Yeah, It Sucks. No, It’s Not a Draft.

August 23rd, 2006  |  Published in etc

Backdoor draft?:

In a move that critics denounce as a ‘backdoor draft,” the US Marines and Army are recalling to active duty thousands of men and women who have been discharged for several years. According to the Associated Press, thousands of Marines are being recalled because of “a shortage of volunteers” to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This isn’t a backdoor draft, unless your definition of “draft” includes “the military invoking an option clearly stated on the enlistment contract the recalled Marine signed.”

It’s something every discharged veteran with a total of less than eight years of active duty lives with. My own IRR obligation ended in December 2001, and not a moment too soon for my personal comfort. The person they would have drawn back in would not have been the same person, mentally or physically, who drove off Ft. Bragg in a U-Haul four years earlier.

But calling something like this a “backdoor draft” makes it far too easy for apologists of the action to downplay, because you’re leading with a clumsy, inaccurate charge. All they have to do to defuse the emotion surrounding the loaded word “draft” is point out that there’s no draft involved, and they’ll be right.

If you want to use this story for anything, use it with someone you know who’s considering enlisting, or who’s made the mistake of believing a recruiter who tells him or her that IRR callups “never happen.”

As long as we have a commander in chief bent on grinding our forces into dust and an incompetent secretary of defense who remains in office because of his CinC’s pigheaded and moronic notion of “loyalty” and “resolve,” everyone in our military, from the raw recruits to people who were a month shy of being able to throw away their uniforms for good, will be exploited ruthlessly, with no more than a plastic turkey and an underfunded Veteran’s Administration for thanks from the cowards getting them maimed and killed.

Don’t protest this callup because it’s a “draft.” Protest it because it’s the latest sign of incompetence from people no more interested in governing well than Nero.

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