John McCain is wrong on the general question of the draft.**
**This is not about Trump's specific situation, which is that of a draft-dodger-turned-hawk.
McCain said: If were going to ask every American to serve, every American should serve.
This is BS. The draft is a form of slavery and was in no way "asking" for young men to go to their deaths. I believe we should hold draft-dodgers in high regard, as many were upholding a very liberal principle.
I do not for a second blame anyone, rich or poor, for avoiding such slavery.
he wasn't upholding any principles .
the ones who opposed the war protested it and expressed their opposition .
being a draft dodger itself is not a sign of being anti war as we have seen with far too many war mongering republicans.
McCain is right about what he said.
Edit: McCain didn't differentiate between draft dodgers who are now hawks (Trump) and those who are not. McCain was speaking in general about the draft, which is a form of slavery.
As an eager war resister, I have lots of reasons to lobby against compulsory military service. But I would very much support compulsory training on emergency level first aid and other good skills like that.
The draft is a system where people are forced to perform labor they would not otherwise do. Furthermore, that labor involves killing people.
While the draft is not equal to the formal institution of African-American slavery, it certainly is a form of slavery in the broad sense.
Applying your premise consistently, paying taxes is equivalent to slavery as well.
If not, what the specific and relevant difference?
1) Paying taxes is not a job;
2) You can quit the job that makes you money (and therefore the taxes);
3) Paying taxes is more akin to theft (we don't tell you what to do, we tell you what you owe).
I guess it's only slavery if you value your own life and the lives of others.
I think we can agree that there is more than one form of slavery in the world, right?
Germany had a draft, but after being drafted you had to choose between military service and civil service. If you thought that serving with a weapon was not your thing, you simply opted for civil service.
In civil service you got some basic medical training and then the government seconded you to a healthcare company or social institution, where you did menial jobs: disinfecting medical equipment, delivery-boy for medication, hauling patients from A to B, feeding patients...
I do not know if Trump expressed an opinion. What IS a problem was that far later he made the disgusting statement equating the risks he took with unprotected sex to that of men serving the country - whether because they had no choice or because they felt they should serve - whether they agreed or disagreed with the war.
He is not a principled anti-war draft resister.
His eagerness to be hawkish on North Korea is a flip side to his never having to experience the horrors of war.
Here is what McCain said....."One aspect of the conflict, by the way, that I will never, ever countenance is that we drafted the lowest-income level of America and the highest-income level found a doctor that would say that they had a bone spur. That is wrong. That is wrong. If were going to ask every American to serve, every American should serve.
I think McCain was arguing that if we have a draft, everyone should serve, not just the poorer classes. It was also a direct dig at Trump, who was able to shirk. I think you missed the word "if" in McCain's comments
I don't think his statement necessarily is an advocacy for the draft, I think he was talking about fairness.
But my points are now several:
1.) McCain is wrong to describe the draft as "asking" Americans to serve. This is wrong by definition.
2.) McCain nowhere made it clear he was against the draft. Thus, my thinking is that McCain is fine with drafts, which are a form of slavery.
3.) McCain is correct that any government institution should be "fair", but his implicit support of the draft is wrong.
But, the essential point is that... in your opinion... the draft if wrong.
It is possible for a liberal OR a conservative to agree with your opinion about the draft... or disagree with it.
You are picking on words....I think it is clear McCain is using the term "asking" knowing that he was talking about the draft. Maybe he could have used the term "enslaving"? I think most fair minded people understand what McCain was saying.
As to McCain's point, he was talking about fairness. If you argue that the draft places an undue burden on the poorer classes, his point could actually help your case.
Last I checked slavery was more or less a permanent situation. I don't think exaggerated language helps your case.
I think the draft is a complicated issue, and it is in today's armed forces, a theoretical debate since the military does not want a draft.
Of course this could change if Trump blusters us into a war with Korea.
Maybe Trump would think twice about a war if his sons or daughters could be drafted to fight it?
but is it really fair to force an 18-year-old kid to fight some foreign kids? It might be "fair" in the sense that his rich parents couldn't stop it, but it certainly isn't "fair" to him.
I was not just picking on McCain's words, though. I am pretty sure he would support a draft if he deemed it "necessary". I could be proven wrong, but I doubt that the issue will ever be more than theoretical anyway.
As to slavery, I don't think I am exaggerating in the slightest. You take a kid and force him to work a (dangerous) job, and only let him go when he is injured or the war is over? Sorry, but that is slavery.
