Jeanne on Kristof (and Others) on Staying or Going in Iraq

A nice, thoughtful piece from Jeanne of Body and Soul on the possible justifications for continuing to fight the war in Iraq: Misery.

The issue she’s grappling with seems a bit abstract to me, given that the architects of this war don’t actually give any signs of being motivated by a desire to help the Iraqi people; that’s merely the lame excuse they’ve been left with now that all their other tissue-paper rationales have fallen apart. But it’s an interesting mental exercise, anyway.

One Response to “Jeanne on Kristof (and Others) on Staying or Going in Iraq”

  1. Liberation Learning Says:

    An effective way to frame the American occupation of Iraq in terms beneficial to ending the occupation is by shifting the debate from one over the war to one over the draft. By shifting from war to draft we accomplish several things:

    1. Because the draft is not yet reality, we have almost total control over the terms of the debate. Proponents of the occupation cannot talk about the draft in positive terms, they can only deny that it is going to happen. But we can talk about the draft in endless ways – each way illustrating another aspect of the overall occupation. And sense the draft does not yet exist in reality, it is easier for people to think about it with an open mind and to take a position on the issue.

    2. Because the draft is generally and historically unpopular, proponents of the occupation must deny the possibility of the draft. This not only puts proponents on the defensive, but it can also force a discussion on why they believe that the current force levels are adequate (when clearly they are not). Every time they say that there will not be a draft is a reminder of the mess that they are created. Each time that reservists are called back to duty, that stop-losses are ordered serves as a reminder that we are correct to be not only concerned about, but also opposed to the draft.

    3. Because the draft has personal meaning to all American families with children and grandchildren ages 14-25, the discussion of the draft can bring new people directly into the dialogue over the occupation of Iraq. Since the occupation is unrelated to defense of American soil, criticisms of the draft move beyond the standard anti-war positions of the far left. Middle Americans can start worrying and talking about the occupation, and we can move our message beyond the choir. This is especially true if the discussion is framed as “freedom from the draft,” with freedom as one of several core American values violated by a draft for a war of aggression and occupation.

    I suggest that when developing a case against the draft that we build on several themes:

    1. Freedom from killing
    2. Freedom from illegal war
    3. Freedom of life

    The more that Americans talk about the draft, the more favorable the dialogue is to our issues and concerns. If we fight for freedom from the draft now, and use every opportunity to link the draft to illegal war of aggression, we will find more people receptive to opposing the overall occupation of Iraq.

    Framing the War: Freedom from the Draft

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