October 29, 2004
DEALING WITH THAT DRAFT RUMOR. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld writes:
To my knowledge, in the time I have served as secretary of Defense, the idea of reinstating draft has never been debated, endorsed, discussed, theorized, pondered, or even whispered by anyone in the Bush administration.
But are the people who believe the rumor about the draft going to believe Rumsfeld? I’d like to think people are getting savvier about political manipulation all the time. But I guess then you have to be skeptical of Rumsfeld as well as the people who are selling the draft rumor. Who knows what force drives people down one decisional path or another? I’m glad no one really knows how people decide who and what to believe. It make it harder to manipulate them. That the human mind is a mystery is one of the great safeguards of democracy.
UPDATE: Or is the mystery about to be unlocked?
ANOTHER UPDATE: Several people emailed me a link to this lame Tom Harkin piece, aimed at Minnesota students. But this is the email-of-the-day on the draft, I think:
Short of a hot WWIV in which our borders are overrun with hordes of enemy combatants, there will be no draft and conscription of “cannon fodder”! My husband works very high-level force reconfiguration issues for the Army and I can PROMISE you there is no talk of a military draft. A draft is the last thing our professional armed forces need and want. Draftees are a tremendous drag on the system, training and discipline issues are just for starters, and the military has studied for years how important domestic political goodwill is essential for supporting military ops and campaigns. Drafting unqualified and unhappy warm bodies into the military would degrade our readiness to a tragic degree, and our military from the top brass down to Privates knows this. Viscerally. Remember ‘Nam?
Today, we have the best armed forces in the solar system, with motivated, highly qualified, and super competent personnel. Yes, they are stretched in our current engagements, but not to the breaking point. Redeployments, force reconfigurations and hardware systems coming on line will alleviate and strengthen any strain. Also, re-enlistment rates are quite good. The only people “asking” for a draft are liberal Democrat scaremongers in Congress who have cravenly written up some draft bills that are essentially dead but which are being used to trick our young folk into believing they are at risk of being conscripted. The effect of what they are doing is also to treat even voluntary service as if it were something to be avoided. Dems don’t have to say this directly, only to raise the specter of military time as being one of privation and death.
There is no equivalency between Rumsfeld’s denial about the draft and authoritative word on this issue and that of unethical Democrat partisans using cheap fear tactics in an important election. This situation alone, their unbelievably irresponsible and dishonest abuse of our military and its planners, would compel me never to put Kerry and his DNC in charge of our armed forces. They have gone and are going a lie too far. They don’t care the damage they do to military morale or to citizens’ trust in our military and their policy. And they’re doing this while our amazing men and women are in harm’s way on our account and while they are accomplishing all sorts of “progressive” missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, such as allowing for democratic elections and more civil liberties and building infrastructure in countries that had suffered under regimes deadly dangerous to us and to their own people.
Oh, I forgot. “Progressive” these days doesn’t mean in support of liberation, democracy, security and prosperity for those living under oppressors and madmen opposed to the US. My bad!