Last time we had a draft, the term was two years I believe. Last time we had slavery, it was a life sentence.
As to "fairness", if all who were able bodied were eligible....that would be "fair". It would not be nice, and it might be right or wrong, but it most certainly would be "fair". What McCain was talking about was how unFAIR it would be for a rich kid like Trump to get 5 deferments while poor sobs went to the front lines to be cannon fodder.
An argument for the draft is that, under the volunteer army, those who go into the military are disproportionately lower income people. If you didn't give the rich kids deferments, and the sons and daughters of congress critters, senators and presidents were drafted....the argument would be that this would make wars less likely, and a reason for the draft. It is easier, so the argument goes, to send out the volunteers....that way the
rest of us don't have to worry about having skin in the game.
It could also be argued that people who have experienced the horrors of war first hand would be less likely to be a war hawk, would only want war as a very last resort. Chumps like Trump have no freaking clue.
It could also be argued that citizens would be less likely to vote for a war hawk in the first place....if there was a real risk they or their children would have to go fight. As it is, it is nothing they have to personally be involved with....
It could also be argued that citizenship should require some form of service. It doesn't have to be military. It could take the form of doing some sort of service to the country....things like the Peace Corps, Americorps, teaching in a impoverished area, working with the homeless, something where we give back. Requiring something like that would be a good idea in my view. I don't think a two year stint of community service would be slavery.....I think it would not only help society, but it could be a very positive experience for all involved. And, of course, those who participate in the service would get benefits for doing so, deservedly so.
very well might. For the most part, they were blue collar kids who didn't know somebody who knew somebody. Over 58,000 American soldiers died in that war, plus many wounded and some still missing. Take note that 5-deferment Trump is still standing....and golfing, even with bone spurs.
Many of us who protested the Vietnam War cared about the soldiers serving and also honored conscientious objectors.
What I object to the most are the Barco Lounger War Hawks who never served when it was their turn to go.
My point was that one cannot describe the draft as "asking". It was "taking", pure and simple.
McCain appears to be describing the draft as "asking", which is wrong.
If you had a couple years of college you would normally qualify for officer candidate school. The school was quite demanding and failure got you switched right back to Private. There were some direct commissions on graduation from ROTC. And finally there were 90 day NCO schools for promising enlisted men. Those graduating were called "shake n' bakes". No one was ever commission directly above pay grade O1-2nd Lt or WO1-Warrant Officer one. In short the wealthy had more opportunity but no one got a free lunch...
don't for a minute think all draft dodgers were anti-war. They weren't. Many back then and since have never seen a war they didn't want someone else to fight.
I am still glad they dodged though. We should all avoid slavery no matter what our personal reasons.
Unless the U.S. engages in another version of WWI trench warfare, there simply is no scenario where it's a good thing to have a huge mass of superficially-trained foot soldiers. Ultimately, what you'd end up with is a handful of people ending up in combat, either by choice or by chance, while most of the conscripts mill around aimlessly stateside in safe situations. Not too much different than it is now, except young people will have several years of their lives confiscated so that politicians can pretend to be tough.
With a draft, the soldiers come from the civilian community. There is no emotional/social divide between those who serve and those who don't.
Similarly, in a civil service you are forced to work with the poor, the disabled and the elderly, and this also connects on an emotional level.
Not necessarily military.
That could be in an inner city/rural school.
In a hospital.
In an animal shelter
You need to touch suffering and want to soothe it to be a full human being.
besides being forced labor (even for pay).
That said, it would be less harmful to people if the service were to occur during high school, so at least they would not be missing years of their working lives (and the associated income/savings potential).
There are jobs to be done and people can be paid to do them.
Bridges don't build themselves.
Slaves were housed and fed by their owners ("paid" so to speak). That fact in no way absolves the owners of their moral transgressions.
If I graduate high school and choose to work for GM, that is fine.
If I graduate high school and am forced to don a uniform and fight in a war, that is "forced labor" and is a form of slavery.
Do you want to eat and not work?
If I refuse to perform public service, I could still choose to work for pay and thus would be able to feed myself.
You are talking about free labor, while we should be discussing forced labor.
I agree with you that having public service as a part of high school would be a good thing. I know from experience that colleges push public service as well, as a voluntary activity. I do not believe we should make it a formal "year off", since those are prime years for young people to be in school or working, as they see fit.
......in the early eighties.
Even that would be OK.
Get your hands dirty.
Cleanse your soul.
