Monday, November 13, 2006

Bringing back the draft

The prime minister said today that the government is considering bringing back compulsory military service. In a statement to Al Arab Al Yawm, the PM said that the service will be for everybody who reaches 18 years of age, and will last for three months. I am not sure if he is thinking that women will be included.

Military service was compulsory for young men until the early 1990’s, when the government “suspended” the law. The service was for two years, with a couple of months of training and the rest of the period being largely a waste of time for most enlistees. The officers were trying to figure out to do with all the enlistees. After all, you only need so many to prepare coffee and tea for you. On the other hand, the enlistees doing their best to get assigned cushy jobs near home, and the lucky ones became excellent tea makers.

Technically, everybody is still required to serve, but if you show up asking to enroll, you will be laughed off the camp. So why is the government trying to revive something that it implicitly acknowledges was a failure in the first place?

The PM says that the service is needed to instill the “culture of work and productivity” into the youth of the country. This will allow them to “carry their responsibilities and join the work force”. Basically, he is saying that the youth is spoiled and needs to be forced to face some rough realities. He says that the enlistees will receive military training as well as some vocational training. Frankly, I don’t see how this can be done in only three months.

Now, every generation thinks that their younger counterparts are of lower caliber than they are. So, it is natural for older people to view the new generation as a superficial bunch only interested in ring tones and video clips. No blame is assigned as to why the younger generation is not as well equipped to face the world as their parents. Anyway, this is part of a well known phenomenon known as a generation gap. Should such perceptions guide policy?

I am all in favor of people going through as many and as varied experiences in their life as possible. From this perspective, a military experience in itself will certainly offer a different perspective to many young people. This is all right, as long as it doesn’t morph into a waste of time, as the old system did. It might be a harmless experiment, but I wouldn’t expect miracles from the formula that is being presented.


At 10:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the new young generation are spoiled and not ready to work hard to get anything they want. I have seen them and have worked with them and i wasn't satisfied at all. I believe that this would made a change even if it wasn't that much, i wish they would reconsider the time and the way i see it, it would be military training with community service (cleaning, planting and helping the farmers, building and other similar things)

At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked your thoughts on this. And I locked in on the 3 month duration as well. How much could be done to "educate" our young citizens in that short time. It probably takes that long to teach them to iron their clothes and shine their boots ;-) If they, as you said "fix the system", I am sure it could provide some great life skills and be of some benefit to the next generation. Please keep us updated on this.

I was exempt from serving (does that make me a draft dodger?) and I still carry that dreading little green book that's full of stamps when visiting Jordan. My brother was acutally delayed leaving Jordan during one visit b/c he forgot the book at my grandparents house and they asked for it at the airport.

At 1:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they just find a way for kids to do what the sabilah program does. I think that's enough and probably even better.

At 6:12 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Ghaith: I think that many Jordanian business men are spoiled. They are looking for (very) cheap, obedient labor and prefer non-Jordanians who would put up with their abuse. I agree that there is an element of spoildness in many young people, but it is not the whole story.

Luai: I really would be hesitent to endorse longer terms before I am convinced that they will use the three months effectively. I would hate to see a repeat of what was done before, which was a waste of time.

Hamzeh: I suspect that this is what they have in mind.

At 8:20 PM, Blogger Habchawi said...

It's not a bad idea. After all, most of young people will spend more than three months looking for a job any way. So, I don't see any harm done unless the government starts spending to much money to run “waste of time” program. However, I am not sure if the three months period is enough; and I think there should be an option for enlistees interested in more training to extend their enlistment.

At 9:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like you, I don't see how three months alone is supposed to be that effective. Especially for 18-year olds, whose mind set has already been shaped. I would say, it would be deemed more effective if the age group is, say, 4-5 year olds...

responsible, productive citizens cannot be created in 3 months, instead the entire education curriculum needs to be revamped...

When you say:
They are looking for (very) cheap, obedient labor and prefer non-Jordanians who would put up with their abuse.
are you referring to general businesses or specific industries? I tend to believe that, generally, Jordanians choose not to work certain jobs because they see themselves as too good for such jobs ...

In general, the way of life for a teenage boy in Jordan and most Arab country is relatively easy. seldom do you see people working and going to school at the same time...and this does, in a way, have an effect on responsibility and productivity in the longe term.

