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Letters to the editor

October 13, 2004

Draft is unlikely


To the editor:

I'd like to respond to Mindy Morgan's concerns of a military draft in the immediate future. Likely a result of e-mail urban legend, it's unlikely a draft will be instituted in 2005. The bill, HR 163, introduced to Congress by Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., seeks to obligate all U.S. citizens and residents between 18 and 26, male and female, to perform a period of two-year national service (not necessarily military). Because this is an election year, rumors will circulate, but there are some very important things to consider prior to rushing to a hasty judgment.

The possibility the draft may return cannot be ruled out, but it's unlikely to be immediate. While the staffing levels of the military during the War on Terror are crucial, please consider issues regarding conscription and its shortfalls: Some maintain a draft would level the field socially, but most military personnel believe it would actually decrease readiness and effectiveness and reduce the overall quality of our fighting forces.

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An all-volunteer force, however, is committed to getting the job done. The two-year conscription isn't enough to train the modern military. Most of our military is highly trained and quite professional. It takes an average of 18 months to train and prepare individuals for a military lifestyle and profession. The cost of feeding, housing, training and paying a large, sudden influx of military personnel would drain funds the military needs for other purposes.

John Kerry has hinted a draft might return under a second Bush administration. It was a Democrat who sponsored this legislation (and a Democrat whining about it). Those who choose to vote for Kerry might very well consider the previous Democratic administration cut military funding and military readiness. Re-enlistment under Clinton reached an all-time low. Kerry, as president, will demoralize our servicemen and women, just as former President Clinton's administration did. Service personnel won't respect a commander-in-chief who labeled Vietnam servicemen as rapists and murderers.

Kerry voted to authorize military force, and then voted against funding for our armed forces. He has voted against developing necessary defense programs to protect our country. During the debate, he spoke of providing nuclear fuel to Iran, a country that sponsors terrorism and is actively seeking nuclear WMD. If ever there will be a need for conscription, it's likely to be under a John F. Kerry administration.

Dominic G. Iadonisi
Hagerstown




War breeds more and more lies


To the editor:

Maybe if Bush wins re-election, Iraq will become the 51st state in his second term. The name will be changed to Uraq and it won't be a star on the flag, but a crescent moon. This will help in the war on terrorism because the U.S. will have a Muslim state, so it obviously cannot be against Islam, as Osama bin Laden says it is. Also, the oil will be all ours. And the National Guard will be defending the homeland as it is supposed to be doing. If this strains your credulity, what about all the other stuff?

Will the the "Islamic 72 virgins" myth of paradise for jihadders prevail against the American occupation of Iraq? Will the lie that the U.S. is making progress in Iraq be able to keep the war going much longer? Is there any truth to the rumor that Kerry has a plan for extricating the U.S. from the war without simply giving up and leaving like we did in Vietnam?

Will the lie that "the Iraq war is a mistake, but no one is dying for a mistake" allow the Iraq war to continue much longer if Kerry wins the election in November? Will the rumor that the draft will be reinstituted in Bush's second term bring Kerry to victory by turning out young people to vote against Bush?

Ultimately, in deciding the fate of America and Iraq, I wonder what is more powerful: A myth, a lie or a rumor? Forget about the truth. Why, after an attack by mostly Saudi nationals based in Afghanistan and Pakistan, did the U.S. go to war with Iraq and try to convert Iraq into a democracy as if were an American state that just needed to be liberated from a nasty dictator? The answer to that question is more lies.

That Iraq turned out to be the big issue in the 2004 election is crazy. The guy who created the issue deserves to be fired, regardless of who the other guy is.

Joe Parker
Martinsburg, W.Va.




Kerry is the man


To the editor:

John Kerry was the clear-cut winner over George Bush in the first presidential debate. Kerry presented his plans in concise language. He talked about the issues with knowledge and a command of the facts.

Finally, Kerry had the opportunity to let America see that he is the man for the job. President Bush presented no new thoughts or plans for winning the war in Iraq. All he could say was that Iraq is hard work.

Calling the mess in Iraq "hard work" does not do justice to the great sacrifices that our military personnel are making. Who exactly is working hard? It certainly wasn't the Bush administration in planning for the peace after the invasion of Iraq. John Kerry has offered America a fresh start in Iraq and he is the man who can finish the job.

Linda Nasuti
Hedgesville, W.Va.

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