portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary united states

imperialism & war

DON'T YOU THINK BRINGING BACK THE DRAFT IS A GOOD THING?

a question for all the bleeding heart liberals
There has been much hype recently over the Pentagon's "oiling up" of draft boards around the country. Liberals have predictably been alarmed over this issue. But I say, isn't bringing back the draft a GOOD THING?

Given the fact that the majority of the US Military is composed of people of color and poor whites, shouldn't White Middle and Upper class elites be compelled to fight and die in the wars, which after all they overwhelmingly support?

Remember, the vast majority of White Middle Class supported the invasion of Iraq not to mention Afghanistan, yet the vast majority of them ALSO OPPOSE THE DRAFT. In other words, they love war--just as long as someone else is doing the fighting and dying.

To be frank, most Americans are selfish pigs. They will wave their flags, and support the troops and support every murderous war the USA is currently engaged in, because they believe it is nothing more than a video game. However, if these White Elites and their pampered children were faced with the prospect of being sent off to die in these wars, I think it is safe to say that they would undergo an "attitude readjustment" shall we say.

Just imagine the look on Biff or Muffy (or the Bush Twins, for that matter) when they got their draft notice and their 60 days notice to ship out to Iraq! I would pay money to see this.

More importantly, from a radical's perspective, if the draft were reinstituted, you can be sure that ANTIWAR SENTIMENT HERE IN THE USA WOULD SKYROCKET! Hell, the reinstitution of the draft might even be the catalyst for (gulp) a revolution in the USA! Isn't that what Radicals want?

For all these reasons, I say bring back the draft! If Americans want war, they should be ready, willing, and able to fight and die in these wars themselves.

Tell that to you local Patriotic Chickenhawk.

IF AMERICA WANTS WAR. BRING 'EM ON! (Your spoiled children that is)

Your own transfer tube personally autographed by George Bush and Dick Cheney is ready and waiting....
One small problem... 07.Nov.2003 06:38

Flash

If the draft is brought back you can bet the farm that they'll be sure to create exemptions that the sons and daughters of the well-heeled and well connected can exploit to avoid duty. That would leave only (you guessed it) lower income people and minorities as the only eligble draftees. Imagine that!

Try planting a tree instead of fear. 07.Nov.2003 09:33

Traci Barry

Now quit scaring the kids! There is not going to be any draft. With the 2004 presidential bore fest coming up, there is no way the w regime is going to start a draft. They've already started to fuck with abortion rights, and that is probably going to be all they will get away with, or attempt to get away with. These bozos are working on rotating the troops on a regular basis and that is going to be norm until this fascist-reganite-neanderthal-subhumane mass leaves D.C. for good.

Hell Fucking NO! 07.Nov.2003 12:30

Luke from DC

As far as I am concerned, the draft is SLAVERY. Not only that, the slavers behind it will no doubt focus their attention on those they value least, like those who are racially different than they are. Finally slave armies are historicly used as cannon fodder for wars of conquest and imperialism.

Those who would bring back the draft play right into Sauron's(Bu$h's) hands, and if word got out we intentionaly let it happen any public uprising over it woudl aggressively reject us and leave us behind!

The Only Folks In Favor of the Draft 07.Nov.2003 13:51

mer

The only people who have raised the issue of the draft, are the Democrats/Liberals.

The only people interested in seeing the draft implemented are the Democrats/Liberals.

Why? Because a draft would immediately create populist pressure against war since those serving would be conscripted as opposed to the professional/career military we havenow.

The kids shouldn't be scared. The kids should be fighting-mad. 07.Nov.2003 14:37

zerosumogee

Traci Barry: While I support your non-alarmist stance, I've got news for you: if the events of recent years are any measure of the future, the "fascist-reganite-neanderthal-subhumane mass" is NOT leaving the white house anytime soon. They've installed redundant mechanisms (close control of TV news, e-voting machine companies owned by republicans, etc.) to ensure continued control.

If we don't push for total elections process accountability now, the stage will be set for an effortless theft of the 2004 elections down to the congressional district level, and the dwindling resources of the nation will be drained dry in the name of empire for another four years.

