Friday, December 18, 2009

Deals that Ain't

So, now we have a climate deal that is so unambitious that all the participating nations might actually sign it. That’s kind of like reaching an agreement on health care reform that both republicans and democrats would sign. I’m guessing that the only ones popping bottles of champagne at the prospect would be the energy companies, and the health insurance companies. So, after these triumphs, our political leaders around the globe are probably next going to turn their limited attention span to financial reform—you know some really tough new regulations that the “too-big-to-fail banks“ and Ponzi investment houses like Salamon Smith Barney would welcome. Congratulations Big Guys. All those lobby bank checks have really paid off, huh?
And elsewhere, there is unrest among the several hundred thousand civilian contractors who perform tasks in war zones (think of Iraq and Afghanistan as real war zones) that our military used to perform—like peeling potatoes on KP duty, and shooting civilians in the middle of traffic jams. Turns out there are at least as many civilian contractors in these war zones as we have actual troops. So much for the “all-volunteer” army. When Blackwater was being chastised for gunning down Iraqi civilians, I started wondering just why Shrub & Co decided to privatize the war. But then, they really tried to privatize everything government does, including the warrior thing. Anything for a buck, I guess.
But it seems to me that this mess over there is a grand argument for bringing back the draft, and flushing the “all-volunteer” army idea. Only this time, we might consider no draft deferments for any reason. No Dick Cheney (“I had other priorities”) five deferments. There could be jobs for everyone, including people physically challenged. Hmmm . . . maybe a universal draft could solve our 10 - 20% unemployment rate. Oh, and then there’s the other advantage of a universal draft. It might get in the way of our moronic political leaders who are always rushing us into a war, so long as they or their kids can sit on the sidelines. Oh, and a really wonderful side effect. All the Fox News bimbos like Laura Ingraham would first have to go to Iraq in uniform and dodge explosions before they could resume their acting careers as faux-news people.
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