Your tour is up...almost...hang on just a while, okay?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006 at 04:04 PM

Continuing what I consider to be its abuse of the military contract between the government and its soldiers, "anonymous officials" in Washington are saying that the administration is, once again, considering the possibility of temporarily beefing up the forces in Iraq by extending the tours of some U.S. soldiers.

In other words, you've been told from the beginning that your tour in Iraq is up on, say, August 19 and you will then "rotate" back to the United States.  Because things look so shaky in Iraq right now, especially in Baghdad, the military casually informs you that, sorry, we know you really want out of here, we know we told you you could go home on Aug. 19, and we know your whole family is gearing up for your Aug 19 return, but...turns out we need you for another...let's say a month, at least until we know otherwise.

It ain't right, at all, even though it's not as bad as extending the enlistment in the military.  And, by the way, there's no word one way or the other on whether any enlistments would have to be extended under the new policy--what happens to soldiers whose end of tour are the same as their end of enlistment?

How do you make volunteers shoulder an even bigger part of the burden, while letting those who did not volunteer off the hook entirely?  Follow the administration's plan.

It would be fairer by far to have a draft, and fairer still to draft all the blowhards on the right who pushed this war from the beginning, and continue to push it now, trumpeting the nobility and necessity of the fight.  But then that would treat this little occupation as a real "war," and we all know that it's only a "war" when the administration needs to make the point that people who oppose their policies don't know there's a "war" on.

Seems to me that it's the administration which doesn't know there's a war on.  No draft, no sense of urgency, no tax hike to pay for it, no congressional declaration of war, no triggering of the many statutes and treaties that apply in times of "war."

Yeah, in the most fundamental sense, this is a war of convenience.  Especially for the people who find it inconvenient to go fight it, but very convenient to cheerlead its fighting.