Lizette Alvarez reports from Denver Thursday on the Army’s drive to recruit more Hispanics in “With Charm and Enticements, Army Is Drawing Hispanic Recruits, and Criticism.”
She paints the drive in a negative light:
“In Denver and other cities where the Hispanic population is growing, recruiting Latinos has become one of the Army's top priorities. From 2001 to 2005, the number of Latino enlistments in the Army rose 26 percent, and in the military as a whole, the increase was 18 percent. The increase comes at a time when the Army is struggling to recruit new soldiers and when the enlistment of African-Americans, a group particularly disillusioned with the war in Iraq, has dropped off sharply, to 14.5 percent from 22.3 percent over the past four years.
“Not all Latinos, though, are in step with the military's recruitment goals. In some cities with large Hispanic populations, the focus on recruitment has polarized Latinos, prompting some to organize against recruiters and to help immigrants learn their rights.
“Critics say recruiters, who are under pressure to meet quotas, often use their charm and an arsenal of tactics, including repeated calls to a recruit, lunch at a favorite restaurant and trips to the gym. The Army also parades rigged-out, juiced-up Hummers wherever youths gather as promotional tools.”
Ironically, the left-wing and media have often lambasted the U.S. military as a white Republican bastion. Yet the Times and the media are suspicious of affirmative action when it comes to the military.
Alvarez relays a racially charged left-wing criticism in a fuzzy paragraph that leaves open the question -- is the accusation true or not?
“Critics also say that Latinos often wind up as cannon fodder on the casualty-prone front lines. African-Americans saw the same thing happen during the 1970's and 1980's, an accusation that still reverberates. Hispanics make up only 4.7 percent of the military's officer corps.”
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