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November 07, 2004

Involuntary drafts

I could relate to Maureen Dowd's Sunday, November 7th, NYT column about looking forward to the "New Frontier" when JFK was elected. On election day, I was as excited as she must have been back then, so sure was I that Kerry would be elected. I wore my dad's raincoat to the polls (it was the third anniversary of my dad's death), and whenever someone appeared nervous about the outcome of the election, I said, "I've got a good feeling!" Around 5 PM, I sat alone in my yard, grinning from ear to ear, feeling silly about the expression on my face since no one else was a witness, and remembered too when JFK was elected. My parents went out on the front porch in the early morning hours, while it was still dark, and banged pots and pans with wooden spoons!

Maureen Dowd says what we are now offered is the "New Backtier."

I talked to a friend of mine today, from a blue state, who asked me what I thought of the reservist who had served in the Gulf War and then served six more years, honorably discharged from his term of duty, who has now been called to active duty in Iraq. He is suing the Federal government. My friend labeled his callback the "new draft." What else could it be? Last year, the Army decided to involuntarily call back 5,600 troops from those discharged from the Army, the Reserves, and the National Guard ... to serve in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. I can only think of Bush on one of his campaign stops emphatically assuring his audience there would be no draft ... we would only have an "involuntary army." His audience had to correct him after several unsettling seconds.

My friend and I also recalled how the Viet Nam War was a nightly news story. Where is the news on Iraq really? Our media is "embedded," and we never know how many have been injured and only know how many have died from maybe one or two sources (The PBS News Hour and This Week with George Stephanopolis are the only two I am aware of which have a roll call of our dead soldiers). A photographer has been in trouble for taking photos of the flag-draped caskets as they are returned to this country. And as far as Iraqi civilians killed, the number exceeds 14,000 according to Iraq Body Count. Maybe when there is nightly reporting on lives lost, and by this I mean our soldiers and civilians ...

Posted by Gadflygirl at November 7, 2004 06:42 PM


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