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Passions in Poetry

Draft: Inevitable?

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Mistletoe Angel
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25 posted 11-11-2004 06:44 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel



(giggles) That's an interesting analysis!

I don't know if I'd want to live in that area, though. So terribly cold in the winter and still pretty cool in the summer.

I never said exactly where I'd move though! If I could, I'd love to live in Costa Rica, where they have no military yet have one of the strongest democracies in the whole wide world! (giggles)

I could have already moved if I want too, but I believe America wants and needs people like myself to continue to fight and restore this nation back to how our forefathers left it. I love this country, and I have to prove it by continuing to work by my conscience.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20

inot2B
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26 posted 11-11-2004 06:46 PM       View Profile for inot2B   Email inot2B   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for inot2B

Noah, stand up and protest the war all you want. Just remember to be thankful to all the men and women who did not run and turn their back on the country. If it was not them standing up for what most Americans believe in "Freedom for All" we would be talking other than American English.
I thank everyone who willingly is overseas at this time trying to give FREEDOM to other people who have ask for our help.
Mistletoe Angel
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27 posted 11-11-2004 07:02 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

inot2B, I have declared my support and prayers for all our young men and women for many years. On this Veteran's Day, I think of them all very highly and honor them and wish them a safe return home as soon as possible.

As I've already said before, there are those who sign up and register for serving this country through the U.S Army, the Marines, the National Guard, etc. Like I've said, it's YOUR body, it's YOUR spirit, it's YOUR decision to choose where you want to go in life. It's YOUR choice. And for those who truly do sign up themselves by their own free-will and are willing to sacrifice their lives for serving this great nation, it's their decision and I respect that and I honor all of them very much.

But like I said also, it is MY body, it is MY choice, and I choose not to serve my country that way, but rather serve it without arms; serving America by continuing to fight without arms for progressive interests, civil liberties, equality, economical wisdom, ecological wisdom, sustainability, diversity, and non-violence. America is all about celebrating life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and this is how I want to live, this is how I pursue happiness, and everyone should respect that too.

There are many who only joined up too so they can afford college tuition or add something to their resume that would be of great use for a future career. Many thought they could go on missions to struggling third-world countries and help with rescue missions, but never counted on going to war. So many from low-income families throughout the Mid-west, especially in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota and Illinois. We've got to consider this too.

You and I have different views on this war and how we achieve freedom. Though we disagree very much on this particular issue, we both believe in and support our troops. I pray for them every day, that their mothers and fathers will see them as soon as possible standing on their front doorstep ringing the doorbell and seeing their child, completely fine, completely healthy. This is what I wish for every young man and woman down there. God Bless them all!

Love,
Noah Eaton


"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20
Larry C
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28 posted 11-11-2004 07:03 PM       View Profile for Larry C   Email Larry C   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Larry C's Home Page   View IP for Larry C

Now you guys are making Balladeer and I feel really old! We assumed everybody knew what that comment implied. Sheesh... Guess Vietnam was a long time ago.

And it is interesting to see so many speaking for the 'deer. Poor guy, must have larengitis.

Noah,
I'm even worse in a committee meeting...sorry!

If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.
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29 posted 11-11-2004 07:18 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Hey, don't knock it, Larry. I seem to make a whole lot more sense when other people speak FOR me!!


Noah, you are exactly right. This country DOES need people like you. As far as military service is concerned if you found yourself in that position, consciencious objectors  are still allowed, as far as I know.
Larry C
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30 posted 11-11-2004 07:29 PM       View Profile for Larry C   Email Larry C   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Larry C's Home Page   View IP for Larry C

SO 'deer won't confess to being old? Really!? Come on 'deer the truth will set you free.

