Why Rangel's proposal to reinstitute the draft is a bad idea

I like Representative Charlie Rangel, the feisty New York Democrat, but he's dead wrong on reinstating the military draft. It would be the worst thing that could happen.

Rangel has twice sponsored legislation to reintroduce the draft on the grounds that an all-volunteer army puts disproportionate burdens on the poor. Rangel believes, and I've heard many of my own generation say, if there were a draft we wouldn't be fighting in Iraq. There is the implication that the opposition to the Vietnam War on college campuses was driven almost entirely by the danger of being drafted. It wasn't. I was active against that war and I was also a draft resister. I resisted the draft because I opposed the war. I didn't oppose the war because I didn't want to be drafted. I was in the "doctor's draft," the one draft you couldn't get out of for medical or education deferments. They were taking doctors with one leg. I was very unlikely to see combat. But I didn't want to be complicit in what I considered to be a crime. And I was joined in that sentiment by millions of others my age and younger.

Modern warfare started in the nineteenth century when Napolean introduced conscription, making possible war on a scale never before contemplated. The draft is the human fodder factory of war. Contrary to what Rangel believes, if we had a draft there would now be 500,000 US soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and probably Syria and Iran. Conscription would make possible what is impossible now. We don't have enough soldiers to hold off insurgents in a country of 30 million. Military adventures elsewhere are out of the question, unless we mean just bombing them which everyone knows is counterproductive. With a draft we'd be sending in more. and more. And more.

Rangel thinks that supporting the war without supporting the draft is hypocritical. Since I support neither I won't agree or disagree. But if you don't support the war in Iraq or in Afghanistan (which I don't) or extending it to Syria and Iran, then you shouldn't support conscription either. It is the enabler of catastrophic misadventures.


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In talking to the kids and parents of today's draft aged youngsters, it IS fear of being drafted that drives them to not want it brought back. I've discussed this with many of the parents of my daughter's pals and to a person they would find some way to prevent their kids from being drafted and MANY of them support the Iraqi war and Bush.
I know that back in the Viet Nam era it was the war that prompted the draft resisters, many of my husband's brothers were part of that movement (how that explains his being a retired Marine Corps LtCol I do not know). Even his father, a decorated WWII Army Captain, helped his sons get the hell out of dodge due to the same thing that prompted you to resist the draft. I respect that.
Now a days it is a different world. Not a lot of kids give a shit about the Iraqi war, they are more concerned about what prom dress they are going to wear or what college they are going to or how to get a job at the local Honda plant. The war is over there, doesn't affect them since they never hear about it, and when it is mentioned they pretty much ignore it.
I wish it were different, more like the 60's, when people of all ages moved as one to combat war. But it isn't like that anymore and Rangel's idea of forcing the issue on ALL levels of Americans may be the only way to wake us up.
I am not for a draft, I have a child who could go, but if it makes those congress critters think twice about sending some poor kid to an overseas hell hole if their rich kid could go, then I am all for it.

By G in INdiana (not verified) on 22 Nov 2006 #permalink

IF, and it's a big IF, the draft burden was fair and there was no way children of the wealthy and connected could avoid it, surely it would bring the consequences, sorrows, and burdens of war home to everyone. Today the children of the poor do the fighting.

I served in the Air Force both during the draft and afterwards under the all volunteer force (I'm a retired USAF Major). I support a return of the draft.

The problem with the all-volunteer military, as I see it, is that it is a self-selected group, particularly the officer corps.

Today's officers all see the world through the same lens. They are more easily convinced to accept the directions and viewpoints of their superiors and far less inclined to voice objections. Objections get you kicked out of the military in its current incarnation. You are a troublemaker and won't get promoted if you create problems and speak up.

When the draft was in effect, the pool of officers was wider, from different backgrounds and especially from different political orientations. They weren't as focused on 'career' and therefore had less to lose by speaking up.

