Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Fervor and Intensity

One of my problems with the War in Iraq has been that it has been a war without cost to the average citizen. If we as a nation believe so radical a step as war is necessary, then we as a nation, not just our military and their families, should go to war. This time, instead of calling for national sacrifice, a universal draft, rationing, or blood-sweat-toil-and-tears, our President is cutting taxes for the wealthy and sending fewer troops than needed while redeploying these overstretched troops again and again.

Rep. John Murtha, one of the Republicans' favorite Democrats until he had the temerity to listen to folks actually fighting the war instead of the little man behind the curtain, writes:

The President, Vice President, Secretaries of Defense and State have been blitzing the media lately in attempts to shore up support for the War in Iraq. They assert that today's wars must be fought with the same fervor and intensity as when we fought Nazism during WWII and then Communism until its celebrated fall.


When several military experts called for the addition of hundreds of thousands of troops early in the Iraq War, the Bush Administration rejected the call, and instead chose to fight with a minimal force. And now, when our troops have been deployed over and over again; when almost all of our combat units at our bases at home are at the lowest state of combat readiness; and with this Administration's continued insistence to stay a failed course; it is now more obvious than ever that we can not sustain this war on its current course and we must change direction.


While the Administration stresses that we are a country at war, they refuse to spread the burden proportionately. Instead, they pursue tax incentives for the rich, run up our federal deficit, and spend astronomical sums in Iraq with little or no control over wasteful and fraudulent spending. This is not the picture of a country at war. Consider the following:

The current war in Iraq has lasted longer than the Korean War, World War I and World War II in Europe. This war is the first protracted conflict in modern times in which our nation has not utilized a draft for additional support. If the President is genuinely serious in his comparison with communism and fascism, perhaps he should reconsider a call to reinstate the draft.

[Rep. Murtha cites the figures to show that the current available force is decreasing and is smaller than just the draftee portion of our troops in WWI, WWII, Korea or Vietnam.]

It is unlikely that the President will call for a draft. A draft is politically unpopular. But we cannot continue to allow the President to pursue open-ended and vague military missions without a change in direction.

Two years ago, I was one of only two in the House of Representatives who voted for a draft, because I believe if we are a country truly at war, the burden should be shared proportionately and fairly. So Mr. President, you have two options, either change the course in Iraq and reduce the burden on our overstretched active force or reinstitute the draft. We cannot sustain the current course.

Shame on George Bush.

By the way, shame on any blogger who questions the patriotism of Jack Murtha just because you disagree with him.

See Murtha's complete article here.

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