John Edwards Blasts Bush Administration for Considering the Draft

Remember a while ago when John Edwards had the guts to say what many of us were thinking all along, that this "War on Terror" promoted by Bush was a bumper sticker slogan designed to question the patriotism of those of us who dared question the administration's incompetent and idiotic actions just before and after the 9-11 attacks? Remember the current NIE assessment that totally agreed with Edwards conclusions? Remember Edwards calling for an end to the war in Iraq, and a sane foreign policy to combat global terrorism?

Well, it seems John Edwards has been proven right once again, and the policies employed by Bush have not only failed, but they have left us mired in a Civil War, and have actually made our country less safe by stretching the brave young men and women in our military too thin? Well, once again, some in the military has proven Edwards right. This time, it is "War Czar" Lt. General Douglas Lute. Lets look at a little of what he has to say about the situation:

Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan, says he is concerned about the toll the war in Iraq and extended deployments are taking on U.S. forces.

The man who is widely known as the "war czar" also says that from a military standpoint, a return to a draft should be part of the discussion.

On the ground in Iraq, Lute tells Michele Norris that there has been "demonstrable progress" on the security front. But on the political front, the Iraqi government is lagging behind, though he does cite progress at local and provincial levels.

He goes on to lament the fact that high-school grads would much rather pursue a career in the workplace than to sign up to die in the desert sun for the failed policies and incompetence of the worst President ever:

NPR: When military leaders, though, talk about the breaking point, what are they talking about? What's the real worry there?

Lute: I think that most who have talked about the stress on the force are concerned that in today's all-volunteer force, especially with the sort of quality individuals that we're interested in attracting to the all-volunteer force, that we're actually competing in the marketplace -- in the labor marketplace -- for a very narrow slice of high school graduates without records with the law who come to us with a clean bill of health and the potential to serve this country in some very demanding missions.

So when you're competing in that marketplace, I think the concern is that these people are challenged and feel the respect to the nation and feel a calling to something beyond themselves, beyond just a personal calling, and that these things remain in place and, therefore, make the all-volunteer force viable in the long run.

Next he goes on to say how he thinks a renewed draft should be considered:

NPR:  You know, given the stress on the military and the concern about these extended deployments for an all-volunteer military, can you foresee, in the future, a return to the draft?

Lute:  You know, that's a national policy decision point that we have not yet reached, Michele, because the --

NPR:  But does it make sense militarily?

I think it makes sense to certainly consider it, and I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table, but ultimately, this is a policy matter between meeting the demands for the nation's security by one means or another. Today, the current means of the all-volunteer force is serving us exceptionally well. It would be a major policy shift -- not actually a military, but a political policy shift to move to some other course. .php?storyId=12688693

So, it seems that again instead of admitting his failure and beginning to bring this fiasco to an end, the Bush Administration is now considering another escalation, this time involving a draft of young people involuntarily who have decided to pursue a career instead of joining the military to fight in Iraq. Why not admit, like Edwards did that this "War on Terror" in Iraq has run its course, and it was a failed course. It is now time to switch to a more sane policy, like the ones offered by such men as John Edwards, Jack Murtha, and Russ Feingold and sanely pull our troops out and leave strike forces in strategic locations in the middle east to deal with emergencies as they arise. Most of our troops would be home in the next few months, with many more coming home soon thereafter. America could begin to shape a real policy to bring stability to the middle east after we discard this failed neo-con, PNAC lunacy.

Of course John Edwards has a real plan for supporting our troops by bringing them home and replacing the failed "War on Terror" with a real policy to attack radical Islam at the root of the problem, the crushing poverty and hopelessness that seems the norm in their societies. As we have seen the last few weeks, John Edwards has been more and more aggressive in fighting back agaist the frames and talking points Republicans use to frighten Democrats in Congress into giving Bush his way. He immediately let it be known that he will not allow Bush and Co. to reinstate the draft without a fight, even if he isn't President:

"Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute's recent statement that the Bush Administration is considering a draft reveals the true danger of the Administration's breathtaking failures in Iraq and around the world. Now, instead of ending this war and doing what is right for our troops, their families and the nation, President Bush is floating the idea of a draft that would send more young Americans to Iraq.

"Enough is enough. Let there be no doubt that the Bush Administration's new talk of a draft is a profound measure of how much this President has failed our brave men and women in the military, and the American people. This is exactly the wrong way to go. Our all-volunteer force has helped make America what it is today.

"I call on all Members of Congress - Republican, Democrat, and Independent - to speak with one voice, and say 'no' to a draft. Maybe now, in light of Lute's dangerous words and the apparent steps the Administration is taking towards a draft, Congress will once and for all stand up to this President and end this war." leases/20070811-draft-comments/

His plan to fight terrorism is here: leases/20070607-terrorism-plan/

I couldn't agree with Sen. Edwards more. This Administrations has ignored plans by intelligent people. The 9-11 commission. The Baker Group. Men like John Edwards and even Joe Biden who have offered viable options to the Bush failures. Enough is enough. It is an injustice that so many brave men and women have died for this failed policy, and he sent them into it with inadequate supplies and planning. Now, the best they can come up with is to force young people who want to start careers and families to be forced to serve in a mis-guided war and possibly leave those dreams in the dust to which they return.

