Blood From a Stone

Did anyone else watch the State of the Union last night? Well, actually, I didn’t watch it, I read it instead.

I have this passion for the State of the Union. I feel like Hermione in Order of the Phoenix, listening to Umbridge’s speech because it is important to know what the enemy is thinking. Reading between the lines yields interesting information, if you have the patience for it.

Sandwiched inbetween an apparently newly discovered concern for the uninsured working poor and education were a few choice and very intriguing statements about Iraq and about troop levels. There was the usual drivel about “demanding more from Iraq” and “cooperating with the Iraqi government,” but there was also this: “So we’re deploying reinforcements of more than 20,000 additional soldiers and Marines to Iraq.”

Essentially, what I read from that speech was that the President thinks we have lost control in Iraq, that the Iraqi government is not equipped to take over because of sectarian conflict, and that we are therefore throwing more troops at the problem, in the hopes that the crushing might of American military power will somehow fix the situation. Bush believes that retreating from Iraq would lead to complete destabilization, which is apparently the goal of the terrorists. Once chaos in Iraq is achieved, the Middle East will embroiled in violence while the naughty terrorists cement their position for another full frontal attack on the United States. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he says, “nothing is more important at this moment in our history than for America to succeed in the Middle East, to succeed in Iraq and to spare the American people from this danger.”

Will more troops solve the problem? Well, it’s hard to say. But I for one am mighty interested to know where all these new men and women of the American armed forces are coming from, when enlistment is at an all time low.

You cannot get blood from a stone, after all.

While he won’t flat out admit it, I suspect that he may be laying the groundwork for a draft. He’s aiming for a nation paralyzed in fear, so that the draft of additional military members will not come as such an unsettling surprise. He’s flirting at the edges of demanding it, and my apathetic generation has not woken up to the fact yet. Now is the time for caution, homechickens. If you intend to resist the draft, I’d start laying your own groundwork now, if I were you. The Selective Service is “testing their system,” and we all know what that means.

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