Q&A Friday #19: Hey You Liberals, When’s That Draft Again?

Question: “Why do my history teachers suggest that Bush will bring back the draft? What’s the possibility that that will actually happen? And wasn’t it the democrats who started the draft first?” — the_sacrificer

Answer: Let me answer that question by posting part of a debate I had back in October of 2004, with Jeff Seemann, who was running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Ohio:

Moderator: Both candidates have stated emphatically that they will not attempt to reinstate the draft, but with the war in Iraq and Afghanistan taking its toll on our troops, how can we expect to engage in what President Bush has called a “long” war, without some form of mandatory military service?

John Hawkins: There isn’t going to be a draft and anyone who tells you otherwise is either ignorant or dishonest. I don’t know of any group that wants a draft except some anti-war Democrats who want to use it to turn people against the military and the war.

The American people are overwhelmingly against a draft. Politicians are going to be opposed to a draft because it’s political poison. People who support the war on terrorism are going to be opposed to it because it would dramatically undercut support for the war. Generals don’t want to spend the money to train a bunch of people who didn’t want to enlist in the first place and who intend to leave as soon as possible. The soldiers in the field don’t want to fight beside of draftees who don’t want to be there. The House voted on a Democrat sponsored draft bill earlier this month just to quash this whole rumor. The final number was 402-2 against. So, in conclusion, anyone who tells you there’s going to be a draft is either ignorant or trying to deceive you.

Jeff Seemann: I think you can expect there to be some form of mandatory military service if President Bush is re-elected. Four years ago he ran saying that he would not “nation build.” Now the cost of invading Iraq in terms of blood and treasure will necessitate a mandatory draft where our sons and daughters will be forced to risk their lives if the President is re-elected.

If we elected John Kerry there will be no need for a draft. He has a plan to remove our troops from Iraq. An actual plan. Earlier today, Germany said that if the situation would change in Iraq they would consider helping.

A lot of people like to say, “Who is Germany or France to tell us the right course of action in Iraq or our election?” In this case, they are a country willing to help relieve us of the personal and financial burdens we took on by invading Iraq. They may not be Micronesia or Eritrea, but their financial and human resources will ensure we don’t have to have a draft and begin to share the financial responsibilities our invasion has cost us.

You see, President Bush also likes to criticize Senator Kerry by saying, “How do you expect countries to join the wrong war at the wrong time in the wrong place? That isn’t leadership that builds or maintains a successful coalition.”

It looks like our allies across the globe appear willing to follow our lead, but it looks like they won’t follow President Bush’s. You want to avoid a draft, elect Senator John Kerry. The simple fact is this…..our military is already overstretched. This leaves two choices – less war, or a military draft. Which do you think George Bush will choose?

John Hawkins: Really? So the House which voted 402-2 is suddenly going to reverse itself completely if Bush is elected again? You knew that wasn’t true the moment you wrote it down.

Jeff Seemann: I do not have a crystal ball, but I can certainly tell you that a 402-2 vote is MUCH more likely before an election. Let’s see what Republicans vote on when they’re not in fear of losing their jobs in a month.

John Hawkins: You don’t need a crystal ball to know there isn’t going to be a draft. Almost the only people even advocating a draft are anti-war Democrats like Chuck Schumer. To even sit there and tell people there might be a draft when you know, 100% for a fact that it isn’t going to happen proves you’re too dishonest to represent a district in Congress.

Jeff Seemann: Less war, or a military draft. I choose less war.

Moderator: Any further thoughts?

Jeff Seemann: I’m fine with my comments as they stand.

John Hawkins: You chose to make things up to try to scare a bunch of college kids who don’t know any better. Nobody supports a draft except a bunch of anti-war Democrats and I find it to be totally irresponsible for someone who is running for Congress to claim that there’s going to be a draft when he knows the Bush administration and the military are adamantly opposed to it and there is almost no Republican support for it. That’s the sort of thing I expect to hear on crackpot conspiracy websites, not coming from someone who wants to represent the American people in Congress.

Everything I said then is still true, especially this: “There isn’t going to be a draft and anyone who tells you otherwise is either ignorant or dishonest.”

Oh, and Seemann? He lost the election…

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