The Department of Defense (DOD) has six reserve components: the Army Reserve, the Army National Guard, the Air Force Reserve, the Air National Guard, the Naval Reserve, and the Marine Corps Reserve. DODís use of Reserve and National Guard forces increased dramatically following the events of September 11, 2001, and on January 19, 2005, more than 192,000 National Guard and Reserve component members were mobilized. About 85 percent of these personnel were members of the Army National Guard or the Army Reserve. Furthermore, the availability of reserve component forces will continue to play an important role in the success of DODís future missions, and DOD has projected that over the next 3 to 5 years, it will continuously have more than 100,000 reserve component members mobilized. Since September, 2001, GAO has issued a number of reports that have dealt with issues related to the increased use of Reserve and National Guard forces. For this hearing, GAO was asked to provide the results of its work on the extent to which DOD has the strategic framework and policies necessary to maximize reserve component force availability for a long-term Global War on Terrorism.
-- GAO report, released 2 Feb 05
Call up, Mobilization, Redeployment, Stop Loss, and even Draft are terms we've all heard over the past two years. Get used to it. Let me restate it: according to the DoD projections above, more than 100,000 reserve component service members will be actively deployed for the next 3-5 years.
Similar to the Bush administration's ridiculous federal budget proposal that doesn't even include the largest expenses involved, let's add something else to the Democrusader's"I forgot to mention this" file. The Democrusader's saber rattling has finally had some reaction from Iran and North Korea.
North Korea not only unsurprisingly announced today that it does indeed have some handy-fucking-dandy nuclear missiles, but also decided to stop all diplomatic talks with neighboring nations on this issue. That's the more troubling aspect of North Korea's reaction to the Democrusader's bravado.
In other Go-fuck-yourself-Democrusader-news, Iranian President Khatami had a few things to tell his fellow Iranians and anyone else that would listen: "Will this nation allow the feet of an aggressor to touch this land?" Khatami asked at the crowd. "If, God forbid, it happens, Iran will turn into a scorching hell for the aggressors." That's the Mullah-with-nukes version of a Texan diplomatic statement of "Bring it on."
The Democrusader seems to be flip-flopping on earlier promises of a diplomatic solution with his junior nuclear meglomaniacs -- which could place further demands on U.S. military personnel. What's the current state of affairs?
Simply read the one page highlight of the recently released GAO report on DoD which clearly states that, "DOD does not have a strategic framework with human capital goals concerning the availability of its reserve component forces." If that example of bureaucratic-speak flew over your head and parted your hair, let's just revisit why the Democrusader's political opponents raised the issue of the military draft during the election season.
The partial mobilization authority limits involuntary mobilizations to not more than 1 million reserve component members at any one time, for not more than 24 consecutive months, during a time of national emergency. Under DODís current implementation of the authority, members can be involuntarily mobilized more than once, but involuntary mobilizations are limited to a cumulative total of 24 months. Given this implementation, DOD could eventually run out of forces.
What would make the military run out of forces? Read the full report to see the hard numbers on the failure of the military to meet its recruitment goals for a voluntary force, as no surprise. Reason number two would be any unknown future military crisis likely caused by over-zealous neocons in the Bush administration. And, something else worth consideration is that we have had a military presence on the Korean peninsula for 50 years, as one example. Do you really expect the U.S. military to be able to leave Iraq in 3-5 years?
WoT? Where's Osama bin Laden? My educated guess is Balochistan (PK).
In the U.S, we call Carnival 'Mardi Gras' and the last decadent day before Ash Wednesday is called Fat Tuesday. I realize for some of you with self-image issues -- you wake up, look in the mirror and say, "Everyday is Fat Tuesday." I agree. I thought we would just discuss the happy Fat Tuesday celebrated today, though. Millions and millions of people all over the world have been partying for Carnival for centuries now.
Although many people celebrate in their own special way, some of the more popular places for you to be on Fat Tuesday are places like Cologne, Germany, or Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, or New Orleans, Louisiana in the U.S. I want to check out RdJ once, before I die.
