Friday, July 13, 2007

Forget about the Gym, Join the Army!

I was just working on some ideas for the global politics game I'm designing for my teaching, a spin-off from the agoraXchange project, and was thinking about incorporating features from the NBA lottery so I did a google search and ended up on When I clicked on the link I wanted the image on top popped up.

The text stating "The benefits of being in the Army last a lifetime" sounds like a recruiting pitch from Gold's Gym. The rest of the ad stresses "Allowances and Bonuses" and "Vacation Time," leaving out the bits about being targeted for a violent death and having to kill people. Nor is there any mention of the substantive purpose of the military presence there, even the pretextual one of stopping terrorism.

It used to be mercenary armies were made up of foreigners, but now the government is running a private war and can only recruit citizens by the same incentives Halliburton might use. It's common knowledge that the army cannot meet its recruiting goals, but alas Cheney-Bush have only a very partial affinity for the free market. If the army cannot recruit because this war is so unpopular that it cannot overcome knee-jerk nationalism, then perhaps this is a sign that it's not worth fighting.

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