Friday, September 10, 2004


Draft the Bigmouths

I want YOU
Originally uploaded by jonnybutter.

Iraq is a mess. The next president, whoever it is, will be looking for ways to get out. (Don't think so? I've got a plan for you below, then). Even if we collectively pretend that our slinking away is actually 'peace with honor' or something, we will have to get out sooner than we had planned, perhaps much sooner. If it's Bush, he will simply deny that it's happening, or blame democrats somehow, and (probably) avoid blame or responsibility - as always. The Bush MO: trash the place and walk (or strut) away; let someone else clean it up - and then blame them). On the other hand, the jackals of the seething right are already - via the blogosphere, pissed-off radio, etc. - predicting that a president Kerry will 'cut and run' in Iraq, and therefore in the war on terror (and we all know they are synonymous, don't we?). Kerry will get the blame for the catastrophe Bush has created. (Actually, democrats and any other antis will get the blame whoever wins the election, but that's another story).

So, in an attempt to avoid the United States' becoming a one-party state, I propose the following: reinstate the military draft - but make it a voluntary draft. Here's how it would work.

- Since young men still have to register for the draft, we already have a national registry of draft-age men. Women should have to register, too.

- Every draft-age person would have to report to their local draft board and sign one of two affidavits. If they think 'staying the course' in Iraq is essential to our liberty, they would sign one affidavit saying so, and they would be inducted for active duty in Iraq. If they don't think it's such a good idea, they sign the other affidavit saying so, and they wouldn't have to go. (If somebody who signed the first affidavit has a medical problem which disqualifies them from being a soldier, they could do something else, like be on kitchen duty outside Fallujah, or some other support task. Having more US military personnel perform support tasks would save money, due to the much lower salaries and benefits paid to them as compared to contractors.)

-The database with everybody's name and which affidavit they signed would be public and available on the internet.

- Since president Bush has such strong and vociferous support throughout the country, this voluntary draft should yield millions of young men and women eager to fight and die in the Persian Gulf for freedom. They would, further, be available for future wars in the Arab World and beyond.

That's it. There would be NO deferments of any kind, but at the same time nobody would be forced to go; everybody would be forced only to make a public statement.

Perhaps in this way we could alleviate the epidemic of 'Bush Doctrine' - or 'Bush Doctrinaires' - in this country (The Real Bush Doctrine: George W. led by example, unambiguously supported the war in Vietnam, but avoided serving in it himself; we don't know how Cheney felt - he had other priorities - but I rather doubt he was protesting in the streets). I imagine it would focus a lot of minds - as it did in the Vietnam era - to have the personal, physical asses associated with those minds on the line. I would expect everybody at NewsMax, the RNC, et. al. (or their sons and daughters or grandchildren) to sign up for service in a flash.

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