Friday, July 02, 2004

Draft Watch: When Lies Kill Part II

Make no mistake, there is a push to drag this country into war in '05. To fuel that drive deceitful hawks are going about resurrecting the idea of the draft to get the cannon fodder necessary for their wars. This is disgusting to the oldman.

The oldman is a hawk. By hawk, the oldman intends to state his intentions that the United States should be prepared to fight for its life at any time. Furthermore that the best and least worse option can be intelligent military intervention. The problem is not a draft per se or even conducting wars, it is that there is a coalition - a cabal if you will - of moronic wanna-be warmongers in this country that are intent on fighting stupid, wasteful, and pointless wars.

It's the difference between an experienced, mature, and proportional response of a police officer and the gang-banger who just wants to go shoot off some rounds on main street. The United States should be a military force for good in the world. What it cannot afford to be is a stupid callow teenager who runs around town shooting up places.

The reason why I so strongly oppose the draft is that it seems bringing it back is motivated by a secret desire to fight more pointless and stupid wars pointlessly and stupidly. Clearly Iraq showed that managing a military by using the present philosophy was an exercise in futility because it was too manpower inefficient. So instead of going back to the drawing board to rethink their military philosophy, the coalition of warmongers has decided the solution is to get a PR blitz going to get more warm bodies as cannon fodder so they can continue fighting wars wastefully and inefficiently.

What am I talking about? I'm talking about this shameful opinion piece by Don Campbell in USA-Today.

Posted 6/30/2004 8:12 PM

Bring back the (don't say 'draft')
By Don Campbell

The so-called handover of Iraq's government to the Iraqis is being heralded as an important turning point in the war. But it strikes me as little more than a Washington think-tank exercise. We may not be running the country anymore, but we'll be deeply engaged there militarily for many years to come.

From what we've seen, the sacrifices in Iraq will be borne by a tiny fraction of the American people, a point underscored this week when the Pentagon announced plans to call back to duty 5,600 troops who have served their time but remain in a "ready reserve" status. And that doesn't include the sacrifices that may be necessary elsewhere in the worldwide war on terrorism, or if North Korea provokes our intervention.

That's why the most important thing we've learned from the Iraq venture is the need to introduce more Americans to the sacrifices of war, starting with a program of compulsory national service.[emphasis added]

Translation: Yes, because we've mismanaged and wasted so many resources in this conflict we need to pointlessly waste more lives and resources pursuing more of this drek!
Too many people seem to view sacrifice in wartime as giving up a few square inches on the rear window of their SUV for a flag decal and a slogan that says "United We Stand." But sacrifice is what has happened to the families of the 3,000 victims of 9/11, the nearly 1,000 U.S. troops who've died in Afghanistan and Iraq, the full-time military regulars who have served in the Iraq theater and the reservists and Guardsmen who've been called up for extended tours of active duty.

God forbid that the rest of us should be inconvenienced.[emphasis added]

Translation: Giving up your life for your country is no big deal. It's just an inconvenience. You should be ashamed for even thinking of asking why you should be asked to make the ultimate sacrifice.
We now have the curious spectacle of liberal Democrats pushing for a revival of the draft, and Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry calling for more combat troops, while Pentagon officials and hawkish Republicans are opposing the draft or expansion of the U.S. force.

In both cases, consider the motives: The liberals are betting that a reinstated draft would institutionalize anti-war sentiment and foment class warfare; conservatives are stinting on personnel costs to protect gold-plated weapons systems being built by their defense-industry campaign contributors.

Translation: Whoever wins out politically, the draft is coming and you're gonna get shafted. The Republicans will do it because it's cheaper than getting more volunteers. The Democrats will do it because they always shoot themselves in the foot. So get used to it. Nah. Nah.
Any discussion of national service inevitably evokes bitter memories of the Vietnam War, when the draft was so filled with loopholes that it became a joke. Some 2.7 million Americans served in Vietnam, of whom more than 58,000 were killed. What's forgotten is that the overwhelming majority of those who served and died were volunteers, not draftees.

If chasing people around the jungles of Vietnam was worth that kind of sacrifice, surely we can undertake a broader sacrifice to battle terrorists who attacked us on our own soil.

