portoroz, Slovenia, defence ministers from the 26-nation alliance said that nobody had produced the reserve force, first requested by Nato commanders more than three weeks ago.

“There was no offer of more troops"

26 nations can't come up with 2500 soldiers? Try enlisting exconvicts, why don't you?

Oh! Lookee here! The UK Ministry of Defence is considering looking to prison cells for new Army recruits.

Here is the straight dope on enlistment eligibility in the U.S. military.

According to Jurek Martin in today's Financial Times (sorry, no link - all typos are mine) In many spheres of life, such as football and politics, Americans are discouraged from thinking for themselves. This is evidenced by the fact that a brochure for a new visitors center at Mt Vernon states declaratively that George Washington was the country's greatest president and only one quarterback calls his own plays - the rest do what they're told.

Martin and the idiot who wrote the ARD piece should thank their lucky stars. If I ended up thinking for myself, I might end up thinking these people are flaming assholes.

Panorama is absolutely, positively the biggest practical joke going on in German television and nobody has even realized it yet (that's how good it is). Do not take anything these people have to say seriously. They don't mean it.

Pamela,
Obviously the German MSM has very poor quality control in place.
You can't get into the US military without a diploma.
You can't join with a felony on your record
The US Army met this years recruiting goals way ahead of schedule.
If Germany didn't have the draft, they couldn't defend themselves against a horde of NPD'lers on a rampage.

Oh well, I have given up long ago on Goebbel's Gesellen.

Quick question. I've been searching for about an hour and can't find anything, so perhaps someone here can help me out.

Germany has compulsory military service (for men). Can ex-convicts be drafted or are they automatically excluded?

The resemblance between Goebbel's and ARD's propaganda is uncanny. Any rational person would be able to recognize this. Also, this is not the first time this kind of similarity has been pointed out by DMK.

In spite of this, I read comments made by Germans here and on other German blogs, where those people complain about DMK's exaggerations, bias, tone, etc etc. What do those people have to say when they are confronted with such language coming from the German media, or worse, when confronted with the embarassing admission of German journalists ?

They say nothing. They stay away and when the dust has settled they again complain about DMK's "obsession" with the German media, which they claim is certainly not perfect but not all that bad either. Right...

Aw jeez. Talk about a target-rich environment.
Army Meets FY 2006 Recruiting Goal Early
In addition to meeting its active-duty recruiting goal, the Army met its retention goal of 64,200 with the Aug. 31 reenlistment of a Fort Campbell, Ky., Soldier. The Army National Guard also met its retention mission last month, and the Army Reserve expects to do so next week. (dated late Sept. 2006)

In the meantime it is even sending convicts to war.

From my link in my earlier post:

It's important to note that applicants who require a waiver ARE NOT qualified for enlistment, unless/until a waiver is approved. The burden is on the applicant to prove to waiver authorities that they have overcome their disqualifications for enlistment, and that their acceptance would be in the best interests of the Military. Waiver authorities will consider the "whole person" concept when considering waiver applications.

In general, waivers are required for:

Five to Nine minor traffic offenses

Two to five more serious traffic offenses

Two or more Class 1 minor non-traffic offenses

Two to Nine Class 2 minor non-traffic offenses

Two to five serious offenses

One felony

Marc Garlasco, Human Rights Watch: “The US military has come to a breaking point. At the moment the soldiers are two, three or even four years in Iraq with no vacation home.

We invaded Iraq 3 years ago. How any American military have been in there for 4 years speaks to miracles.

The deployment/rotation schedules of all US Military are a matter of public record. Even better, that info is available on the innernut.

US Forces Order of Battle

Green and his people live under miserable conditions. Often they could not shower for four weeks.

Ok, I'll leave the French out of it.

And: They are stationed in the most dangerous part of Iraq.

Soldiers are supposed to be stationed where it's safe? Since when? Oh. The European Rapid Reaction Force. Never mind.

Lieutenant General (USMC Ret) Paul K Van Riper (he retired in 1997)

Van Riper, a lifelong Republican who voted for Bush in 2000 but did not vote in the 2004 election, said Rumsfeld has failed in a number of ways, including "disastrous" war planning and execution and fostering a poor command climate.

William E. Odom
On Friday, April 9, 2004, Odom described the attack on Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein as "one of the great strategic errors of the post-Cold War era." [ed. Can this guy read a map?]

Andrew Tilghman (apparently a reporter for Stars & Stripes, but I don't know if that means he's military

"I came over here to kill people." The gangly 21-year-old soldier spoke the words with casual indifference. "The truth is, it wasn't what I thought it was cracked up to be. I mean, I thought killing somebody would be this life-changing experience. And then I did it, and I was like, 'All right, whatever.'" Stars and Stripes reporter Andrew Tilghman took the words down in his notebook when he visited the soldier's base in Mahmudiyah in February, but didn't think them abnormal at the time.