So how is it fair that those who serve now lose the years to those who do not? You are actually supporting the idea of universal service: if all are on the same footing; everyone loses 2 years or whatever to their service, no one has an undue advantage.
"So how is it fair that those who serve now lose the years to those who do not?"
This makes no sense. The people who serve now are making a choice, and presumably do not believe those years are "lost". I for one joined the Army as a volunteer, and I do not consider my time there "lost".
If I had wanted to, say, go to grad school, but was drafted into the Army instead, then I might have considered those years "lost".
in their place, namely someone who didnt have the money and/or other means to run to Canada or elsewhere? Nice.
or perhaps enough people dodge a draft that we end up scrapping the whole thing.
It's called "civil disobedience".
I think everyone should attempt to avoid slavery, including the draft.
of the more privileged person who had the money and means to run. Nothing there to be held in high regard in my view.
Under your theory, an individual should allow himself to be enslaved, merely because if he doesn't then someone else might be enslaved in his place? I'm pretty sure we don't criticize fugitive slaves from the American South, even though their absence might have meant someone else was enslaved to replace them.
If anything, the guys who allowed themselves to be drafted just perpetuated the institution of the draft.
I think that if we publicly support those who dodge drafts (though not those who later become warmongers), then future drafts will be met with more resistance and will therefore be more easily scrapped.
The military had specific positions to fill from top to bottom at all times. Slave owners did not; they had as many slaves as they wanted, probably as many as they could get.
What youre supporting is someone leaving vacant a specific role that will be fulfilled by somebody poor and underprivileged. And that is exactly what happened.
It is not the dodger's fault that the government will seek to enslave someone else to fill a spot.
Thats exactly how it works. If youre okay with that, just stand by it instead of trying to justify it by even further reducing your social responsibility than you did in your original post and every single one of your follow-ups. Thats really all this boils down to. Every single post.
You appear to be talking about the physical burden, which falls upon the conscript. That is correct, but it was not what I was talking about at all.
I said that the moral burden falls on the government, which is correct. My meaning is that when you choose to dodge the draft, it is not your fault that someone else will have to go in your place. Rather, it is the fault of the government that decides to replace you with someone else. An individual draft dodger has no say in the matter of whether or not the government will conscript someone else, and thus should not be held morally responsible.
And you know it as well. I understand you dont want to own the moral responsibility of sending a less fortunate, underprivileged person to war but thats what youre supporting no matter how many times you try to shirk that responsibility.
When a draft dodger has no power to block the sending of another person in his place, then he has no moral responsibility for the replacement. Presumably, the draft dodger would prefer that no one is sent (if he has any empathy at all).
The draft dodger seems as powerless as the next guy. But that is not totally accurate. If anything, the draft dodger makes future drafting less likely, since he creates a problem in the draft system. The more people dodge the draft, the more likely it is that the government throws up its hands and scraps the system.
Thus, if anything, your non-draft-dodger (willing draftee who for some reason was unwilling to volunteer in the first place) makes the draft MORE LIKELY TO HAPPEN.
You fail to recognize who has the moral responsibility in this situation. If you persist in doing so, then I am afraid our conversation has been fruitless.
the moral cowardice youre trying to defend. So, fruitless exchange? Yep.
Does it extend to Conscientious Objectors, since the Army would presumably have to replace them as well if they refuse to be drafted?
I'm not the one forcing other people to fight in a war for me, I'm against the draft. I believe our volunteer military is strong enough to do any job worth doing, so that takes care of our "real world practical outcomes" I think.
I get that pretending not to understand it is critical to furthering this utopian fantasy, but this is all pointless until youre willing to deal with reality.
Do you believe Harriet Tubman was a coward? She escaped slavery, and presumably someone else had to take her place.
If the Amistad had made it back to Africa, would you call those men cowards? The slavers would have presumably had to replace the men lost if that ship had made it back home.
I am certain that you agree with me that the proper moral responsibility for the replacement of those slaves rests upon the slave-holders, and not the escaped slaves.
The fact that you have to compare the draft to the scourge of actual slavery is pretty telling and, frankly, shamefully exploitative of slaves.
Youre just talking in circles comprised of false equivalencies to prop up this uptopian nonsense.
Go ahead and have the last word.
This is textbook stuff, really.
My last word is this: You are apparently ok with forcing young people to go to their potential deaths. I am not ok with this.
By your logic, why is that not slavery?
You are not forced to work for the government, because you can choose not to work.
If you choose not to work when drafted, presumably you would be punished.
