squeeze the army to death

Bush’s press conference made clear what was clear to any thinking person: there will be no pullout of Iraq via establishment politics:

President Bush acknowledged yesterday that the war in Iraq is dominating nearly every aspect of his presidency, and he served notice for the first time that he expects the decision on when all U.S. troops come home to fall on his successors.”

Periodically, LI comes back to the subject of non-recruitment. Squeezing the volunteer army until there’s no toothpaste left in the tube is the right thing to do. Not all functions in this society have to be triangulated through a politician. The easiest and most effective thing to do is to talk to seventeen and eighteen year olds and keep them from signing up. You don’t have to attack the army. It is a matter of committing later, when the army is engaged in doing something other than a vanity project. Again, one must respectfully quote the Vice President himself about Vietnam: “I had other priorities,” he said, making it clear that the patriotic thing to do is to avoid getting into pointless wars.

We don’t need politicians to take us out of Iraq – they need us to stay in it.

The American Friends Service committee has a downloadable anti-recruitment pamphlet here.

Looking through that pamphlet, LI is thinking that it is organized along lines that are too general. We are thinking of writing our own downloadable anti-recruitment pamphlet, focusing much more strictly on staying out of the Iraq war. We are going to try to do that and put it up in the bar next to these posts. A simply worded, Tom Paine like pamphlet laying out reasons not to join the military, in any branch, during the current crisis. We don’t have time for it at the moment, but in the next month.

The one thing the Dems could do – although they won’t – is push for a law putting a divide between the National Guard and the regular army. The National Guard is going to be needed at home more than ever this hurricane season. Unfortunately, the military has been kidnapping the Guard for Bush’s project.

In the long run, the obvious problem with having a volunteer army is that the executive branch increasingly uses it as a private army – a mercenary army, at the beck and call of the White House, paid for by the taxpayer, plaguing the planet. Ultimately, squeezing that army isn’t enough – the army has to be taken back from the Executive branch. We cannot afford to allow the president to mount private wars corresponding more to the currents of his psychopathology than to the dictates of national interest.


Brian Miller said…
Excellent idea, roger. Use the rhetoric and methods of the hard right-Starve the Beast, indeed.

I always choke a little when hearing how the current volunteers are "serving their country." how exactly, is there current service in Iraq doing anything positive for the United States as a whole? (I'm not talking about the US as a wholly owned subsidiary of the War Machine, but as an actual remnant of a free republic).