From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Yeah, sure.

October 17, 2004 11:23 AM

George W. Bush, yesterday: "the best way to avoid the draft is to vote for me"

Topical Agenda: The Department of Defense (Personnel & Readiness) and the Selective Service System, 2/11/2003:

Defense manpower officials concede there are critical shortages of military personnel with certain special skills, such as medical personnel, linguists, computer network engineers, etc. The costs of attracting and retaining such personnel for military service could be prohibitive, leading some officials to conclude that while a conventional draft may never be needed, a draft of men and women possessing these critical skills may be warranted in a future crisis, if too few volunteer.

More from the archive in Bush, Lies and Deceit.

Yeah, sure. (10.17.2004)

Next Entry: O'Sexxxy hits LA Times, Access Hollywood (10.18.2004)
Previous Entry: New York Times endorses John Kerry (10.17.2004)

Read the 46 comments.

Red Ghost:

Ah, the draft. Would anybody in their RIGHT MIND believe that George "Let God Sort 'Em Out" Bush is the real antidraft candidate?

Um, so like, he believes in military casualties for overthrowing a disabled dictator, mandatory extended duties, underprotected soldiers, his own incapability of committing mistakes in Iraq, etc. etc. etc. but NOT in the draft?


Sun Oct 17 2004 12:56 PM

Right Wing Robby:

Show me where Bush or a single member of his administration has mentioned being in favor or at least neutral on the draft.

They only people talking about it are liberal democrats.

Sun Oct 17 2004 1:16 PM

raging red:

Um, yeah, we're just going to take Bush's word for it on this one. We've made that mistake before, but we won't be falling for that again.

George orWell Bush has a nasty habit of saying the exact opposite of what he means, so when he says there will be no draft, what he means is - I think I feel a draft coming.

Sun Oct 17 2004 2:35 PM

Right Wing Robby:

In other words you got nothing. gotcha.

Sun Oct 17 2004 3:46 PM

raging red:

Uh, Jim already covered that in the main post. You know, critical shortages of military personnel and all that. Also, no end of our engagement in Iraq in sight.

Clearly, even if Bush has no present plans to reinstate the draft, the BEST way to avoid the draft wouldn't be voting for him, it would be voting him out of office. I mean, who knows what country he would decide to invade during a second term, stretching our military's limits even further.

Sun Oct 17 2004 4:11 PM


RWR...why marginalize yourself into a role player here?

Every time I see your name at the heading of a post, I already know what it says. C'mon! Surprise us with some original thought, rather than the company line...

Sun Oct 17 2004 4:22 PM


My .02
Speaking as a pragmatist and as a veteran, no one should be discounting the possibility of a draft. I base this on the possible, very real, NECESSITY of a draft for reasons Raging Red touched on. For Bush to look into a camera and promise there will never be a draft is pandering.

Granted, the Dems are only really using the draft as a strategic campaign tool, but it's a loaded proposition and is a card that makes a lot of sense to play. You've got to hand it to the Dems. It almost seems...Republican.

Besides, I know it makes some people's timbers shiver, but I'm not all that opposed to a draft anyway - but I do recognize a person's sensibilities and concern at being forced to serving in a war machine. I'm just frustrated beyond all reason that our war machine is being used to advance ideology right now. People should die in service to defend their country, not to realize some demagogue's delusional, evangelical vision for the world.

I mean...yikes.

Sun Oct 17 2004 4:57 PM

Right Wing Robby:

I learned original thought from Jim.,1249,595098710,00.html

Sun Oct 17 2004 5:02 PM

raging red:

What exactly is that article supposed to show? John Kerry says a draft is definitely a possibility for the reasons already stated here, and George Bush just flatly states that there will not be a draft.

Again, the BEST way to avoid the draft is to NOT vote for Bush. Hey! That's the exact opposite of what he said yesterday! Neat.