What happens if you dont pay your taxes? Any punishment there?
Conscripts do receive a paycheck (although we all bitch about how little it is), but that doesn't change the fact that they are forced to labor. African-American slaves were fed and housed, and yet were still "enslaved".
No service in defense of the country.
Let someone else do the fighting to secure your freedom and let someone else do the working to support you.
I know youll say thats not what youre saying, but thats the practical, real-world outcome of your ideas even if you arent willing to admit it.
This is a highly ironic statement on your part, since you are so hell-bent on sending other people (draftees) to do your fighting for you. How can you hold this thought in your head without seeing the problems with it?
It is still ironic that you accuse me of wanting to send other people off to die when you apparently support the draft.
Also, you have no idea what I have done either, so there is that.
The issue isnt whether you want to send others to fight and die. You do. Youre just in favor of making excuses for the rich and privileged who can avoid it, while the poor and underprivileged get to do the fighting and dying. Again, here in the real world, thats what youre supporting, like it or not.
I am not interested in sending others to fight and die, that is one of the things that makes me a liberal/Dem/progressive whatever. You must stop trying to tag me with such opinions.
If there must be fighting and dying, then I prefer volunteers to do that job. I would never force another human being (kid, honestly) to fight a war for me.
Here in the real world, there is no draft, so I am not sure why you insist I am forcing anyone to do anything, rich or poor.
See my reply I just posted. The floor is yours and yours alone to discuss this ridiculous fantasy.
The "real world" of the Vietnam War was a war of choice on our part. There wasn't even the slightest hint of "national defense" implicated in that conflict. If you support forcing kids to fight a war like that, then you are a moral monster.
In my opinion, the scenario where the US is invaded is a much closer question wrt the draft. I still believe the draft would be morally wrong, but at least the point would be to defend the US.
I don't pay income tax because I live on SSDI and a small veteran's pension but I do pay sales, excise, property and use taxes. The only way one can avoid taxes is to live completely off the grid on someone's else's land.
I know I just posted this elsewhere, but there is a difference between money and forcing labor out of someone.
In the Civil War, one could pay money to avoid service. Those who didn't have the financial means served. Either way, it was servitude towards the government. Not paying or not serving meant prison time.
But that is something we would probably not countenance in a draft today, methinks.
That said, you are wrong about money and labor being the same. There is a clear difference between paying taxes for our military versus serving in that military. Or paying taxes for road maintenance and being on the road maintenance crew.
The more likely that country is to go to war. If you have a hammer, you see everything as a nail.
We have no draft, but we have managed to create enough chaos are the world as it is.
Up until about 10-15 years ago, Germany had a draft.
- First came a medical and mental health examination, to see if you are suited for service at all. (I knew a guy who failed the test because he did drugs.)
- Then you had to choose between military service and civil service. Applying for civil service meant jumping through some bureaucratic hoops, but that was no problem. Military service was shorter than civil service and the salary was slightly better, even though both were still worse than a regular job.
- If you went for military service, you'd spend your days with menial jobs, maintenance of military gear and combat training. The only action you would see would be in case where the military seconds you as emergency workers to a landslide or flood or something like that.
(From one guy I heard, the closest he ever came to war was being driver for combat-troops going to and coming from Afghanistan.)
- For seeing actual combat or being deployed abroad, you would have to apply for that and declare that you are willing to serve abroad. And there was a simple incentive for doing so: The salary was still crap and joining a combat-unit meant a higher salary weighed against the RISK to be sent into combat.
but any draft or compulsory civil service is still a form a slavery and should be avoided.
rich must also serve. A military draft must be based on equality.
Your point seems different to me-that no one should be forced to serve.
Also, his phrasing is seriously messed up. One cannot describe a draft as "asking" for people to sacrifice, pretty much by definition.
You are correct about my opinion on the matter.
...that problem doesn't magically disappear if there's a draft. Children of the wealthy might serve -- fearlessly guarding the buffet tables at the Bellagio, maybe
to avoid serving when it counted and now is known as "President Hawk, Super Hero." He'll gleefully send your kid off to die, but bone spurs will forever run in the Trump family.
but at least my kid is too young to turn 18 on Trump's watch.
That said, if there is a draft in 2032 I would definitely pay a doctor to give my kid bone spurs (I'm not rich though, and I will never be a Chicken Hawk).
sugar because he thought it might indicate he had diabetes when he was called up for his physical. It didn't work, but eventually he became a CO. I never say anything against someone avoiding the draft unless they later become a warmonger like Trump.
once even rich man's sons had to go to war that the draft ended...if we had a draft, there would be few wars. Why should the poor and middle class have to risk their lives essentially for college money.
