I join the teeming legions in stating that James Lileks
is one of my favorite writers on the Web. He wrote a Bleat
the other day that illustrated just why.
Anyway. I digress. The draft isn’t coming back. But it would make for an interesting exchange at the debates, eh?
Senator Kerry, you’ve said that President Bush intends to reinstate the draft. On what evidence do you base this assertion?
“This president has consistently underestimated the nature of the threat, and the nature of the forces we need to deal with, and confront, in this new century, and in doing so has placed us in a position where we find ourselves overextended. And alone. And we’re the target. I have a plan to bring our allies to the table, to forge new alliances as well as strengthen old ones, in such a way that fills out our options and gives us the flexibility to meet the changing needs of today with a military that will not be asked to shoulder the burdens of the world, when the world itself has a stake in these obligations. That’s what I meant when I suggested that there might be a draft in a second term of this president. He has boxed us in to a situation where our only solution to our go-it-alone policy might well be forced conscription of our young people, and I’m against it.”
Thank you. President Bush?
"There won’t be a draft."
(Pause) (Pause.) (Pause) (Bush grin) (Scattered laughter)
"I don’t know what else there is to say. There won’t be a draft. We’re going to move some forces around, uh, change our strategies. My opponent wants more German participation, and that’s fine with me. You know, they have a draft. Nine months, have to serve. I’d rather American men and women choose to join, choose to serve. Peace Corps, National Guard, our Armed Forces, however. But it’s up to them. Choices. We have the greatest armed services on the planet, and see, it’s because they want to serve. Love of country. And that’s a tradition I want to maintain. If my opponent has some inside information about plans to bring back the draft, I’d be happy to take a look, as long as he didn’t get it from some fellow in Texas who says he found the plans in a wastebasket."
The MSM would consider the latter answer an insufficient response to the Kerry's reply. They'd see the lines and staves, not the notes.
I haven't seen anyone capture the voices of the two candidates so beautifully. Wow.