In which I photograph my bike and a warning sign
This video is of some French soldiers test firing their new anti-tank weapon.
Watching the video, I expected the guy to fall over backward (or similar), I wasn't expecting what happened!
Given that in the US there is much rumour and rebuttal about the possibility of a draft, it is interesting to see this court case. An ex-soldier is suing the US Govt. Essentially the US is operating a 'Stop Loss' policy, and this soldier, who was told he was discharged has been ordered to report.
There are many articles on both sides of the draft issue, one article (republican) finishes with: The Bush administration could put the wild rumors to rest and save taxpayers nearly the $30 million a year it costs to administer the Selective Service's draft registration program by asking Congress to terminate draft registration.
The question is, if a draft is out of the question, why don't they pass this legislation and cut the ground out from under the rumour?
The Whitehouse has said that there will be no draft. Indeed, letters have been sent demanding that people stop talking about it on this basis. However, some people aren't believing this assurance. A senator from Ohio explains why (media link).
The reason this is pertinant in the UK (quite apart from the issue of who gets to lead the remaining superpower) is that the US recently requested around 850 troops to move north from Basra (despite there being over 100000 US troops around, they couldn't spare any). There is speculation that Blair and co. controversially acceded to this in order to relieve political pressure upon the current president. The pressure arose due to the talk of a draft.
The question of the troop movement is sure to be discussed in the excellent 'Any Questions?' (a show which I'm not sure has a parallel in the US). This weeks show will be downloadable until next weekend, when it will be replaced with the latest version. Quote from the 5 min 30 sec mark in the show: "No, I don't think the redeployment of the troops is particularly in the interest of the US elections. It does however happen to be my view that the best interests of the US elections are served by voting for John Kerry..." <pause> <applause> (I'm listening to it now, there is some good stuff near the 14 minute mark)