In 1980 President Carter issued an order requiring males between 18 and 25 to register with Selective Service should a military draft become necessary. It was a response to the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. At the time women were not eligible for the draft because they were not eligible for combat roles. Much has changed in the intervening 36 years, and women are now eligible for military combat. In the name of “equality,” some have argued that it is only fair for women to be forced to register for the draft as well. Unfortunately those who hold such a position are missing the main point: equality in slavery is nothing to cheer. Being forced by the government to fight and possibly die for its foreign policy goals is an idea incompatible with a free society. We do not owe the government a part of our lives to repay the “freedom” they give us, as our freedom is not a gift granted by government. What should young people facing the obligation of registering for a draft they do not believe in? We cover this and much more in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
Just ten years after America was shocked at the treatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and just a year and a half after the Senate torture report, a recent poll suggests that three-fourths of the population would support torture of terrorism suspects. Have we so quickly forgotten the fallout from the CIA’s shameful practices, where innocents were tortured for information they did not possess? Have we forgotten that torture is a moral outrage, is itself a form of terrorism, and does not even work? Have we forgotten that the “ticking time bomb” scenario is a Hollywood fiction, not a reality? Or is the media manipulating the population into supporting Washington’s interventionist foreign policy with carefully-worded polls designed to show more support for torture than really exists. Tune in to today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
For more than fifteen years – a sizable chunk of my adult life – I have been criticizing the just war paradigm which has undergirded calls for war by the leaders of states for centuries. My first essay on the topic was published in 2000: “The Injustice of Just Wars,” but that was only the beginning. I also published essays on “legitimate authority”, the dehumanization of soldiers in the just war framework, the “metaethical paradox” of just war theory, the incompatibility of universal human rights with just war theory, and so-called “humanitarian intervention”, which is even more hawkish than the traditional framework, insisting as it does on the necessity–rather than the permissibility–of going to war (see publications list).
I have also published explicit critiques of the number one just war theory guru since the Vietnam era, Michael Walzer, whose 1977 book,Just and Unjust Wars, has been held up in academic circles as a veritable Holy Book for decades. In an early 2001 issue of Dissent magazine (before 9/11), Walzer and I even sparred over our differences, as he wrote a text in response (without, I hasten to add, answering my critiques!) to my essay “Violence & Hypocrisy”.
Hey everyone, Happy bin Laden Day! It was five years ago May 2 that “we” got bin Laden. How did you celebrate?
For the CIA, marking the anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden was as simple as fake live tweeting the raid by SEAL Team Six on the Al-Qaeda founder’s compound in Pakistan. Using the hashtag #UBLRaid, the CIA blasted out updates of the May 2011 strike as if it was unfolding in real time, all so we could savor the sweet, sweet taste of revenge which brought back to life everyone killed on 9/11.
Over the weekend a militia supporting Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr breached the “Green Zone” protecting the Iraqi government and foreign embassies in Baghdad. They are protesting ongoing corruption among Iraq’s US-backed leaders. Lawmakers fled and a state of emergency was declared. Is this the beginning of the end for post-“liberation” Iraq? Join the Ron Paul Liberty Report in its 300th episode to look at Iraq’s slow-motion collapse:
On April 30th, Father Daniel Berrigan, an antiwar activist, Jesuit priest, author, and poet, passed away at the age of 94. Since the Vietnam War, Father Berrigan spoke bravely against American imperialism. But his opposition to US military interventions abroad went beyond speech. Father Berrigan bravely and repeatedly engaged in direct action to resist America’s war machine.
In 1968, Father Berrigan joined eight other antiwar activists to break into a draft office. They took 378 draft files from the office and used napalm to set them aflame in protest. They disrupted an unjust process by which young men were forced to fight a war of aggression in Vietnam. In lighting these records on fire with napalm, they used the empire’s own weapons to destroy its bureaucratic paperwork. Together, they were known as the Catonsville Nine.
The Catonsville Nine were arrested and eventually found guilty of destruction of government property, destruction of Selective Service files, and interference with the Selective Service Act. But these are not legitimate crimes. The Selective Service Act is an unjust law which mandates that people be forced to work, enslaved, in order to advance unjust and aggressive war. Interfering with the Selective Service Act is therefore not justly a crime, but instead a moral act.