Saturday, September 15, 2007
About this picture
The picture is a WWII poster made by Edward McKnight of the United States Office of Inter-American Affairs. The words mean "Fight for the Liberty of all". I guess nobody thought it should be illegal for the government to print stuff in Spanish back then.
They didn't keep good records about ethnicity (except for thum naegroes, of course), but something like a half-million Latinos* served in that war.
Now, with regard to the War on Terra, the Pew Hispanic Center says:
- Latino enlisted personnel are underrepresented when compared to the size of the civilian labor force of the appropriate age.
- They are on par when compared to civilian labor force of the appropriate age that possess the necessary educational credentials.
- They are overrepresented when compared to the civilian labor force of the appropriate age that posses both the necessary educational credentials and immigration status.
Taking these points in reverse order, they seem to say:
- Latino citizens enlist in greater numbers than other citizens.
- All Latinos, including non-citizens, enlist as much as US citizens at large.
- A significant number of non-citizen Latinos don't possess the necessary educational credentials for military service.
As a nation, we have decided that we're going to wage Endless War, but we're not about to have anything like a draft.
That's a problem.
Even the joyful optimist Petraeus admits that we're strapped for troops. Why would Republicans take a position so manifestly Against The Troops as to oppose Jim Webb's proposal to give them a rest between combat deployments? Would the R's deny The Troops® relief if it didn't wreak heck-all on their plans? Of course not.
It's a hard-fought issue, and it would plainly favor the Republicans to have a larger pool of boots to be ground.
So why are they trying so hard to run off the Mescans (as they're known in the Executive parlance of Texas)?
Too bad Karl Rove retired, because a genius like that would see that the more Latinos you educated and made citizens, the more volunteer warriors you'd have to work with.
You'd think Alberto Gonzales would have mentioned this before he left. Maybe he really is just a big dummy.
* Or Hispanics, as Government tends to say. Where I'm from (back in the day), they often called themselves Chicanos (and Chicanas). That may actually be the most precise nomenclature, because it refers specifically to people with ties to Mexico, which is what we're really talking about when we say "immigration" in this day.
Unfortunately, Chicano is fraught with even more connotational hazards than the other words. It's really hard to talk sensibly about these issues, because we're a bunch of assholes.