Friday, August 12, 2005

Why We Need a Draft

The latest issue of Vanity Fair includes a hard-hitting article about the problems with military recruiting that I highly recommend everyone read. Military recruiters are killing themselves - literally - to get people to join. And what kind of people? One recruiter in the article estimates that 80% of his recruits are "fraudulent," i.e. they should not be permitted to join the military because of drug abuse, medical conditions, etc. It's horrific to remember the problems the military had with drugs during the Vietnam era and then read how recruiters advise drug-using kids to fool the tests. Another problem is that many of the kids now joining just aren't suitable for a 21st century military. They're uniformly from deprived backgrounds with a wide array of problems. Think Abu Ghraib and the nitwits forming human pyramids with prisoners. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette points out another problem:

Staff Sgt. Jason Rivera, 26, a Marine recruiter in Pittsburgh, went to the home of a high school student who had expressed interest in joining the Marine Reserve to talk to his parents.

It was a large home in a well-to-do suburb north of the city. Two American flags adorned the yard. The prospect's mom greeted him wearing an American flag T-shirt.

"I want you to know we support you," she gushed.

Rivera soon reached the limits of her support.

"Military service isn't for our son. It isn't for our kind of people," she told him.

"Our kind of people." Job One for a draft would be getting the kids of the suburbanites who enthusiastically vote for the Repugs and are spectator-warmongers into the military. My guess is that Chimpy would lose a lot of support right away if the little darlings of the SUV set suddenly found themselves wearing fashionable desert BDUs instead of Abercrombie & Fitch. In any case, risks should be more widely distributed to the classes that profit from our oligarchy instead of being limited to the classes that have not.

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