You are talking about scoring a political goal (fewer wars) by placing unwilling human beings in harm's way. If we hold parents' children hostage, perhaps those parents would be less likely to go to war?
game or their should be no war. There is not doubt if everyone was subject to fighting a war...there would be fewer wars. People in the US barely realize there are at least two wars going on...they rally behind the war and the troops because it cost them nothing.
I am more concerned with the individuals involved in the military draft. If we force those kids to fight for us, we are enslaving them.
On the other hand, I think we agree that the entire nation should be behind any war we choose to fight. I think there are better ways to accomplish this than a draft (which I view as a form of slavery). I mentioned a "war tax" in my other post to you, for instance.
by making it easy and painless...Americans barely notice that we are at war. Easy to say rah rah...the flag...blah blah...when it costs you nothing. A draft where there family members were put at risk would change that...and that needs to include the rich as well.
If the kids were clamoring for war, that is one thing. It is pretty sick to argue we should get the kids killed merely because the parents don't mind wars.
The better way to change the parents minds is to require a "war tax" on individual incomes. Since the warmongers tend to be "low tax" republicans, what better way to kill support for military adventurism?
of an obligation for being an american citizen whether or not its serving in the military or in the Peace Corp or in your home town.
We are reaping the "reward" of a couple generations of americans now who see everything as a one way delivery from others to themselves....
The draft is a form of slavery, as I have already pointed out. If you disagree, please post your reasons.
The draft is usually instituted in times of war, when we need to increase our military forces for the defense of the United States, such as WWII. The Viet Nam "War" was not a declared war. It was a "military action." It was invalid, however it is not a form of slavery. We, as US citizens are responsible to protect our nation and the constitution.
My uncle, during WWII said that he refused to kill people - He became a medic in Merril's Marauders and he served gladly. Only those who are legitimately unable to serve should be exempt from the draft, and even those who are 4F can serve in a civil capacity.
My brother joined the Peace Corps instead of going to Viet Nam.
Would you rather we rely on contractors and mercenaries?
1.) If you are forced to labor against your will, you are a slave. I don't think compulsory service is as bad as African-American slavery, of course. However, it is on the same continuum.
2.) As to the military draft, I also disagree. You are arguing that it is the responsibility of 17- to 18-year-olds to protect our nation, not that it is a general responsibility.
3.) As to contractors and mercenaries, I say it depends on what type of "service" you mean. We already use contractors on military bases for food service, janitorial, etc (also on foreign bases). If you mean "foreign" mercenaries, then I agree we should not use them for combat.
When a few old white men run the lives of others, sending them away from their families and careers to labor, to kill and possibly to die, the question of whether or not the victims are paid fades a bit in significance.
Rather than any form of draft, we should build a nation that people will volunteer to defend. This doesn't mean signing up willy-nilly for any fake-war-for-profit dreamed up by elites, but actually protecting the nation's borders, or those of allies.
Those examples don't really apply anymore. Those wars were about having hundreds of thousands of warm bodies with rifles. A modern war would not involve the same type of mass infantry fighting. That said, modern conscripts COULD be useful on the homefront as base security and whatnot, allowing more active duty soldiers to fight. However, we could just as easily (and probably far more cheaply) use security contractors for such duties.
2.) If we cannot motivate people to volunteer as soldiers in the event of a major attack or crisis, then that really shows that the public is unwilling to sacrifice to combat said crisis.
That too is a form of slavery you know.
and does not violate the Constitution. One might make a moral argument to the contrary, but as a legal point it's been settled for almost 100 years.
Of course I am making a moral argument, nowhere did I cite any legal authority.
Just because the draft is "legal" doesn't make it not slavery. Slavery was "legal" at one point as well...
So in this order
1) the draft is wrong
2) serving is wrong
3) volunteering for the military is wrong
4) having someone serve in your place is wrong
5) joining the military as a draftee is wrong
To summarize, anything and everything to do with the military is wrong, that includes serving and dodging.
There is no right choice, just different degrees of bad ones.
Since you are not the one deciding that someone must serve in your place (the decision is actually made by the government when they decide to replace you with someone else). You cannot be held morally at fault for the decision made by the government (unless you voted for them, I guess, but that is a wider question).
