Thursday, March 31, 2005

Normalcy, Anyone?

The military will run out of gas sometime in 2006, according to the military analysts quoted in this article in the Arizona Republic. "With recruitment lagging and no end in sight for U.S. forces in Iraq, the 'breaking point' for the nation's all-volunteer military will be mid-2006, agreed Lawrence Korb, a draft opponent and assistant defense secretary in the Reagan administration, and Phillip Carter, a conscription advocate and former Army captain."

Carter co-wrote a case for the draft in the Washington Monthly that has drawn a lot of attention. I oppose such a draft, but then again I oppose U.S. attempts to impose democracy around the world. When a draft is required to sustain Bush's Wilsonian foreign policy, I expect that more and more Americans will favor a return to Harding-style "Normalcy."

The Iraq War has remained for most Americans a "livingroom war," as Andrew Bacevich calls it, with real sacrifices made by a tiny minority:

The attack of Sept. 11 elicited from the American people a universal sense of shock, anger, and outrage. But when it came to tapping the energies inherent in that instantaneous emotional response, the administration of George W. Bush did essentially nothing.
Instead of a Lincolnesque summons to "think anew and act anew," President Bush instructed his fellow citizens to "enjoy America's great destination spots." Within weeks of the terrorist attack, he was urging folks to "Get down to Disney World in Florida." Rather than announcing that the imperative of victory had now transcended all other priorities—in his day, FDR had pointedly retired "Dr. New Deal," making way for "Dr. Win-the-War"—Bush thought it more important for Americans to "enjoy life, the way we want it to be enjoyed."

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