Written by wadenelson
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Topics: Iraq, Army

Sunday, 14 August 2005

Somewhere in Iraq - Omar Myamar, head of recruiting for Islamic Jihad sat down today with recruiters from the United States Army to discuss potential solutions to their shared problem: A shortage of volunteers. Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North put it this way, "The recruits, they're all hot for the college money and a shot at the virgins, but think someone else should have to do the soldiering."

Recruiting scandals in the United States have included forging of high school degrees and recruiters "coaching" prospects on how to lie to their parents about having signed up. Says Omar, "We have similar, but different problems. A recruiter gives a family a goat if their son agrees to become a suicide bomber, but it wasn't his goat to give. That, and as reported elsewhere, paradise is running out of virgins. That makes the recruiter's job very difficult.

Idealistic young men between the age of 17 and 24 are highly desired by both sides. Says Omar, "When we attempt to recruit a car or truck bomber, we want someone willing to drive 100mph and run stop signs. At that age they all think they're going to live forever" Concurred North, "Young men always believe the bullets are going to hit someone else, not them. By thirty, they know better, and they refuse to sign up."

Both sides at the conference gave PowerPoint presentations, and shared recruiting "war stories" including the one about twin brothers both claiming "it was the other twin" who signed up, not me!" For lunch, hamburgers and hummus were served.

According to one Pentagon official, "Unless re-up bonuses and stop-loss orders can reduce the current loss of combat troops, the Army's "Army of One" slogan will soon take on new meaning. Says Omar, "In Arabic, we have a saying. "You can be a bold mujahadin, or an old mujahadin, but there are no old, bold mujahadin." Unfortunately, we seem to have used up all the bold mujahadin fighting the Russians.

While recruiters both sides are having trouble making quota, a draft is sufficiently unpopular that politicians won't even broach the subject. Omar and North concurred, "Eventually, both sides will run out of recruits and we'll have to flip a coin to decide who won."

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