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Sunday, May 23, 2004

I was re-reading some books about Lyndon Johnson, Vietnam, and that whole period of time, and it got me thinking. We've all seen footage of the protests during that time, everything from the war, to civil rights, to the police riot during the Democratic convention in Chicago in 1968. It's an interesting contrast to the utter stupor we find ourselves in nowadays.

I mean, we're involved in another war in south Asia. The Iraqi portion, like Vietnam, has no bearing on the safety of the United States homeland. By 1968, something like 20,000 Americans had been killed in Vietnam, and even though the people making the decisions knew by then that the best we could hope for was a stalemate, nearly 40,000 more Americans would die before we finally got out of there. As of right now, around 800 Americans have died in Iraq. Apparently, this is a number the rest of us can live with.

When will you stand up and tell the government "No more!" A thousand? Ten thousand? Fifty thousand? Nine hundred (and we're reinstating the draft in 2005)?


I have written about the reinstatement of the military/service draft previously, but every week that goes by, I believe more and more it's going to happen. Our fine military is stretched to the limit, and what with this Iraqi prison scandal, it's not as if people are going to be rushing recruitment centers to sign up.

"ARMY: Be court-martialed in the snazziest military uniform of them all," just doesn't play as an effective slogan.

So, between lower recruitment levels, dishonorable discharges on TV, and guys getting body parts shot off, there will be even fewer available people to serve. Does anyone really think that this detail will stop this righteous administration from its goals in Iraq, Iran, Syria or anyplace else? I hope to hell by now you know the answer. You can continue to pray for science to come up with an effective warrior robot to fight America's battles, but the budget for science education has been slashed, so you're screwed.

And why shouldn't they draft you, Mister and Miss 18-25 year old? You have no job prospects, thanks to the economy, so you may as well drop out of college. And besides, YOU DON'T VOTE. And they know it.

But perhaps when they do reinstate the draft, you will put down your PlayStation and your fucking Zima, and rediscover your sense of moral clarity and outrage. You may find some of the administration's other policies repugnant as well. You will protest the war, but only because your ass is on the line. And don't misunderstand me, that is as good a reason as there is. I only hope that by then, it's not too late, what with the Justice Department's wide powers to quell protests and silence dissent.

Act now. You only have a few months left to make a difference that may save thousands of lives, including your own.

Zima? You're better than that...

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posted at 9:39 PM

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