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View Diary: Golf, Culture, & Cognitive Dissonance (48 comments)

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  •  Easy answer to end the ambivalence: DRAFT (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    unfangus, Russycle, FutureNow

    We have a very unnatural separation between military and civilian right now.  That is why people feel ambivalent.  If we had a draft, even people who don't get drafted know they can.  It becomes their military and our military.  Everyone can throw in their own two cents with equal moral authority.  No one need feel embarrassed or ambivalent.  It is actually very democratizing.  It also gives everyone a personal interest in all of the wars we start, which isn't a bad thing.

    Want to empower people and feel empowered?  Take back the military!  This country really needs a draft.

    To any wingnut: If you pay my taxes I'll give you a job.

    by ban48 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 04:24:43 AM PDT

    •  I don't know how old you are, (0+ / 0-)

      and I could be wrong, but I'm guessing you were not a draft-eligible guy during Vietnam. I've heard the argument that a draft would mean fewer wars, but having lived through worrying for years about my boyfriend or my brother or my friends being shipped off to kill or die in some jungle, I don't buy it.
      When there's a draft, yes, everybody has more "interest" in the military- which means everybody is a nervous wreck all the time. And when the war machine does not have to rely on volunteers and has an infinite number of bodies to throw at a hideous war, they will keep throwing those bodies for years.
      The draft didn't end the war, the years of protest didn't end the war, the war ended with the fall of Saigon. If they hadn't had an endless supply of unwilling young guys to throw into it, it would have ended sooner.

      •  I'm not draft-eligible, but I have kids so I do (4+ / 0-)

        have a vested interest.  And, if we had a volunteer (almost private) military supplemented by mercenaries in 1970 as we do now, the Vietnam War could have easily dragged on many more years.  After all, how long have we been in Iraq and Afghanistan?

        To any wingnut: If you pay my taxes I'll give you a job.

        by ban48 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 07:00:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The difference, at least in my opinion, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nolagrl

          is that the people fighting those wars have chosen to do so. The idea of forcing someone to take up arms and agree to kill or be killed is pretty hideous to me. If you haven't lived through it, I really can't describe the level of anxiety that accompanies a draft and permeates every facet of life- but I can tell you that the last thing it does is engender good will for the military.
          Let's just say I hope you and your kids never have to face it.

          •  Rumsfeld himself parroted your argument: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            greengemini

            "Yeah, its a shit sandwich but you guys volunteered so eat it without question."

            He didn't quite say it that way but he might as well have.  He made it all-to-clear that volunteers surrendered their right to question.  It is no small wonder that the right-wing is all over the all-volunteer + mercenary setup we have now, and I'm sure they'd love to see it go all-mercenary.  A draft may have very well prevented the war in Iraq from ever starting.

            As far as the anxiety and fear goes - an entire nation of people afraid to face their fears is hardly something to be proud about.

            To any wingnut: If you pay my taxes I'll give you a job.

            by ban48 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 11:01:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Okay that Rumsfelt comparison (0+ / 0-)

              is bullshit and you know it- or you should. Where did I say or imply that volunteers surrendered their right to question?

              What I said, clearly, is that I consider the concept of conscription insupportable on its face. You don't have to agree, you might be fine with your sons or daughters being drafted, and that's your right. But don't go slinging bullshit "right-wing" accusations at someone who feels differently.

              I'm not sure where you're getting the draft preventing Iraq idea- it sure as hell did not prevent Vietnam.

              And excuse the hell outta me for worrying about the people I loved being sent to that hellhole. Guess I should have "faced my fears" instead of protesting the goddamn war.

              •  This was your statement: (0+ / 0-)
                The difference, at least in my opinion, is that the people fighting those wars have chosen to do so
                I'm not glorifying war and I commend you for protesting.  But our nation is turning its back on its military and people are letting themselves get cowed because they don't volunteer.  You cannot escape the consequences of war and foreign policy by simply not serving.  The consequences of surrendering involvement are just as deep and sinister as war, if not deeper.

                BTW - its not the draft that ended the Vietnam War, it was the protests - protests which included not only draftees but returning military personnel.    And the people fighting in Iraq & Afghanistan signed up to protect the US, not be Rumsfeld's foreign-policy-war-effort-lab-rats.

                To any wingnut: If you pay my taxes I'll give you a job.

                by ban48 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 12:35:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I know what I stated- (0+ / 0-)

                  and how you read that as in any way disparaging volunteers is a mystery to me. In fact, one of the unfortunate results of the draft was that the military became historically unpopular, and much of that unpopularity was unjustly directed at the soldiers who fought in that war. Your idea of what would happen or might happen re support for the military is very different from what in fact did happen, and I watched it happen.

                  Wars are best fought by people who fight them willingly. And in my opinion, the best thing that could have happened in Vietnam- a war I assume you agree should not have been fought- was even more universal resistance to the war in general and to the draft in particular.

                  No one would love to believe that the protests "ended the war" more than I would. And they did have some impact on policy- which sadly resulted in the soldiers already there not receiving adequate support- but if I'm honest I have to admit that after years of protest, the war did not end until we lost it militarily with the fall of Saigon.

