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Noam Chomsky On The Draft

Noam Chomsky speaks about the possibility of a draft renewment.
Noam Chomsky, considered one of the greatest political thinkers in modern times, spoke about the possible prospect of a return of the draft: (Courtesy: Democracy Now!)

NOAM CHOMSKY: I think it's extremely unlikely. I should tell you this as a word of personal background. I was very much involved in the resistance movement in the 1960's. In fact, I was just barely -- the only reason I missed a long jail sentence is because the Tet Offensive came along and the trials were called off. So I was very much involved in the resistance, but I was never against the draft. I disagreed with a lot of my friends and associates on that, for a very good reason, I think at least as nobody seems to agree. In my view, if there's going to be an army, I think it ought to be a citizen's army. Now, here I do agree with some people, the top brass, they don't want a citizen's army. They want a mercenary army, what we call a volunteer army. A mercenary army of the disadvantaged. And in fact, in the Vietnam war, the U.S. military realized, they had made a very bad mistake. I mean, for the first time I think ever in the history of European imperialism, including us, they had used a citizen's army to fight a vicious, brutal, colonial war, and civilians just cannot do that kind of a thing. For that, you need the French foreign legion, the Gurkhas or something like that. Every predecessor has used mercenaries, often drawn from the country that they're attacking like England ran India with Indian mercenaries. You take them from one place and send them to kill people in the other place. That's the standard way to run imperial wars. They're just too brutal and violent and murderous. Civilians are not going to be able to do it for very long. What happened was, the army started falling apart. One of the reasons that the army was withdrawn was because the top military wanted it out of there. They were afraid they were not going to have an army anymore. Soldiers were fragging officer. The whole thing was falling apart. They were on drugs. And that's why I think that they're not going to have a draft. That's why I'm in favor of it. If there's going to be an army that will fight brutal, colonial wars, and that's the only likely kind of war, I'm not talking about the militarization of space and that kind of thing, I mean ground wars, it ought to be a citizen's army so that the attitudes of the society are reflected in the military.

Is he accurate?

For those who disagree, what do you base your instincts of an "inevitable" draft return on?

Noah Eaton
democrats 16.Nov.2004 02:16


Democrats are the ones that introduced a bill to cause controversy...another failed liberal left tactic, instead of just calling a spade a spade...gotta play both sides though. Of course, republicans were forced to defeat it.

In any case. I say, bring on the draft. We need more dead bodies coming home for people to wake up. Sad, but true.

Support our troops? Sure, send some more, then let the real resistance begin. Let's make all those nixonian throwbacks get another slap in the face. They want a neverending war, we'll give them a war of love that will never go away.

We'll hold pictures of dead soldiers in the streets while you take your kids to school, we'll show you more of abu-ghraib, we'll call our elected leaders what they truely are, while you drink your starbucks and tote around in your SUV, we'll make sure your reminded of HORROR every day, then go home and watch dr. phil...let rather, jennings, and walters comfort you with their tricks of the trade.

If we can't sleep at night, neither will the low-lifes that push and support war on innocent people. War criminals. Treason is a crime and what goes around, comes around.

Chomsky is right and wrong 16.Nov.2004 11:10


He is right that the fascists have wanted a mercenary army all along. That is where all the missing $billions have disappeared to. And that's what is meant by "contractors" anytime that word is mentioned in the corporate press. Unfortunately the fascists have competing agendas that will make the draft very likely - I would even argue it to be a sure thing. Yes they want an army that they can control and they want to keep the war out of the public conciousness as much as possible. These are reasons they would want to avoid a draft. However there are other reasons for being in Iraq in the first place that trump the forementioned items. 1)The war hawks are losing their grip. They want Iraqi oil. They want Iranian oil. They want Saudi oil. They want Venezuelan oil. They have no backup plan when we run out of oil - which is happening as we speak. Their only plan is conquer oil producing nations and hold on as long as possible (I guess until Jesus comes back with the rapture and leaves us heathens stuck here without any energy supplies or a viable global ecology). In order to accomplish this crazy task they need troups. 2)There are no more troups. They've forward deployed every last combat unit there is. They've called up all the reservists (active and inactive). They've called all the national guardists. The last time I looked, all five aircraft carrier battle groups were deployed simulaneously. There's no one left. Chomsky's (I respect Chomsky very much, but disagree with him on this point) contention is that Bush can continue to buy more mercenaries with his war chest in order to A: Keep control of a spiraling situation in Iraq and B: Spread his warmongering ever farther abroad. 3) The federal government is broke. Yes I know we have been broke for a long time, and we just keep borrowing money from future generations. The problem is that the dollar is dropping in value like a rock. The world is waking up and realizing that USA Inc. is insolvant. They don't like our politics, our foreign policy or our economic colonialism. They have no incentive to continue to prop up our economy. In September (as we were hitting our official debt ceiling), the US goverment issued yet another stockpile of treasure bonds to pay for their reckless spending. This time the foreign investers stayed at home. No one was buying. This sent a panic wave throughout Wall Street and Pennsylvania Ave. The Dollar continues to set new record lows against the Euro. It's only a matter of time before we are all trying to survive runaway inflation. There will be no money for mercenaries just at real unrest starts on the homefront. Bush will need an army to supress opposition at home as well as abroad.

For all these reasons and more, I am sure there is a draft coming. Here's two more reasons: Recently I came home from the store to find someone from the Army Reserves at my front door with the intention of convincing me to reenlist in the military. I served active duty in the Navy from 1994-2000. When I said hell no, he asked when I served. When I told him, he looked distressed and said, "Gee we're really digging up old records to get people back in." This shows their desperation. Likewise I read an article on Yahoo news about a man who served in the army 13 years ago, and has now been conscripted back in, despite having no legal obligation to serve anymore. The election is over. The gloves are coming off. They will be coming for our young people very very soon.