Saturday, July 5, 2008

WHY WE NEED A MILITARY DRAFT: SIX OUT OF TEN YOUNG AMERICANS CAN'T FIND IRAQ ON THE MAP

There are many reason why we need a military draft not the least of which is six out of ten young Americans according to a National Geographic study can't find Iraq on the map.

But there are more reason why need a draft.

We are fighting two wars. The Iraq war and the Afghanistan war and according to Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, we don't have enough troops for the exploding situation in Afghanistan.

Every war the U.S. has been involved in since World War II we had a military draft. There was a draft for the Korean War. I should know I was drafted in 1951 into the U.S. Army. There was a draft for the Vietnam War, but the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have been fought by an all volunteer military.

But now that same all volunteer military is stretched beyond the breaking point and even though 1200 troops in Iraq "re-upped" on the Fourth of July doesn't mean a damn thing.

What that means is they heard from back home how the economy is tanking and jobs are hard to find and so they decided to stay in the military rather than come home and end up out of work.

So bring on the DRAFT. It is time EVERYONE of military age know what it is like to serve in one of the branches of the United States military.

American flag lapel pins are out. Standing under the American flag in a military uniform are in.


Maybe then they will know where Iraq is on the map.

COMMENTARY BY BILL CORCORAN, EDITOR OF CORKSPHERE

Six out of 10 young Americans cannot find Iraq on a map

By Andrew Buncombe in WashingtonWednesday, 3 May 2006
http://tinyurl.com/5mepez

The US may be the world's only true superpower but global domination does not equal global knowledge. A new survey shows young Americans have what can only be described as shoddy geography skills, with six out of 10 unable to locate Iraq on a map and almost half incapable of pointing to the state of Mississippi.

Traditionally, the US has bowed to the idea of isolationism, hoping that geography in the form of vast oceans can help act as a protection from other nations. But the survey suggests that such an attitude- both culturally and in terms of interest in overseas travel - is having a woeful impact on Americans' ability to learn about the wider world.

The survey shows that, despite having invaded Iraq three years ago, six out of 10 Americans aged 18 to 24 cannot locate the country. Two-thirds do not know that the October 2005 earthquake that killed 70,000 people struck in Pakistan. Indeed, more than 40 per cent cannot locate Pakistan in Asia.

But it is not just overseas knowledge that is lacking. The survey shows that domestic geography is also poor. Despite the chaos caused by Hurricane Katrina, which killed hundreds of people and cost billions of dollars when it struck the Gulf Coast last August, one-third of those questioned were not able to find Louisiana on a map of the US. When asked to point on a map to a location that avoids hurricane strikes - ie, the north-west of the US - around a third pointed in the wrong direction.

"It's not good ... It shows the knowledge is pretty appalling," said John Fahey, president of the National Geographic Society, which commissioned the survey. "I think this is born out of a sense that [people believe] 'I can be isolated here - culturally and geographically. I don't need to think too much about what's happening in the rest of the world'."

He added: "Geographic illiteracy impacts our economic well-being, our relationships with other nations and the environment, and isolates us from our world. Geography is what helps us make sense of our world by showing the connections between people and places. Without it, our young people are not ready to face the challenges of the increasingly interconnected world of the 21st century."

The survey, carried out in December 2005, also found fewer than three in 10 think it is important to know the locations of countries in the news; only 14 per cent believe another language is a necessary skill; 47 per cent could not find India on a map and 75 per cent could not locate Israel.

While the geography skills of young Americans are unimpressive, however, they may be improving. A similar study carried out in 2002 found only 13 per cent could point to Iraq on a map. Almost one in 10 could not even point to the United States.

That survey also found that young people who have travelled abroad and speak another language are likely to have better geography skills than those who do not. Young adults who obtained international news from newspapers as opposed to television alone were likely to score better, as were respondents who regularly used the internet.

The National Geographic Society has released the results of the survey to coincide with a campaign to improve "geographic literacy". Entitled My Wonderful World, and led by a group of business, non-profit and education leaders, the aim is to highlight ways that children and parents can help build geography skills.

Central to the campaign is a website at www.Mywonderfulworld.net which contains suggestions for outdoor family activities, links to geography games and classroom materials.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a great way to teach geography, force American youth into unnecessary wars. Are you really serious with that idea, or is this satire?

Anonymous said...

Hey, since they don't know where Mississippi is, shouldn't we send newly-drafted troops to attack it?

FredSaid said...

Right on, bring on the draft because it will finally wake up Americans and turn around our misguided neocon policy. I wish the gov would institute a draft because really, that would get us out of Iraq, just like it got us out of Viet Nam.

Bill Corcoran said...

You are damn right I'm serious about starting up the DRAFT again.

