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Do you think an active draft would slow or prevent the government from going to war?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on November 20, 2006

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Photo of Beau Nulton

“Oh, most definitely. The possibility of a draft is one of the only things keeping them at bay, I would imagine.”

Photo of Adrienne Cox

“No, I don’t. I think those folks just do what they want. If they instituted a draft for elected officials and their children, then it might help.”

Photo of Rueben Woodford

“I do, because the people who are making the decisions would be affected directly rather than indirectly. Those who voluntarily join know they’re putting themselves at risk. If it was an active draft, that’s not the case, is it? It’s being demanded of them.”

Photo of Andrew Smith

“No. An active draft might encourage it, actually. If they really want to start a war, they’re going to find soldiers to do it. An active draft might just help them.”


jonas 10 years, 6 months ago




(my impression of the ljworld staff)

jonas 10 years, 6 months ago

Before this falls apart into the inevitable flame war, I was trying to decide which is better, the holiday hawk. . .

. . .or the singing skittles rabbit?

Just can't make up my mind.

Linda Aikins 10 years, 6 months ago

I'm going to have to go with the Hawk. But it was close.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 6 months ago

Just be sure not to operate a motor vehicle after an active draft. You might lose your license.

By the way, thanks for the comments yesterday. It was a tough loss Saturday. But really, it was a great game, and I think the better team won the game. At this point I think hearts are heavier here for Bo rather than for the game.

Shardwurm 10 years, 6 months ago

I enjoyed the comments about how members of Congress would be affected by a draft. How? Their kids?


Some people just don't understand how things work.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 6 months ago

depends on how fast the draft was blowing and from what direction.

acg 10 years, 6 months ago

Make that two for the rabbit. That cracked me up.

As for the ? o' the day, I don't know. I would hope they don't ever reinstate the draft, but who knows what gov't is capable of doing anymore. I like the idea of drafting lawmaker's kids, though. That would definitely change how things were done, wouldn't it?

girly 10 years, 6 months ago

Thats how I felt when Bush took us into Iraq. Let his daughters be the first to go. If he felt strongly enough about it to send them, I might look (for a moment) differently at it.

Janet Lowther 10 years, 6 months ago

OK, folks, why the delicacy of calling it the draft? What you are when you have a job you don't want and can't quit is a SLAVE.


The fact that you would be OWNED by the government makes it better in what way? If anything it makes it worse: In the antebellum south slaves were expensive capital equipment. If the job was dangerous they hired free men to do it! The government is effectively so rich they can squander resources at a rate to make the head swim.

I recon if I got a mere one thousandth of one percent of the money lost to malfeasance in Iraq, I'd have so much money I'd have trouble finding productive uses for it. . .

sgtwolverine 10 years, 6 months ago

Or it was busy become a religious pacifist.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 6 months ago

"Draft, by the way, is good. It's the suction that keeps the smoke from coming into the room." -RI

RI = h/a/i/r/s = splitting hairs

definition #10: a current of air

suck, blow...whatever! :P

Happy "National Absurdity Day!"

Ceallach 10 years, 6 months ago

jonas, another | for the rabbit!

Just when you think the staff has presented the most stupid questions possible, they come up with one like this!! No, I don't believe it would do either.

The very worst drafts are due to the Northwestern Clippers fresh from Edmonton!! I suspect they are ms_canada's way of getting our attention:) Although she is now basking in the San Diego sun (lucky lady!!).

btw, is LJW reaaallllyyyyy slow for everyone else?

Kontum1972 10 years, 6 months ago

the daughters would u like to be the secret service agents watching those two vixen's..i bet those guys have some stories..."the wild angels" their nick...

"girls gone bush"

those two fell off the radar screen completely... bet they will be glad when daddy is unemployed..he cramps their style....."where is the beer bong.. sis"

ps they only get the young cute SS agents to watch them....

rhd99 10 years, 6 months ago

IF I offend anyone here, my apologies. Rangel's draft legislation pits us yet again on the comparisons of the haves & the have nots. That's as if he was saying that certain types of people are better off than the others. His legislation only hurts the Democrats come 2008. Now, the question I have is this: How can somebody, like myself, 30, given Rangel's draft legislation requiring the range of ages of 18-42, be drafted into war if I have a medical condition that would otherwise bar me from serving in the military, unless it means that I serve in a support billet, like with transportation or logistics administration?

