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QUOTATION: People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. - Walter H. Judd

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2004-10-10 - 3:55 p.m.

A Rose by Any Other Name

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.
– Plato

And isn’t that just the truth! Plato said what all of us now know: If more of us had voted in the last election, and been better informed, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re now in. Last night’s debate has pretty much been perceived as a narrow win for Kerry…or a draw if you’re a Republican, but I can’t help but wonder when those still saying they're undecided are going to pick up on the fact that our President LIES, DISTORTS, or MISREPRESENTS the truth. Go ahead, pick the word that best suits your sensibilities. Bush repeats things over and over as though repeating will make it so.

Once again, Bush said, “I can see why people think he changes positions a lot, because he does. He said he voted for the $87 billion right before he voted against it. He said he thought Saddam Hussein was a grave threat and now he says it was a mistake to remove Saddam Hussein from power.” That sends a confusing signal to people. I can see why people at your workplace think he changes positions a lot, because he does.” (That’s more or less an exact quote.)

It’s a good example of repeating a half-truth in hopes it will make that flip-flop message stick. He even repeats his main thesis several times during the debate. Senator Kerry voted for the 87 Billion when it was funded by rolling back the tax break for the top one percent so we wouldn't go into debt. When the Republicans shifted the bill to further increase the deficit, Kerry voted against it. I appreciate that Kerry changed his mind in protest over not paying for the war as we go, but burdening future generations. Furthermore, Senator Kerry was opposed to the $20 billion that was included in the bill that was for unspecified contracts (probably to Halliburton). As for the Saddam Hussein issue, Kerry did say that he though he was a threat. He voted to give the President the AUTHORITY to use force if necessary, the authority which would essentially be “carrying a big stick”. The intent was that we needed to let the inspectors finish their job and use diplomacy first and force as a last resort. It was Senator’s Kerry’s position then and it is his position now. I’ve heard him say in plain language over the weeks, “It was a mistake to rush to war as President Bush did. ” This has now been proven true in the Duelfer Report released a couple of days ago.

Bush and Cheney continue to try to tie Iraq to 9/11 in spite of two commissions who have now reported facts to the contrary. re The next question asked Bush how he could justify the invasion of Iraq. Again in this debate, Bush made this attempt. “In a 9/11 world, we can’t take any chances.”

And he keeps distorting and misrepresenting Senator Kerry’s comment about a global test: He said, “You remember the last debate? My opponent said that America must pass a global test before we used force to protect ourselves.” What I heard Senator Kerry said and it has been reported over and over: “If you take preemptive action, you’d better be able to pass the test, the global test of explaining it to your own citizens as well as to the rest of the world.” Global test in this context means…a thorough test, an exhaustive test, a far-reaching all-inclusive test…can you explain why you did it. (Note: You think about whether you’ll be able to explain it to your people and to the world, then you take preemptive action, knowing the reasons behind it are going to be explainable to your people because you’ve thought it through. And furthermore, he thinks you should have a plan for winning not just the war, but the peace, too. (For instance, you should be guarding not just the oil wells, but the arsenal and the things that are important to the people of the country you’re invading.)

And then, he looked directly into the camera and said, basically, “Watch my lips! There will be no draft!”

“Watch my lips! There will be no draft!” – or will here? - a Manpower Delivery System, perhaps?

Now we all know that our President always tells the truth. Right? RIIIIGHGGHHT! Well, there seems to be growing rumblings to the contrary…and a $28 million allocation for the Selective Service for 2005.


An excerpt from “blatant truth.org”


The official Selective Service web site notes that $28 million is being spent next year to have the draft ready for activation within 75 days by March 31, 2005:

Strategic Goal 1: Increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the Manpower Delivery Systems (Projected allocation for FY 2004—$7,942,000)

. . . Strategic Objective 1.2: Ensure a mobilization infrastructure of 56 State Headquarters, 442 Area Offices and 1,980 Local Boards are operational within 75 days of an authorized return to conscription. . . .

Strategic Goal 2: Improve overall Registration Compliance and Service to the Public (Projected allocation FY 2004—$8,769,000) . . .

Strategic Goal 3: Enhance external and internal customer service (Projected allocation for FY 2004—$10,624,000) . . .

Strategic Goal 4: Enhance the system which guarantees that each conscientious objector is properly classified, placed, and monitored.(Projected allocation for FY 2004—$955,000) . . .

Among the performance goals for 2004: “Prepare and conduct an Area Office Prototype Exercise which tests the activation process from SSS Lottery input to the issuance of the first Armed Forces Examination Orders.” Also “Ensure 90% of people tested are capable of implementing activation procedures” and “Answer correspondence in less than 10 days.”

Manpower Delivery System = Selective Service = Draft! A rose by any other name...

Kids


Col. David H. Hackworth (USA Ret.)
SFTT.org, October 4, 2004

Recently, when John Kerry brought up the possibility of a return to the draft, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was quick to respond that Kerry was full of it.

But my take is that Kerry is right on the mark. Not only because Rummy has been flat wrong on every major military call regarding Iraq, but because this is a war that won’t be won by smart weapons or the sledgehammer firepower we see every night on the tube.

