Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Bush Twins to Iraq

Andrew Bacevich, is a College of Arts and Sciences professor of international relations and director of the Center for International Relations at Boston University, and a retired Army colonel to boot. It is he who has called upon President Bush to order his twins to war, writing "If this is such a great cause, let us see one of the Bush daughters in uniform."

I have not the erudition nor the military experience of the professor, so perhaps I should not argue with his logic. When I was a young women all about me, my male contemporaries were being drafted and sent to fight in Asia. Because draft boards across the land were not entirely fair, citizens demanded a solution to the injustice of conscription and eventually a volunteer military force came into existence. No women were drafted in those days. In fact, women have never been subjected to involuntary service in the U.S. In theory, every American young man, was subject to being called to duty. That is no longer the case. Today our nation is guarded by a professional army of warriors. Yet those on the left who cast a pall of scorn over all things military during the Vietnam era, now are claiming that America's "support for the troops" mentality is threatening democracy. Professor Andrew Bacevich is one.

The Bush Administration has chosen to prosecute this war in a way that the average citizen won’t feel the burden ... . The global war on terrorism, a task that’s supposed to be equal to that of the greatest generation, is being fought by 0.5 per cent of the citizenry — predominantly people who don’t exercise a lot of clout in our domestic politics.” Bacevich is calling for the revival of the "citizen-soldier", which is exactly what we had before the country was torn apart by the leftists during the 1960s. He wants support for the war on terrorism to come from all sectors of society. “Then they need to put their money where their mouth is and encourage their children to join. If this is such a great cause, let us see one of the Bush daughters in uniform. That would send a powerful message.” (The New Yorker)

For the president to send one his daughters off to war would be an outrage. Neither of them is a warrior, nor has shown any interest in becoming one. Each one is also an adult and should have the freedom to decide her own fate, as should all Americans. The professor is certainly entitled to his views and to oppose the war, but it is quite ingenuous to call for what thirty years ago those on his side were railing against - universal conscription! Where is the logic?

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