FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Getting Real About the Draft

Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, a Democrat and West Point grad, has an interesting theory about Iraq. Call it the Korea thesis.

“Consider South Korea,” said Reed in early December. “We have been there since the early 50ís. It was not until the 80ís that we began to see an irreversible commitment to the democratic process to complement an aggressive market economy.”

“If we are unwilling or unable to “stay the course” in Iraq,” continues Reed, “a premature departure by the United States or an ejection by a frustrated Iraqi government will lead to civil conflict and an explicit or implicit partition of the country that will force adjacent countries to exert their influence over events in Iraq. This situation will create a ëLebanon on steroidsí in the apt words of Tom Friedman.”

Reedís Korea thesis of Iraq is fascinating to think about as we ponder the meaning of an upcoming assessment of the occupation to be undertaken by retired Army General Gary E. Luck. Itís not that I donít believe the New York Times when they dwell on Luckís character as a gentleman and a scholar. But Iím stuck on the Generalís well-known experience as commander of the Korean theater.

Luck became a kind of underdog hero among Congressional hawks when his request for more missiles in Korea was ignored on Capitol Hill. In a 1995 letter to Georgiaís Democrat Senator Sam Nunn, Luck argued tersely for a missile system in Korea that would be “highly flexible, extremely mobile, capable of 360 degree coverage and able to counter the full threat spectrum.”

http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/offdocs/abm062l1.htm

As luck would have it, before he was sent to Korea, the general in 1990 was the newly minted commander of the XVIII Airborne Corps, shortly before they were dropped into Saudi Arabia as first boots down to Gulf War One, says Odessa.com.

In a terse timeline, Odessa reminds us how Daddy Bush planned that First Iraq Invasion in consultation with Texas oil buddies James Baker and Rob Mosbacher; Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney; Joint Chiefs Chair Colin Powell; and Texas-buddy-to-be Robert Gates, who now oversees the Bush campus otherwise known as Texas A & M University in College Station. (Rumsfeld at the time was just entering his service at General Instruments, the real name of a company which according to his official biography was a “leader in broadband transmission, distribution, and access control technologies.”) But the point of this guest list is simply to remind us that Luck has been point guard for a whole team of coaches who have not retired from the game.

So these are the questions: Is it likely that the same general who once ordered Airborne into Saudi, and who lectured Sam Nunn how to be a hawk, is going to come back from Iraq and say, aw shucks fellas, no way we can handle Iraq. Or will he more likely, based on past performance, return with a hard-core plan to secure Iraq for as many decades as it takes to get, in the words of Sen. Reed, “an irreversible commitment to the democratic process to complement an aggressive market economy.” As one of my students petulantly informed me, one does not place question marks after rhetorical questions.

Which brings us to the strange visit reported by the Brethren Service Center of New Windsor, MD this past October eighth. One Cassandra Costley (yes, like General Instruments, that is her real name) Director of the Alternative Service Division at Selective Service stopped in, “because I happened to be in the neighborhood.” But come to think of it, now that she was there, she did want to know if the famed peace church was geared up to handle the demands of alternative service for conscientious objectors just in case a draft were, you know, kinda needed hypothetically at some undetermined date in the possibly near future, although clearly the White House had said nothing to her personally that such a thing might be in the works, etc.

This chance meeting led to other meetings, because peace churches have been watching war states closely for about four hundred years, and on March 4 the peace churches of America will convene near Chicago to get their alternative service act worked out. One would have to wonder if they are not meeting a week too soon, seven weeks from today, after General Luck has returned with his professional assessment about what needs to be done in Iraq.

And letís not forget the timely Democratic Senator from Rhode Island, Jack Reed, who was quoted this week by Baltimore Sun reporter Tim Bowman, one of the reporters who found themselves in possession of a leaked memo from another general about the exhausted Army Reserves.

“By consistently underestimating the number of troops necessary for the successful occupation of Iraq, the administration has placed a tremendous burden on the Army Reserve and created this crisis,” said the very same West Point, Airborne, and Harvard man who thinks Iraq looks a lot like Korea to him.

So it looks to me, kids, like itís time to get real about the draft. Either you can get your conscientious objector papers together and sign up with the peace churches, or you can prepare for employment in the newly restructured Army Reserves, which is going to be rotating folks into Korea, I mean Iraq, for the rest of your lives. They say itís a free country you live in, boys, so they might even give you another whole month to decide.

GREG MOSES is editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review and author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. His chapter on civil rights under Clinton and Bush appears in Dime’s Worth of Difference, edited by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair. He can be reached at: gmosesx@prodigy.net

 

 

More articles by:

Greg Moses writes about peace and Texas, but not always at the same time. He is author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. As editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review he has written about racism faced by Black agriculturalists in Texas. He can be reached at gmosesx@gmail.com

Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
Andrew Levine
The Tulsi Gabbard Factor
John W. Whitehead
The Danger Within: Border Patrol is Turning America into a Constitution-Free Zone
Dana E. Abizaid
Kafka’s Grave: a Pilgrimage in Prague
Rebecca Lee
Punishment Through Humiliation: Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors
Dahr Jamail
A Planet in Crisis: The Heat’s On Us
John Feffer
Trump Punts on Syria: The Forever War is Far From Over
Dave Lindorff
Shut Down the War Machine!
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: Student Voices of the Los Angeles Education Revolt  
Mark Ashwill
The Metamorphosis of International Students Into Honorary US Nationalists: a View from Viet Nam
Ramzy Baroud
The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged Nakba
Ron Jacobs
Allen Ginsberg Takes a Trip
Jake Johnston
Haiti by the Numbers
Binoy Kampmark
No-Confidence Survivor: Theresa May and Brexit
Victor Grossman
Red Flowers for Rosa and Karl
Cesar Chelala
President Donald Trump’s “Magical Realism”
Christopher Brauchli
An Education in Fraud
Paul Bentley
The Death Penalty for Canada’s Foreign Policy?
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO
Louis Proyect
Breaking the Left’s Gay Taboo
Kani Xulam
A Saudi Teen and Freedom’s Shining Moment
Ralph Nader
Bar Barr or Regret this Dictatorial Attorney General
Jessicah Pierre
A Dream Deferred: MLK’s Dream of Economic Justice is Far From Reality
Edward J. Martin
Glossip v. Gross, the Eighth Amendment and the Torture Court of the United States
Chuck Collins
Shutdown Expands the Ranks of the “Underwater Nation”
Paul Edwards
War Whores
Peter Crowley
Outsourcing Still Affects Us: This and AI Worker Displacement Need Not be Inevitable
Alycee Lane
Trump’s Federal Government Shutdown and Unpaid Dishwashers
Martha Rosenberg
New Questions About Ritual Slaughter as Belgium Bans the Practice
Nicky Reid
Panarchy as Full Spectrum Intersectionality
Jill Richardson
Hollywood’s Fat Shaming is Getting Old
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Wide Sphere of Influence Within Folklore and Social Practices
Richard Klin
Dial Israel: Amos Oz, 1939-2018
David Rovics
Of Triggers and Bullets
David Yearsley
Bass on Top: the Genius of Paul Chambers
Elliot Sperber
Eddie Spaghetti’s Alphabet
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail