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Passions in Poetry

Draft: Inevitable?

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Tim
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50 posted 11-13-2004 09:39 AM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

While I hold a different view on the draft than those proposing one; and while I firmly believe there is little of any chance of a draft; I have a problem with Ron's statement concerning not wanting to serve along side draftees which insinuates a lesser status or commitment.

Millions of Americans have answered the call of their country when requested and have served with the honor as those who enlisted and have served with equal valor, patriotism, and sacrifice.  There was a far higher level of draftees during WWII than Vietnam and the draft has been utilized in virtually every war the U.S. has fought.  

I made brief mention earlier about the unfortunate minority who were drafted into the Marines during the Vietnam War and what they were forced to endure.  If Ron's statement is referencing being drafted into the Marines, then I can live with the statement, but for different reasons than Ron's I suspect.

If it refers to millions of soldiers over the course of our history who have answered the call of their country, then I respectfully disagree.

Huan Yi
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51 posted 11-13-2004 09:53 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Tim,

"I made brief mention earlier about the unfortunate minority who were drafted into the Marines during the Vietnam War and what they were forced to endure.  If Ron's statement is referencing being drafted into the Marines, then I can live with the statement"


Please explain.

John
Huan Yi
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52 posted 11-13-2004 10:03 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Ron,

"Any cause that needs a draft to survive, however, is already doomed.
What's more, it should be doomed."

Including those of the Second World War
and the Civil War?

John

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53 posted 11-13-2004 12:52 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

John, to insinuate that I am selfish in my claim that I'm a conscientious objector who happens to think all violence like this is wrong, and I am actually appeasing or allowing barbaric acts like this in the world by not going and killing them troubles me.

Look, I'll say now what I said plenty of times before. What Hitler and the Nazis did was sickening and monstrous and I can't believe the wickedness that comes out of some people like him. I denounce everything he did during World War II.

I actually made a mistake in a thread here in the past and I made something come out in saying that World War II was "never even a war", it was just a massacre led on by Social Darwinism instincts, etc. I look back on what I said before and believe of course it was a war. In that particular thread where I was declaring my anti-war philosophy, I was trying to make an argument that the war on Iraq/Saddam Hussein contrasts much to World War II. I understand the U.S got involved in World War II because we were attacked at Pearl Harbor, and the U.S had to defend thesmelves and the world. We've gotten involved in Iraq because of the discredited claim there were weapons of mass destruction there that Saddam could use to harm many more people in the region, and the administration insisted he was involved with 9/11. Now, all the evidence contradicts both those claims, and I was trying to point out in that earlier thread this war is completely unnecessary.

Look, I agree what Saddam Hussein did to his people was wrong. Gasing innocent civilians, torturing his own people, about 750,000 or perhaps more of them. That's despicable and he should be ashamed of himself.

But I ALSO don't believe in militaristic revenge as an excuse either. Look, in twenty months, over 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed, many of which from aircraft bombings, etc. Tens of thousands more have life-afflicting injuries that time may never heal. Can't you agree that is wrong too?

I'm against attacking AND counter-attacking.

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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54 posted 11-13-2004 01:11 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi



Noah,

Take the situation that my parents experienced.
If you were alive then and called by Roosevelt,
would you have refused to fight in the war,
(assume Pearl Harbor did not happen), that ended
that situation?  If yes, why? If no, why not?

John

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55 posted 11-13-2004 09:42 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Saddam Hussein should be ashamed of himself?

Huan Yi
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56 posted 11-14-2004 02:19 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Balladeer,

It was bad enough that it was said once.
For you to repeat it, even in the form of a question,
is unconscionable.  This is an open forum
and there is a risk of communication
and Saddam’s feelings being hurt.  I thought
you at least would be more sensitive.

[This message has been edited by Huan Yi (11-14-2004 08:57 AM).]

Ron
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57 posted 11-14-2004 03:11 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

John? Do you even know what the word sensitive means? Talk about the pot calling the kettle names ...

Tim, I met a few draftees in my time who, once they found themselves committed, actually took the commitment seriously. But only a few. Most weren't there to do a job, but rather were only there to do their time.

I suspect our difference of opinion stems from your term "answered the call of their country." Those I met didn't do that. They were forced to choose what they saw as the lesser of two evils. They rarely forgot that and even more rarely let anyone around them forget it.