If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.

inot2B
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31 posted 11-11-2004 07:32 PM       View Profile for inot2B   Email inot2B   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for inot2B

Noah, I graduated high school in 1970. I never knew of anyone personally who dodged
the draft. In those days most felt if your country called you up, you followed orders.
My husband was drafted one month after we got married, there was never a thought of running, he went and did the job he was assigned and put in his time.
I have 3 grown sons who are still of the age for the draft. I would still expect them to go if called up. It is just how I was brought up I guess. Never turn your back on your God, family, friends and Country.
But go ahead and protest, heck someday you may be able to run for President of the U.S. and there will be alot of people who will vote for you. No, I won't be one, but there are others who believe as you.
Mistletoe Angel
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32 posted 11-11-2004 07:52 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

I've heard all kinds of people dodged the draft during the Vietnam era. Many arguably call Bush a draft dodger.

Your husband decided to join in, some of your friends decided to join in, and perhaps your sons will join up. Like I said, that's fine, it's their choice.

I could already be in another country right now after Bush got re-elected. And you know why I'm not? Because I also believe you should never turn your back on your God, family friends and country. I believe for the love of this country I must continue to strive for the progressive interests of America, values which as many as 56 million Americans who voted Kerry believe in, for they have shaped this nation just as much as conservatives have, and I want to see to it both sets of values continue to be represented.

I don't believe I will ever run for president or for any government office in that manner. The world needs more than just leaders, they need followers too after all. I'm more interested in building grassroots movements, being up front with all kinds of communities and encouraging them all each person can make a difference. I want to be more extraverted, more out there in the open, more hands-on with communities. In a high government office, you don't get to do that very much.

Sncerely,
Noah Eaton

"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20

Stephanos
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33 posted 11-11-2004 11:40 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Noah:
quote:
I believe America wants and needs people like myself to continue to fight and restore this nation back to how our forefathers left it.



I'm staying neutral on this thread.

But I did want to point out that our "forefathers" were not really anything like pacifists, in their attitude about war.  We sort of started off with a "big bang" with the Revolutionary War and all.  


Stephen.
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34 posted 11-12-2004 12:01 AM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Yeah, Stephanos, I suppose you're right. Perhaps that did come out incorrectly.

What I meant to say is that we have come a long way as a nation, and in this process we have come to understand exactly how wonderful such words in the scripture of the Bill of Rights are. The right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. All men are created equal. The right to freedom of speech, etc.

I feel, in me at least, recent events have challenged these rights and ethics we hold dearly. So what I meant to say is this nation's fate rests not solely in the hands of conservatives, but in progressives and liberals as well, for we both represent the fabric of America and both have influenced this nation in this entire history, and we must see to it both sets of values endure, those either passed onto us or learned in time.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20

Huan Yi
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35 posted 11-12-2004 01:00 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Brad,

“And isn't it just amazing that you don't have stories about people who died?

Or do you?”

“But there is one Marine who stands out in my memory: Corporal Larry Boyer.

The fact is that Corporal Boyer went far beyond the call of duty. At a time when college enrollment was a sure way to avoid military service and a tour in Vietnam, Corporal Boyer, despite excellent grades, quit, enlisted in the Marines, and volunteered to go to Vietnam as an infantryman. Because of his high aptitude-test scores, the Marine Corps sent him to communications-electronics school instead. But Corporal Boyer kept "requesting mast," insisting that he had joined the Marines to fight in Vietnam. He got his wish, and on May 29, 1969, while serving as one of my squad leaders, he gave the "last full measure of devotion" to his country and comrades. “

http://www.nationalreview.com/owens/owens200411110831.asp


‘Tillman turned down a three-year, $3.6 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League to enlist in the Army in May 2002 in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which killed about 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

“My great grandfather was at Pearl Harbor, and a lot of my family has ... gone and fought in wars, and I really haven’t done a damn thing as far as laying myself on the line like that,”’

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4815441/

John

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36 posted 11-12-2004 01:29 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Noah,

Apart from a direct attack on the United States,
what situation, from history or imagined,  would
motivate you to enlist to fight away from its shores?

John
ice
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37 posted 11-12-2004 07:11 AM       View Profile for ice   Email ice   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ice

­All this talk about "draft dodgers" and those who "run"..I am trying to think of how that applies to Noah...he is obviously a conscientious objector, there is a world of difference between the two...
Although he has spoken of dodging or running, I believe he would not do either if he were drafted

A draft dodger in my dictionary, is someone that allows his position in life to influence whether or not he serves in the military..or joins a relatively safe branch, with the object of safety from conflict involvement in mind...out of cowardice, or just plain that he thinks he is better than the masses of others that are involuntarily conscripted...His life is worth more than theirs.

