Moore's Off-Color Draft Joke
Sir, as a former
U.S. Marine and a Vietnam war vet, I agree with you 100%.
Old Mike Moore
had best "rethink" his supposed joke. And he'd best do so damn fast.
I enjoyed the description of the draft to the Pentagon like an alcoholic in
a liquor store. It sure as hell fits. A draft is not funny in any way.
We have had far too many imperial wars in my lifetime. Hell, I even "got"
to participate in that one in southeast Asia. It was not fun, nor are the two
we are currently sending our young people off to. No child should be
sent to any imperial war, period.
As General Smedley
Butler put it so well after serving in the Marines for 33+ years, there are
only two reasons for war. One; to defend our homes. Two; to defend the
Bill of Rights. All other reason for war are a racket. And this man had
been awarded the Medal of Honor twice! Nobody could dare call him less than
We need to end
war, not start another draft. Maybe Mr. Moore ought to try working on that goal;
he and the rest of us would be much better off were we to seriously work toward
I don't have any
children, but if I did and there were a draft, I'd seriously consider breaking
their kneecaps to keep them out of any more imperial wars. Maybe Mr. Moore doesn't
have children and he feels he can say as he pleases as his children won't be
going to any war. I suppose I could feel the same, but I don't. I have been
in a war and do not wish for anybody else to go through that. It changes a person
more than can be told. The scars, physically, heal, but the mental scars, well,
they never go away. Call it PTSD, battle fatigue, whatever you choose, but the
memories never stop or "go away." War keeps on "giving"
to those who are directly involved for a lifetime.
Ehlen, Glenmora, LA
I think that Moore's
point is that with a draft, the American citizenry would start to pay
attention to the war party and its adventures in death. That the citizenry would
take to the streets and the ballot box if their children were exposed. It is
precisely the disinterest of the American people in the deaths of other people's
children that allows our government to continue down this path. Your focus on
the likely demographic group and its lack of political power ignores the fact
that each one of these draftees has parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings
and cousins, all of who we could assume would not like to see their loved
ones in the cross-hairs.
As with many of
Moore's jokes, this one isn't a joke -- it is deadly serious and right on target.
~ Todd Chapple
Win-Win Situation for China
does not actually have the ability to weather any storm the banking / economic
crisis throws up. Its economic strategy has been highly dependent on the now-ebbing
strength of the U.S. financial system and is probably unsustainable. This is
because China does not have a well developed financial system, so borrowing
to fund growth (which will become necessary) is not possible. This case is presented
in more detail in "China:
Victor or Victim?"
~ John Craig,
Centre for Policy and Development Systems
you for showing me your work, I found it highly informative. I read through
a lot of the links and sub-links and as I read I became more and more alarmed,
because I have seen these conditions with my own eyes in China and often wondered
to myself: how can this be sustained? And the only answer I had until now is
that China relied completely and totally upon FDI and the American consumer.
The "logical" next step for me was to believe that even though China's
system is hopelessly corrupt and seemingly spinning in the mud, the constant
influx of hopefuls from abroad and China's Forex reserves would see it through
a crisis by making up for what can't be had from a stone, i.e. the U.S. in recession
until the domestic economy eventually pulled itself together and began to compete
Now if I understand
correctly, China's savings have been dramatically overestimated and are not
enough to make up for the loss of revenue from abroad, even if they matched
the most generous estimates. And as its domestic economy and financial institutions
are weak, a shortfall in revenue and going to the world for credit is impossible(?)
because no one will lend to a corrupt barely solvent state-owned Chinese bank
-- meaning a slowdown bigger than the two to three minor hiccoughs China had
just before Tiananmen and in the early 1990s -- resulting in social instability.
I will look to
your site often to see what else I can glean and I welcome a dialogue with you.
I believe China's cohesive nationalism, especially in this last year, penchant
for blaming us (as we blame them!) and tight grip on the media, protests and
the public agenda might see it through for a while -- will the average Chinese
rebel against a failing Party now, in the "final" stages of China's
great comeback? will China take advantage of this situation to create a diversion
in Taiwan (via Ma the puppet?)? How will the CCP maintain power if what you
say is true?
