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September 23, 2004



Let me get this straight - Did you say Kerry was _misquoted_ by AP to _help_ him?

That's what I thought you said. They're everywhere! They're everywhere! (smile)


I've always thought of the AP as the Buick of news organizations: boring, but sober and generally dependable. But something strange is happening with AP coverage of this presidential election. AP is looking like a journalistic Yugo -- neither boring (so to speak), nor dependable.


I mocked the Times coverage of this "issue" last July, but they did bury this at the end of their scare-mongering:

E-mail messages circulating about a draft also point to legislation pending in both houses of Congress that would require either military or some other national service. But those measures, written by Representative Charles B. Rangel of New York and Senator Ernest F. Hollings of South Carolina, both Democrats, are much more a political statement than potential law, since they have no Republican support and no chance of passage this year.

The Times article was written *after* Hagel "endorsed" the draft, but it does not mention him. Man, this was a first-class bit of reporting.


Also, quoting Hagel as a source close to Bush Administration defense policy is like quoting Andrew Sullivan as a source close to Bush Administration social policy.


Heh. Wasn't it someone at NRO who used to refer to "Charles Hagel (R-France)"?

Paul Zrimsek

There's another odd thing about Kerry's insinuation. Since he bases it not on anything Bush has said but on what he sees as the logic of the situation in Iraq, Iran, and North Korea, don't we need some sort of explanation of why that same logic doesn't also raise the specter of a draft under a Kerry administration? He's denied any intention of cutting and running in Iraq-- and whatever form the non-avoidance of responsibility in Iran and Korea is supposed to take, I doubt it would involve fewer troops.


Uhh, Tex, I didn't say that the AP "misquoted" Kerry to help him. Kerry skated up to the line separating innuendo from delusion, and, to boost the scare factor and grab attention with their headline, the AP carried him over.

Now, Kerry has the satisfaction of denying that he ever said it, but the "news" is out there - Bush will bring back the draft, according to Kerry.

Imagine the Dem reaction if (1) Bush was asked about Kerry's long term cancer prognosis; (2) Bush said, "I know cancer sometimes comes back, but as for Kerry, I have no idea, ask him"; and (3) headlines report "Bush says Kerry likely to relapse with cancer".

Outrage, would be my guess.



Sort of like

"We never said 'imminent threat'" ?


I don't think we are leaving anytime soon in Iraq. Unless we can do something about our Iraqi recruits (like keep them from joining the other side as they did in Fallujah), we are going to need manpower from somewhere. Where are we going to get it?


I'm from the government media, I'm here to help!


If there's any issue which would unite the grassroots Democrats and Republicans, I think it would be the possible reinstatement of the draft.



So, 29, are you saying that a terrorist attack with WMDs would not unite us as much as the possible reinsttaement of the draft?

If so, our country is in serious trouble.


This is rather ridiculous.

Bush needs to just point out that Democrats are looking at re-instating the draft, and perhaps that is what you can expect if Kerry Wins.

Of course, it should be up to the media but they are too busy plugging hoax emails about Bush reinstating the draft or Kerry's vague assertions that Bush might do so.

The Kerry campaign is looking for memes to run with, and the right needs to smack them down on each and every piece of crap they release to see what floats.


...we are going to need manpower from somewhere. Where are we going to get it?

Good point. One place we're not going to get it from is the draft. That's a political non-starter.

There are a lot of Americans (not all of them on the Left) who have no appreciation of how badly US ground combat capability is over-stretched. The Administration simply has no viable way of increasing the size of the force in Iraq without committing political suicide, e.g., canceling all releases from active duty and announcing a "for the duration" policy, a la World War II.


Chuck Hegel is just lobbying to be the next McCain, a Republican media star.

Of course, to be a Republican media star you have to consistently say things that undermine Republicans.

Cecil Turner

Talk of a draft is silly. Conscript armies fare poorly against volunteers, and every military professional is adamantly opposed to it. Implementing a draft and training the draftees would initially drain trained soldiers from deployable forces and be a net negative. The short-term shortage can most sensibly be met by stop-loss and delayed retirements (retaining trained personnel vice inducting untrained newbies).

In any event, the situation is hardly dire. 100-140,000 troops in Iraq represents less than a tithe of our total force (1.4 million plus reserves) . . . and less than half of the US servicemen stationed overseas (~100,000 each in Asia and Europe). We've accomplished the bulk of the war with what's essentially a peacetime rotation system, and the requirement will only drop. If relief is needed, the logical place to get them is Asia and Europe, where forces could be drawn down significantly with little impact on national security.


Hagel endorsed the idea of the reinstatement of the draft, you're quibbling over words. I never said he introduced a bill to reinstate it. But you conveniently ignore the examples of a Republican Sponsored bill to do reinstate the post by congressmen other than Hagel--links and text of the bill is in my post--or that no democrat co-sponsored the measure. Come on, play fair.


sorry, meant reinstate the draft, not reinstate the post.




Hmm, I don't think draft is a good idea.

What I don't understand, though, is why you guys aren't over there in foxholes shooting Iraqis and getting shot at - for the sake of Iraqi Democracy and the World Peace? You are really needed over there. If you don't volunteer who will? Certainly not me.

