Opinion surveys have indicated that a growing number of young people and their parents are wary of the Army’s recruiting pitch at a time when soldiers in Iraq are killed and wounded virtually every day.
Spring is typically one of the more difficult periods of the year for military recruiters.
Is it time for the draft?
No. It’s never time for the draft. Turning citizens into slaves is no way to instill loyalty or to build a competent army. You don’t preserve freedom by sacrificing freedom. If a war is truly in a nation’s defense, people will be willing to fight to defend themselves. If they aren’t, then they deserve what they get. It the war is not worth fighting, then the government has no business fighting it, much less drafting people to fight in it.
The problem with recruitment is that fewer than ever before see the connection between indefinite occupation of Iraq and the preservation of American life as we know it. They don’t trust our leadership to know why it’s doing what it’s doing, and they are correct.
The Bush administration lacks more than an ability to communicate its purpose in Iraq. You can’t communicate what you do not know. The Bush Administration lacks credibility. Why? Because it lacks consistency. It summons North Korea to the peace table even as that country’s wildly psychotic Communist dictator shoots missiles over the sea of Japan. It insists that the U.N. broker peace negotiations with an Iranian theocracy hell-bent on sacrificing the world to Allah in the form of a nuclear cloud–if only it gets the chance.
There are few illustrations of insanity on this earth greater than the governments of Iran and North Korea. One thing that strikes me as even more insane is the spectacle of the United States pretending that negotiations are possible with such dictatorships. Why on earth did American soldiers die–indeed, are still perishing today in Iraq and for the indefinite future–to topple one dictatorship while arguably worse ones are granted the opportunity to go through still more peace talks?
If the Republicans move towards the draft, they will destroy what remains of their credibility in foreign policy–buttressed, to date, only by the recalcitrant pacifism of the Democrats. If Republicans ever resort to the draft, they will lose power for a generation. The draft is the policy of a bankrupt administration. When and if the Bush Administration resorts to it, you will know, at last, that they are totally out of ideas. When and if this happens, and the prospect of Hillary Rodham Clinton and her ilk becoming commanders-in-chief becomes more realistic, even an atheist will be compelled to sigh, “God only knows what’s in store for us now.”