READER COMMENTS ON
"Do You Feel a Draft?"
(87 Responses so far...)
COMMENT #1 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 11:07 am PT...
More troops? NO WAY; the U.S. culture needs to become way less militarized than it is and violence NOT a commonplace occurrence whether on TV or in video games or 'real life';
if the U.S. wasn't dreaming that it's empire could last forever and didn't have troops scattered all around the world trying to maintain 'a presence in strategic areas of the globe', there would be plenty of troops.
COMMENT #2 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 11:39 am PT...
I agree with Bruce, that we do not need to expand the miltitarism of the US. I like the idea (and the military prefers) to have people who have chosen to serve in the military. If we do move to a draft, it should be a draft of all genders for public service and the draftee (not the military) would have a choice of areas to serve the country. The choices could be health care, public works projects, education, and the military. There probably would be an increase of people opting for the military, but my opinion is that in today's climate that the military would still have recruitment problems.
If our country is as pro-military as it likes to think it is, then we should give the young people the option of how they want to serve. Then we can find out how effective the pro-war propoganda really is. Personally it seems to me that wars like Iraq are an old rich person's war and a young poor person's fight. If the old and rich were drafted as well as the young, we would have different feelings about our involvement. But the young should not be forced into any service they are not willing or morally opposed to do.
COMMENT #3 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 11:45 am PT...
Theoretically, this sounds good, and I agree. In reality, the rich and politicians' kids would get out of a draft, anyway. (see George W. Bush, AWOL; Dick "5 Deferrments" Cheney; in fact, see THE ENTIRE BUSH CABINET OF CHICKENHAWKS WHO GOT OUT OF THE VIETNAM WAR!!!!!!!)
Sounds good on paper, but..........
COMMENT #4 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 12:09 pm PT...
If them fat old fucks want to go fight a war for resources, let them do it
The downfall of this country is going to be caused by this anyway, being over-extended, and oil dependent.
A standing armed forces is totally anti what the founders
wanted because they looked back before going forward with the writings and their original intent.
They just had never heard of the Military Industrial Complex yet
COMMENT #5 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 12:50 pm PT...
The ONLY reason a draft should ever be considered "good" is that it might finally cause Americans to stand up and rebel against this ridiculous war with more of our money being thrown at it and no end in sight. A draft may invoke a much needed REVOLUTION. My friends and I are out there at the peace marches regularly, along with a growing crowd at each one, but most Americans are far too docile, happy to enjoy their homes, cars, food and high technology in the form of video games, i-pods, cell phones, television, etc . . . and why? Because the war doesn't affect them directly. Other than rising gas prices, life goes on as usual for those who don't know anyone serving in Iraq, which is the majority. Maybe a draft is just what this country needs so that we'll finally stand up and yell, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore."
COMMENT #6 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 12:52 pm PT...
If those who advocate a draft would simply join up hopefully that would add up to enough.
If not, then draft advocates should learn how to persuade people with honest logic instead of lowering to the level of forcing people to go somewhere and kill, main, and destroy something when they are not inclined to.
If it is such a good idea one wants to go kill for, people will go along. But lies, propaganda, deceit, incompetence, and force will only expose draft advocates for what they are: poor "convincers in chief".
New Rule: any person who proposes a draft to support a war must go first.
COMMENT #7 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 1:01 pm PT...
COMMENT #8 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 1:01 pm PT...
Would a draft dilute or make worse the fact that 33% of troops advocate torture? Check it out:
A survey of US combat troops deployed in Iraq has found that one in 10 said they mistreated civilians and more than a third condoned torture to save the life of a comrade, a report said Friday.
The study by an army mental health advisory team found continuing problems with morale and that acute mental health issues were more prevalent among troops with lengthening tours or on their second and third deployment to Iraq.
(Raw Story, emphasis added). This is what happens when people are forced into "democracy, freedom, and liberty" ... what utterly sick bu$hit to want more of that!!!
COMMENT #9 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 1:22 pm PT...
Been there, done that!
We had a draft during the Vietnam War, the majority of people opposed it in the later years, there were massive marches to show our opposition. Our "skins" (mine) were at risk, and yet the war went on.
A draft is completely contrary to the concept of "liberty". Every attack upon civil liberties is wrapped with "good intentions", and the argument for a draft on the surface has appeal. A draft in essence is involuntary servitude, also known as slavery.
Stephen wrapped up his argument with this:
"If America knows that all of us will have to share in the sacrifice, we'll not be so quick to follow yet another fool into yet another unnecessary war."
Want to bet?
COMMENT #10 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 1:35 pm PT...
The following paragraph was inadvertently left off my post.
I'm proud to say that Representative John Murtha, (D-Pa.) feels the same way I do, and he's damn angry about it. Here's a video link where you can watch and hear what he said, his voice quivering with rage, on the floor of the House: "A very small segment of the American population are fighting this war! If the president thinks we should continue the war he ought to call for a draft and spread it out and let everybody serve in this war, not this small segment who are making such a sacrifice! http://www.bradblog.com/?p=4433
COMMENT #11 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 1:36 pm PT...
You are most likely right - with a draft, there would have been no war. That is why there will most likely be no draft. At the death of the Roman republic, the army was professionalized. At the death of the empire, barbarian tribes were signed up as legions. Go figure..!
COMMENT #12 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 1:48 pm PT...
I agree, mostly, Steve, though I don't want to increase the size of the military. I'm 68+ and still get a chill down my spine when I hear the word "draft". But I'm increasingly convinced that until we get those little Neo-con kiddies also on the front lines defending their daddies' draft-exempted butts and imperial policies, the apathetic, non-involved American public will just let it happen again and again and again.
COMMENT #13 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 1:55 pm PT...
I would advocate a draft for the children of chickenhawks. As it stands now, Karl Rove and the others who consitute the present chickenhawk leadership in the US are probably calculating that an increase in US casualties in Iraq would mean that much fewer potential voters for the Democrats. As we saw in Fahrenheit 911, pimp-like military recruiters regularly strut around like peacocks, cruising the ghettoes to harvest more war fodder, smooth-talking and saying anything to net them in, even promising lucrative careers in RAP music after military service.
COMMENT #14 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 2:03 pm PT...
There is three ways to get Iraq under control;
1. A million troops
2. Get out
3. A neutron bomb
As with #3, I wouldn't put it past these kooky bastards after #2 is complete, big oil and its investors want it pretty bad.
Why do you think that they're only expanding refinery capacity just barely enough to keep up with demand, and trying to close some to restrict the flow even more ?
They figure by $4 a gallon, the people will start agreeing with their philosophy IMO
COMMENT #15 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 2:04 pm PT...
there should be a limited, selective, draft.
it should consist of rotations of those individuals of age, (& their children), who currently work in the following industries;
not until the people who build the bombs, vote for the war, and profit off it are required to get real blood on their hands will the American War Machine stop.
COMMENT #16 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 2:24 pm PT...
Well Steve, you're getting hit pretty hard on this one, as I suspect you figured you would.
I think there needs to be some kind of national service as JFK said, "Ask not what you country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." There are many types of service our young people can/should be a part of, to give them a sense of value for what we have.