So, all the sources cited in this have been anti-Iraq (and if you read the imbedded links, anti-Rumsfeld) from the beginning.

@David
If Germany’s government is going to sponsor and air this kind of journalism, then the US Embassy ought to at least stand up and formally protest.

I was thinking about that also. But for justice to be done, it must be seen to be done. Does ARD have an ombudsman? I don't know if that's common in Germany - it's quite common here. Would it even air complaints? And such complaints would need to get much more visiblity here in the US. As it is, the American press just ignores Germany.

Of course this report is very specific and unbalanced.
But isn`t it the duty of an army`s leadership to organize warfare in a way that such incidents cannot take place? What is going on there?
Is it true that there are soldiers in iraq for years now without any "Heimaturlaub" (vacation)?

The US military should move away from being in defense. Just trying to keep a damaged dam from braking will not repair it. Why not release it instead, accept the losses and then built a completely new one?

For example many problems with the rebels are only possible because they are supported by the native population.
Why not create a map of iraq that shows every military hotspot and then move all the population from those hotspots to calmer regions - and then march right in and solve the remaining resistance?

When a fire breaks out you cannot just occasionally try to fight it. When a whole country is about to be set on fire, you need a thourough plan and an iron will.
Of course, one cannot act as the "liberator" any more then - but which iraqis believe this anyway ;)

@Dave
I don't even know where to begin.
Is it true that there are soldiers in iraq for years now without any "Heimaturlaub" (vacation)?

No. And you should have caught the lie I caught - that soldiers were in there for 4 years when we've only been in for 3. Depending on the service you belong to, no tour of duty is longer than 1 year (and I think the Marines is 7 months). And even within that tour, you get a break. Here is an article from Stars & Stripes. It's really about whether the soldiers have to pay for their R&R (rest & recreation) transport as opposed to the gov't, but it shows that even during the tour, they get out of theater.

From Iraq, vacationing troops leave Camp Champion in Kuwait and fly free on military-chartered civilian planes to one of four designated airports:

But isn`t it the duty of an army`s leadership to organize warfare in a way that such incidents cannot take place? What is going on there?

How many links did I post debunking everything this program asserted? Did you read them? Did you understand them?

There are at least 2 things I don't know: Whether or not these people were killed by Americans and if so, if Steven Green and his buddies did it.

And neither do you. But you accepted the assertion as shown in your query.

You never questioned the piece even after all the evidence I posted.

So why should I give a rat's butt about what you 'think'?

Would someone please explain to me why the occasional piece of human excrement who happens to be an American who is being prosecuted by American courts) is somehow worse than the consistent examples of the inhumanity represented by Islamofacists who behead, castrate, and torture American military/Muslims/Christians/Jews in unspeakable manners? I just do not get it! Man's inhumanity to man is not limited to America? If so, why is that? An explanation would be in order, don't you think?

Posted by: Pamela | September 30, 2006 at 08:19 PM

Pamela, every Thanksgiving my husband and I host military personnel from Ft. Sam Houston in San Antonio. Last year we had four female Army privates in our home. Two of those females had toddlers. When I asked them why they would leave their children to join the Army, they explained that their husbands had a criminal record and were unable to join, and because they wanted a better life for their family, they opted to join.

Criminal records disqualify recruits from America's armed services. That does not preclude pieces of human excrement who have yet to be arrested from joining. However, should their baser nature surface, they will be prosecuted.

"Marc Garlasco, Human Rights Watch: 'The US military has come to a breaking point. At the moment the soldiers are two, three or even four years in Iraq with no vacation home.'"

As previously noted, this is a complete and utter lie. Garlasco has been the HRW military "expert" (i.e. patisan hack) for a couple of years and is mostly known for shooting his wad before the facts are in (eg. Gaza beach bombing) and, in general, just being wrong.

And if Garlasco knew what he was talking about -- which he has consistenly proven over time that he doesn't -- he would know that soldiers don't get "vacations," they get "leave." He would also that the U.S. Army deploys by units and the standard tour is one year. Exceptions are a few extra weeks more, not two or three years more. An expert would also know that units require retraining and refitting which can take up to a year before they can be certified for redeployment. And an expert would also know that anyone can go on the internet and find the unit deployment schedules (past, present and future) down to the battalion level and see that no units have been in Iraq two years straight, much less "three or even four."

@Pamela
I would like to send an email to the Panorama "gang" (I don't want to call them journalists). Could you update me on the latest status for that case? In the program everything was said in the "is" form with not even the slightest try to use the presumably-form. Was he definitely convicted for the deeds? Was it proven?

"Three sentences. All wrong. The U.S. Army is not short on personnel, therefore it could not be cause for arming ex-convicts. Steven Green is not an ex-convict. The only thing I could find about previous legal problems is Days after a misdemeanor arrest for alcohol possession, Green enlisted in the US Army in February 2005."

