Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bring back the Draft

I read Obama's speech at Fort Hood yesterday. Lovely, as usual, but he is starting to get on my nerves. As I've said before, this terrible tragedy is an opportunity for us to discuss why we are waging two wars and for how long we expect to do so with a volunteer army. As many have pointed out, the only people who are sacrificing anything are American soldiers. No one else is asked to share the burden and no one else seems to care as long as they can continue shopping and owing money in peace.
The reason why our anti-war movement is pathetic and ineffectual is because we don't have compulsory military service. As long as our precious American youth is  unharmed, who cares? Who cares about those who risk their lives, who for the most part are not children of privilege? The Army in many cases is their way out of poverty or into education and opportunity. So don't give me the bullshit that we are all created equal. If that was the case, all Americans of fighting age would be required to join the military.
The burden on the Army is enormous. I wonder how many people are signing up. Maybe after this incident there will be a spike of emboldened rednecks, but I'm sure it is not enough to support our increasingly costly misadventures abroad.  Our spineless, cowardly Congress prefers to keep abusing American soldiers rather than bring back the draft, surely to be an incredibly unpopular measure. Maybe they are counting on the economic crisis and all those foreclosed and unemployed people to look for Army jobs.
Bring back the draft and I can assure you that there would be ipso facto riots and demonstrations a la Vietnam war, and a surge of popular opinion against our wars.
But as long as we can fall back on the underclass, look the other way and pretend that as long as it's not happening to us, it's not happening, these wars are going to last forever.


  1. You said it! A universal draft brings the war back home, laying it on the conscience of the American people. If your brother, your sister, or the kid next door isn't out there, subject to conscription, then it's all too easy to forget about the shameful waste of resources and lives consumed by any war.

  2. Aart from the American soldiers who, as you say, are making great sacrifices, there has also been an incredible amount of loss among Iraqi and Afghan soldiers and civilians.

  3. The civilian losses are of course appalling and even worse than our military's but my point is that we are in the middle of two putrid wars and nobody stateside seems to notice. But tell any of your friends that their teenage children will be sent to Iraq/Afghanistan and you see how soon Americans do anything in their power to end the wars.