I think a draft that pulls our youth into some type of service makes sense. I know I grew up a lot while I was in the Army as a draftee. However, I was scared as hell I would be sent to Vietnam, a war I NEVER suported. As it turned out, I was in Korea, and got exposed to Agent Orange (without knowing it, since it was kept very top secret)and 32 years later, came down with a rare terminal cancer that DOD has acknowledged was 'at least as likely as not" caused by exposure to Agent Orange".
I think there should be a premium paid to our kids if they choose the military over civic service because they are risking their lives, and should receive some kind of financial incentive if they are willing to do that.
Just my take. Thanks for being brave enough to such a controversial stand.
COMMENT #17 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 2:50 pm PT...
I would only condone a draft AFTER we remove those defense contractors and war profiteers from their legalized bribery in the form of lobbying and campaign donations.
No reform, no draft. These are the fucks that drive our foreign policy towards war all the time.
COMMENT #18 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 3:03 pm PT...
As a political device --kind of like a 2×4 across the head-- the draft would cause everyone to re-think priorities. I was around and eligible during the Vietnam era, and knowing you may have to serve focuses your attention. And not merely on the possibility losing your own life.
For a while, the idea of compulsory national service was floated and periodically makes a come back for purposes of discussion. At least the possibility of doing something other than war can be a part of that solution.
Could it be that for these past 30 years the fine talk about how superior our "professional" and "voluntary" force has been false or erroneous? I think that is a fair question. If Social Security is the third rail of American politics, the draft might be the fourth rail so-to-speak. Perhaps our leaders have been too prone to see what is good about voluntary service and ignored what might be bad about it. Certainly the politicians feel safer invoking the dedication of professional military personnel than they are about sharing the defense of our national interest in other ways.
Think about it. 9-11 occurs and the President tells us to go shopping.
If there is a "war" on terror (and I do not think there is ), then there should be a great number of things we can all do. Giving up our liberties ought not be one of them. John Stewart referred to this odd phenomena when talking to Bill Moyers the other night--for all the talk of fear and threat, Americans feel quite comfortable and unthreatened on a day-to-day basis, and they virtually ignore the ebb and flow of political wrangling over larger issues that define our security. The war on terror (like the war in Iraq) is somebody else's war.
So having the draft would make it personal again. I understand why the call for it. It has a little to do with spreading the military load and a lot to do with spreading the consciousness of the gravity of war to more people.
COMMENT #19 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 3:05 pm PT...
I lived through the Vietnam era, and was drafted during same.
The Vietnam era draft did not stop the deaths of 58,000 Americans and some 1.5 million Vietnamese. There is no reason to believe that a draft would be any more efficacious now.
The current bottleneck for the ambitions and pretensions of "the commander guy" is one of manpower. This limits the size of his current military adventure, and is probably the only factor that is saving us from occupation in Palestine, and war with Syria, Iran and who knows where else, as well as additional combat in Africa above and beyond our current activities there.
One of the intended purposes of the volunteer military was to create such a bottleneck. To limit the number of troops that could be put into battle for an unpopular war. This is not a fast reacting rate limiting step, but it does provide negative feedback and is keeping us out of other mid Eastern nations.
The ethical consideration is that compulsory service is slavery. Conscription is slavery. Anyone who supports a military draft has the morals of a slave master, is in fact desirous of being a slaver. A pox upon thee.
COMMENT #20 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 3:06 pm PT...
The comment from GTASH shows he completely understands what I am trying to say in this blog. Thanks, GTASH.
COMMENT #21 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 3:09 pm PT...
M. wrote: "Anyone who supports a military draft has the morals of a slave master, is in fact desirous of being a slaver."
I say you're out of line. This is a very controversial issue, and disagreeing with me is understandable. However, personal attacks are not acceptable.
COMMENT #22 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 3:29 pm PT...
Go for the draft. Unrest over the war in Nam didn't really set in until the middle class life plans became disrupted by the draft. A draft will end this war.
As a Warrant Officer told a bunch of us drafees in 1968: "You draftees are what keep the army honest." What he meant was that the draftees had a limited committment but really wielded some power because they didn't owe the "lifers" anything--not education, not a career, not housing or medical for their families. They were in there to get out of there.
A draft will end the war. The unrest will really cut loose when Rodney Red State has to back up his Limbaugh robo-talk with action.
LET THE DRAFT BEGIN.
(drafted and served '67-'69)
COMMENT #23 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 3:35 pm PT...
"The unrest will really cut loose when Rodney Red State has to back up his Limbaugh robo-talk with action."
Thank you, Gene Derig. Exactly my point! And very well put...
COMMENT #24 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 3:39 pm PT...
As Floridiot points out, the nation's founders would be spinning in their graves at the thought of a draft or even of a standing army. (But they probably leave for parts unknown if they saw what the country has become anyway.)
A over million Vietnamese were killed while we had a draft. Tens of thousands of Americans were killed. Cambodia was bombed practically into the stone age. The draft didn't stop the blind, violent, and constitutionally-destructive progress of the military industrial complex. In fact, a draft validates it.
A nation with a draft and without the controls of a Constitution is particularly bleak picture.
We need to repeal the Military Commissions Act, restore the Bill of Rights, blot out entirely private military activity, get out from under the heel of the oil barons, and recognize that what the military industrial complex designates as "in the national interest" really means "we're hungry and we want more".
COMMENT #25 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 3:40 pm PT...
You seem feel that you have the right to remove all freedom from an individual who has committed no crime. To deny that person the right to go where they choose, work as they choose, dress as they choose, marry without permission, speak as they choose, live where they choose, eat as they choose, behave as they choose, even own their own body (an inherent right the military denies). This is the very definition of slavery. Any person who believes they have the right to do that to another, is a slaver. It doesn't matter if the term of slavery is ten minutes, two years, or a life time. The perpetrator is a slaver.
This is not a personal attack, it is merely a dictionary based classification predicated upon your own statements.
COMMENT #26 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 3:47 pm PT...
M: you're employing a tactic used often by the rightwing. "My position on (fill in the blank: the war in Iraq, gay marriage, abortion, stem cell research, abstinence only sex education, etc.) is moral. Therefore, I am moral. Ipso facto, those who hold different views are immoral."
We disagree on the need for a military draft. Okay. But then you say I have "the morals of a slave master, [I am] in fact desirous of being a slaver."
Like I wrote before, disagreement, especially on such a hot-button topic as a military draft, is expected and perfectly fine. But personal attacks are not.
I'll say it again: you're out of line.
COMMENT #27 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 3:53 pm PT...
This strikes me as a very complex (and legitimate) question, and certainly controversial, but apparently without obvious right or wrong stances (that is, not as clearly wrong as, say, the inanities uttered from the silver-spoon-marinated orifice of Chickenhawk-in-Chief George W. Bush). I think properly exploring this issue would entail looking at countries that have drafts and seeing how they're faring. Historical analysis is necessary to properly explore an issue as well, and has taking place in this thread, unfolding in very interesting ways. (Note: If you're going to engage in controversy, you're likely to get flamed)
COMMENT #28 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 3:56 pm PT...
Thank you, Mr. Fulford. That was a very wise and balanced comment.
COMMENT #29 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 4:06 pm PT...
As for national service: remember that at this point in time that the Neo-RNC-whateverthehell considers all captive audiences to be indoctrination fodder whether said audience is governmental, military, penal... or whatever.