Oh, I marched to the battle of New Orleans
At the end of the early British war
The young land started growing
The young blood started flowing
But I ain't marching anymore
For I've killed my share of Indians
In a thousand different fights
I was there at the Little Big Horn
I heard many men lying, I saw many more dying
But I ain't marching anymore
It's always the old to lead us to the war
It's always the young to fall
Now look at all we've won with the saber and the gun
Tell me is it worth it all
For I stole California from the Mexican land
Fought in the bloody Civil War
Yes, I even killed my brothers
And so many others
But I ain't marching anymore
For I marched to the battles of the German trench
In a war that was bound to end all wars
Oh, I must have killed a million men
And now they want me back again
But I ain't marching anymore
It's always the old to lead us to the war
It's always the young to fall
Now look at all we've won with the saber and the gun
Tell me is it worth it all
For I flew the final mission in the Japanese sky
Set off the mighty mushroom roar
When I saw the cities burning I knew that I was learning
That I ain't marching anymore
Now the labor leader's screamin'
When they close the missile plants
United Fruit screams at the Cuban shore
Call it, Peace, or call it, Treason
Call it, Love, or call it, Reason
But I ain't marching anymore
No, I ain't marching anymore
Number 1: The draft is not a form of slavery. That is pure hyperbole.
Number 2: McCain is definitely taking a dig at the deferments the rich have traditionally relied on during our drafts in the past. Check out the Civil War.
Number 3: There is a reasonable argument to be made that a draft would reduce the number of times a President would involve the country in all manner of military engagements because of the blowback from an involved citizenry. When everyone's kid is on the front line, the public cannot pretend that the wars, conflicts, whatever don't apply to them. Think Vietnam.
Number 4: Rather than a full military draft, I'd support mandatory service in-country, having young draftees work for the public good in forestry, medical assistance, educational areas, whatever.
Number 5: A full draft during a National Emergency, if and when the country is threatened by a foreign adversary, makes absolute sense. Recall WW!!.
Number 6: Even In a volunteer army, the poor and/or disenfranchised are still the core of the military, often attracted to service by educational opportunities and a sense of purpose/community.
Number 7: If we are not willing to defend the country in times of true jeopardy, then we don't deserve a country and will not have one.
We will find non military solutions to problems. Wouldnt you prefer non military solutions?
there would be no wars, only peace and peaceful resolutions.
We do not live in that world.
I'm all for aggressive and dedicated diplomacy to avoid unnecessary war. But if and when a full-scale war comes, military solutions are the only response. Our opponents won't be blowing kisses.
National service is not an obscenity. It's a duty if we're to preserve our Democratic Republic. And yes, I do believe the country is worth saving.
I'd venture to say that most people would prefer non-military solutions, but what if the "other side" isn't on the same page about that? Do we just throw up our hands and surrender? Or do you have some "non military" means to force them to join in peaceful solutions?
I would like to think I could eat as much as I wanted and never gain weight, too... but there is a lot of reality which intrudes on that notion. Do you seriously think that if there were no military, that power-hungry people would suddenly lose their taste for power?
Will you present an argument differentiating the two, or will you just make a statement?
of slavery to a military draft is glib and insults the full scope of human misery when human beings are in bondage. Slavery does not equate to everything we do not like or approve of; eg., military service, taxes, laws & regulations, etc.
I stand by my comment: hyperbole.
It's a pretty broad phenomenon.
Taxes are different since you are not forced to work. Same with other laws, as far as I can see.
"Number 3: There is a reasonable argument to be made that a draft would reduce the number of times a President would involve the country in all manner of military engagements because of the blowback from an involved citizenry."
This doesn't make sense. Either a.) the military engagement can be handled by the Armed Forces without a draft, or b.) the military engagement is beyond the scope of the Armed Forces.
If a.), then there need be no draft.
If b.), then the lack of a draft would mean no military engagement, which means that the President would be constrained even without a draft. Thus, the draft would not be necessary to reduce the amount of military engagements we pursue.
argued the following:
Too few of the countrys leaders have a personal stake in the well-being of the Armed Forces, and the outcome is predictable. Since the end of the draft in 1973, every president, Democrat and Republican alike, has approached warfare with the mind-set of invading, occupying, and expanding our nations influence. It was this attitude that got us into the unnecessary and costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and that threatens to mire us in deadly wars in the future. We make decisions about war without worry over who fights them. Those who do the fighting have no choice; when the flag goes up, they salute and follow orders.
As I said, there are reasonable arguments out there, pro and con.
Without enlisting hyperbole.
