When all else fails, try it again

Tim Swanson, February 10, 2009

Over at Foreign Relations, William Hauser and Jerome Slater have a new idea on how to win the war on terror.

It doesn’t involve eleventy trillion dollars. It doesn’t involve hydrogen filled zeppelins. And it doesn’t involve nuclear-powered rail-guns or telekinetic dolphins. At least not yet.

Give up?

It’s reinstating the draft.

Ah, but you’re opposed to shooting at men with funny sounding names and cartoon hairdos? No problem, you can work in the Peace Corps for a couple years.

And fear not, this will not be your father’s hippy-happy-hemp war. No. This is version 2.0, powered by AJAX and Ajax. It will be filled with dynamic personalities drawn from every quarter and educational background — possibly even reality TV show contestants.

Still opposed? Well, need I remind you that “[i]t is unacceptable that less than 1 percent of the country’s eligible population serves in the armed forces, with almost no war-relevant sacrifice being asked from the rest of society. It ought to be axiomatic that the hardships and dangers of military service be more widely shared.”

QED. Enlist today, so you can stop Imperial Dirka Dirkastan from sailing its aircraft carriers into the Potomac.

Via Karen De Coster.

25 Responses to “When all else fails, try it again”

  1. The US Federal government has enough problems trying to pay for existing social services as it is. Now, consider piling on the costs of all the benefits associated with initiating a draft and expanding the armed services. It doesn’t seem like a fiscally responsible move at all.

  2. I love this part:

    “Moreover, as a result of the repetitive stresses of Afghanistan and Iraq, the human-resources quality of the U.S. military appears to be declining: recruitment and retention rates (by pre-Iraq standards) are slipping, forcing the armed services to lower their physical, educational, and psychological standards; to soften the rigors of initial training; and even to expand the moral waivers granted to some volunteers with criminal records.”

    So, basically, the military is getting crappo recruits.

    But wait! There’s a solution.

    We’ll shanghai unwilling crapo “recruits” into signing up! Because, as we all know, if someone really, really, really does not want to be there, he’ll be twice as effective. Which is why morale among the troops in Vietnam always stayed sky-high, and there were no drug abuse problems, near-mutinies, or race riots whatsoever!

  3. “Come on all you big strong men, Uncle Sam needs your help again!” Again. Thanks Country Joe. Some tunes from the 60′s are timeless.

  4. The draft is slavery of the worst kind. Anyone who thinks differently has no idea what freedom and liberty are about. But not to worry people it won’t come down to a draft in the classic sense. It will be the depression that will keep the ranks full. It’s called the economic draft and it’s already here and isn’t going away any time soon. Of course people will say I would rather starve to death than become a murderer. That’s fine if your single. But what if you have a familly? I know I’m always saying it but seriously it’s time to stock up and learn how to live off the land. I know that’s easy for me to say as I’m a country boy who spent most of my life hunting, fishing and working on farms, but you still need some kind of plan.


  5. I couldn’t agree more. The draft is slavery. It could possibly be justified if the ACTUAL territory of the USA itself was invaded by an army (think Russia in 1941) but I don’t see any menacing armies of Canadians or Mexicans on the borders. I have no desire to die for Israel or the various machinations of the neoconservatives, or whatever other kooks there are out there who want to play empire.

  6. “…..it is unacceptable that less than 1 percent of the country’s eligible population serves in the armed forces, with almost no war-relevant sacrifice being asked from the rest of society….”

    Right, so lets not bother to send the 1% either and we’re all even-steven. Happy now ??

  7. I don’t think there could ever be a justified draft. But your right that the only possible time to even consider it would be to fight off an actual invasion of our nation. However, that’s not likely to happen it would be pretty hard to invade a nation with enough nukes to take out the world. I also don’t think we would need one in any event. If we were actually invaded enough people would stand up to fight, not for our so called rulers but for our families, friends neighbors and land. It’s the only way I would ever enlist again, but then again I might decide to just stay home and fight with the Michigan Militia. One of the saddest parts of deploying the “National Guard” overseas is that people who would normally like to serve their nation and protect their neighbors and land are forced to do the opposite by making more enemies and serving foreign masters.


  8. Its unacceptable to me that one ten-thousandth of one percent of the country’s population can decide to send that 1% of the country’s population overseas to fight and die in an unjust and pointless war.