By all reports they aren't stopping. They're still pimping like mad wherever the Judiciary committees aren't looking... and that's a lot of places. It will take time for the damage they've deliberately inflicted on the government to be repaired. At the very least we'll need time for a fresh administration to weed out the more overt propagandists and to get the regulatory and oversight machinery back to a minimal level of functioning again...
... but a thorough housecleaning is needed before we start placing thousands more of young Americans into their hands.
COMMENT #30 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 4:08 pm PT...
You have not even addressed my other arguments. You seem to feel that you can claim that I am out of line, then ignore anything else. I seem to notice, as you seem to be fond of saying, that this is a tactic used by the "right wing."
And yes, I think morality is certainly a viable issue in any discussion. If you believe that conscription, the enslavement of another human being is moral, then please explain why. If you believe that a draftee is not a de facto slave, then please illustrate the difference. If believe that this condition is not slavery, then explain how it is not. Don't just repeat that I am out of line, or make poison the well statements about "right wing" tactics.
COMMENT #31 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 4:10 pm PT...
Steve, I'm not thinking M is personally attacking you, at least not to the non-writer of this mess (good job Brad)
It even got me fired up enough to go to the fridge and grab a cold one.
That aside, I have to agree on M's bottleneck theory
Where would we be today if not for that, christ, we'd be pounding on Chavez for him having a hangnail!!!
COMMENT #32 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 4:17 pm PT...
Sorry Steve but you've got it wrong.
The Congress stomps all over the Constitution; what kind of a draft bill do you think they'd write? Without loopholes for themselves - and their kids [btw, they don't care about others' kids or they wouldn't slash health care - so to credit them as caring for their own kids is kind of elitist...]
Just review the history of drafts - buy your way out in the Civil War, get deferments for college later...
M  is right. Arry , especially, is right.
I swore to support and protect the Constitution; there's no way to vote for a draft in the present climate without empowering the fascists.
COMMENT #33 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 4:24 pm PT...
Another issue with using a conscripted military is that of investment. The family of a KIA, a WIA or even a draftee will develop an emotional investment in the war. Not rational, but so. I saw this amongst friends and relatives during Vietnam.
No, this is not really an attack on you. I was quite impressed with your courage and integrity for whistleblowing about Diebold, and contributed to your defense fund.
But, I think that not many really understand what conscription is, what it means, or have truly thought it through. I believe that when people can truly understand what it is, then they will reject it. So, I name it for what it is.
I am going out, and will resume at a later time.
COMMENT #34 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 4:46 pm PT...
I can see a need for a draft but there is one group that should be exempt is mothers. There is no need to take both parents away from the children they brought into the world.
COMMENT #35 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 4:53 pm PT...
New Rule: any person who proposes a draft to support a war must go first.
Please note: I believe Steve's point in proposing is not in order to "support a war". I believe, in fact, it is meant to oppose it.
As well, those who used the Vietnam comparison that a draft didn't work to stop that war, it seems to me that ultimately it did. And, had their not been an out for the children of the (self-perceived) "elite" it would have ended a hell of a lot sooner, or perhaps not even started in the first place.
Steve's proposal made very clear that nobody would be exempt based on "powerful" connections, college deferments etc. That would be a very different scene from what he had back then.
I might suggest that even the threat of an all out draft might likely be enough to get this damn thing ended in no time. But that's just my .02.
COMMENT #36 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 5:19 pm PT...
I respect your position and views. I don't like being called a person with the morals of a slaver, and I still think you were out of line with that. You not only attacked my position (perfectly fine) but you impugned my morality (out of line). I have not attacked you personally, and I will not. As for your viewpoint, I will disagree with it.
I don't think a draftee is a slave. Slavery is for life. Also, soldiers can still vote; soldiers have some rights and liberties (less than citizens not in the military, but they do have some rights and liberties); and soldiers get paid, albeit a very small amount.
It's compulsory for children in America to attend school. No one calls it slavery. Students aren't slaves, they're students. Likewise, a draftee is a draftee, not a slave.
I believe having a standing military made up of citizen soldiers from all socio-economic levels of American life (draftees) and career military professionals is what is best for the security of the nation. I also think it's the fairest way for America to fight its wars; rich kids, middle class kids, poor kids, all serving side by side. I also think it's one way to prevent our dopey leaders from taking us into an unnecessary war. As Gene Derig posted (comment 22), "The unrest will really cut loose when Rodney Red State has to back up his Limbaugh robo-talk with action."
I wonder how many of those who were drafted would like to be called "slaves?" I have no numbers or stats to back it up, but I have a feeling former draftees would resent someone who hasn't been through it calling them just "slaves" and not soldiers who, when called, did what their nation asked of them. I bet many regret having been drafted, and maybe many regret not having done whatever possible to avoid it, but I'd also be they wouldn't like being called slaves.
COMMENT #37 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 5:28 pm PT...
For some reason I don't understand, you seem to trust the U.S. government. Regardless of whether or not we're at war or whether the draft is for combat or public works projects, once the military has a young American, they can and will inject them with unsafe vaccines, put toxic and invasive computer chips in them, and put them in dangerous and toxic situations that serve no national security interests that will scar them emotionally, psychologically and spiritually for life. I don't think we should have a draft until we take back our control over our government which we have lost to the multinational corporations.
COMMENT #38 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 5:33 pm PT...
Of course, his point opposes war. But the deeper point being missed is that we will never win a battle of integrity and common sense with the government. They change campaign finance and nothing changes, they change health care and nothing changes, they will appease the public with new public policies and continue on with business at large and everytime one of them breaks thier own new law, they start a war to divert media coverage. Or some celebrity has a scandal and CBS dedicates round the clock coverage of the meaningless affair cause people who buy perscrioption drugs and household cleaners will be more likely to wacth the news if they run fluff rather than real news. Cause who wants to hear about how we are being cheated on, lied to and ignored?
The bigger point being that the American public simply does not care anymore. We watch as politicians lie to make money in thier own interests and we don't even bat an eye anymore. Apathy is running wild and for good reason. What can we really do? What do you think they will let us really do?
This draft idea seems a good way to put reverse preasure on the idea of going to war, but they arent going to do it! For that very reason...They don't want reverse preasure. They want us to be happy as our soldiers die. They want us to go shopping and forget all about it. They prohibit the press from showing us pictures of American flag drapped coffins.
I thought this was all common and well accepted knowledge. I mean, does anyone still think we are in Iraq for the Iraqis? Hilarious!
COMMENT #39 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 5:56 pm PT...
The draft probably played a big part in ending the war after many years, but try to think of the thousands of Americans who died, lost limbs, were mentally scarred in the meantime --- Americans whose lives were totally disrupted, ruined, or ended after receiving their "Greeting". And they weren't volunteers. There is a difference. They were conscripted out of a life in America into a life of indentured servitude and possible death for what?? Serving their country. I don't think so.
What is happening in Iraq is a criminal enterprise of immense proportions. It needs to be looked on as a crime. It needs to be treated and dealt with as a crime.
With anyone liable to be designated an "enemy combatant"; with a good part of the Bill of Rights eviscerated...It is no time to be delivering citizens into the hands of traitors and criminals. "Greetings, sucker."
I don't for a minute question Steve's motives. I just think there are considerations that far outweigh its possible efficacy in ending the current war.
COMMENT #40 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 6:05 pm PT...
Compulsory schooling is not the same as government schooling. Nor is a compulsory draft the same as service to one's community and nation. Our military was once sworn to uphold the constitution and defend our nation from invasion. Now they are used as a mercenary force in service to World Government policing missions.
