Sen. Tom Harkin on the Draft

Iowa Senator Tom Harkin weighs in on the potential for a military draft:

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.

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

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.

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.

Harkin recalls LBJ:

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.

I also remember LBJ:

Hey, Hey, LBJ
How many kids did you kill today?

You think Bush is going to be any different? Think again.

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