Also, I agree that the majority of the US population does not feel touched by the deaths and horrible wounds caused in Iraq and Afghanistan. Only a small portion of the population is directly affected. The ones with no one at risk are far more likely to think going to war is no big deal. Especially with a president who believes no one need sacrifice anything - except the troops.

Judging from comments to this point, people feel that a draft would inhibit military adventurism. However, history is not on your side. It would certainly increase opposition once the adventures was underway, but historically in every instance it has made it easier to start a war and get us deeply involved with huge numbers of soldiers. The thing that is inhibited the neocons from further escalation was not enough bodies. If they had a draft we'd be in Iran and Syria by now. As it is, they can barely stay in Iraq and Afghanistan because of personnel shortages.

Congress would have gone along with a huge escalation if there were a draft in 2003. Some of you may applaud that, thinking it was insufficient troops that got us into this. I am not of that mind. If it was wrong to do it with a volunteer army (and everything we know now says it was) it would have been wrong to do it on a vastly larger scale with a conscripted one.

I am not against spreading the burden. I am surprised that many who want lower taxes don't mind spreading the burden to young people to lose their lives, but that's another issue. I am for a national service corps but not for the military because it makes possible things that are destructive.

Rangel has never been serious about this, although he sincerely belives in the value of military service. It's a way to get people to take a hard look at the war and what we plan to do there. It's an attempt to get grandtanders to put their moeny where their mouth is and to challenge the opportunistic incrementalism of McCain.

Rich: I think Rangel is deadly serious about this. He just isn't serious it will be passed. The underlying issue I am raising is that conscription is a dangerous mechanism and shouldn't be advocated under any circumstances, even for rhetorical purposes. National service is another matter and I am in favor of it. Conscription, however, is another way to put a very dangerous weapon into the hands of warmakers.

Aside from revere's excellent points about the draft making it easier for our government to engage in further "military adventurism" (their "Pax Americana" campaign) there is the matter of the cost. We are already trillions of dollars in debt, the world economy - shaky at best - is poised on the verge of colllapse from the impact of avian influenza (due to the loss of poultry, even before/if it goes pandemic) and there is no way we can afford to engage in more wars....which is the only reason we would WANT a draft. A vote for a draft is a vote for more war. Period. Regardless of how much more "balanced" the viewpoint of drafted soldiers in that war might be, it's still war: mass murder and destruction. There better be a damn good reason for it. Draft? Only if we are under direct premeditated attack by a foreign power on our soil and we need to defend it. Period.

By mary in hawaii (not verified) on 22 Nov 2006 #permalink

I agree with revere, Chuck Rangel's ahistorical notion that a draft would have prevented the Iraq War is silly in the extreme. We have had a draft in every major conflict in this country running from the war of 1812 to the Vietnam war, none of them were prevented. Everyone just ended up being cannon fodder is (mostly unnecessary) military adventures.

I am of draft age but would most likely not be dafted (I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and have been hospitalized twice during severe depressive episodes), still, the reason for opposing the draft is in principle. It's a form of state-sanctioned indentured servitude. IMO, slavery is slavery whether you put a coating of "national service" on it or not.

By Tyler DiPietro (not verified) on 22 Nov 2006 #permalink

Fear of opposition to the war has held back the institution of a draft - as have Rummy's dreams of a light force which is superbly technically equipped. Though 'held back' is too strong, they never contemplated it seriously - that was Kerry (I'm not sure Rangel's repeated efforts count.)

The problem for the US public is the number of US deaths, therefore, also, no draft. The children of the rich and powerful would never go anyway, that is not a consideration.

There will not be a draft in the US. Much of the current wars are fought by mercenaries and sub-contractors. The first do what soldiers are not allowed to do, the second do what soldiers used to do, like truck spare parts, chop onions, clean toilets, repair TVs, lay down sandbags, etc. Outsourcing, ya know? Big biz? Flexibility?