This government is incapable of truth, they have proven to be untrustworthy. Our founding documents attest to the dangers to liberty caused by a powerful central government. That was why the constitution limited government power and authority.
Why would any sovereign agree to a compulsory draft? Our founding fathers understood that actual threats to our life, property and Nation would not require a "draft". Real threats usually come from illegitimate power seized by criminals using government as their vehicle to enforce their will against the citizenry.
COMMENT #41 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 6:17 pm PT...
WOW! I made comment #3 before, I get back on, and 40 comments! GODDAMMIT! Now I gotta read all of them!
COMMENT #42 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 6:17 pm PT...
I'm sorry Steve, but I strongly disagree with you.
As a former MSgt in the "all volunteer" Air Force, I can assure you that the last thing people serving today want, is for people that don't want to serve to suddenly be brought in, receive the same pay, etc.
That's pure garbage, and I don't care what Murtha believes...the quality of draftees would never be comparable, their attitudes would likely suck, and they would not be well received.
I'm sure other people have already addressed various other reasons, such as a draft is not the solution for an illegal, unpopular war carried out by neocon fascists, etc., etc.
COMMENT #43 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 6:20 pm PT...
:) ...I love reading the comments, dat's da best part!
COMMENT #44 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 6:53 pm PT...
Read 'em all, great comments, btw...
1. I wouldn't trust any politicians with my life, I don't see why anyone would join the military with these people in charge of their lives.
2. Take profits out of war. No one should make any profits from war, and should be thrown in jail if they do.
3. No one ever talks about military pay. They always say, "You're against the troops, if you don't fund the war." What exactly is "funding the war"? It's NOT increasing PAYING THE TROOPS! How about doubling/tripling the troops pay immediately! And flush out these chickenhawks who REALLY are saying to "fund war profiteers"!!! In the next "war funding" legislation, how about tripling the soldiers pay??? Exactly how much of this 500 billion for this war has increased soldiers' pay? Exactly what percentage??? Less than 1% of all this "war funding" that you're "against the troops" if you're not for? My point is, these people saying you're "against the troops" if you're against funding this war, are twisting around what they're REALLY for: war profits for their buddies.
4. The elites' kids and politicians' kids would find loopholes to get out of a draft. The entire Bush administration did it during Vietnam, do we need anymore proof?
5. As long as we have criminals and war profiteers running this country, it doesn't matter if there's a draft or not.
6. If our country were under a real threat here on our own soil, I'd grab a gun myself and wouldn't wait for a draft. Everyone knows these wars are simply for profits, as we've seen by the ever-changing reasons: WMD's, ties between Sadaam and Al Queda, bringing freedom and democracy to Iraq. Is it worth $500 billion and thousands of American lives, ten of thousands of American casualties, and a million dean Iraqi civilians, even to bring them democracy? I don't think so! And I don't think the Iraqi's think so! And the profits being made aren't being made by ME (US). They're for a few... Even the oil: They say it's "in our national interest"...that's ANOTHER load of bull! It's in the intersest of a few, whenever you hear "national interest". That's another "against the troops" tactic. How did I (YOU) make out from our "national interest" of attacking countries with oil?
7. Did I already say, it's about profits and oil?
8. This is a good topic any way you slice or dice it.
COMMENT #45 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 7:05 pm PT...
Bottom line for me:
I am a strong believer in the United States maintaining a powerful, standing military; I firmly believe it is absolutely necessary for our national security. I further believe that all American families should share the burdens of maintaining the military, during both war and peace. Thus, I also believe that all young Americans should be drafted to serve for at least two years (as I wrote, there should be very limited individual exceptions to military service, and those individuals should be drafted to serve in other non-military capacities).
I think it would be good for our national security, and it would create national unity in sharing both the joys of peace and the burdens of war.
Of course there would be problems. Re-instituting a draft would be a huge societal change for us, and any wide scale societal change will lead to problems. But I think the benefits would outweigh the problems.
I appreciate the many thoughtful responses. Regards to all who have commented.
COMMENT #46 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 7:09 pm PT...
Bottom line part II:
Sorry, forgot to add above that I also believe it would be a powerful method of preventing, or perhaps ending, an unncessary war. With a draft in place, more Americans would care about an impending war and would get involved in the national discussion rather than just watching TV or going to the mall.
COMMENT #47 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 7:29 pm PT...
US involvement in Vietnam started in 1959, and did not end until 1975. Popular demonstrations, and lying and over reaction on the part of the US Government certainly had a part in ending that war. But most important was the operation of a free and critical press, which kept the nation very much informed of the continuing disasters of US engagement.
Imagine Bush with the war machine that LBJ had. The ability to put 500,000 troops into the battle theater. Bush had a press that was more than uncritical, more than simply transcriptionists of the chickenhawks propaganda. This press has been more guilty of the yellow journalism than that which was practiced by Hearst. Had Bush found even tenuous signs of success, which he could with half a million troops, the controlled media would have continued to fawn on him.
Rather than institute a draft, break up the media conglomerates. Return the Fourth Estate to its proper role. Show the populace what is happening. Do not allow the military to control what the press sees and reports on.
There was so much wrong with Vietnam that it is not possible to describe in less than a dozen tomes, but there was at least a legal basis under the laws of war. We were defending the sovereignty of another nation whose lawful government officially requested our assistance.
But in Iraq, we committed an illegal war of aggression. Under the Geneva Conventions, this attack is a "Crime Against the Peace". Iraq had neither attacked us, nor were they an imminent threat to do. Our politicians and our press had to know that it was only Bush's fevered imagination that supported our attack on Iraq. They would have supported a draft too with more draconian punishments for evasion. Unlike the Vietnam era, Canada was no longer a safe haven.
It will not take 58,000 American dead to put an end to this war. The military machine is near collapse. It is being ground into uselessness. But if Bush had a draft, and could 500,000 troops rotating into the field, he could keep this war going forever. It is only because we have a volunteer military, not a draft, that this war will not drag on for another 12 years.
COMMENT #48 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 7:34 pm PT...
Providing a draft for a war monger, is no different than being being co-dependent to an alcoholic. It worked so good in Vietnam, didn't it; 58000 American dead. And to believe that it would be evenly applied this time is a pipe dream. The children of the rich still would not have to serve. A draft should only be instituted after the United States is attacked directly.
COMMENT #49 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 7:49 pm PT...
Just a side point but relevant to a few comments. We shouldn't discount the Vietnamese themselves in ending U.S. involvement. They persisted under horrible circumstances, continually developed new strategies, and so on. Whatever you think of U.S. involvement there, we can't discount this factor. It certainly wasn't just the draft that brought the war to an end.
COMMENT #50 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 7:56 pm PT...
Those of us old enough to remember the Vietnam era draft, and who were subject to it, are not likely to agree that the draft is the right solution. While I understand the desire to spread the burden for the war to all classes of people, and I understand the argument that it would make our leaders much more thoughtful if their own young family members were subject to that draft, I am here to say that it did not work that way in Vietnam, and it would not work that way now.
