L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 209, February 3, 2003
GUNG HAY FAT CHOY!
The World Turned Upside Down
Exclusive to TLE
It is now official, the world has gone completely insane. Why? Because of all the things I have ever been called, of all the labels which have ever been directed at me, the one which I never expected to hear is the one which might soon be applied, Draft-Dodger! How in the Hell has it ever come to this? I was in high school when they brought back Selective Service, and one of the nuns had some old sixties hippie in to give classes on how to become conscientious objectors or otherwise evade the draft. I didn't go to that class because I threatened to spit in the guy's face, and now I find myself regretting it (I threatened to spit in the face of the Sandinista she brought to class too, but I don't regret that one, commie bastard).
You have to understand, when I registered for Selective Service it was a big joke, because I was already signed up for the Army Reserve (my father wouldn't sign for me to get in the Regular Army as I was 17). I had spent my entire life preparing to be a soldier. I ate, drank and slept the military, I wanted to be the first kid on my block with a confirmed kill. My only purpose in life was to kill communists, and my only regret was that members of Congress and the ACLU were off limits. You think I'm kidding? Don't, because it's absolutely true. In fact, when my U.S. Army career came to an ignominious end (a long story), I went to France to join the French Foreign Legion (an even longer story).
Back in the day, the only problems I had with the draft was, A) an inability to understand why someone would not wish to serve voluntarily, and B) it might put some unmotivated dimwit in the foxhole next to me. Today however, looking at things like HR 3598 IH (Universal Military Training and Service Act of 2001) and hearing people like Charles Rangel talking about making everyone serve, I find myself filled with a deep sense of loathing. Robert Heinlein said it best "A nation which must resort to conscription for it's defense, has no moral right to exist."
Now, admittedly I'm a little old to be included in the current plans, most of which would only include 18 year old's, and the circumstances of my military discharge would probably preclude my being listed as anything but 4-F. However, I will work to assist others in resisting conscription as well as working to end such involuntary servitude. I have no intention of seeing my family members being dragged into military service against their will. In fact when my own son decided to join the Marine Corps some years ago I tried to talk him out of it, because as much as I believe in defending our country, the use to which our military has been put has nothing to do with making us safe.
The dirty little secret here is that conscription will in no way improve our military preparedness, quite the contrary. The High-Speed, Low-Drag pace of military operation in the 21st century combined with the increasingly high-tech nature of modern weapons systems demands a higher quality of military recruit. The days of using gutter-sweepings as cannon fodder are over, and have been for some time. Look at some of the military operations in the last part of the pervious century. The Falkland Islands, Afghanistan (the Soviet invasion thereof), Granada, and Iraq. In each case one side was primarily made up of conscripts and the other by volunteers, and the draftees got the hell kicked out of them. In the case of the Falklands the British were out numbered by an average of 4 to 1 in manpower and close to that in firepower, and still they succeeded in taking the islands much faster and with far fewer casualties than expected. Why, because the volunteers were both highly skilled and motivated, while the inductees were not.
Even within military organizations which depend on universal military service one sees the difference between those who like the riggers of military service and those who simply wish to mark time and get the hell out. The former tend to join elite units, paratroopers, special forces and the like. They flourish in such units despite the greater levels of discipline and training, and become good soldiers who seek to excel. While the time-servers become the discipline cases, get, or stay, involved with drugs and alcohol and otherwise contribute little or nothing to the unit. Such individuals have no motivation to become superior soldiers or even competent ones. They resent the discipline which keeps men alive in the field.
Drag an kid out of school and shove him in the service and he is not going to WANT to learn these lessons, why should he? Instead, he is going to try and skate, to get by and get out, and if you put him in the field he is going to crack. Discipline him you say? How? Do you think that politicians are going to restore the old 'Foot in your ass' discipline of yesteryear? Get real! When junior writes home and tells mommy and daddy that the Drill Sargent was mean to him and made him do nasty things, they are going to start writing to their representative. You can bet that Mr. (Or Ms.) Congress-critter is not going to tell Mr. And Mrs. Shitbird to go piss up a rope and leave training to the Sargent's. No, it's going to be the Generals who will be explaining why the poor recruits are being abused. After all, this is the age of push-button warfare isn't it? We don't need a bunch of abused grunts to go around crawling though caves and such, do we? We need to turn these mind-numbed, barely literate, slackers into Techno-Warriors, don't we? So give them a video game or something, right?
The truth is that there is only one reason for bringing back the draft, to impress even more upon people that the government owns them. That is what conscription does, it tells us, most emphatically, that the government has the RIGHT to order you to go out and kill or die. The draft is a gun to your head, it is the might of the state directing you to kill-or-be-killed. Therein lies the true difference between the Volunteer and the Draftee, freewill.
When I put my hand in the air and swore an oath, I made a decision that my life was less important than my country. I decided that I would risk my life to defend my family, my friends, and my fellow countrymen. It was an act of my freewill that I pledged to defend my nation, and that is what make it dangerous. You see I might also decide that the enemy of my country is my government, and I might decide to do something about it.
In the early '90's, the military conducted a small survey, referred to as the 'Twenty-nine Palms Survey' by Navy Lieutenant Commander Ernest Guy Cunningham. One of the questions was this;
Issues like this tend to disturb the powers that be. After all, if the day ever comes that American soldiers are ever called upon to impose the will of the government on the people it would not do to have those soldiers deciding for themselves whether to follow them or not, does it? Well draftees don't tend to decide things for themselves.
A good example of this kind of thinking can be found in Algeria on April 22, 1961. On that day units of the French Foreign Legion, supported by paratroopers of the regular French Army, attempted to stage a coup and thereby keep Algeria as a part of France. Only the timely intervention of loyal French officers backed up by the mostly conscript French regulars prevented the plot. Now, while this might not be in the same category as the U.S. Army deciding to back the Constitution over the Federal government, I think you see the point. When you shove a man into uniform at gun-point you expect him to do as he is told (not that there are not examples of this idea backfiring as well), while the man who volunteers is more apt to tell you where to get off.
The point is there is no reason for a draft, or 'Universal Military Service', or whatever the hell you want to call it. Not a military point anyway. And if there is no military point, we must assume there is another point, and I for one will stand against it, period.
Is America becoming a police state? Friends of liberty need to know.
Some say the U.S. is already a police state. Others watch the news for signs that their country is about to cross an indefinable line. Since September 11, 2001, the question has become more urgent. When do roving wiretaps, random checkpoints, mysterious "detentions," and military tribunals cross over from being emergency measures to being the tools of a government permanently and irrevocably out of control?
The State vs. the People examines these crucial issues. But first, it answers this fundamental question: "What is a police state?"
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