Third Party & Independents Archives

Elect Bush –Reinstate the Draft.

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R) of the Foreign Relations Committee, yesterday and today has announced it is time for the American people to consider whether the U.S. should reinstate the draft. He gives reasons for this ranging from equity of rich and famous being forced to serve as the middle class and poor are now serving, and the fact that the National Guard and Reserves are simply insufficient additions to our needs for a larger military force. Hagel deserves a medal whatever his reasons, for bringing Bush’s view of decades of war in defense of God’s gift to all people – freedom, to the forefront.

Bush has in fact said, freedom is God’s gift to all people, and Bush has said America will bring freedom to Iraq. Atty. Gen. Ashcroft has said "We're not fighting a religious war. We're fighting a freedom war," ... "As an American, I'm called to guard freedom all around the world." Hagel says this war on terrorism could last 25 years or more. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz have all said the war on terrorism will be fought for a very long time. What they are preparing the American people for is perpetual war, a neo-con war premised on the U.S. undertaking to remake the nations of the world in our own image, Democratic, Capitalist, and friendly toward U.S. interests and goals.

It does not take a college graduate to see that this is going to mean a very much larger military force, huge numbers of American body bags, enormous sums of American tax dollars, and. a majority of the American public standing behind this President’s messianic dream of bringing democracy and freedom to the world whether the world wants it or not. But, what is not so obvious, is that such goals will in fact require a reinstatement of the draft, and that will bring a civil rift to our society that will make current political debate look like a cafeteria food fight.

Sen. Hagel, has done the American people an immense service by putting the question to them. ‘Would you still support this Administration’s foreign policy if your son, daughter, father, uncle, Grandson, or daughter were to be forced by law to walk into death’s jaws all for a dream of remaking the world in accordance with George W. Bush’s dream for it? For this is exactly what Sen. Hagel is bringing to the front pages of American media. And as he says, we should have this debate before circumstances require it. In other words Americans need to decide now if following Bush to remake the world is what they want to do before mourning their dead, maimed, and lost loved ones. For they will have no one to blame for the loss of their loved ones but themselves if they deem this whole issue a political ploy or wait until reinstating the draft becomes inevitable.

This is not a political ploy. It is a very realistic question put before a very real scenario that will occur if Bush is reelected. All one has to do is read Bush’s quotes in Woodward’s book or read Bush’s speeches of late where Bush says in no uncertain terms what his direction will be in foreign affairs if he is reelected. There is a choice to be made here, and it will be most difficult for Bush supporters. They can bury their head in the sand, or decide whether their allegiance to the GOP and Bush is more valuable, and more important than risking the lives and limbs of family members in pursuit of Bush’s belief in the mission which God has given him.

There is no doubt this issue will have an effect on young voters in November, if the media gives it the attention which it so desperately deserves. The draft will cause civil discord in America. How much is up for debate. But upcoming polls will show the majority of Americans do not want to reinstate the draft. Never has a political question been so clearly defined in terms of self-interest. Because Bush’s foreign policy is not one which states we will fight when we are attacked. Bush’s foreign policy is the neo-con policy which states we will never be safe until we have control of the world.

Control of the world at large to the extent that America can feel safe will not be accomplished in one generation. In all likelihood it will take multiple generations if it is possible at all. But whether we as a people commit to such a utopian idea and the blood and death that we will pay for a glimmer of a hope that it is even possible, will take only one day. A day in November when we elect the next President of the United States is the day Sen. Hagel’s discussion of the necessity for reinstating the draft will need to be addressed.

Make no mistake; President Bush and his cabinet have already embarked upon the holy war of bringing God's gift to all people to the world. In November, the American people will decide if that mission is also theirs. It will only take about 51 percent of the vote to commit us all to decades of war, very likely a reinstatement of the draft, and decades of American losses. Thank you Sen. Hagel. I cannot think of a more responsible act by a a representative of the people than yours as we move down the campaign trail.

Posted by David R. Remer at April 22, 2004 02:03 AM
Comments
Comment #12788

I’d agree outright David, if you hadn’t couched it in such conspiritorial language. :)

Yes, the Bush administration wants to militarily remake the world into something more US friendly. A pretty good argument can be made for it, but it does seem quixotic when you try to apply the doctrine to the real world. Soviet Communism had the same premise.

Democrats prefer using economic influence and diplomacy where possible, the US military when necessary (as part of a UN force, or unilaterally in response to an obvious imminent threat), and cops, spys, and spec ops nabbing or eliminating international terrorists behind the scenes.

As powerful as the US military is, it’s still not big enough to occupy the whole world if it doesn’t want to be occupied. That should be obvious by now.

Your article made me think of something else: Everyone knows we need more troops to fight in the president’s long, drawn out War On Terror (tm). How come there isn’t a flood of young people enlisting in the military? Apathy? Conscientious objectors? Don’t believe occupying Iraq is worth dying for? Or maybe the country just can’t afford it; I haven’t noticed a serious, concerted recruiting effort by our government.

Posted by: Lee at April 22, 2004 02:40 AM
Comment #12798

David,

I agree that Bush has got to go. I have just purchased the Woodward book and will read it with trepidation. The religious right it seems has finally pushed it agenda onto the world stage, and we all are should fear the outcome.

Now that we are in this War in Iraq I believe we have no choice but to re-instate the draft. The Coalition of the Willing is fast becoming the Coalition of the Scared, Meek, & Departing from Iraq. Soon the U.S. will stand alone, and then what; nuclear weapons or more boots on the ground as a result of a draft?

And as the Congressman and my wife mused, I wonder how man arrogant Americans would then stand tall and support this nasty business if their sons were in the thick of the fray, dying for Bush’s noble, God inspired calling?

This man has got to go…

Posted by: V Edward Martin at April 22, 2004 08:55 AM
Comment #12799

David, I think I need to remind you that while they are both Republicans, Senator Hagel is not President Bush. To give an analogy, if Charles Rangel proposed a bill to institute slavery on white people to say to the world that two wrongs make a right, that wouldn’t necessarily mean John Kerry subscribes to the idea.

