Tuesday, March 28, 2006Last month, we endorsed Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Carl Sheeler. Today, he submits the following article (thank you Mr. Sheeler!):
Year Four of the Bush War: Military Draft or American Democracy?
As a Marine veteran who served during Desert Storm, I witnessed the aftermath of that conflict. By comparison, the impact of a three-year war in Iraq on American troops is staggering. The media has given little coverage to the myriad of coffins draped with American flags, disfiguring casualties or droves of Iraqi children with limbs lost from our crippling bombs.
The media has also failed to investigate why there are at least four permanent U.S. military “super-bases” with many others under construction in Iraq. The Bush administration offered no "exit strategy" because none ever existed. Supporting this claim is Bush's dire statement, at last week’s news conference, leaving the withdrawal of our troops to “a future president.”
Who really benefits from our indefinite presence in Iraq? Large corporations do--those ineffectually rebuilding the country and re-supplying the war effort with nominal accountability and waste. Our military should protect and defend our Constitution and homeland, not business interests. America has a finite number of combat troops with some having served three and four deployments. This undeclared war has stretched our armed services thin. Remember what happened to the former Soviet Union after it was mired down in Afghanistan? The next logical step, though troubling, is when, not if, the draft will be reinstated?
The consequences of the draft would be cataclysmic except, of course, to those privileged few who will be ready to declare and profit from war. Given the latest rhetoric, Iran is next. Alarming enough is the fact that the Bush administration and Congress have cut vital resources for our communities to fund this war. Would those who argue, "staying the course" be willing to commit troops when the draft sends family members and friends headlong into the raging Middle East?
Is America safer as a result of these misguided policies? Are our ports, rail yards and borders more secure? Are we less dependent on foreign oil? Is our kids’ education better? Are our veterans and seniors receiving improved health care? No. People are dying for a president and his cronies—not to mention the K-Street lobbyists—who have exceeded their Constitutional powers and violated their oaths of office and the principles of “of, for, and by the people”.
Witness the series of deceptions manipulating public fears after 9/11. First, tying Iraq to Al Qaeda, hyping pre-war intelligence on WMD’s, and toppling Saddam Hussein to impose a Western-style democracy on an Islamic nation. Then parroting the worn statement, "we'll stand down when they stand up," and denying the existence of--at minimum--a low-grade civil war.
Most Americans don’t want our soldiers dying in Iraq to resolve longstanding ethnic conflicts that our own failed policies unleashed. Are we “patriotic” to allow imported terrorists, zealous insurgents, and sectarian death-squads killing our troops based on these deceptions?
Do you support this unending war of greed and misinformation--and the coming military draft--or our dying American Dream, revitalized with citizens’ cries for impeachment? Do your duty, Congress! Our future is not a partisan issue.
Carl Sheeler is a Democratic US Senate candidate from West Greenwich, Rhode Island. To make a contribution to his campaign, please go HERE.