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Military Draft: Likely? or Rumor?

NBC Nightly News - Newscast about draft rumors, late September 2004
Draft Rumors Wafting on Campus -- Fliers raise specter of Vietnam but some call it scare tactic (from Denver Post, Sept 29, 2004
With Military Stretched Thin, Draft Rumors Persist -- Published Monday, October 4, by the Baltimore Sun
Transcript of the  October 8 Presidential Debate:  Question 6 : President Bush, how will you maintain our military strength without a draft?

GIBSON: We're going to move on, Mr. President, with a question for you. And it comes from Daniel Farley.

Mr. Farley?

QUESTIONER: Mr. President, since we continue to police the world, how do you intend to maintain our military presence without reinstituting a draft?

BUSH: Yes, that's a great question. Thanks.

I hear there's rumors on the Internets that we're going to have a draft. We're not going to have a draft, period. The all- volunteer army works. It works particularly when we pay our troops well. It works when we make sure they've got housing, like we have done in the last military budgets.

An all-volunteer army is best suited to fight the new wars of the 21st century, which is to be specialized and to find these people as they hide around the world. We don't need mass armies anymore. One of the things we've done is we've taken the -- we're beginning to transform our military.

And by that I mean we're moving troops out of Korea and replacing them with more effective weapons. We don't need as much manpower on the Korean Peninsula to keep a deterrent.

In Europe, we have massed troops as if the Soviet Union existed and was going to invade into Europe, but those days are over with. And so we're moving troops out of Europe and replacing it with more effective equipment.

So to answer your question is, we're withdrawing, not from the world, we're withdrawing manpower so they can be stationed here in America, so there's less rotation, so life is easier on their families and therefore more likely to be -- we'll be more likely to be able to keep people in the all-volunteer army.

One of the more important things we're doing in this administration is transformation. There are some really interesting technologies. For instance, we're flying unmanned vehicles that can send real-time messages back to stations in the United States. That saves manpower, and it saves equipment.

It also means that we can target things easier and move more quickly, which means we need to be lighter and quicker and more facile and highly trained.

Now, forget all this talk about a draft. We're not going to have a draft so long as I am the president.

GIBSON: Sen. Kerry, a minute and a half.

KERRY: Daniel, I don't support a draft.

But let me tell you where the president's policies have put us.

The president -- and this is one of the reasons why I am very proud in this race to have the support of Gen. John Shalikashvili, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Adm. William Crowe, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Gen. Tony McPeak, who ran the air war for the president's father and did a brilliant job, supporting me; Gen. Wes Clark, who won the war in Kosovo, supporting me; because they all -- and Gen. Baca, who was the head of the National Guard, supporting me. Why? Because they understand that our military is overextended under the president.

Our Guard and Reserves have been turned into almost active duty. You've got people doing two and three rotations. You've got stop-loss policies, so people can't get out when they were supposed to. You've got a back-door draft right now.

And a lot of our military are underpaid. These are families that get hurt. It hurts the middle class. It hurts communities, because these are our first responders. And they're called up. And they're over there, not over here.

Now, I'm going to add 40,000 active duty forces to the military, and I'm going to make people feel good about being safe in our military, and not overextended, because I'm going to run a foreign policy that actually does what President Reagan did, President Eisenhower did, and others.

We're going to build alliances. We're not going to go unilaterally. We're not going to go alone like this president did.

GIBSON: Mr. President, let's extend for a minute...

BUSH: Let me just -- I've got to answer this.

GIBSON: Exactly. And with Reservists being held on duty...


BUSH: Let me answer what he just said, about around the world.

GIBSON: Well, I want to get into the issue of the back-door draft...

BUSH: You tell Tony Blair we're going alone. Tell Tony Blair we're going alone. Tell Silvio Berlusconi we're going alone. Tell Aleksander Kwasniewski of Poland we're going alone.

There are 30 countries there. It denigrates an alliance to say we're going alone, to discount their sacrifices. You cannot lead an alliance if you say, you know, you're going alone. And people listen. They're sacrificing with us.

GIBSON: Senator?

KERRY: Mr. President, countries are leaving the coalition, not joining. Eight countries have left it.

If Missouri, just given the number of people from Missouri who are in the military over there today, were a country, it would be the third largest country in the coalition, behind Great Britain and the United States. That's not a grand coalition.

Ninety percent of the casualties are American. Ninety percent of the costs are coming out of your pockets.

I could do a better job. My plan does a better job. And that's why I'll be a better commander in chief.

You're Gonna Get Drafted

You blew it: You didn't vote last time, or voted for Nader or Bush, and now you're gonna get DRAFTED.  There's no way around it now, the draft is almost a certainty.

You're hearing about Reserve and National Guard units being called up, and about people not allowed to leave the military even though their term is up. Have you thought about what this means to you? You KNOW this means they're having trouble finding enough soldiers to go to Iraq, right? Of course Bush doesn’t want to start the draft BEFORE the election. Duh!  But what do you think happens the day AFTER the election?  I repeat, they are having trouble finding enough soldiers to go to Iraq. Think about it.  Right, you're gonna get drafted.

Or, maybe you think they can't do that? Maybe you think the draft doesn't happen in America. Maybe you think they can't just grab your ass up off the street, stick a rifle in your hands and send you off to war? Of course not, that NEVER happens. Right.

WAR. Yes, that word. The word you have been hearing from Bush’s lips for months now. "I'm a WAR president", he says. Well, what did you think war MEANS? Somebody ELSE’S war? Did you think it means you get to watch a TV show with planes and stuff?  No, WAR means young people getting grabbed up off the street and sent off to fight. That. Is. What. War. Is.

By the way, WOMEN AND STUDENTS ARE NOT GOING TO BE EXEMPT THIS TIME.  Maybe not even rich kids. ONLY the children of politicians will be exempt. THIS TIME.

So, are you finally ready to do something about it THIS TIME? Which candidate do you think is more likely to grab your ass off the street and send it to Iraq? Which candidate do you think is more likely to start a war with Iran, or Syria, or maybe even North Korea? Like Bush says, we're at war, and that's the issue in this election. Well, THAT’S what you should be thinking about THIS TIME. 

So vote.  THIS TIME.

Note: Dave Johnson at Seeing the Forest wrote this.. He asks that you cut and paste it and send it to anyone you know under the age of thirty. Perhaps it's the Mediscare of the Gen Y set. But it may just work.


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