A Modest Proposal:
How to Initiate a Stealth Draft
By Bernard Weiner
Co-Editor, "The Crisis Papers."
January 4, 2005
FOR YOUR EYES ONLY
Memo from Karl Rove
To: George W. Bush/Dick Cheney/Don Rumsfeld
Look, given our needs in Iraq and Afghanistan and given our agenda in
helping freedom unfold across the globe -- starting perhaps with Syria and
Iran -- we're going to need more bodies. As a result of our, shall we say,
"problems" in Iraq, our re-enlistment rates are way down, the National Guard
and Reserves can't meet their sign-up quotas, the Army is finding it
difficult to entice fresh recruits. Soldiers are asking embarrassing
questions of the Defense Secretary in public, and even arranging to be shot
in the leg in order not to have to return to the battlefields in Iraq.
Something has to be done.
It's clear that the American public will not tolerate the re-institution of
the universal military draft -- and during the campaign, we promised we
would not re-start such a draft -- so we've got to come up with some
creative thinking outside the box.
So here's my idea: Draft 12-year-olds and those over 70.
In short, we create the equivalent of Germany's Volkssturm (Home Guard) at
the end of World War II. (Despite their bad rep, there was much creative
thinking in the Third Reich, some of which we've successfully adapted to the
way we package ourselves and our programs.) The German Army was desperately
short of troops, and drafted youngsters and oldsters to fill the slots. It
worked for them, at least temporarily, so why not for us?
Absent a creative agit-prop campaign, we can be fairly certain that both
suggestions will generate considerable opposition: respect for elders, love
of children, and all that.
COOL UNIFORMS & MEDALS FOR HEROISM
But we could ratchet up a really solid, effective marketing campaign. For
example, Mr. President, if you were to go on national TV and describe the
extreme, mortal danger in which our country finds itself -- that crazy
Muslim terrorists across the globe need to be stopped before we have to face
them inside the U.S., and that all Americans will have to make sacrifices in
this holy endeavor -- we probably could push this proposal through.
We'd ratchet up the young and old "heroes" angle, with special medals and
such presented by you in heavily ritualized ceremonies in the White House.
Parents would be made to feel patriotic and so proud of their little
warriors in their cool new uniforms, with the distinctive "W" arm bands.
In short, it could be done. (But no drafting of girls. We don't want to stir
up a hornets' nest.)
The positives are that we would gain several million bodies. Since most of
our shock&awe campaigns depend on high-tech bombing from the air and
missiles released from ships at sea, the new Home Guard troops would either
free up our professional soldiers to head abroad, and/or participate mainly
in "mopping-up" missions on the ground.
LIBERATING THE DOWNTRODDEN
But, as our exile consultants point out, there probably wouldn't be the need
for much fighting, since the downtrodden citizens of the countries we would
be liberating would welcome us with flowers and kisses at being freed from
the authoritarian rule that has kept them down for so many decades.
Well, true, those same consultants told us that Iraq would be a cakewalk,
and it's been a bit more difficult than that. But the autocratic rulers of
Syria and Iran and the others have seen what "shock&awe" can do to their
countries -- and realize that they are dealing with madmen who don't mind
unleashing such destruction upon those that cross them. For their own
safety, those rulers will give in to U.S. demands without a fight.
But, if it comes to it, our boy-soldiers and geezer-brigades will do
themselves proud. The youngsters would be expert warriors, given how
experienced they are at video battle-games. They'd just die to get into real
warfare (whoops! pun intended, I guess) -- and they'd eat up those medals
they can show off at school, if and when they return.
And the geezer-brigades would be filled with decades of experience and
wisdom -- and many would feel that their passing, even in battle, would
affect the world little; they lived a full life, got to wear uniforms again,
died heroes for their country, etc. And, they have nothing else to do
anyway, except worry about their families putting them in those rotten
nursing homes. (Besides, we've prepared the ground for such a geezer draft
by already recalling former soldiers in their 60s, and there's been no big
stink about that move.)
LEADERS MIGHT HAVE TO FIGHT
Another advantage of moving on this modest proposal would be to head off at
the pass an appalling idea that's making some headway in the public: That
all members of Congress who vote for war, and leaders in the Executive
Branch who call for war, must either serve in combat brigades, or their
children must go in their place, regardless of gender.
In sum, since we are politically unable to re-institute a universal military
draft, I think you seriously need to consider the stealth-draft proposals
mentioned here, and begin implementing them in order for the U.S. to
continue spreading democracy and free markets throughout the globe. (Which,
as I'm sure you realize, would keep huge amounts of money flowing back from
our corporate friends into our political-campaign coffers.)
We have an electoral mandate for radical conservative change, we have
political capital to spend, freedom is on the march and the momentum has to
be maintained, the public seems passive enough about anything we do or
propose, the ma ss-media organs of influence and manipulation are eager and
willing to do our bidding -- in short, it's time to move and bring millions
of new soldiers into the military by the methods proposed above.
Onward to Damascus!
Oh, here's one further thought: Even if you don't like my idea, let's
consider leaking it anyway. We dropped the ball badly with regard to the
tsunami disaster, and getting these ideas out there would divert attention
away from our embarrassingly deficient P.R. profile at the moment. The
liberals would take the bait, immediately condemning our "heartless"
proposal, and we'd be freed from having to deal with tsunami and Iraq
questions. In short, it's a win-win for us, even if my modest initiative
Happy New Year!
All best, The Resident Genius
Copyright 2005, by Bernard Weiner