Rebuttal: What a second, who said it was worth that kind of sacrifice? There are many Americans who still consider Vietnam the ultimate symbol of military futility! Besides many of those people who joined, joined in order to preempt the draft and so get a choice of assignment. They would never have joined if there were no draft! And are the new soldiers going to be used to combat terrorists? Or are they going to be used to fight wars in nations that have at best a tenuous connection to Terrorism? Moussaiou came from France. Does this mean we should nuke France? How far does this terrorism connection thing go? If Osama Bin Ladin passed through Chinese air space once twenty years ago, does that mean we invade them too?
We could start by taking the word "draft" out of the debate and focusing on the benefits of service to country, which is not exactly a new concept. We've used the Peace Corps to help the disadvantaged in foreign lands and VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) to help the disadvantaged at home.

Dozens of countries around the globe have mandatory military service, and a few, most notably Israel, require both women and men to serve. What we need in America is a much broader call to service.

We have boundless human resources. Each year in this country, between 3 million and 4 million teenagers turn 18. If I had my way, they would receive a notice on their 18th birthday informing them of the date, before their 26th birthday, on which they are to report for two or three years of national service. They would then be able to plan their lives accordingly.[emphasis added]

Translation: Let's not call it a 'draft'. Let's call it a prettier name. Besides isn't kids volunteering for a year or two overseas the same thing as sending a generation of youth into a pointless meat grinder of war? Everyone else is doing it! Why can't we do it too? Besides I want to tell everyone else how to live their lives. And inserting a completely arbirtary leave of absence of two or three years into people's lives when most of them are starting their careers and families won't disrupt their lives that much! We'll tell them when it's coming so they can plan around it!
Call it the Patriot Corps — Congress likes to attach the "patriot" label to programs that it fears might be unpopular.

Translation: I know this is going to be really unpopular. But Americans should be forced to do this anyway. The way we should get them to accept being told to die without even having the right to ask the reason why is that we should call it a cool name. That way anyone who disses the idea we can attack for being "unpatriotic".
Those who oppose the draft, and, by extension, national service, usually trot out the argument that volunteers for combat are preferred to conscripts. But with several million national service corps members to choose from, the military could easily identify highly motivated combat candidates.

Translation: Not only do we want to bring back the draft, but we will even take away the notion that "everyone" has to take the same risk of dying. We will go through and cherry pick the best and the brightest of the nation's youth to send to where we wish them. That way we also get to use the draft as an instrument of political punishment. Keep your nose clean, or we'll send you to the front lines.
When all else fails, opponents of compulsory service ask ominously: Would you want to see your daughter drafted?

Let me answer that: I have four daughters, the oldest of whom is a career military officer. I'd be pleased to tell the other three that the privilege of being an American requires that they devote two or three years of their lives to the service of their country.

Translation: Because one of my kids willingly served in the military, I think everyone else should be forced to do the same. Because I served and my daughter served, I think I have the right to suggest that everyone else be deprived of the choice of doing otherwise - or at least asking why. And no matter what happens, I've put my time in so I don't have to gett off my duff to risk my own neck again.

The proper question is not whether you would risk a loved one's neck in a war, but rather would you risk your own. Would you Don Campbell give up your life and go volunteer to die for your country right now? And no sputtering about your life, how you've put in your time, etc. Is a twenty year old's life less filled with promise or more tragic if lost than your own, Don? Is having served willingly once an excuse not to do so again if needed? And if there is no need for you, then what need for the twenty year old?

And if you are willing to risk your life, what is wrong with the volunteer system? Shouldn't those who are willing to go, go, and those not then be given the choice to ask why they should be forced to go?

For what reason do you demand this man's life?

This isn't merely an academic question. Behind the scenes, the military is mobilizing for potential war across the Taiwan straits and on the Korean Peninsula. North Korea has threatened to escalate to a "live" nuclear warhead test if we don't concede to its whims. The only way to provide enough manpower for an occupation of Iraq and a war in East Asia is to create a draft. This is the backstory to all these convenient people coming out arguing "Oh but wouldn't it be nice to have a draft again?" Be assured that just like last time, the inept warmongers involved have no real intention of sending their own kids to die. Not when they can get an exemption or a cushy Stateside assignment. It's always the guy on the street who get's screwed by such requirements, because he can't hire doctors, lawyers, psychologists, etc. in order to indirectly evade the requirements.


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