Sunday, August 12, 2007

They're Talking Draft, That Ought To End The War, Right

Draftees At Drill Preparing For The War To End All Wars 1917

Lieutenant General Doug Lute, the "War Czar" known around the White House as the "General of least reluctance" is talking "Draft." Expressing his concern at the stress and strain of repeated lengthy deployments on the troops as well as their families the General said:

As an Army officer, this is a matter of real concern to me. Ultimately, the American army, and any other all-volunteer force, rests with the support and the morale and the willingness to serve demonstrated by our ? especially our young men and women in uniform. And I am concerned that those men and women and the families they represent are under stress as a result of repeated deployments.

General Lute, who accepted the position of War Czar after the rest of the General Staff either fled in stark terror at the prospect of accepting such a potentially career ending position or simply hid out in the Senior Officer's head in the Pentagon until the position was safely filled, did not actually use the "D" word, but, in response to questions from National Public Radio's Michele Norris on Friday in an interview for "All Things Considered" he definitely left the door wide open in this exchange:

Norris- You know, given the stress on the military and the concern about these extended deployments for an all-volunteer military, can you foresee, in the future, a return to the draft?

Gen Lute- You know, that's a national policy decision point that we have not yet reached, Michele, because the ?

Norris- But does it make sense militarily?

Gen. Lute- I think it makes sense to certainly consider it, and I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table, but ultimately, this is a policy matter between meeting the demands for the nation's security by one means or another. Today, the current means of the all-volunteer force is serving us exceptionally well. It would be a major policy shift, not actually a military, but a political policy shift to move to some other course.

Norris- Do you agree with that assessment that there is a real pressure point in the spring ? that that's when the Pentagon will face some tough decisions about either extended deployments or reducing the time spent at home?

Gen. Lute- Yes, I do agree that come the spring, some variables will have to change ? either the degree to which the American ground forces, the Marines and the Army in particular, are deployed around the world to include Iraq, or the length of time they're deployed in one tour, or the length of time they enjoy at home. Those are, essentially, the three variables.

Personally, I read that to mean that there have already been discussions on this at the "policy" level ( else the General would not have let it pass his highly skilled Czarist lips ) and it will likely become Bush's next "Plan B" in the spring. The Republicans will tag along as will the acquiescent Democrats after a few obligatory public tugs at their Master's sock, because none of these people want out of Iraq as long as they are being paid so handsomely by those who will ultimately profit from American hegemony in the oil rich region.

I would like to think that drafting a hundred thousand college age children of the wealthy to serve in the Mesopotamian morass would hasten the end of the war but it probably will not. The younger generation of chickenhawks will receive the same deferments as their fathers and the children of the working class will slog off to die in a civil war that will continue into the next decade, probably embroiling Iran in the hideous stew because we want control of their oil as well.

We're not building the Disney World of embassies in Baghdad to fix traffic tickets, run consular affairs or replace lost passports for the occasional hapless tourist and we're not building extensive permanent military bases all over Iraq to turn over to the tenuous control of Iraqi security forces who will likely surrender to the first Jihadist who points a weapon in their general direction.

I am being unfair to the War Czar though because he doesn't like that title, preferring instead the title of Deputy National Security Adviser (Asst to Stephen Hadley) or Assistant to the President (Junior):

Norris- I'm just curious, What do you think of the term war czar?

Gen Lute- It's actually an unfortunate term because it doesn't describe my job at all.

Norris- But it's often how people describe you.

Gen Lute- That may be, but it wouldn't be my choice of how I describe the job. What I'm trying to do here is actually facilitate the very hard work that's taking place on the ground and link it to the very hard work that's being done here in Washington across the departments of the executive branch with the priorities of what's required on the ground reflected in the efforts here in Washington. I'm in charge of about 15 people. Now that's not exactly very czar-like, but what I am able to do is make sure that efforts are aligned properly.

Editor's note: HUH? Is that a job?

Norris- Well, you know what they say in Washington sometimes ? that power is concentrated.

Gen Lute- [Chuckles.] Well, I have 15 very qualified people, and we're working very hard to do our best to contribute to this effort.

All of this I take to mean that the draft is coming, and Canada had best be prepared for another influx of young American expats, possibly beginning next spring.

I also learned that it only takes two months for a highly trained General Officer to pick up the irritating habit of using the words "hard work" in nearly every paragraph if you place him in the company of those who spent their Vietnam years as Yale cheerleaders, members of the Cornell Glee Club, or simply having "other priorities."

Bob Higgins

Worldwide Sawdust

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Bush War Czar Considering Military Draft