Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Jimmy Carter Heavy Sweater Solution

Writes Bob Herbert of the NYT:

The all-volunteer Army is not working...[t]he problem with such an Army is that there are limited numbers of people who will freely choose to participate in an enterprise in which they may well be shot, blown up, burned to death or suffer some other excruciating fate.

But won't liberals refuse a draft on the grounds that it will unfairly target 'the disadvantaged' (ie, the poor and minorities)?

[a]lthough it has been lowering standards, raising bonuses and all but begging on its knees, the Army hasn't reached its recruitment quota in months. There are always plenty of hawks in America. But the hawks want their wars fought with other people's children.

Oh, of course. Not a single 'hawk' anywhere has a fledgling within 500 miles of Iraq, right, Bob? This is the sort of specious, false, inflammatory, and irresponsible comment that can only come from a New York Times columnist. I could ask in reply, "how many doves does it take to lose the country?" "Answer: none, they already flew the coop," but that wouldn't be fair, would it?

Bob's really lathered up - well, about as much as his relatively limp writing style permits - over the fact that the military actually has the gall to try and fill its recruitment gap, so, um, goals and objectives may be met, and, duh, an eventual end to this war might be brought about. Bob, look - at some point every 18 year-old is going to assidously pursued by a military recruitment officer. It. Happens. (Oh, and recruiters are also out on campus handing out "very violent video games," so if you've got a jones on for Call of Duty, run, don't walk, to your nearest educational facility, future soldier-dupe.)

I don't get Bob. It seems like an all-volunteer force would be the solution to a draft: motivated soldiers versus unwilling conscripts. Democracy at work. But guess what? It, like almost all solutions to a problem, isn't perfect. So, by Bob's definition, it's unfair, even though everyone involved is a volunteer, because they're all other non-hawk people's children, so we need a draft, but the draft is the one form of socialism liberals don't subscribe to, either, so, um, er, it's time to craft the old 'exit strategy' as per Bob suggests, which is the polite liberal term for 'cut and run,' or, by way of comparison, applying 'The Jimmy Carter Heavy Sweater Solution' to the energy crisis.