At 11:34 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Habchawi: In the old system, the basic training took two months. Real vocational training would take over a year. Signing up for vocational training is always an option, without having to link it with military service. Obviously, the length of time depends on what is the intention of the exercise. I am sure this will be a subject of much debate.

Iman: I agree. Instilling civic spirit is the job of the educational system, and not the military. Three months or even two years will not undo the attitudes that 18 year olds bring with them.

I think that people will accept most jobs if they feel it is worth their time. The minimum wage is a little more than 100 dinars a month, and most kids figure that investing time in jobs paying at that level is a waste. I really can't blame them.

As you suggest, parents make it easy for kids not to work, and so the work ethic that kids have in the west does not exist here. It is not obvious that military training will do much to change that.

At 8:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walak ghaith keefak ya rajol, ma 3riftak bil badleh, khallast tawjihi willa lissa? ay marra hay? ana akhir ishi batzakaro innak kont fee il marra il rab3a, ballah ti7kili 3an akhbarak.

At 9:41 AM, Blogger No_Angel said...


and three months is more than enough time, since graduating i barely had a month w/out work and my initial limbo period was like 10 days :P

u guys for dodge the draft by any means necessary r the spoiled ones

as for the idea i think if you like to extend the period then elist in the army, and if u think that making tea is more productive than hanging out in the streets please enlighten me.
and if they reinstitute the draft am out of this place not willing to waste my time

(hypocritical ~ MAYBE -_-' )

At 11:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I apologize that this lengthy post is off-topic, however it is of paramount importance so please bear with me.

