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Friday, August 10, 2007

Remember Bush’s War Czar?

posted by on August 10 at 17:43 PM

He’s talking about bringing back the draft.

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good. that'll get the attention of the public. when junior is having to check his draft number, maybe mommy and daddy will think about what is going on over there.

and i'll just be able to pull the gay card and go home!

Posted by konstantConsumer | August 10, 2007 5:58 PM

What konstantConsumer said.

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 10, 2007 6:09 PM

Yes. The generals have been explaining things to him. The military is overstretched as they have never been before, not even during the worst of WWII or Vietnam. They need hundreds of thousands of new soldiers just to perform the duties they are being asked to perform NOW, let alone attack Iran like Cheney wants -- or to, you know, defend America.

There really isn't any way out of this. Bush's adventure is destroying the US Army, plain and simple. There's going to be an epidemic of abuse and flameouts that will make Abu Ghraib (and Gulf War Syndrome) look like a party at Gas Works. And the officers are PISSED.

We are one big incident -- like, say, the Marines barrack bomb of 1983 -- from a total meltdown of US command.

This is not a partisan issue. It's becoming a serious disaster where the question becomes not SHOULD we get out of Iraq to HOW are we going to get out? I'll tell you one thing; Bush isn't going to be vacationing much on his trip to Crawford.

Posted by fnarf | August 10, 2007 6:12 PM

That will be a hoot: When little Ethan, Tyler and Connor (along with Emma, Emily and Madison) all have to show up and, free of Mommy and Daddy's smothering attention, have to actually do things. Talk about your army of one.....

As our Dear Leader would say, Bring It On!

Posted by Old Fart | August 10, 2007 6:23 PM

yes we need a draft.

Very, very few nations with a draft that are democracies have started wars of aggression. Having a draft is a huge protection against leaders becoming international law criminals, as our nation has become by invading Iraq with no self defense reason to do so.

Posted by unPC | August 10, 2007 6:29 PM

yay, we need to draft mitt romney's little bastards.

Posted by and | August 10, 2007 6:46 PM

Imagine how many people would become "gay" to avoid going. It'd be a hell of a lot easier than heading to Canada.

Posted by Mike of Renton | August 10, 2007 6:53 PM

I totally disagree; reinstating the draft is a horrible idea. It will not prevent us from entering into bullshit wars (for further reference, see Vietnam). Further, the very people who support warmonger policies will find ways of keeping their kids out, just like they always have.

Posted by Dianna | August 10, 2007 7:08 PM

I'm all for the draft. There's nothing like a draft to wake up those who are of draft age. Maybe then we'll have real riots in the streets over this corrupt administration and criminals running this nation.


Posted by Michigan Matt | August 10, 2007 7:53 PM

The draft buzz has significantly increased in the past few days from people in power. The Pentagon and the administration are forced to finally realize the military is too thin and needs more bodies.

The PI or Times has a story in today’s edition about “musters” taking place across the country this weekend to record who is fit to go back active from the Individual Ready Reserve. These “musters” are essentially a draft board for those that have left the service. The IRR is what every enlisted person is placed into after active or reserve duty because
all enlistments are for 8 years. There are millions of folks in the IRR, these people would be forced to go back active prior to a full blown draft.

As a former GI, I would never want to be in a combat situation with a dirty nasty draftee.

The draft is coming, hide your kids.

Posted by prior service | August 10, 2007 8:45 PM

Does it really matter if they do bring back the draft?

Does it really matter if the armed forces are broken?

No one has died defending this country or our freedoms in over 60 years. They've died due to failed foreign policy theories, incompetent military and civilian leadership, and a warmongering, moronic American public that's too thoughtless and self-absorbed to care.

The rich kids will weasel their way out of a draft anyway and anyone with half a brain will suddenly turn "gay," which leaves us in exactly the same situation where we are now.

Until our right-wing KKKulture changes and we collectively decide to stop trying to take over the world, more wars are inevitable.

Posted by Original Andrew | August 10, 2007 8:56 PM

Agreed with Andrew.

Posted by Dianna | August 10, 2007 8:59 PM

andrew, what war wasn't the result of failed foreign policy theories (or domestic in the case of a civil war), incompetent military and civilian leadership, and a warmongering, moronic public that's too thoughtless and self-absorbed to care?