A draft is nonsense, and Hagel should be thought of as a loose cannon for even suggesting it. Draftees have no will to fight. They are nearly untrainable. The presence of a draftee force would be a net negative rather than a net positive on the battlefield. That’s more medevacs to wipe up their booboos when they make their inevitable mistakes; more supply train; more leadership cadre to keep them from smoking pot while on watch. It is legislative negligence to be so out of touch with military realities as to say a draft is necessary or could even be beneficial to a defense effort. You might as well advocate replacing the uniform with silver leotards.

Rather than watch reruns of “Starship Troopers”, our legislators need to sit down with combat generals and get the real story from them, STRAIGHT from them, on what the modern force needs. We need a lot of AC-130U gunships. We need a lot of Special Ops teams. We need body armor and some high-tech gadgetry for those on perimeter security duty. Detecting explosives at a distance or using a robotic checkpoint, would be a good start. The manpower to fill the need can come from within the existing conventional force. The dollars can come from Star Wars, or the ridiculously wasteful missions to Mars. We’re not up against Han Solo here, we’re up against angry humans hiding inside mosques.

Anyway, the draft? Hell no, they won’t go, and they shouldn’t. They’re not wanted on the battlefield anyway.

Posted by: Ciggy at April 22, 2004 09:13 AM
Comment #12808
Rather than watch reruns of “Starship Troopers”, our legislators need to sit down with combat generals and get the real story from them

Shinseki tried that. What ever happened to him? Have you noticed how reluctant the combat generals are to request more troops, funding, etc.? Or even a mission plan?

Ciggy, I think you’re right about the draft, but where do the troops come from who are going to rotate in & out of Iraq for the next however many years?

Posted by: Lee at April 22, 2004 11:53 AM
Comment #12820

Lee, I personally am against the idea of trying to perpetually occupy Iraq, myself. I think it’s a foolish and extremely expensive thing to do, and the risk/reward analysis should be off the charts right now in the “it’s not worth it” category.

With that being said, if a force did have to stay there and did have to fight the Iraq insurgency as if they were somehow Al Qaeda cells (and the argument can be made that they are now potential Al Qaeda recruits now that we’ve inspired their wrath), I would plan it like this:

1) In any area where insurgent operations are “hot”, consider that off-limits to any non-Iraqi civilians and any non-combat missions. NO reconstruction goes on while there are boiling pots of resentment. This reduces the threat of hostage-taking or hits on “soft” targets. Obviously, any outlying areas around Najaf, Ramadi, and Fallujah fall into that category, and possibly others, I don’t know.

2) In the “hot” zones, first and foremost concentrate the application of air power. Chief among the air power elements would be AC-130U gunships, which are perfect for this sort of operations. They operate at great precision and tremendous lethality, at the same time, PLUS they fly above the level of RPG range and most shoulder-fired rockets. They are not visible to the naked eye on the ground, so absent any radar (which would make insurgent elements a target if they used it), the AC-130U would literally be an unseen agent of death from above, to the enemy.

3) Ground forces should mostly just be needed as spotters and scouts for the air elements, and to maintain security perimeters around the airbases. One gunship has the firepower of a 105mm artillery piece, and the gatling gun equivalent of about a battalion of ground infantry, so why go the infantry route for firepower? The strength of infantry is eyes and ears from a close vantage point, and you don’t need 50,000 sets of those in a given location. Small ground units calling up target profiles, describing what they are and where they are, to the air component, is all you really need. A smaller ground force is more agile, more mobile, can move with less of a telegraphing amount of activity and thus be more stealthy, and so on. In fact, the enemy is smart enough that they tend to use small forces at a given time too: the advantage on our part would/should be that ours are better-equipped and have air support.

3) If a mosque is used to cache weapons, blow it up. At this point we can’t be afraid of invoking radical Islamic hatred, because they already hate us and are already fighting us. The commitment to battle has been made and we can’t cripple ourselves by respecting “religious shields”.

4) If women or children are used as “shields” for the enemy, the deaths of those non-combattants are on the heads of those hiding behind them. They made the decision to use their wives and daughters as sandbags and berms, not us.

5) High technology can be employed against car bomb attacks. If nothing else, robotic control and coordination of bomb-sniffing dogs at an external checkpoint can filter out the highest concentrations of explosives, and a secondary checkpoint by guards in very thick, solid kevlar body armor could visually check typical hiding places of the small concentration explosives used by suicide bombers, such that facilities can be protected from such attacks. (You don’t have to worry about the weight of the body armor because the guards aren’t running through the streets like tactical combat troops.)

6) Anyway, the plan and goal and objective would literally and seriously be to track down where insurgent elements are, eliminate them, and support civilian police authorities with firepower when needed. If Iraqi police don’t want to enforce their own laws, that’s on them. It’s their country, and their communities. We should not be in the business of doing that for them, but if they are under insurgent attack, we should be available to support them in defense against that.

7) Hostage rescues—that’s a bread and butter item of Special Ops. It doesn’t always pull off like a Tom Clancy videogame, but sometimes it does. ;)

8) IF an area is relatively safe and free of insurgent activities, then authorize reconstruction activities to continue in those zones. If the Kurds are peaceful, build up the Kurdish regions. The rest of Iraq might or might not get the hint from that, but either way it only makes sense to operate like that.

9) When all reconstruction projects are completed to the satisfaction of the world community that we haven’t just “abandoned our responsibility” for reconstruction, roll the trucks up into the C-5s and get the f*** out of Dodge. What Iraq does with itself once they are fully sovereign, is up to them. Democracy would be nice, but we can’t shove it down their throats if they prefer to be Iran West.

Posted by: Ciggy at April 22, 2004 01:44 PM
Comment #12839

Ciggy, did I not laud the good Senator and dis this President for his world conquest plan? You needn’t remind me that are not one in the same. Sen. Hagel is being responsible to the public. The President is not. Sen. Hagel is forcing the issue, either reinstate the draft or give up on this increasing laundry list of countries to invade if they won’t play ball.

That is responsible to the American people. It is vitally important that the American people know what and who they are voting for in November and Sen. Hagel is helping in that regard.

But even more, he is forcing Congress to do its job and fulfill its obligation as a check and balance against the Executive Branch. Sen. Hagel is getting down to the nitty gritty and asking what are going to be the costs of the Junior Doctrine? Whichever way it goes.

