Friday, September 07, 2007

Do You Feel a Draft?

In the 9/10/07 issue of Newsweek, Cpl. Mark Finelli has a one page opinion piece that it's worth paying attention to. In "Why We Need a Draft," Cpl. Finelli outlines his reasons why he thinks a draft is a good idea, looking at the lack of support the troops have received by those who sent them over there. (What? Our administration not supporting the troops? Say it isn't so? After all, don't they all have those yellow ribbons on their SUV bumpers?)

"People need a personal, vested, blood-or-money interest to maximize potential. That is why capitalism has trumped communism again and again, but it is also why private contractors in Iraq have Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAPs) vehicles when Marines don't. America isn't practicing the basic tenet of capitalism on the battlefield, and won't be until we reinstitute the draft. Until the wealthy have that vested interest, until the sons of senators and the upper classes are sitting in those trucks, the best gear won't be paid for on an infantryman's timetable. Eighteen months after the Marines first asked for MRAPs, the vehicles are finally being delivered, though still less than half the number the Pentagon has promised for this year."

He goes on to say "I don't favor a Vietnam-style draft, where men like the current vice president could get five deferments."

I surprise many who know me when I say that I, too, think we should have a draft. For slightly different reasons than Finelli. Where he sees a draft as providing the troops in Iraq with better protection and services, I see it the real threat of a draft (not just a discussion of it) as something that will finally mobilize the country against the war in a way that will force Congress and the Administration to work to end the war quickly. When mothers and fathers are faced with the real possibilities of their children heading over to Iraq, they will step out of their indifference to the war to active protest. Those who were elected in 2006 to end the war will be pressured to remember that! And those who weren't up for election will hear nonstop from their constituents to get us out now. Nothing concentrates the mind so quickly and fully as a truly frightening reality. And not even this head-in-the-sand administration will pay attention to a nation DEMANDING change.


Anonymous Mark said...

I see your point, but I'm still too close to draft age to play chicken with the government on this.

4:28 PM  

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