Also, the same bill that brings back the draft will end don't ask don't tell and alow gays to serv. Bet your bottom dollar. (At least we will finally get that much.)

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | August 10, 2007 9:17 PM


Posted by RON | August 10, 2007 9:18 PM

For anyone who's interested in an update on Matt Sanchez, the Marine who was in gay porn and is now friends with Ann Coulter. He just went on an insane and bizarre AIDS rant over at the Columbia University blog. He posted as several people but all you have to do is click on "track" and it shows all the posts that are his. He blatantly violated Columbia policy by screaming: "I understand you're a recalcitrant atheist stuck in a horrible lifestyle" ... "you fag, you're stinking up the place" ... "if you have AIDS you should get out of this room."

It's amazing that publications like the Weekly Standard would associate with a dangerous psycho like this.

Posted by Keith | August 10, 2007 9:19 PM

You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me @ 13,

Thank you, that is precisely why you should oppose repealing DADT if you care about saving peoples' lives.

Keeping the ban in place prevents gay men and lesbians from throwing their lives away and also gives our het brothers and sisters a 'Get Out of Republican Wars Free Card.'

Unless you like the idea of dying for Jesus W. Bush and his war-profiteer sycophants.

Posted by Original Andrew | August 10, 2007 9:51 PM

Damn straight.

Maybe this nation would think more carefully about the consequences of going to war if its consequences were felt more evenly across social groups and classes.

Posted by Eric Arrrrr | August 10, 2007 10:40 PM

Good. Ending the draft was about the dumbest idea for those of us who don't like wars of aggression.

Oh, and by the way, "acting gay" might not get you kicked out - you never know, you might just get sent on a suicide mission instead.

Posted by John | August 10, 2007 10:46 PM

@13. Once gays have served in the military, and come back home, there is no way the government can deny them civil rights. Putting gays in the draft will end GLBT discrimination.
Unless people have no conscience at all...

Posted by MyDogBen | August 10, 2007 11:10 PM

Uh MyDogBen,

Gay men and lesbians have always been in the US military and are serving now. In fact, the Pentagon witch-hunts and discharges around two of us a day under DADT. I just read about one guy who was kicked out during his mission as an Arabic translator in Iraq (the kind of people they supposedly need and stuff).

You were right about the last part.

Posted by Original Andrew | August 10, 2007 11:36 PM

OMG! There was just a shooting on 1st Ave & the Market. I don't know which side of the street, but paramedics pulled what looked to be a woman out of the corner market building on a stretcher. Lots of shots fired (9+), cops have 1st closed, and are searching sidewalks on both sides of street.

Posted by John | August 11, 2007 12:12 AM

While I agree with the notion that maybe our political leaders would be more cautious about starting wars if the middle-class felt the direct effects because the draft was in place, don't kid yourself that the George W. Bush's of the world will suffer (Texas Air National Guard, anyone?) Even back in the Civil War they had a saying - "Rich man's war - poor man's fight."

The draft didn't keep us out of Korea, the Dominican Republic, Vietnam, or many other wars that I'm aware of. Shared sacrifice is lovely in theory, but the draft is way better gone in practice.

All of that said - this shows just how desperate CheneyCo. is getting. The notion of reinstating the draft will probably be killed by Republicans who need to get re-elected (though they may let Bush say it).

Posted by Mr. X | August 11, 2007 12:12 AM

"The military command, and the civilian leadership, learned an important lesson in Vietnam: you can't expect a citizen's army to fight a vicious, brutal colonial war. Their predecessors knew that. The British, French, etc., provided the officer corps, special forces, and professional military, but relied on the Foreign Legion, Ghurkas, Indian troops, and other mercenaries. That's standard. The US made a serious tactical error in this regard in Vietnam -- though it had plenty of mercenaries too: South Korean, Thai, and others. In Iraq, the US is using what amounts to a mercenary army of the disadvantaged, and the second largest military force is the "private" companies made up of ex-military officers, South African killers, etc. "

Posted by joe | August 11, 2007 1:13 AM

Would women be included? Get ready Jenna and Barbara! Yea!

Posted by Lloyd Cooney | August 11, 2007 1:43 AM

Women would not be included as of yet. Only men (boys) 18 years old have to register for the draft.

