Riffle

Reality-Based Community Service

Friday, October 08, 2004


The Bush Draft

A majority of young Americans believe that Bush will reinstate the military draft.

Why would they believe such a thing? Perhaps because George W. Bush administration has repeatedly mistated, distorted, and outright lied about the war in Iraq. So, when they hear about the draft a weak phrase by the President and denials by Republicans, they remember the many falsehoods about the Iraq war that has come from this adminstration and Republican lackies on TV.

When you lie about war, people don't trust you about war.

Also, with one unnecessary and falsely supported war under his belt, what is the next useless war that Bush will undertake when he doesn't have to worry about re-election?

Fighting wars we must fight is one thing. Fighting wars of choice is entirely another.

7 Comments:

At Friday, October 8, 2004 at 11:09:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aren't the Democrats sponsoring the Bill to reinstate the draft?

 
At Saturday, October 9, 2004 at 1:34:00 AM EDT, Blogger riffle said...

Anonymous wrote:

"Aren't the Democrats sponsoring the Bill to reinstate the draft?"

What a nice procedural question. IF you want to get into procedure, a democrat introduced the bill, and, as a political ploy, the republicans brought a draft bill up for a vote a month before an election. So they can vote against it this month, but in 2005 -- who knows how many will have a pang of "concience."

Students, of course, know that the person most likely to instate a draft is George Bush, since he's repeatedly lied about everything to do with Iraq.

Everything except "Saddam was bad," which, of course, no one disputes.

Go check a few hundred draft age people. Ask them who is more likely to start drafting young people into the military.

They will, as the poll above showed, say that Bush is the most likely to do it. And your procedural question won't change that, because Bush has been wrong about every essential element of the war in Iraq.

And, of course, they're right. If Bush decides to undertake another useless war, with false premises and failed tactics, there will be a draft. The military is too stretched to give Bush the elbow room otherwise.

q.v. this cogent post:

http://yglesias.typepad.com/matthew/2004/10/draft_time.html

riffler

 
At Saturday, October 9, 2004 at 3:19:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me thinks thou doth protest too much.

The number of casualties incurred by the U.S. in conflicts occurring since the inception of the purely volunteer military is significantly lower – by a factor of 100 under Vietnam for both Iraq wars. The suggestion that conservatives and libertarians have any interest in restating a draft requires either willful disingenuousness or abject idiocy. It is clearly an ideological and philosophical issue – libertarians (and libertarian conservatives) are loath to impose ANY compulsory government service, whether it be in the form of tribute or action. Anyone who suggests otherwise either hasn’t been paying attention to the philosophical antecedents of modern political positions or is deliberately misleading.

To wit:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/draft.asphttp://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/10/06/draft.ap/

 
At Saturday, October 9, 2004 at 4:39:00 PM EDT, Blogger riffle said...

Anonymous wrote:

"It is clearly an ideological and philosophical issue – libertarians (and libertarian conservatives) are loath to impose ANY compulsory government service, whether it be in the form of tribute or action. Anyone who suggests otherwise either hasn’t been paying attention to the philosophical antecedents of modern political positions or is deliberately misleading."

Yes, but our president is by no means a Libertarian -- to mention just one anti-Libertarian trait, his unflagging support for the Patriot Act is not that of someone interested in personal liberty. He's not even a conservative, unless the conservative playbook has been rewritten to include "greatly increase non-defense federal spending and bankrupt the country."

Bush was asked about his favorite political philosopher four years ago, and he didn't cite any libertarian or conservative thinkers -- he cited Jesus Christ. I doubt Jesus would have urged the war on Iraq to begin in the Spring of 2003 while weapons inspectors were still doing their work and finding nothing.

So don't talk about Bush's incoherent political "philosophy," talk about his actions.

Bush has already greatly taxed the US armed forces. His misadventure in Iraq shows that he prefers to use the military not as a last resort. If you don't use the military as a last resort, you will use them unnecessarily and stretch them further. To get the boots on the ground that Bush's next four years will likely require will stretch the needs for troops even more.

