Stanley Hauerwas, the legendary Christian pacifist and ethicist at Duke University, contends that the constant debates and conversations about military interventions would be vastly different conversations if we had the draft.
Wouldn’t they though.
“One of the problems we currently have is there hasn’t been in the population any serious engagement with the ethics of war because we have an all-volunteer army,” Hauerwas told Atlantic magazine in an interview last year. “I would think the return to the draft would be an intervention that would require discussion that might be more helpful in terms of our ability to limit war.” (See the interview here.)
Think about it. In World War II, almost every American family had a personal stake in the war because most every family had a loved one who was sent off to fight.
In addition, Americans at home didn’t just slap SUPPORT OUR TROOPS stickers on their car windows. They made sacrifices by rationing and other means.
If we all had such a personal stake in every American war and “military intervention” today, rabid war hawks like Dick Cheney–that roaring mouse and shameless draft dodger who “had other things to do” during the Vietnam era (didn’t we all)–wouldn’t even be allowed in the conversation about what to do in places like Iran, Iraq or Syria.
Even if we did reinstate the draft and started to send our hygienic young to nasty places in the world, Congress would promptly reinstate all the deferments that Cheney (and I) took to dodge military service.
If we’re going to keep intervening and taking sides in every conflict in the world in which our “national interests” and our own safety are truly threatened–as our political leaders (and washed-up old hack hawks like Cheney) keep saying, let’s do it right and get it over with.
Let’s reinstate the draft and make all the sacrifices necessary at home (taxes, gas rationing, etc.) and go all-out World War III against all our enemies real and perceived in the world.
Contact your Congressman today and tell him or her you are ready to sacrifice your son or daughter and your comfortable and convenient way of life!
Let your leaders know you are ready to impose American exceptionalism around the world–and ready to pay the price!