Posted by Boston Tim | August 11, 2007 4:47 AM

I'd rather be gay that serve an army that follows the Bush docterine.
The draft would work the same way the draft did for Vietnam, only the stupid and poor will serve, the rest, like Bush, Limbaugh and Cheney will find ways to avoid serving their country.
Bring back the draft, just to get white families and their drunken off spring to pay attention for once.

Posted by NewFag | August 11, 2007 6:02 AM

US Rep. Charles Wrangel (D-NY) has been pushing the draft for several years - not because he supports the war (as have Hillary, Maria Cantwell, and other supposed representatives). He wanted the draft precisely to restore something like democracy. The 'video-game' war we have now, with only poor trailer-park people dying for Bush's bullshit is just one major part of the total usurpation of our (former) democracy.

Posted by Charlie_Wrangel_Fan | August 11, 2007 7:06 AM

What konstantKonsumer @1 said. I think the draft is compelling from a Rawlsian perspective. Which wars would you support if you didn't know what your role in the war would be?

Posted by Gabriel | August 11, 2007 7:38 AM

Indeed. I think if the draft were reinstated the Charlie Wrangels of the world (Fox News and others suggested he was a nut for proposing it, by the way) would see to it that there were few to no exceptions for the Cheneys and Limbaughs of the world to slip through.

However, my guess is that the Bush administration will choose to fill the gaps with private armies/contractors/mercenaries. They're already outsourcing a lot of that work. By increasing this the government does not have to make payrolls and does not have to cover medical expenses. Of course, this also dilutes the military ranks as trained soldiers get hired by Blackwater to do the job which puts a greater strain on recruitment for the regular military. And make no mistake, Blackwater is fulfilling many of these regular military duties. They were part of the contingent guarding Bremmer and they are currently guarding the Iraqi President and cabinet officers. An abomination of the public/private partnership Clinton used to speak of.

Posted by B.D. | August 11, 2007 7:41 AM

Oh, and one more thing: don't expect your sexual orientation to save you. A little lesson from Vietnam and beyond is that when the U.S. military needs troops they look beyond sexual orientation. Just ask the many gay vets from the Vietnam era. Some were decorated and promoted several times over only to be summarily dismissed as the conflict ended or just afterwards. Already the U.S. military is suggesting amending DADT and saying being gay isn't as big a deal as it once was. Being gay isn't going to save you from the meat grinder folks so don't be complacent and/or smug.

Posted by B.D. | August 11, 2007 7:45 AM

People who think a draft would democratize the military and thus make our leaders think twice about going off to war casually are nuts. The reason Bush wants a draft is to ENABLE more war. He wants to go into Iran but doesn't have the army for it. Iran's going to require another 300,000 troops (not all on the ground there, but overall).

Don't be confused about their motives. Bush's appetite for casualties has barely been whetted. It's just the generals holding him back now because they don't have the men.

If we were genuinely attacked right now, the government would fall. We CANNOT defend ourselves now at even the most basic level. It's that serious.

And don't think there isn't going to be a way out for the children of the wealthy. There always will be. I'm guessing a Rangel exemption for community service will come in handy there.

Posted by Fnarf | August 11, 2007 8:51 AM

Don't be confused about their motives.

Fnarf, don't get me wrong. It's not my business to be a slog cop. Here's a deal: the strnager isn't in my list of bookmarks/faveorite sites, so each time i type t-h-t-e-s-t-r-a-ng-e-r into my google window and then select.

A couple days ago, someone posted a linkj to All the Rage about Islam and the west, maybe a book excerpt. It was always in the top 4 of the goosle results, along with the main page and a link for the blog and the rest. This morning the All the Rage link was gone. No konspiracy if you like, a little confused about the motive. Just about time for me to move on.

Music therapy was literally my first major at skool. Hearing a cerebral palsey girl play chopin at the Pgh school for the blind and deaf was nice stuff, and unheard of since. Be good to do another practicum, student taching.

Diery entry, 2008

Posted by Garrett | August 11, 2007 9:04 AM

People who think a draft would democratize the military and thus make our leaders think twice about going off to war casually are nuts.

That wasn't the point. It's about making the average citizen think twice about supporting a war.

Posted by Gabriel | August 11, 2007 9:24 AM

'Don't ask, don't tell' would likely disappear with reinstatement of the draft - a win and a loss at the same time.