Its expensive in one way - mercenaries make enormous amounts - but cheaper, too. (People from third world countries who do the scut work are paid almost nothing.) No responsibility, contracts signed on a napkin by booted Bremer, means no pensions, no disability pay, no 'GI bill' (illusory..) for those fighters...Rangel is completely behind the times, though he may have moral arguments.

While I certainly agree that having a draft would not necessarily curtail military adventurism, I am unconvinced by Revere's argument that political opposition to the Vietnam war was the primary motivating factor for reluctance to face the draft. I am a Vietnam-era veteran, too, and it certainly seemed to me that fear of death far outweighed any concern most war protesters had about Soviet hegemony or the domino theory. The student protests at home, fueled by fear of facing death in being sent arbitrarily to a war zone, provided the push necessary for even hardened politicos like Nixon to agree to disengage. In 2006, there is no comparable student movement, and the anti-war sentiment among potential draftees seems tepid at best (eg, perhaps we should redeploy if things don't improve within 6-12 months. Or perhaps not). The power of Rangel's argument is not so much that the sons of the rich and famous will be drafted (they won't), but that it will reverse the political indifference of college-age youth who currently have little to lose by ignoring Iraq, and make anti-war sentiment the lightning rod it was in 1969.

drb and others: I didn't say trying to get out of the draft was on principle against the war, but that the primary opposition to the war was not the draft. Many women and those too old to be drafted were part of that movement. Most young people subject to the draft were not. The opposition to the Iraq war amongst young people was swifter, broader and deeper than it ever was against the war in Vietnam. I was part of both antiwar movements from the beginning of each. My first demonstration against the war in Vietnam was in February of 1962. I opposed the Gulf War I, the Afghanistan adventure, and of course the current catastrophe. So I have some perspective on this.

There will be no draft now that there is a war on. That is self evident. The function of the draft is before the war starts. It allows warmakers to do things they couldn't do without a draft. Rangel knows he won't get a draft bill. But we should never argue for a draft, even for rhetorical purposes, at least in this stage of our history.

Despite the 'draft', the privileged didn't usually go to war in Vietnam - at least in the enlisted ranks. And if they did, they were noncombatants. As a doctor, Revere could afford an idealistic perspective. Doctors were rarely in harm's way (though I realize there were very heroic exceptions). His contemporaries with poor grades and no money likely had more practical outlooks. I support a universal draft for all citizens, regardless of (dis)ability, college status, etc. If Cheney and Bush at 17 had actually had to face going to war themselves, maybe they'd see things differently now.

Revere, with all respect, your personal perspective is irrelevant. You state that opposition to the Iraq war is "...swifter, broader and deeper than it ever was against the war in Vietnam". Really? Where are you seeing this? Evidence, please. No one claims that all or even most young people opposed the Vietnam war, only that ENOUGH did to keep the anti-war movement in the headlines every day. And it is certainly NOT self-evident that there can be no draft now that there is a war on. If the national security of US was actually being threatened (Iran throws in with the Iraqi Shiites to attack the coalition forces, new ground war in Korea, overthrow of Pakistani government by pro-Taliban Islamists, etc), a draft would be inevitable, even if the training pipeline is a year or more.

Jon: Some of the privileged did go to war but in essence you are correct. The one group that could hardly ever get out of the draft were doctors. There were only two exits. One was service in the Public Health Service. The other was to resist. I did the latter. So being a doctor was not a privileged position. On the contrary, it was almost an ironclad guarantee of being drafted except for those who managed PHS appointments. Resistance was probably more perilous than serving under those circumstances because, as you point out, doctors were unlikely to be in combat. If they resisted they were highly likely to wind up in jail or in exile.

drb: I think my personal perspective is highly relevant but not determinative. I was there throughout this period and saw a great deal. That's not a research study, I'll grant you, but it is certainly relevant. I also read the polls then and read them now. There is much more opposition to the war amongst the public, more pronounced among younger age groups, than ever in the whole history of the Vietnam War. I doubt we ever got above 30% opposition in the public then. We are near 70% now.