This takes courage and guts coming from the President’s party and I have nothing but praise for Sen. Hagel’s action.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 22, 2004 03:55 PM
Comment #12843

Lee, I have reread the article a couple times and I am not seeing the conspiratorial angle you are. With the possible exception of the Adminstration’s intent to follow the neo-con plan for making the world safe. That needs exposing since in all likelihood, it will fail miserably and make the whole world a far more dangerous place not just for Americans, but a host of other nations and their peoples as well.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 22, 2004 03:58 PM
Comment #12847

I hope this issue gets pinned to Bush, but it was actually initiated back in January 2003 by Democrats Charles Ringle(D-NY) and Fritz Hollings(D-SC).

In my mind, such an idea is preposterous. Especially when presidents have been able to go to war for very questionable reasons. Neither Vietnam nor Iraq posed any immediate threat to the security of the U.S. yet 50,000 Americans died in SE Asia and 600+ and counting in the Middle East. While it doesn’t reduce the sense of loss when soldiers die in Iraq, they at least chose to join the military knowing the risks involved. To forcibly compel people to face their death so that Halliburton can boost its profits, well that’s beyond criminal.

If the military is facing such a shortage of personnel, then maybe they could instead address that by boosting pay, improving military housing, honoring their promises regarding veterans’ healthcare, supplying body armour for reservists sent into combat, etc.

Posted by: blipsman at April 22, 2004 04:15 PM
Comment #12848

Every time i hear this draft nonsense brought up i laugh. I spent 4 years in the navy. ive spent the last 4 years since ive been out working along side sailors. Even this volunteer force has people who dont want to be there. Some of them new recruits who havent even been deployed anywhere, havent been to sea. Already complaining.
A draft would be a disaster. For one, look at all the bickering over funding our current forces. We cant afford to fully fund an even larger force. We’ve closed numerous bases. this means we have to spend even more money to shelter, train and feed the new draftees. And then were gonna shove a bunch of ticked off teenagers into peacekeeping, nation building roles in countries that dont share our way of life. The combination is asking for trouble.
Ive got a better solution to our military manning woes. How about we improve our intelligence services so that we dont go rushing off chasing non existent threats. Also, The combination of air power and spec ops proved pretty successful in afghanistan. The same combo in concert with the Kurds and the shiites supporting al-sadr i think would have worked out far better in Iraq than the current mess we have.

Posted by: Guy at April 22, 2004 04:16 PM
Comment #12851

David, I fail to see where jabber about a draft is “responsible” on the part of a legislator. I do agree that wars of conquest are “right out” (spoken in a Monty Python accent), but the appropriate Congressional response to it is to defund the enterprise and notify the President that the intent of the defunding is to exercise Congress’ Constitutional authority to put an end to the military adventure. A DRAFT would only get more people killed in a far more needless and insidious way than is currently even happening today.

Blipsman, I agree with you that recruitment efforts would improve if military pay weren’t legendary as being qualified for WIC and food stamps, etc.

Guy, absolutely! One question though: are the Kurds in fact taking part in this uprising? I thought it was the Sunnis and the Shiites?

Posted by: Ciggy at April 22, 2004 04:34 PM
Comment #12852

Guy, then I suggest you write a letter to Pres. Bush and insist that he ratchet down the list of nations to go after and change regimes in. Because the MVA does not have the manpower to pursue this neo-con agenda without substantially more troops and the draft will be the only way to increase their numbers. Have you noticed the the enlistment numbers going down, down, down since June of last year?

Can’t have it both ways, either reinstate the draft to acquire the manpower necessary to minimize military losses, or scale way back on this notion of making the world’s regimes favorable to U.S. policies, trade, and people.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 22, 2004 04:36 PM
Comment #12854

Ciggy, I agree with you. But a majority in Congress do not. The majority in Congress, at least in an election year, support Bush’s neo-con policy of eradicating regimes hostile to U.S. interests. That is why I laud Sen. Hagel’s call to review the draft.

Sen. Hagel is not necessarily advocating reinstating the draft. He may just as easily be attempting to torpedoe the neo-con world domination agenda by awakening America to the costs that such an agenda will require of Americans. His logic is infallible, however. If we are to pursue world wide regime changes, Congress must act to determine if America has the resources available to pursue such an agenda before we commit to it, not after.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 22, 2004 04:42 PM
Comment #12858

Ciggy, I should also point out, that some of Hagel’s intent is revealed by his making the point that the President’s daughters, and Congressional sons and daughters, should be required to serve our nation instead of leaving service up to just the poor and middle class who can’t find a better job than what the military can offer.

Reinstating the draft will bring the dangers of the neo-con agenda home to the neo-cons who will have to risk losing their sons and daughters like the families of military personnnel today, especially the Reserves and National Guard who never foresaw this Iraq invasion and their participation when signing up.

If the neo-cons want world domination, let them too pay with their sons and daughters for their ambitions. I think these comments by Hagel reveal which side of the fence he is on.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 22, 2004 04:47 PM
Comment #12869

I keep hearing that people who join the military are from poor and middle class families and they join because they cant find a job. I’ll agree that some in the military fit this description. But alot of service men and woman join for college money, real life experience, travel, adventure, the honor of serving your country, or didnt want to go to college. I mean, im making more money now than either of my parents, and both went to college. i have no college under my belt. Had to get that out there. starting to get annoyed about misconceptions concerning military serveice.
In answer to Ciggy’s question to me, the Kurds are not part of the current uprising. And If we had gone into Iraq using the plan i mentioned earlier, the Kurds and Shiites would have fought against the sunni supporting saddam. If i had my way though, we never would have gone to Iraq. I mean, North korea is a far larger nuclear/terrorist threat, and Columbia is the worlds largest drug producer. But i guess they dont have enough oil to bother with them.
Hagel and Wrangel are just trying to make a point that we might not go off to war so much if everyone had to chip in. And they’re probably right. But its not gonna change the fact that were in Iraq. Not to mention, Its insane to force people to serve their country. The Draft would be a disaster, and the uproar in this country would be tremendous if the draft was re-instated. Plain and simple. the idea is a stupid political gimmick that needs to stop being used.

