Professor Calls for Bringing Back the Draft

draft cartoonI ran across this editorial that appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The author is a professor from Hamline University who has a son deployed in Iraq. He explains that his son and his brigade were redeployed to Baghdad for an extended stint instead of coming home. But this is where his frustration sets in. First he blames the President for not sending in more troops to protect those already there.

Then he blames Congress for “neglecting their constitutional duty to exercise a meaningful check on the president’s war-making powers.” Then he blames the right wingers for thinking they can bomb the insurgents into submission to end terrorism.

He blames the left wingers “who seldom say anything good about our troops, who talk as though 9/11 never took place, and who seem to think that terrorists are freedom fighters who will start behaving if you just treat them nicely.

Finally, he blames the American voter for giving Bush another term “even after it had become apparent that his policies had failed. Even after significant members of the military officer corps themselves called the war policies a failure. Given these failures, how many re-election votes would the war president have drawn if all those voters and their children had also been at risk for fighting this war?”

Mr. Harrigan’s solution is the most troubling of all. He wants to bring back the DRAFT!

I have no prescriptions for getting ourselves out of this mess, but I do know how to spread the burden around a little more fairly. Bring back the draft! And allow no deferments for college students or children of presidents and members of Congress.

My response to Mr. Harrigan:

The war in Iraq is indeed unconstitutional. Congress never declared war like the Constitution instructs them to however our elected officials on Capitol Hill uses this precious living document to wipe their asses with. The Constitution is nothing to them and like Bush has claimed to say “it’s just a goddamn piece of paper!”

Your son should be home defending America on our turf not on someone else’s turf thousands of miles away. The American foreign policy that our government created has made more enemies than friends. We have taken sides in many conflicts and interfered with political climates in over 100 countries. Yes, 9/11 was a tragedy but it all could have been adverted by changing our policies in the Middle East.

The American voter had a choice to elect someone who would have stopped this madness! As you recall, John “flip-flopper” Kerry was pro-war and pro-anything-else-affiliated with the war. Our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are not the only ones who have suffered in the so-called “War on Terror”. The American people have been blindsided to the fact that all the things Congress has passed (Patriot Act, Real ID Act) amongst others has not made us more free but the opposite- all for the sake of security. If the American voter really cared about their civil liberties and ending this “war” they should have voted for Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian Party’s Presidential candidate.

As for your call for re-instituting the draft let me ask you a question? Are you willing to sacrifice your life for failed government policies? There is a reason why young men and women aren’t signing up to fight for an unpopular cause. Having a draft is political suicide and there is a reason why there hasn’t been one since Vietnam. Many in Congress would not get re-elected and we both know being re-elected is the number one goal of all politicians! Besides I’ll be damned if I’ll ever sacrifice my children for your security! The draft is immoral and outright wrong. Our military should always be voluntary.

In conclusion, the only right thing to do is to bring our troops home!

  1. The guy admits the whole Iraq affair is a gigantic clusterfuck so his solution is to force more people into it against their will? What an imbecile.

  2. Robert — it seems he’s thinking of the whole ‘reverse psychology’ thing.

    I.e.; if it was *YOUR* son/daughter you had to send in, you’d be a hell of a lot more hesitant to support it — and more eager to denounce it.

    There’s merit to that line of thinking. Only problem, as always, is the execution of the idea into reality.

  3. IanC, I have heard this kind of tortured “libertarian” reasoning behind awful proposals before, i.e. supporting outlandish government spending and/or financial boondoggles in order to a) bankrupt the government, or b) bring about a popular revolt of the people. But, I’m not buying it. When you feed the beast, its appetite only gets larger.

  4. It’s easy to suggest such a thing with your child already there. The people who don’t would have to lose their children before it ended the war and brought his son back. That man is selfish and a fool.

