May 29, 2006
How to Truly Honor Our Dead
In a single sentence New York Times columnist Bob Herbert (no free link) tells us how to scrape Georgie's Excellent Adventure off our national shoe:
Start sending the children of the well-to-do to Baghdad, and start raising taxes to pay off the many hundreds of billions that the war is costing, and watch how quickly this tragic fiasco is brought to an end.
Posted by Jerome Doolittle at May 29, 2006 10:35 AM
You've got that right, but it can't be done. A draft? Bushco has proven that won't get the children of the well-to-do into harm's way. They'll get deferments or be tucked away in a National Guard somewhere.
Raise taxes on the rich? Man you really are a joker.
Raise taxes on the rest of Americans? Now that is a possibility and might cause a change in attitude.
How about rationing? That would probably do the trick.
A draft wouldn't get the rich (though fleeing into the National Guard is a bad joke these days), but it would get the middle class, or what's left of it. That's why we don't have a draft now: this administration doesn't remember much about Viet Nam but they do remember how the draft mobilized the middle class, particularly college students of draft age, against the war.
What's worse is all those contractors. Bush is just paying his way out of this war. Reduce the number of troops? No problem. Just hire more contractors at exorbitant sums. There outghta be a law. You don't go to war without paying for it. No one except the troops are paying for this war and they volunteered.
The rate limiting factor for Bush43's foreign adventures is the number of soldiers and marines that he can put on the ground in any one place. Give the man a draft, let him put another million or two into uniform with a draft, and then he can invade two or three more countries.
One of the purposes of the all volunteer army, was to provide a feedback mechanism to limit unpopular wars. It is a very slow acting mechanism, but I have no doubt that the all volunteer army has helped serve to help curb Bush's dreams of Empire. With a draft, we would undoubtedly be in Syria, Iran and Lebanon by now.
There are those who say that it disproportionately affects the lower classes. They should have seen Vietnam. While a higher proportion of middle and upper class men were drafted, they tended to be better educated, and got many more of the noncombatant slots. The ill educated became infantry and grunts, suffering higher rates of combat injuries.