Rock The Vote depicts US Army as meat-grinding casket machine
During the 2004 presidential election the group drew criticism from Republican Party officials such as RNC chairman Ed Gillespie for sending a mock draft notice to over 600,000 e-mail addresses. The message included the words "Selective Service System" and read "You are hereby ordered for induction into the Armed Forces of the United States, and to report to a polling place near you" on November 2 (Election Day). The Rock the Vote logo and a facsimile of Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's signature appeared at the bottom of the message. In addition, Rock the Vote created public service announcements featuring the subject of the draft.
In a letter to Rock the Vote president Jehmu Greene, Ed Gillespie accused Rock the Vote of "promoting a false and misleading campaign designed to scare America's youth into believing that they may be drafted to serve in the military." Gillespie also claimed that the "urban myth regarding a draft" had been "thoroughly debunked" by President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld, Gillespie wrote: "This is the sort of malicious political deception that is likely to increase voter cynicism and in fact decrease the youth vote, as well as raising [sic] serious legal issues regarding the political motivations of your efforts." Rock the Vote replied by pointing out that General John Keane, former Vice Chief of Staff of the US army "says the continued success of the all-volunteer military is not guaranteed." Keane has told Congress that adding more than 50,000 troops to the Army would require thinking about a return to the draft", and saying her organization wanted an "educated dialogue".
The draft stuff always rather annoys me as a threat. The VFW a few years ago did some research into the draft which debunks some of the chestnuts, and Jonn pointed those out in his post:
Let’s get some statistics straight here. 3.4 million Americans served in Vietnam, of those, 648,500 were draftees – that’s 19% of the service members who served in or off-shore of Vietnam were drafted. Of the 58,000 who were killed there, 30 percent or 17,725 were draftees – that’s less than 3% of the total number of draftees who served in Vietnam.
- Vietnam Vets: 9.7% of their generation.
- Total draftees (1965 - 73): 1,728,344.
- Actually served in Vietnam: 38%
- 76% of the men sent to Vietnam were from lower middle/working class backgrounds.
- Thee-fourths had family incomes above the poverty level; 50% were from middle income backgrounds.
- 97% of Vietnam-era veterans were honorably discharged.
- 91% of actual Vietnam War veterans and 90% of those who saw heavy combat are proud to have served their country.
- 66% of Vietnam vets say they would serve again if called upon.
- 87% of the public now holds Vietnam veterans in high esteem!!!!!
Either way, the Rock the Vote things seems in very poor taste. Not sure if anyone responsible for that PSA ever served, but being allowed to serve my country was the best thing that happened to me (before I got married anyway) and I miss it every day.