The Chief of Joint Chiefs of Staff says we don't have the troops even for Afghanistan let along a war with Iran.

Bring on the DRAFT

Bill Corcoran said...

I agree with FRED. Bring on the DRAFT. Everyone should serve and then you will see how fast these stupid wars come to an end when Republican kids are sent off to Iraq, Afghanistan or Iran.

PerfesserJones said...

Bill, do you not see how ridiculous it is to argue for the draft on the grounds that young Americans do not know their geography? And I'll tell you another good way end stupid wars: don't start them in the first place. Instead of recognizing that some slimebags lied to Americans to accomplish their preordained war agenda, you skip that and suggest a draft? I don't know how your blogsite got connected so closely to CNN, you just don't deserve any large readership-- but then again I guess you do, because your thoughts are all so very mediocre, and that does quite fit the thinking of the mainstream. How sad.

PerfesserJones said...

Republican kids? They DO go to Iraq. They slide into the private contracting positions like Hellaburton's through their parents' contacts, and then they gang rape unfortunate American girls like that one from Texas. But they don't get charged with anything because the corporate contract says no law suits etc. You are too old to change Bill, so I suspect you shall die with a very short-sighted and ill-conceived vision of reality. Hard to believe you did journalism for years-- oh yeah, there's a difference between a writer and a hack, so I do actually understand how you functioned in the media biz. I did it for about a year, and then realized I would have to sell my soul to keep making a living that way. When are you retiring, by the way?

Bill Corcoran said...

Professor Jones:

I use many other sites for news from the Middle East, but CNN is th best in the Staes for breaking news. That is why I use them.

As for the draft, if McCain gets in we will be going to war with Iran and Adm. Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says we don't have enough troops right now for badly needed replacements in Afghanistan.

So how are we supposed to fight a war with Iran without a draft?

I'm not for wars, but if "our leaders" take us to war I think every single person of military age should be drafted.

As for the rest of your comments, they don't deserve an answer.

PerfesserJones said...

A war with Iran would be the end of the world as we know it, so no need to be concerned about creating a draft.

Bill Corcoran said...

Professor Jones:

With or without a war with Iran we still need a draft.

We cannot keep rotating the same troops to Iraq or Afghanistan for four or five tours.

The troops are wornout and so is their equipment.

Very few people have a vested interest in the wars because they don't have a family member in the military.

We could not have fought WWII, the Korean and Vietnam Wars without a draft.

Again, don't take my word for it. Listen to what Adm. Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says. He says we DON'T have the troops for the additional troops need to fight the war in Afghanistan.

I've found the ONLY Americans who are opposed to a draft are those that have children or grandchildren that are military age.

Sound familiar?

PerfesserJones said...

Fredsaid is right, bringing on a draft would certainly cause Americans to force this war to a quick end, just like viet nam. We had a draft for viet nam, but that would never have helped us win that war since it was unwinnable, as is Iraq. The only war we have won were wars that had a just cause behind them, like World War II. There is no high calling to the Iraq mess, we have only degraded our country by following a damned liar into this war, and a draft will not allow us to win it, though it will allow Americans to unify their will so strongly that the warmongers will crawl back under their rocks.

Bill Corcoran said...

Professor Jones:

There are many reasons why I support a draft, but right now the most important reason is everyone at the Pentagon is sayig our military is stretched to "the breaking point."

As a former GI myself, I'm always looking out for the "grunts" and what would be best for them.

I agree this was a war of choice and not a war of necessity, however now that we are in it I think (I know from personal experience) you have to give troops in the field a break and if you don't have the reserves then you are going to have a draft.

Forget all the politics. I'm talking about human lives. I'm talking about the need for more troops so our present military are not sent back to Iraq four and five times.

If anyone can tell me how you can accomplish this, I'm all ears.

Someone wrote recently there are a total of 535 members of Congress and less than ten of them have an immediate family member serving in the United States military.

No wonder Congress doesn't want a draft.

The 525 who do NOT have an immediate family member in the military would NEVER propose legislation re-activating the draft because it would mean their children or grandchildren might be conscripted.

Anonymous said...

You want to save lives in Iraq by sending more troops? What an idiot, just withdraw them and apologize for invading a country we never should have invaded.

Bill Corcoran said...

Anonymous:

What I'm looking out for is our troops that have been committed to this stupid war. It is not right that only a handful of Americans go to Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm not for the wars, but I am for our troops and they are stretched to the breaking point and we need a draft if we are going to keep up these wars.

Anonymous said...

So let's not keep up these wars.

Bill Corcoran said...

Anonymous:

That sounds on paper, but the reality is there have always been wars and probably always will be wars as long as you have people who want to seek more power.

Anonymous said...

