Archive for Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The draft difference

October 21, 2009


To the editor:

The article in Thursday’s paper recounting the anti-war protest on the Kansas University campus 40 years ago brought out the point that things have changed with respect to how active the student body is these days as opposed to back in October 1969. The article recounted how an estimated 2,000-5,000 (quite a spread I might add) people participated.

What wasn’t mentioned were reasons why the student population today isn’t as vocally anti-war (Iraq or Afghanistan, the latter perceived until recently as second to the bigger show in Iraq) as the students of 40 years ago. One reason, I believe, is that the men of 1969 in college were draft age and faced the real possibility (if they left school) of getting drafted and ending up in Vietnam. Today’s college men don’t face that. They live in the age of the all volunteer force and thus have a choice the students of 40 years ago didn’t have.


Richard Heckler 8 years, 8 months ago

Demonstrating against the Nam war did not prevent anyone from being drafted.

It does appear that today students and population in general are not as active in politics. The number of those that vote or DO NOT VOTE especially on local politics is a bit concerning.

After all freedoms,your community and how YOUR money gets spent should be of greater concern.

The Nam war was as questionable as the Mideast wars. Neither are a real threat to our way of life or to democracy. Invading other countries on the other hand create hard feelings toward the USA government.

Stephen Roberts 8 years, 8 months ago

I am sick and tired of just men having the possibility of being drafted- men, women, gays, and transgenders should have the possibility of being drafted.

Left_handed 8 years, 8 months ago

The Selective Service has been running radio ads in Topeka with fury. It's striking that women can apply for federal jobs, get student financial aid and so on without doing anything, yet men have to register for the SS or else those opportunities are denied. If this isn't blatant sex discrimination I don't know what is.

Joe Hyde 8 years, 8 months ago

Well, Mr. Shewmon, I would offer that the election last fall of Barack Obama to the office of President was an act of civil disobedience carried out by the American electorate against the war-making of George W. Bush/Dick Cheney/Don Rumsfeld. (All three of whom in their youth felt privately anti-war enough to avoid serving in the Vietnam War.)

But I know what you mean, and what letter-writer Mr. Teska means. There've been very few street protests, virtually no campus protests. I attribute this lack of overt protest to three things:

1) Not enough of our soldiers, sailors and airmen have been killed and wounded yet. (What the "magic number" will need to grow to, I have no idea. The first casualty in Iraq was one too many for me.)

2) The Bush administration refused to institute the draft, despite warnings by Army generals especially that the Army had shot its bolt personnel-wise. Bush knew good and well how widespread and uncontrollable domestic opposition to his war in Iraq would become if college-age males were again subject to being drafted and sent into battle.

3) Our nation's present economic problems have been caused in large part by our invasion of Iraq and lengthy presence in Afghanistan. This has created a situation where, for many young men and women trying to enter the workforce, one of the most secure occupational choices ("secure" in terms of having clothes on their backs, food in their stomachs, guaranteed medical care, and a regular paycheck) is to enlist in the military. Or, as an alternative to enlisting, seeking employment in a "secure" industry -- which right now can be defined as one associated with war material production and support, or military contractor work overseas.

Paul R Getto 8 years, 8 months ago

If the MIC wants to fight all the wars they are promoting, and keep people all around the world protecting us from the ''Commie Menace," they will need another draft to get it done. As vertigo notes, this has a downside. The folks who want to 'surge' in Afghanistan can't come up with the 40,000 needed, and some of the war plans necessary to 'pacify' the populace call for ten times that number. Good luck.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 8 months ago

Another round of apologies to every nation on Earth from Dear Leader will fix everything.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.