The truth be damned! The German media must serve up the propaganda lie that all US soldiers are either underclass robots or homicidal maniacs regardless of the facts. "Es passt in den Kram." They serve their public, and a large part of that public doesn't want to hear the truth about America. They prefer to have this and the rest of their idiotic stereotypes of "US Verhaeltnisse" reinforced with propaganda. After all, if the entire media is telling them the same thing, it must be the "truth." At the same time their helpful journalists inform them that Germans are "critical thinkers" who are "trained to question conventional wisdom." Give me a fricking break!

If all US soldiers are underclass dregs of humanity or homicidal maniacs, as the ARD propaganda screed implies, how is it that we just buried the soldier son of one of the top managers at the company I work for at Arlington cemetery? He had just returned from serving in Iraq, and was killed in a traffic accident. How is it they held up Green as a stereotype, and not him? For that matter, why didn't they mention Pat Tilman, who died in action in Afghanistan after giving up a glamorous career in the NFL to join the Army. Oh! I forgot! They did notice Tilman, big time, right after word came out that he was killed by friendly fire, and they could put an anti-US spin on the story.

For that matter, why didn't they feature my daughter? She joined the Army and served in Korea. I make a low six figure income, and can afford an occasional coffee at Starbucks. I would never have realized that my daughter was a product of the poor, brutalized underclass without all that helpful information from "Panorama." Children serving in the military is hardly an uncommon phenomenon among similar employees at the company where I work. Are they all brutalized toilers, too, like me?

Social inequities in the military is one of the most hackneyed of German media propaganda themes. One wonders, then, why they don't call for the US to reinstate the draft, which their intellectual clones across the Atlantic succeeded in ending in the Vietnam era. Shocking, isn't it? Soldiers in the US occasionally have reasons for joining the military other than patriotism and love of country. They are even (gasp!) influenced by financial incentives! Surprise, surprise! What an anomaly. Apparently we are to believe that soldiers in other countries, throughout history, never served for any other reason than pure love of country, except, of course, in the US. Why, Frederick the Great had to beat the new recruits off with a stick to keep from being overwhelmed, right? It's a great propaganda schtick, isn't it, and the hypocritical propagandists at ARD will be able to harp on it forever. After all, in 5,000 years of recorded history, no nation has ever been able to permanently keep its military up to strength without coercion or financial incentives. Heaven forfend, though, if soldiers in the US don't fly in the face of that 5,000 years of history and all sign up for purely noble and patriotic motives! It's more proof that the US is "evil." I guess the only solution for us is to abolish the military and become slaves of countries like North Korea, where all the soldiers serve out of pure patriotism.

@garydausz
Could you update me on the latest status for that case?

The case has not yet come to trial. I find a few links for you.
Why is Steven Green Being Tried in Federal Court?

(Although notice this article uses the word 'retired' incorrectly - but hey - it's NPR - at least they spelled it correctly.)

And this link below shows the original complaint - but note on the right side there is a link to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

FindLaw

And if you do write to these clowns, would you please point out the the US has been in Iraq for only 3 years therefore no one could possibly have been in theater for 4 years.

Can I ask a simple question of any Germans here? Do you get the feeling these people think you're stupid?

I saw the one comment about shooting someone who did not stop at a roadblock. THAT IS WHAT SOLDIERS ARE SUPPOSED TO DO!

@Pamela

"Can I ask a simple question of any Germans here? Do you get the feeling these people think you're stupid?"

Actually I can´t even see a reason why our media still report on iraq anymore. Why don´t they just release a statistics twice a year - listing the number of rebellious attacks, the resulting casualties and the development compared to the last six months.
People here have already written off this country for a long time to come, which also means the effect of reports on the situation there is very limited.

Here's the version of the story that appeared in the NY Times, you know, that US big media newspaper "in lockstep with the Bush Adminstration." As you can see, the Grey Lady was constrained to fill in a few more salient details about the story, as a few of its readers are somewhat better informed than ARD's brain-dead viewers. They might start asking unpleasant questions about why those facts were left out, such as:

"Mr. Green was convicted in October 2001 of possession of drug paraphernalia and fined $350. Five months later, he was charged as a minor in possession of tobacco, and was fined $300, according to records in Midland Municipal Court. On Jan. 31, 2005, he was arrested and charged as a minor in possession of alcohol, and again was fined $350. This time, he did not pay the fine, but served jail time.

"'He laid off the fine in jail,' Sheriff Gary Painter of Midland County said. Mr. Green did not volunteer to work in the kitchen or at other jobs, which would have shortened his stay, Sheriff Painter said. He served four days."