Posted by: Guy at April 22, 2004 06:01 PM
Comment #12877

Guy said: “I keep hearing that people who join the military are from poor and middle class families and they join because they cant find a job. I’ll agree that some in the military fit this description.”

But then you argue against what you say above you agree with. No one denies there aren’t a host of reasons for joining the military. When I was in we segregated in terminology two of those groups, lifers and non-lifers. Gung-ho, and regular army. Special Forces were gung-ho, and those looking to serve while getting the GI bill and a boost up on a civilian job, were called regular Army.

This hasn’t changed with the Volunteer Army. You still have lifers and non-lifers, gung-ho and regular army. The overwhelming majority of enlisteds however, are in fact, from the middle and lower classes. Why do you find this fact disturbing?

As for your comments on the consequences of the draft and Hagel and Rangel, I completely agree.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 22, 2004 07:48 PM
Comment #12887

I’ll bite.

What they are preparing the American people for is perpetual war, a neo-con war premised on the U.S. undertaking to remake the nations of the world in our own image, Democratic, Capitalist, and friendly toward U.S. interests and goals.

I find myself surpirsed that you agree with this premise all of the sudden. By the way, I have Gore Vidal’s book by that name, “Perpetual War, for Perpetual Peace. How we got to be so hated.” It’s a fascinating study on the fractured mind of liberalism. According to the ‘master essayist of our time’ America has been demonizing the muslim world for some time. He continually drops references to what he means through vague references such as the following quote explaining why we’ve been demonizing them:

Since I am a loyal American, I am not supposed to tell you why this has taken place, but then it is not usual for us to examine why anything happens; we simply accuse others of motiveless malignity.

Eloquent, no?

Thankfully this topic has solved the question for us. Now we know why we have been demonizing muslims for decades. The neo-cons wanted war. Not just a war, but perpetual war, with all that perpetual war entails. Massive mobilization, a complete reoganization of society, allocation of all state, ahem, Empire resources by the ‘war president’, a command and control economy perhaps, and a draft?

But, what is not so obvious, is that such goals will in fact require a reinstatement of the draft, and that will bring a civil rift to our society that will make current political debate look like a cafeteria food fight.

Yes, precisely what I was thinking David. A draft. This exactly what we need. There are far too many non-white youths roaming our streets, committing crimes, being poor, etc.. It’s not really their fault. They have little discipline, nothing to do after school. We should reinstitute the draft. I’m sure that’s what the neo-cons were thinking when they planned the Sept. 11th attacks.

Oooh, I know. If we can’t get enough ‘volunteers’ we could offer US citizenship for, say, eight years of service, (with gauranteed combat experience). There are plenty of recruits waiting just across the border! Think of it.

This is not a political ploy. It is a very realistic question put before a very real scenario that will occur if Bush is reelected.

No, you’re absolutely right David. In fact, I’m sure you’re serious about this. The draft is a very real part of our heritage. It’s a necessary right of passage which we have let go of for far too long. I propose that we make national service mandatory. All citizens regardless of age should serve at least one tour of duty in one of the branches of the service. And every male should be required to serve some part of that time in combat with a gun in their hands shooting at the enemy. Killing them. Dead.

I’m at the cut-off age for military service myself, but we should definately raise the age limit on service. I certainly have a few years of useful combat in me. We shouldn’t stop at the men though. Women are fully equal members of society as well, they should not be left out of mandatory service.

David, you don’t know how long I have been waiting for someone to suggest this. Far too long. The health of any nation depends on it’s martial spirit. The US has grown soft and weak lately. We need a draft just to put everyone through boot camp and whip ‘em into shape. They will realize that the Fatherland requires their sacrifice. And they will be happy to give it. Once we have instituted our education program. Oh, right you don’t go to the meetings… You may want to consider attending the meetings, because if you don’t it may start to look suspicious.

I’ll end with a quote from our last neo-con VRWC (Vast Right Wing Conspiracy) meeting:

“The great leader GW is the sun of our nation and the lodestar of national pride. He devoted all his life to the country and nation and made imperishable achievements in the cause of national beautification. By his preeminent ideas and leadership he pioneered the cause of national restoration, guided it victoriously, laid solid foundations to realize it, and opened the bright prospects for the reorganization of the country. -Source quote

Our great leader is counting on you David. Keep up the good work. There is nothing so rewarding as having the feeling that the great leader loves you and cares for you.

Posted by: Eric Simonson at April 23, 2004 12:15 AM
Comment #12892

Eric, I am pleased that we agree there should be no draft. Therefore, we need another President, because this one is engaging us in a military epoch that will almost inevitably require a draft to meet the meat requirement in Syria, N. Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Phillipines, Indonesia, or Iran - and I am sure I have missed a few on his list. Give the neo-cons long enough, and China will be on the list.

Given our committment in Iraq to provide security for a minimum of a few years, what would the President need to do if say the next terror attack is planned and implemented from say, Indonesia? There is no indication this President would withdraw troops from Iraq, so the draft would be inevitable.

I mean, as you have said many a time, we can’t count on the U.N., and I would agree with that, in the event of another state sponsored terrorist attack on the U.S. This President has gone out of his way to insure we can’t rely on the U.N. and his diplomacy has even put counting on NATO in question under certain scenarios which previously would have left no doubt about their assistance.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 23, 2004 03:33 AM
Comment #12896
Given our committment in Iraq to provide security for a minimum of a few years, what would the President need to do if say the next terror attack is planned and implemented from say, Indonesia? There is no indication this President would withdraw troops from Iraq, so the draft would be inevitable.

David, I suspect Bush would deal with that through diplomacy. Didn’t he say we wouldn’t deal diplomatically with North Korea? Well uess what, we are. (flip… flop) I wonder why?

Posted by: Lee at April 23, 2004 07:44 AM
Comment #12898

Lee, like a fish out of water isn’t he?

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 23, 2004 08:18 AM
Comment #12906

I agree that if we stay on the course Bush seems to have charted us on, and if we adhere to the “spreading democracy” rhetoric he is using lately, perpetual war and the reinstitution of the draft are inevitable.