All it's going to take to push an unpopular draft through, is another major incident on US soil, leading to another "necessary invasion", probably after the conclusion of the 2004 elections, since as many have stated a draft would be political suicide in an election year.

This doesn't mean a draft will work out well in the long run for the administration.. but if they are desperate enough to pull another invasion, they'll use any means necessary to cajole the populace into going along with it for the moment. Look at Iraq, Afghanistan etc. These are not successes except for the military contractors who are directly profiting from occupation and resource theft. As long as invasion is profitable for these war criminals, they will continue to use our country's resources and citizens to further their goals.

Let's stop being apologists for the "head-in-the-sand" folks and wake the hell up.

So long as... 07.Nov.2003 16:10

Bison Boy

I think that a draft *could* be a good thing, something that could enhance peace and democracy here and abroad.

I used to be completely opposed to a draft, before I read "About Face" by Col. David Hackworth. (A book in which the much-decorated author describes his army career prior to speaking out publicly against the Vietman war.) Now I have mixed feelings about it; a draftee army has virtues that a professional army lacks, and vice-versa.

In a column, Hackworth made some interesting points about the limitations of an all-volunteer military, and the virtues of a draftee military:

"Sadly, the majority of those who do our soldier work today are not a fair representation of the U.S. The fighting burden is borne mainly by a coalition of minorities, a cross-section of the lower middleclass sector of our population. The duty of defending America is in the hands of many who view the military not as a patriotic duty, but rather as a job. This job security mindset causes many of these regulars to put following orders over following conscience." ( http://www.hackworth.com/27dec94.html)

There's a lot to be said for this argument. I'm not sure I agree that it outweighs the problems of a draft, but it is certainly worth considering.

I don't think it is likely that the draft will be reinstated in the US, and I also don't think it will be fairly administered if it *is* brought back. A draft done badly is worse than an all-volunteer force, holding the children of the elite harmless while expending the blood of the downtrodden.

But a truly fair draft might actually help to maintain peace. It's something to think about.

(Full disclosure: I am too old to be drafted, and have no children... so for me it's more an academic than a personal debate. I realize that many indymedia readers have a more personal stake in the issue.)

this just in.......... 07.Nov.2003 19:50

Traci Barry

zerosumogee,
My post was more of a rebuttal to "Hasan Akbar........" who in previous draft threads was using the same scare tactics about the draft, causing frenzied responses from people who were making plans to move to Canada etc... . He comes across sounding like Tom Ridge and his color coded scare tactics that never ring true.

Your "non-alarmist" stance is anything but.
To think that the Bush administration has "close control of tv news" is both a generality and a paranoiac delusion.
If this was 1952, you might have a point, but in the modern age with all the cable news ad naseum, heir Bush and his jokers hardly have much control. On the regular networks, PBS is a very independent news organization, their news reporting is the real deal. The Bill Moyers show is most excellent, and the Frontline programs and it's investigative journalism is the best.
After what happened in 2000, working for election accountability is on the top of everybody's list, and to think the gop's not going to be watched with their diebold machines is not putting much faith in you fellow sane, righteous, human.

I agree that if these backwards thinking ape-brained nixonesques win in 2004 that there will be more noodling in other countries affairs, they will be quite dangerous; being a lame-duck nothing to lose band of hooligans.
So it is incumbent on all people to work together on getting some decent humans in the White House.
No one is excusing the ostriches, but paranoiac, cheesy statement ring hallow.
Get real and diversify your group portfolio, there are many organizations that are working toward a more human and humane world, it's reality.

Comment 09.Nov.2003 00:18

JP Cupp

Comrade,
On one level, I am proud to see you have a strong level of principle and determination in your writing, and Ideas. unlike the bourgeise pacifists,social-democrats, liberals, Zionists, and american chauvenists, (ie most the useless garbage that makes up the anti-war movement.) your pro-Iraq, anti-imperialist stance is refreshing ( to put it mildly I could hug you, god I am sick of some of the assholes that post here). None the less comrade, you idea is dead wrong and dangerous.

