Friday, November 19, 2004

Draft the Boys at Sixty-five

There's a lot of talk going on today about how we don't need peacetime conscription in a nation like this. But we might as well just face up to the fact that we've got to have the draft. In the first place, we've gotten too civilized to go to war voluntarily. We've just got to be made to fight. And then, automation has taken all the sport out of killing. Time was when an honest man could go to battle against an honest man, and there was a lot of sport in that; there was a lot of fun, a lot of challenge. You don't have to be drafted for that kind of sport. But who wants to operate a computer to kill scads of women and children? We're just not going to war and do that kind of thing unless we're drafted. Link

Writing during the Vietnam conflict Clarence Jordan (Cottonpatch Gospels, Koinonia Community, etc.) advances the notion that the draft is aimed at the wrong age group.

In this tongue-in-cheek piece he concludes that when men get to be sixty-five they are the best candidates for the draft. The essay is over forty years old, but still makes fresh reading. Substitute WMD for napalm and it sounds like something that could have been written last week.

As in all wars, those of us who hold principled objections to participating in war become marginalized, lumped carelessly together with the loud voices of the street. Thanks to the Bruderhof Community for keeping up with technology. (We are not all Luddites either.)

[Since this post was written the Bruderhof have disappeared from the Net. The above link is to another source.]

It is easy to imagine that you can determine what is in a person's heart by taking his political temperature.
Nothing could be further from the truth.

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