THE BLOG
01/10/2007 08:51 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

A Radical Thought: Thinking First About the Troops

Radical rightwing Republicans love to wax teary-eyed about their support for our brave troops. Leaving aside their utter disregard of them when they return from battle, their crocodile tears would be better spent on asking the simple question of what their bravery, for which they will spend their lives and limbs, will achieve. If the answer to this is that there will be no lasting impact---and there is no credible evidence that it will---how can you ask these brave people to sacrifice.

The Bush definition of "victory" is a) a stable, democratic government; b) an ally in the war on terror. Is there a scintilla of evidence, on either score, that suggests such an outcome is possible, much less as a result of US military action? Regarding a stable government, what will make the losing side in the Shia/Sunni divide accept the outcome that is likely to be imposed on them? And, for a government that sided with Hezbollah, what is it that Bush relies on to see this government as an ally against terror? The answers are clearly, "no", "nothing", and "nothing".

You know a lot about Bush Congressional supporters when they lead with "The President deserves our support". To them this is about the President, and they conclude that throwing another 20,000 of other peoples' children into the fray is a small price to pay for the President. [And, while the US is pouring in another 20,000 troops, the British, our staunch allies, are removing 3000!]

Bush (and McCain, Lieberman, Lindsay Graham) will paint a horrible picture of a world in which we have left Iraq. Yet, they refrain from doing what would be the only partly credible strategy, and that is sending another 200,000 troops. Thus, for all the reasons stated, George Bush has decided to be SURGEon General, to do nothing more than try to save his pathetic political skin from immediate ignominy (it will come later, in any case).

Let us call the SURGEon General's bluff: Let us have a targeted "mini-Draft" of 18-40 year old children and grandchildren of Administration officials including the President, Vice-President and those who required Senate confirmation as a way of defining the affected class.

The argument is that the military has been against a draft because they claim the commitment and quality of volunteers is superior, but this mini-Draft would add a negligible number of people who do not fit that characterization. It would however force the issue of thinking about the troops, and what they deserve, ahead of the President, whose performance and dishonesty have shown he deserves nothing, but, even if he had been competent and honest, would not deserve anything ahead of those whose lives and limbs are on the line.

The class can be enlarged by adding any legislator (there are some between 25 and 40), or the children and grandchildren of any legislator, that voted against the resolution objecting to the escalation, or against Senator Kennedy's bill insisting that Congress must support any troop increases. It would be an illuminating exercise just to watch the bravado recede, and the votes decline for continuing or increased military commitment. Dare we use the "h-word"?

What would Bush's policy be for Iraq under those circumstances? Nothing like a good hanging to focus the mind.

Late breaking news: Just heard Constitutional Law expert for Keith Olbermann, Jonathan Turley, confirm the constitutionality of restrictions/contingencies on funding for war suggested here. Joe Biden should repent, quickly.