There are a vast number of ways to make a draft just as unfair as the "volunteer" service. Certain classes of job holders, students, or religious believers can be deferred or exempted from the draft. Others may be called to serve, but in specialist or rear guard positions with no real risk. Certain regions would have higher draft quotas than others. Others may avoid the draft by entering some form of "alternative" service considered more or less equivalent to active military service. Physical standards for induction could be subject to wide interpretation, so that those with doctors who would certify some ailment could avoid service. You can be certain that all of these devices would be created and used to avoid spreading the risk and burden equally. Many talented and conscientious people would leave the country for good rather that accept the draft.
As unequal and indefensible as our current military demographics are, a draft would only make it worse. And it would tear the country apart while it allows for a much longer, more sustained war with far greater casualties. I don't really think that is what we want.
I remember concluding in 1970, when I was at the height of draft risk myself, that if the country's leadership could not make a case for war that was compelling enough to be sustained by volunteers, then it should not be in the war at all. I still feel that way.
As bad as it has turned out to be, I believe the volunteer military service has been a vast improvement in justice over the involuntary servitude of the draft.
COMMENT #51 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 8:15 pm PT...
An interesting concept, a draft with very limited exceptions.
A soldier has to be sufficiently physically fit to serve. The soldier must be bright enough, and well educated enough to be able to understand and follow orders. Must be of adequate moral character to fulfill an extremely demanding role. The troop must also be adequately socialized to integrate and function within a highly disciplined and extremely motivated organizational unit.
Not that many people make good soldiers. Even at the height of the Vietnam war, when entrance requirements were much more lax than they are now, well over 50% of the age eligible individuals were mentally, physically or morally unacceptable to the services. Those rejected were seen as more costly to the system than they were worth in terms of ability, medical costs or likelyhood of administrative or criminal issues.
Today, standards are much higher. Just prior to the Iraq war, the average troop had 13+ years of education (higher than their civilian counterparts). Obesity, asthma, diabetes and other disqualifying disease are at much higher rates than they were during the Vietnam era. An overactive Enforcement-Prosecutorial-Prison system keeps too many from qualifying on moral grounds.
Less than a quarter of the 18-26 year old population can qualify under physcial, mental and moral grounds. What about the other three quarters? How many sick people does our government want to take additional responsibility for? For surely, if there is a civilian service corp, then there will have to be a civilian service corp counterpart to the VA. The VA is expensive, though absolutely essential. But do we want to indebt ourselves to such care for those who have little to offer on any level? More importantly, would we want those mentally limited to be working on our serious social issues? Would we want the morally challenged to be in contact with our most defenseless citizens, say the homebound elderly or young children? Just what services would you have the military unqualified perform?
Yes, a strong military is a necessity in this world. One which is capable, well trained, well paid and has a high retention rate. One that is willing to pledge their fortune, their sacred honor and their very lives to protect and defend. A military that we in turn keep our obligation to. That we never, ever, place them in harms way unless we have no other alternative.
COMMENT #52 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 8:54 pm PT...
We don't want to get into this, I'm sure, but in some ways "strong military" is similar to "national interest" --- something that said but never really defined well or its necessity delineated. We shouldn't let Obama, HRC, or any of the others pontificate about a "strong military" without a few more details. (We already know why the neocons want a strong military.)
COMMENT #53 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 9:35 pm PT...
I agree with the support for two years of mandatory service for all, with military service as one of the options. In fact, I'm calling the presidential candidates to commit to such an approach at EveryoneServes.org. Come and sign the petition if you agree.
COMMENT #54 [Permalink]
said on 5/4/2007 @ 11:38 pm PT...
The 'I went through it, so should everyone else' thing doesn't cut it with me.
If so, then the only people allowed to vote on this should be people of draft age and their parents/spouses
Otherwise, it looks too much like a political stunt, and it gives the neo-cons (especially that asshole chickenshit wimp Kristol) more cannon fodder.
BTW when is someone going to walk up to 'William the Bloody' and give him the Stossel ear slap ?
COMMENT #55 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2007 @ 1:03 am PT...
Valuable commentary by David Jefferson. And he is correct: The draft will never be applied equally.
Remember that every bill introduced at the behest of The People, if it gets enough sponsors, will next go into committees, and when this happens The People have no right to participate in the process of altering the details, nor even to know or ever find out exactly what went on behind closed doors (Congress exempted itself from the Freedom of Information Act).
Not surprisingly, the lobbyists and special interests exert their influence AFTER the bill is submitted, AFTER The People exercise their voice.
What does this mean for a draft bill? No matter how well intended, it will not end up equally and fairly applied, and the very people you hope will become stakeholders will build in provisions that give them workarounds so that their children will not have to serve.
We are in a worse position for exposing and putting pressure on governmental powers than we were in the Viet Nam era, and the media is much less diverse and independent.
What that means for a draft bill is that there will be less sunshine on the weaknesses of the bill itself, and there will be very little sunshine on unequal implementation of a draft.
During the Viet Nam era, it took years and tens of thousands of lives to reach the tipping point for public pressure to get out of an unwise course of military aggression --- and that was with a more responsible and investigative media than we have today.
I refuse to sacrifice my children while we get to a new tipping point. It would not happen quickly. As we learned with Viet Nam, it can take a decade and the sheer number of casualties will rise to a level that every one of us experiences loss of a friend or family member, for a war entered into against our will.
I have lost a dear friend to Agent Orange-related health problems, and many of us working on voting rights know of another extraordinary citizen fighting for voting rights who is suffering due to Agent Orange exposure. With every new military endeavor, we learn belatedly of chemically and pharmaceutically induced permanent damages. I refuse to inflict that on my children.
Many of you may have seen a film called "I Was Born on the Fourth of July." The protaganist in that film, Ron Kovic, is the brother of someone I know. The medical neglect he suffered --- and our injured military members continue to suffer --- in our military hospitals is unacceptable. I refuse to subject my children to that.
In Viet Nam, my brothers were at risk. But now, both my sons and my DAUGHTERS will be at risk. I refuse to subject my sons and daughters to military conscription.
You may say that the chemical exposures, abominable military hospital conditions, catasrophic injury risks, and risk of our children will produce more responsible behavior on the part of our public officials. Unfortunately, history does not support that position.
We, the People, will not have control over who is subjected to the draft, now matter how lofty our expectations are in proposing fair-minded legislation.
We, the People, will not have control over which conflicts whatever current government deems politically desirable.
We, the People are finding it very difficult to put appropriate controls over the self serving influence peddling done by corporations, like those defense industries that profit from military aggression. Put simply, the corporations that benefit from military involvement can buy more political representation than The People can.
And We, the People, currently cannot even control or authenticate our own elections, so we have no guarantee that those who make those decisions will even be those we choose; furthermore, with our current lack of citizen oversight ability in our elections, we cannot even impose consequences by throwing those who opt into military aggression out of office.
I respect and adore you, Steve, but I urge you to rethink this position.
Founder - Black Box Voting
COMMENT #56 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2007 @ 4:04 am PT...
Even if the draft helped, it would still be wrong. The ends do not justify the means. We are not Republicans here.
COMMENT #57 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2007 @ 4:42 am PT...
Sorry, forgot to add above that I also believe [a draft] would be a powerful method of preventing, or perhaps ending, an unncessary war. With a draft in place, more Americans would care about an impending war and would get involved in the national discussion rather than just watching TV or going to the mall.
(emphasis added). Americans have spoken in the '06 election and Cheney/Bush did just the opposite of what the people wanted. A draft would be another opposite and stubborn turn in the same wrong direction.
