Friday, August 10, 2007

The Dirtiest Five Letter Word

We were hoodwinked once, and it won’t happen again.

In a piece reported today by the Associated Press’ Richard Lardner, President Bush’s new war adviser stated in an interview that it is worth considering a draft to bolster depleted troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, speaking to National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” made the assertion when asked about the stress on our nation’s military. “I think it makes sense to certainly consider it. And I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table.”

Is this just one more option secretly debated by the Bush administration only to be thrust upon us after yet another alleged terrorist threat? It seems like these unthinkable ideas pop up immediately after we have been told that we should be very afraid. We made need to invade Iran. There will be more attacks on American soil. And now, we will need to start up the draft. No way, Mr. Bush, it is not going to happen.

The Selective Service System provided troops for wars dating back to the Civil War, and arguably, citizens needed to report for military service to insure their country’s security and protect its interests. After the Second World War, however, Americans were drafted under false pretenses leading to tremendous loss of life in Korea and Vietnam. Why? To stem the tide of communism. Communism is long gone, and the Cold War is over. We lost Vietnam. If Bush and his minions think that a draft is necessary for the current situation in Iraq and Afghanistan, they must make a better case than they have up until now. We know they lied about the weapons in Iraq, so how much credibility do they really have?

Also, according to the report, Lute has not been the first person to suggest a return to the draft. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y. has called for a draft as well as a way to end the war in Iraq. How ridiculous! We can end the war in Iraq by simply bringing our troops home. The people of Iraq do not want us there. The place is mired in civil war. Arguably, every day we stay, we are generating more anti-American sentiment. That will translate into future terrorist attacks for years to come. No draft will help that situation. Mr. Rangel should be thrown out of office for even suggesting such an idea.

Here is why the draft will not happen. Americans remember, all too clearly, the Vietnam debacle. Bush does not have the backing of the American people anymore. Iraq has nothing to do with the terrorist attacks of 9-11. No American interests are threatened by the war in Iraq. The only thing that comes close to an American interest is the amount of oil in the region, which Bush and his cronies hope to secure for their own profits.

Here is why we must bring our troops home now. Lives are being lost without any discernible benefit: we are not safer, we are not preventing attacks by meddling in a civil war, and we are actually encouraging more attacks with our presence in the country.

The Bush argument is that we will seriously destabilize the region if we leave now. The region is already in chaos. We need to try some diplomacy. By using our Arab allies in the region, may be we can stop the violence and bloodshed. It is clear our military presence has been a failure there.

It is interesting to note that Lute took the job as a war adviser after several retired generals turned down the offer. They were smart. This is a quagmire of monumental proportions. People expect things to change in 2008, but I am wondering if we can even wait that long. With the behavior of the Bush administration, we can no longer say with any certainty that he will be a lame-duck president. His actions seem to suggest that he is intent on pursuing a course of action that will lead this country into greater losses of life and further ill-will from the rest of the world.

But the bottom line is, if President Bush and Lt. Gen. Lute decide that a draft is the next step, his daughters, the Bush twins, better be the first to put on the Army uniform. This man has sacrificed enough of other Americans’ sons and daughters with his ineptitude.

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