A conscientious objector is just that....His conscience will not allow him to kill another person, in hot or cold blood, in war...He has come to the conclusion that war is futile, that one war leads directly to another, in most cases,  sees by history that war has not progressed mankind towards grace, that most could have been prevented...His personal history, or spiritual guidance demand he protest... Those I have known were well aware  that everyone of us is capable of murder under certain circumstances... how easy it is to kill and how hard it is to forget...None that I know are cowards, all demonstrated with the knowledge that their  bodies were in jeopardy of being thrown in jail because they would not kill for peace..

I also knew some who were just plain afraid, that did not want their lives interfered with, or their time used up by military service....those were the true runners,  those were the ones who would not put their bodies on the line for the spirit of a cause, be it war or objection....those were the ones that were unbrave....those were the cowards...

To those common soldiers who were forced to swear  oaths, that swore allegiance to obey commanders of war,...Although it sounds odd, I salute .....It is not you as a soldier that I protest, It is against the politicians that chose to put you in unjust war situations, that I vent my passive rage.

Power corrupts and blinds, diminishes the lessons of history, this is plainly seen by close scrutiny of the present war in Iraq,. A perfect example of the faults existing in the human minds in charge..
Perhaps another draft will come, perhaps that would stir the general public into awareness and closer study of the war...Perhaps they will not be able to just go ahead and live their lives in normal ways, like the government has so ill advised them to do, if their sons and daughters are forced to fight.

Peace, or all will perish...
---------------ice
   ><>
­­
­
ice
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38 posted 11-12-2004 07:27 AM       View Profile for ice   Email ice   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ice

To answer Johns question....

The Sudan comes to mind at this time, Bosnia etc...wherever human rights are greatly challenged by human corruption, were ethnics are being cleansed, or there is presence of genocide...but only to stop what is going on in immediate time....Then groups of peacekeepers must enter the scene, and truly set up standards that bring the people around to human conditions, teacher and agrarians who might give lessons in their crafts and then disappear from the scene...ahhhhh! utopia, what a wonderful place to live in...but you did say real or imagined..
-------------ice
     ><>
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39 posted 11-12-2004 11:03 AM       View Profile for Larry C   Email Larry C   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Larry C's Home Page   View IP for Larry C

John,
I don't know Noah's answer but mine is still CO.

If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.

Huan Yi
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40 posted 11-12-2004 01:44 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Larry C,

CO also in Ice’s examples:

“To answer Johns question....

The Sudan comes to mind at this time, Bosnia etc...wherever human rights are greatly challenged by human corruption, were ethnics are being cleansed, or there is presence of genocide...”

?

John

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41 posted 11-12-2004 01:49 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

John, what Ford mentioned below your post is quite accurate to me. I am a conscientious objector, and believe, like he said, one war will inevitably incite more conflict and more wars. So the answer is never.

The fact is, especially in polarized times like these, if someone was drafted who didn't want to fight this war, they're not serving their country, they're serving the interests of a lobbying or bureaucratic minority that happens to support the war.

I simply don't want to kill anyone or even touch an AK-47 or any gun in that manner. If I was selected, I would be more than willing to be thrown in jail, because underneath my layers of pale grey, grime and defeat on my face, I know deep down under my skin I remain true to myself, I remain all that I've stood up for, and my conscience is clear, and I can at least sleep rest assured I wasn't one who made all the terrible stories of war in history repeat themselves.

The truth is, though I am morally anti-war, I also just want to live my life and pursue my dreams. I just want to follow my heart and my dreams, find true love in the world. I would be miserable if I was forced to go, my right leg was blown off and my body filled with uranium contamination and then I wanted to have a family and I found a child was born deformed and with severe birth defects. My heart would be broken and I don't think the aneurysm would ever subside.