If a draft is needed for a given war, and there is no draft, then there is no war, right? Thus, my wish to never again allow a draft might actually prevent wars.
In a perfect, completely rational, utopian world that might be the case.
We don't live in that world. We have never lived in that world.
As I said elsewhere, if a full-fledged war were to come, our opponents wouldn't be blowing kisses. So your strategy of simply not calling for a draft would mean surrender, invasion, occupation. You might talk to the French or our other European allies about how that worked out for them during WW!!.
I don't like the idea of war or its horrendous consequences. But I do believe in national defense and there has been the argument that a strong defense--along with a strong diplomatic program--has served as a deterrent to world-wide conflict, WWIII. Our current political circus, of course, puts a damper on how effectively any of that can work.
Nevertheless, I believe this country, our Democratic Republic, is worth protecting, draft or not.
"As I said elsewhere, if a full-fledged war were to come, our opponents wouldn't be blowing kisses. So your strategy of simply not calling for a draft would mean surrender, invasion, occupation."
You are forgetting our professional military that costs more than the next 9-10 militaries combined. Your point seems to hinge on the entire rest of the world invading us, which seems less likely than our opponents blowing us kisses. In this day and age, if the rest of the world invaded us, we would just nuke them all and game over. Actually, if they all invaded us, they would probably also nuke us.
My point is that in your imagined situation, the draft would not make any difference at all.
is based on no such thing. I was simply countering your argument that a 'no draft' position would mean no war, which is really a take-off on John Lennon's memorable question: What would happen if a war were called and no one came?
It's a lovely thought. Sadly, it's not based on the world as we know it where bad actors with bad intentions really do exist.
My point is simple: I believe in a National defense. I believe the country, our Democratic Republic, is worth protecting, draft or not. I also believe that hyperbole--comparing slavery to the military draft--is glib and counterproductive. I also think that an in-country National Service program is a very good idea.
I believe in a lot of things. Many of which you may or may not agree. But that's life inside an open, democratic society, isn't it?
"I was simply countering your argument that a 'no draft' position would mean no war,"
This is not what I said.
I was responding to your point that a draft would make war less likely. I think Lennon was correct that war would be less likely if more people failed to "show up". There are two scenarios: 1.) we have a war where the draft is unnecessary, and 2.) we have a war where a draft would be necessary.
1.) No draft is necessary
2.) If we have no draft, we have no war. This scenario is more about foreign wars, rather than invasions of the US. In the event of an actual invasion (which is preposterous, mind you), I bet plenty of young men would join up voluntarily.
You are perfectly fine with enslaving young people (I doubt you would be called up, right?) to fight for you, how nice.
Your use of the phase 'enslaving young people' undermines your entire argument. Hyperbole usually does.
Misstating what I said and how I said it is not a counterargument.
But please continue with those still willing to play. We're done here.
You accuse me of hyperbole, but my argument is that the draft really fits under the dictionary definition of "slavery". It is not hyperbole, by definition (and this is also a good pun).
If this country is legitimately required to fight a war that it cannot prosecute or defend with a volunteer army such that conscription becomes necessary, every able-bodied person of suitable age should be eligible for a draft. There should be no deferments whatsoever. One of the issues with the draft during the Vietnam war was that roughly 76% of those drafted were from lower middle/working class backgrounds, while the children of the wealthy could: evade service with a note from a doctor; or get a deferment to attend college, which the working poor could not afford; or get preferential placement in an Air National Guard unit, for instance, where they would not be placed in harms way.
This just isnt fair, and this is what McCain was saying. Keep in mind that he enlisted, and could have avoided service, as his father was an Admiral.
I did know a couple of NG guys in Basic and AIT who always had plenty of money and obviously came from families with money and connections. These guys had to go through several weeks of Army Basic Training/AIT just like us poor draftees, but there was just about zero chance of them ever being called up for Vietnam.
The conscientious objector draft dodgers don't bother me, but the hypocrites, fake patriots, and war mongers like Trump, Limbaugh, Cheney, etc. are another story.
What war would that be? If every country invaded us at once?
not just to the draft, but to business partners, to our POWs, to our fallen soldiers, to decency, and to the truth.
No lameass republican-style rationalizations make a farts-worth of difference.
serve the country in some form for a year. Even if it is just picking up trash along the highway.
Why not let young people choose whether or not to volunteer their time. That way, volunteering has some sort of meaning to it that forced labor does not.
them at any disadvantage. Help them with school when they are finished their year. I hated the army but that is the best thing a young person can do.
