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  Global Views
Is Conscription Imminent?
Special Contribution
By Alex Nosal
US soldiers in Iraq

The recent decision of U.S. troops deployed to Iraq by 12,000 is just one of many strong signals emanating from Washington that a return to the draft (compulsory military service) is probably not far away.

After all, for the military to achieve their objective of 150,000 troops by the January 30th elections in Iraq, over 10,000 troops will have to remain in Iraq for extended tours of duty ... again!

Besides the obvious moral problems this creates for US troops, the increase also highlights how much the invasion is really a US operation.

The increase of 12,000 US troops this month alone is roughly equivalent to the total numbers of all the other coalition troops combined who are currently serving in Iraq.

The American media is constantly airing quotes and interviews by top Pentagon officials who are complaining about the strains on their over-stretched branches in particularly the army and the Marines.

When CNN's Larry King interviewed the popular HBO talk show host Bill Maher last week on "Larry King Live" he was asked if the US might invade Iran. Maher replied that the US didn't have enough troops to invade Iran or North Korea. "We don't have enough troops to invade Korea town!" Maher said. The draft cannot be implemented too quickly as the presidential election ended barely one month ago when both Bush and Kerry swore that a draft is not necessary. But in fact, a draft is very necessary, especially if the Neo-Conservatives in Washington want to realize their Pax-Americana ambitions during the next four years.

The only question remaining is how to ease in a draft while deflecting criticism from the hawkish Bush administration. This can be achieved with relative ease.

To begin with, if the request for much more troops appear to originate from the Pentagon, Bush and a compliant media can simply reply that it is America's patriotic duty to comply.

The usual rhetoric of America's mission to democracy and freedom to the Iraq, people will surely accompany the government's edict. While a new terrorist attack on America would be the ideal excuse to rally the troops, a contribution of the deteriorating situation in Iraq will probably suffice.

US President George W. Bush

Two million 18-year-old males in America will bolster American forces considerably. The draft will surely raise objections as well as mass demonstrations and protests as witnessed during the Vietnam conflict, but most Americans can be expected to support conscription because of their blind belief that their sons and daughters will be going off to war to protect freedom, democracy and the American way.

Unfortunately the families of the 100,000 Iraqis who have died since the American occupation of Iraq might not see it the same way. It would be folly to expect the rest of the world to view an expanded American military in a positive light as well.

To avoid the draft a national debate would be needed in which not only the merits of conscription would be discussed, but also the very basic assumption about the 'war on terror' and the US strategy of avoiding an escalation of hostilities. So far, all of America's responses have been either reactive or preemptive.

Core reasons for the violence against Americans have been centered around the unsolved problems of Palestinian nationhood and the removal of US troops in Saudi Arabia according to the vast majority of Muslim scholars, politicians and clerics. Yet, any serious attempt to confront those issues have been avoided by the US government as well as the mainstream American media.

Fundamental questions regarding the motives of America's enemies must finally be addressed. To throw several additional divisions of soldiers into the fray while offering nothing more than the overplayed rhetoric of our need to 'bring the fight to them,' is not only inadequate but also increasingly dangerous.

Recent history suggests thought that the public will have to suffice with simplistic and hollow explanations once again. That's what happens when Uncle Sam needs you!

Other Articles by Alex Nosal
    The World at $100 A Barrel
    "John Kerry Must Resign"
    Vladivostok, Europe in Middle of The Orient
    A Beach Lover's Paradise: Boracay

Mr. Alex Nosal, who serves as travel editor/writer for The Seoul Times, is a resident of Korea since 1996. Alex has attended the University of Toronto (business), York University (history), NYU (film) and Stetson College of Law in St. Petersburg before settling in Songtan. As an expert in travel industry Alex has extensively traveled to over 75 countries on six continents for over 10 years.






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