---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 14:23:09 -0700
From: radtimes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: If Bush needs a draft to invade Iraq, good luck
If Bush needs a draft to invade Iraq, good luck
By George McEvoy, Palm Beach Post Columnist
Saturday, June 29, 2002
Dig through the attic and see if you can find your old peace-symbol necklace
and your love beads. Put on your bell-bottom jeans, sandals and tie-dye
shirt. Let your hair grow down below your shoulders if you're a guy -- the
1960s may well be coming back.
It all depends on President Bush.
If he really intends to invade Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein, Mr. Bush
might find himself short of soldiers. Our army is stretched pretty thin
right now in this war against international terrorism, and despite all the
smart bombs and guided missiles and other technological wonders of modern
warfare, you still need grunts on the ground with rifles and bayonets.
In that case, the president might feel it necessary to revive the military
draft in this country, and that's when the 1960s could stage their noisy
revival. According to a recent poll of college students across the United
States, 37 percent said they would be likely to evade such a draft.
The survey was done by Lutz Research Cos., a respected polling and political
consulting firm headed by Frank Lutz. A cross section of 634 students --
both men and women -- were contacted by telephone between May 2 and May 12,
and they were enrolled in all fields of study. Their responses were quite
similar, regardless of gender or whether they were majoring in the
humanities or business administration.
Mr. Lutz said draft resistance might well erupt into campus demonstrations,
as in the 1960s. "I can only imagine the disruption on college campuses if
the president suddenly called for a draft," he said. "Based on this data
(the poll results), the disruption on the campuses would be remarkable.''
The Lutz poll, however, shows one huge difference between today's potential
draft resisters and those of the Vietnam era.
The peaceniks, as they were called, who staged campus demonstrations and
street rallies in the 1960s opposed not only the draft, they were against
the war itself, claiming that it was a civil war and we had no business
The Lutz poll indicates that 66 percent of today's college students believe
the U.S. "has the right to invade Iraq because Saddam Hussein is still
attempting to build weapons of mass destruction." And an amazing 79 percent
believe the U.S. "has the right to overthrow Hussein."
But most remarkable of all is the finding that 58 percent of those who said
they would evade the draft would support an invasion of Iraq.
In other words, they favor the fighting as long as they don't have to do it.
They would be all gung-ho for the war if they could watch it at home on
The Lutz poll brought out some other interesting facts about today's college
students. For one thing, they do not view America as representing superior
values, as compared with other nations. Fully 71 percent disagreed with the
statement that U.S. values are superior.
The same poll showed Mr. Bush receiving very high marks for his handling of
the presidency, a whopping 70 percent, while at the same time, 57 percent
said they believed the policies of the U.S. are "at least somewhat
responsible for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks."
A clear majority of the students, 60 percent, believe that "developing a
better understanding of other cultures and nations that dislike us" would be
a better approach to preventing terrorism than investing in strong military
and defense capabilities.
As for the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, the general
college population leaned toward the Israelis, but not by much -- 35 percent
pro-Israeli, 22 percent pro-Palestinian.
Students in Northeastern colleges, however, showed opposite results -- 38
percent for the Palestinians, 23 percent for the Israelis.
During the height of the anti-Vietnam War protests, I was working for the
San Francisco Examiner, and one of my best pals, George Murphy, was the ace
reporter for the rival San Francisco Chronicle. We covered a lot of protest
rallies together, as well as the 5-month-long "Presidio mutiny trials."
George used to look at the peaceniks with distaste and say, "I'm against the
war, but I'm also against a lot of the people who are against the war."
Looking back now, I think I prefer the protesters of the 1960s to the ones
questioned in this latest poll. At least those long-ago hippies were
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