Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Only If Sen. Hagel's Kids Go First

I'm guessing this is the beginning of the official rollout... introducing us to the idea gradually, y'see...

Senator says US may need compulsory service to boost Iraq force

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A senior Republican lawmaker said that deteriorating security in Iraq may force the United States to reintroduce the military draft.

"There's not an American ... that doesn't understand what we are engaged in today and what the prospects are for the future," Senator Chuck Hagel told a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on post-occupation Iraq.

"Why shouldn't we ask all of our citizens to bear some responsibility and pay some price?" Hagel said, arguing that restoring compulsory military service would force "our citizens to understand the intensity and depth of challenges we face."

The Nebraska Republican added that a draft, which was ended in the early 1970s, would spread the burden of military service in Iraq more equitably among various social strata.

"Those who are serving today and dying today are the middle class and lower middle class," he observed.

First off, the draft might indeed bring a few more middle-class people into the military, but don't let that fool you into thinking that any of the privileged class's children are going to be dying in Iraq. George W. Bush could explain better than I how that works.

More importantly, the ultimate logistic need for a draft has been patently obvious for months now to anyone paying attention. We never had enough troops there in the first place, the situation may be on its way to becoming a meat grinder for Americans as well as Iraqis, and those who are currently serving voluntarily are increasingly saying that there's no way in hell they'll sign up for another run once they finally get sent home. Combine that with the hundreds who have died and the thousands that have been sent home irreparably damaged, and you're looking at a substantial drop in the number of troops available in Iraq, when there already weren't enough to begin with. And that spells DRAFT.

Politically, of course, it's another question. Will Americans -- who are already experiencing some pretty deep misgivings about the situation over there -- feel able to support this war not by slapping flag decals on the backs of their cars, or by watching a lot of FOX News, but rather by sacrificing the lives of their own precious sons and daughters for Iraqi "freedom"?

I'd guess probably not. But then, god knows I've been wrong about how gullible and self-destructive Americans can be before.

Sen. Hagel asks, "Why shouldn't we ask all of our citizens to bear some responsibility and pay some price?" Well, I'll tell you: this isn't a necessary war. Even if we assume that such a thing exists, this is, pretty much by definition, not one of them. But if indeed all citizens should bear some responsibility and pay some price, that's fine... so long as the Republicans go first.
4:02 PM ::
Amy :: permalink