Sun Oct 17 2004 6:12 PM

Right Wing Robby:

RagingRed says:

"John Kerry says a draft is definitely a possibility for the reasons already stated here, and George Bush just flatly states that there will not be a draft."

Sun Oct 17 2004 6:46 PM

raging red:

Damn. I just remembered that a while back, I decided that I should just ignore you, since you clearly have trouble following even the simplest argument. Thanks for reminding me.

Sun Oct 17 2004 7:20 PM

Tom from Madison:

It's time we remember who put us in the Iraqi quagmire without enough troops and against the advice of many of his own top military advisers. This Iraq policy is a tragedy because the shortage of required troops is what Donald Rumsfeld would call "knowable" before it happened--if he were being honest.

A larger coalition that wasn't falling apart would sure come in handy now--epecially if Arabs were in it. Then the "jihad" rhetoric might not be such a powerful recruiting tool for the insurgents.

Everyday the situation in Iraq demonstrates the need for a president who is accountable and a secretary of defense who knows how to plan realistically. Right now we have neither.

Sun Oct 17 2004 7:49 PM


"Damn. I just remembered that a while back, I decided that I should just ignore you, since you clearly have trouble following even the simplest argument. Thanks for reminding me."

Good advice when dealing with born-again Republicans.

Sun Oct 17 2004 8:08 PM

Right Wing Robby:

"Bush, who served in the Texas Air National Guard, was trusted by 69 percent of military regulars, Reservists and National Guard members, while 24 percent said they trusted Kerry more, according to the National Annenberg Election Survey released Friday."

They dont need Kerry to tell them anything, nor want it. They get the message, just like the vietnam veterans did.

Full story:

Mon Oct 18 2004 6:52 AM



I looked at that study as well and I was surprised that those numbers were so, well...LOW.

Military members and families are much more "piss and vinegar" than a civy family. It's an unspoken understanding that if you're in the service, you're a republican (there are, of course, exceptions). I would like to see survey numbers over the course of time. My money says it's decreasing.

Mon Oct 18 2004 8:23 AM


Anyone interested in the draft issue should follow this link. It appears to be a bill that is waiting for Congress to look at.

"A bill to provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes."

I hope someone can explain to me what this is, and if it means what it looks like it means.

Mon Oct 18 2004 8:32 AM


Well, Aaron, what it means is that a liberal Democrat (Charles Rangel) in an effort to make a political statement i.e. "The Congress won't be so quick to go to war if their OWN sons and daughters are subject to the draft" proposed this wacko bill that, if you click on the link to the related bill (H.R. 163,)you'll see recently went down in flaming defeat, 402 - 2.

Rangel didn't even vote for his own bill, it was that bad.

Mon Oct 18 2004 8:59 AM


As previously posted on this site:


Is this a new take on the draft? Mandatory two years service to be eligible for college?

"As part of his 100 day plan to change America, John Kerry will propose a comprehensive service plan that includes requiring mandatory service for high school students and four years of college tuition in exchange for two years of national service"

Seems the democrat party is the only one interested in renstating the draft.

Mon Oct 18 2004 9:11 AM


wrong wing said:

"Show me where Bush or a single member of his administration has mentioned being in favor or at least neutral on the draft."


'[Bush] said that, after a debate with Kerry, "I made it very plain. We will not have an all-volunteer army."'

Mon Oct 18 2004 1:27 PM

Right Wing Robby:


If your going to post that and then link to the article, why wouldnt you just post the whole paragraph? Hoping people wont read?

Heres the whole paragraph readers:

He said that, after a debate with Kerry, "I made it very plain. We will not have an all-volunteer army." The crowd fell silent. "WE WILL have an all-volunteer army," Bush said, quickly catching himself. "Let me restate that. We will not have a draft."
Come on Paul, you're better than that.

