That's the message I would take back to the president after his veto of war funds.
Those of us who have been paying attention, know that at no time during the Iraq war have we had the number of troops in theater needed to win the war.
Those of us who have been paying attention, know that recruitment is down and that the military revised downward the yearly goal numbers for new recruits.
We also know that not only has the military resorted to "stop lossing," extended tours and many deployments of the same soldiers (decreasing the time at home between deployments that the military says a soldier needs to be able to fight), we are also recruiting those into the military who before we would have turned away (neo-nazis, militia, KKK, etc.) and keeping those on active duty that should be released (due to issues such as mental problems caused by this war).
Those of us who have been paying attention, know that at we sent troops to both Afghanistan and Iraq without the proper equipment and armor.
Those of us who have been paying attention, know that at we are sending new troops into Iraq without their full and necessary training.
Those of us who have been paying attention, know that we as a country, have never been placed on a war footing and as a result all the ordinance and equipment being used and used up in Iraq is not being replaced. We are weaker today than we were 9-11-2001.
The President and the White House are using the talking point that if Democrats really don’t like this war and thinks we shouldn’t be fighting it then we/they should just defund the war.
Democrats are smarter than to bite. They know that those who only watch Fox News, listen to only Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, etc. or who don’t really pay attention but lean to the right will believe that the Democrats are for leaving troops stranded and without bullets in Iraq. While those who are left of center, left leaning, progressive, liberal, etc. know that nothing is further from the truth, we know that Republicans are not above those despicable, untruthful and divisive tactics and talking points to stay in power.
So what should the answer be?
I believe the 30 second sound bite from Demcrats should be “If you believe the Iraq war is necessary then, President Bush, Fight Like You Mean It!”
But what does that mean?
- Give the troops the full rest they deserve before deploying them again.
- Give the new recruits the FULL training they need and deserve.
- End stop loss.
- Reinstate the draft.
Yes the draft.
How could I, who have never supported the war in Iraq, want the draft? Actually I don’t, but I do know 3 things.
- Our troops are exhausted and our volunteer army doesn’t have enough recruits to replace those who need a rest.
- By in large Americans have not been asked to be part of this war. As a result the war, it’s reasons and casualties happen to “someone else.” A draft will finally bring the realties home, once the majority of America has a loved one who will be put in harms way, they will pay attention.
- Given number 2, the more attention paid the more chance it will bring an end to the war that much faster.
It’s sad, but it’s true. and the Bush administration knows it. That’s why this administration would rather abuse our service men and women and run them to pure exhaustion (and then refuse to deal with the life time physical and mental health issues that have and will happen because of this policy), then to fully fight this war. Instead of all Americans "in" this war and putting us on a war footing we've been told to “go shopping.”
It could be argued that I can be in favor of the draft because I know my 22 year old daughter, and 20 year old son will be somewhere around 4F in the call-up: My daughter due to a birth defect and my son due to an accident when he was 17 (but already an Army recruiter was ready to overlook the lifelong injury and get him into the uniform, so I'm not so sure about that). But you know what, I have two more sons (teen and pre-teen), and if this war lasts as long as Viet Nam (which I am afraid it will) they will be drafted.
The challenge issued in “President Bush, fight like you mean it!,” illustrates that Bush (Mr. Codpiece and Flight Suit) and his administration has NEVER fought this war to win.
They’ve gotten away with it because the majority of the American people aren’t really paying attention.
Americans need to, we must, and if the draft is the way to get it done, well it's what needs to be done. But more than that, if the Republicans REALLY support the troops than they must stop abusing them and reinstate the draft so that those who are fighting can rest, and those that are going to fight, have the time to be fully trained. The Bush administration and the Republicans will finally cease treating these Americans like facial tissue; something to be used (abused) and then thrown away - they will actually support the troops, by getting more men and women (maybe even finally their own children) serving.