Friday, August 10, 2007

Military Draft? Another Word to Watch For

I think we can count on hearing more about this in the next few months. The Pacific Free Press ran an article that's so new, it's dated August 11, 2007, headlined "Is there a Draft in the Air?"

The lead paragraph shows an image labeled "Draft Dodger Safe House," with a woman whose skirt bears the Canadian maple leaf holding the hand of an adorable little boy with a star-spangled banner shirt.

The article recalls that last year "Charles Rangel proposed just such a draft in the belief, he said, that middle class, largely white Americans who support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan may be less enthusiastic were it their kids shipping out."

What actually happened was that Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, the new "war czar," or "War Adviser," was on Public Radio's "All Things Considered." General Lute stated that reinstating the draft was an option that had been 'on the table' all along, and said that, "I think it makes sense to certainly consider it," which made sense in the context of long tours of duty in the U.S. armed forces.

If the U.S. military were to reject the idea of reinstating the draft, there should be op-ed pieces suggesting incompetence. My understanding is that it is the Pentagon's job, in part, to provide the civilian leadership of America with options.

Another point is that the "All Things Considered" interview also showed General Lute saying, "Today, the current means of the all-volunteer force is serving us exceptionally well."

It is possible that the draft, abolished by President Nixon in 1973, will be brought back. I doubt that this will happen with the current administration. What happens after the 2008 elections is another matter.

Meanwhile, I'm going to keep urging voters to think first, then vote.

Think, not feel.

I contrasted "war czar" and "war adviser" earlier. Both terms were used to describe General Lute. In my opinion, "war czar" was intended to portray the general as part of an autocratic regime, to be feared by the masses. That may be over-stating it, but not by all that much.

As I've said before, watch for emotionally-charged words and phrases: then think!

2 comments:

Dana said...

It is kind of sad that we can be attacked and still be unsure of whether or not we will have enough men voluntarily enlist.

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

Men and women, these days. I'm not quite as concerned, remembering the dramatic increase in volunteers after 9/11.

I do think that the unrelenting drumbeat of bad, sad, news from Iraq is not helping.

There may be a lesson here, though: if news services would devote that much effort to showing gruesome details of the daily vehicular accidents in America, people here might stop driving entirely, opting to sit in the corner of a quiet room, shivering.

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