The antiwar movement was not in the headlines everyday. Far from it. We made headlines periodically when we had events and organizing those events was tough work. I don't know what you remember from those times but they were very, very difficult and discouraging if you opposed the war and it went on for a very long time. My dominant outlook for most of those years was deep despair.

I support universal service, too, but not in the military. It is an enabler of the warmakers historically and would be again. Those that make war are the old and they figure out a way to get out of it and get their children out of it. If you think it would be otherwise, you are mistaken in my opinion.

We cant fight another prolonged high kill war folks. We dont have the people to do it. Remember the 7-1 ratio paying into social security? You start bumping them off in a drafted war then we will have bigger problems than a war as all wars end eventually. Reveres statement is part of the War College curriculum.

Everyone pretty much understands my position on the war in Iraq. Stomp a hole in their asses, then get the hell out of there.Then come back periodically to tamp them down again. Start with Iran. They get the bomb and all of the above are rendered moot. We either take them out or the Israeilis will. They cant continously bomb them either, that means tactical nukes.

Hey, I answered the call when it was apparent that we were going to be needed under Carter. We didnt go back into Iran then because we were going to negotiate our way out of it. See what happens when you negotiate. 6 billion we paid for them, the Algerians only took 10%. By the same token though, you have to have butts to make bodies and we are not making babies the way we used to. If we get into a two region conflict now its going to be an all Navy/Air Force show because we dont have the people. Rangel is deranged and only wants to institute the draft for political reasons.He believes it will stop wars. I want some of what he is smoking. The bigger the force the more likely you ARE to use it.

So what do we do if there is a draft? I believe in equal rights and all girls have to sign up just like I did. Sorry Jon S. the HiV thing will require that they not allow gays in UNLESS they have a monthly status check. A guy with an HIV status gets popped and is near somone with an open wound, its likely a death sentence. Like I said before my boy John W. who was gay was one of my best troops. I remind everyone that the US might not exist if it hadnt been Gen. Von Steuben of the German Army who was a mercenary trainer. He built our military and Geo Washington fought with it.

Ana-Sorry honey but you arent right about that children of the rich thing. I had a state senators son in with me, the Colonel that was my commander was worth about 3 mil, my section commander was a pretty healthy landowner in Tennessee and Miss. All of them had or have kids going thru the various academies and were/are doing very well. Its a whole new group of fighters. Some of the enlisteds of course couldnt get a job at McDonalds, but they still stand for us. More than a lot of people would do.

Interesting thread Revere.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 22 Nov 2006 #permalink

The popularity of any war is likely to vary over time, and Vietnam was no exception (neither is Iraq). Actually, a summary of Gallup polling from the early 60s through late 1971 showed an initial wave of support for the war, but by 1968, it had fallen below 50%, and to the mid-thirties by 1971. Interestingly, the polls consistently showed the Vietnam war was least popular with those over 40. It is safe to say that our enthusiasm as a nation for that war was clearly on the wane from early in the Nixon administration. And of course, unlike the late 60s and early 70s, there has been little in the way of mass demonstrations against this war in the US (excluding the brief pre-war period). I would argue that a large part of the motivation to stop the war, certainly for the young people, was the fact that they (or their sibs, or friends, or brothers) had a personal stake in our continued presence in Vietnam. Yes, it was discouraging that the political will to force a change in strategy was so weak, but to downplay the role of those who kept the issue in the public eye, like you and I, is to do them a disservice. Personally, I am not in favor of a military draft either, but I don't question its utility as a tool to inflame public sentiment about staying in Iraq.

