sorabji.com: What does it look like where you are?: Drafty

By Rowlfe on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 12:25 am:

By semillama on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 10:12 am:

    if Bush gets reelected, I wouldn't put it past him. Although 2 years seems kind of short.

    I would think that since it was originally written and sponsered by congresspeople opposed to the war, it might not really get supported, and Rumsfeld's always been against a draft, but that doesn't explain an increase in funding for draft boards, does it now?

    wonder how easy it will be for the sons and daughters of the affluent to get their children deferred. You can't get deferred because you're in college anymore.

    also note that it will be much harder for conscientious objectors to avoid military service. You'd have to make a huge stink to get stuck in the civilian service.

By dave. on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 12:26 pm:

    i wonder how they deal with the uncooperative. the ones who say fuck you instead of yes sir. are they gonna jail them? that could get expensive.

By semillama on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 01:55 pm:

    hey, it would keep the prison industry happy though.

By Rowlfe on Tuesday, December 23, 2003 - 06:48 pm:


    Beware of Attempts to Revive Military Draft

    By Bob Keeler
    Bob Keeler is a member of Newsday's editorial board.

    December 22, 2003

    It has been 30 years since the last time an American entered the armed forces through the not-so-tender mercies of the draft, on June 30, 1973. The next time could be just around the corner, if President George W. Bush is re-elected.

    No, no, no, a thousand times no, say the White House, the Pentagon and Congress. They insist they have no plans for a draft. In any case, take this to the bank: It will not happen before Nov. 2, 2004. Still, the rumors refuse to die, and it was the Pentagon itself that started the buzz.

    Last month, on its anti-terrorism Web site, the Pentagon posted a plea for volunteers to serve on the draft boards and appeals boards that will decide whether men (current draft law does not affect women) can get deferments or exemptions. The law created the boards as an insurance policy, in case of an emergency need for more troops.

    The Selective Service System - the civilian agency that registers men when they turn 18 for a possible future draft - had nothing to do with this announcement. But it did get a lot of applications for draft board membership as a result. (Hint: Opponents of war are also eligible to sit on these boards.) When the appeal created a flurry of stories, the Pentagon quickly took it off the Web.

    At the time, an organization vitally interested in the draft, the Center on Conscience and War, got a flood of anxious e-mails and calls. The center's executive director, J. E. McNeil, did not see the incident as evidence of movement toward the draft. But in recent weeks, she has heard of rumblings, from the Republican side of the aisle in Congress, about a draft after the election.

    In a perfect world, the Pentagon would reject a draft. It likes its soldiers willing and malleable, not angry and cynical. But the current situation is far from perfect. Despite the capture of Saddam Hussein, young Americans are likely to keep dying in Iraq. Reserve and National Guard troops have been deployed far longer than they expected. This may soon start to erode enlistment and re-enlistment rates. At the same time, Bush's reckless preventive-war strategy could commit further troops to battles in other countries.

    If Bush's policy keeps demanding more and more troops, and the supply of volunteers dwindles, it only takes a simple act of Congress to start the draft. That would be a profoundly bad idea.

    As one of 230,991 draftees in 1965, I have some interest in this. When Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Manhattan) proposed this year to create a fairer, more comprehensive draft, including women, it got me thinking about the issue again. If there were a draft, I felt, a lot of young people and their parents might have had second thoughts about cheering Bush's invasion of Iraq. Then I had a second thought of my own: Naaaah!

    "There are usually two reasons for a draft," McNeil said. "One is people who believe that having a draft will keep us out of war. The reality is that the draft has never kept us out of war." The second argument, which seems central to Rangel's thinking, is that a draft would make the military more equitable. It would pull in people from all strata of society, rather than just those who volunteer because they need a job or could not otherwise afford college.

    Some even argue, against the evidence of history, that a draft would conscript the children of members of Congress. "During Vietnam, not one single member of Congress had a child who was drafted," McNeil said. "The reality is that the middle class and the upper middle class always have more options than the lower class in the face of the draft."

    As the law now stands, once Congress activates the draft, it would be somewhat tighter and fairer than in the early Vietnam era, with fewer exemptions. Selective Service would leap into action, using a lottery to start by drafting 20-year-olds. But unless they make the draft age 55, to conscript war-loving lawmakers, "fair draft" is an oxymoron, like "smart bomb" or "friendly fire."

