View from the Loft 

war and peace, politics, books, rants, the passing parade ...


Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Another Voice on the Draft

You don't have to agree with Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) on his anti-UN stance to see that he makes a lot of sense when it comes to the notion of military conscription:
Justifying conscription to promote the cause of liberty is one of the most bizarre notions ever conceived by man! Forced servitude, with the risk of death and serious injury as a price to live free, makes no sense. What right does anyone have to sacrifice the lives of others for some cause of questionable value? Even if well motivated it can't justify using force on uninterested persons.
Rep. Paul believes that
The plan for "universal liability to serve" once again is raising its ugly head. The dollar cost of the current war is already staggering, yet plans are being made to drastically expand the human cost by forcing conscription on the young men (and maybe women) who have no ax to grind with the Iraqi people and want no part of this fight.
It's becoming more and more clear to me that the draft is almost a certainty if Bush is re-elected--and may even come to pass if he isn't. Where are the "boots on the ground" going to come from in the mess--yes, the quagmire--that is now Iraq? What are the US's choices there? Not many options left.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Military Investigating Suicides

At least 17 suicides have occurred in Iraq, with at least two dozen more deaths, some of them possible suicides, under investigation.

A 12-person mental health assessment team has been dispatched to Iraq to see what can be done to prevent more suicides and to help soldiers cope with anxiety and depression. This indicates to me that the Army is alarmed over the number of suicides, regardless of what they're saying for the record.

If the Army is so worried, it might be helpful if it stops punishing soldiers for having human reactions to death and mayhem. Remember that soldier who was charged with cowardice after he vomited upon seeing a mangled Iraqi corpse? I doubt if soldiers will seek help for mental distress if that's the response they can expect from their superiors.

Good Ol' Dubya, Making Friends Wherever He Goes

The Queen of England is said to be furious at the damage to the palace gardens caused by the pResident's state visit:
Royal officials are now in touch with the Queen's insurers and Prime Minister Tony Blair to find out who will pick up the massive repair bill. Palace staff said they had never seen the Queen so angry as when she saw how her perfectly-mantained lawns had been churned up after being turned into helipads with three giant H landing markings for the Bush visit.

The rotors of the President's Marine Force One helicopter and two support Black Hawks damaged trees and shrubs that had survived since Queen Victoria's reign.

And Bush's army of clod-hopping security service men trampled more precious and exotic plants.

The Queen's own flock of flamingoes, which security staff insisted should be moved in case they flew into the helicopter rotors, are thought to be so traumatised after being taken to a "place of safety" that they might never return home.

The historic fabric of the Palace was also damaged as high-tech links were fitted for the US leader and his entourage during his three-day stay with the Queen.

The Palace's head gardener, Mark Lane, was reported to be in tears when he saw the scale of the damage.
Yep, he's a regular good-will ambassador.

(Thanks to Billmon for the link.)

Is It Just Me, or Do You Feel a Draft?

There's a new web site up, BushDraft.com. This site features articles relating to the possibility of the draft. One of the more chilling bits of news is that the Selective Service System (SSS) saw a $28 million increase in its budget this year (that doubles its budget); plans call for the system to be ready by March 31, 2005 for activation within 75 days.

Well, it stands to reason. If Bush is elected, it will be all war, all the time. You need bodies for that.

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