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Feel a Draft?

Posted 1/19/2005

The plight of American soldiers returning from and still in Iraq is truly disheartening. The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that many soldiers develop as a result of the traumas of war wreaks havoc not only on their lives but also on those of their families and loved ones (“Soldiers Heart,” Jan. 12). But PTSD is only one of the many negative traits of our ill-fated Iraqi invasion. How many lives have been tainted as a result of fighting or simply being related to someone who is? How many young lives have ended too abruptly? Finally, what’s next?

Consider the situation in Iraq, our depleting resources, a growing deficit, our declining ability to maintain the sacrifices we are making as a nation for this war, which seems to be getting worse with the passing months and years. This year, the tours of duty for many of our troops currently in Iraq will be up and they should be sent home (although we can’t be sure of such contracts being honored by the government these days). Also, military recruitment is at an all-time low and we are stretched to the bare threads with the troops we have. Morale keeps dropping due to poor conditions, lack of supplies and protective equipment for soldiers, mental illness, and lack of tact by good old Rummy.

So, thinking logically, one could come to the conclusion that we will soon be left with no other choice but to reinstate the draft if our government continues with its Texas-brand style of fighting terrorism. Of course government officials are counting on Iraqis to eventually protect themselves, but so far, this goal seems far away. If Great Britain fought the Irish Republican Army for 30 years, with insurgents numbering in the hundreds, how are we to deal with insurgents in Iraq and the Middle East that number in the thousands? There is also the possibility that troops will eventually be needed in places like North Korea and Iran. Let’s hope there are no unexpected events that could further stretch our military resources. So, looking at our current situation, a reinstatement of a draft seems imminent if the government wants to continue fighting the so-called war on terrorism. This Thursday, Jan. 20, George W. Bush will be sworn in for his second presidential term. Maybe it’s time to reflect on the past four years, ponder on the future, and open our eyes toward what’s to come.

Yesica Rodriguez
Baltimore

The Home Front

While I empathize with the soldiers overseas fighting for what they believe in, I also believe there is an injustice being done for thousands of other people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that we’re not hearing about (“Soldier’s Heart”).

I have seen this same soldier story in over a dozen publications, and I am left to wonder why women survivors of abuse are not getting the same exposure, especially since PTSD affects more women than men, and wartime cases are a drop in the bucket compared to the number of abuse survivors with PTSD. What are our priorities? There is another war going on at home with far more casualties, and it seems as if no one is paying any attention to it.

Gary Veraldi
North Bay, Ontario, Canada

Duh

Doesn’t Kimberly Haven realize that civil rights are those rights given to all citizens of the United States by the Constitution (“Sentenced for Life,” Mobtown Beat, Jan.12)? When constitutional law has been broken or violated, Ms. Haven wants the General Assembly to trespass on the rights and privileges of that Constitution and give lawbreakers a break.

Can you imagine a senator proposing such a bill before the Congress of the United States? Like Red Skelton used to say, “Duh.”

Leo A. Williams
Baltimore

Fuck No, I Won’t Go (Along)

Russ Smith writes that we John Kerry voters are still bitter about the Nov. 2 election results and we’ll try any method possible to smear George W. Bush (“Party Poop,” Right Field, Jan. 12).

I see no wrong in being bitter if the bitterness is used in a positive way, not only to smear Bush, who deserves it, but to thwart every goddamned rotten thing he does—privatizing Social Security, permanent tax cuts for the rich, abolition of the estate tax, removing women’s right to choose abortion, tearing down the wall separating church and state, trashing our environment, maintaining the barbaric practice of capital punishment, and sending our precious youth off to kill and die for corporate profits.

I am bitter about the Democratic Party facing this shit-for-brains president with a waffling doormat like John Kerry. I voted for Kerry, praying he would grow some balls, but he let his supporters down in his concession speech. He told us to cave in to Bush and his henchmen. He said, “In the days ahead we must find common cause, we must join in the common effort, without anger or rancor.”

Without anger or rancor? Common cause with Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz, or the rest of the shits surrounding Bush?

Fuck no!

Just because I’m bitter, I won’t sulk or leave the country. Whether Russ Smith likes it or not, other progressives like myself will fight the odious policies of this administration, recalling the line from Pablo Neruda: “America, I do not call your name without hope.”

Gerald Ben Shargel
Baltimore

Baby, Baby, It’s a Wire World

I just read the article on The Wire (“Down to The Wire,” Arts and Entertainment, Jan 12). I have laughed and cried with this show for the past three seasons. I watch every week to get a glimpse of locals who play parts sometimes a little too close to their real positions. The insider’s view of the political and police monster that is the drug trade is priceless. HBO has managed to keep The Sopranos on the air for quite a while. They can’t tell me that the drug trade doesn’t have as many twists and turns as the mob. And let’s not forget about the politics. Maybe the folks behind the show have pissed off the powers-that-be with their all too accurate portrayal of a city at it worst. Keep up the good work.

Kimberly Siegert
Rosedale

Solidarity

Just read your article on the strike at Kaydon Ring and Seal (“Labor Deprivation,” Mobtown Beat, Jan. 5) and thought it was very informative. Though I have never been on strike, I have been on picket lines before and can feel for these guys—they’re not just fighting for their jobs, they’re fighting for their livelihood. I’m a union member myself and glad to see some press that does not portray unions in a bad way. Hope to see more organized labor stories in the future—like every week. Cheers.

Anthony Preissler
Local No. 24, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers<
Cockeysville

Editor’s note: Right Field is taking the issue off and will return next week.

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