Bush's present dilemma is to keep his war going without bringing back a draft, which I believe would lead to an immediate and irresistible outcry to end the war. In order to avoid a draft, Bush in recent months has been forced to resort to:
- Drastically increasing recruitment and reenlistment bonuses
- Extending military duty tours in Iraq by 4 months;
- Issuing 'stop loss' orders to keep troops in the military once their enlistment has expired;
- Drastically lower recruitment standards, taking the less educated and even those with criminal records into service. (How do you suppose that makes the other troops feel?) ;
- Biggest National Guard mobilization since the Korean War;
- Re-deploy wounded and disabled troops who would have been invalided in any other war;
and, this may be the best one yet:
- Re-deploy troops with mental problems right back into the identical situation which caused their problems in the first place!
This is not to disparage any of our brave soldiers who are helplessly caught in the quagmire of this war. They agreed to the terms of their enlistments and have no say in what they are sent to do. The full responsibility for that lies squarely on the administration that got us into this mess. Those of us with family friends or loved ones can only sit back and watch as our young military people are fed into the the grinder of what is essentially a 'corporate war' for profit - which ironically may not be there in the end after all.
Another huge and looming problem is that the damages caused by Bush's ill-advised war will inevitably lead to many, and expensive problems for our children and grand children, outside of the political arena. You hear a little about this, but no one has really exposed that voracious monster looming in our future
Some sobering statistics here: NATIONAL VETERANS FOUNDATION
And this doesn't even begin to address the mounting hatred Bush's war is generating among the Arabic peoples and third world countries which may haunt us for centuries.
Now, even those who eagerly (and mistakenly) supported this illegal war from the outset are beginning to see the realities and have begun calling for a halt. While they will always bear some of the responsibility for getting our country into this war, it is not too late for them to try to redeem themselves, at least in part. And, I would sincerely hope this catastrophe has taught them to look beyond the sort of self-serving propaganda and hype cynically dished out by the Bush administration in their drive to war.
I can't believe our country has been so stupid as to let this happen! It is time to call a halt in no uncertain terms.