March 22, 2007:
The U.S. Marine Corps exceeded its
recruiting goals by six percent last month, but sees problems with expanding
its strength from 175,000 to 202,000 over the next five years. The marines want
to maintain high recruiting standards, but are faced with possibly wearing out
troops because of too many tours in
combat zones. There's also the relentless defeatism of the American media. This
merely perplexes marines, but it is discouraging more and more potential
Young marines, who are often the best recruiters,
are increasingly encountering civilian friends and acquaintances who have a
completely unrealistic idea of what's going on over in Iraq. The marines try to
explain that the enemy is real, and evil, and that for the many Iraqis, who are
victims of the Islamic terrorism, what the marines do is very much appreciated.
But the U.S. media has created a mythical Iraq, where U.S. troops are unwelcome
interlopers, and valiant Iraqi freedom fighters sacrifice themselves to expel the
foreign invaders. What the marines see is that 97 percent of the people getting
killed over there are Iraqis, and most of those are victims of terrorist
attacks. The marines also come across things like most of the terrorists
getting paid for their work. That buys people willing to kill women and
children, and destroy schools, Mosques and hospitals.
Potential recruits are confused, as are their
parents. Recruiters are increasingly losing good prospects because of the
confusion. At least that's what marines, and soldiers, report. Officially, the Marine Corps simply
foresees difficulty in expanding the force.