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EDITORS FIRST

Filed at 7:02 am under by dcobranchi

The Wilmington News-Journal has basically endorsed reinstating a draft for all young people (both men and women). Interestingly, while visiting the Amistad yesterday, I was thinking about this very topic. What’s the connection? Well, the purpose of the Amistad display is to highlight slavery. In addition to the ship, there are several tents where artifacts and essays are displayed. I found one by Frederick Douglas appropos.

Would you have me argue that man is entitled to liberty? that he is the rightful owner of his own body? You have already declared it. Must I argue the wrongfulness of slavery? Is that a question for Republicans? Is it to be settled by the rules of logic and argumentation, as a matter beset with great difficulty, involving a doubtful application of the principle of justice, hard to be understood? How should I look to-day, in the presence of Americans, dividing, and subdividing a discourse, to show that men have a natural right to freedom? speaking of it relatively, and positively, negatively, and affirmatively. To do so, would be to make myself ridiculous, and lo offer an insult to your understanding. There is not a man beneath the canopy of heaven, that does not know that slavery is wrong for him.

18-year-olds own their own bodies, too.

A draft is a lazy leader’s way to wage war. If the cause is just and if the leader is truly leading, there will be more than enough volunteers for the army. Was a draft needed on Dec. 8th, 1941? Would one have been needed on Sept. 12th, 2001? No. Because the nation was ready for war. We had been attacked. Young men and women lined up to fight back. Do we need one in Iraq? Maybe. What does that tell you about the level of support Bush has generated for the war?

Perhaps this talk about the draft is just political posturing. Rangel is, after all, a Democrat. I just find it very interesting that those who would propose slavery for our youth are all beyond the age where they would be subjected to the same.

So, I’ll support a draft the day the News-Journal endorses one that would include the editor. I won’t be holding my breath.

6 Responses to “EDITORS FIRST”


Comment by
Laura
April 24th, 2004
at 9:30 am

The Democrats don’t want a draft because we need one due to the unpopularity of the war. They want one because the military is seen as an opportunity by Americans from low socio-economic backgrounds. Actually, it’s seen as an opportunity by Americans of all kinds of backgrounds. But the Dems are all about class warfare, so they’re trying to pretend that the fact that the military exists at all and offers these opportunities amounts to a de facto draft. Better, I guess, to let poor kids have no options at all.


Comment by
Ed Hurst
April 24th, 2004
at 10:28 am

I served in the All Volunteer Army for some years, until I got hurt and disabled. The quality of our personnel varied as widely as you might expect, but many old-timers were convinced it was far better, on average, during the draft. However, you are right in saying all that changes when we are attacked. Suddenly our best are lined up at the door wanting in. I’m all for purely defense forces, tiny in size, to be swelled when an attack on us calls for going “over there” to settle the score. We do not live in a perfect world, and professional soldiers are a very expensive thing to support in great quantity. Let’s make it even harder to get in, not easier; let the standards be based on actual human experience, not politics. (Yeah, I’m dreaming….)


Comment by
J Aron
April 25th, 2004
at 11:11 am

The bill that Rangel introduced is

Universal National Service Act of 2003

US House – H.R 163

and US Senate – S. 89

In a recent speech from my congressman John Larson (Dem- CT) he said that this bill was originally introduced because Charles Rangel thought was that if we make service mandatory then we would be less apt to send our troops to war.. and what Larson said was that the military has not supported this legislation because they don’t want people in the army who don’t want to be there.. additionally it was because of this they have modified the language in the bill to say that mandatory service can include community and other activities (which volunteers do now, like Americorps and similar groups)
I myself never agreed with “mandatory volunteerism” and I am not a real big fan of my congressman, but just thought I would pass along what he said at a recent meeting when the issue was brought up.


Comment by
Laura
April 25th, 2004
at 5:17 pm

Well, we could tie red scarves around their necks and send them off to spend their summers singing patriotic songs and harvesting wheat.


Comment by
J Aron
April 26th, 2004
at 9:53 am

I’d just like my kids to do some work around here … nevermind for the “mother country”


Comment by
meep
April 26th, 2004
at 10:38 am

Actually, the draft was needed at particular times in this country’s history — like the Civil War. And there was a draft during WWII – my paternal grandfather signed up the day after the Pearl Harbor attack, but my maternal grandfather was drafted. Sometimes it is necessary.

However, it’s definitely not needed now. For the long-term success of the armed forces, these services need to be all-volunteer. As mentioned above, this is just so much hot air being blown to score political points. What they don’t note is that in previous drafts, the priveleged could always worm their way out — in the Civil War they could buy their way out, and in Vietnam… well, I’m sure many priveleged Boomers could tell how they legally dodged the draft.