One thing that struck me as odd in the days after 9/11 was Bush saying "We will not tolerate conspiracy theories [regarding 9/11]". Sure enough there have been some wacky conspiracy theories surrounding the events of that day. The most far-fetched and patently ridiculous one that I've ever heard goes like this: Nineteen hijackers who claimed to be devout Muslims but yet were so un-Muslim as to be getting drunk all the time, doing cocaine and frequenting strip clubs decided to hijack four airliners and fly them into buildings in the northeastern U.S., the area of the country that is the most thick with fighter bases. After leaving a Koran on a barstool at a strip bar after getting shitfaced drunk on the night before, then writing a suicide note/inspirational letter that sounded like it was written by someone with next to no knowledge of Islam, they went to bed and got up the next morning hung over and carried out their devious plan. Nevermind the fact that of the four "pilots" among them there was not a one that could handle a Cessna or a Piper Cub let alone fly a jumbo jet, and the one assigned the most difficult task of all, Hani Hanjour, was so laughably incompetent that he was the worst fake "pilot" of the bunch, with someone who was there when he was attempting to fly a small airplane saying that Hanjour was so clumsy that he was unsure if he had driven a car before. Nevermind the fact that they received very rudimentary flight training at Pensacola Naval Air Station, making them more likely to have been C.I.A. assets than Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. So on to the airports after Mohammed Atta supposedly leaves two rental cars at two impossibly far-removed locations. So they hijack all four airliners and at this time passengers on United 93 start making a bunch of cell phone calls from 35,000 feet in the air to tell people what was going on. Nevermind the fact that cell phones wouldn't work very well above 4,000 feet, and wouldn't work at ALL above 8,000 feet. But the conspiracy theorists won't let that fact get in the way of a good fantasy. That is one of the little things you "aren't supposed to think about". Nevermind that one of the callers called his mom and said his first and last name ("Hi mom, this is Mark Bingham"), more like he was reading from a list than calling his own mom. Anyway, when these airliners each deviated from their flight plan and didn't respond to ground control, NORAD would any other time have followed standard operating procedure (and did NOT have to be told by F.A.A. that there were hijackings because they were watching the same events unfold on their own radar) which means fighter jets would be scrambled from the nearest base where they were available on standby within a few minutes, just like every other time when airliners stray off course. But of course on 9/11 this didn't happen, not even close. Somehow these "hijackers" must have used magical powers to cause NORAD to stand down, as ridiculous as this sounds because total inaction from the most high-tech and professional Air Force in the world would be necessary to carry out their tasks. So on the most important day in its history the Air Force was totally worthless. Then they had to make one of the airliners look like a smaller plane, because unknown to them the Naudet brothers had a videocamera to capture the only known footage of the North Tower crash, and this footage shows something that is not at all like a jumbo jet, but didn't have to bother with the South Tower jet disguising itself because that was the one we were "supposed to see". Anyway, as for the Pentagon they had to have Hani Hanjour fly his airliner like it was a fighter plane, making a high G-force corkscrew turn that no real airliner can do, in making its descent to strike the Pentagon. But these "hijackers" wanted to make sure Rumsfeld survived so they went out of their way to hit the farthest point in the building from where Rumsfeld and the top brass are located. And this worked out rather well for the military personnel in the Pentagon, since the side that was hit was the part that was under renovation at the time with few military personnel present compared to construction workers. Still more fortuitous for the Pentagon, the side that was hit had just before 9/11 been structurally reinforced to prevent a large fire there from spreading elsewhere in the building. Awful nice of them to pick that part to hit, huh? Then the airliner vaporized itself into nothing but tiny unidentifiable pieces most no bigger than a fist, unlike the crash of a real airliner when you will be able to see at least some identifiable parts, like crumpled wings, broken tail section etc. Why, Hani Hanjour the terrible pilot flew that airliner so good that even though he hit the Pentagon on the ground floor the engines didn't even drag the ground!! Imagine that!! Though the airliner vaporized itself on impact it only made a tiny 16 foot hole in the building. Amazing. Meanwhile, though the planes hitting the Twin Towers caused fires small enough for the firefighters to be heard on their radios saying "We just need 2 hoses and we can knock this fire down" attesting to the small size of it, somehow they must have used magical powers from beyond the grave to make this morph into a raging inferno capable of making the steel on all forty-seven main support columns (not to mention the over 100 smaller support columns) soften and buckle, then all fail at once. Hmmm. Then still more magic was used to make the building totally defy physics as well as common sense in having the uppermost floors pass through the remainder of the building as quickly, meaning as effortlessly, as falling through air, a feat that without magic could only be done with explosives. Then exactly 30 minutes later the North Tower collapses in precisely the same freefall physics-defying manner. Incredible. Not to mention the fact that both collapsed at a uniform rate too, not slowing down, which also defies physics because as the uppermost floors crash into and through each successive floor beneath them they would shed more and more energy each time, thus slowing itself down. Common sense tells you this is not possible without either the hijackers' magical powers or explosives. To emphasize their telekinetic prowess, later in the day they made a third building, WTC # 7, collapse also at freefall rate though no plane or any major debris hit it. Amazing guys these magical hijackers. But we know it had to be "Muslim hijackers" the conspiracy theorist will tell you because (now don't laugh) one of their passports was "found" a couple days later near Ground Zero, miraculously "surviving" the fire that we were told incinerated planes, passengers and black boxes, and also "survived" the collapse of the building it was in. When common sense tells you if that were true then they should start making buildings and airliners out of heavy paper and plastic so as to be "indestructable" like that magic passport. The hijackers even used their magical powers to bring at least seven of their number back to life, to appear at american embassies outraged at being blamed for 9/11!! BBC reported on that and it is still online. Nevertheless, they also used magical powers to make the american government look like it was covering something up in the aftermath of this, what with the hasty removal of the steel debris and having it driven to ports in trucks with GPS locators on them, to be shipped overseas to China and India to be melted down. When common sense again tells you that this is paradoxical in that if the steel was so unimportant that they didn't bother saving some for analysis but so important as to require GPS locators on the trucks with one driver losing his job because he stopped to get lunch. Hmmmm. Further making themselves look guilty, the Bush administration steadfastly refused for over a year to allow a commission to investigate 9/11 to even be formed, only agreeing to it on the conditions that they get to dictate its scope, meaning it was based on the false pretense of the "official story" being true with no other alternatives allowed to be considered, handpicked all its members making sure the ones picked had vested interests in the truth remaining buried, and with Bush and Cheney only "testifying" together, only for an hour, behind closed doors, with their attorneys present and with their "testimonies" not being recorded by tape or even written down in notes. Yes, this whole story smacks of the utmost idiocy and fantastic far-fetched lying, but it is amazingly enough what some people believe. Even now, five years later, the provably false fairy tale of the "nineteen hijackers" is heard repeated again and again, and is accepted without question by so many Americans. Which is itself a testament to the innate psychological cowardice of the American sheeple, i mean people, and their abject willingness to believe something, ANYTHING, no matter how ridiculous in order to avoid facing a scary uncomfortable truth. Time to wake up America.