    As divided as this country is now, a new draft would only exacerbate the division. And it would give this war-without-end presidency an endless source of warm bodies to pursue its cowboy foreign policy. Who knows what "October surprise" invasion Bush may have in store to boost his re-election chances in 2004? Then the next step might be a "February surprise" draft in 2005.

By Rowlfe on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 10:56 am:

By patrick on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 12:41 pm:

    i can't put my finger on exactly why, but im sure i don't like that.

    it's sensational. it easy and its pussy.

By semillama on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 01:29 pm:

By Rowlfe on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 02:22 pm:

    "it's sensational. it easy and its pussy"

    I dont know about that. Its easy to look and think its some 'no war- EVER' message, but I think its just reminding people that its easy to play armchair general with 20-25 year old troops 'over there', but if they think about their 8 year old one day in that position, they might take war more seriously, rather than some spectator sport.

By patrick on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 02:29 pm:

    oh come on. everything is easier to identify when you can apply a childs face to it, especially a child of your own. thats what im saying. its easy. its pussy.

    besides, for the moment, we still have a volunteer army. people join because they want to. military casualties arent victims of anything. using the innocence of children to somehow convey that is chickenshit.

By Rowlfe on Wednesday, June 2, 2004 - 03:18 pm:

    "oh come on. everything is easier to identify when you can apply a childs face to it, especially a child of your own. thats what im saying. its easy. its pussy"

    I think I know why I disagree here now. If you really care for children, you can see how easy or pussy it is. It if was in a national newspaper as some populist statement I could see the 'pussy'

    but I know Derf, and I know I dont really like kids, so when he does it in an alt.weekly speaking to 18-25 year olds which is basically his sole audience, many of which dont have kids, its not so 'pussy' because I dont think it appeals to anyones heartstrings. So maybe its really a statement about other peoples' armchair general behaviour rather than trying to speak about the viewers' ?

    "besides, for the moment, we still have a volunteer army. "

    theres a reason I put this under 'drafty'. Because I think the context of the cartoon isnt about future volunteers, I think its in the context of people who could be drafted in the future of this seemingly endless war.

    Hmmm.. this is enough to make me want to email Derf myself and find out.

By The Watcher on Thursday, June 3, 2004 - 02:31 pm:

    I just love it when I here of some idiot complaining about being deployed "I only joined to get an education".

    I would love to know what planet they're from that has any armed forces that do not fight - ever.

By semillama on Thursday, June 3, 2004 - 02:42 pm:

    Planet Switzerland.

By Kalli on Thursday, June 3, 2004 - 02:56 pm:

    Semi, I've heard about that planet. Must be a nice place.

By The Watcher on Thursday, June 3, 2004 - 03:02 pm:

    I'd like to know why Hitler never invaded Switzerland?

    It's not as if the German army couldn't have run over the place in a day.

By TBone on Thursday, June 3, 2004 - 03:14 pm:

    The reason that Switzerland was too difficult to invade—in contrast to all the other nations which Hitler conquered in a matter of weeks—was the Swiss militia system. Unlike all the other nations of Europe, which relied on a standing army, Switzerland was (and still is) defended by a universal militia. Every man was trained in war, had his rifle at home, was encouraged to practice frequently, and could be mobilized almost instantly. The Swiss militiaman was under orders to fight to the last bullet, and after that, with his bayonet, and after that, with his bare hands. Rather than having to defeat an army, Hitler would have had to defeat a whole people.

    Conversely, the Swiss citizen militia, with its extensive network of fortifications, had no offensive capability. The Swiss militia was not going to sweep into Berlin; modern Swiss-bashers who condemn the nation for not declaring war fail to understand that by keeping the Axis out of Switzerland, the Swiss were already doing everything they could for the Allied cause.

By patrick on Thursday, June 3, 2004 - 03:40 pm:

    also....i think alot of it had to do with the terrain, no?

    the extreme mountains they would have to cross, made it pointless and a waste of time and resources.

By Rowlfe on Thursday, June 3, 2004 - 04:35 pm:

    definitely a waste of time and resources, they had bigger fish to fry.

By The Watcher on Tuesday, June 8, 2004 - 04:12 pm:

    If I recall my world history correctly - Switzerland used to be invaded on a regular basis.

    I think one of these occupations was the basis for the William Tell story.


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