  9. Great post, Tim. Will Grigg wrote nicely on this subject today. In “The Draft-Nappers Are Stirring,” Rahm Emanuel, Tony Blankley, Charles Rangel, Hauser & Slater, et al., are exposed; their wicked proposition, well-dismantled. Excerpts:

    If the so-called war against “Islamofascism” were really a life-and-death struggle akin to the Battle of Salamis, recruiting an army at the point of a gun would hardly be necessary. Conscription is never necessary to inspire men to defend their homes and families, and it is never used for that purpose. It is carried out for the sole purpose of compelling men to kill and die on behalf of the State and the degenerate clique running it. . . .

    The Nazis’ totalitarian siblings in the Communist camp were equally enamored of the concept of universal, compulsory service, including conscription; after all, that principle was inscribed by the finger of Karl Marx as the eighth plank of the totalitarian declaogue, the Communist Manifesto.

    Like Nazi and Communist totalitarians, Blankley believes in the state ownership of the most intimate form of private property: The individual. . . .

    The operational principle in conscription, as the vile Bernard Baruch, head of the Wilson Junta’s War Industries Board, pointed out in August 1918, is that “every man’s life is at the call of the nation and so must be every man’s property…. The state is all; the individual is of importance only as he contributes to the welfare of the state. His property is his only as the state does not need it. He must hold his life and possessions at the call of the state.”

    Source: http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2009/02/draft-nappers-are-stirring.html

    Indeed. Obama, Rangel, et al., are in good company: Hitler, too, was a Wilsonian — or at least, a “Baruchian.”

  10. The government will get all the recruits it needs from the massive unemployment. They must want low paid draftees instead of high paid recruits for their endless wars. They will get my 2 draft age sons over my dead body.

  11. You stole my thunder, jack. What a perfect time to push the draft, when Americans by the millions are or soon will be looking for work, any work. Then blood-stained Leviathan will arise again, shoving conscripts into its putrid, rotting mouth. “Killing for a Living” will be its unofficial motto. Lord, that America should have descended to this.

    I have sons too, and I’ll be damned if I let them go without a fight to die in some godforsaken hellhole for empire. Again, how have we come to this?

  12. Will Grigg’s essay is great and Robert Nisbet agrees with Hitler’s Wilsonian genealogy in The Twilight of Authority:

    “I believe it is no exaggeration to say that the West’s first real experience with totalitarianism–political absolutism extended into every possible area of culture and society, education, religion, industry, the arts, local community and family included, with a kind of terror waiting in the wings–came with the American war state under Woodrow Wilson.”

    Nisbet cites estimates of 175,000 arrests of war opponents under Wilson.

  13. If a person can be drafted into involuntary servitude because of his citizenship, then all of the citizens belong to the state. And it follows that the state must take care of all of them – providing food, shelter, medical care, etc. But the folks at at Foreign Relations like all of our would-be “deciders” of course, have no interest in doing THAT – the state can take your money or your life, tell what you can do with your body or mind, but wants no more responsibility for your well being than they want to have for the fish in the sea. You owe the state this and that but they owe you zip. Seems to me “slave” is too fair a term to apply to this arrangement.

  14. As I said to Will Grigg, and I’ll say it here,… What sort of “freedoms” are we purportedly defending if we haven’t the freedom to say, “NO”? All the clamoring over who doesn’t participate in the machinery of death seems to avoid the obvious. Why are we forced to pay for something, through blood and treasure, that we don’t want and be bound by chains forged by evil men who themselves would never personally lead an assault nor put their own children on the front lines? If you aren’t willing to die or send your kids to die for what you babble on about then clearly it isn’t that important.

  15. Brad, you’ve hit the nail on the head by saying that people would rise up to defend themselves without any need for any conscription. Conscription simply points out that the argument for war is so weak that they literally have to arrest someone and force them to violate their conscience. Clearly, defending a lie through patriotic claptrap doesn’t make it less of a lie.

  16. Ah, but there’s the rub: The militarists don’t necessarily want the lowest-paid or most-unemployable recruits. They “need” folks with the experience and skills that would normally keep them employed even in the worst of economic times. This is what the Draft-promoters, like Hauser and Slater, mean when they insist that “the hardships and dangers of military service be more widely shared.”

    However, military conscription is still so extremely unpopular in this country that it is unlikely that we’ll see it return any time soon (the last time the issue came up in the House it was defeated by 402 to 2 — with Rangel voting against his own resolution). So I regard most of this talk about reinstating the Draft as so much hot air.

    Still, I have two nephews, and like Jack and R. Nelson, above, I’ll be damned if I let the military force them to fight and die for empire.

  17. Sorry, but I believe that it was “Honest Abe” Lincoln who was the first to put national totalitarianism into practice (albeit on a smaller scale than Wilson and his successors). Tom DiLorenzo’s book The Real Lincoln contains all the details.

