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Edwards' Draft Fears - Blackfive (in Pajamas) Answers

I normally don't fisk articles, but this was too much to pass 11:30PM.

Edwards: No Military Draft if Dems Win
Wed Sep 15, 5:47 PM ET
By JENNIFER BUNDY, Associated Press Writer

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. - Vice presidential candidate John Edwards promised a West Virginia mother on Wednesday that if the Democratic ticket is elected in November the military draft would not be revived.

During a question-and-answer session, the mother of a 23-year-old who recently graduated from West Virginia University asked Edwards whether the draft would be reinstated.

"There will be no draft when John Kerry is president," Edwards said, a statement that drew a standing ovation.

There shouldn't be a draft. Unless we have a World War going on with more than two theatres of battle, then we'll probably need a draft. But no one, especially the military, wants a draft. The all volunteer force is formidible and motivated - just look at Greyhawk and Sgt. Hook for examples of what our deployed active military people are like. Edwards is just being an opportunist by stating what everyone wants. There's no difference from the Bush Administration on this one (like many, many other issues).

The current force is all-volunteer, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said he opposes reinstating the draft. But the Pentagon has taken several steps that have drawn criticism.

In June, the Pentagon recalled to active duty 5,674 members of the Individual Ready Reserve, soldiers who have served specified tours of duty but have years remaining in their enlistment contracts.

Kerry, the Democratic presidential candidate, has complained about the extent of the Bush administration's use of Reserves and National Guardsmen and a device called "stop loss," which prevents soldiers from leaving when typical obligations end. "They have effectively used a stop-loss policy as a backdoor draft," Kerry said.

Do we have to go there again? First, the press, fawning over the Democrats, got all the details of that call-up incorrect. Then, they won't let it go that it was a legitimate call-up of Reservists who were still on the rolls of, well, Reservists that can be called up. Why? Because Kerry's "Backdoor-Draft" makes for a good sound-byte. It's a perversion of the facts, though.

During the session with Edwards, a woman whose son is serving in Iraq asked why the vehicles in his convoys are not armored. She said one vehicle was attacked last week and three soldiers were killed.

"We will never send American men and women into battle without first having a plan to win the peace and without the training and the equipment they need, including armored vehicles and including body armor," Edwards said. "We have one candidate for president who has fought in a war. The truth of the matter is John Kerry takes this very, very personally."

Yeah, Kerry and Edwards take this stuff so personally that they voted against many military improvements AND the freakin' money needed for the Pentagon to fight the war and win the peace. Thanks, guys. What exactly do you want us to fight with, harsh language?!

I haven't heard anything in over a year about a lack of body armor or front-line troops patrolling in un-armored humvees (humvees are not really armored like personel carriers or tanks or strykers, they are improved). If you know of some deficiencies out there, I'd like to hear about it. And, no, I'm not passing it on to the asshat producers from 60 Minutes trying to build a story out of nothing.

And BTW, Mr. Fancy Pants Attorney, promising that you'll protect every single soldier is ludricrous. It's the military, not the Yale Law School Tiddlywinks Club. People get killed in training exercises, let alone patrolling the streets of Baghdad.

Edwards, you should've thanked the lady, too. Lost your Southern Hospitality?

You want my vote, fellas? How about a huge pay increase so our Sergeants don't have to use food stamps to take care of their families? How about funding a massive increase in troops to support a rotation overseas that will minimize time away from families and reduce dependence on the Guard and Reserve? How about funding better weapons, better armor, and better training? How about ACTUALLY SHOWING UP TO VOTE FOR ONCE!

How about supporting HR 4323 and getting it through the Senate? That bill would provide money for emergency purchases of body armor and materials to up-armor vehicles. That bill could actually save lives.

THAT would impress me, Senators.

Instead, we military mostly think that you feel the same way about us that Bill Clinton did. You loath us. That doesn't mean we will quit if you are elected. That means that we'll drive on. We thrive when the leadership is good and we suffer when it's bad but we still serve.

But how about the pay increase, hhmmm?

Bill Ambrose, a land surveyor from Volcano, told Edwards, "I don't know why we can't hammer George Bush. The concern is we are not supporting the troops. I think that's a separate issue. We all support the troops. This administration has made the most monumental foreign policy mistakes since Vietnam."

Edwards said that when he and Kerry say they support and admire U.S. troops serving in Iraq, "it's not just words, it's what we really believe."

"Iraq is a mess. It is a mess because of George Bush and Dick Cheney. It's that simple," Edwards said. "The facts are overwhelming. This president's father did the work, the hard work, of bringing others with us before the Gulf War."

Edwards said the Gulf War cost American taxpayers $5 billion. "This president did not do that. The result is over $200 billion."

First, this nonsense about supporting the troops but not the war: Mr. Ambrose, how exactly do you support the troops? If I am reading you correctly, you don't support the war.

Have you put a yellow ribbon on the tree of your front yard? Have you adopted a soldier? Have you told a soldier "thank you"? Have you helped a wounded soldier? Did you donate to the Navy and Marine Corps Relief Fund?

How about you, Mr. Edwards, or you, Mr. Kerry? What have you done to show your support of the military while you oppose the war? (And don't get me started about all of the support from John Kerry after Vietnam - yeah, he was a real pal of the military).

Deeds not words, Senators.

Next, does anyone else with half a brain know the major difference between the Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedon? How about the fact that we didn't liberate Iraq? How about that we didn't get rid of Saddam? How about that we fought a four day war and most of us were gone after nine months?

Oh and that coalition of ours (I say "ours" because I was there)...aside from the Brits and French, we had Special Forces troops with every unit from Arab and Muslim countries. Why? Because of the language barrier?

Nope. Because we expected them to turn on us or, at best, to cut and run at the sound of angry shots. Ask any Special Forces soldier how often he slept with one eye open with the Saudis or the Kuwaitis or the Egyptians or (especially) the Syrians...

The Gulf War and Iraqi Freedom are not comparable.

Well, maybe we'll hear better from John Forbes Kerry today at the National Guard Convention in Las Vegas. Let's see if he talks specifics about improving the benefits of the Guard.

For some strange reason (um, like history), I really doubt it.