I would welcome the return of the draft if it did not allow for deferments - ie you are fit and 18+, expect to be called up. Perhaps allowing a parallel public service option a la City Year would be a benefit to the greater community.

Put the sons and daughters of the rich and middle class in harm's way and one might find a more prudent and cautious use of our military resources.

Posted by Robert | August 11, 2007 9:49 AM

It won't. The average citizen is happy to send his or her kids to war. It's patriotic. Remember Vietnam? The draft is the difference between a 4,000-dead war and a 60,000-dead war.

Posted by Fnarf | August 11, 2007 9:49 AM

Don't even joke about the draft being a good idea, someone might take you seriously.

We need to look at the root problems of these wars if anything is actually going to get done about it. The unwinnable war on terrorism is a fucking joke. It's simply in our best economic interest to tear down their countries and them put them in debt to rebuild it, get their natural resources, fuel our own military-industrial complex, and involve them in a bitch role in our capital model (it's even better if we can get them to convert to subservient martyr christians!)

I mean come on a fucking draft? Can't we think of a less animalistic way of raising capital then turning an entire nation's children into vicious killing machines savagely ransacking the world?

When I bike to work instead of drive, I honestly don't think about global warming. When I wish our city had a light rail system that runs off of clean power I'm not trying to conform the city to some quacked out vision for an uber efficient perfect society. I simply want to have nothing to do with the headless beast in America that cares for nothing in the world but that which is fueled by oil. We started the war because our economy needed it.

We don't need more protests or people "paying attention", nobody in this country WANTS to be at war (well maybe a few, but they're incorrigible.) What we need is a new economic model that encourages self-sufficient resources.

Fuck global warming! How can we be so vain to think we can control the climate when we can't even stop killing each other over pretty rocks! I mean just look at the diamond industry!

Posted by Cale | August 11, 2007 10:45 AM


I'm exempt, right?

Posted by mr. ryan | August 11, 2007 10:59 AM

Fnarf is just sooo right here that I feel the need to quote him in full (hope you don't mine, dear)

"People who think a draft would democratize the military and thus make our leaders think twice about going off to war casually are nuts. The reason Bush wants a draft is to ENABLE more war. He wants to go into Iran but doesn't have the army for it. Iran's going to require another 300,000 troops (not all on the ground there, but overall).

Don't be confused about their motives. Bush's appetite for casualties has barely been whetted. It's just the generals holding him back now because they don't have the men.

If we were genuinely attacked right now, the government would fall. We CANNOT defend ourselves now at even the most basic level. It's that serious.

And don't think there isn't going to be a way out for the children of the wealthy. There always will be. I'm guessing a Rangel exemption for community service will come in handy there."

Posted by Dianna | August 11, 2007 11:21 AM

Yes... draft. Start it now. Compulsory service.

Posted by david | August 11, 2007 11:27 AM

Fnarf, the "average citizen" is now dead opposed to the war. If the current sentiment had existed in 2002-03, the war likely would not have happened. People allowed themselves to be convinced because there was little at stake for them individually.

Posted by Gabriel | August 11, 2007 11:44 AM

All of the people who are for the draft should go join up themselves, right now. If you're not for you joining up, then don't be for me joining up.

Being for a draft in order to stick it to rich people, is also not going to eliminate their class privilege-- instead, work to take away corporate personhood, increase inheritance taxes, and increase capital gains taxes, etc.

Forcing all people of a certain age to train to kill, and then to send them to actually kill, in the hopes of stopping the killing is a terrible and diaboloical gamble, the logic remniscent of the story The Monkey's Paw.

I'm going to go on record as saying that I don't support the troops. People of all opinions on the war have been brainwashed into saying that we "support the troops." I think we should be asking ourselves, why do we have troops? Do we support what they are forced to do? Do we support the cost of the military at the expense of schools and social programs?

Joining the military in a nation known for its hegemony, in a nation that has caused the death of over a million Iraqis since the start of the latest war, is an irresponsible act. Going to fight in an illegal and unconscionable war is an irresponsible act. The only honorable thing to do in a draft would be to go to jail rather than go kill another person.

I support the people in the military as people, I think they should have decent paying jobs, college scholarships, healthcare, and job re-training in a non-violent WPA like setting, but I don't think the US should even be allowed to have a military, given our track record of what we've done with it.

