The Guv, who apparently is hanging out with Mary Beth in Bizzaro-World, has lost it completely. Here's the email I got this morning -- I don't have time to fisk it properly because I have to get up and dressed and leave here in about 20 minutes (yes, I'm blogging in my pajamas) but let me at least get you started.
Subj: No Draft: Sign the Petition
I always find it disturbing when demonstrably insane semi-strangers know my name and use it to address me, but that's neither here nor there.
George Bush is not being straight with the American people about the draft. He promised in the first presidential debate to win the war on terror with "an all-volunteer army". He has already violated that commitment.
The truth is that a draft has already begun -- it just hasn't affected most of our families yet. Active duty soldiers who finish their commitments are being forced to stay in. And the flagrant misuse of the National Guard and Reserves has ripped apart families by sending unprecedented numbers of them to occupy a foreign country.
Ah, so when you say, "a draft", you mean "not-a-draft." This will be helpful in decoding the rest of this email. For reference, a draft is when you take civilians, put them in uniforms, put them in tanks, and put them in battle. It is not when you take soldiers who have sworn to protect the US with their lives and ask them to do it longer than they'd previously expected. I'm not saying that stop-loss is a great thing, I'm just saying it's not on par with a draft.
Because of George Bush's failure to lead the world, we are nearly alone in Iraq. If we "stay the course" with this president, he will face a choice: drastically reduce our commitments or reinstate the draft. Sign the petition demanding that he tell Americans which one he will choose:
So when you say, "Nearly alone," you're referring to a situation in which we are aided by significant numbers of British and Australian troops, not to mention lesser numbers of Poles, etc. And the smaller number of troops from other countries isn't a result of GWB's failure to lead, it's a result of other countries failure to have usefully sized armies. How many troops do you realistically expect Lithuania to send? Exactly. Now, the "face a choice" bit -- this is ridiculous. This requires the suspension of disbelief on so many fronts (the armed forces don't want conscripts, they're exceeding their recruiting goals, Bush says he has no desire to reinstate a draft, etc) that there's almost nowhere to begin.
Oh yes. A petition. That
'll stop em.
George Bush chose to go to war without substantial help from our allies. He has badly over-committed our armed forces. One of the Joint Chiefs and his own administrator in Iraq have both said that we will need tens of thousands more troops to stabilize Iraq. Extreme measures are already being taken to meet the shortfall -- and the president has an obligation to explain how he will meet our commitments without drafting young people into service.
Once again, George Bush chose to go to war without substantial help from our allies because our allies are not in a position to be substantially helpful. He thought we needed to go anyway for good reasons. I don't see why their lack of preparation is his fault. This paragraph is kinda like saying, "George Bush is running low on flour to make a cake and he is obligated to explain that he will not use puppies to fill in the difference."
Fathers from New York who joined the Reserves to guard America against another attack have been sent to Iraq. Teenagers in the Florida National Guard who expected to provide hurricane relief in their home state have been forced to fight halfway around the world.
First off, they ARE guarding America against another attack -- every time they drag another terrorist out of his hole. What did you expect them to do -- stand at the border with pitchforks? Second, you're saying it was bad, bad
for Dubya to join TANG and not go to the battlefield in 1968, but it is bad now for people to join the FNG and go
to the battlefield. I don't follow. Finally, we pay these guys to actually DO something. Now they're doing it. I don't feel that bad about it.
George Bush has left our homeland unprotected. And his plans to move existing forces away from threats like North Korea put our interests and our allies in danger. This cannot continue. Sign this petition demanding honesty -- we will deliver it to the White House.
Okay, I'm back. Now, who left the homeland unprotected? Just what the hell are we supposed to be doing
to protect the homeland if not what we're doing right now? The North Korea bit clearly presupposes that the reader has no knowledge of the Korean situation whatsoever. We've got, like, 40,000 troops in Korea. Do we really think that they're stopping Kim Jong Il from doing, well anything, considering that Kim's got a) a million-man army and b) the bomb? Those soldiers are there to get killed in the first hours of a hypothetical war and give the US an excuse to get involved. They're not making things more stable, they're bait. All things being equal, that's probably not the best use for them, especially if you live in "Our Troops Belong at Home" World, which is where the rest of this email clearly resides.
Family friends helped a young George Bush dodge the draft. Dick Cheney didn't fight because he had, in his words, "other priorities" -- he got five deferments. We cannot afford to let them dodge the question of a draft now.