No wonder people think Bush is much more likely to instate a draft than Kerry. And, judging by his actions, they're right to do so.

 
At Sunday, October 10, 2004 at 11:48:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"His misadventure in Iraq shows that he prefers to use the military not as a last resort."

Such tendentiousness. To begin, the Iraqi liberation from Hussein is not universally seen by reasonable people as a "misadventure." The pertinacious use of such language severely undermines your credibility. Further, "last resort" is a concept largely without a pragmatic definition in this context. Who determines the location of the watershed? The constant flying of the "last resort" canard by the left leaves one with the image of Bugs Bunny recursively remarking, "Okay, I dare you to cross THIS line."

 
At Sunday, October 10, 2004 at 12:16:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Bush was asked about his favorite political philosopher four years ago, and he didn't cite any libertarian or conservative thinkers -- he cited Jesus Christ. I doubt Jesus would have urged the war on Iraq to begin in the Spring of 2003 while weapons inspectors were still doing their work and finding nothing."

Your having spoken with the dispossesed voice of Christ notwithstanding, the above is a fun bit of fallacy of exclusion. I would encourage our intrepid blog host to read "The Threatening Storm" by Kenneth Pollack (an intellegence analyst under Clinton). There were a host of justifications for Saddam's overthrow that were advanced from all corners prior to Bush even taking office. Focusing exclusively on the WMD issue is textbook fallacy of exclusion.

 
At Sunday, October 10, 2004 at 3:05:00 PM EDT, Blogger riffle said...

Yes, Pollack's book was used as a reason to confront Saddam. Notice, however, that nowhere in the book did Pollack say "we must invade Iraq in the spring of 2003, even if inspectors are on the ground not finding weapons despite getting 'tips' from the White House with their certainty about where the weapons were -- and not finding anything."

But you're just another in a long line of conservatives to base an invasion not on a book, but upon a subtitle for a book.

===quote
Conservatives frequently trot out Pollack's book to impugn the motives and the morals of those who criticize the way Bush has led the nation into war. In a typical example, Frederick W. Kagan wrote in Commentary, "No fair reader of Kenneth Pollack's indispensable book can fail to be convinced of the correctness and justice" of regime change. And it's true that Pollack has done a fair amount of convincing. He's done what President Bush could not: persuaded liberal elites to endorse the forcible removal of Saddam Hussein from power. But The Case for Invading Iraq isn't the case for Bush's invasion
=== endquote

Read more here:
http://slate.msn.com/id/2079705/And, of course, Pollack admits more recently (June, 2004) that the Bushies have totally screwed things up:

===quote
Why did they try to fight the war (and do the reconstruction) on the cheap? Why attack with only four divisions of ground troops when roughly another four were available--and were all deployed to Iraq within the following year (albeit only to relieve the invasion force)? Why did the administration seem to go out of its way to alienate so many of our allies and devote so little time to the U.N. process? Rumsfeld's quips about "old Europe" and not needing the British to fight the war seemed deliberately calculated to frighten off potential allies. Why, too, did they dismiss all of the preparations for postwar reconstruction performed by the Department of State, usaid, the intelligence community, the uniformed services, and a host of other agencies, and instead follow Ahmed Chalabi's siren song? It would have been one thing if none of that work had ever been carried out. But, as someone who participated in many of those exercises, I know that much good planning was available and was discarded by those in the Pentagon charged with reconstruction.

.....

The willingness of members of the Bush administration to abandon their past records of prudence and match Saddam's reckless and delusional behavior with their own may have been the most important element missing from my own thinking about the war. By the time the war began, I recognized that they had not taken most of the precautionary measures I had recommended (although, even then, I did not realize the extent to which they had simply dismissed all the postwar planning done by agencies other than the Pentagon), and I was already anguished over the war.
====endquote

From Pollack's piece Mourning After (subscription only).

To drag this back to the "draft" issue, such utter incompetence in the use of the US military is the kind of thing that leaves us where we are: with an overstretched military while facing threats that may require using the military elsewhere.

With Bush, military overstretch is practically guaranteed, based on their record of incompetent use of the military.

 

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