Skip to main content

View Diary: Ending the Draft Was a Very Good Thing (25 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Not only that, but when the draft stopped (5+ / 0-)

    the military became even more isolated from society (a chronic problem) and the drift toward a Christian Dominionist army of centurions and praetorian guards began.

    And during the Iraq war, Bush let thousands into the military on waivers because there weren't enuf qualified volunteers.  This has been a significant contribution the the presence of a thug culture in the military.  

    Finally, a volunteer military enables a president to act with less consideration for public sentiment because the public is not fully represented in the ranks and can be more easily silenced with sanctimonious manufactured emotion about America's greatness and sacrifice.

    The draft needs to be changed into a universal service requirement, 24 months, with a strong core of military training to pass constitutional muster, after which you go into the field with a choice (when possible) among military, environmental/public health, and infrastructure-building.  No senatorial-family exceptions, no deferments, no excuses.

    And it needs to include women, of course, and at long last.

    Their real God is money-- Jesus just drives the armored car, and his hat is made in China. © 2009 All Rights Reserved

    by oblomov on Fri May 10, 2013 at 07:11:02 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Universal "service" is totalitarianism--it assumes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      david78209

      that the needs of the individual are subservient to the needs of the state, even more than a war-time draft does.  

              The idea that the "draft ended the war in Vietnam" is ahistorical.  At the least, the war in Vietnam lasted from the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution until the fall of Saigon -- I.e., almost 10 years.  At the height of the war, the U.S. had 500,000 personnel in the Vietnam theater, a fraction of the U.S. population at the time at least twice the maximum we had in Iraq & Afghanistan at one time.  We lost about 50,000 dead in Vietnam, a toll 4-5 times as large as the deaths the U.S. has suffered in Iraq & Afghanistan, even when private contractors (a.k.a. mercenaries) are included.  If that's how a draft limits war, spare me from a draft.*

            The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were actually severely curtailed by the manpower limitations of a voluntary military, just as I'm sure that the options being presented today by the military to PBO are highly constrained by those same manpower limitations, especially since they have been so depleted by the idiocies in Iraq & Afghanistan.  A voluntary military has considerable drawbacks but those are manageable compared to the potential a draft provides for the type of vast military escalation that we saw in Vietnam.  

              *Actually, I spared myself from the draft through a 4-year legal fight for C.O. status,  during much of which I worked full-time as a draft counselor and anti-war, anti-draft activist.  Ironically, I escaped prosecution for the one time I actually had to refuse induction because I had a criminal charge pending from being arrested at a draft-board sit-in on "Stop the Draft Day."

      "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

      by Oliver St John Gogarty on Fri May 10, 2013 at 09:07:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Only about 3% (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert, aliasalias

      of Americans are directly affected by these illegal wars.  That includes military members, their direct families members and then the residual family and others work in and around the bases.

      I hated being in the service during Vietnam, but: "when the draft stopped the military became even more isolated from society (a chronic problem) and the drift toward a Christian Dominionist army of centurions and praetorian guards began."  A mosty correct position

      I also agree w/ Gooserock:  "The Last Time We Had Serious Civilian Pressure to end war was the last time we had the draft.

      The military is out of control, w/ officers who receive gedunk medals for for taking a shit to the god damned christians who want to achieve Armageddon by nuking everything in sight.

       

      •  Exactly how "serious" was the "civilian (0+ / 0-)

        pressure to end war" in the late 1960's and early 1970's.  I was in the thick of the anti- war movement for several of those years, and I didn't notice any overwhelming civilian support at the time, even in NYC where I lived then--certainly not significantly greater that the opposition to the Iraq war at equivalent times.  

              True, there was greater opposition among draft-age civilians, and that opposition got enormous publicity, especially when it became violent or, as happened much more frequently, when the attempts to suppress it became violent.  But anybody closely involved in that opposition will admit how small its power and influence were.

              I would also submit that a great deal of the civilian anti-war sentiment at the time came from revulsion toward the prospect of nuclear war rather than from opposition to the draft: see the Cuban crisis, "Strangelove," "War Games,"
        "Seven Days in May," "On the Beach," etc., etc.   Anxiety and horror regarding nuclear war pervaded popular culture in the '60's.  Or maybe I'm just projecting--the insanity of MAD certainly had as much to do with my becoming involved in anti-war work as did the prospect of my being drafted to fight a war I thought immoral.

        "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

        by Oliver St John Gogarty on Fri May 10, 2013 at 01:05:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site