The Deadman Night Rider

A forum for evening students of the SMU Dedman School of Law and other outlaws..

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Thomas Friedman calls for doubling the amount of troops we have in Iraq in today’s NY Times editorials (this link requires a login, but it’s still free for the time being!). I’ve been impressed by Friedman’s principled stand on the war, among other things – he definitely hasn’t done his cocktail-party circuit stock any favors lately. He admits that sending more troops is the last thing anyone wants to hear – true enough, especially since no one knows where they would come from.

I have to admit to having some mixed feelings and not a little guilt on this subject – I’ve been a strong supporter of the war from the beginning, and now that manpower appears to be getting tight, I feel like I should pull my weight. Physically, nothing is stopping me – I know for a certainty I can run fast enough and do enough pull-ups and sit-ups. At 34, I’m at the top end of the scale but still qualify for both regular and reserve Army. I don’t feel joining the Army now would be any more dangerous than some of the things I’ve done in the past, traipsing around Central Asia. What’s stopping me is naked self-interest – I’ve got a family, I’m starting law school, etc. All that would be put on hold – which is really saying that I’m valuing all of that over my country – not a pretty admission.

Two years ago they told me they didn’t need me. I talked to probably five different recruiters - online, on the phone, and in person – who told me that I’d never get a waiver to go to Officer Candidate School because of my age, since it was full for the next few years. (More self-interest – military pay even at junior officer levels would be a hell of a paycut, and enlisted would be like a 75% drop) Now they’re missing recruiting targets even after lowering the goals. Meanwhile, I sit here counting chile peppers waiting for August 16, and the Deadman.


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