I cannot stomach the President's daughters, most of the children of the Senate and House, etc. not being into Iraq up to their necks. If we are going to be a nation, then we must have all citzens involved and share the dangers, risks, and benefits, of citizenship. We really need to have a military that more fairly represents the make up of the country. By the same token, I am deeply afraid that my sons will be required to go into a war zone when they are 18 yrs old. Why? We are going to fail in Iraq. Iraq will become a terrorist sponsor afterwards. We will get hit again in some massive way as a result. We will then have the draft back as a consequence of this future attack. Then there will really be trouble.

BTW, now that we are in Iraq, we have a wolf by the ears. We can't hold it, and we can't let go. I never wanted us to go there - ever. What? Leave Iraq? Such a wonderful place! Well, we made a very serious mistake. We cannot undo it. Just the fact that Pelosi, Warner, etc are immediately saying "No! We will not have a draft!" means they are talking about it.

Roidy-We are going to get hit again anyway. The first shots were fired when they started hijacking airliners back in the 60, hostages and aircraft in the 70�s, Marine barracks and Al Khafji Towers in the 80�s, blowing up embassies and the attempts on the WTC�s in the 90�s and finally taking the WTC�s in the 2000�s.

Fear is a great deterrent. It was my contention that rather than lobbing 30 conventional tipped nukes into Afghanistan by Clinton at the height of the Monica scandal, they should have used 5 or six neutron weapons. Kills all the people and it lights up better at night. Innocents would have been killed for sure and I would have done it at night so that everyone for 3000 miles would have said, �What in the Hell was that?� That news filters and one Osama B. Laden would have been a persona non grata fast. They likely also would have happily handed him over. They just dont fear us anymore because our resolve to kill millions if necessary to preserve our way of life has been politicized, psychoanalyzed, and doing what is politically corrected into oblivion. There were very few who wouldnt have dropped the bomb in 1945 that had kids in the fight if it saved their lives. It was the awe of what it would do that slowed a lot of them. Now we are moving towards it again.

Anyone who fails to see that the bailout in Iraq was inevitable was blind. Every military guy said it because they knew to end the battle we would have to win the war and that meant either democracy or killing them all. Too many politically correct types in the US.

Me I was for the kill them all. Kill all of them that opposed us that is. Now they will squabble for 10 or so years and then regroup and Iran is going to become the new playmaker. Guarantee you though that when the bomb(s) go off in Tel Aviv that the big caps are going to go off in Teheran. Then China and Russia are going to get into the act. The Israelis will have to violate Jordanian, Iraqi and Iranian airspace and would likely have to ditch or land in or around one of our carrier groups in the Persian Gulf. WWIV? Better to do them now than later before they get their pop guns together.

The gloves are starting to come off.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 23 Nov 2006 #permalink

"kill them all"

I expect you will be surprised to hear that they know that.

I know you will be surprised to hear that they are not cowards.

Greg.. No one said they were cowards. If they have the bomb they will use it on us. It is inevitable. We simply will have to do them now before they do us. I hate to say it but the path to peace might be annihilation of the opposing team. They fully believe as they did in the 8th century that the battle for Islam is joined and has been for over 40 years. They are infiltrating by birth into France, Italy, Austria, and Spain. The question is whether the leftist Liberals who run most of these countries are going to wake up and see what is happening.

The French government was almost brought down in the early part of this year by riots of "foreign immigrants". This is a product of their desire to be an inclusive society and while applaudable for the thought you wouldnt let Osama in now would you? By allowing them into this country and the division of church and state you havent seen anything yet on the governments ability to limit your right to religious belief. It is our future intolerance of their beliefs which will become more radical in time that will lead to a great war. We will become more radical about intolerance to Islam, they will believe that their attacks are guided by Allah and thats when the fighting is going to begin. They will ultimately lose of course but cheap seats would put that in the near one billion mark and require the surgical attacks of the key Islamic ciities.

The choice is theirs as we are now leaving Iraq. Choose peace, or take the end of the spear and its a damned big spear. No more Desert Storms and Enduring Freedom. Its more like Cook 'em up George, and Greetings from our Dick...Cheney. One shot, one million killed. Do them now so we dont have to kill so many later.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 23 Nov 2006 #permalink

I like you Randy, but that's just pathetic. One million killed? Do them now so we "don't have to kill so many later." ????????

