Friday, October 29

Fiskin' Harkin

This morning Powerline put up a link to this silly speech by Mr Harkin, (US Senate D). I thought I'd go through a fisking exercise with it.

Minnesota Daily : Why Bush will restart the draft if re-elected

Why Bush will restart the draft if re-elected
A major terrorist attack could easily serve as the pretext for setting the draft in motion.
By Sen. Tom Harkin

President George W. Bush may or may not have a secret plan to reinstate the draft. But this is besides the point.


The deteriorating facts on the ground in Iraq, plus the Bush doctrine of acting pre-emptively and unilaterally against hostile regimes, will soon leave him no choice. If Bush is re-elected, he will have to restart the draft.

Wrong. No draft required. As we shall see, the military is meeting (exceeding) staffing requirements as it is. Nobody in the military wants it. They don't want an influx of unwilling bodies when they have all the bodies they need.

Indeed, Bush has already imposed stage one of a new draft. Many soldiers whose enlistment period is up are not being allowed to leave the service, and those who left the service years ago are being forced to put on the uniform again against their wills.

This is false. It is a bad reference to the so-called "stop loss" program. When you sign up for the military you sign up for an 8 years. In peacetime when staffing requirements are reduced, you may be let go before the time is up. But you still are on call for the 8 years, ya signed up, ya might have to finish your commitment.

It is clear that we already have a back-door draft. Bush has effectively ended the all-volunteer military.

So doing what you agreed to do is a "back door draft" funny way of putting it. But then, Democrats traditionally do not think highly of actually personally being responsible to your commitments.

And stage two of a reinstated draft would be easy to implement. Draft boards are already in place in every county in the United States, and young men who turn 18 are already required to register with their local draft board. A major terrorist attack could easily serve as the pretext for flipping the switch and setting this apparatus in motion.

Uhm, and since nobody wants it, it is easy to see it wouldn't happen.

It is obvious that our armed forces are stretched dangerously thin. We do not have enough people in uniform to meet current needs in Iraq and Afghanistan, much less to deal with a confrontation with Iran or North Korea.

And what are the 100,000 guys doing in Germany right now?

Right now, total active Army and Marine personnel number approximately 655,000, and that includes support units, training units, headquarters personnel and others who do not see combat. In a long, drawn-out war such as Vietnam or Iraq, units sent to the front lines have to be rotated out periodically and replaced by an equal number of forces.

Currently, we have 135,000 troops in Iraq, 20,000 in Afghanistan, approximately 100,000 in Asia and more than 100,000 in Europe. Our armed forces have been strained to the breaking point. To fill the gaps and shortages, tens of thousands of National Guard and reservists have been called up, some for several years at a time.

But there is a cost to all of this. Morale is suffering, as evidenced by the recent refusal of an Army Reserve platoon to carry out an order. Enlistments and re-enlistments are down. The Army National Guard fell 10 percent short of its 2004 recruiting goal. The regular Army has had to ease up on standards to meet its recruiting goals.

Morale is down because one platoon refused and order. Hmm. Think you're calling your shots a little early. Reports I see from the actual soldiers tend to disagree. Also, The military in the whole is turning down recruits.

What if all-out civil war breaks out in Iraq and we have to increase our troop strength to 200,000 or 300,000 to quell it?

We took Iraq in 3 months against the "best equipped military" in the Arab world. What makes you think a "all-out civil" war is about to break out. All but one province is basically peaceful. I think you're "fear mongering". Didn't Kerry accuse that of Bush. Maybe he should accuse you of that!

What if a newly re-elected Bush decides to act pre-emptively against Iran, Syria or North Korea?

A little constitutional lesson for you Senator. One would think you were aware, that the right to declare war is not a Presidential privilege! Hello, Congress gets that right, specifically the Senate. I'm a little puzzled about you, a Senator, not knowing that. Must be the disadvantage of a public education.

Today, people are hesitant to join the National Guard or reserves because of skyrocketing odds of being sent into combat or kept away from family and jobs for a year or longer. Morale, enlistments and re-enlistments are falling, at the same time that military manpower needs are rising dramatically.

I don't think you've made your case that "military manpower needs are rising dramatically". The DoD doesn't support your claim either.

So where would a re-elected Bush get the manpower to pacify Iraq while pursuing the next phases of his doctrine of pre-emptive, unilateral war? There is only one viable option: a reinstated draft.

No. First before a draft occurs we let more people sign up for the military. Perhaps let people know we need troops. If we call ya think they won't come?

It is probably too much to expect Bush to acknowledge this before Election Day. But we would do well to remember when President Lyndon B. Johnson was running for election in 1964.

Boy, you Democrats have a bug up your butt about Vietnam. Get over it, already.

Voters were afraid he had a secret plan to escalate the war in Vietnam. He denied it, repeatedly promising, “I will not send American boys halfway around the world to do a job that Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.”

Johnson was re-elected. And sure enough, millions of U.S. boys were drafted and sent halfway around the world to Vietnam. More than 17,000 of those draftees got killed in combat.

America if you recall has participated in several wars that didn't require a draft. You seem to need reminding. Again, we'll remind you about another fact of the draft. Bush can't enact the draft. It'll be up to you and your buddies in Congress. But be cognizant of the fact that neither the military nor the public want it, so you might find re-election problematic if you push for it.

So Americans, today we have good reasons to fear the return of the draft. Bush might have avoided the draft when he was a young man.

You mean Clinton might have avoided the draft. Bush served in the TARN. But as you might recall, our staffing levels through his enlistment were falling continuously and he was never called into service in Vietnam.

But if re-elected, he will not be able to avoid the draft as president.

He will not? What is that a threat. You are the one who might be able to re-instate it. You are being downright two faced about this whole issue.