Let's look at it this way, as far as actual cannon fodder (ie occupation troops) the US/UK Imperialists and Zionists have only X number of resources, which are being fastly exhausted. For starters, while Turkey is still a US comprador Military state, it is great, that they are not sending troops. The US was expecting in the upwards of 10,000. This is great. On the other hadn, you have britain, ( which is declining in numbers as anti-US sentitment increases) albania, Spain, Poland and several others. The biggest crisis, is the use of Koreans.Korean Troop dispatch, while still criminal and treasonous, was very unsubstantial, until recently. Now the south will be sending in thousand and thousands, though the number is not set ( for starters anywere from wideranging numbers 3,500 -10,000)
Even worse the United States is effectively Getting the two greatest foco points ( pacific Rim: china, russia, and Korea) and the middle east, to kill each other.
I would expect you would be deeply against this on principled level? Right, so we are in agreement to work towards cutting off their resources and cannon fodder man power, of colonial dependant countries.
Now then, comrades, while the draft might force middle clas and upper class people to experiance a bit of enlightenment temporarily, don't expect converts to the Nat Turner Liberation Army, that we are going to form ( i mean that figuratively!) to kill these Imperialist Bourgeisie Sons of Bitches. As soon as the rope is loosened from their neck , they will go back to their lives.
Having the Draft means two things
First it forces punishment on people for not engaging in a criminal act of aggression. While a valuable point is made that comrades, should be willing to pay this price, even this argument isflawed. Look at it this way. We say Long Live Hasan Akbar!! Thank You For Fragging the Fascists and Fuck'em!! Right? Now we stand with Iraq, which is THE ONLY CORRECT POSITION, but If we can engage in tactics legally, we will fight for the decriminalization of these tactics because it helps our movement, not because are too ashamed to hang( again figuratively).
In otherwords, we should work towards preventing it from being illegal to resist engaging in criminal aggression.
Second, and this is the overwhelmingly important thing. The sure number of canonfodder produced for the imperialists would far out way, the positive things it would do to radicalize people. For every 10, 50, 100, maybe even 1,000 Frags, mutinies, GI's turn militant left, it would produce a steady stream of Cannon fodder to continue the Occupation. This war is going to be a dog fight. It is still very possible that Iraq will win, as they must or the world is in a lot of trouble. We must must must cut off the resources of the War machine, though money is one part the biggest thing is just sheer bodies.
As far as dealing with american mentality, we can build a movement for that comrades, and without a solid movement such conditions would be meaningless, or at least a gian set back. The conditions already exist to overthrow the US. The US even know this. The problem is organizing the left away from opertunism and into discipled unchartered water.

PS I like that every one is using the Hasan Akbar Tag!!!
Three Cheers for the People's Soldier!!!

Wake Up America 09.Nov.2003 23:22

The Patriot

Tonight on PBS, they talked about the draft. Wesley Clark also is talking about it. The Bush administration will start the draft after the next election. It is very nieve to think that any rich people in this country will have to fight. The middle and poor will be the ones to go. You may recall that Bush right after 911 talked about a National Service committment. Better known as the draft. This administration is bent on war. Bush Sr. is making millions of dollars off the war through the "Carlyle Group.", through military contracts. Haliburton, is making billions off the war. Dick Cheney has stock options until the year 2009, with Haliburton. He is going to be a billionaire after this is done. The voting machines that are being built now are by a company with close ties to the Bush administration. This private corporation will be the only ones to check the results of a race. If this plan goes through, Bush will win. This country is no longer the democracy that we thought it was. Wake up and start reading books like Pigs at the Trough, by Arianna Huffington, Wealth & Democracy, by Kevin Phillips, and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. Its time to start a boycott of Walmart. For every soldier killed in Iraq, we should boycott Walmart that day. Hold signs, indicating Cheney's stock option deal with Haliburton, and Bush Sr.'s deal with the Carlyle Group. Walmart sells mostly products from China. Each year we buy products at Walmart, 700 Billion dollars/year, mostly made by American Corporations in China. Lets put a dent in corporate america until they pull out of Iraq. Also, we need to finish the Poor Mans March that was scheduled to be held by Martin Luther King Jr., two months after he was assasinated. The rich rule this country. The only thing the rich fear, is a class war between the rich and the poor.