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Warming Up the K-Y

Via Reuters:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Colin Powell refused to get into the debate over the Vietnam service of the U.S. presidential candidates on Sunday but said if the United States ever went back to mandatory enlistment, everybody should be "equally liable" for war service.
"The policies determining who would be drafted and who would be deferred, who would serve and who would escape, who would die and who would live, were an anti-democratic disgrace," Powell, a leading black in the Republican administration, said in his 1995 autobiography, "My American Journey."

"I am angry that so many sons of the powerful and well-placed managed to wangle slots in Reserve and National Guard units," wrote Powell, a 35-year career soldier and four-star general who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Bush's father, former President Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton (news - web sites).

With the Iraqi war causing greater casualties and extended deployments, legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Congress to revive the draft, which was ended in 1973 as the Vietnam War wound down and subsequently replaced by an all-volunteer army.

But Powell said on Fox, "If we ever go back to conscription -- and I don't think we will have to go back to conscription under any set of circumstances I can see -- I hope that at that time it will be the kind of conscription that was put in at the end of the Vietnam War."

"And that is everybody is equally liable to be called to serve the nation in time of conflict."

I particularly enjoy the line The policies determining who would be drafted and who would be deferred, who would serve and who would escape, who would die and who would live, were an anti-democratic disgrace.

I don't see any mention of the fact that perhaps conscription itself is an anti-democratic disgrace. But then the question wasn't framed that way, was it?

You know, of course, that after the "election" in November conscription is coming back, don't you? Kurt Nimmo:

So, if you're looking for an antiwar candidate, one that actually has a chance at winning the election, forget about it. Our future is written and it is a future of war and insanity. It is a future of military confrontation and increasing numbers of dead people. It is a future that will likely demand you donate your life or the lives of your children—in the form of indentured servitude (a polite phrase for slavery), otherwise known as conscription or a military draft—under either a Bush or Kerry administration. US foreign policy objectives cannot be realized with a 500,000 person military, so the call-up will start after the election, be the president Bush or Kerry.

Murka needs more canon-fodder to fight it's Orwellian "War Without End" against Abstractions, Generalizations, and Outright Lies. (Besides, wouldn't a "War Without End", by definition, demand an endless supply of new troops to replace the spent ones? You're not going to get them with an all volunteer military.) America's One True, Omnipotent, Xtian God can't triumph over "evil", but somehow Murka will! Just wave the flag, mouth a few homilies about honor and evil, and send the poor and darker-skinned all Murkans out to kill and die.

John Pilger demonstrates, via Gabriel Kolko, how America is now faced with a lose-lose scenario:

The multilateralism or “muscular internationalism” that Kerry offers in contrast to Bush's unilateralism is seen as hopeful by the terminally naive; in truth, it beckons even greater dangers. Having given the American elite its greatest disaster since Vietnam, writes the historian Gabriel Kolko, Bush “is much more likely to continue the destruction of the alliance system that is so crucial to American power. One does not have to believe the worse the better, but we have to consider candidly the foreign policy consequences of a renewal of Bush's mandate . . . As dangerous as it is, Bush's re-election may be a lesser evil.” With NATO back in train under President Kerry, and the French and Germans compliant, American ambitions will proceed without the Napoleonic hindrances of the Bush gang.

But you know, so long as wealthy elites are conscripted to join their poor, dark-skinned Murkan brethren then Murka fulfills it melting-pot democratic ideal. Now young and old, rich and poor, white and black, can all die together in far off lands, fighting terrorist enemies determined to protect their homelands with slingshots and stones against invading aggressors armed to the teeth with armor-piercing munitions. (After all, that's Murka's idea of a fair fight! Big, Brave Americans — the great Modern Conquistadors, Champions of Democracy, Avatars of Freedom, Saviours of the World!) But it's not all for nothing: Kill enough ragheads and gooks, or lose a limb, and you'll get a medal! (You sure as hell won't get anything else.)

So start packing and get ready to say goodbye to your kids!

(And, seriously, if you really believe that there won't be some kind of exemption or commutation loophole to prevent the wealthy and powerful from fighting next to rednecks and darkies when the draft is reinstated then you might as well enlist now — 'cause you're too fucking stupid to realize what purpose war serves.)

Once again, a few quotes are in order:
Statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
   —Mark Twain

Of course the people don't want war. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism, and for exposing the country to greater danger. It works the same in any country.
   —Hermann Goering, Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe, President of the Reichstag, Prime Minister of Prussia, Adolf Hitler's designated successor, at the Nurememberg trials

The great warriors who press the buttons see nothing of the mangled bodies, the heads and limbs which are torn from disemboweled bodies, the blood and the gore of the innocent people. And because they don't see, the button-pressing warriors and the people who commanded them go back to enjoy a hearty meal, watch TV shows or morale boosting troop entertainers and then retire to their cosy beds for a good sleep.
   —Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysian Prime Minister