Ceallach 10 years, 6 months ago

The current all volunteer military certainly has a lot of knickers in a twist, eh?

RE President Bush's daughters: unless all of your children are grown, and neither you nor they ever sowed a wild oat, and you can be assured that they will never use bad judgment, you should give the Bush girls a break! If you have such a child, you should visit a therapist, you are living deep in denial.

feeble 10 years, 6 months ago

Maybe congress ought to get a show of hands from the joint chiefs of staff before making these kinds of proposals/bills.

No one in the military heirarchy really wants a draft, as your
average draftee isn't exactly high caliber soldier material.

"The draft hurts military efficiency by substituting well motivated volunteers for unmotivated draftees, undermines military pay and benefits by removing the need to attract volunteers, and creates anxiety and unrest among tens of millions of people who will never serve. It is a dangerous pseudo-solution to a non-existent problem." -State Rep. Mark B. Cohen of Philadelphia

rhd99 10 years, 6 months ago

Bowhunter, my apologies, it just seems as though Rangel likes to make comparisons between people & their statuses in life, & that is WRONG. Feeble, so far, Bush's track record of LISTENING to the Joint Chiefs is ABYSMAL! You all remember Eric Shinseki, former Army Chief of Staff, chastised for his views on the number of personnel needed in Iraq, that's a prime example of why this administration is BULL HEADED. It's because they NEVER then nor now listen to their uniformed military leaders. SERVES THEM RIGHT!

beatrice 10 years, 6 months ago

Did anyone else find it ironic that while our nation is at war in Iraq, President Bush finally makes it to Vietnam? Just a little late there, commander.

I think the draft should only apply to fratboys.

feeble 10 years, 6 months ago

Feeble, so far, Bush's track record of LISTENING to the Joint Chiefs is ABYSMAL!

========================================== Doesn't matter what the oval office thinks about the draft, takes an act of congress to get it going again. Every time a draft bill comes up, it either dies a slow death in commitee or gets voted down by an overwhelming majority (in 2003, I think the vote was like 430 to 2).

dacs23 10 years, 6 months ago

I propose an unemployment draft.

Only those drawing unemployment are eligible.

That way you kill two birds with one stone.

Now lets see who's motivated to get out there and find a job.

dacs23 10 years, 6 months ago

Better yet a prisoner reform program.

What better way to address all the secretarian "gang" violence then to send some real thugs in there to show them how its done.

I call it the federal prisoner exchange draft.

After all, quite a few solders in the news as of late going to jail.

dacs23 10 years, 6 months ago

Then there's the corrupt executive relocation draft.

And then the political party affiliation draft. One year term for every yard sign you place. 20 years for every negative campaign phone call made. Yes I'm back to that....

Use the war solve problems rather then become one. That's all I'm saying.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 6 months ago

How about the People Who Fail To Use Turn Signals More Often Than Not Draft?

dacs23 10 years, 6 months ago

I don't think there's a smoking ban over there.

That's right folks... lets hear it for the The Smokers Draft.

Odds are you won't die from lung cancer.

beatrice 10 years, 6 months ago

I can tell bowhunter isn't from someplace like Flint, Michigan. Remember, bow and dacs, employers - thus employees - pay for unemployment insurance. People on "unemployment" have paid into it, so you see, they aren't getting something for nothing, unless you think someone collecting from their homeowners insurance when their house gets leveled by a tornado is also getting something for nothing. The time one can collect unemployment is also rather limited.

Most employees never use it or need it, but sometimes the company people work for, and sometimes it is the company around which a town is built, packs up shop and moves to a developing nation somewhere to avoid paying livable wages and taxes here in America. This leaves the employee without a job. Unemployement checks can make sure they don't instantly fall into poverty.