And in the conclusion
to the article you linked, the prognosis was much less alarming than the facts
in the middle of the article. What do you really think might happen? Will the
bailouts work? Do you feel that a new Bretton Woods might actually help? As
the world goes about its business, economists such as yourself are writing on
the wall -- its hard to see the future through a forest of info.
Thank you for
your letter and I hope to talk with you more in the future.
Queries to Briefers
just read your article and had a couple of things that I would want the next
president to know as well:
* How much of
what we are doing in Central Asia is motivated by the "War on Terror"
and how much is jockeying for control of the world's remaining oil reserves?
* To the extent
that we are trying to monopolize the oil in the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea
Basin, how much of that is for our national security and how much is strictly
for the benefit of oil companies?
* How could Russia
potentially retaliate for our efforts to take over the export routes from the
Caspian Basin? Would it hurt our national security to leave that to the Russians
in exchange for their traditional posture of leaving us the Persian Gulf?
* If we were Russia
or China, how would we respond to the United States trying to take control of
the two major oil producing regions in the world? Why should we expect Russia
or China to respond differently than we would in that position?
* Which business
interests are using our foreign policy apparatus to enrich themselves while
enflaming animosity in other countries toward the United States? What would
our foreign policy look like and how much would we save if we didn't use our
military and diplomats as their enforcers? How can we disentangle those business
interests from our government and neuter their influence?
* What do we gain
by leaving the Israel-Palestine conflict an open wound? Are we just the victims
of the best lobbying effort ever, or are we getting something out of it like
using Israel as the bad cop and possible having them as a scapegoat when things
finally fall apart in the Persian Gulf?
* If a bipolar
Cold War produced relative stability for decades, why can't we have a stable
multi-polar peace, that gave us, Russia, China, and Europe spheres of influence?
* For you generals
and intelligence analysts old enough to have lived through the Cold War, can
you tell me with a straight face that Iran or any other country would be stupid
enough to use nukes on us or give them to terrorists who might when we have
10,000 warheads to retaliate with and are the only country who has demonstrated
the willingness to use them?
* The same question
on a smaller scale applies to Israel: how exactly would a nuclear armed Iran
be a threat to Israel when Israel has several hundred nukes to respond with,
a handful of which could take out all the major cities in Iran?
* What was in
those classified pages about Saudi Arabia in the Joint Congressional Inquiry
into 9/11's report? Even without those pages being released, there is far more
evidence of Saudi government involvement in 9/11 than either of the two countries
we invaded, Iraq and Afghanistan. Why did the Bush administration let them off
* What are the
various "off the books" covert activities involving American business
and government operatives, whose interests do they serve, and how can we keep
them from creating incidents to steer our foreign policy?
* To the extent
that we have any real interest in strategic access to Iraq's oil, how has the
Bush effort to gain favorable terms for U.S. oil companies at the Iraqis expense
hurt us there, and what can we do to gain the trust of Iraqis?
I have with all of these questions is that these are not part of the public
debate, and instead we hear our elected leaders talk in childish terms of chasing
terrorists, WMD (wasn't the old NBC acronym more precise and less alarmist?),
or spreading democracy. We ignore each of those three things when it suits our
perceived interests. We don't care about Saudi terrorists or their lack of democracy,
and we clearly don't care about nukes in Pakistan, India, or Israel. So other
interests are in play that aren't in the debate.
I guess American
politicians keep doing it because it works on the American public, but it makes
us, and even the politicians themselves, look retarded in the eyes of the rest
of the world.
Smartass, aka Mike Dixon
at Foggy Bottom?
Enclosed is the
text of the e-mail I just sent the transition team. I will be encouraging my
friends and family to send similar messages. In the meantime, I would appreciate
it if you would reduce your tone of condescension when you talk about Obama
supporters and their love of the "Dear Leader." As someone who is
excited and hopeful about this administration, yet who is also as cynical and
watchful as any longtime reader of Antiwar.com should be, I find your columns
increasingly offensive. They signal a deep contempt for a large fraction of
You seem to hold
the opinion that your readers who supported Sen. Obama will lose interest in
the antiwar movement, or will discover a newfound taste for liberal interventionism
now that a Democrat is doing it. I assure you that in my case this is untrue.
I suspect it's untrue of most of your readers. As I respect you as a writer
of substance and thoughtfulness, kindly show your readers the same respect.
~ Rob Zacny