Politics, Technology, and Language

If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought — George Orwell

No, peace is peace

Posted by metaphorical on 21 November 2006

That was a bit of a cheap shot at Rangel yesterday.

The general idea of universal service is a good one, and it’s what Rangel is really proposing. In the same AP story, there’s this:

He said having a draft would not necessarily mean everyone called to duty would have to serve. Instead, “young people (would) commit themselves to a couple of years in service to this great republic, whether it’s our seaports, our airports, in schools, in hospitals,” with a promise of educational benefits at the end of service.

If young people started choosing schools and hospitals instead of the military, we’d know right off a war was unpopular, and if all the young people did it now, we’d not only know not be in Iraq, we wouldn’t have the troops to be there at all. If soldiers vote with their feet as well as march with them, we’d only fight the wars we really need to fight.

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5 Responses to “No, peace is peace”

  1. That was a bit of a cheap shot at Rangel yesterday.

    Yeah. I almost said something.

    I’m really torn on the question of mandatory national service. There are strong arguments for and against either side of the question. But I do respect Rangel’s perspective.

    I’m not quite sure he can have it both ways, though. Either he’s calling for a draft, which would put the children of the powerful in harm’s way and render war less seductive to policy elites, or he’s calling for national service, broadly defined, in which case the children of the powerful would choose internships at Choate or the Mayo Clinic over the army, and the demographics of the military would be essentially unchanged.

  2. plm said

    “If soldiers vote with their feet as well as march with them, we’d only fight the wars we really need to fight.”

    You mean like those indentured servants we’ve got out there now fighting to pay of their parents debts to the fat cat GOP? Oh wait, those are just the dumbest Americans, right Senator? Face it, even if they implement a policy of national service which offered choices as to how to fulfill that service (which I might be inclined to support) it would only serve to bolster the ranks.

    I am concerned about what is a cynical attempt to destroy what has over the last generation become the most professional and feared fighting force on the face of the earth. Volunteers. The lot of them. But you should be happy, the ones in harm’s way tend to vote GOP so every time one dies there’s a good chance it’s one less war monger out there. That’s a silver lining isn’t it?

  3. Who here is disagreeing that the U.S. military is the most professional and feared fighting force on the face of the earth? Not me, that’s for sure. The problem is, what if its commander in chief is also the leader of the free world is also dumber than an unbaked brick? Then his having the most professional and feared fighting force on the face of the earth in his pudgy little fingers is even worse than holding the hammer that makes every problem look like a nail.

    Let’s face it. If anyone, even His Dumbness, can direct the most professional and feared fighting force on the face of the earth into losing a war, that’s proof there’s a big problem. Jus’ lookin’ for solutions, Mamboman.

  4. If soldiers vote with their feet as well as march with them, we’d only fight the wars we really need to fight.

    Was World War II one of the wars we really need to fight? And when was that apparent to the citizen soldiers? In 1937 it wasn’t. In 1939 it wasn’t. In 1940 it was iffy. In 1941 they were lukewarm.

    The problem was that the strategic and moral case for war was in place by 1937 – 1939 but the public wasn’t convinced of it. There was not and is not a clear line between the Bush’s doctrine of preemptive war and being prepared to fight a war among other options. A draft does not make that line more clear.

    Wrangel’s draft is pure political gamesmanship. He doesn’t really want X thousand more soldiers to fight the GWOT. Does he want X bodies for national service, yes, but what tasks they would be applied to?

    What Wrangel really wants a better political debate before going to war. But the draft is at best an indirect solution to that.

    If Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith et al. had children serving in the military would it have given them pause? Maybe, but I don’t think so. They were so convinced they were doing The Right Thing that the chance of putting their children in harm’s way would not have slowed them down and even then they could have pulled strings to get their kids in safe billets before the shooting started. I believe Cheney when he says he would do it all again. I believe Donald Rumsfeld is speaking his convictions when he says that Bush’s Iraq War will be justified by history.

    Here’s a wild idea: bring back the War Powers Act. When we had it the Congress did engage in a real debate about the ends and means of military force.

  5. In the case of Iraq, having an army of draftees would have made Congress think twice. I agree, it wouldn’t have made Cheney think twice.

    And I definitely agree that this business of authorizations, instead of declarations of war, is bogus in the nth degree. The executive will always be readier to use force, it’s up to Congress to have some restraint.

    (Oh, and I love “Wrangel.” I think he’s Brooklynite’s actual rep. Mine is Maloney.)

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