Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Earth to John Kerry...there is no draft [link]

It occurred to me earlier today that John Kerry's remark was a throw back to the a line from old movies.

"You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

Yes, in old movies, some poor kid would get in trouble with the law and the judge would give the kid a choice...join the army or go to jail. Later, during the Viet Nam era, boys enrolled in college were (at least for a time) exempt from the draft. Stay in school and you stayed out of the war. Of course, the college deferrment was later repealed.

But this is the 21st Century. We have not had a draft since the 70s. The military has enough potential recruits that it keeps high standards about who will be accepted into the service.

So, John Kerry was talking about a situation that no longer exists. I am not the only person to notice this. Here is a quote from Clarence Page (the entire article is linked to above):
As a fellow Vietnam veteran, I received Kerry's remarks as a political version of Vietnam-era flashback syndrome. Back in the 1960s, it was common to say, "Study hard or you might go to Vietnam." That's because we had something then that young people now don't have to contend with--a military draft.

Today's military is all-volunteer and a much broader mix by age, education and background than the Vietnam-era military. In fact, America's military has never been better educated. Recent enlistment shortfalls because of the Iraq war have pressured the Pentagon to relax some of its standards. But discussion of that problem, among others, is muffled by the uproar over Kerry's callousness.
Foot in mouth disease....I think John Kerry may have the first FATAL form of this illness!


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