Mon Oct 18 2004 1:43 PM



It only takes about 5 minutes of poking around to debunk your insinuation. The "two year plan" is Kerry's proposed reorginization of the voluntary(and underpublicized) Americorps. Certainly nothing drastic, like forcing a gun into your hand and sending you overseas to go kill poor people.

The "mandatory" portion is his "High School Service Requirement":

"As President, John Kerry will ensure that every high school student in America performs community service as a requirement for graduation. This service will be a rite of passage for our nation’s youth and will help foster a lifetime of service. States would design service programs that meet their community and educational needs. However, John Kerry does not believe in unfunded mandates. No state would be obligated to implement a service requirement if the federal government does not live up to its obligation to fund the program."

The nerve of that man Kerry, mandating high school students give back to their communities...what a terrible idea.

Mon Oct 18 2004 2:08 PM


The nerve of that man Kerry, mandating high school students give back to their communities...what a terrible idea.

MANDITORY SERVICE, sounds like the selective service that I registered for years ago. There are also sections that mention community defense (snitch on your neighbor plans?).

As for the "community service" crap, sounds like the kinds of work that judges have exempted convicted felons from. What is this a new democrat plan to indoctrinate the young into saluting Kerry's planned socialist state? It sounds remarkable similar to the "cultural revolution" ideas of Maoist China.

Mon Oct 18 2004 2:23 PM

raging red:

From the "community defense" portion of Kerry's plan:

"Volunteer Service Captains would receive training and education to assist their communities in the event of an attack. They would be trained to help identify local health professionals and experts in the area, provide information on local evacuation or quarantine plans, and stand ready to be of assistance to first defenders."

No snitching (unlike Bush's failed TIPS program that asked the U.S. Postal Service to join in on the snitching), just a readiness program in case of a terrorist attack. Nice try, though.

Looks like RWR needs to get a sense of humor. Clearly the Bush quote was just another one of his gaffes. I doubt Paul was trying to pass it off as a genuine statement by Bush, otherwise he probably wouldn't have supplied the link. Sheesh.

Mon Oct 18 2004 3:07 PM

raging red:

The only part of Kerry's plan that refers to "mandatory service" is with regard to community service through Americorps. It has absolutely nothing to do with the military.

Incidentally, you could certainly argue that there shouldn't be a mandatory requirement for high schoolers to perform community service, but this thread is about the possibility of a DRAFT, and nothing in Kerry's plan even remotely suggests that he would make military service mandatory.

Kerry has talked about fully funding the tuition incentives for people who choose to enter the military, which would provide a greater incentive for people to join.

Mon Oct 18 2004 3:13 PM

raging red:

dhermesc said:

"Mandatory two years of service to be eligible for college?"

You really have no reading comprehension skills, do you? Kerry is proposing giving students four years of college TUITION in exchange for two years of community service with Americorps. This is an entirely voluntary program (not mandatory) that would pay someone's entire college tuition if they agree to do community service for 2 years.

Man, the nerve of John Kerry, actually offering to pay people's college tuition.

Mon Oct 18 2004 3:17 PM

Right Wing Robby:


95% of what I read from the leftists I consider to be laughable. How in the world I am supposed to know that this one was meant to be a joke is beyond me. Besides, I dont think it was. Its the exact type of cut and paste crap that goes on.

Mon Oct 18 2004 3:23 PM

raging red:

Well, I don't know what Paul's intent was. He'll have to speak for himself.

It's just that I had read this quote many times already, so I kind of considered it common knowledge that Bush had recently made this gaffe. Thus, I didn't think anyone would seriously consider passing this off as a statement that Bush had actually meant. Plus, as I said, he provided the link that puts the quote in context. Anyway.

Mon Oct 18 2004 5:12 PM


wrong wing,

So, Bush said one thing, and then when the audience went silent, he realized he had made a mistake and reversed himself completely.

He's a FLIP-FLOPPER! How can we trust a person who can't even be consistent in the same speech?!