BUT: you have to realize that this rehetoric from Bush is LIES. These guys don’t have a long term plan at all. They move from crisis to crisis haphazardly, choosing adventures as if they were selecting DVDs at Blockbuster, and crafting high-sounding rhetoric after the fact. For this election year, the rhetoric happens to be about the democratic liberation of the world.

Hegel, on the other hand, might actually wholeheartedly buy into the liberation of the world rhetoric. I don’t know enough about him. But the Bush administration is probably not committed enough to their rhetoric to risk the political damage a draft would cause. They are already quite careful to send the bare minimum numbers of troops abroad already. Maybe this is just wishful thinking on my part, maybe the administration is committed to and working hard towards steering our nation’s political will towards that of a domineering global superpower —like a kinder, gentler version of the Communist empire the Soviets dreamed of. I guess it all depends on who’s in charge: Rove (the slippery snake) or Cheney (the megalomaniacal nut).

-Cf

Posted by: Christopher Fahey at April 23, 2004 10:01 AM
Comment #12907

> Hegel, on the other hand…

Haha, of course I meant “Hagel”. Although perhaps the esteemed senator’s rhetoric may be a bit dialectical.

-Cf

Posted by: Christopher Fahey at April 23, 2004 10:03 AM
Comment #12916

Christopher, listening to him in the Committee hearings on C-Span, Sen. Hagel appears genuinely to be trying to match either troop strength with the missions or missions to troop strength. It appears from his lines of inquiry that his major concern is U.S. troops being routed or defeated in some area of engagement which would damage American credibility and image of strength beyond calculation.

This is only a guess on my part, but the testimony he is receiving from the Whitehouse via undersecretaries of defense and the like, appear to be very disconnected from reports from retired military officers who still have connections with commanders in Iraq, who are saying that pretty much countrywide, things are worsening in Iraq in terms of structure, security, and winning over Iraqi’s. If that is correct, then it is a safe bet he is genuine in his concern over matching troops to mission via the draft, or vice versa in the absence of reinstating the draft.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 23, 2004 12:54 PM
Comment #12930

It was a few years ago that the Bush Administration started to quietly begin putting together local draft boards. When the news on this got out the plan was quickly pulled and disaapeared from government web sites. Make no mistake about it. Bush needs a draft to realize his dreams of world domination and he will bring the draft back if elected in 2004.

Posted by: William Flynn at April 23, 2004 05:19 PM
Comment #12936

David, I think you’ve gone into rhetorical warp drive and need to modulate your spin a bit. It is not a safe assumption to say that everyone serving in the military right now is a Democrat, for starters. On the contrary, part of the Democratic political strategy in 2000 was to shut out absentee ballots from overseas military locations because they knew a majority of them wouldn’t be voting for Gore.

You go on to say in your reply to Eric, that you agree there should be no draft. Why the hell, then, would you be lauding a Senator for proposing a reinstatement of the draft? Will the real David please stand up?

It doesn’t take a reinstatement of the draft to get us off the path of perpetual regime change all around the world. Just let Congress do its Constitutional duty to REVOKE FUNDING for wars that have no just basis. That’s what their authority is for, in that regard.

Posted by: Ciggy at April 23, 2004 06:24 PM
Comment #12943

Ciggy said, “It is not a safe assumption to say that everyone serving in the military right now is a Democrat, for starters.”

Ciggy, please quote where I said or even implied that. If you can’t, please refrain from putting words into other people’s mouths.

Ciggy, please read what I said, not what you want to think I said. I lauded Hagel for bringing the issue to the forefront that we must either consider reinstating the draft to beef up manpower, or, scale back Bush’s agenda. Personally, I prefer the latter in a very very big way as everything I have ever written on the subject here indicates. Sen. Hagel knows too that reinstating the draft would not be received well by the American public, thus, I suspect which side of the issue his preferences lie, but, he has not said so outright, so I can’t say for sure.

While I agree with your sentiment in your third paragraph, the reality is a Republican Congress is not about to torpedoe a Republican President regardless of how many wasted American troops the people think Congress is responsible for.

For the Republican Party, holding power is job #1 and all else is secondary. I might add, if the Democrats ever regain Congress and the Presidency, the will act no differently. That is why I support third parties who put pragmatic interests of the public at large ahead of the electoral process, like Ralph Nader or the Green Party.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 23, 2004 08:50 PM
Comment #12960

Not sure if you know this David, but Kerry is all about adding more troops to Iraq (he thinks we are undermanned). I think he’s just as bad on the draft question as Bush.

Then again, I’m not worried about being drafted, so it’s not a hotbutton issue with me.

Posted by: Stephen VanDyke at April 24, 2004 02:07 AM
Comment #12965

Stephen, I have not heard him state he would emphatically add more troops. I heard him say if it was necessary he would.

I agree, on a whole range of issues Kerry and Bush are not so far apart. On leadership qualities however, I think there is a very large difference. Bush makes decisions with little or no consultation (except with the ‘higher authority’. Bush makes decisions and then asks his cabinet and Generals to make it come out right. Good God!

Kerry would seek out the best advice from the experts and cabinet and then make a decision. That is what he has been used to as a Senator and that style of leadership is a lot more reassuring to me.

I want to hear Kerry lay down some concrete steps to get this broadened international involvement he talks about.

I am undecided yet as to whether simply pulling out and leaving Iraqi’s on their own is a viable strategy for the future of U.S. foreign relations. At least until they have something that promises to be a stable government in place. I have my doubts, will wait and see.

I will still be voting for Nader regardless or the Green Party candidate regardless, but, I may send another donation to the Kerry campaign if he demonstrates realistic plans for improving America’s position on a number of issues.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 24, 2004 02:56 AM
Comment #12979

David, you might want to keep an eye on the Libertarian Party candidate that emerges. Whereas Nader has his base in the left-spectrum, Libertarians traditionally pull from center and right, which means Bush voters.

Posted by: Stephen VanDyke at April 24, 2004 11:54 AM
Comment #12980

Excellent point, Stephen. Thanks.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 24, 2004 12:01 PM
Comment #12993
Eric, I am pleased that we agree there should be no draft. Therefore, we need another President, because this one is engaging us in a military epoch that will almost inevitably require a draft to meet the meat requirement in Syria, N. Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Phillipines, Indonesia, or Iran - and I am sure I have missed a few on his list. Give the neo-cons long enough, and China will be on the list.