Right now—with both our regular and Reserve soldiers stretched beyond the breaking point—our all-volunteer force is tapping out. If our overseas troop commitments continue at the present rate or climb higher, there won’t be enough Army and Marine grunts to do the job. And thin, overworked units, from Special Forces teams to infantry battalions, lose fights.

Clearly, this war against worldwide, hardcore Islamic believers will be a massive military marathon, the longest and most far-flung in our country’s history. By Christmas, more troops could be needed not only in Iraq and Afghanistan, but wherever the radical Islamic movement is growing stronger, from the Horn of Africa to Morocco, Kenya, Somalia, Yemen and across Europe—remember Spain?!—to Asia. . . .

Although Pentagon puff artists insist they’re making quota, recruiters are already saying it would be easier to find $100 bills on the sidewalk outside a homeless shelter than fill their enlistment quotas, even with the huge bonuses now being paid.

So the draft—which will include both boys and girls this time around—is a no-brainer in ‘05 and ‘06. . . . .

Rumsfeld, in fact, has already kicked off the anti-draft campaign by denigrating the draftees who fought in Vietnam. The SecDef, who prefers sycophants who don’t ask questions, recently stated that Vietnam-era draftees added “No value, no advantage, really, to the United States armed services . . . because . . . it took an enormous amount of effort in terms of training, and then they were gone.”

Wrong once again. I led draftees for almost four years in Vietnam and for several years during the Korean War. If well-led, there are no finer soldiers. Ask the Nazis, the Japanese and the Reds in Korea and in Vietnam, where “no value” draftees cleaned their clocks in fight after fight.

Israel, a country that has lived under the barrel of the Islamic terrorist gun for decades, has the most combat-experienced counterinsurgent force in the world—and boy and girl draftees are its major resource.

Count on it. We will follow their lead.

You may remember that several weeks ago, I mentioned that my daughter, who teaches at UC Irvine and consults with the Irvine School District, had heard through the grapevine that recruiter options are somehow tied to the No Child Left Behind program. Alan Bock speaks of this in this excerpt from Eye on the Empire

Eye on the Empire


Feeling a Draft
Alan Bock, AntiWar.com, December 2, 2003
He explains the connection between provisions of “No Child Left Behind” and a potential draft.

…NO CHILD UNRECRUITED

Hidden deep in the vaunted "No Child Left Behind" act which substantially increased the federal government's power and control over most aspects of the educational system (another Constructive Republican Alternative Proposal, no doubt), is Section 9528, which states in part:

"…each educational agency receiving assistance under this Act shall provide, on a request made by military recruiters or an institution of higher education, access to secondary school students' names, addresses, and telephone listings." That act does include a provision to the effect that a student or parent may request that the student's name not be released without prior parental approval, but notification to parents of this right is spotty or buried in acres of fine print. So military recruiters are going after high school students fairly aggressively.

Conscription might make such aggressive recruitment unnecessary – or plant the seeds for a future rebellion against conscription. It is worth noting that active college campus protests against the Vietnam war came to a virtual end when the draft was repealed back in 1973. It is hardly a denigrating comment to note that college students facing imminent conscription to fight and die for Uncle Sam tend to be more activist than those for whom the fighting is either something seen on


Not Enough Troops – or Truth


by Ray McGovern

It's not an if, it's a when.

Pentagon officials have indicated that they plan to send as many as 15,000 more troops to Iraq during the first four months of 2005, and President Bush continues to insist that "we will stay the course" until Iraq is stabilized.

Where will the additional troops come from? The Bush administration insists that there will be no draft, but the "backdoor draft" that has kept so many from the Reserve and National Guard on active duty has backfired, as quotas for new enlistments have not been met. So plans are already advanced for fully mobilizing the Reserve and National Guard.

But how many troops would be needed to stabilize Iraq? The well-respected International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, before which the president spoke last November, says 500,000. Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki told Congress publicly before the war that "several hundred thousand" troops would be needed. It turns out that he was asking for 400,000, fully aware that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was planning to attack and occupy Iraq with just a fraction of that. Rumsfeld gave him the back of his hand.

At this point, to be unaware of the requirement for additional troops while watching the burgeoning chaos in Iraq, requires a Ph.D. in denial. Indeed, cracks can be seen within the president's own camp, regarding what is happening in Iraq.

While the president promotes the bromide of "months of steady progress" in Iraq, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) calls this a "grand illusion." Last month, Secretary of State Colin Powell gave tacit, but unambiguous, support to the gloomy conclusions reached in the recent National Intelligence Estimate.

President Bush says that he will provide more troops if commanders ask for them. But it would mean early retirement for any general making such a request before the election….

A less gloomy point of view from “chailife.”


Read another point of view at “chailife” I’m hoping she’s right…and all these other folks are wrong. But the elephant in the room around college campuses is definitely the draft!

Senator Kerry has a plan to speed up the training of Iraqi security troops. He says there’s no reason to train their troops in Iraq if there’s not enough security to make that feasible. They can be transported out of Iraq and trained elsewhere. I’ve only heard that mentioned once, but it sounds like a sensible plan to me.

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