Mon Oct 18 2004 5:45 PM


raging red,

You have incredible patience. I salute you.

However, dhermesc is a totally lost cause, believe me.

Mon Oct 18 2004 5:57 PM


Has anybody paused to think, "Why must we even have to account for Bush's lack of coherence and oratory skills?" Have we become that deadened to Bush's butchery of english that we just pass off his gaffes as status quo? I mean, seriously people.

Pinch yourself and think about it. I really don't know how even the strong Bush supporters reconcile this with their better judgment.

But God forbid we require communication skills as a prereq for being the Prez.

How are we even having this conversation!

Mon Oct 18 2004 6:38 PM


For anyone who hasn't been there already. It's as frightening as it is funny:

Mon Oct 18 2004 6:58 PM


Talk about not having any reading comprehension, please tell me where it says this is voluntary, and where the hell does it says service is limited to Ameri Korps? The only time Ameri Korp is brought up is when Kerry takes a jab at Bush for not doubling the size. The site does mention expanding the Peace Corp to 25,000 people, but where are the other 975,000 people going to serve? Just saying that the word MANDATORY isn't there doesn't erase it from John Kerry's website.

"As part of his 100 day plan to change America, John Kerry will propose a comprehensive service plan that includes requiring MANDATORY service for high school students and four years of college tuition in exchange for two years of national service."

You are going to get two years of manditory "service" (sounds like a jail sentance) just because you graduated from high school. That's an incentive to get more kids to stay in school. Then if you're poor and can't afford college you get to serve two more years to help pay for your college tuition. No where does it say what this service is limited to, in fact Kerry says this program is designed to make America safer and provide for defense:

"As President, John Kerry will have the courage to lead and call on all Americans to make our nation stronger. Whether it is protecting America from the threats of terrorism or addressing the problems we have at home, ..... John Kerry will call on all Americans - tapping into the idealism and ingenuity of Americans and putting it to work on building a safer, stronger, and more secure nation."

"As President, John Kerry will call on young people to help strengthen America's security and address unmet community needs."

Given his emphasis on defense and security it sounds like a major player in the "service" game is going to be the department of defense. Enlisted personal in the Army have been called "Servicemen" for over a century. Remember, it is called the "Selective Service" for a reason and this is the the same party that called taxes "contributions".

Tue Oct 19 2004 6:46 AM

raging red:

Whoa, Paul was right about you.

I already addressed which part of Kerry's plan is mandatory in my previous post. If you cannot understand what I said, then you truly cannot read. The mandatory part is community service BEFORE you graduate from high school. I also said that one could absolutely argue against such a requirement. BUT IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MILITARY SERVICE. Americorps is about LOCAL good things that you do for your OWN community - like planting flowers and reading to old people and shit like that.

The two years of community service in exchange for four years of college tuition is an entirely VOLUNTARY program. There's even an alternative for someone who doesn't want to go to college - if you CHOOSE to do the 2 years of community service, you can get the money to start a small business instead of going to college.

AGAIN - you can absolutely disagree with these programs. I have no problem with that. BUT trying to argue that these are actually programs to force people to join the military is so absolutely ludicrous that you must be certifiably insane.

Tue Oct 19 2004 9:06 AM


"BUT IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MILITARY SERVICE. Americorps is about LOCAL good things that you do for your OWN community - like planting flowers and reading to old people and shit like that."

I ask you again, where does it say that it as nothing to do with the military? Throughout this "plan" Kerry prattles on about defense of the nation, security of the nation and so on. Where the Hell does he say anything about planting flowers or reading to old people? Now thats adding your own layer of shit to a subject.

I know a mental midget such as yourself can't connect the dots between manditory service and compulsory service but I would at least expect you to be able to read. You have after all found the "ON" switch to your computer.

Tue Oct 19 2004 10:38 AM

raging red:



Tue Oct 19 2004 11:28 AM

raging red:

I have worked as an AmeriCorps volunteer myself - for two summers during college. I supervised a group of elementary school children in a summer program and helped them with their reading and writing skills.

