Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Selective Service System.

The draft. I've been thinking a lot about the draft ever since we went into Iraq. If more sons and daughters had been called up, that war would have never happened. I guarantee it. Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver weren't about to let Beaver march off to war in Iraq, not without a good reason.

Ah, who am I kidding? The same people drafted in my day would be the same people drafted today: the poor, the unconnected, the ones who think this nation is a communal experiment that calls on all of us to give something to our country.

I was in that last group and Jesus, were we morons. If only we'd waited until the Ayn Rand school of take-all-you-can-get-and-fuck-everyone-else zeitgeist had become the popular currency, then we wouldn't have been duped by the call to be our brother's keeper.

Today, it's easy for Americans to support a foreign war. So few of them know anyone in it. Hell, Americans don't even want to skip a day at Walmart to to fund the war.

A war tax? That's so Great Generation-y. Today we're hip, we're modern. We agree with Milton Friedman who taught us that the Kennedy "what you can do for your country" stuff was wrong-headed piffle, hardly befitting a free nation.

Why pay taxes for things we don't use, like clinics? Why fund a war we can easily ignore? And serve? Please. Call us when it's time for the victory party.

Yesterday, Bob Herbert of the NYT wrote a great column on this. In it he says:

"The idea that fewer than 1 percent of Americans are being called on to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq and that we’re sending them into combat again and again and again — for three tours, four tours, five tours, six tours — is obscene. All decent people should object."

Oh, Bob, that's so quaint. Why should any American get off his larger-than-ever ass to protest sending volunteers he doesn't know off to fight a war in a place he can't find on a map?

A draft. That would suggest we're all in this together. When everyone knows that it's every man for himself.


Anonymous said...

The draft ended just before I came of age and I never served, so I'm hesitant to say that a young person should be forced to do what I was spared from doing. But I have to say I think you're right, Dave, if only to reinforce the concept that, this being a democracy, we are responsible for one another, that we're all in this together, as you said.

JD Rhoades said...

I've been thinking about the draft ever since Nick turned 18. No thanks.

David Terrenoire said...

I hear ya, Dusty. Elevates the political beyond the theoretical, doesn't it?

dean said...

And that's your point.

But it would have to be a fair draft, one without deferrments so that people like Dick "Fucking Dick" Cheney can't weasel out of it.