No matter where you are today -- you can join in on the culmination of debauchery -- at least in spirit. I don't want to hear any excuses, either. I just saw 5,000 snowbird retirees getting all jiggy-widdit, so just think how lame you would sound telling me that you have more important things to do than celebrate a little bit.
The Grumpy Old Men and the Q-tips parked their Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (golf carts) up and down all the Villages Town Square. It was so crowded, it reminded me of Daytona Bike Week, except these stumbling drunken partiers had way fewer tattoos and way more wrinkles.
If Grandma and Grandpa can celebrate as if AARP was giving away free Metamucil, surely you can get in the spirit of things on Fat Tuesday. Check out a few of these Mardi Gras webcams, if you need some inspiration.
If you need a gut-busting laugh, watch the bead necklace bedraped drunks sing badly on the Karaoke Cam this evening. If not, then my next favorite webcam is the live video on Bourbon street in the quarter. I mean, except for the FCC and social conservatives, who doesn't like Girls Gone Wild earning their Mardi Gras beads? I don't think I'm wrong.
California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, an ambitious actor famous for his roles in the Terminator action movie series, proudly became known as The Governator. It also has been rumored for years that United States president George W. Bush enjoys nicknaming the people with whom he works and it's fairly apparent to me that Dubya doesn't mind having a nickname given to him.
So I'm giving him one -- The Democrusader. If you like my new word, please feel free to use it when referring to the president of the United States especially whenever blogging about his foreign policy agenda. If we all use this new nickname, instead of Dubya, I'm hopeful that it will catch on and we'll have happy exclusivity on Google search results for some time. It'll be fun.
If you've already read a few entries on Thunderstorms in the Imajica in 2004, you're already aware that I often like to make my own illustrations in order to make some point. What you may not know is that sometimes I have the blasted blog entry topic bouncing around within the domed confines of my skull like a kangaroo on a crack cocaine. During this symptomatic time, I might end up designing and producing the illustration first and humbly hope I can craft the words to properly construct the argument for the topic. The Democrusader is one of those topics.
What causes this delay and subsequent troubling unrest in the population of hamsters powering the exercise wheels of my gray matter? The Democrusader image is a controversial visual topic beyond the labels of division in red and blue state America. It may blaspemously offend insecureChristians. It may instantly send patriotic Americans into a hypertensive fit and cause them to lash out. It's a topic felt deeply by most, debated hotly by some, and then denied generally by the ones actually driving the bus in the business of Bushworld.
I'm troubled because after thinking about George W. Bush's inaugural speech heard 'round the world, the usual suspects in the president's critic corner and peanut gallery have expanded domestically to include more conservatives, let alone international fears of hegemony and empire. No longer is it the exlusive domain for Howard Dean. No longer are the worrisome predictions over Bushworld just coming from the liberal media elite and their blue state lackeys.
You think about it with me for a minute. When is the last time you heard about Al Franken, or Michael Moore, or sign-wielding protestors on the mainstream radio and TV broadcast media? Why not? Because nothing is really funny about the next four years with no parole in sight.
Sheeple also get really angry when you parody, piss on, or persecute their messiah. But, before you're tempted to bash in my blasphemous brains with your bible, read a little in Revelations.
The great Roman Empire had its own 911 in 64 A.D. when nearly the entire city of Rome burned to the ground. The Roman Emperor Nero then began his own War on Terror and rounded up the early Christians. It is believed that most of the scriptural references in Revelations made about the apocalyspe depict this admittedly gruesome period of persecution. Some religious scholars consider Nero to be the first anti-christ.
That bit of history got me pondering the big picture. Assuming the human race survives for another 500 or 1000 years, how will Islamic scholars depict The Democrusader in their religious texts? What of Abu Gharaib or Guantanamo? How will the battle in the holy city of Najaf or the bombing of Fallujah be characterized and immortalized for the ages?
It's enough to make some U.S. citizens start drinking during The Democrusader's upcoming State of the Union address because I'm not the only person that worries the modern day Nero seems to have some weird messianic empire fantasies. What will The Democrusader say next?