We definitely should not be adding more people to the military, by force. Build up what you believe in.

Posted by Diana | August 11, 2007 11:55 AM


No, people allowed themselves to be convinced through the Bush administration's fear tactics. When average Americans think that the U.S. is under threat, they will happily send their kids off to war.

Posted by keshmeshi | August 11, 2007 2:02 PM

Draft the gay Canadians! That way you cover all the bases.

Posted by Boomer in NYC | August 11, 2007 2:08 PM

I am going to go on record that Diana is a jackass.

You had me for the first three paragraphs. Your first was particularly good.

However, to say that the pack of 18 - 22 year old kids should go to prison (and Leavenworth is a prison, not a jail) in order to support your moral convictions is absurd.

Is there anything more smugly superior and ineffectually self righteous than telling someone else to sacrifice for your beliefs? This is the whole reason people get worked up about the children of privilege not serving in the wars that their parents start.

It is important to remember that the young adults over there dying are not like you. They are poor and badly educated. They would not have any idea what "hegemony" means and would be irritated when you try to explain it. They have not had the luxury of navel gazing "Philosophy 101" classes. Instead they have been dealing with hard economic realities and persistent military recruiters who hold out the promise of an escape from the low economic class of their parents.

These kids deserve our support. As much as the Republicans would like to conflate supporting them with supporting the President and you would like to conflate supporting them with supporting your version of the evil superpower corrupting the world, neither is true. I support the troops by hoping they stay safe and agitating for them to come home as soon as possible.

Posted by Jim | August 11, 2007 2:55 PM

If the draft's brought back, I think it's reasonable to predict that somebody's going to get assassinated.

Posted by KS | August 11, 2007 8:44 PM

Starting the draft would destroy the GOP.. unfortunately, it would also destroy any assemblance of a U.S. economy dead as several tiers of the population would look to move to Canada or Mexico instead of concentrate on day jobs.

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | August 11, 2007 9:39 PM

Maybe I'll hold off on that laser eye surgery... blindness is finally paying off!

Posted by Alex-jon | August 11, 2007 9:55 PM
Starting the draft (snip) would also destroy any semblance of a U.S. economy dead as several tiers of the population would look to move to Canada or Mexico instead of concentrate on day jobs.

No, actually it would be good for the US economy because it would reduce the labor force while keeping pretty much the same amount of wealth, reducing competition for jobs and raising wages. Until the vets started coming home, anyway.

I suggest you read a history book that covers any war in an industrialized country for the last 140 years or so.

Posted by Judah | August 12, 2007 7:55 AM

Universal National Service is the only way to go. EVERYONE serves 2 years in some capacity or other. You serve our country at age 18; when you have completed your service you get to vote.I know, this will never happen in my lifetime. Strong medecine but the alternative is third world status for the U.S.A.

Posted by steadyjohn | August 12, 2007 10:43 AM

Would having a military draft force young people to open their eyes, politically speaking? Patrotism might begin to be redefined.

Posted by Kristafarian | August 12, 2007 11:04 AM

Dear Jim,

I may be a jackass, but you misread me. I did not suggest that others should go to jail if drafted but not me. I would go to jail if drafted, as well.

And, unfortunately, I may yet get that chance. The last draft versions I read, the ones being circulated and supported by democrats last year, go up to age 37 and include women. I'm not sure what the most current says.

Oh, and substitute your favorite word for hegemony-- that you don't like the word I chose doesn't mean I'm wrong. The intentions of the U.S. in the world are not good. Being condescending to me because you don't like my vocabulary doesn't make you right. You're not going to ridicule me into supporting the troops. (I mean, I already pay taxes that support them, I want them to eat well and to have good healthcare, but I don't suppport their mission in Iraq, nor their jobs in any form, even during peacetime.)

Again, I think we should be supporting the youth of this country with WPA style jobs programs, so they have non-violent options for supporting themselves. This is not a an elitist idea.

Posted by Diana | August 12, 2007 7:16 PM

'prior service'...I cannot BELIEVE you just denigrated draftees by calling them dirty and nasty. You should be ashamed. To so sully the service of so many young men is reprehensible. You don't even know what you're talking about.

Posted by Leslie | August 13, 2007 8:49 AM

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