Tisk tisk, David. You are mistating the neo-con policy. As Libya clearly shows, one doesn’t need to invade every country to effect a change in the outlook of many. We probably only need to invade one or two more oil countries to have the rest fall in line. Who would want to invade the Philipines or Indonesia anyway? They don’t have any oil.

Given our committment in Iraq to provide security for a minimum of a few years, what would the President need to do if say the next terror attack is planned and implemented from say, Indonesia? There is no indication this President would withdraw troops from Iraq, so the draft would be inevitable.

One division would be more than sufficient.


I mean, as you have said many a time, we can’t count on the U.N., and I would agree with that, in the event of another state sponsored terrorist attack on the U.S. This President has gone out of his way to insure we can’t rely on the U.N. and his diplomacy has even put counting on NATO in question under certain scenarios which previously would have left no doubt about their assistance.

Don’t tell anyone else this but the plan is to draft soldiers from the countries we invade, then use those conscripts to invade other countries. That way no Americans die. The UN will be dissolved after the next election anyway, David. Don’t be silly, this is world domination, not tiddlywinks.

Posted by: Eric Simonson at April 24, 2004 07:57 PM
Comment #12998

Yeah, I know, fecetious as you put it, it is still a Don Quixote dream with Blair playing Sancho. Scary stuff this dreaming the impossible dream, when it is not Windmills, but civilian women and children and elderly being lumped into the non-descript category of collateral damage, all in the name of American security and prosperity. This Don Quixote has begun making dragons of us all, and if not very careful, he will create more enemy Don Quixotes overseas with America the Windmill, than any dragons he slays on his way.

It is good this Don Quixote is a religious man with what he believes is only good for mankind in his heart and God as his chief advisor. Good, if he were leading a congregation or running an NGO. But such a Don Quixote with the most powerful military on earth and weapons capable of destroying us all, makes me realize how I would sleep better with a President who answers to reason, expertise, and the American people, than one who answers to his version of a higher power.

Working for years in psychiatric hospitals, I have met quite a few patients who answered to such a higher power, that is why they were patients; they yielded up self-control and reason to a higher power who guided their hands and decisions, with disastrous results for those around them.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 24, 2004 09:20 PM
Comment #13066

There won’t be a new draft in this war because draftees make piss-poor soldiers in modern armies.

But since we need a larger military I suggest let the market work for us and pay more for our volunteer soldiers.

Posted by: Sebastian Holsclaw at April 26, 2004 01:02 AM
Comment #13088

David, to show the obtuse nature of your “quote me where I said that” challenge, try this:

“Would you still support this Administration’s foreign policy if your son, daughter, father, uncle, Grandson, or daughter were to be forced by law to walk into death’s jaws all for a dream of remaking the world in accordance with George W. Bush’s dream for it?”

The implication of the quote is that no Republicans (the group supporting the President’s foreign policy) are, themselves, serving in the war. The remaining group that you leave as the only possible population of warfighters would consist of Democrats and Third Party individuals like myself.

Now, did you not mean to imply that no Republicans are currently serving in the Gulf, and if not, were you just having a bad day when you said what you didn’t mean to say?

And further, if you do admit that there are “hawks” currently serving, would you concede that not all “hawks” are “chickenhawks”, at least?

I consider myself a “cerebral hawk”, meaning, be forceful where necessary, and be strategically canny to where force becomes necessary, as little as possible. That obviously runs counter to PNAC strategy, which makes me a clear non-supporter of Bush—HOWEVER, I am not going to glom onto sloppy rhetoric in the course of said opposition, the way I see many indluge in doing.

Posted by: Ciggy at April 26, 2004 03:20 PM
Comment #13104

Ciggy, one of the wonderful freedoms of, through no choice of our own, being born in America, is to read into other people’s words whatever ‘implications’ we choose to look for in them.

My words stand for what they say. Whatever implications you draw from them are your own and you are freely entitled to them and responsible for uttering them in a public forum.

As a writer, it is impossible for me to be responsible for what attitudes, history, experience, biases, etc. that readers bring to their understanding of what I wrote. Therefore, I feel no need to defend what I have said. The words stand in their own defense.

And the absence from my words of any declaration that our armed forces contain no conservatives also speaks for itself. Poor and middle class people in this country contain the range of political affiliations and that would also be reflected in the military.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 26, 2004 06:18 PM
Comment #13151

David, I see. What I took to be an implication that “People who support the war aren’t sending their sons and daughters to fight and die” should really have just meant that “the RICH aren’t sending their sons and daughters to fight and die”. And so, the only people supporting the war are the rich. There are no poor or middle class people who showed up to those “support our troops” rallies. All those 1993 Toyota Tercels in the parking lot, with the mass-produced “support our troops” stickers adorning rusted out bumpers and bondo-attached trunk locks, that was just an illusion on my part. I was “reading in” to all that, of course. Those were really just millionaires.

The sad thing in all of this is, I can SEE the point of many people like Michael Moore when they just calm down and point out facts and logically go from a to b to c in the statements they make regarding corporations and the corporate imperative for war. But if you leap into the deep end of sweeping rhetoric and oversimplify it to where only wealthy people have a woodie to go find WMDs under every Arabic and Persian and Pashtun beard in that part of the world, then you understand neither history nor the true nature of the conservative bloc of American people.

When I first heard all this jaw-jacking about “chicken hawks” it puzzled me at first. I remembered my military days and how rare it was to find a Democrat anywhere who would so much as pipe up (because everyone knew Clinton was out to take food out of our babies’ mouths, LOL), and at first it seemed like that hawkishness I remember of my fellow service members was being characterized as “chicken”. Like a cheesy Arsenio Hall monologue, that was something that made me go “HMMMMMMMMMMMM”. So we were chicken shit in Grenada. We wussed out in Nicaragua. That ranger blood I mopped out of the C-130 I crew chiefed for a little thing called the Andean Initiative, that was an illusion—we were all hiding under sandbags in Texas somewhere. I get it. The Stinger missiles that nearly vaporized our plane from time to time, as the drug lords got richer and more sophisticated, those were just burritos, thrown into the air in celebration of our arrival to destroy their coca crops.