Can you possibly envision one million dead bodies? You talk so tough: "Cook 'em up, George!" But I want you to take a good look at what you are really saying. What is a million? It's nearly impossible to picture, all in one place. A thousand might fill a large high school gymnasium packed tight wall to wall across the floor. Men, women, teenagers, cute little toddlers, suckling infants, rampaging 6 year olds. That's one thousand human beings. Now picture a thousand gymnasiums full of these humans. Laughing, joking, kissing, hugging. Now kill them. Can you?

If you can actually coldly and realistically advocate that kind of slaughter, can justify it in any way, then I don't want to be part of the species.

There is a solution to the terrorism problem, and it is the exact opposite of the solution you propose. But you will never see it. Ever.

By mary in hawaii (not verified) on 23 Nov 2006 #permalink

Well Mary you have to understand its based in military history. When the Crusades were complete and the Europeans controlled the Holy Land it was an automatic death sentence attack any convoy of the Templars or to really do anything beyond the law. That started getting modified with prison sentences and then an occaisonaly hanging. Then it was mostly prison sentences. Then the cost of doing the Crusades started getting to them as they were required to treat their prisoners as good as any of their own. No more racks for producing information, gouging out of eyes, and certainly no secret interrogation centers.

When the Saracens attacked into Europe in 622 A.D. they fought their way into Europe and almost took it all by 732. The Middle East up until that time had been mostly Christian. In 1032 the Pope called for the first Crusades and it took 700 years to beat them mostly back into the Middle East. The policy at that time on both sides was no prisoners. A Brit named Bernard ? wrote a book on it and stated that the number of casualties that were recorded on both sides were the equivalent across 600 years of almost 55 million.

I understand your position Mary, I really do. But they are coming and it always starts and has started with the test kicks. Would you have the same position if they nuked Hono? I dont know, I know I would have the same position I have held. These are the kicks that they are taking at us. Would you kill say one million to save four hundred million? Certainly. It may come down to taking two million in Teheran to keep WWIV from breaking out. The opposite position of killing them is negotiation?. Negotiating with terrorists?. Do what I want or I will kill schoolchildren (one of Yassers favorites)? Feed them? Do what I say or I will attack your assets around the world. The Cole bombing?

What would you suggest has been tried. They outnumber us about 6 to 1. I would put them on notice that like Iraq we will attack you if we think you are sponsoring terrorism. Then I would carry out an air campaign against them and leave it at that. Cause so much human suffering that they cant regroup and hit them time and again conventionally so they cant get a bomb.

Can I picture a million? Not really laid out on a slab anywhere. But I have seen 350 laid out and their crime in Honduras was being next to Nicaragua where we Ed Asner'd it and negotiated with D. Ortega. When he didnt get his way he would send death squads into Hondo. This was while cousin Jimmy was in charge and he was the negotiate with terrorists guy all the way. It cost us six billion to get them back.

As far as being part of the species, this species has been killing like crazy since we invented clubs and fire. Nothing new. Dominance. Watch what happens as we negotiate with the Iranians over their nukes. Suddenly one day they get it, then as fast as bird flu hits you, the Israelis will attack. Me I am trying to limit the casualties to less than a milliion. Negotiate and you will see the world light up like a Christmas tree.

Could I do it? Based on previous encounters with the enemy I can assure you that I could. With some regrets, but I could.

By M.Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 23 Nov 2006 #permalink


What you want is a quick and permanent fix to what is, as you say, a characteristic that is "part of the species."

In essence, you answer your own question with that acknowledgement, if you just look at it clearly. There will never be a fix, whether you take out 1 million or 1 billion. The only fix is to take out the entire species itself, down to the point of extinction.