  18. What sort of “freedoms” are we purportedly defending if we haven’t the freedom to say, “NO”?

    This is exactly the question I want to ask all of those currently on active duty who claim, at the first breath of criticism of their mission in Iraqghanistan and elsewhere, that they’re defending my “freedom.” What freedom would that be? The “freedom” to be jailed and have my property seized without due process at the whim of a bureaucrat for failing to pay 30 percent of my income in tribute to the State, or for ingesting a substance into my own body that the State arbitrarily decides that is illegal?

    Until soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines answer this question honestly and then ask themselves how what they’re doing in any way, shape, or form squares with the oath they took upon enlistment to uphold and defend the Constitution, we’ll continue to see the ranks of the legions swell with desperate “volunteers” who will give not a second’s thought to slaughtering us on orders from their “superiors” should such an order be issued.

  19. Right on David, If the people of a nation don’t believe it’s worth fighting for it isn’t! Even through all the lies, hard economic times, media complisancy, brainwahsing, etc. they are still having a tough time bringing in the new Joe’s. If that doesn’t tell the sheeple something I don’t know what will.


  20. Another questions:
    Why is it that only Americans’,US citizens’,freedom is so far reaching than any other people.And why is this freedom so much dependent on what happenes in far away places such Vietnam,Iraq,Afghnistan,etc than what happens in the US?Or why is this freedom threathened by what Iraqis,Afghanis or whoever are doing in their countries?

  21. “In one of the most shocking cases of courtroom graft on record, two Pennsylvania judges have been charged with taking millions of dollars in kickbacks to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centers.”


    From prisons to the military like a conveyor belt!

  22. “And one would think that our veterans–of all people–would be among the first to jealously guard freedom. How, then, can former and retired military personnel sit back and allow the government they once proudly served to lie to them, renege on promises, withhold medical care, abandon their friends and family members still missing in action, and not utter a word of protest? How can they allow their comrades-in-arms to sleep on the streets outside VA clinics? While they were willing to travel halfway around the world–and risk life and limb–to defend America against foreign enemies, many will sit back right here at home and complacently watch while these glorified miscreants–known as politicians–systematically strip this nation of the very freedoms and liberties they swore to defend. Did they not take an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC? If the statistics I read are accurate, most veterans do not even vote. I ask, if we do not know what freedom is at home, how can we fight wars across the world and understand what we are fighting for?”


  23. Lear K, I hear you. I am a vet and was deployed for combat twice. My only excuse is that I was young, dumb and brainwashed to the max. I now fight against this system every chance I get. Most of the guys I served with hate this war and the power elite as much as I do, but getting them to commit to any demonstration is very hard. I think there is a learned helplessness that has set in for most people not just vets. We want to do something, but what? You mention voting, but who should you vote for? Ron Paul was my only choice and I worked my ass off and gave more money than I should have and where did it get me. A clear consious is nice but it doesn’t pay the bills. I’m not about to go out and lose everything I have for a cause that no one else seems willing to fight for. I’ve been married over 20 years and have three children who rely on me. As well as ill parents. If you have a good suggestion I would love to hear it, truly and I’m not being sarcastic, I really mean it. What can I do?

    Thanks for the link. It reminds me of a local case where the Judge was putting the local children into foster care. All the foster care homes where the children were placed were connected to him and his familly in one way or another. A wistleblower was fired for telling on him and the next judge in line threw out a case she (the wistleblower) had filed for getting fired. The second judge said she hadn’t filed in time even though anyone who could do basic math could see she did in fact file in time. The case that was the worst was after the wistleblower came forward. The judge found out that a young women had signed herself into an addictions clinic for painkillers. She had left her child with her parents. The judge was going to place the child with one of his familly but do to the heat he sent the child a one year old girl to live with her out of state father. The father was not checked out even though the mother had said repeatedly that he was unfit. The little girl was starved and eventually beaten untill she was in a coma. She now has permanent brain damage.

    All of this pain and suffering caused by corruption and yet we sit around waiting for something to CHANGE. Well I have been around long enough to know voting in yet another republicrat isn’t going to change a damn thing. SO WHAT DO WE DO NEXT? If you can’t feel the frustration from my writing I will tell you straigt out it’s there and I only wish I knew how to do more.


  24. Imperialism is never justified. Wars of conquest to spread an Empire that benefits only a small privileged minority can never be justified and should not be supported. The Military should only be as large as is needed to protect the actual borders of the nation, there are no “international” terrorist threats against Argentina or Vietnam that I know of, and why is that?

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