Those of you who have known me for a while here, you probably know enough of my rough past, which I finally escaped from when I was out of elementary school. So much of my metamorphosis, becoming the upbeat, free-spirited optimistic person I am now was influenced by the likes of artists, dreamers, metaphysicists, hippies and activists. I can relate to and identify with them with all my heart, and ever since I have governed my life by the principles of non-violence, spirituality and activism.

If I was sent to Iraq tomorrow and open-fired on Falluj or Najaf or wherever, just that thought makes my hands and my jaw numb. It would be more than just tarnishing the lives of many innocent bystanders there, it would be tarnishing myself. I wouldn't know who I am anymore, and don't think I could ever live with myself anymore. It would be like swimming backwards back into my somber past, and my whole youth has passed me by.

It just feels so wrong to me in general how it must be the young who have to fight. They say between the ages of 21-27 is the best time of ones life, where you are independent and you also have so much energy and enthusiasm. It should be the time to take full flight and embrace your dreams, like the golden age of spreading your wings and growing your roots.

If someone who is between 18 to 27 wanted to be enlisted, it is that person's decision and he or she has every right to do so, because he or she is following his or her heart, dream. But to force  a mandatory order on all the youth like that, when too many don't want to go because they're scared, object to war, etc. is just saddening to me. There's got to be a better way, like those who support the war come first or somewhere along those lines.

Maybe there is a bit of cowardice in me too, but I believe I have a good reason. Because I wouldn't be turning my back on this country if I refused to fight, I'd be turning my back on an administration in my personal gut I find corrupt and don't want to do their dirty laundry.

I will tell you this though, John. I'd be more than happy to serve with the Peace Corps. That's one service I'd be happy to contribute too. I wouldn't mind if they had a draft and signed me up!

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20

jbouder
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42 posted 11-12-2004 02:49 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Not sure if you all want to know this, but saying you are a CO doesn't necessarily mean you meet the legal criteria as a bonafide CO.

http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/d13006wch4_082071/d13006p.pdf

Interesting stuff.

Jim

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43 posted 11-12-2004 03:23 PM       View Profile for ice   Email ice   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ice

­Sorry John
I stupidly didn't see that you directed your question directly at Noah....I answered for myself instead of letting him answer....Not seeing the big "Noah" at the beginning of that post...I am a big dummy, sorry about that...


The second part of my answer, the part about the peacemakers entering after the conflict, is what fits him best...his last post mentions the peace core...that's the kind of organization that would fit the job description I mentioned....

The fact is is that I would also like to volunteer for that duty...There are many others that would fill the military part much  better than I would, they are in the service right now doing other work in Iraq.

­­
­
Larry C
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44 posted 11-12-2004 04:33 PM       View Profile for Larry C   Email Larry C   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Larry C's Home Page   View IP for Larry C

When I was classified a CO there were forms to fill out and references to be used to demonstrate my claim as legitimate. But my stand was very much connected to my spiritual convictions. I doubt they'd let you mkae that claim on general principles. But being a CO often puts you at greater risk than if you were a standard recruit. I know many who experienced front lines as a CO.

If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you home again.

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45 posted 11-12-2004 06:53 PM       View Profile for Krawdad   Email Krawdad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Krawdad

RE: earlier comments
Noah,
I believe you misunderstood my reference to service, and assumed that I meant military service only.  I did not and I made that point.
"Every citizen has a responsibility to serve his/her country.
Just a humble opinion from one has served, voluntarily, and thinks everyone else should too.
There should be service options, as some do not belong in an armed service.
If you can't handle serving your country, perhaps you don't deserve one."

By "service" I mean to include real time out of one's life, at real cost to you, the "server", and with results observed and measurable by your neighbors, as well as yourself .  That would be serving the debt built into the benefits of a social community.  I believe very strongly that every citizen owes such service to their fellow citizens.  For someone to say that they have no such obligation, would be, in my opinion, an insult to all who have served their community or their nation.
Some of your comments seem to suggest that you think that your life's philosophy and your daily expression of it is "service" enough to your country.  That would be by a different definition than mine, I think.  
There ought to be a draft.  It ought to include all citizens.  It ought to include service to a variety of needs identified by and supported by your fellow citizens, not just a military need.  That would cost you a piece of your life, while you set the rest of your life aside, and it should.  
There are times when you may be asked, or be told, to do something you don't want to do, because you have an obligation and a responsibility to do so.  
When I chose to serve my country, (out of obligation, not money, not macho, not power) there were not many options.  That does not mean that I wanted to go to war, that does not mean that I wanted to be assigned to the Chemical Corps, that does not mean that I wanted to fire a flame thrower, that does not mean that I wasn't scared half to death or resigned to the fact that I was going to get a one-way ticket to SE Asia.
As it turned out, I never got that ticket, but was asked intead to help send hundreds of other men into harm's way.