So, unless you propose that as a fix, you have to realize that it will always always come down to negotiation in the end, constant piddling wars and attacks and power plays, constant renegotiation and compromise.

It is the name of the game.

By mary in hawaii (not verified) on 24 Nov 2006 #permalink

Exactly my point Mary. We've come full circle in the last 50 years, war, peace, intimidation, response, intimidation, response, war, peace, itimidation.... Nothing ever changes and no one who was ever in the military ever wanted to fight a war, they were in it for the training. But that phone eventually rings and we all get to go and use the toys they give us. Necessary evil? I dont know. Keeps the population down for sure.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 25 Nov 2006 #permalink

What is so hard to understand about the quote, Death to America, unquote? America needs a draft again but it won't happen, as the Democrats and Republicans don't want to loose favor with anyone. It's a huge game and the American public are their game pieces.

Lea: What's so hard to understand about Kill All the Japs?, which was common in WWII. What's so hard to understand about Kill a Commie for Christ? I guess from your comment it's harder to understand than I would have thought. You don't understand rhetoric. How do you think they are going to "kill America"? Whatever that means. They are already killing Americans in Iraq, thanks to people who think that the way to answer the slogan "Death to America" is to encourage them to kill Americans with the non-slogan of an invasion.

Maybe you aren't old enough to remember being told we were fighting them in the streets of Saigon so we wouldn't have to fight them in the streets of Seattle.

revere, It's only my viewpoint, no more no less. Our points of view all revolve around on how we were raised, our own unique life experiences (past and present), our use of the intellect, education, political preferences, our understanding of the purpose of life, ... .
The draft won't happen. If it does I'll be surprised.

Lea: Oh, I agree with you completely on that. My point was quite different. We shouldn't be advocating for it, even if it is purely rhetorical. The draft is a powerful weapon in the hands of warmakers. After this conflict is over it is not inconceivable that someone will propose a type of universal service (which I mostly approve of) that has the seemingly harmless loophole of including military service as one of the options. At some point that could be converted rather easily into a mandatory non-option in the setting of an alleged or perceived threat to the nation. I lived through the draft which was in place when we weren't at war (reinstituted in 1948). It led to Vietnam.

A worn out phrase no doubt; history will repeat itself. On the other hand, mankind could possibly get to the point where they are utterly disgusted with the muck that is continually created or allowed to be created by others.
You make a valid point, I understand what you're saying. Good night.

Revere: my understanding was that if you are still a licensed physician you are still a part of the medical draft. All physicians are subject to be called up into military service.

This was the backstory of M.A.S.H: the hero doctors were drafted and the gung-ho "regular Army" comic foils were all volunteers.

As to reinstating the draft: 20% of Americans are functionally illiterate. Undiagnosed dyslexia is probably a major cause in older people, but a deliberately low-grade educational system gone to hell has wreaked havoc on the poor. A draft is the last chance to get an 18-year-old up to a 12-year-old reading level.


By Ground Zero Homeboy (not verified) on 25 Nov 2006 #permalink

GZB: Yes, I am a licensed physician. Selective Service still exists but there is no draft, even for doctors. And it wouldn't make any difference as I am a Conscientious Objector, classified 1-O.

I'm not sure I understand your point about literacy, but I'll grant that the military has been a godsend (no religious content here, just a figure of speech) for many a troubled youngster who needs discipline and structure. That's a good side effect. Gangs can do the same thing but we don't advocate them as a solution to the self-esteem problem.

Good posts. It still avoids the fact that we can't leave and we can't stay. We leave we will be attacked again in a manner that would try to top the 9/11 attacks.

Draft here we come sooner or later.

Roidy: Yes we can leave. The attacks were aimed at two things: our position on Israel-Palestine and our presence in Saudi Arabia. Neither has anything to do with Iraq. Iraq does nothing to prevent them attacking us. It makes it more difficult to defend ourselves elsewhere. They don't need any more encouragement than they already have, pinning a helpless giant in a small country.