Your draft idea is also heading dangerously close to the notion that "war is peace", made famous in George Orwell's book 1984. The big prize in psy ops is to get us to believe the opposite of what is true and what is real.
The people's congress provided a way to end the war but it was vetoed just now by the neoCon in chief. Sheer freakin lunacy!
I don't know about others, but I can assure you that the more wood and gasoline you throw on a fire, no matter what the witch doctors say, the fire will increase, not decrease. Throw more guns and bodies into a civil war and expect peace from it? Lunacy!
This war is a symptom of what is destroying the good heart and spirit of America. I will resist it with every breath I breathe.
Those whom you would have us serve by submitting to a draft have taught this generation:
More than 40 percent support the idea of torture in some cases, and 10 percent reported personally abusing Iraqi civilians, the Pentagon said Friday in what it called its first ethics study of troops at the war front. Units exposed to the most combat were chosen for the study, officials said.
(AP Story, emphasis added). Those are war crimes, and our "heros" are being taught anti-american fascist torture ideology and they are making it a part of their behavior.
Just add up 40% of 150,000 (a million when cycling is figured in) and then realize why the Iraqi's and other nations no longer respect, trust, or like the United States. We have hurt, maimed, and or killed hundreds of thousands of human beings.
The true heart of America is fading into the past under those you would have us serve. If we do not regain American consciousness we will fade into the fog of history as just another evil empire that tried to use the dumb end of a heartless weapon to force a smile on those it grabbed as its subjects.
COMMENT #58 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2007 @ 5:13 am PT...
Brad #35, you sedd:
I believe Steve's point in proposing is not in order to "support a war". I believe, in fact, it is meant to oppose it.
You may have your belief, yet common sense says that the people's congress sent the way to end US participation in the civil war in Iraq to the president.
Who promptly rejected peace and opted for more war. The notion of a draft during a war to end a war is imagination having run amok. It is imagination operating at the dark end of cognition.
A draft is a tool of the military industrial complex, not the tool of human ambassadors working for peace.
See my post #57 for the notion that a draft never means less war, just as more gas on a fire does not mean less fire.
Those who would believe a draft during a war would stop a war would be more likely to volunteer anyway.
As we know the vast majority of the people are not buying it, and thus volunteering for the wonders of war and all it can be is way, way down. Hence draft-speak arises in a sugar coated form. But it is a bad pill and will not cure the disease.
The fabled and illusive "just war" of military imagination should need no draft. But as we observe, there are very, very, very few wars the people will volunteer en masse to take part in.
There are, then, very, very, very few just wars ... as defined by the people's willingness to volunteer for wars.
The bottom line is that just wars are as rare as just violence.
Lets all wake up and smell the rotting corpses of little ones whose eyes twinkled once with life.
COMMENT #59 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2007 @ 5:59 am PT...
Bev Harris and all who oppose the draft
Your attitude is exactly what the draft could promote. Since the majority of people, at least according to polls, are against the war, a draft could galvanize those people to finally stand up and actually be counted. Without a unifying issue such as the draft, what is going to wake the other side up to the criminality of this military action? We wake up in the morning and the sun is shining, the lawn is green, the lights work and the radio plays the music. Nothing wrong here. We can choose to shut out the war. Without the populace's skin in the game, forget the politician's skin, we, as a nation, will still sit back and watch (or not) because there is no real consequence and until there is, this will continue. Just look at this thread. There are more comments on this issue than most any other. It strikes the cord that could actually change things. It's a dangerous move, but what isn't that this administration does? They've put this country at great risk and for what? We need to demand that this government be held accountable, but that won't happen without an issue that will bring us together and an opposition to the draft might just do it.
COMMENT #60 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2007 @ 6:29 am PT...
9. The people who are sending soldiers to die, have stolen 2 elections to do so. So, give THOSE people the power to draft?
COMMENT #61 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2007 @ 6:31 am PT...
The politicians who have the lives of military personell in their hands, have stolen their way into office in the first place! And then they do this? They should all be thrown in the slammer, as Sean Penn said on Bill Maher Real Time last night.
COMMENT #62 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2007 @ 6:53 am PT...
Dredd # 58
"Lets all wake up and smell the rotting corpses of little ones whose eyes twinkled once with life"
My God, I hope your country does wake up..!! This unjust war has gone on way too long and it's about time Bush and his cronies pay the price for their instigating it. Off to the Hague with all of them...!!!
COMMENT #63 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2007 @ 8:00 am PT...
When did the definition of slavery come to include a life term? Enslavement is a state of subjugation. It is the limitation on freedom and the loss of the slaves right to their own bodies and desires that preclude their exercise of choice that they would otherwise find in their society. The length of this state is not an issue.
If your logic were correct, then it would be appropriate to ban abortion. After all, the female carrier of the fetus would only be "drafted into service" for a mere nine months, at which time the unwanted pregnancy would be more or less naturally terminated. There is a serious shortage of adoptable infants, the servitude of the woman's uterus could go ever so far to making the whole the life of an unhappy childless couple. This would certainly be much less disturbing to the birth mother than the ever so much more encompassing slavery of an inductee.
The inductee does not own his own body. She has no right to refuse the medical care that the military wishes to force on her (think anthrax vaccine). Getting an off duty, medically significant, sunburn is grounds for court martial, the legal theory is the destruction of government property. Sexuality can only be expressed in a limited number of government approved ways. Even solo masturbation is grounds for court martial. Telling your boss to sod off is grounds for court martial.
Refusing an order is grounds for court martial. Refusing an unlawful order, while legally required of every troop, almost always ends up being construed as grounds for a court martial. Catch-22 may have been fiction, the basis of military "logic" for that novel certainly was not. By the way, military stockades are not particularly not nice places.
Basic military training is intensely destructive of post adolescent personalities. This is not by accident, but rather by intent. A practice that has been finely honed over thousands of years. One that takes a young individual, strips away personality through depersonalization, sleep deprivation, disorientation, personal degradation, and other psychological techniques. It is not easy to overcome the societal training that keeps us from killing one another. Rather necessary to help keep a troop alive in combat, but clearly causing profound mental damage. Ex military, inductees or enlistees, with or without combat experience, suffer higher rates of homelessness, joblessness, marital discord, substance abuse, alcoholism, as well as a variety of physical and mental diseases than the general population. This is true, even though as I described in previous comments, those found acceptable for military service are generally physically, mentally and educationally superior to the general population. Combat veterans suffer more so.
Is this slavery, with disregard for the health and welfare of the individual? It is within any definition of the words with which I am familiar.
COMMENT #64 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2007 @ 8:24 am PT...
Just consider this one point: It is obvious we don't have the troops to fight the Bush Wars of Conquest. The Bushites know it; the world knows it.
So why didn't the Bushites institute the draft early on to cover the needs of the Empire? BECAUSE THEY UNDERSTAND FULLY THAT A DRAFT WOULD END EVERYTHING FOR THEM!! They have always known it. A call for a draft ends this whole thing: The war and this administration.
ALL THE BUSHITES KNOW THIS!
Let the draft begin.
COMMENT #65 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2007 @ 8:41 am PT...
How about some Hessians? Don't they still have some guys for hire? We go way back with them, one way or another.
COMMENT #66 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2007 @ 8:45 am PT...
