Young people fear return of military draft

Giancarlo Marotti not only sensed fear inside Fairfield Warde High School teacher Amy Handy’s advanced placement English class, he saw it and he touched it, too. So did the rest of his classmates.

The assignment this particular day was for students to bring in an object that for them symbolized fear. Marotti arrived at the first-period class with a newspaper photograph of an American soldier in Iraq.

“It was at a lookout camp. He looked tense, tired, too, maybe,” Marotti said. “It scared me because I looked at this picture and I think, 'This could be me. This could be me in less than two years because I will be 18 and out of high school.”’

Around Marotti, many other juniors in Handy’s classroom are aware that two bills in Congress aim to reinstate the military draft could conscribe them to a two-year tour of duty. And unlike the draft during the Vietnam era, as one of the bills is presently worded, the Universal National Service Act would contain no exemption for college students.

All men and women between the ages of 18 and 26 would have to serve in some form of national service, not necessarily a combat position, for a minimum of two years.

“My parents don’t support what’s going on (in Iraq). And they’d feel I was putting my life in danger if I went,” Marotti said. “So, I would have to seriously contemplate heading to Canada or Italy or someplace. My parents wouldn’t want me to go to war. So I know that they’d support what I had to do.”

Marotti’s friend and classmate Clara Davis, 17, nodded in agreement. She reads the newspaper, listens to what politicians have to say about the war on terror and talks to her friends.

Passage of a military draft for the first time since Vietnam is “unnecessary” because there are enough troops there now, she said.

“There’s far too much confusion over there. Do we know what we are fighting for there (in Iraq) to risk more people losing their lives?” Davis said. “I have lots of respect for the troops that are there. But I think about the idea of a draft all the time now. And the last thing I would want to do is go to war for something I didn’t believe in. I should be able to go to college, not Iraq.”

It’s like deja vu all over again!

I remember when my older brother’s number came up when he was a senior in high school. His birthday was number three in the draft lottery that year and we were all sure he was headed for 'Nam. Thankfully, that was 1973, the year Nixon infamously declared ‘peace with honor’ and withdrew. It was a scary-making few months, however.

You have to wonder, if the government continues down this path of adventurism, whether they’ll start actively recruiting illegal aliens with a stronger promise of citizenship for military service. Empires need foot soldiers and were a tad short right now.

There’s been a lot of talk about it in the right-wing outlets. Wouldn’t surprise me at all.

What, talk about how the left wing nutjobs are trying to reintroduce the draft as part of some bizaar political brinkmanship?

All men and women between the ages of 18 and 26 would have to serve in some form of national service, not necessarily a combat position, for a minimum of two years.

I’m all for it (and yes, I was drafted, and served for two years, in 1968).

I think it would make people better citizens. I don’t expect anyone here to agree with me, however. :wink:

I think someone else here said it before: the military is not supposed to be a social program.

Hell, why not force everyone to serve two years in prison? I’m sure that would make them good citizens too.

You have to wonder, if the government continues down this path of adventurism, whether they’ll start actively recruiting illegal aliens with a stronger promise of citizenship for military service.

Wow, I didn’t even consider that. I can absolutely see this happening under this administration.

I’m all for it (and yes, I was drafted, and served for two years, in 1968).

Women were drafted during the Vietnam war? Under which branch did you serve and what was your role?

You’re right, sharing the sacrifice necessary for democracy among everyone is exactly the same as randomally throwing people in prison.

What present military sacrifice is necessary for democracy, Jason?

The US has never needed the draft. Ever. Fuck the draft.

I believe, if I recall some other CindySue posts correctly, that CindySue was a man at the time.

I believe, if I recall some other CindySue posts correctly, that CindySue was a man at the time.

Ah… I must have missed those. Never mind, then.

Heh. Two of the 18 year old guys in my basic training company were there because they were given the choice of military service or jail. Absolutely no one ever wanted to be paired up with them for any kind of duties or training because they absolutely did not want to be there and only the threat of jail kept them from quiting. The did the absolutely minimum possible and never showed the slightest bit of care for their work. One of my friends was assigned to the same team as one of them during field training and he fell asleep during his fire guard duty and allowed one of the drill seargeants playing OPFOR through their perimeter, who proceeded to toss CS grenades into each of the team’s tents. Took weeks to get the smell out of their uniforms completely.

I know a few drill sergeants who’d punch you flat out for openly suggesting such a thing because forced recruits are the worst half-soldier you can deal with. I sure as hell wouldn’t want my brother and sister killed in the line of duty because of a “shared democracy” draft forced someone to be in a position they didn’t want to be. The military isn’t a game, it’s isn’t summer camp. You force people into it and you’re signing some soldier’s death warrant because of the lack of moral you’re bulding in the draftees.

Honestly, do you really think telling kids that they have a choice, either serve two years or suffer consequences going to “create good citizens”? From the point of view of a large segment of that population, you’re doing the same thing as if you told them they have to go to jail. You’re going to be making them do forced labor. You’re going to move them away from friends and family. You’re telling them they have to risk their lives.

Fuck, give me too few real soldiers who volunteerd rather than too many malingering half-soldier draftees.

I made the joke about two years of jail, because honestly, the difference isn’t as great as you might think for someone who absolutely does not want to be there.

What present military sacrifice is necessary for democracy, Jason?[/quote]

I’d point to the Iraq casualty less, but I don’t really think it’s necessary for anything, so we don’t have one at the moment.

I’m not arguing that a draft would be more effective; it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth to pay poor people to die for me.

The US has never needed the draft. Ever. Fuck the draft.

Civil war…

What present military sacrifice is necessary for democracy, Jason?[/quote]

I’d point to the Iraq casualty less, but I don’t really think it’s necessary for anything, so we don’t have one at the moment.

I’m not arguing that a draft would be more effective; it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth to pay poor people to die for me.[/quote]

It’s a little bit cynical to say a thing like that, don’t you think? A lot of people are in the military because they really believe in it.

Also, if someone joins the military as a means of falling back on something because they’re too poor to live on their own, that’s their choice. You don’t have a problem paying poor people to do any other shitty job that they only took because they were poor.

And if you have a problem with the military being made up of too many people who joined up because they have nowhere else to go, perhaps that’s something that needs to be actually solved economically, as opposed to covered up by forcing everyone else into the military as well… that’s treating the symptom, not the disease.

Well, yeah. I was serious a while back when I talked about raising the starting salary for the miliary to $100k/year. Right now it’s true believers (good!) and people who joined for the money (bad!).

Most jobs don’t involve being shot at as one of their duties.

$100k is excessive, but I see your point. Though it would only encourage more people to join for the money.

Most jobs don’t involve being shot at as one of their duties.

…so everyone should be forced to take one that does?

I’m not agreeing with Jason, extar, I apologize for giving that impression. I was just explaining that I can understand his problem with the thought of the military being mainly composed of poor people without a lot of other options.