Here Come the Draft-Nappers
William Norman Grigg
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McChrystal, former commander of NATO troops in Afghanistan, demands
the re-instatement of conscription so that next time Washington
commits itself to a needless foreign war "every town, every
city [will be] at risk."
we ought to have a draft. I think if a nation goes to war, it shouldn’t
be solely be represented by a profession-al force, because it gets
to be unrepresentative of the population," McChrystal
during a session of the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival. "I think
if a nation goes to war, every town, every city needs to be at risk.
You make that decision and everybody has skin in the game."
when those who presume to rule us decide to go to war, they don’t
have any "skin" in the game; instead, they are gambling
with the lives of other people.
was the first time in recent years that a high-profile officer has
broken ranks to argue that the all-volunteer force is not necessarily
good for the country or the military," exulted
Thomas Ricks of a neo-con think-tank called the Center for a New
American Security in a New York Times op-ed column.
"Unlike Europeans, Americans still seem determined to maintain
a serious military force, so we need to think about how to pay for
it and staff it by creating a draft that is better and more equitable
than the Vietnam-era conscription system":
draft, including both males and females, should include three options
for new conscripts coming out of high school. Some could choose
18 months of military service with low pay but excellent post-service
benefits, including free college tuition. These conscripts would
not be deployed but could perform tasks currently outsourced a great
cost to the Pentagon: paperwork, painting barracks, mowing lawns,
driving generals around, and generally doing lower-skilled tasks
so professional soldiers don’t have to. If they want to stay, they
could move into the professional force and receive weapons training,
higher pay and better benefits.
Those who don’t
want to serve in the arm could perform civilian national service
for a slightly longer period and equally low pay – teaching in low-income
areas, cleaning parks, rebuilding crumbling infrastructure, or aiding
the elderly, After two years, they would receive similar benefits
like tuition aid."
In words that
suppurate scorn, Ricks addresses "libertarians who object to
a draft": "Those who declined to help Uncle Sam would
in return pledge to ask nothing from him – no Medicare, no subsidized
college loans and no mortgage guarantees. Those who want minimal
government can have it."
would be perfectly satisfactory to those of us who understand the
principle of self-ownership – as long as the government makes no
demands of us in terms of the institutionalized theft called "taxation."
Obviously, Ricks – like other totalitarians of his ilk – doesn’t
approve of the idea that we would be permitted to keep everything
that we earn. Thus he assumes that those who refuse to become conscripts
would still be tax slaves, and be deprived of the right to reclaim
any of our stolen wealth in the form of government-provided "benefits."
is describing is the enactment of the eighth plank of the Communist
Manifesto, which decrees the "equal liability of all to labor"
in "industrial armies" controlled by the State. It is
also a recapitulation of similar proposals made by numerous Establishment-connected
pundits and think tank habitués in recent years.
A very similar
approach is found in the
plan proferred in Foreign Policy magazine by retired
U.S. Army Colonel William L. Hauser, a member of the Council on
Foreign Relations, and naval veteran Jerome Slater of the State
University of New York, Buffalo.
envisioned by Hauser and Slater would "combine a revived military
draft with a broader public-service program as already practiced
in some European states – a domestic Peace Corps.’" They would
permit draftees "to choose between military and nonmilitary
service" – that is, to select their preferred form of servitude
– at least initially. Given that providing additional military manpower
is the entire point of the proposal, the domestic service "option"
would probably last just long enough to get the measure enacted
what they consider the ancillary benefits of military slavery, Hauser
and Slater list what they consider "a number of positive social
consequences." For instance: "Conscription will enable
the forces to reflect the full spectrum of American pluralism, in
terms of both socioeconomic classes and racial/ethnic groups. It
is unacceptable that less than 1 percent of the country’s eligible
population serves in the armed forces, with almost no war-relevant
sacrifice being asked from the rest of society. It ought to be axiomatic
that the hardships and dangers of military service be more widely
going on here, as the incomparable investigative reporter Anne Williamson
has pointed out, is the quiet implementation of a deal that would
use American youngsters as human collateral for the foreign loans
that fuel Washington’s demented imperial foreign policy.
misbegotten quest for empire, George W. Bush faces two potentially
decisive shortages – money and soldiers," wrote Williamson
in early 2005. "The deficits in boots and dollars are becoming
acute…. But it is America’s Blanche DuBois economy, whose debt levels
– public and private – have gone parabolic, that threatens the entire
imperial enterprise. Without the ready funds normally forthcoming
from the Treasury bill market … the president would have to rely
upon a highly-indebted population that simultaneously has no savings
and yet retains great expectations of the public purse. Clearly
such a people cannot carry the imperial standard. At least, not
alone they can’t."
With the Empire
going bankrupt, the liquidation sale is already quietly underway.
Seizing young people to use as human "capital" – both
as imperial coffin-stuffers, and drones of the domestic redistribution
machinery – is the logical next step:
to the enterprising left, a palatable framework of "universal
service" is evolving, in which all of America’s young people
will be registered for national service and, drawing on personal
information gleaned from the giant government data bases now being
built, will be assigned to community service, combat service, or
homeland defense. The kicker may be a requirement of completed service
before access to higher education and government financing for it
will be granted. It is not improbable to see a deal’ over
Social Security reform on the horizon, i.e. in exchange for reduced
benefits and an increase in the retirement age Boomer seniors will
be guaranteed the services of [conscripted] community brigades’
for home care."
outlined by both Ricks and the duo of Hauser and Slater is all but
indistinguishable from the one predicted by Williamson: A dystopia
in which the Regime claims unqualified ownership of everybody living
under its rule, and disposes of their lives as it sees fit.
from Republic Magazine
with permission from the author.
Norman Grigg [send him mail]
publishes the Pro
Libertate blog and hosts the Pro
Libertate radio program.
© 2012 William Norman Grigg
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