At no time during this volunteer experience was I taught how to use an M-16 or made to scale walls. Nor did I wear fatigues or throw grenades.

Tue Oct 19 2004 11:31 AM


"I ask you again, where does it say that it as nothing to do with the military?"

Are you seriously suggesting that it has to specifically state that it is NOT related to something in order to not be related to it?

In that case Kerry's whole plan is about 2 years mandatory service mining for cheese and onion rolls on the moon.

It doesn't say that it's not about that, so it must be true. Wow, I can't wait to use this logic on everything!

Tue Oct 19 2004 12:24 PM

Independent Jones:

ooops, forgot to include my handle in the previous post. I suppose that means Warren G. Harding could have written it... :)

Tue Oct 19 2004 1:22 PM


Remember you can’t believe a thing Bush says.
People forget this. He has basically lied about everything he promised to do in this country including going into the war on terror. So if you want 4 more years of an inept war against everyone who isn’t a frelling Christian while we get into more and more debt that the next president will have to deal with (this by the way was the Reagan strategy, who cares just print more money until my term is up), then vote for Bush.

If you would like to get some other things done. Vote for Kerry.

Throughout history, time after time, we see that violence begets more hatred and violence. You can’t force something on people that they don’t want. Sooner or later they will resent you for it. If you had a close loved one that got killed in the Iraq war by US bombs, would you forgive and forget when you see that law and order is not restored and that the US soldiers sit by while looting goes on and more and more violence is perpetrated in the country. Sure, lets just kill them all right. This is some kind of John Wayne philosophy. Look at Israel. It goes on and on.
Quite frankly this could be the beginnings of Armageddon. Hatred between Christianity and the Muslim world until finally someone gets ahold of a nuclear bomb and then we retaliate and thats all she wrote. All because we lack the brains to do anything else.

Bush, in his mind, is actually fighting a religious war. He believes god is on his side and he's willing to kill every last Muslim if necessary until they see things his way. He talks about preserving our way of life while he digs us into more and more debt, and provides absolutely no direction for the economy but leaves it all up to the tender mercies of the free market. Meanwhile onward Christian soldiers and damn anyone who speaks ill of our boys. I’ve got news for everyone, God is not pleased.

What makes someone great, Christ for instance, is their ability to not choose violence. What makes someone smart is to not create more hatred.

There are basically two philosophies. One we march in like John Wayne and kick ass. (This is the dumb ass redneck video game philosophy). Or we implement the prime directive and don’t interfere in the affairs of cultures that are not at our level of awareness. And if we do we respond only in kind. They do something we reply with an equal and appropriate in kind response. Otherwise, if we look at Israel as an example, we are going to have massive killing fields all over the Arab world.

Remember these guys are tougher than we are because life is cheap to them. They don’t care if they blow up children as suicide bombers, they don’t care if they behead people. Can we as civilized men say we have the same fortitude for sacrifice. Remember Marlin Brando in Apocalypse Now. “give me a battalion of men like this and I could win this war in 3 months” “you must make a friend of horror" well there is a whole bunch of these guys over there with that kind of mentality and their spread like so much jam into the population and they rule like the mafia with fear of retaliation if any of the populace should help us. So, who cares about OReilly masturbating? There are a few more serious things to discuss and I would like to hear more solutions from you braniacs than all these damn complaints about who’s right and wrong. Lets use your brain power for something constructive.

One more thing.
If you were under fire on a boat in Vietnam, who would you rather have in your boat, Bush or Kerry.

There is no way Bush is more effective in this war than Kerry. He just wants you to think so.

Tue Oct 19 2004 11:47 PM


Apparently somebody reminded John Boy about his draft proposal. Its been pulled, wonder why?

