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'Bring it on': Bush offers up Peace Corps to snare recruits

Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez, above with President Bush, said recruits are not guaranteed slots in the Corps. (By Rich Lipski — The Washington Post)

Shakes Sis has quite a bit to say about an article that highlights the pseudo-stealth option for recruits to serve part of their obligation in the Peace Corps. This option went into effect three years ago as part of a defense budget bill, and the Peace Corps wasn’t told about this little bit of fine print until after it became law.

This little change raises some serious red flags, the least of which is that it places current Peace Corps members overseas at incredible risk. Any sense that there is a relationship between this entity and the military is bound to raise suspicions in countries that are not particularly enamored with the U.S. now. How stupid is that? About as stupid as holding your balls and saying “Bring it on” to the terrorists. (WaPo):

“Does this raise red flags for the Peace Corps community? I’d say yes — emphatically so,” said Kevin Quigley, president of the National Peace Corps Association, an organization of returned volunteers, staff and supporters. “We think a real or perceived linkage between the Peace Corps and military service could damage the Peace Corps and potentially put the safety of Peace Corps volunteers at risk.”

This Peace Corps carrot to potential recruits is actually a stick. Shakes Sis:

There’s no guarantee that recruits who enlist with the promise of fulfilling part of their service obligation with the Peace Corps will actually be given that opportunity. The Peace Corps will require enlistees to apply to their program just like any other potential Corps volunteer. To put that into perspective, the Corps already receives three times the number of applications as they have open slots. Until the Republican-controlled Congress decides to provide more funding to the Corps, they cannot open their ranks to a greater number of volunteers.

Arrgh! This President has no f*cking shame. It’s as bad as the little recruitment party he held at the Boy Scout jamboree on Sunday.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding