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Comments by YACCS
Friday, April 21, 2006

Who is he kidding?

A Peaceful Call to Arms

Published: April 20, 2006

Cambridge, Mass.

THE American public needs to be prepared for what is shaping up to be a clash of colossal proportions between the West and Iran.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt masterfully prepared Americans before the United States entered World War II by initiating a peacetime draft under the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940.

Now, President Bush and Congress should reinstitute selective service under a lottery without any deferments.

This single action will send a strong message to three constituencies in the crisis over Iran's nuclear intentions — Iran, outside powers like China and Russia and Americans at home — and perhaps lead to a peaceful resolution.

Iran's leaders and public will see that the United States is serious about ensuring that they never possess a nuclear weapon. The Chinese and Russian governments will see that their diplomatic influence should be exercised sooner rather than later and stop hanging back. But most important, America's elites and ordinary citizens alike will know that they may be called upon for wartime service and sacrifice.

President Bush has the perfect credentials overseas to execute this move, and little political capital at home to lose at this stage. Polls confirm that a wide majority of people in many countries view him and the United States as the major threat to global peace. Why let them down on this count? Go with the flow


President Bush should therefore consult with Congress about reinstituting selective national service by lottery for all young males and females. After 9/11, President Bush missed an opportunity to ask America's citizenry to make sacrifices in the form of military service, homeland defense and conservation that many would have accepted. Instead, he asked people to continue shopping to prop up the flagging economy.

We should not fumble the opportunity now to begin selective service again, while the Iranians and others are watching. It may be our last best chance to avoid war with Iran.

Paul Kane, a Marine who served in Iraq and a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, is writing a book about national service and sacrifice.


There will ALWAYS be deferrments. Paul Kane's kids will not be cleaning up dirty sand in the desert after hitting a reactor with a bunker buster.

Sorry, but this is bullshit. In WWII, it wasn't until 1944, with eight months of the end of the war in Europe, that the better educated were sent into infantry service because of the massive casualities. Before then, most people who could, chose the Navy or Air Corps.

The reason the draft ended in 1973 is very simple: the burden was unfairly distributed. The working class and poor did what they always did, which is face ground combat. The well off got medical deferments.

When he says no deferments, he means no non-medical deferments. Most of our current chickenhawks in Congress had medical deferments. The draft is very specific in who can be drafted, and millions of Americans, with asthma, ADHD and other illnesses would clearly be excluded. Some estimates suggest that only 25 percent of the current cohort would qualify for military service.

Mr. Kane also forgets that the 1941 draft renewal passed by only one vote, and instead of demonstrating a ready America, Hitler thought it showed weakness.

The draft would go down to crashing defeat in Congress. No one is sending the Duke class of 2007 to Iraq. We live in a society where kids wear helmets to ice skate.

He also seems to forget that Iran sent children to clear land mines by running over them. A mere draft will not scare them.

The people who idealize the draft base it on the draft between 1954 and 1965. Before then, the poor got to dodge bullets in Korea and after, they dodged them in Vietnam. Charles Moskos did a study which showed the economic class of the US Army has remained the same since 1776, working class and poor soldiers led by lower middle class officers. The draft did not change this calculus.

What has changed it is Vietnam. It will be impossible to convince the poor to send their kids to Iraq for class mixing. Anyone who thinks so is delusional.

posted by Steve @ 1:13:00 AM

1:13:00 AM

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