The entire world is upside down to some people. Sacrifice is “chicken hawkishness”. Tillman trades in his Cardinals job for Ranger wings and dies in combat, and that’s “chicken”. And of course Tillman couldn’t have possibly been rich before signing up to fight the war on terrorism. ONLY the poor and middle class are “stupid enough” to go and fight in a war, that ONLY the rich “believe in”.

This is the world according to Oliver Stone, and it might be right about once every 12 hours, just like a broken analog watch.

I will try to be more eloquent, and if I fail the fault is purely my own, and just try to imagine that I’m better at it than this: I may disagree with the wisdom of having gone into Iraq, but at the same time I think it’s folly to dismiss the intentions and demographic of people on the other side of the argument who supported this war. You know why? Many of them are the ones FIGHTING it.

Posted by: Ciggy at April 27, 2004 12:42 AM
Comment #13318

Ashcroft says “As an American, I’m called to guard freedom all around the world.” I guess guess God’s gift of freedom doesn’t extend to the freedom to smoke a joint in the privacy of your own home….

Posted by: Woodrow at April 29, 2004 07:32 AM
Comment #13327

Ashcroft is a very scary individual. But he’s a good singer.

Posted by: Ciggy at April 29, 2004 09:20 AM
Comment #13356

Leave it to leftists. Always playing the class warfare card, even in this. I find it ironic that the only branch of the military that HASN’T had recruiting problems the last decade, is the branch most likely to be involved in combat the Marine Corp (Semper Fi). Further, the vast majority of marines don’t join for the college fund, or because they are poor. They want to be the sharp point of our countries defense. They have no problem with that and even in time of war, recruiting is up. This crap about the draft is a disingenuous attempt to undermine the presidents endevor in Iraq by fomenting dissent from fear of mandatory service. The fact is, the draft is the worst kind of sabotage to a military campaigns. It would require people like Woodrow to leave their joint and come fight wars.

Posted by: mac at April 29, 2004 05:11 PM
Comment #13359

Mac, when I went to the Air Force recruiting office in 1986, they told me there was a six-month waiting list, they were so swamped with recruits. I came back the next day to say goodbye to the recruiter who’d been working with me (I was pretty much homeless in Hawaii and was going to drift to some beach somewhere), when by some lucky break they found an opening for me. The point there is that in a bad economy, a lot of young men and women take notice of the training advantages of joining a high-tech service like that. Spice that up with some G.I. bill and some pay and benefits that elevate the junior enlisted above what would qualify for WIC and food stamps, and I’d say you’d get enough recruits for any positions that pop up there. Also, through the Clinton years the big push was to DOWNSIZE the military, so people were getting kicked out for things that in years past would only get them an Article 15 reprimand, etc. There are a number of retention activities that could gear toward a higher volunteer force if the current administration decides to authorize them.

Hell, they could even recall old farts like us—up to the age of 65 we are subject to that. In spite of my not liking the idea of our having gone into Iraq, I’d still go if called up.

As for the USMC being the sharp point of American defense, I’ll humor you. I probably have more Jarhead friends than other ex-military friends, so I will say, in your honor, “On the Seventh Day the Lord rested, while the Marines filled sandbags. Ooo-rah.”

I agree that the draft is crap. It comes from people not understanding AT ALL what makes for a good defense. “Gee, more soldiers = better right?” They shouldn’t quit their day jobs.

Posted by: Ciggy at April 29, 2004 05:28 PM
Comment #13361

Mac, according to you, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R) and other Republicans are sabotaging their own party’s President. Since Hagel and other Republicans have the same concern, and Hagel on the International Affairs brought the whole issue up.

I don’t think so. Unless you classify Sen. Chuck Hagel (R) a leftist, your comments make absolutely no sense. But, I do know some who call anyone who disagrees with them a leftist, and others who call anyone who disagress with them a neo-con. But, those folks make such words meaningless from their mouths by their misuse.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 29, 2004 06:06 PM
Comment #13534
Who would want to invade the Philipines or Indonesia anyway? They don’t have any oil.

Haha! Eric, it’s people like you that get me laughed at for being an American. Indonesia and the Philippines are both oil producers. That was a fact in the 1930s and is why Japan invaded them.

Indonesia is a major oil producer and a member of OPEC. It’s also the most populous Islamic country in the world with 235 million (mostly armed) America hating Muslims living there. It would take more than one division to achieve anything substantial there.

I get the lecture about once a week by taxi drivers on how Americans are ignorant about the rest of the world. It’s hard to argue. Thanks.

Posted by: Lee at May 2, 2004 01:58 AM
Comment #13574

“235 million (mostly armed) America hating Muslims living there. It would take more than one division to achieve anything substantial there.”

That’s old-world paleolithic military thinking for you. It would really only take about five or six MOABs dropped by that number of MC-130Es.

“I get the lecture about once a week by taxi drivers on how Americans are ignorant about the rest of the world. It’s hard to argue.”

Americans are indeed ignorant, but they don’t corner the market. People outside of America reciprocate the ignorance of what the U.S. is all about.

Posted by: Ciggy at May 3, 2004 11:50 AM
Comment #13586

This is simple—Black and White. A war—Undeclared. Against a nation that did not attack us. A war of imperialism for your sons and daughters to die in.

Foisted on us by a lying Chief who is pursuing his not-quite secret agenda of world domination.
> Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfy, Kristol, Ledeen et. al. at your service since 1997 for a new American empire—except we must sacrifice our Republic to be an Empire.

And we will behave as frisky, creative imperials to the subhumans we seek to dominate. Make them homosexually mate in a random pile of legs, hooded heads, buttocks and arms, while our grinning SS looks on. Hook them up by the gonads to electric shock, laugh giggle and grin to the world as the Fourth Reich rolls on its merry way of conquest.

Any complaints can be dismissed with a wave.
“Only the actions of a few!” And THEY will get the severest of reprimands. Bad boy. Bad girl.

A draft to replace the troopers who must fall, and will be needed for Iran, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and France? Of course. But hush up. Not now. Be quiet. Until after the election.

