Feeling a Draft

Calls for a military draft in the United States continue.

* Congressman Charlie Rangel has been pushing a bill for years that would re-institute a draft. Congressman Rangel thinks that the Iraq war would have never happened if there had been a draft at the time.

* Peace activist Cindy Sheehan has proposed a draft for presidents, Congress critters, and Federal Reserve CEOs. The draft would also apply to CEOs of companies that profit from the war, as well as anyone who favors the war. Finally, the draft would apply all of the age appropriate dependents of the foregoing. Cindy Sheehan acknowledges that her proposal has no chance being instituted.

* Former CIA agent Philip Giraldi proposes a constitutional amendment that mandates a popular vote before going to war. Voting would be mandatory and open. Those voting for the war, and their families, would be subject to a draft, plus taxation to pay for the war. Philip Giraldi acknowledges that his proposed amendment has no chance of passing.

* Constitutional attorney Bruce Fein has called for a return of the draft.

Note that in terms of what is often laughingly referred to as the political spectrum, Rangel and Sheehan are thought of as leftists, while Giraldi and Fein are thought of as men of the right. Despite the differences in their political viewpoints, all of these folks call for a draft in order to put restraints on the ability of the government to wage war.

First, calling for a draft is calling for a return of slavery. You can put all kinds of pretty words around it, but slavery in service of the government differs from chattel slavery only in that the term of service may be shorter. In addition, military conscription amounts to taking young people and feeding them into a meat grinder.

At least in the case of Sheehan and Giraldi, the call for a draft is rhetorical. Sheehan and Giraldi attempt to direct penalties toward those that are responsible for the war. However, both of them extend the penalties toward family members. Extending penalties to family members would have great utility as a deterrent, but the notion raises both moral and constitutional questions.

There is no immediate prospect of a draft. If a draft comes, it will not be passed in order to limit war powers. If Congress wanted to limit wars, it could do so via the purse strings. So, why would Congress pass draft legislation in order to raise opposition to wars?

If a draft comes, it will be imposed as a means of continuing the imperial project. Currently, there is enough money, and enough willing canon fodder, to provide the mercenaries that work for the public and private entities that support the empire. However, given the Federal deficits and the debasement of the currency, someday the money will effectively run out. At that point, the government will be faced with a choice between drawing down the empire and imposing a draft.

Given a convenient scare, a draft will be imposed. You can be sure that the draft will not be directed toward the ruling class. On the contrary, the draft will be directed toward the plebeians, while the children of the ruling class will find ready escape holes. As the republic becomes a distant memory, only the dimmest of the ruling class will allow their spawn to come into the line of fire.

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Posted September 14, 2010 by Brian Cantin in Uncategorized

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