When I was 18, I had to go over to the post office and fill out a form which I dropped off in the mail. This was required by law. So far as I know, my sister didn’t have to file the same paperwork when she was 18. My mother said not to worry and to thank the hippies who marched in the street during the Vietnam War. There was no longer a draft–it was merely a bureaucratic technicality.
Imagine the plight of many young men before me (some might call them boys.) They were coerced into consignment under the guise of “patriotism.” In many cases, they weren’t allowed to legally buy alcohol. In many cases they weren’t even allowed to vote for the politicians who were to send them oftentimes to their doom. They might endure humiliation during basic training, they might endure disease, having their body maimed for life, or even killed. They might witness others being brutally killed. They might have to kill. Some might say that those who live by the sword, die by the sword. But they were given no choice in this fate. Resistance was to be marked a coward, a criminal, a traitor….
With the privateering of military services to highly paid mercenaries who aren’t bound by the Geneva convention (the PC term is “contractors)–some say the draft isn’t coming back. Then why is there still a Selective Service?
“Actually, the Selective Service is always getting ready for a draft. Its website boasts that the agency trains “over 11,000 volunteers… so that if a draft is reinstated, they will be able to fulfill their obligations fairly and equitably.” President Bush assured Americans after 9/11 that there is “not a chance” of bringing back conscription. Yet two bills have been introduced in Congress that would reinstate the draft, apply it to women as well as men, and allow no deferments for college students.”
There is an interesting debate going on at Feminist Critics about females “privilege” for not being forced to serve:
Really, I don’t think anyone interested in justice or gender equality would support Selective Service for one gender but not another. I don’t support it either way….
UPDATE: July 12, 2011-Ferdidnand was kind enough to post my revised version of this article at Inmalafide.