[Marxism] I feel a draft coming (was Re: CNN poll...)
M. Junaid Alam
junaidalam at msalam.net
Sat Apr 24 20:10:21 MDT 2004
"I don't think anything about this is at all improbable. And - bottom
line - what else are they going to do? The other methods they have
tried - use of mercenaries, recruitment of Iraqi soldiers and police
under their control, the "coalition of the willing", etc. - are all
Tactically the anti-war movement can use talk of the draft to raise
political awareness to some degree. But I don't see a general draft is
in the immediate offing.
First: the Vietnam draft had college-exemption, right? So who is going
to be doing all the fighting this time if college kids are exempt from
the draft now? Almost all kids go to some kind of college these days.
Second: introducing incentives to lure back military personnel or
prospects seems like a more intelligent measure. Throw some money and
bonuses around, see what happens. That principle has worked well for the
companies hiring working-class Americans so far.
Third: I think it is an exaggeration to say coalition forces,
mercenaries and recruitment of Iraqi soldiers are "collapsing". These
tiny countries with tiny forces pulling out is symbolic, little else.
The big dogs are in for the long haul - the US and Britain. Blair is no
poodle. He is an attack dog and he is committed to offering up as many
Brits as necessary for the war. Also, the Americans are re-hiring
Saddam's best brutes, and there's still that half of the Iraqi army
serving the occupation to work with.
Fourth: There is a much more obvious development possible before the
draft, even inevitable - though one always brushed aside by both
Marxists and liberals, curiously enough: bringing Israel into the war.
The logic of the situation has no other conclusion besides further
escalation. Sharon has been given full blessings to do whatever the hell
he wants to the Palestinians and Iraq itself has been Palestinized - no
one can dispute that. Pretexts for invading Syria have been carved out
with a) the anti-Hamas strike carried out a few months ago, b) the new
Hamas leader being in Damascus and Sharon threatening to strike it, c)
US-Syrian border skirmishes and battles.
A reasonable person would assume the US would shut up about Syria and
Iran with its hands full in Iraq, but just the opposite is true. Bush
recently said Iran will be "dealt with" and nonsense about Syrian
"foreign fighters" is as strong as it was a couple months ago.
We live in very fluid times. There are lots of triggers and a hell of a
lot of mines. Tomorrow 200 people could be dead in Tel Aviv, and Sharon
will insist on conducting anti-terrorist operations in Syria against
Hamas, or in Iraq, taking seriously Sadr's invocation of the Palestinian
To some comrades this all sounds a bit outlandish. But I submit that it
is realistic for one main overarching reason: this is not Vietnam.
Vietnam was framed and fought as a proxy war between two superpowers.
Iraq is not a proxy but the opening page of a manifesto for world war.
It is as Bush said only a "battle" in the "war against terror", which is
"global", and when stripped of all niceties, entails dominating and
destroying most of the Islamic world. Just recall that the US mission is
to "liberate and democratize" the Arab world, remember what those words
mean in reality, and the picture is not very hard to see.
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