Monday, January 29, 2007

Fuck the Draft, Redux

In the pre-quel to this post, I wrote:
In the past, we needed to institute a draft to protect us from the Fascism of the Axis powers. Later, we imposed a draft in the vain belief that we needed it to protect us from the totalitarianism of Chinese Communism and Soviet world domination. Now, as Charlie Rangel argues, we may need to institute a draft to protect us from American fascism. He’s got a point there.
An article, Fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan stirs thoughts of resurrecting draft, in the Anchorage Daily News on January 28th proves the point.

The Army now has about 512, 000 active duty soldiers. Bush intends to add 92,000 soldiers and marines over the next five years, which is about an 18% increase. Regarding the draft, the article reported:
“The Pentagon estimates that it would cost about $4 billion more a year to reinstate the draft. New facilities would have to be built to train and house the large numbers of inductees who’d be brought into uniform each year.”
Wait just a doggone minute!

First of all, when was the last time you heard someone in the Pentagon kvetch about spending money. It’s a new one on me.

Second, just because you have a draft, doesn’t mean you have to call up anything close to the number of young people who are eligible. The article states:
About 4 million men and women reach military age each year, but the military needs only a small fraction of that number. That’s a fact that those who argue for a return to the draft tend to overlook, said Bernard D. Rostker, the author of “I want You: The Evolution of the All-Volunteer Force.”
Okay, Bernie, so now I am laser focused on it. The way I figure, if 4 million young people come of military age, you need to draft about 2.3% of them to meet the 92,000 goal stated by the Bush administration.

You could accomplish this goal by putting 365 slips of paper in a fishbowl with a different day of the year written on each one. Randomly select 10, and if your birthday is called, you have been selected to serve by your Selective Service. If this plan is followed, the Pentagon will have enough draftees to meet the goal, even after allowing for deferments and exclusions.

Since King George the Incompetent has announced that he intends to enlist this many anyway, the additional cost should be limited to the price of a fishbowl and 365 slips of paper. You can use the change from that $4 Billion to make sure the draftees, and the enlistees, are well equipped.

I am at a total loss to understand why the Generals in the Pentagon would oppose this plan unless it is because Generals do what they are told to do by the civilian leadership in the Pentagon and the White House. And, as I argued in Fuck the Draft, a draft would protect this country from homegrown fascism. That’s got to be bad for the current White House residents, and their fellow travelers in the Party of Bush.

Let me be perfectly clear. I am not advocating in favor of a draft. I still can’t overcome the feeling that involuntary servitude is against deeply held beliefs about what America promises her citizens. Moreover, I don’t trust the government with the lives of young people. But in the arguments for and against the idea, I see responsible people on the left arguing that our country is at risk of falling into fascism, and on the right, I see people providing the evidence.

“… and tell ’em Big Mitch sent ya!”

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