I’ve been thinking a bit lately about the push to reinstate the draft, and I’ve had a few thoughts.
First up, I find myself wondering if those who are pushing for the return of the draft are willing to say that it was a mistake to abolish it in the first place over 30 years ago, and those who fought — and won — to do so were terribly wrong.
It’s painful for me to admit, but they were right — for all the wrong reasons, but right nonetheless. Ending the draft was one of the best things that ever happened to both our military and our nation, and my political forebears were wrong to fight to sustain it as long as they did.
Of course, that’s granting the current draft-pushers a certain level of sincerity. I don’t think that’s fully merited.
I’ve read a theory in a few places that makes a lot of sense: the people who are pushing for bringing back the draft aren’t interested in the least in improving the military or our nation as a whole. They just want to get the US out of the war in Iraq, and the only idea they have is to look back on the last time that was tried successfully — in Viet Nam — and recreate their model for success.
Then, they got numbers on their side by enlisting many of those who were looking at military conscription, and decided that they had an alternative. they assimilated the anti-draft movement into the anti-war movement, and built it into a winning coalition.
This time, there is no draft, so there is no ready-made group of people willing to take a stand with them. Our military consists entirely of men and women who want to be there, who have proven that they are worthy of being there, and are still pretty damned gung-ho about their mission. (I read recently that one of the units that’s seen the most action in Iraq filled its re-enlistment quota for the fiscal year a couple of weeks ago.)
So, what to do? Well, why not bring back the draft, so they can whip up a fresh batch of anti-draft people they can develop into full-blown anti-war and anti-military people to flesh out their ranks?
Here’s how the pro-draft people can convince me of their sincerity:
1) Announce that the ending of the draft back in the 1970’s were absolutely wrong, and those who fought for it did grave damage to the United States military and the nation as a whole.
2) Make the draft a Constitutional amendment, making it that much harder to overturn once they get their quotas of anti-war activists filled.
As I said, I don’t give them any credit for sincerity. And every time they open their mouths, I feel even more and more confident in that presumption.