Saturday, May 05, 2007


When one awakes at 5:00 a.m. with an idea churning between one's ears it seems appropriate to document the phenomenon in some way, and when the idea involves the fate of millions of Americans, perhaps invite others to comment on it. That's the main function of this blog, so here goes....
If the U.S. is ever going to convince the fanatics of the world it is not a paper tiger that will eventually roll over in Iraq and abandon the population to their fate, we must start by reversing the world's perception that our intervention was solely the result of an evil neo-con cabal, or the whim of an airhead, spoiled brat President now on his way out. In truth, the Congress and most Americans supported this horror in the beginning, and it is in the self-interest of all of us to try to insure that the entire Middle East does not go up in flames when we leave, with Osama's allies taking the helm, and our "allies ' in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia (not to mention Israel)in his cross-hairs.

A good start would be an even more ambitious conference like that held in Egypt this past week attended by Bush's girl "Condi", at which she actually spoke to and rubbed shoulders with the foreign ministers of Syria and Iran. If in fact hell did freeze over as a result, it can only be a good thing, especially if it slows the rate of global warming. Who can argue against the idea of devising a plan for the injection of an international/regional peacekeeping force in Iraq as the U.S. presence is reduced and/or reconfigured? Obviously, this would give greater legitimacy to continued actions there by the U.S. (policing and training, etc., as well as the continued reconstruction effort which is a moral necessity if the U.S. is ever to overcome the sorry legacy of its Iraq wars and a decade of devastating sanctions.)

Nothing could do more to enhance U.S. credibility at this time than a popularly supported decision in the U.S. to reinvigorate and strengthen our military forces by reinstitution of the draft, providing the U.S. Army with a backbone of well trained "citizen soldiers" motivated by something other than reinlistment bonuses and the threat of courts martial. How can this be accomplished? Certainly no presidential candidate (even John McCain, who knows in his heart that it's the key to the massive "surge" strategy he has been urging for years) will have the "balls" to propose drafting our young people to be sent off as "IED" fodder in Afghanistan or Iraq. Perhaps McCain (or Sen. Clinton) could regain some credibility and respect with the skeptics in both their parties by advocating some form of the following plan. (1) Hold a national referendum on immediate withdrawal from Iraq--with the understanding that should Americans vote "no" on withdrawal, they are voting "yes" to establishment of a truly universal draft of all Americans, regardless of age, gender, or sexual orientation. [2] The draft would be implemented at the same time that the volunteer army is supplemented with any current undocumented immigrants seeking the path to citizenship, and any qualified felon in the U.S. penal system seeking early release (obviously, the lifers and those on death row would have a difficult time qualifying, but the poor bastards who simply got unlucky under "three strikes" laws might make willing candidates.) [3] People without prior military service who are physically fit and able to pass a minimal intelligence test, despite the approach of retirement age, would be equally draftable (especially those like the author of this blog who are filling no job indispensable to the functioning of the economy, and have no young dependants to support.) My only stipulation would be that as long as I am serving in the military, my college student son would be exempt from the draft.(4 I would of course expect such a system to contain liberal standards for exempting one from combat duty based on conscientious objector status. Being one myself, I'd expect to be assigned to the medical corps or other support function that does not involve me directly in the use of deadly force. Nevertheless, by going to Iraq I'd be just as likely as anyone else to end up the victim of an IED or suicide bomber.

NOTE: Eventually, I'd expect the U.S. forces to become the main contingent of a U.N. sanctioned force like those in Bosnia and Kosovo. It is my dream that one day a comprehensive peace treaty will be signed by Israel and all nations in the Middle East pursuant to which Israel (1) would be admitted to NATO and the EU; (2)would sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty as a nuclear power with the obligation to disarm eventually; (3) would withdaw from most of the West Bank, and (4)would have its borders protected by a U.N. peacekeeping force with a large U.S. contingent. If "peace" (whatever that means) can be brought to the major areas of conflict in the world, the international community can finally turn its attention to the looming catastrophes of global climate change, population meltdown, and ocean poisoning. It can't happen too soon. In the meantime all I can do is live sustainably, and wake up early and post my "epiphanies" to this blog. Also, those who know me know that I'll do something else every day, faithfully and fervently. Each and every one of you all, as well as our planet, will be in my prayers. Yes, they may be the prayers of a confused, constantly backsliding reformed atheist, but they are prayers that I deeply believe are listened to.

Finally, if you want to know why a Citizen Soldier army is needed now more than ever, read all about the Christian Taliban's takeover of the Pentagon (sorry, they're not clickable hyperlinks):

And if you believe there's nothing we can do to slow / stop global warming, here's what farmers and business owners (not just eggheads and scientists) are getting excited about:


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