Read My Lips: No New Draft!

Yeah, and bush was also going to pay for our efforts in Iraq with all that oil money remember? No, it’s pretty obvious what’s going on: Shrub’s aides are literally freaking out over the new Democratic talking point that bush may well re-introduce the draft. But the point is totally valid, especially in light of a recent flood of articles detailing how poorly prepared we were (and are) for the Iraqi occupation and how our military manpower is stretched to the breaking point.

Paul Krugman offers a cogent and all-too-plausible scenario for seeing bush break his word come 2005.

Those who are worrying about a revived draft are in the same position as those who worried about a return to budget deficits four years ago, when President Bush began pushing through his program of tax cuts. Back then he insisted that he wouldn’t drive the budget into deficit – but those who looked at the facts strongly suspected otherwise. Now he insists that he won’t revive the draft. But the facts suggest that he will.

There were two reasons some of us never believed Mr. Bush’s budget promises. First, his claims that his tax cuts were affordable rested on patently unrealistic budget projections. Second, his broader policy goals, including the partial privatization of Social Security – which is clearly on his agenda for a second term – would involve large costs that were not included even in those unrealistic projections. This led to the justified suspicion that his election-year promises notwithstanding, Mr. Bush would preside over a return to budget deficits.

It’s exactly the same when it comes to the draft. Mr. Bush’s claim that we don’t need any expansion in our military is patently unrealistic; it ignores the severe stress our Army is already under. And the experience in Iraq shows that pursuing his broader foreign policy doctrine – the “Bush doctrine” of pre-emptive war – would require much larger military forces than we now have.

This leads to the justified suspicion that after the election, Mr. Bush will seek a large expansion in our military, quite possibly through a return of the draft.

Mr. Bush’s assurances that this won’t happen are based on a denial of reality.

The funny thing is, the RNC is saying groups like Rock the Vote (and John Kerry) have no right to raise the possibility of a draft because bush says it won’t happen. As if his word makes it so. Sorry, but trust has to be earned, and at this point bush has precious little trust to bank upon.

Meanwhile, as Krugman notes, our “volunteer army” isn’t so voluntary anymore, with many servicepeople being kept in the military past their agreed terms of enlistment by “stop loss” orders.

Krugman closes on an ominous note.

The reality is that the Iraq war, which was intended to demonstrate the feasibility of the Bush doctrine, has pushed the U.S. military beyond its limits. Yet there is no sign that Mr. Bush has been chastened. By all accounts, in a second term the architects of that doctrine, like Paul Wolfowitz, would be promoted, not replaced. The only way this makes sense is if Mr. Bush is prepared to seek a much larger Army – and that means reviving the draft.

Did you hear that, my young friends? A draft under a second bush term is all but inevitable, and don’t believe the soothing voices of the right promising it just isn’t so. Just as they promised we’d be greeted in Iraq with flowers and chocolates, they’re now promising we have enough troops no matter what those annoying intelligence reports say.

If I were a college freshman, I’d be very disturbed to contemplate the possibility of being shipped off to die in bush’s dirty, ugly little war. Thank God there’s something they can do about it.

The Discussion: 5 Comments

This is one story that I do feel is a scare story. I don’t think that the American public would stand for the draft and both Kerry and Bush know this. If either one were to try and introduce it, then they would face two sets of nationwide protests. One from the people who don’t want to be drafted and the other from the military who wouldn’t want a lot of inexperienced soldeirs who didn’t want to be there turning up in a war zone.

The president who intriduced the draft without enemies literally arriving on the shores of the United States, would be the first president in history to be ousted in a revolution. Imagine Vietnam era protests but with todays actavist generation and media. It would be political homicde to introduce the draft in modern day America.

The US has more than enough soldiers, sailors and airmen, and unfortunately a lot of them seem to be camped in Okinawa, Yokohama and Yokosuka.

Maybe the US should consentrate on making fewer enemies. If they would just sign a peace treaty with North Korea and then move its troops out of Japan then it would have men to spare for this idiot war on terror.

America has troops in about as many countries as Nazi Germany did.

October 19, 2004 @ 8:42 pm | Comment

Hey, we had a draft back in the Vietnam days, not that long ago. I really believe it is not a scare story, but a real and looming probability. We simply don’t have enough boots on the ground, and the national guard is so distraught an entire platoon refused to obey their orders. bush ois caught between Iraq and a hard place on this one — there’s no way he can avoid bringing back the draft if he wants to occupy Iraq forever and then turn to iran and elsewhere. The math won’t allow it.

October 19, 2004 @ 9:02 pm | Comment

Now I know I’m not the only one who likes ‘Hot Shots 2’- Iraq and a hard place, but I can think of at least 3 hard places.

Yup, America had a draft back in the Vietnam days. And America lost. And from what I’ve heard, America put itself through hell back then- not just in Nam, but in America itself.

Maybe should (God forbid) Bush actually manage to win an election (or be re-appointed), the draft would turn out to have a silver lining- that revolution ACB speaks of would be an effective way of evicting the squatter from the White House.

October 20, 2004 @ 4:36 am | Comment

If Bush wins, I almost hope there *is* a draft, simply for the pleasure of watching the members of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders contort themselves into interesting pretzel-like shapes as they try to reconcile their draft-evading antics with their passionate advocacy of Li’l George’s foreign policy.

In fact, maybe it’s time to start drawing up a list of prominent warbloggers who are between the ages of 18 and 35. This will greatly facilitate Operation Name ‘n’ Shame, should the above-mentioned scenario come to pass.

October 20, 2004 @ 8:27 am | Comment

The draft was ok when people didn’t know how bad war really was, and when your avergage America youth was clean cut and nieve.

Now, I wouldn’t give most of the 18+ year olds in America a toy gun let alone a real one.

The draft in the 60s caught a lot of poor blacks and the whites who didn’t try to, or couldn’t evade it. Imagine a platoon made up of east/west side boys. Even the Marine corp wouldn’t be able to control them. An amry made of of ill disiplined, youth would be worse than an army made up of a core of trained professinoals, not that America seems to have many of them right now.

The draft would do nothing but lower the standards of the army etc, and aside from the special units, it is already a bit of a rabble.

The US has pleanty enough men, go to Okinawa, I’ll show them to you. Look a GI, look 10 more, hey that’s a hummer parked in my space. You can’t walk around some places without tripping over a GI. They problem is that America has too many hotspots and too many places that it just won’t let go of.

The reason why the US isn’t shipping out more of its troops from places like Okinawa and Europe, is because they know that people would likely protest about them coming back after the war.

Come on, Why does America need to have such a disperced army, Iraq OK, Afganistan, yes, but Japan, Itally, and Saudi. Why?

The US is fighting on too many fronts and is hanging on to the vestigaes of an empire. If it consilidated, the draft wouldn’t even be worth thinking of.

October 21, 2004 @ 9:17 pm | Comment

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