John McCain, War Games And The Draft

09/22/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

John McCain has it on good authority (George W.) that The Hundred Years' War is more than a boring chapter in European history. It's Chapter One in the Bush/Cheney foreign policy crisis handbook, War Games: The Pre-emptive Punch Power Play.

The Bush/McCain doctrine is clear: It is imperative to strike the first blow when we have a notion someone out there means to hurt America. Or even piss us off. Especially if they've got oil. Or a pipeline. We hit first and we hit hard. Any perceived enemy is fair game. No verifiable evidence of evil intent required. These Grand Ole Pugilists know evil when they see it. Dubya has sixth sense enough to look into the eyes of another power player and see right into the guy's soul (a skill, one can hope, he will share with McCain should November bring us a GOP victory).

Bellicose, saber-rattlin' War Games. That's what Bush/McCain foreign policy is all about. America is not alarmed.

Our role, as defined by the current administration, is to go to the mall. We are the Shop-for-Freedom Fighters. The vast majority of us are non-military families. And it's just fine to play the War Game when the "pieces" -- the toy soldiers -- belong to somebody else. But what do you do when the troops are worn slap out?

My friends, John McCain feels a draft.

And I'm with you all the way, good buddy. We Southerners are famous for firing the first shot when we're in a snit. I'm with you when you say the new draft should not be like the old one. You did not, of course, offer us any idea as to how you would amend the Selective Service. So, liberal or not, I'm going to do my patriotic duty. If we're going to fight the good fight for the next hundred years, we need some damn rules.

We need a draft again. A shiny new one. The old Selective Service was just that -- selective. There were easy deferments for those who had the money to stay in college. Lots of Vietnam-era privileged guys got a sudden yen for graduate degrees. And others, like George W. and Dan Quayle, could avoid the draft altogether because daddy had money, had power, had influence. Daddy just pulled a few strings and got you bumped ahead of every other poor guy on the National Guard waiting list, or got you into grad school even when your academic record put you so low on the list of applicants you left skid marks.

Nope. We can't have that. We're going to play fair this time. No matter whose keester winds up in a sling.

Look to games to define the rules of fair play for games. Let's do it like, say, the NBA. You know, first round draft picks, second round, third round and so on. And no deferments. None. Here's how it goes:

First Round: The kids, nieces, nephews and/or grandchildren of every member of the executive branch who supports the war. The president and vice-president are the first Americans to send all of their family's kids off to war. Every last one of them.

Second Round: Legislative branch kids. Legislators who vote to authorize war send their own children. Along with executive branch kids, they are the first wave to the front lines.

Third Round: DOD, Pentagon and war-mongering think tank policy makers/writers. All their young'uns are gone.

Fourth Round: Hit up corporate America. Kids of defense contractors, oil company execs and the like.

If you love the notion of a war, if you promote it, vote for it or stand to make a profit from it -- then you are certainly happy to do your patriotic duty. You'll want to share, to the fullest extent, the power and glory of your righteous war. You've earned the privilege. Kiss your kids goodbye. For the duration.

Senator McCain, I am so with you on this new draft.

And it'll work wonders. I'm sure of it. You can bet we'll see some serious talking going on in Washington. We'll see a veritable renaissance of diplomacy and intelligent, thoughtful discourse in solving our problems. There won't be another Vietnam or Iraq in our future -- not with the kids of the powerful at risk first. Talk about your checks and balances! No more manipulative, lying, pre-emptive rush to war without consequences. Like impeachment.

War Games will be rare indeed when the children of the powerful and privileged are the first to play. The cost of war, our leaders will tell us then, is too damned high.