America is well and truly stuck in Iraq. While the Pentagon and the White house continue to insist they are fighting 'terrorists', it is obvious, to the world, that the struggle in Iraq is now a popular war of resistance, an insurgency. An uprising, of the local inhabitants against a foreign occupier. An occupier whose benevolent intentions are demonstrated false, by the vicious, brutal reality of occupation.
Within weeks there will be 150,000 American military personnel in Iraq. Virtually the entire military. The 15,000 being deployed now, a month earlier than originally scheduled, are largely composed of poorly trained, badly equipped, National Guardsmen. You know, the last ditch home defense force.
Guardsmen have come forward with complaints and real concerns regarding their lack of preparation. These Guardsmen are expecting un-necessarily high casualty rates due to lack of theatre specific training. Poorly trained, conventional troops are being herded into an insurgent war they have not been trained for.
Let's think about that for a minute. Virtually your entire military, including your older home guard troops, are way over in Iraq. Furthermore, your civilian police and fire departments are suffering from the loss of some of their best, most experienced members. Lost to the National Guard, and nobody knows for how long.
What could possibly go wrong?
The hubris displayed by Washington is beyond belief. Making one political and military blunder after the other, while steadfastly denying that any mistakes are being made, the political and economic theorists guiding this administration, march in rigid lock step towards a disaster of historical proportions.
The price for this calamity will be borne, of course, by ordinary citizens. The ones who pay the taxes and provide their sons as gris for the war mill. Not the wealthy corporate elite. They no longer pay taxes and their sons and daughters are about as likely to be in service as the sons and daughters of members of the executive and legislative branches of this war loving government.
Bush and his loyalists, the only kind still working in Washington, are committed to fighting it out in Iraq, no matter the cost to Americans. Iraqis, more and more, are becoming committed to resisting this occupation.
There is no end in sight. The neocon theorists and corporate futurists have made the big obvious mistake futurists so often make. Their theories tend to ignore the people involved, assuming a population that is receptive to and malleable to corporate and technocratic interests. That is to say, these politicos ignore the political reality of the world they are planning to build. More hubris.
Given that the Bushites are committed to their plans and intentions, and the Iraqi people show a marked disregard for the wishes of Washington, American troops are going to be on the ground, in Iraq, for a long, long time.
Yet, the Army is already dangerously over committed. Recruitment numbers are sub par with little expectation of big changes. Arthritic pilots, in their fifties, are being called back to service. Discharge dates for active personnel are now for the "duration".
A tour of duty no longer has an end date. It's till your dead or till it's over.
The military can not continue to operate in this fashion. Without many fresh faces to fill the ranks, the military will begin to crumble from attrition and the morale problems that develop when soldiers are kept in combat too long. Much of the army is already past its 'best before' date.
The draft is coming back and it can't be delayed much longer. Bush and his advisors do not want to play that card. The draft is a dangerous political item. Opposition to the draft was a major part of the political beating the conservative elements took in the late sixties and seventies. Lessons not forgotten. Ergo the reluctance on the part of the administration to even talk about the draft.
Meanwhile, the structure of the new selective service system is being quietly put into place.
Around the 'net', I read quips and jokes by bright young guys talking about getting back into college to sit out the war. That isn't going to work this time. The laws were changed, by the Democrats, who sought to remove some of the class bias inherent in the old law. College deferments are now a thing of the past.
I believe the sons of the middle class are expected to play a much larger role in future corporate wars, than was expected of them in Vietnam.
The economy helped make that possible for the volunteer army. In peace time, the all volunteer military attracts the best and brightest of unemployed youth. For those with ambition, joining the army was a viable way for working and lower middle class youths to obtain technical and post secondary education.
War time service is very different. Those educational programs are still there but no one on the ground, in a war zone, has time, energy or inclination to cram for mid terms.
I do not doubt that loop holes will exist that will allow the sons of the political and economic elite to find deferments. The top echelon and the politically connected will have their get out free cards punched. Low level State department appointments. Medical deferments based on the best doctors and medical reports money can buy, etc., etc.
But, the blatant class nature of the draft, during Vietnam, was part of what made it politically dangerous. They won't make that mistake again. I believe they are counting on the propaganda machine to keep the patriots and conservatives in line when their kids come home in bags, or crippled, or crazy as hell.
With the built in population control features of the Patriot Act and the neocon grip on the corporate media, combined with the governments' regulatory powers over independent outlets, the Bush and his cronies may be able to control most of the population of America.
The rest of the world? Well, there lies the problem. The lack of passivity on the part of foreigners and 'darkies', wasn't part of the plan. That is the part the theorists and futurists never seem to consider, much less understand.
This dream of a neocon, corporate paradise is headed straight for hell. Too bad the rest of the world is in for the ride, as well.
For a refreshingly honest and humorous musical interlude
, pay a visit to the folks at Disenfranchised Music