Debunking Popular Mechanics lies:
someone else debunking Popular Mechanics crap:
still more debunking Poopular Mechanics:
and still more debunking of Popular Mechanics:

Poopular Mechanics staff replaced just before laughable “debunking” article written:
another neo-con 9/11 hit piece explodes, is retracted:
Professor Steven Jones debunks the N.I.S.T. “report” as well as the F.E.M.A. one and the 9/11 commission "report":
N.I.S.T. scientist interviewed:
F.B.I. says no hard evidence linking Osama bin Laden to 9/11 which is why his wanted poster says nothing about 9/11:
Fire Engineering magazine says important questions about the Twin Tower “collapses” still need to be addressed:

Twin Towers’ construction certifiers say they should have easily withstood it:
USA Today interview with the last man out of the South Tower, pursued by a fireball:
Janitor who heard explosions and escaped has testimony ignored by 9/11 whitewash commission:
Janitor starts speaking out about it and his apartment is burglarized, laptop stolen:
Firefighters tell of multiple explosions:
Eyewitnesses tell of explosions:
Interview with another firefighter telling of explosions:
Firefighter saw “sparkles” (strobe lights on detonators?) before “collapse”:
Other eyewitnesses talk of seeing/hearing explosions:
Surviving eyewitnesses talk of multiple explosions there:
Cutter charge explosions clearly visible:
The pyroclastic wave (that dust cloud that a second before was concrete) and how it wouldn’t be possible without explosives:
Detailed description of the demolition of the Twin Towers:
Freefall rate of “collapses” math:
More about their freefall rate “collapses”:
Video footage of the controlled demolition of the Twin Towers:
Video footage of the controlled demolition of WTC # 7 building:
More of WTC # 7 controlled demolition:
Naudet brothers' video footage of the North Tower crash:
Photos of the Pentagon’s lawn (look at these and see if you can tell me with a straight face that a jumbo jet crashed there):!.htm
More photos of this amazing lawn at the Pentagon:!%20(9-11).htm
Very unconvincing fake “Osama” “confession” tape:
More about the fake “Osama” tape:
Fake “Mohammed Atta” “suicide” letter:
Commercial pilots disagree with “official” 9/11 myth:
More commercial jet pilots say “official” myth is impossible:
Impossibility of cell phone calls from United 93:
More about the impossible cell phone calls:
Experiment proves cell phone calls were NOT possible from anywhere near the altitude the “official” myth has them at:
Fake Barbara Olson phone call:
Where the hell was the Air Force?
More about the Air Force impotence question:
Sept. 10th 2001, Pentagon announces it is “missing” $2.3 trillion (now why do you think they picked THAT day to announce it? So it could be buried the next day by 9/11 news):
Unocal pipeline-through-Afghanistan plan:
Unocal pipeline-through-Afghanistan plan mentioned:
More on Unocal Afghan pipeline:
The attack on Afghanistan was planned in the summer of 2001, months before 9/11:
Pentagon deliberately misled 9/11 Commission:
Evidence destruction by authorities and cover-up:
9/11 whitewash Commission and NORAD day:
The incredible fish tales of the 9/11 Commission examined:
Jeb Bush declares state of emergency 4 days before 9/11 for Florida, saying it will help respond to terrorism:
Steel debris removal from Ground Zero, destruction of evidence:
Over two hundred incriminating bits of 9/11 evidence shown in the mainstream media:
Tracking the “hijackers”:
“Hijacker” patsies:
“Hijackers” receiving flight training at Pensacola Naval Air Station:
Several accused "hijackers" still alive and well, wondering why they are accused:
Yet the F.B.I. insists that the people it claims were the "hijackers" really were the "hijackers":
No Arabs on Flight 77:
Thirty experts say “official” 9/11 myth impossible:
“Al Qaeda” website tracks back to Maryland:
Al Qaeda videos uploaded from U.S. government website:
Operation: Northwoods, a plan for a false-flag “terror” attack to be blamed on Castro to use it as a pretext for America to invade Cuba, thankfully not approved by Kennedy back in 1962 but was approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and sent to his desk:


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