And what were you
doing during Vietnam, Dean-o? Oh right! You got a medical deferment for a bad back
and spent the duration of the war SKIING
! Now, I don't especially care about Vietnam, but I do think it's a little rich for you to be complaining about people getting deferments. Also, note -- here, remaining stateside in the National Guard = reprehensible; several paragraphs ago, remaining stateside in the National Guard = admirable and normal. You'd hope that this guy would be capable of maintaining a consistant position for an entire email, but you would be wrong.
Will they force a new generation of young people to make the sacrifices they refused to make? Or will they leave us unprotected at home and in other dangerous parts of the world?
This is making my head hurt. Let's restate his claim. "We have two choices. 1) Bush can force young people to go to war even though he didn't because he's eeeevil. 2) Or, if we don't go to war, then we are not safe in the world. Is this even an either-or question? If it is, I suppose I choose the "let the deserter send the kids to war" route.
I have a son in college. My family and millions of other families could be affected by a draft. We deserve to know before we vote in November how George Bush and Dick Cheney plan to prevent one. Sign the petition now.
Well, George Bush clearly said that he intended to veto any congressional proposal to institute one. That sounds like a fairly effective plan to prevent one. I'm in college. Most of my friends are draft-age. I don't want a draft, generally speaking. But I'm also not insane, and I realize that Bush neither needs nor wants one. The Pentagon doesn't want one. This is madness. And once again, like a friggin' petition is going to stop anything? Especially the titanium will of George Draftya Bush?
Just recently a frightened Congress voted down a bill calling for a draft. (After all, they need to get re-elected in a few weeks.) But the way they rejected the bill showed just how easy calling a draft would be -- they suspended normal rules and voted with almost no warning. Authorizing a draft would be just as easy -- it could be done in less than 48 hours.
I wouldn't describe Congress as frightened, I would consider them to be "mature" at least in this context, for disposing of a show bill that was solely being used as a political prop. Even the rep who's bill it was didn't vote for it. Re-elected had nothing to do with it -- I mean, I'd vote against anyone who voted for it, but largely because it would indicate that that person was an idiot. Now, as far as the whole calling a draft within 48 hours bit goes, good. If we ever get into such a severe situation as a country that we need a draft within 48 hours so that every able-bodied man, woman, and child can go hold off the orcs at Helm's Deep or storm the Black Gate or whatever task upon which our collective survival depends, then I hope that the Congress can pull it off within 48 hours. Also, defeating a bill that was universally agreed to be insane is a LOT easier to do in 48 hours and do almost unanimously than to pass a draft bill. That's much much harder. Yesterday's vote does not by any stretch show how easy the opposite would be. 400+ representatives suspending the rules and voting against a draft should not, logically, be seen as the precursor of 400+ representatives suspending the rules and doing exactly the opposite. You all get this point, right? I can stop now?
We have been misled about this war from the beginning. They said Iraq had nuclear weapons -- that was false. They said the whole war would cost a few billion dollars -- in reality, we spend several billion dollars every month. They say things are getting better -- but every month brings more casualties than the last.
They said that by the time the threat actually was imminent, the Hudson and the East Rivers would be one, without that pesky little clod of dirt known as "Manhattan" in the way. I don't recall ever hearing anyone say the whole war would cost "a few billion." I certainly didn't expect it to. Every month brings more casualties than the last only if we're operating cumulatively, which, until the DoD figures out resurrections, seems to only function in an upwards fashion. Otherwise, this isn't true. No one ever said Iraq had nukes. They said Iraq wanted nukes and was trying to get them, and in any case, Saddam certainly wasn't acting like someone who didn't
have WMDs. And don't you liberals care about, um, liberating people?
Now they say we won't need a draft. We cannot afford to take their word for it.
You know, I don't think Dean would believe Bush if the latter claimed to have gas pain. If Congress voted down a bill almost unanimously, doesn't that seem to you like they mean it? Yeah, me too.
Governor Howard Dean, M.D.
P.S. Please forward this message to your friends. We will only get the truth if we all stand up and demand it.
Okay, I have to run now, but I'll be back and continue fisking later.
UPDATE: I'm back now. Dean's still insane. I'm not sure if we should thank the voters of Iowa for removing the risk of us ever being governed by this man or if we should be mad at them for giving us a candidate who at least has lucid intervals.