I hope I've made my point a bit clearer.

I'll leave the narrower discussion of a conscipted army vs. a volunteer army for another time.
ed
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46 posted 11-12-2004 10:24 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Noah,

And how many are you willing to see murdered
for your clear conscience?

I am seeing this issue through my parents' eyes.

One time, they were talking about where the
Nazi’s were committing mass executions.
They were getting animated and finally my father
said: “They were killing them at *****, (some
name I can’t remember and couldn’t pronounce);
I know, I saw the bodies!”  My mother responded:
“No, they were killing them at #####, (another
equally forgettable and unpronounceable name);
I know, I saw the bodies!”  My parents, (who
met in Germany, where they had been freed by allied
forces), came from different and distant from each
other parts of Poland.  They simply could not
comprehend how big Hell was.  

Beasts like Hitler rely on the peaceful wishes
of the majority of human beings to commit
their atrocities.

The sentiments you espouse, (they existed then),
had they been allowed to dominate American
actions when my parents were young, would
have assured that either they would have been
worked to death as the slaves they were made,
or, that failing, would have been exterminated
as vermin, (in my father’s camp, when it got
crowded, it was shower time).

That is the problem I have with any “not
me or mine” stance, unless it is acknowledged
as one of simple selfishness.  To otherwise suggest
or claim it as somehow equal or better in the face of such a
situation as my parents experienced and only
help from outside could have brought an end to
is obscene.  

John

[This message has been edited by Huan Yi (11-13-2004 12:48 AM).]

Ron
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47 posted 11-13-2004 07:14 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Krawdad There are times when you may be asked, or be told, to do something you don't want to do, because you have an obligation and a responsibility to do so.

quote:
Huan Yi That is the problem I have with any “not me or mine” stance, unless it is acknowledged as one of simple selfishness.


There seems to be an unspoken assumption in these statements that others "owe you" something. For Krawdad, being born into a culture creates the obligation, for John, simply being in trouble beyond one's immediate control creates the obligation. Both assume an obligation can be imposed from without. Can it, though?

You cannot legislate morality, charity, patriotism or basic human compassion. Nor, I believe, should you try, both because any such attempt is doomed AND because your attempt will ultimately devalue the very qualities you want to promote. "You must" removes any distinction between saint and sinner. In punishing the few, you fail to reward the many.

The only thing involuntary conscription satisfies is a sense of justice. "Why should Joe both escape and benefit from the hardships everyone else is facing?" Any cause that needs a draft to survive, however, is already doomed. What's more, it should be doomed.

I once served beside draftees, those whom had an obligation imposed on them from without. I wouldn't wish to do so again.
Huan Yi
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48 posted 11-13-2004 08:35 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Ron,

In my parent’s example,
I would not have an issue with anyone who did not want to serve
because he did not want to get shot.  I may not like it, still if
he refused because he didn’t think Poles or others like them
were worth the personal risk, I could accept that.  But in the
face of such horrors as my parents were fortunate to survive,
for someone to exclude himself ostensibly on the basis of
some higher or deeper personal humanity is revolting.

John
  
Brad
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49 posted 11-13-2004 09:21 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I've skimmed the latter part of this thread and I don't get it.

Two weeks ago people were lampooning the whole idea of a draft -- or that it was the democrats who would reinstate it, and now it seems that everybody is arguing either for it or that one must do one's duty for their country. With the exception of Mike, who did argue that the draft wasn't a bad thing, I wonder what's changed everybody's mind?

Oh wait, I know.
 
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