You're right, however, that my experiences may be colored more by the Marines than by military service. Back in those days, a lot of people got drafted and it usually wasn't anything personal. Push the wrong buttons at Selective Service, though, and they tended to make it personal -- and those dudes always seemed to end up in the Corps. So, yea, maybe my view is too narrow.

The point, however, remains the same. If men and women are to "answer the call of their country," Tim, there is no need of a draft. If you need a draft, that's not answering any call with meaning.
Balladeer
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58 posted 11-14-2004 07:08 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Ron, i would like to spend my next vacation in that perfect world you are envisioning. Ideally, if our country were in jeopardy, every able-bodied man would jump up and say "let me fight!". Sadly, we get to the point where many say "someone should do something - but not me." If forcing someone to do something defeats the purpose of that something then I suppose education falls into that category also...forcing kids to go to school must defeat edducation by those standards.

I would also respectfully disagree with your thoughts on draftees. It's not how a person goes into the service - it's how a person feels after being in the service. Those who did not want to be called and want nothing more than to get out will fit into your definition. It may surprise you to know, though, that there are also those who did not ask to go in who have found purpose, value and pride in being part of the military. One can see that in Iraq - young kids who had never expected to actually be in combat being wounded and talking about how they have to get back to their units as soon as possible - that their fellow soldiers counted on them. Talk to old soldiers from any war, enlisted or drafted, who served in times of conflict. Ask them about their lives and more times than not 75% of their talk will center around their military time - and they will say it with pride.

All I can say is, after you describe your unit, I'm glad I wasn't a part of it!
Ron
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59 posted 11-14-2004 11:26 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Mike, that perfect world you think I'm envisioning is the very Marine Corps unit of which you wouldn't want be a part. Those there against their will were the rare exception, not the rule.

I would certainly agree with your school analogy, though, as long as you were willing to change the subject from children to adults. No, as much as I believe in life-long education, I do not believe we should force adults to go to school. Harsh as it may be, I think any adult who doesn't want to go to school doesn't deserve to go. Similarly, any nation of people overwhelmingly preferring safety over freedom deserves and will ultimately reap neither.

That's not utopian, Mike. It's just history.

Your wrong, too, in that it wouldn't surprise me to meet draftees who find purpose and pride in being part of the military. Difference is, I wouldn't say they found it so much as they were given it. And I'm very familiar, of course, with the bond that develops between men in the field. I know about men wanting to get back to their unit. I understand that kind of deep loyalty, and I very much appreciate and cherish it for what it is. You shouldn't, however, confuse it for what it is not. Friendship isn't patriotism.

An acquaintance of mine was just released after serving 93 days in County lockup for drinking and driving. An alcoholic for twenty years, it wasn't his first run-in and the consequences this time reflected his earlier bad choices. He's proud that he served his sentence without mishap, and he's both proud and grateful he has remained sober for over four months. The terms of his two-year probation is that he report three times a week for drug tests, with random tests a possibility any day of the week. I think he has a good chance of making it this time, in large part because they've made the alternative abysmally unattractive to him.

Make no mistake -- my friend has every right to be proud of the changes he's making in his life. "I had to learn the hard way," he's remarked to me more than once this month. "That's better than not learning at all," I respond each time. His sobriety has been forced on him by the state of Michigan, but that makes it no less difficult for him. He's fighting for his life, mostly against himself, and should he survive or not, still he deserves credit for the battle. He has a right to be proud.

Mike, everything you've described about military conscription is true. But it's equally true of our prison system. Some will do their time without misfortune and some will leave only carnage in their wake. Some will learn, some won't. Every single one of them will be changed forever, some for the good, some not. The only major difference between military time and prison time, I think, is a reversal of cause and effect. Felons make the wrong choice and pay the consequences. Draftees fail to make a choice in time and then face a conscription that robs them of the chance to make the right one.

I don't think you should have to force a grown adult to act in their own best interests. Doing so, I believe, deprives them of something precious and irreplaceable -- their right to be right. The common good, I think, is always best served at the individual level.

Maybe I've got it all backwards. Heaven knows I haven't fought in every single American war, so maybe I'm just giving our citizens more credit than they deserve. I believe, when push comes to shove, there have always been enough Americans willing to stand and fight to win any just and necessary war. I believe there have always been enough Americans willing to make the sacrifices needed to preserve a way of life they hold dear. I believe there have always been enough willing Americans to win our wars without relying on the unwilling ones. Hey, maybe I'm wrong. Perhaps this nation rests only on the backs, and blood, of those who didn't care?

