This is from Newsweek by a now-inactive reserve Marine combat Vet from 2d Bn, 2d Marines. I went to the Med in '65 with 2/2, so this is like one of my eas' coas' homies. He has a very narrow viewpoint of why we needed a draft as of 9/12/01, that if the sons and daughters of the elite had to go to Iraq, the services would have been better equipped with body armor, MRAPs, and the like. He's right as far as he goes, but I think he misses the larger point, that if the draft had been re-instituted back then, we never would have criminally invaded Iraq. It's OK for the peasants to die in aid of the bottom line, but not for the privileged, who, after all, need to be alive to rule.
I did like some of his points:
[...] Have no doubt: there is a distinct disdain for networked America among the fighting class of this country. When a politician would come on TV in the Camp Fallujah chow hall talking about Iraq, the rank-and-file reaction was always something like, “Well, I am blue-collar cannon fodder to this wealthy bureaucrat who never got shot at and whose kids aren’t here. But I know I am making America safer, so I’ll do my job anyway.” And they do, and have been for the last three and a half years, tragically underequipped but always willing to fight.
[...] But President Bush was determined to keep the lives of nonuniformed America—the wealthiest Americans, like himself—uninterrupted by the war. Consequently, we have a severe talent deficiency in the military, which the draft would remedy immediately. While America’s bravest are in the military, America’s brightest are not. Allow me to build a squad of the five brightest students from MIT and Caltech and promise them patrols on the highways connecting Baghdad and Fallujah, and I’ll bet that in six months they could render IED’s about as effective as a “Just Say No” campaign at a Grateful Dead show.
I don’t favor a Vietnam-style draft, where men like the current vice president could get five deferments. I am talking about a World War II draft, with the brothers and sons of future and former presidents answering the call (and, unfortunately, dying, as a Roosevelt and a Kennedy once did) on the front line. That is when the war effort is maximized. Quite simply, the military cannot be a faceless horde to those pulling the purse strings of our great economy.
He hit the nail right on the head with that last sentence. That's exactly what they are. Faceless and voiceless, as pawns must be.
If Bush's War, which we won early on by the way, and the subsequent occupation, which we're losing by the way, were really in defense of our country in a generational all-out global conflict like the Chimp lied about, instead of for oil, hegemony, and profit like it really is, the United States would have mobilized like WWII and every last swingin' dick (and the female equivalent, which I refuse to even think up a term for) would be sacrificing for the war effort, whether pullin' a trigger or figuring out how to be energy self-sufficient or rolling bandages or whatever.
We're supposed to go shopping, i.e. STFU and let the military industrial complex roll, putting future generations in debt whilst killing untold millions and further enriching the elite.
The Jarhead's right: we need a draft, better yet, an all-encompassing program of National Service. Everybody goes, nobody skates. Pull a trigger, build a bridge, comfort the afflicted, count widgets, here or abroad, PARTICIPATE in Democracy, learn and grow, and maybe we could prevent assholes like Cheney and Bush from pulling shit like this ever again.
Maybe all we'd have to do with the MRAPs would be to charge the batteries once in a while.