Do You Feel a Draft In Here?
By Anthony Wade
From the bowels of absurdity, president Bush once again has crossed the line between believable and utter fantasy. Campaigning in Daytona Beach , Bush tried his best to deflect the growing belief that a second Bush term will see a return of the military draft. Realizing though that his pledge during the debates may not be enough, he actually inferred that a vote for Kerry, would mean a vote for the draft.
While stumping, Bush said, "The person talking about a draft is my opponent." Uhmm, ya Mr. President, he is warning us about your war-mongering, which logically may necessitate the draft. Bush continued with the insanity, "We will not have a draft. The best way to avoid a draft is to vote for me." Say what??? Let 's see, vote for a man who refuses to bring the rest of the world into Iraq because he wants to control the reconstruction contracts for Halliburton or vote for a man who has pledged all along to bring the rest of the world back to the table so we are "respected once again in the world ". Hmm, if I was a younger person worried about dying in a desert I think I would rather have the guy that does not have a record of being a maverick cowboy thumbing his nose at the world. I think I would rather have the guy who actually fought in combat and understands what it means to go to war, as opposed to the "BRING EM ON!-MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!-FLIGHTSUIT WANNABE. But hey, I guess that 's just me, right?
How did we get here? During the second presidential debate president Bush was asked pointedly about the rumors of the military draft coming back in a second Bush term. Bush looked in the camera, similar to when he did to swear that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, and said,
"I hear there's rumors on the Internets that we're going to have a draft. We're not going to have a draft, period. Now, forget all this talk about a draft. We're not going to have a draft so long as I am the president. "
Whew, thanks for clarifying that for us Mr. President. I feel so much better now that ...hmm, wait a minute let 's dig a little deeper.
Just two weeks ago Paul Bremer, administrator for the U.S.-led occupation government until June of this year seemed to not agree with Bush. He was quoted as saying,
"We never had enough troops on the ground. The single most important change -- the one thing that would have improved the situation -- would have been having more troops in Iraq at the beginning and throughout"
When realizing that his comments were contrary to what Bush was trying to sell in an election season, a Bremer aide actually said that the comments were not supposed to be available to the public. You 're not kidding.
Last month, John McCain, staunch Bush supporter stated that we would need to remain in Iraq for a minimum of "10-20 years ". Given that kind of forecast, along with the reluctant admission by Bremer, it is logical to ask, do you feel a draft in here?
It is not just Iraq though. On October 4, MSNBC reported that,
"Deep in the Pentagon, admirals and generals are updating plans for possible U.S. military action in Syria and Iran . The Defense Department unit responsible for military planning for the two troublesome countries is "busier than ever," an administration official says. Some Bush advisers characterize the work as merely an effort to revise routine plans the Pentagon maintains for all contingencies in light of the Iraq war. More skittish bureaucrats say the updates are accompanied by a revived campaign by administration conservatives and neocons for more hard-line U.S. policies toward the countries. "
So, when you look at the admission that there are not enough troops on the ground Iraq and the administration 's designs on Iran and Syria , how much can we truly trust Bush 's promise in the debate? I might also add here that North Korea has 6-8 nuclear weapons now because of Bush 's non-action in that country. That threat may have to be addressed at some point as well.
Estimates are that by January, 40% of the ground troops in Iraq will be Guardsmen, people who did not sign up for these continuous deployments. In addition to this, there is now a backdoor draft as soldiers who have completed their commitments are being forced to continue to serve under a stop-loss law, which is being abused by president Bush.
Is it getting drafty in here?
The real question is how Bush cannot reinstitute the draft given his plans for multiple wars on many fronts. Depleting the homeland of the National Guard at the rate he has been cannot continue, especially if he seriously wants to prevent another attack on our soil.
What we all must realize is that Bush will have no negative consequences to worry about in a second term if he chose to bring the draft back. The main disincentive keeping politicians honest about the draft is their tenure. Bush will not have to worry about an unpopular decision in a second term because he cannot run again anyway. Cheney has no plans to seek the presidency at all so the entire ticket will have no negative political consequences to worry about. Also, Bush has said repeatedly that he does not mind making the "unpopular " decision, in fact, he is downright proud of it.
The smoking gun however, can be found in the No Child Left Behind legislation (NCLB). The law which Bush uses to explain his position on not raising the minimum wage actually has a dirty little secret buried deep within the hundreds of pages of regulations. In a story breaking this week, Sharon Shea-Keneally, principal of Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington , Vermont , received a letter from military recruiters demanding a list of all her students, including names, addresses, and phone numbers. The confused principal demanded to know why, since the school 's policy has always been to never give out personal information about their students. Guess what she was told? The military recruiters told her that under NCLB, they had the right to these records. Sure enough, buried deep within the law's 670 pages, is a provision requiring public secondary schools to provide military recruiters not only with access to facilities, but also with contact information for every student. Here is the kicker though, if they refuse, the school will face a cutoff of all federal funds. Nice.
No draft Mr. President? A vote for you is the only way to avoid having a draft? In the words of one of the only sane voices of reason left, Jon Stewart, Mr. President, your pants are on fire. Section 9528 of NCLB does indeed spell out the fascist nature of life under George W. Bush. In a bill that is supposed to be about setting high standards for students and improving education, we find the more sinister purpose it was intended for. If George W. Bush has his way there may indeed be no child left behind.
Anthony Wade is co-administrator of a website devoted to educating the populace to the ongoing lies of President George W. Bush and seeking his removal from office. He is a 37-year-old independent writer from New York with political commentary articles seen on multiple websites. A Christian progressive and professional Rehabilitation Counselor working with the poor and disabled, Mr. Wade believes that you can have faith and hold elected officials accountable for lies and excess.
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