Posted by: James Parker at May 3, 2004 06:35 PM
Comment #13624
Americans are indeed ignorant, but they don’t corner the market. People outside of America reciprocate the ignorance of what the U.S. is all about.

Actually, Ciggy, I was a little over the top about the “America hating”. Most of the people I’ve met in SE Asia are very nice and genuinely like Americans. They just hate Bush.

I also find them to mostly be very knowlegable (I qualify that because I don’t head out to the boonies much) about America, American TV, and American politics. I think it’s because they all have either cable or satellite TV. :)

Posted by: Lee at May 4, 2004 08:11 AM
Comment #13631

James:
“Foisted on us by a lying Chief who is pursuing his not-quite secret agenda of world domination.”

I think the operative PNAC term is “strategic depth”. For the record, I think their plan is a stupid one, and apparently W’s father thought so too. On the other hand, liberal Americans are partly to blame for feeding into this frenzy with their taunts of Bush Sr. for NOT removing Saddam from power. “Why didn’t you finish the job?” Well, along comes Junior to finish the job. Careful what you ask for, you just might get it from the trickster djini that is American politics.

I’m not going to leap to the just plain dumb conclusion that “all MPs guarding Iraqi prisoners are committing war crimes”, as some of the more logic-challenged folks will in the Turd World and elsewhere. (Fallacy of composition I believe is it?) But I will say that it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the prosecution of the war is becoming increasingly out of control. This is a problem you will inevitably run into when conventional forces are OUT OF THEIR ELEMENT. When there aren’t clear and distinct “armor divisions” to destroy out in the desert, or “mechanized infantry brigades” to blow to smithereens in a bunker somewhere, our forces are just not prepared to handle the challenge. MOUT, SCHMOUT. There is no training that fully prepares a grunt infantryman for the slow creeping death of morale that will take place when the enemy is both everywhere and nowhere, and the leadership has not a single clue where to send you after it.

An insurgency is NO place for conventional forces. Not 11B infantry; not USMC Earth Agitation Specialists; not even the 82nd Airborne, semi-special though their Operations may be. The forces on the ground should NOT be on the ground for extended periods of time, and if those forces are not Navy SEALs or Army Special Forces or Force Delta or AF Pararescue or Combat Controllers or some form of spookie black operations UNCONVENTIONAL American shooters, local commanders are just plain wrong. And if they’re not backed up by the full firepower of the USAF every time they set foot outside the base camp, they’re wrong. And if there aren’t more CIA operatives in disguise than there are Islamic militants, they’re wrong. And obviously, if prisoners get mistreated, they’re wrong. (Interrogation actually works much better when abuse isn’t involved—I know this from experience.) Iraq is teeming with wrongness and not a whole lot right about how one goes about fighting wars. Perhaps if Bush had been a little more military and a little less political during his Guard time, he might see some of the red flags popping up in the unfolding events. And maybe if he’d set the PNAC Kool-Aide down and breathe some fresh air, he’d understand that this business is something that shouldn’t have even been started in the first place.

If there is a draft, that will be a clear sign to me that military victory is not even considered important by politicians these days. And I will turn into the most long-haired hippy-dippy anti-war protester ever seen. John Kerry in the ’70s will look like Ollie North in the ’80s by comparison.

Lee, the Muslims you might have met who seemed to you to like Americans at the time, were probably just being polite. Pro-Israeli policy was the spark that ignited hatred against us (strike one), and now Iraq is strike two. When we hit strike three, we’ll be pretty much “out” with all of Islam and all of the Arab world, down to the last man, woman, and child who avoids both pork and matzoi. Then we’ll have a difficult choice: commit genocide or have genocide committed against us. Thanks, W, for the “leadership”.

Posted by: Ciggy at May 4, 2004 10:37 AM
Comment #14641

Certainly, I wouldn’t put it past the Bush administration to reinstate the draft. I am a member of what the press has so eloquently called “Generation X.” Though one of us, when asked called us “The Star Wars Generation.” Of course this refers to the films, all you old timers, not the defense program. I think our generation was handed down wisdom of those who were alive during the Vietnam war. Many of us were largely apathetic during the previous election, which is why I think Bush slipped in to office. You can all be assured that we have grown up and are ready to vote for what we believe in. Things like the Clinton scandal, which was as silly to most of us as it was to Europe, really made politics look like a game that we were unitnerested in playing. Now that we have seen what can happen if we are not active members of the community, we have learned a hard lesson, and we will vote against Bush. When we were growing up, the news about the Middle East was almost intentionally cryptic. We all knew there was a problem, but after 9/11, the media coverage started speaking in clearer terms. 9/11 was a wake up call, Bush’s reaction was silly, and now the next generation of voters is ready to guide the future. It has happened countless times before. The GOP will someday be a quaint historical term.

-Jesse

Posted by: Jesse Hopkins at May 19, 2004 10:03 AM
Comment #14653

Jesse, though, I have little affinity for Republican Party from Nixon forward for philosophical reasons, and am boltered by your view on GenX, the GOP is nonetheless, a valuable contributor to America’s national debate on a whole range of issues. I would hope the GOP survives as a check on those who would create an opposite and extreme agenda to policies like capitalism and policy success measureability.

I am not a conservative, but, multiple platforms of values, multiple philosophies of government’s role, and multiple views of how to prioritize America’s agenda, is essential to a healthy democracy, and therefore, I would not want to see the GOP become a quaint historical term.

Posted by: David R Remer at May 19, 2004 10:59 AM
Comment #14657

David, when I said GOP will “someday” be a historical term, I was talking maybe 200 to 500 years from now. I guess I think of the fate of the earth more than the immediate future. I agree that the GOP is now representative of many values that should not be completely abandoned, but in time, I believe that the parties will all have to evolve to adapt to a world where the reality is that we have to extinguish evil with compassion, not more evil. Those who in the past might have allowed slavery now speak against it. The ideals of the parties transform with the times, and with the evolution of conscience..that is, if we can hold this country together long enough to build upon our past. I have no doubt things will turn out well in the long run, but I hope it doesn’t take another huge disaster to see that beligerent intolerance of countries with problems that affect us will only increase our enemies.

Posted by: Jesse Hopkins at May 19, 2004 11:39 AM