So give up and accept that those in control of the U.S. troops will order attacks wherever they think they can gain more wealth or power? Those American citizens who say, "There will always be wars" in fact allow wars when they could be working to stop them. The answer is not to send more Americans (by force i.e. draft) to die, the answer is to control the leaders who send us to die for their power. Yes, those in power often start wars, usually avoidable wars, and our job as citizens is to march against them, not for them. Sounds right on paper, and often flies off the page and into the streets.

Bill Corcoran said...

Like you said, it looks good on paper, but have you ever heard or seen a demonstration stop the leaders in Washington from going to war or exapnding a war?

I haven't.

Anonymous said...

American protesters stopped the Viet Nam war, and that's why Fredsaid said he would like to see a draft enacted. A draft would very quickly end this war because, contrary to what you may believe, at times enough Americans get together to protest and cause the politicians to fear the power of America-- of for and by the people. Not all are silly sheep who think backwards, they don't propose more soldiers, by force of law, as a solution to the problem of an unnecessary war. Your whole premise, the very title of your blog, suggests yet more backwards thinking: impose a draft to teach geography? That's just plain retarded logic.

Bill Corcoran said...

Anonymous:

I was only using geography as a metaphor as to show how many of our young people have NO vested indterest in this war.

The point the article was making is the young people of the United States can't even find Iraq on the map

Very few people have a member of their immediate family in the military, and very few people even know of anyone who is in the military, and yet we have deployed closed to a quarter million young men and women to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ask anyone you know how many of our troops are in Iraq?

Ask the same person if they know how many of our troops are in Afghanistan?

It isn't only the youth of America who have no vested interest in the war, their parents are just as bad.

Ask the same person how many soldiers or Marines he or she knows who have been rotated to Iraq or Afghanistan and how many times they have been returned to the battlefied?

The geography metaphor was used ONLY to show how few young people in the United States have any idea where Iraq is located and are willing to enlist in the military.

The youth of America have adopted the "I'll hold your coat while you do the fighting" and in my opinion that is not only selfish it is not patriotic.

In a pefect world there wouldn't be any wars, but we don't live in a perfect world and so to keep from rotating the same troops to Iraq and Afghanista, I'm all for bringing back the draft.

Anonymous said...

"There are many reason (sic) why we need a military draft(,) not the least of which is (that) six out of ten young Americans (--) according to a National Geographic study (--) can't find Iraq on the map."

I fixed up your poorly written, bad idea, and now let's look at that idea: You wrote that we need a draft because young Americans can't find Iraq on a map. So, enact a draft so that the young will learn where Iraq is, i.e. teach geography through a draft. That is the clearest and most direct meaning of the above words; if you did not mean this, then either write what you mean or mean what you write and stand behind your opinions, if you do mean this. And this is not a "metaphor", which may be why your misdirected attempt at constructing a literary convention about which you seem to know nothing has failed miserably.

The better solution to keep from rotating troops is much easier than a draft: Stop the damned war -- and I assure you it can be stopped, if enough Americans protest against it, just like Viet Nam...

Bill Corcoran said...

ANONYMOUS:

Thanks for the grammar lesson, however it appears as though you still don't get it.

Perhaps a reading comprehension course is what you need.

You are focusing on the word "geography" and what I'm focusing on is how it is not right that only a handful of Americans are doing the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If you think protest and marches with this administration are going to stop the war, you are living in some dream world.

Barck Obama will do his best to stop the war, but if John McCain gets in it will only be more of the same.

And if McCain gets in, you and others can protest until the cows come home and it won't mean a damn thing.

McCain, like Bush and Cheney, is a warmonger.

Anonymous said...

You are welcome for the grammar lesson, now all you need do is write clearly and concisely; cryptic or obfuscated meaning behind loose wording makes reading comprehension difficult even for experienced university teachers of writing.

Readers need less reading comprehension skills if the writer writes what he means instead of making poorly thought out connections between unrelated subjects in the name of creating what he believes is a "metaphor".

I am sure you will vote for McCain, and then you can write a letter to the President personally to suggest reinstating a draft. That should further complicate the problem that you so clearly misperceive.

However, don't expect very many Republican youth to end up in Iraq; they'll get college deferments and use other legal techniques to keep their asses off the front lines. In the end, your suggestion would simply force more poor folks into the cannon as elitist's fodder.

Bill Corcoran said...

Anonymous:

Putting aside your egotistical remarks, I will be VOTING for OBAMA.

Is that clear enough for even a University professor?

Anonymous said...

Oh Bill, I'm just having fun throwing out a few witty barbs for the hell of it. If you vote for Obama, I seriously doubt you'll be seeing a draft, which is what you propose, so your choice seems a bit contradictory to me. You have fun blogging, and best of luck to you.