I guess in your world, however, people never get screwed by corporations, never lose their jobs, and those without jobs are just losers not worthy of continuing to live so they might as well go die in some sh** hole like Iraq. Nice.

I sure hope your boss doesn't decide that you could be easily replaced by someone living in Bangalor.

If so, don't worry. I'm sure your wonderland Wal-Mart will hire you. Then you will get an employee discount on all the wonderful things being made by your former company by someone living and working in Bangalor.

trinity 10 years, 6 months ago

skittles bunny, hands down.

draft? no thanks make mine bottles. draft gives me a headache.

draft for military? sigh i dunno. i lean toward no.

ohjayhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

The motivation factor stated in the quote in feeble's 10:44 post is not to be taken lightly. I imagine it would be a scary thing for a volunteer to think the person who supposedly has their back in a highly dangerous situation is someone who may not be motivated to do their job well.

ohjayhawk 10 years, 6 months ago

jonas, my vote is for the holiday hawk.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 6 months ago

I think we should just make dacs23 president. Some good ideas there.

I miss Ex-Pat. Where is he/she? Probably took off for "Holiday" on Oct 29th and won't be back 'til Jan 16th.

dacs23 10 years, 6 months ago


I'm not saying that the unemployed or unemployment insurance are bad. Been there myself. But I bet the hazard pay in the army is a lot better then the percentage of past earnings check you get from the state for most people. And lets face it. There are people out there who ride out the unemployment check to the very end. I had a friend do it for 4 months while he traveled. He applied to jobs he was not qualified for on line and mailed in his forms so it looked like he was searching for a job.

rhd99 10 years, 6 months ago

"Top House Democrats to bar military draft plan"

That's right, sports fans, Pelosi & Hoyer say "no" to Rangel's plan, that according to Reuters. So, another example of why Rangel is SOOOO famous for having egg in his face.

sgtwolverine 10 years, 6 months ago

Thanks for reminding me, TOB -- my masseuse will be visiting my office at 2:30. Then I'm off to see if Des Moines, Iowa is too backwards for a new location for my company.

Ghost78 10 years, 6 months ago

Would a draft be more or less accepted than mandatory service, like in Israel?

Ceallach 10 years, 6 months ago

Maybe the draft should be focused on feeding, clothing and sheltering the current population of Americans who are in need of all three. Not a bad deal for them, medical and dental are also provided.

Stephen Roberts 10 years, 6 months ago

Don't know but the could JOURNAL WORLD start asking people outside of the Downtown area!!!

I am tired of it. I don't really think it represent Lawrence.

Tomorrows Question

Should the Downtown Merchants allow Pot smoking in their stores? Hopefully Bong, Boog, will anwer it.

Kanzen 10 years, 6 months ago

As a near victem of the last draft... NO a draft does not deter politicians from going to war. I'm actually shocked that anyone would ever ask such a question. It was obviously thought up by someone too young to have been included in the Vietnam draft. On the contrary, I heard on the Sunday morning pundit shows that the reason we are not sending more soldiers to Iraq is because there aren't any. I'll guarantee you that if we did have a draft there would be 500,000 soldiers in Iraq, more in Iran and probably Chile as well.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 6 months ago

Don't call me "lonely girl" or anything, but I was just noticing that Andrew Smith has very nice facial hair!

packrat 10 years, 6 months ago

Chile? Perhaps you mean Venezuela?

I think the American public will not support a draft at this time. As a Vet, I'm proud of my service. I would not want to serve with someone who was drafted.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 6 months ago

"I would not want to serve with someone who was drafted." -Packrat

Packrat, I realize that this is your own personal opinion, but I have to wonder where it's coming from. Just because someone is drafted does not mean they wouldn't be a great soldier. IMHO.

badger 10 years, 6 months ago

I'm for compulsory civil service, but against a straight draft. I think the country would be better if everyone had to put in a couple of years administering Medicaid, serving in the military, working for parks and rec, or providing administrative support to state agencies.

