Archive for March, 2012

What 1 Man or Woman Can Do To Bring Back The Draft

March 18, 2012

If American’s Faced a Draft Would America be in Afghanistan Now?

We all know from history what one man or woman can do for good or bad.  It occurred to me this morning, while watching the Sunday News Shows, that this man Bales may indeed change the world for both Good and Bad.  He may indeed move the USA out of Afghanistan faster, eliminate the Afghan’s ‘trust’ in American Soldiers (how does a lollipop for kids build trust?), and just maybe, bring back the draft in America.

How in the world can this incident bring back the draft?

Good Question.

The side story this morning was the health of American Soldiers and the eventual cost of the Afghan War, and, a equally important topic, the lack of connection Americans today have to the men who fight America’s wars.  In the Vietnam Era I had numerous connections to the war.  My Brother was wounded in Viet Nam, my good friend Jack Burke was drafted, so was Ted Flynn and a huge number of fellow grads from Marist College.  I dare say every one of us eligible for the draft was pretty emotional about the war and thus tied directly to it, and we dragged along our mothers, fathers, girlfriends, wives and extended family, all glued to the TV every night watching ‘well told’ carnage.

So American’s developed very strong feelings about the war, and expressed them, bringing down one President, and starting another on a paranoid path   to resignation.

Not so today.  There are very few horror stories on television.  Rather there are lots of stories about pin point drone attacks, and of course the Seal invasion that brought down the head of state of Al Qaeda, with pictures of the president and his trusted aids nail-biting, while watching the action. So Americans are not directly tied to the Afghanistan War (with obvious exceptions).  If there was a draft, I’d be worried about my son, my two grandson’s and three granddaughters and so on and so forth.  With the draft a war would touch us all, and elicit worry and fear and indelible emotional ties.  And therefore, closer ties, and more concern about the War’s conduct.

In turn, we might just have a more boisterous and persistent word about how the war is fought, and how long we will fight it, and how much we will spend on it.  Ok, we pounded the Taliban, killed Bin Laden and many of his cronies, and we paid a high price and will continue to pay.  Rightly so, our soldiers earned support and good health care.

Killing civilians intentionally is horrible and like all war criminals caught and convicted,  Sgt. Bales, if convicted, will pay a high price.  I know of no wars where killing civilians was not a rational, planned event, a tool used by all sides.  Remember London? Dresden?  Tet? My Lai?  Warsaw? The World Trade Center?  It is a consequence of declaring (did I say that, or did Ron Paul?), and fighting a war.

Peace movements have never resulted in world peace, nor I suppose, ended a war.  But if we bring back the draft, the American electorate, us, might exert more influence upon, and gain faster results from our leaders.  Without a stake, it is hard to get people interested.  Perhaps some good can be squeezed from this sad event.


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