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The Times’s Op Ed Page and the Draft

By Murray Polner · NYTX · May 29, 2013

Karl Eikenberry and David Kennedy’s “Americans and Their Military: Drifting Apart” (May 26) called for reinstatement of a draft, a favorite stance of the Times’ Op Ed page.

Eikenberry, a retired lieutenant general, and Kennedy, a retired Stanford history professor, prefer a draft lottery which, they argue, would result in less willingness to go to war.

The truth is, we had a draft before Korea and Vietnam yet we still went to war and killed millions of people, including some 100,000 American GIs.

They also called for a draft “weighted to select the best-educated and most highly skilled.”

But no draft or draft lottery can ever be fair.

It’s good to recall that virtually no congressional son was drafted during Vietnam and in any future draft very few of the sons and possibly daughters of the very rich will ever be drafted, as I and millions of others were.

Anyone with political or money connections will always be able to avoid active military service.

The same situation would surely prevail if compulsory national service for all our kids is instituted, a system of government control found only among authoritarian nations.

Perhaps someday the Times’ Op Ed editors will instead commission a column defying our resident hawks and war profiteers and instead advocate allowing young people to live in peace in a country which avoids its endless and fruitless wars.

Murray Polner is the author of “No Victory Parades: The Return of the Vietnam Veteran”; editor of “When Can I Come Home: Amnesty, Exiles, Anti-War Prisoners and 0thers”; and co-author/editor with Thomas Woods Jr. of “We Who Dared To Say No To War.”

May 30, 2013 - Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. i agree get some skin in game, stop sending all the poor kids

    Comment by carinaragno | May 30, 2013 | Reply

  2. I was pals with an anti-war draft evader from Michigan. His stance cost him his life, froze to death at 40 below. So many things he said about the power structure have become transparent now. I understand once the cold numbs your central nervous system it is painless from there. He is on the petty crime blotter with me for some petty fogging bull dung they use to give you a history .He had a far better gauge of how cruel the world is than I.Proud and grateful to have known him. Greg from a part of Michigan that is getting its own bad ending.

    Comment by R. Olausen | May 30, 2013 | Reply


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