Friday, September 24, 2004

Is the Draft Coming Back? Yes

George Bush is already drafting people. Our baby-sitter has a close friend in the Marines serving his second tour in Iraq. He was actually in the reserves in his last year at Penn Sate. He was supposed to stay home after the first tour, but got sent back. His grandfather just died, and of course, he can’t be there for the funeral. Being sent and then sent again, and not knowing when he will actually come home for good has made finishing college impossible. In the words of our sitter, this has "messed up his credits really bad."

We also have a woman who comes in during the afternoons to help out. She is also worrying about Iraq. I remember right after the war first started, she came in late and breathless because she couldn’t tear herself away from the exciting images of the Saddam statue being pulled down.

Last month, one of her three sons (all of whom are draftable) graduated into a PA National Guard unit. Their commanding officer was just sent off to Iraq, replacing another commander who had been taken seriously ill. But she keeps telling herself that her son won’t be going, at least not right away, because his unit is being trained on a new vehicle. But she’s still worried as any mother would be.

Her son did not sign up for the regualr army. He joined the National Guard. They are supposed to be different things. Sadly, something which had been a source of pride for his mother has turned into a nightmare of worry.

My sitter told me that her friend did feel better prepared this time because he knew what to expect. He also says it is awful. A couple of days ago, his vehicle was hit by a rocket or bomb. He was okay, but the blast knocked out a bunch of kids near by.

The difference between this conflict and other wars: he can call her on her cell phone. She knows what’s happening to him everyday. She doesn’t need the media to give her highlights because she knows the details. She also knows that the president is either a liar, or “living in a fantasy world of spin.” She thinks he’s just a liar.

According to the New York Times,
A Pentagon-appointed panel of outside experts has concluded in a new study that the American military does not have sufficient forces to sustain current and anticipated stability operations, like the festering conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and other missions that might arise.
John Kerry has promised to stop this backdoor draft.

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