Hmmm, entertaining but strange discussion, mostly because the most insightful comments by Richard Roe were largely ignored?! Personally I don't understand this running to the concept of a draft when opposing an unpopular war. It's irrational and utterly contrary to what you want to achieve.
If you want to make sure that wars are worth fighting, then an inverse taxed draft is probably the only way to really make the necessary people think twice. In other words, return to a feudal style of resource conscription. In modern terms this would mean that anyone in government and defense industries would be drafted first, with extremely broad age and health ranges, and serve on the front lines (because you seem to forget that merely drafting a wealthy man's son doesn't mean that son serves on the front lines, even if he enters the military). Furthermore, a 50% flat income tax is assessed against anyone making more than, say, 80k per year. A 20% tax to support the war is assessed against everyone else, and standard "random" draft rules apply.
This insures that, like a feudal lord(s), the people who propose a war and stand to benefit the most are the very ones who sacrifice their money and their bodies on the front lines. If the war is truly necessary and in the national interest to such a profound degree that Bush himself leads the charge, much less his children, then indeed it is likely a worthy cause. Well not really, because Bush is a religious nut and moron, but in theory...
My point being, if you are going to jump to an irrational position that a draft will discourage wars (historically this doesn't seem to be true, but the whole discussion of why this is "irrational" is beyond the reasonable space available here), then at least propose a draft that stands a reasonable chance to make an impact on the people you say should be hesitant.
M, good points, Mr. Heller - loved the whole Diebold thing, but in regards to your comments re: morality and the idea of personal attack, I will note this- Our "morality" underlies any true position, even in debate, and if you take an assault on the morality of your own ideas (and I'm not suggesting what your real ideas here are, but speaking generally) then it is not inappropriate at all, but necessary. It is a very Bushlike idea to say that those who disagree with him are traitors - not a far cry from saying that those who think you hold an immoral position are insulting you and somehow out of line. If indeed any of us have positions that can be said to be immoral, then ideally we are simply prompted to reconsider them, but let's not complain about whether we, as individuals, take such things personally. Even if true it only serves as an arbitrary way to limit debate. As adults, especially when we might be wrong, let's be willing to "take it on the chin" and focus on trying to find the best, ideally right, answers.
Nice you see you contributing here Mr. Heller, I'm still one of your fans
COMMENT #67 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2007 @ 8:49 am PT...
10. Everyone is ultimately responsible for their own actions. "I was just following orders" didn't fly at Nuremburg. That's why our military is in trouble. Criminal leaders who stole their elections, putting the military in compromising positions. Where's all the OTHER people in our govt stopping this? It seems that both parties are in on this madness. It didn't stop yet, since the Dems got the majority in the house and senate, did it?
COMMENT #68 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2007 @ 9:08 am PT...
this is the biggest piece of crap ive ever read.
there will be no draft in this war because if a draft
happend americans would demand a withdraw. the worst draft riots ever in history would happen.
the draft might happen if americans supported this war, some 80% disaprove of the war, so there wont be a draft.
COMMENT #69 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2007 @ 9:15 am PT...
I don't quite agree with Joe Jackson's (#68) "biggest piece of crap" statement but he's right that there won't be a draft. I still think there should be one, but it would be political suicide for any politician to actively work for the institution of a draft, so he's right that it won't happen.
COMMENT #70 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2007 @ 10:33 am PT...
The unjust Iraq war has already ruined it for the republicans, but they are clueless. Read em and weep:
May 5, 2007 - It’s hard to say which is worse news for Republicans: that George W. Bush now has the worst approval rating of an American president in a generation, or that he seems to be dragging every ‘08 Republican presidential candidate down with him. But According to the new NEWSWEEK Poll, the public’s approval of Bush has sunk to 28 percent, an all-time low for this president in our poll, and a point lower than Gallup recorded for his father at Bush Sr.’s nadir. The last president to be this unpopular was Jimmy Carter who also scored a 28 percent approval in 1979. This remarkably low rating seems to be casting a dark shadow over the GOP’s chances for victory in ‘08. The NEWSWEEK Poll finds each of the leading Democratic contenders beating the Republican frontrunners in head-to-head matchups.
Perhaps that explains why Republican candidates, participating in their first major debate this week, mentioned Bush’s name only once, but Ronald Reagan’s 19 times. (The debate was held at Reagan’s presidential library.)
(Raw Story, emphasis added). They mentioned Bush only once, yet they voiced their love for the war over and over. Keep it up RNC, so far only Cheney has reached 9%, but you guys can do it too! Your density is unsurpassed.
COMMENT #71 [Permalink]
Off the Grid
said on 5/5/2007 @ 10:59 am PT...
Daft me...see who I shoot. Death, death, and more death is not and will never be the answer.
COMMENT #72 [Permalink]
Off the Grid
said on 5/5/2007 @ 11:10 am PT...
COMMENT #73 [Permalink]
Off the Grid
said on 5/5/2007 @ 11:17 am PT...
"It is the soldiers who have been telling me from the frontline that the war they have been fighting is a hopeless war, that they cannot possibly win it and the sooner we start talking politics and not military solutions, the sooner they will come home and their lives will be preserved."
-Gen Sir Michael Rose
COMMENT #74 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2007 @ 11:55 am PT...
We will never end war as long as we are killing our sisters and brothers in the womb. Abortion is the greatest destroyer of peace, love, and justice in the world because it is a mother "choosing" to kill her own baby. I recently saw an ultra-sound video of an abortion. When I saw that little girl in the womb screaming and fighiting with her hands and feet for her life I saw the most brutal killing in our world today. Work for peace in the womb.
COMMENT #75 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2007 @ 12:15 pm PT...
America doesn’t need a draft it needs Americans that understand the inner workings of government, politics and “Democracy”.
Your “draft theory” didn’t work in Vietnam and won’t work in Iraq.
America has the best politicians and government that pack money can buy. We need to rid the “United States of Israel” of fascism, corporatisium and graft.
COMMENT #76 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2007 @ 6:14 pm PT...
WHEW, didn't check for a couple of days and boy, did this topic get 'messaged'; Steve ,appreciate your bringing the idea up; I'd ask you to look at Israel where national service is mandatory BUT the 'religious students' get exception from military service(hope everyone understands the the linkage between the exemption and the government's actions);
Roger you wrote "Your attitude is exactly what the draft could promote"; THAT is the REAL problem; why is 'civic participation' such a low priority in this country? From what I'm told, the 'social studies/civics' classes I had in high school are no longer taught.
But having a draft wouldn't change that; as an 'air force volunteer' who served during the Vietnam buildup and ended up being a war protester, I can share with you that the 'actionable item' for me as a vet and many others was Kent State; that, following on what happened in Chicago in 1968, MLK and RFK assassinations the same year, had much more to do with protesting the war than the draft; and let us not -please- forget Eugene McCarthy and a media that was more than corporate lapdogs for the entrenched power interests.
COMMENT #77 [Permalink]
said on 5/5/2007 @ 9:04 pm PT...
I say at the very least,
every lad between the ages of 18 and 23
who owns a deluxe Big Bertha Titanium Driver,
should be drafted AT ONCE.
That'll take care of the Frat Boyz.
COMMENT #78 [Permalink]
said on 5/6/2007 @ 5:09 pm PT...
Kevin James brought up the issue of abortion. Do you think that it is a coincidence that the strongest supporters of war are also the strongest opponents of abortion? If abortion were eliminated we would have many more poor kids whose only hope for a future is a military career (cannon fodder).