I can't help but wonder, though, where we would be today if the Colonies had felt it necessary to draft George Washington?


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60 posted 11-14-2004 11:36 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I hope you haven't got it backwards, Ron, because I would like to believe that too....
Tim
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61 posted 11-15-2004 08:36 AM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

Ron, your associate was not drafted to go into prison nor was he sent because he is an alcoholic.  He went to jail because he is a repeat offender who committed a crime that leads to far more maiming and deaths to Americans than did the Vietnam War.

Most people are not pleased to receive their jury summons.  They serve because is it their civic duty and an obligation of being a citizen of this country.  A great many lawyers would prefer to have a juror who believes they are doing their duty than a juror who actively wants to sit on a jury.

Law enforcement officers are not drafted.  The seek employment in a dangerous and worthy occupation.  Pyshological tests are performed to weed out those who want to be officers but who are seeking to become so for the wrong reason.

The Marines rightfully have rightfully earned the respect and honor they enjoy.  They have been at the forefront of every conflict the U.S. has been involved in and have valiantly fought to protect their country at great sacrifice.

I do think you have it wrong as far as your attitude towards those who were drafted in relation to those who enlisted.  Millions of men who fought after being drafted served just as patriotically and sacrificed just as much as those who were not drafted.

Your attitude may be influenced by the attitude of the Marines.  Perhaps an individual who is told in rather explicit terms and given "special" treatment to indicate that he is not wanted would not have the same sense of commaderie as the non-draftee.

Bottom line, I suspect there were both small minority of draftees and those who enlisted who perhaps were not suited for military service.  I am certain that the vast majority of men and women who serve and have served this country did so with honor and valor and represented their country with pride as an American.


Huan Yi
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62 posted 11-15-2004 08:24 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Ron,

“Mike, that perfect world you think I'm envisioning is the very Marine Corps unit of which you wouldn't want be a part. Those there against their will were the rare exception, not the rule”.

The Marine Corps was exceptional in its attitude and attracted a very
different kind of recruit, the whole strength, courage, honor thing, and there
were never enough to fight a large war by themselves.

John

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63 posted 11-16-2004 12:46 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

Noam Chomsky had this to say regarding the draft.

Courtesy of Democracy Now!

"I think it's extremely unlikely. I should tell you this as a word of personal background. I was very much involved in the resistance movement in the 1960's. In fact, I was just barely -- the only reason I missed a long jail sentence is because the Tet Offensive came along and the trials were called off. So I was very much involved in the resistance, but I was never against the draft. I disagreed with a lot of my friends and associates on that, for a very good reason, I think at least as nobody seems to agree. In my view, if there's going to be an army, I think it ought to be a citizen's army. Now, here I do agree with some people, the top brass, they don't want a citizen's army. They want a mercenary army, what we call a volunteer army. A mercenary army of the disadvantaged. And in fact, in the Vietnam war, the U.S. military realized, they had made a very bad mistake. I mean, for the first time I think ever in the history of European imperialism, including us, they had used a citizen's army to fight a vicious, brutal, colonial war, and civilians just cannot do that kind of a thing. For that, you need the French foreign legion, the Gurkhas or something like that. Every predecessor has used mercenaries, often drawn from the country that they're attacking like England ran India with Indian mercenaries. You take them from one place and send them to kill people in the other place. That's the standard way to run imperial wars. They're just too brutal and violent and murderous. Civilians are not going to be able to do it for very long. What happened was, the army started falling apart. One of the reasons that the army was withdrawn was because the top military wanted it out of there. They were afraid they were not going to have an army anymore. Soldiers were fragging officer. The whole thing was falling apart. They were on drugs. And that’s why I think that they're not going to have a draft. That's why I’m in favor of it. If there's going to be an army that will fight brutal, colonial wars, and that's the only likely kind of war, I’m not talking about the militarization of space and that kind of thing, I mean ground wars, it ought to be a citizen's army so that the attitudes of the society are reflected in the military."


