Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Those 18 year olds get younger every day, and while plenty of 18 year olds are serving and getting killed, there's a difference between those who choose to go and those who would be forced. Plenty of 18 year olds are just not equipped (nor 19 nor 30 for that matter). That's not the only reason, of course.
However, I definitely don't like the idea of what amounts to an emergency draft for a situation which frankly isn't an emergency. The reinstitution of mandatory conscription would fundamentally overhaul both our military and our society. Perhaps if the idiots in Congress and the Pentagon would increase pay and benefits, rather than funneling all that money into wonderful private security costing orders of magnitude more, we wouldn't have people like Chuck Hagel opining about the possible need for it.
You know, I'm usually behind Atrios 100% but here I have some disagreements. 18 and 19 year olds who choose to go to military may or may not be equipped to handle what the military actually does: kill other people or be killed. With the new advertising campaigns making war a D&D game or the latest arcade sensation, I'm sure plenty of people who go are not ready, but the Drill Sargeants make sure they are ready by the end of training -- that is their job of course. Likewise I see many 18 or 19 year olds who are not ready mentally or emotionally to deal with the responsibility of college, of drinking, of living on one's own, of marriage, etc. and they do "deal" with it -- they grow up. I'm not equating any of these with the idea of compulsory service, however I do believe that if 18 and 19 year olds are personally effected, I can guarantee they will care who our leaders are and what policies they have in place.
I think they should reinstate the draft. I also think that their should not be any way out of service besides physical impediment. There should not be a way for the Bush twins to get out of service if they are drafted nor middle class should not be able to swarm the colleges. With the thought of one's family member being put in harm's way, I think there will be a lot of soul searching done in the war supporter's homes across the country -- people are not fungible, as Rumsfeld said, but a lot of people who have nothing invested in this war agree with him. We need an overhaul, obviously, right now.