As you can see, ARD dumbed down the story to make sure its readers weren't "confused." After all, some of its viewers might have trouble making that implied "hardened criminal" connection with four days in jail, even in Ost Friesland. No point in diluting the propaganda message in Germany, where there's a snowball's chance in hell that any other source among the "rich assortment" of "diverse" information sources about the US, that always encourage "critical thinking" in matters relating to America, will take note of such blatant agitprop lies. It also seems that this four days, served voluntarily in place of a fine or public service, was Green's only time in jail, although the ARD propaganda piece refers to it as his "first time," implying other nonexistent stretches in the hoosgow.

Let's see, a few drug and alcohol related charges; not exactly a tip off that Green was a likely killer and rapist, are they? Did ARD expect the Army recruiting sergeants to interview all of his junior high school classmates?

And where's the love here? I mean, the people who put this hit piece together are leftist flacks. Aren't they supposed to believe in the possibility of redemption, of the rehabilitation of those who have stepped over the line, of correction and reintegration into society rather than state vengeance against lawbreakers? Yet, according to this article, they believe that people who have spent 4 days in jail on a voluntary basis should be barred from military service! I would love to hear them elaborate on this enlightened concept of damning people for life because of a few minor youthful non-violent transgressions. What other jobs should they be barred from? Should letters be branded on their foreheads warning "decent" members of society of their transgressions? Just asking.

As Pamela posted above, the Army and all branches of the service have met their recruiting and retention goals for 2006.

But when reality doesn't suit your moonbat politics you just to rejigger those "facts" to meet your preconceived notion! Die PARTY beschwert sich nicht!
Since these good folks "know" what is really going on in the U.S. Army, they "know" that it could only be meeting those goals because it hires felons!
Just like they "know" that John Kerry won the election, which requires they "know" that Bush "stole" it!

Germany is suffering no dearth of homegrown boobs. I have noticed that fringe lunacy and small minded bigotries sound much cooler in a foreign language.

Tyranno

We have met our goals by lowering the standards for recruitment. Before you needed a high school degree to serve. No more. Other than the officers a portion of these recruits would either be working for crap wages or be headed to jail. America is a myth. I fortunately make good money and have a good job because I went to University and got out and worked hard. However most Americans are struggling with two or three jobs and god knows how they can afford to raise a family. The notion that Mr Wal-Mart American would not want a strong safety net is Bullcrap. American workers are getting the shaft under GWBush. 3,000,000 million manufacturing jobs have been lost. China is holding our Treasury notes and N Korea will have an ICBM in ten years. Bush is a loser and the worst president ever. I was arrested two weeks ago buy the Police at my home for telling a public official he was an idiot. No lie. They said it was disorderly conduct. The whole goddamned country is disorderly. Hang in their Europe. I will be moving their soon. It is your century if you play your cards right. I will help. I have not left America . America has left me.
One more thing, I bet this so called bashing of the US, I call it reality and constructive critism, wasn't like this when my fav prez Clinton was in office. Clinton understood the world and Germans loved him for it.
By the way has the creator of this site ever heard the ugly american talk. Typical American response to other countries. - 1) Fuck them will bomb them. 2) Do they have plumbing in your country? 3.) The GNP of America is blah blah how about your crappy country? 4) Fuck A rabs. 5.) The US saved your ass. I could go no and on

I am German, and I can assure u that we aren't bombed by the media with tunel-viewed anti-americanism. Like in the States,(I've been there a couple of times and have some friends over there) there are different kinds of media, which reflect more right wing or left wing policy.I think that Fox News for example is often much more misguided than ARD panorama could ever be. Nevertheless many Germans have got relatives and friends in the States and even those without aren't that silly to believe all that is published in only one kind of media. - Unlike many Americans who believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11 or was threatening the US with weapons of mass destruction, which was affirmed by Bush-administration friendly media. Towards those with their stupid statements on WW1 and WW2 or the ones who insult the Germans as Nazis: Has this anything to do with the topic?? Isn't it as misguided and close-minded as the author of this so called "Medienkritik" accuses the Germans and their media to be? And why the hate that is spread out out by those kind of people? A German proverb comes in my mind: a hit dog begins to bark.
By the way the heavy criticism on the Bush administartion - this is no anti-americanism - is common in whole Europe not only in Germany! West- and Central-Europeans still see the North-Americans as their friends and closest relatives on this planet. Perhaps the conservative americans should begin to ask why there is criticism on the current US foreign policy and US Government and not blame the Europeans for criticising. The Americans have to keep in mind that the Europeans suffered too many devastating and cruel wars, which makes us very careful in our decission to begin a war, before we haven't tried diplomacy extensively. Perhaps the 'Nam lesson is too long ago, but don't forget that many people on this planet don't want to be 'freed', democraticised and americanised, but want to keep to their own way of life. Even if their way of live is seen as 'backward' and anti-democrtatic from our perspective, some nations are quite happy with it.

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