For Immediate Release
Thursday October 21, 200
Discusses Postwar Planning in Iraq and the Military Draft
Dr. David Sanders, Democratic candidate for the office of U.S. Representative for the 4th Congressional District of the State of Indiana, discussed military and foreign policy in an address to West Lafayette students.
Dr. Sanders began by evaluating the war in Iraq in the context of overall American foreign policy.
"Much attention has been focused on the war in Iraq and how to resolve the chaos there. I believe that we need to be thinking about our long-term foreign policy objectives."
"Defeating the forces of Saddam Hussein in Iraq was accomplished bravely and swiftly. There are some important achievements in post-war reconstruction. Nevertheless, disastrous postwar planning has made Iraq a terrorist training ground and a trap for aid workers, reconstruction contractors, and American and allied military forces."
"The essential problem is that the administration and Republican Congressman such as Representative Buyer did not have the curiosity to ask questions."
"What if American forces arenít universally welcomed as saviors as Congressman Buyer and others proclaimed they would?"
"What if all or part of a "free and sovereign Iraq" wants to become an Islamic theocracy like its neighbor Iran? The invasion has strengthened the geopolitical position of Iran, which has for years posed a greater threat than Iraq."
"What if a "free and sovereign" Iraq wants to limit oil supplies to raise revenues? "
"What if a "free and sovereign" Iraq wants to change contracts that were negotiated when American troops were patrolling the country?"
"What if a "free and sovereign" Iraq doesnít support our foreign and military policy in the Middle East? Do they "owe" us indefinitely?"
"How long do we need to stay in Iraq? Congressman Buyer has recently discussed how long it will take to train the Iraqi army so that it can deal with the insurgency. He spoke about terms from 8 years to decades."
"How is the military policy going to be sustained? We already have greatly extended tours of duty, members of the National Guard carrying out operations for which they have been inadequately prepared, and people being called back from retirement into service. I do not argue that there is a Republican "secret plan" for reinstating military conscription. If itís secret, then I wouldnít know about it. I do maintain that the current military policies pursued by the Bush administration and supported by Congressman Buyer will become impossible to pursue without it."
"Congressman Buyer has previously declared his support for reinstatement of the draft. He said, "A lot of young people are escaping their civic responsibilities. There are benefits to a draft." Given that he faces an election, I predict that Congressman Buyer will "flip-flop" on this issue."
"When asked about alternatives to a draft such as enhancing college scholarships for people who joined the military, Congressman Buyer said that people who enlisted in order to obtain money for college were "pantywaists.""
"I have immense respect for the courage of individuals who have decided to serve their country by enlisting in the United States military. I do not believe that it is a required civic responsibility. Perhaps Congressman Buyer thinks that the use of nuclear weapons, as he has previously advocated in the battle for Afghanistan, will mean we won't need a draft."