So, don't wait a minute longer, go to your nearest recruiting office, Comrades, Iraqi Democracy needs you!


What I don't understand, though, is why you guys aren't over there in foxholes shooting Iraqis and getting shot at

I did that during Vietnam, smart-ass. Twice.


Uhh, JeraLynn - "Play fair"?

Can we agree that Hagel "endorsed" the idea of talking about some form of national service, but did *NOT* endorse reinstating the draft? I mean, when he says " I‘m not ready to introduce that now or to say that‘s what we need.", how is that an endorsement?

Secondly, bringing up three unknown House Republicans with a Dec 28, 2001 bill is hardly compelling. We know, for example, from reading your post (to which I linked) that Conyers introduced a bill *opposing* the draft in 2002, then switched sides.

Any word on the *current* position of these three House Republicans? Since their bill was introduced in the last Congress, any word on its status?

The (very weak) NY Times article I linked in an earlier post says that Rangel's House bill has "no Republican support". Maybe these three have changed their minds. Maybe the sleuths at the Times overlooked them. Maybe I am not the one who is failing to "play fair".

I remain all ears.

Cecil Turner

"So, don't wait a minute longer, go to your nearest recruiting office"

Well, in the first place, there's no shortage of recruits. In the second, if I wanted to be told "you're old and fat," there's no need to drive down to the recruiting station . . . my wife would be more than happy to oblige.


Delphiguy: "Bush needs to just point out that Democrats are looking at re-instating the draft, and perhaps that is what you can expect if Kerry Wins."

I'm not sure Bush could say anything. Here's how it would go:

Bush at press conference: "We are absolutely, definitely not going to reinstate the draft."

The resulting Reuters or CBS story: "Bush today said, 'We are absolutely, definitely ... going to reinstate the draft.'"

Then there would be lot of outraged pajamahadeen, email, etc. etc.

Then we'd have Dan Rather: "CBS News regrets its earlier story about Bush's plan to renew the draft. We have been unable to confirm that he made this statement. If we receive any confirmation, we will pass it on immediately."

See the problem?

Lynxx Pherrett

Kerry has made it easy to mistake his statements on Bush and the "draft" because he's been running on about the "backdoor draft" and recently started taking his talking points from DU by implying Bush has a secret plan for massive mobilizations after the November elections.

Patrick R. Sullivan

"his attempt to win back America's sweethearts"

Timing is everything. Here's one sweetheart he won't be winning:


And, as for reinstating the draft:



The AP purposely forwarded this mistake so they can claim - "See, we just occasionally make mistakes, against both sides, it's not bias. They quickly made up for this by tearing into their perceived contradictions in Allawi's speech today. Funny how the negative "observations/comments" always happen to conservatives or those that support their positions/viewpoints.

Fake Draft

Fake turkeys, fake memos, and now a fake draft.


Talk about creating straw men ... this kind of fraud ranks up there with burning a cross in your own yard and blaming your opponent, based on the rationale that "the message is fake but accurate" and the ends always justify the means. Liberals are self-righteous scum.

In terms of insulting the public's intelligence this stupid stunt really takes the cake. After the fake memos crashed Kerry's poll numbers you'd think they'd have learned.

Dan (not Rather)

"Charles Hagel (R-France)" --

Hmm -- how about "Charles de Hagaulle"?

john marzan

MTV is using the Military Draft to scare young voters



A Chomskyite socialist that I know told me that Rangel is introducing this legislation as a put-your-money-where-your-mouth type of deal. They know it won't pass or even come up for a vote - or something like that. It's merely political, the indication seems to be. This guy was impressed with Rangel for doing it.


Correction: "-mouth-is..."


"Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, a Vietnam veteran, has suggested reviving the draft." Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia) April 29, 2004 Thursday City Edition,

"In the run-up to the invasion of Iraq last year, Rep. Charles Rangel (D) of New York lobbied for conscription. Last week, it was Sen. Chuck Hagel (R) of Nebraska. Both contend that a draft would spread the burden of sacrifice more justly than our all-volunteer armed forces and make jaded Americans own up to the brutal toll war exacts." The Christian Science Monitor, April 26, 2004,

"U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel dropped a bombshell Tuesday and the reverberations are still being felt. Hagel, a Nebraska Republican, alluded to the "D" word, by saying on NBC's Today Show that all citizens should be subject to "mandatory service." While Hagel carefully said that he was not suggesting a military draft, he also laid out the case for compulsory military service." The Macon Telegraph April 23, 2004 Friday HO EDITION,

Mandatory military service amounts to a draft for those who don't want to serve, doesn't it?


Is your point that we have a sloppy and careless press corps? I agree.

"Mandatory service" might mean that kids are forced to choose between a stint in the army and a stint in a West Virgina school as a teacher's aide.

I presented a number of cites (and you added one) where it is clear that Hagel thinks we ought to have a discussion, but he is not ready to commit to anything at this time.

What is so confusing about that?

"While Hagel carefully said that he was not suggesting a military draft" means what?

Bonus - I could easily make the case for voting against George Bush, and sometimes do at cocktail parties. It does not follow that I am actually advocating that. So the fact that Hagel can present the arguements for a draft simply shows me he has thought about it.

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