                  •  I'm not saying you are disparaging the volunteers, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Wednesday Bizzare

                    I'm saying you are detached from the volunteers - as in "they volunteered for it so it is their problem now".  I'm not sure if that is what you meant, but it is how I interpreted it.

                    But, I will state that your statement:

                    Wars are best fought by people who fight them willingly
                    is incredibly naive.  There is no shortage of very bad people who will willingly fight wars.  That is a very dangerous power to hand to very bad people.  I think wars are best fought by people who don't want to fight them.  That is the only thing that keeps them from getting out of control.  And if you hand military power to bad people, it will become your problem in a very bad way later on.

                    To any wingnut: If you pay my taxes I'll give you a job.

                    by ban48 on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 05:07:39 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  That is not what I'm saying at all. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      nolagrl

                      Last try: I believe it's wrong to force people to take up arms against their will. You can try to spin that into whatever you imagine, but it does not mean more than it says- and it says nothing about those who volunteer.
                      Speaking of volunteers, there are also many good people who willingly fight wars, so I'm not sure what you're actually suggesting here about very bad people. But thanks for calling me naive, I guess that's better than Rumsfeld.

                      It's pretty ridiculous to continue this discussion or argument or whatever you'd call it, as we will never agree. My bottom line is that I would vehemently oppose any effort to compel my kids (or now my grandkids, one of whom is only four years away from draft age) to fight in the latest version of Vietnam or Iraq or Afghanistan. I think it's immoral to conscript people to fight in a war they oppose- but mostly I saw too many guys come home damaged or dead from a pointless dumbass war, and I don't intend to see that happen to my grandkids.

                      You feel differently- I don't personally understand how anyone who doesn't believe in a given war could be okay with their kids fighting it, but as I said that's your right.

                      Peace- to you and your kids.

                      •  I'll back-pedal a bit: Letting people who want to (0+ / 0-)

                        fight do the fighting isn't the same as letting people who want to fight wars control when we go to war.  But I do see it as a slippery slope.  And, others have pointed out that there is no shortage of ruthless tin-pot dictators with conscript armies, so conscription (or at-least conscription alone) doesn't guarantee jack-shit.

                        But I think we have a dangerous detachment between civilian and military cultures.  We as a nation don't need people who oppose war to be detached, we need them engaged - engaged with the authority that comes with "I'm part of this too!  This is my fucking army too and I WILL have my say!"

                        To any wingnut: If you pay my taxes I'll give you a job.

                        by ban48 on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 05:19:01 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I'm not detached- (0+ / 0-)

                          protesting a war is not an expression of detachment, it's a way to "have your say" about how our armed forces are used (or too often, misused). Doing nothing is detachment.

                          If you're saying that the only way to not be detached is to actually join the army (at this point I'm assuming you're military or ex-military), I just don't agree. It's certainly one way and certainly the most direct involvement, but not everyone will make a good soldier, just as not everyone will make a good doctor or mechanic or you name it.

                          True confession time- I would absolutely suck at military life. I'm not good with authority and have always run my own business. I'm pretty much a pacifist by temperament even though I know that absolute pacifism as policy won't work.
                          And most of all, I absolutely lack the physical aggressiveness and raw courage that combat demands. I grew up watching the war movies of the 50's, and all I could think was I am so glad I'm a girl and will never have to do this, cause I would just be looking for a place to hide. Can't imagine shooting and maybe killing some stranger, and I sure as hell don't want them to shoot me. Of course there would likely be no gender immunity for my granddaughters if the draft is reinstated- which is another reason I hate the idea. YMMV.

                •  Study WWI (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  greengemini

                  and the women who ran around handing out white feathers to men who were in civilian clothes.

                  The intent was to shame total strangers into volunteering to be slaughtered.

                  History did not start with us.

                  Joy shared is doubled. Pain shared is halved. Spider Robinson

                  by nolagrl on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:59:35 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  WTF? (0+ / 0-)
              A draft may have very well prevented the war in Iraq from ever starting.
              Exactly the opposite - it would still be going on.

              That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

              by enhydra lutris on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 01:06:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Iraq and Afghanistan... (0+ / 0-)

          ...have been MUCH SMALLER affairs than Vietnam.  Both combined are on the scale of about a year or so of Vietnam at its worst.

          The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early; don't mistake an unfulfilled dream for a lost one. A dream has no deadline!

          by Panurge on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 07:52:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  OTOH, there was the '73 cease-fire. (0+ / 0-)

        That was accepted at the time as the effective end of the war, at least for the U.S., until '75.  That's when whatever troops remained came home and POWs were exchanged.  The fall of Saigon seemed like an unexpected postscript--and probably the best thing to happen to the modern conservative movement.

        I understand about "taking back the military", but I just can't see how the draft is the way to do that.

        The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early; don't mistake an unfulfilled dream for a lost one. A dream has no deadline!

        by Panurge on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 10:34:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Bravo! More cannon fodder so we can have (0+ / 0-)

      yet more endless wars. Such a great idea.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 01:03:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Cut the standing military (0+ / 0-)

      back to a sustainable size.  The only 'enemies' we have are those we've created.

      Joy shared is doubled. Pain shared is halved. Spider Robinson

      by nolagrl on Thu Jul 11, 2013 at 07:56:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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