As to other forms of service, I admit that at least it wouldn't be life-threatening like military conscription could be.
That said, perhaps the best option would be to connect service to education, like the greek system in college (minus the alcohol). I still wouldn't force anyone to do it, but if they are still in high-school then they are kind of forced to be there already, so it wouldn't really interfere with their lives much.
I actually enjoyed jury duty the one time I had it. It wouldn't bother me in the slightest if we got rid of it and just had professional jurors, though.
right now we have wars being fought but most are not in any way invested in it. They will vote in war hawks with the assurance they will not pay any price. For pete's sake, the military has foreign citizens serving.
There can be a national interest in fighting a war - think of WWII. It should not fall to the economically strapped to fight our wars - everyone should pay a price whether it is increase in taxes, service in the military , or domestic programs.
To say that a draft is slavery is over-simplifying the issue.
"right now we have wars being fought but most are not in any way invested in it. They will vote in war hawks with the assurance they will not pay any price. "
This is disgusting. If you support a draft, then you are trying to make the parents "pay the price" by forcing the kids into harm's way? The kids are not the parents.
I agree with you on the tax thing, that is really how everyone should be made to "pay the price". No need to force any young people to risk their lives. Please reconsider your support of the draft, since you clearly also support other ways to make the nation "pay the price".
Edit: As to your charge of "oversimplification": Forced labor is slavery. The draft is forced labor in the military. Thus, the draft is slavery. Pretty simple, really.
I admit that war would be harder if there is no possibility of a draft, that is kind of the point.
We couldn't have freed the slaves and defeated the Confederacy in the Civil War without the draft either.
Imperial Germany may have won WWI had not the US entered the war with an army filled out with draftees.
but we cannot really know whether things would be better or worse. For instance, if Germany had won WWI, there would not have been a WWII (Hitler's rise to power was based upon hatred of the Treaty of Versailles from WWI), at least not in the form we knew it.
It also doesn't change the fact that the draft is a form of forced labor and should not exist.
By your standard, only totalitarian regimes would use the draft and would have a major advantage in armed conflicts. We might well see a world with more forced labor then it presently has.
We have by far the most powerful military, all volunteer. No draft required.
We have no real homeland defense issues that a draft would solve; there is no nation in the world that could invade us.
There likely wouldn't even be a United States today without it (Civil War).
And nobody today is seriously talking about bringing the draft back so I don't really understand why you are against something that doesn't exist.
None of these alternate histories or historical uses changes the fact that the draft is a form of slavery. Just because some nice things might have come from using the draft doesn't make it a good idea or morally right. One could just as easily say that there wouldn't be a US without the slaughter of Native Americans centuries ago.
As to the modern draft, this comment thread all started with McCain's statements, with which I took issue. While a modern draft is unlikely, you are wrong to say that no one supports a draft, just look at the other commenters I have been dealing with!
According to your line of thinking, taxes are a form of slavery.
"you are wrong to say that no one supports a draft,"
What I had said:
"And nobody today is seriously talking about bringing the draft back"
It is true that nobody is seriously talking about bringing the draft back and you even say that a modern draft is unlikely. You twisted my words.
Again I'll say that I don't understand why you are against something that doesn't currently exist and which you even admit is is unlikely to happen.
The difference is actually pretty stark.
"Again I'll say that I don't understand why you are against something that doesn't currently exist "
This is a strange statement. No nuclear war exists, and yet we are all "against" it. The whales are not currently extinct, and yet we are all "against" their extinction. The draft does not exist, but yes I am "against" the idea of forcing people to fight and die for me.
And that we ought to hold people like Trump in high regard.
Several species of whales face threats to their existence. Rogue nations like North Korea having nuclear weapons is a very serious problem. Both are valid concerns. But you prefer to spend time on the abstract. Which is fine as this is a discussion board.
"Nuclear War" does not currently exist. It might happen in the future, which should concern us all.
"The Draft" does not currently exist. It might happen in the future, which is what concerns me. Furthermore, the Selective Service still exists, so there is that.
I have never said that we should hold Trump in high regard. If Trump had merely dodged the draft, I wouldn't care. However, Trump went further and later in life now seems to be hell bent on being a Chicken Hawk. It is the switcheroo that I criticize.
If Trump had merely dodged the draft (even using connections or money), I would be completely fine with that. Even then, that would in no way mean I was agreeing with his policies or other actions.
IF every American was asked to serve, who do you think should be exempt?