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

Krawdad
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64 posted 11-16-2004 01:09 AM       View Profile for Krawdad   Email Krawdad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Krawdad

What Noam said . . . exactly!  
That is precisely why they want to keep it a "volunteer" army.  We should be afraid of that.
Huan Yi
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65 posted 11-16-2004 07:37 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

So we’re afraid of the draft,
and we’re afraid of volunteers . . .
catalinamoon
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66 posted 11-18-2004 12:22 PM       View Profile for catalinamoon   Email catalinamoon   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit catalinamoon's Home Page   View IP for catalinamoon

Hey Noah, Just wanted to send a few thoughts to you, since its been awhile since we have talked. I applaud your thoughts, I had the same ones as a teenager during vietnam. I lost friends in that war, and a man I was engaged to came home a hopeless heroin addict cause he could not bear the emotional pain. I also have a dear friend who lived through vietnam and to this day has nightmares about it.
At this point, and I know I am inviting trouble from the others, I would leave this country in a MINUTE if I had the funds. I intensely dislike this policy of war over diplomacy and I fear it is going to get much worse before it gets better. As for a draft, I think they are already pulling that behind our backs, by making reservists who had completed service go back to active duty. I hope it goes no further than that, because we need all the young idealism to stay here and maybe pull us out of this morass. I am too old now, and feel hopeless about it all, but I can tell you don't. To me, you are a true patriot, if you oppose killing for power or whatever lame reason they come up with, and you work within your abilities to help others. What more could anyone ask of a man.
Hugs,
Sandra
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67 posted 11-18-2004 01:26 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Catalina, how long should diplomacy be used before consequences become enforced?  With Iraq, there was 12 years of diplomacy under 3 Presidents with rising concern over subverted humanitarian efforts when Saddam was suddenly able to start rebuilding his military as well as building many new palaces after 1997 while the UN embargo and UN oil for food were supposed to be still intact.  Prior to 96-97, Saddam's totalitarian hold was about to crumble, he was fast becoming bankrupt and there was rising internal dissent over his mishandling of just about everything pertaining to the citizens of Iraq.  After his sudden increase in palace construction, internal dissent was quickly silenced.  It wasn't until the end of major military operations against Iraq (government and military, not insurgency) were some of the reasons for his marked increase in wealth discovered through governmental files.

So tell me, if you can, how long should diplomacy towards a Machiavellian mindset be used before the 'enough is enough' card is played?
catalinamoon
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68 posted 11-18-2004 03:24 PM       View Profile for catalinamoon   Email catalinamoon   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit catalinamoon's Home Page   View IP for catalinamoon

To Alicat
You obviously have your facts down, just we disagree on what should happen. I am of the unpopular mind that says we should mind our own business, and not kill thousands of people because we don't like someones behavior in another country(UNLESS they are directly threatening to us)
Still hoping for peace..
Sandra
Huan Yi
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69 posted 11-18-2004 07:51 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Sandra,

“because we don't like someones behavior in another country(UNLESS they are directly threatening to us)”

We run into the Hitler problem again.  By your criteria, which was
shared by a large number, Nazism could still be and dominantly in existence,
which on the other hand would have prevented one of the current Middle East
issues as Israel would not exist at all for lack of citizens.

John

Brad
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70 posted 11-19-2004 12:03 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

How long should we wait? Hmmm, how about long enough to have a complete war strategy? Somehow, "to be supplied later" strikes me as a bit rushed, doesn't it?

Huan Yi
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71 posted 11-19-2004 07:32 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Noah,

"But I ALSO don't believe in militaristic revenge as an excuse either. Look, in twenty months, over 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed, many of which from aircraft bombings, etc."

Where did you get this estimate.  I just heard on the News Hour
with Jim Lehrer that estimates of Iraqi deaths both military
and civilian since the war began are 20,000.

John
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72 posted 11-19-2004 08:31 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

Iraq Body Count Data Base: http://www.iraqbodycount.net/database/
Huan Yi
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73 posted 11-19-2004 08:50 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Noah,

“The Lancet study's headline figure of "100,000" excess deaths is a probabilistic projection from a small number of reported deaths - most of them from aerial weaponry - in a sample of 988 households to the entire Iraqi population. Only those actual, war-related deaths could be included in our count.”


http://www.iraqbodycount.net/press/

“Only those actual, war-related deaths could be included in our count.”

Which is substantially lower.

The article goes on about the flaws in the Lancet study's headline figure.

John

Ron
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74 posted 11-19-2004 09:47 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

How low does a number have to be to justify the ends? "You can kill seven people and that's all right, but please don't kill eight, because that's too many."

I wonder if the difference between 20,000 and 100,000 matters to a grieving mother?
 
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