1. Will There Be A Draft?
There is not a whole lot of talk going on about the possibility of a draft from the Press or the Politicians. Yet it is looking likely one will be needed, according to Rumsfield's prediction of a "long hard slog". Especially given the fact so many of our troops are exhausted and have had their tour of duty extended.
Sounds like Kerry's talking draft....
Salon.com covers his "Military Mission" (March 17, 2004)
... and Kerry's criticisms of Bush's "stop-loss" program and "backdoor draft strategy". (June 4, 2004)
On the other hand, a Google search for a direct statement by Bush on the subject netted...nadda.
Apparently, we're getting no promises from the most powerful man in the free world. He leaves the talking to Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, who dismisses Kerry's assertions regarding Bush's military plans with one word--"absurd". (Washington Post June 4, 2004)
Both articles say the same thing. It still amazes me, how all the copy sounds alike, as if each newspaper gets the same P.R. guy/gal's transcript off the fax machine and then just spits it back out to the public. Why do we only get the one word from Sen. Mitch McConnell? ABSURD. Where is the journalism in that?
"Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that military planners had already devised plans to replace the 20,000 whose tours had been extended, should US commanders determine that they still need 135,000 troops in July. He added that the Pentagon had 'thought through' what measures would be taken should even more troops be requested," reports The World Socialist Website. (April 22, 2004)
2. Can you tell us about your plans to replace the troops, Mr. President? No more double-talk please. No more evasive tactics.
3. So. About Compulsory Civilian/Military Service. When will it be put into effect?
4. What sort of Civilian Service will be required instead of active Military Duty? How will someone qualify or be chosen for such?
5. Who and how many will be drafted; in what order of priority? What about people with handicaps, criminal backgrounds, gays, married couples with children, pregnant women and women who become pregnant after drafted? What concessions are intended for "Widows with sons/daughters" aka "Saving Private Ryan"?
6. How about Conscientious Objectors and Pacifists? Will they have an option to refuse participation?
7. Let's look at the "Smart Border Declaration". (CNN December 13, 2001)
What's the status on the project? Does this mean no dodgers can head to Canada?
8. Will all college students be forced to interrupt their degree programs, no exceptions?
9. What is the projected time span for the draft? Decades, months, years? At what point will troops be withdrawn from Iraq? What about the "Permanent War on Terrorism"? How will it determine the tenure of the Compulsory Service Program? Specifics please.
10. Last but certainly not least to be considered is this concern. There have been many incidences of suicide by soldiers. Just look at the recent news coverage concerning the military's treatment of Prisoners of War. Are we supposed to quietly accept mandatory service in the military and willingly be trained to behave like animals?
The question for me these days is; what can one little guppy do? I am determined to find out and plan on doing my utmost to rock the boat.
These questions will be put to the who's who, the venerable venerables, the politicians and the press, and any and every organization I can think of. I'm going to poke and prod and pinch all the sleeping dawgs I can find.
I'll report back on a regular basis and let you know how it goes.
Dear reader, you are invited to do the same and join in the game. Believe me, we are going to have some fun.
It is as easy as 1, 2, 3 with the Internet and I'm doing my best to make it easier still. Have put together a site with a spin. "M.A.D. Mad About the Draft". It's a one-stop shop for information and action. Want to, Talk About the Draft? Want to know how to organize a protest? How to be an activist? Contact a politician? Be a M.A.D. Hatter?
Check it out:
Well...best be signing off for now. Good night America. Sleep well...but don't forget to wake up when you smell the coffee.
This article is the second in a series. If you missed the first, "Numb and Nummer: Let's Talk About the Draft," can be found at Richmond Indymedia.