Those who object to military service would have the chance, say, to do an internship in IT support for their local unemployment office instead, or take a spin as a trash collector. Most civil service agencies and organizations have low-level support positions, which someone could do with a high school education and some basic training, as well as positions that might be more challenging for those with higher skill levels. You could even do part-time for four years at the same time you were going to college instead of two years of full time if that was your preference.

I think an army needs to be made of people who are dedicated to being in it. Draftees are a bad thing, IMHO, because they're not really motivated to do more than cover their own butts until it's time to get home. However, if service of some sort is universal to everyone, no lotteries or indefinite deferments (say, everyone has to have it done by 25), a variety of options to choose from, then I think it would be something people could get behind.

Now, for those who don't want to do it, I imagine that if they were willing to forego any chance of government services or scholarships, be unable to run for office or perhaps even vote if they were over 25 and hadn't completed the requirement, then I wouldn't feel it was necessary to force them with threats of imprisonment or other dire consequences.

Liberty 10 years, 6 months ago

There is not even a slim chance that a draft would stop any wars. As was said by some of the responders above, it would encourage more and more wars, because you just gave them all the army they desire, to fight as many wars as they want.

Governments don't "itch" to start wars unless they have a standing army to use for that purpose. Remember, "standing armies are dangerous to liberty"... According to the Kansas Constitution. (Therefore, your freedoms would be at severe risk if there was a draft). The best and only way to limit government created wars is to withhold an army from their use.

Ceallach 10 years, 6 months ago

I prefer to think of it as a near right, realist statement:) You obviously have never been terrorized by an able bodied homeless man as you attempt to enter a restaurant for your first cup of coffee for the day. It ain't pleasant!!

beatrice 10 years, 6 months ago

Given the high number of homeless who have mental disorders, perhaps having them in the military isn't such a grand idea -- unless you count all the homeless ex-Vietnam vets. At least they are already trained. (Yes, the last portion of that statement is intend for sarcastic pleasure only. Do not attempt to apply logic.)

Ceal, I have no doubt that being confronted by a homeless man first thing in the morning isn't pleasant, just as I have no doubt that actually being homeless isn't pleasant either. Besides, if everyone drank their first cup of coffee at home and gave the cost of their daily cup of Starbuck's frappi-lappi-cappi-whatever to a homeless organization instead, just think about how much medical treatment and help the homeless could receive. (That is my far-left idealist statement.)

Oh, and no to the draft -- except for drafting frat boys. I'm quite serious about that one.

monkeyspunk 10 years, 6 months ago

Conscription increases the chance of conflict and also increases the duration and ferocity of the conflict. Wars have consistently gotten longer and more violent as countries have utilized conscription/draft systems to fill their ranks.

I do not think mandatory service is a viable solution either. Many countries that currently have this type of system suffer from a severe lack of experienced NCOs, Russia is a prime example.

SpeedRacer 10 years, 6 months ago

I enlisted during Vietnam to avoid being drafted into a service I didn't want. I have always been against the draft and still am. I also continue to oppose the Selective Service registration because it does not include women. I have just read that the Democratic leadership will not support Rangel. Someone mentioned above not to take him too seriously, it is just a ruse to get his name in the paper...I'm afraid that I agree with that. I also read that, unlike Vietnam, there will be less exemptions from the new draft. I recall the exemption requirements changing several times before the draft was ended. There will always be loopholes for the priviledged

Ceallach 10 years, 6 months ago

bea, I was meeting a client at Wheatfields, when I wouldn't give money to an obviously intoxicated, able-bodied, young man, he just went nuts! The staff at Wheatfields was so accustomed to his raging that they came out and distracted him while I went inside. That time they called the police. Other times I was able to get around him. I'm certainly not the only one he bothered.

btw, I was only kidding about putting the likes of him in a life or death situation with any of the courageous men and women in our military. Things were getting kind of dull, and I knew I would get a response of some sort if I even hinted at touching one of the holy cows. :-P

Stephen Prue 10 years, 6 months ago

A devout liberal proposing the draft, hmmmm! Me thinks I smell a rat! Politicians in all of their incarnations scare me.

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