  5. Maybe one of you out there can figure out the manpower
    requirements of the Army. I understand there are 500,000 active duty Army soldiers and another 700,000 in the Guard and Reserves. So, if one expects a total of one year tour of duty in a combat zone during a three year hitch, that would make 167,000 active duty soldiers available at any one time for Iraq,Afgan. And some 150,000 (including Marines)are serving there. Of the other 700,000 perhaps we could expect them to serve 3 months in a combat zone during their five year hitch. That’s another 35,000 available in any 3 month period for combat. So, why do we suddenly need
    a universal, no-exemption draft that would bring in, what,
    2,000,000 young people per year to train and equip?
    In addition to its moral repugnance, it allows the government to carry a bigger stick, pick more fights, and –
    see Confederacy/Civil War – stay in a losing fight way beyond the time when volunteering would have put an end to the bloodshed.

  6. The great thing about about a voluntary military should be when you can not man up it might be time to get out.It is kind of wierd I am hearing more support of a draft from the lefties.About the rotation,the proplem I believe it is hard to rotate people out of places like Germany,Japan and Korea.

  7. Well I don’t know, but I do know that in the 60’s the antiwar demostration that took to the street lost a lot of steam after the draft was changed. If Prez Bonehead started drafting students we’d probably see a lot of people in the streets and this mess would be over fairly quick.
    Yes people are selfish. Most don’t want to get shot at.

  8. I could have worded my last post better. I wasn’t supporting the logic; just clarifying it.

    The idea itself, in the platonic sense, is quite sound. Only problem is that should it actually occur… those whom make policy and decisions would find somehow that their children were in the safe positions; drafted to the Coast Guard for example.

    It would, as always, be the poor and the marginalized who would find the most of their children dying. (I include the middle-class as the marginalized.)

    So, barring the kinds of losses we saw in Vietnam, we would find that the Iraq occupation would be indefinite.

    This is hardly a solution; let alone a libertarian one.

  9. here is a guy who was so dumb that he let his son join the army. how can anyone with a college degree be so dumb? he should be fired. then he has the nerve to whine, and want others to suffer for his stupidity

  10. IanC, we’ve had Coast Guard personnel killed in action in Iraq in action in the straits as I recall. And the Coast Guard served in Vietnam and lost personnel there as well.


  11. Selective Slavery, for us, is a golden issue on a silver platter.

    If a draft gets anywhere close to actually being implemented, the passions of a generation will be inflamed. I hope we’re ready to reach out and rake them in!

    And speaking of the Constitution, “Amendment XIII
    Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”


  12. The draft will never work again under any circumstances, including a full scale invasion of the United States.

    1. There are too many mamas’ boys (also known as sissies)that have no guts and would rather live under any system, regardless of the consequences, than pick up arms.

    2. The draft is inherently unfair. The majority of those that serve are from the have nots and blue collar families. Those with the cash will never serve if they don’t want to. Those that join are mostly from the same group.

    3. Most boys (and girls) growing up today are not physically fit and will never be able to become fit because they have no muscular tone except in their fingers and hands from eating junk food all the time and watching TV, playing video games and sitting in front of a computer.

    4. This is a common thread I have heard over and over, “this country is not worth fighting for” which means we have huge numbers of people between birth and 40 that appear to hate this nation.

  13. “Selective Slavery, for us, is a golden issue on a silver platter.

    If a draft gets anywhere close to actually being implemented, the passions of a generation will be inflamed. I hope we’re ready to reach out and rake them in!”

    Yes – the passions of a generation will be inflamed, but who will be stoking the fire. I’d rather keep as many checks, balances, and barriers to prevent a WWIII.

    All we need is debate about a draft, to you know, sock it to the rich and privleged…Some conflict…A president who claims he won’t send our boys overseas…And a few well televised explosions…Rallying nationalism…WWIII.

  14. MW — the Coast Guard example was just an example; not meant to be comprehensive by any means. :)

    Mike R — WWIII is already underway, man. Has been for a few years. I just hope it’s done escalating. I know that hope is futile.

    I *truly hope* that Einstein was wrong.