The Airing of Grievances
Monday, May 03, 2004
"Ain't No Time To Wonder Why, Whoopee! We're All Gonna Die."
A couple of weeks back, I linked to this article detailing what seemed, at the time, a kooky notion of Ralph Nader's that a military draft was imminent. A little over a week later, Senator Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) gave that longshot possibility a bit more legitimacy, in suggesting that military service be compulsory for young men and women, in the face of an increasingly dire situation in Iraq. Still, most people dismissed this as more talk that would not amount to action. After all, bringing back the draft had been discussed, mostly by the left, in the run-up to our invasion of Iraq. Then, it was an attempt to put a human face on what seemed to be the inevitable result of the continued lies and deception of the Bush administration.
This weekend, in a story that is still not getting much press coverage, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reveals that, not only has the possibility of a draft been considered in the upper echelons of the Pentagon recently, future plans would include raising the maximum eligible age for required registration from 25 to 34 and would include women in the determining the future ranks. As background, the Seattle P-I obtained these plans via the Freedom of Information Act, otherwise it would probably still be unavailable for public consumption. Most telling is the date of the proposal in question: February 11, 2003. Six weeks before we began what, in my eyes, was an illegal, immoral, and, in almost all ways, wrongheaded invasion and occupation of Iraq.
AofG does not pretend to think that it knows best on the issues, particularly those pertaining to the Iraq War. I won't speak for Cozmo, but even I, a staunch opposer of this war from Day One, am conflicted about many of its aspects. However, unless the ever-dwindling ranks of the Coalition get cracking on a winning streak to rival that of the '72 Miami Dolphins (not likely, unless sexual abuse is all of the sudden cool-de-la in the Muslim world) or George W. Bush is defeated this fall, I think this is a very real possibility. We now know that Rumsfeld's recent assertions to the contrary are totally bogus. Rumsfeld was quoted as saying "I know of nobody who is studying reinstituting the draft at the present time. And I would think I would know." The release of the February 2003 proposal this weekend shows this to be complete and utter bullshit - the draft proposal in question was made to senior officials at the Pentagon. Unless our Secretary of Defense is so completely out to lunch and not aware of proposals made to his most senior charges (a realistic possibility, believe me), he is, quite simply, lying through his teeth. Either way, do you really trust what this man says, given how easy it is to prove his willingness to deal in falsehoods?
We here at AofG have never asked that you agree with our views and, frankly, don't care all that much if you do or don't. But since our readership, as small as it is, tends to be the 18-34 year old demographic, with maybe even a few parents of future 18-34 year olds thrown in for good measure, I just ask that you think about this scenario when you weigh your alternatives in the next six months. A month ago, it was considered a far-fetched notion. Today, not so much.