Wed Oct 20 2004 10:11 AM

Roy DeMeo:

I’ve been giving some thoughts to the presidential debates. I think back to the news surrounding the prelude. As I recall Mr. Bush’s negotiated some terms that stipulated what I considered unusual requests.

One was no reaction shots, in other words keep the camera on the speaker, not the other guys reaction. Well, turns out the reason for this was that Mr. Bush has employed in past debates the device of grimacing and wincing while the other guy is talking, winking to Lara, things like that. Well he got busted doing it and I think people saw what a jerk he really is. I know some of you are saying, no he really reacted that way to Mr. Kerry’s outrageous comments. To that I respond, why then did he stop doing it in debate two and three? The conclusion I draw is he knows he got caught being an asshole and his advisors told him he had better stop, (don’t play well with the regular folks) so he stopped.

Another stipulation was no cameras behind the candidate. Why? Some photos show what appears to be a box-like hunch on Mr. Bush’s back. Now maybe it was nothing. It certainly was not there in the next two debates and the Bush team calls it a ridiculous charge. But, I don’t know, the photo I saw looks like there was something there to me. I might be wrong on this one, but I certainly wouldn’t put it past him given his inarticulateness and penchant for making no sense whatsoever when not scripted.

On to the second debate. When Mr. Kerry was asked about abortion. He stated where he stands. Bush was cagey. Why not just come out and say it? Also, the bit about never making a mistake is just so out there. Another thing, I swear I saw him drink an empty glass of water for like ten seconds. Again, maybe just a tactic to offset nervousness, but I thought it was just plain weird and deceiving.

Last debate. What was up with all the blinking? If I didn’t know better I’d think he was a very disturbed individual. And when Mr. Kerry stated that there is already a back door draft regarding stop loss orders on reservist, Bush responded by changing the subject, no response to that tid-bit. He did point out that Mr. Kerry forgot Poland in our Iraq coalition. Turns out, like 3 days later Poland announces it is downsizing it immense military forces in Iraq to an even smaller contingent. Very good timing if anyone notices.

I already knew before the debate that I would never vote for Bush. The debates made me question not only his honesty but also his sanity.

Lastly, I just loved the Bill O’Reilly interview with Bush on Fox News. Am I the only one, or did it look like they were giving each other a hand-job, metaphorically of course.

Wed Oct 20 2004 11:05 AM

raging red:

"Its been pulled, wonder why?"

Oh my god, John Kerry must have read this blog and realized that you have discovered his secret plan!

Meanwhile, Bush is openly preparing a "contingency plan" in which civilians (such as medical workers) are drafted.

Wed Oct 20 2004 2:09 PM


Previously unseen documents released by the Kerry-Edwards campaign today reveal a secret Bush administration plan to draft the elderly into military service.

"If George W. Bush wins this election, I warn you that he will kill two birds with one stone," said John Forbes Kerry, the Democrat presidential candidate. "He'll bail out Social Security by sending our nation's grandparents to the front lines in Iraq to die in the wrong war."

Mr. Kerry, who is also a U.S. Senator, said, "Senior citizens are patriotic, plentiful and many of them still have their old military uniforms and vintage rifles from World War II and Korea. It's a cynical scheme, and that's why this administration is hiding it until January."

Wed Oct 20 2004 3:01 PM


Well according to RR it was a great plan and would be great for the country. Why would all traces of this proposal vanish from the public's eye?

Wed Oct 20 2004 3:05 PM

raging red:

dhermesc, you clearly never understood what I was arguing.

I never expressed an opinion on John Kerry's plan for beefing up the AmeriCorps program. I was simply stating the OBVIOUS - that it has nothing whatsoever to do with a MILITARY DRAFT, as you were arguing.

Right here is the link to John Kerry's "National Service" plan, which has always been available at his web site:


Wed Oct 20 2004 3:47 PM

raging red:

Here's another link from his web site:

No information has vanished.

Wed Oct 20 2004 3:49 PM

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