Lastly I again agree with Sen. Edwards. I also call on Congress, especially the Democrats who are supposed to be fighting for our party's ideals to stand up and say unequivocally, "NO" on further escalation in Iraq that would require a draft. I call on them once again to find a way to stand up on this war against this President and change policies to start bringing our troops home. We know how things get "floated around" in this Administration and quickly become law. We must remain vigilant.

Thanks again to John Edwards for hitting back and hitting back hard on yet another Bush Administration attempt to escalate the war in Iraq. I hope many of you begin to see as I have that if we are serious about ending the war, sensibly fighting terrorism, and bringing about Progressive change in our time that John Edwards has the vision, policies and courage to do it. Best wishes fellow Democrats!!

Tags: 2008 Presidential Primary, draft, George W. Bush, John Edwards, WAR IN IRAQ (all tags)



John Edwards Blasts Bush

I happen to agree with John Edwards on this issue. We do not need a draft. In fact a draft would offer up even more young men and women to the bastard of war Bush. We cannot and will not allow this to happen.

There is a small minority within the progressive wing that believe a draft would be a good thing because it would force the Bush Administration to end the war. It is an insane proposition and it is immoral, playing politics literally with people's lives. I sincerely hope that most of us are intelligent and adult enough to realize just how wrong a draft would be.

by DoIT 2007-08-12 05:33PM | 0 recs
Re: John Edwards Blasts Bush

How 'bout this, I want the Bush administration to talk about the draft just long enough to scare a lot of Americans into action; and to force Democrats into committing to a firm get-out of Iraq, and the region, position.

by bedobe 2007-08-12 07:05PM | 0 recs
Re: John Edwards Blasts Bush

For one thing Bush is not going to discuss a draft. He will not support it. Thankfully.

But the thing that surprised me the most from your comments: "and to force Democrats into committing to a firm get-out of Iraq, and the region, position."

Which Democrats? The ones in the Senate? They can't even get to a vote because of the 60 vote requirement. A House vote is meaningless without a Senate one. If you are discussing Presidential candidates then I am right there with you, they should ALL come out with a date certain let's get the hell out proposal. But they would need to unite for the good of our country and party on this issue and stop the political one upsmanships for a while.

by DoIT 2007-08-13 05:38AM | 0 recs
Re: John Edwards Blasts Bush

I was addressing ALL elected Democrats, since there isn't a single, clearly stated, Democratic position on Iraq; though there's large consensus that we should "leave" Iraq (of course, the devil is in the details).  More explicitly, yes, my comment was more directly addressed to the presidential nomeenees; since, at the end of the day, for better or for worse, they currently "represent" the "Democratic" position -- given their megaphone.  

by bedobe 2007-08-13 04:13PM | 0 recs
Re: John Edwards Blasts Bush

Yes. EXactly

by yann123 2007-08-13 07:10PM | 0 recs
Re: John Edwards Blasts Bush

The thinking is that if we had a draft, we wouldn't have had a war in the first place.  These guys have gotten away with it for so long because even though the war is unpopular, most Americans haven't been directly affected by it.  There's a school of thought that says people who have some skin in the game tend to make more thoughtful decisions.

What the effect would be if the draft were reinstituted today is a moot point because obviously it's not going to happen.

by Steve M 2007-08-13 07:29AM | 0 recs
Re: John Edwards Blasts Bush

I agree with Edwards here- but I'm sure the other candidates think the same thing.  He's not blazing any new ground or anything.

by reasonwarrior 2007-08-12 07:27PM | 0 recs
Re: John Edwards Blasts Bush

Thinking's not the same as saying.  The low premium put on the bully pulpit by so many bloggers, of all people, is tremendously disconcerting to me.  Change in America is affected by the sway of public opinion.

by Junior Bug 2007-08-13 04:15AM | 0 recs
Re: John Edwards Blasts Bush Administration for Co
I actually disagree with Edwards on this point.  Do you honestly think that if there was a draft we would be in this mess?  As soon as the children of the CEO's and the children of the rich and powerful start dieing for this war it will be over in a month.  You fail to realize that hardly anyone has made a true sacrifice for this war.  How has your life really changed?  Mine has not. Do you know why?
It is because I do not know a single person personally who is in Baghdad. And this is the case for most of America. I do realize and apologize for the deaths of our brave soldiers who are there and their families but how can you say a draft is a bad thing?  Imagine if the Republicans in congress had to send their kids, or grandkids to war?  I do not think they would be supporting the war in lock step like they do now. I think we should always have a small standing army to respond to threats and invasion but if we are to go to war we should have a draft.  That way the old men can stop dreaming up wars in which the young do the dieing.
by SocialDem 2007-08-13 11:44AM | 0 recs


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