The Bush administration's backdoor draft

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Let's call the latest call-up of 2,500 Marine reservists what it really is: a backdoor draft.

It is outrageous that these veterans are being called on again to likely engage in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan. Haven't they done enough?

Of course, the Bush administration won't institute a draft, especially with congressional elections a few months away. The policy of calls for sacrifice for a few continues. It would amount to political suicide for the Republicans if the administration even suggested a draft at this point.

As background, we should examine the military records of the principal architects of the failed effort in Iraq--George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney. It is not a sparkling story.

Bush was in the Texas Air National Guard during the war in Vietnam in what remains a controversial period in his life. We do know he spent some time in Alabama, engaged in a senatorial campaign for a losing candidate.

Cheney had "other priorities" in those days. Those were his words for a series of student deferments he managed to get while pursuing studies at the University of Wisconsin.

Cheney did serve as secretary of defense during the Bush 41 presidency, but he apparently learned little about the ultimate consequences of occupying a distant country with no history of democracy. Remember those reassuring words that our troops would be welcomed as liberators once Saddam Hussein was ousted?

Despite their lack of combat experience, Bush and Cheney and their political allies have smeared those who have engaged in war. At the top of the list are Sens. John Kerry, John McCain, and Max Cleland. All have distinct stories of bravery: Cleland was left with no legs and one arm. No matter when negative politics are deemed necessary.

Now we hear the voices of fear again. Karl Rove, the president's political brain, who never wore his country's uniform, is leading the charge in a cut-and-run blasphemy against Democrats who want to bring the troops home. He has no shame.

Will the voters be lulled again by these tactics? The answer should be a resounding no.