COMMENT #79 [Permalink]
said on 5/7/2007 @ 7:14 am PT...
It is Far more imperative that we push to ban the use of private contractors for any military services. This would force the hand of our leaders into initiating the draft on their own. More importantly, this would reveal and remove the unspoken and unaccountable 100,000+ private troops, paid 6 times the comparable rate for soldiers, from the battlefield.
COMMENT #80 [Permalink]
said on 5/7/2007 @ 8:43 am PT...
Kevin James: I assume you're a Republican. They controlled everything from 2000-2006, the House, Senate, president, and the Supreme Court. Why didn't they come through for you, on their promise of banning abortion? They LIED to you!!!!!!!! And it may be the only reason you vote for them!
COMMENT #81 [Permalink]
said on 5/7/2007 @ 8:46 am PT...
Steve Heller: Actually, this is the SECOND biggest piece of crap I ever saw! (Agent 86)
Just kidding, I DO see your point, and it was a great subject...
COMMENT #82 [Permalink]
said on 5/7/2007 @ 10:09 am PT...
Once again, thanks to all who commented, pro or con. I know it's a hot-button issue and many don't agree with me.
It was easy to be popular when I was being pounded by Diebold and the LA D.A., but not so much when calling for a draft. But I do repsect alternative opinions, and I get the feeling most of the people who left comments do too.
Thanks again to all.
COMMENT #83 [Permalink]
said on 5/7/2007 @ 2:20 pm PT...
You are welcome.
Yes, it is a hot button subject. I resisted the war in vietnam by going to prison. They did not really believe I was a CO as I claimed so I proved it to them.
Soon after I got there they assigned me to the missile cable factory, where inmates worked on cables for various missile weapons.
Naturally I explained to them that if I believed in war I would have volunteered. They put me in "the hole", no matress, no leaving the cell, no communications, yadda yadda yadda. I slept good at night.
They never gave up, harrassing me constantly while I was doing my time, and even after I got out. Nevertheless I was happy not to have to go to a strange place and kill, maim, and destroy strange men, women, and children.
I was resisting the war mongering dems then, and the war mongering republicans now. (And bring it on independents if you think your wars will be any more holy than the wars of the dems or the wars of the republicans! I will resist you too!)
Anyway Steve, they tried to kill me a time or two during that sentence. Eventually Gerald Ford pardoned me. I have a signed, in ink, copy of the pardon. They did not use rubber stamps back then.
While as a CO who proved it, I may have less credibility with comments on a draft as a means of stopping a war, nevertheless, I still think I can comment on the fairness of the draft you propose.
So, I will say that my New Rule, mentioned in post #6, really is in the same spirit you say your draft proposal is.
It is a rule, like your expressed intention, that would share the burden equally among peers. In other words, like democratic congressman Rangel's draft bill, it would make rich and poor all carry the load.
But for those who advocate for war it would place an unequal burden on them and require them to show how serious they really are by requiring that they be the first to meet the proposed enemy where the rubber meets the road ... the place of death ... or worse.
The only draft I am able to support in my life time is a draft of peace promoters, ambassadors for peace, and workers for healing, life, and prosperity for all.
There is no such thing as a strong military. That is because the military is the tool that is pulled out when human relationships fail. Failure leading to violence is not a trait of social strength. It is a failure that does not see the benefits of peace.
A military draft is an admission of failure for all societies that espouse it. It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a planet of peace loving people to raise world peace!
And we don't even have a nation of such people, much less a planet of such people.
COMMENT #84 [Permalink]
said on 5/7/2007 @ 3:56 pm PT...
I think many of you are neglecting one of my points from comment #2. Let me make this clearer. If we had a draft with a variety of service options the country would find out how supportive we actually are of our "Defense" Department and the pro-war factions of this country. This would mean that the military would be forced to adhere to strict overseas deployment limits (number of times, proper training, properly equipped, and proper amount of down time between deployments so mental health issues can be dealt with). To short cut any of these limits the "Defense" department would have to get authorization from Congress (not the White House). This way we could possibly have more troops when needed but their collective fate would not be solely controlled by the President (who we know can sometimes be less than presidential).
National service is a form of servitude and can be negative if that's what you want to focus on. It also can be a great learning experience, exposing our young people to things that they might not have had a chance to do/see. If we give our young people the choice of services we are treating them like the responsible adults/citizens we want them to be. If we force them to become soldiers then we are indoctrinating them into a drone society that only glorifies and perpetuates war. Giving options forces the country to collectively think how we/they should serve. If they don't put on military uniforms then our international policies will be in jeopardy, which will force us to rethink their worth. Maybe forcing us to change our diplomacy and how we deal with other countries. To quote Rumsfeld, "As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time." The problem with our use of our military in Iraq is that the troops have paid the price for over zealous imperialism. If the neocons limited their actions to what the military was capable of doing we wouldn't have many of the problems that exist today.
If we reinstitute a draft like we had during the Vietnam era, we will not have learned anything. It will be jarring but (considering the yarns/tall tales and other spin the ceo-cons have inflicted on us) I don't trust that our country will make an informed decision about the continuation of Mid-East involvement. We will have removed one of the only differences between Vietnam and Iraq.
COMMENT #85 [Permalink]
said on 5/7/2007 @ 4:08 pm PT...
I do see a potential generational divide here, those who were alive and subject to the draft and its consequences, and those who were not.
Both David Jefferson (#50) and Bev Harris (#55) stated well the reality of trying to institute a draft that would accomplish what Steve wants. "M" has also made the point that any time a human is deprived of their liberty it is a form of slavery, and the length of time is irrelevant. The comparison to forced child-bearing was well taken, and appropriate.
Throughout history those in power have been able to persuade the population to follow the "leaders". With today's sophistication in public persuasion, including a compliant corporate media, and government itself using its resources to manipulate the public's perceptions, it would be rather easy to "sell" a war. But of course we already know that based upon recent history.
I am very glad that Bev brought up the ugly side of "service". Our treatment of our soldiers once they come home shows the true character and nature of the politicians that sent them in the first place. The government will expose them to dangerous chemicals, radiation, and other harmful factors, deny they did or deny they were harmful, and then refuse to endemnify or treat the veterans. The government does and will lie, and it is a tremendously heavy burden for an individual to prove that it did.
The power to conscript is the power to deprive another's liberty. The draft at its core is involuntary servitude, a form of slavery.
COMMENT #86 [Permalink]
said on 5/8/2007 @ 6:38 am PT...
Bev Harris said it best. It's naive to believe that "We the People" are in any position to hold our current goverment accountable for anything, much less having a say in what wars to fight and who will fight them.
I have two children that are target age for a draft and would do anything to prevent sending them off to war, including taking them out of the country. That is, unless they themselves wanted to join the military.
I wonder how many of the folks that have draft age children themselves are supportive of Mr. Heller's draft proposal?
Steven, I appreciate the standup job you did to out Diebold, but I will never support the concept of offering my kids up as cannon fodder for this corrupt government.
COMMENT #87 [Permalink]
said on 5/8/2007 @ 2:31 pm PT...
Well nobody can say Steven is afraid of controversy. I agree with those who think the rich and powerful will make a loophole to keep their kids out of the draft, but it' certainly good to talk about things and get it all out there!