Today on Democracy Now! (www.democracynow.org) the guest was a retired army Cornell, now a conservative university professor talking about his new book. His name is Andrew Bacevich and the book is titled The limits of Power: on the end of American Exceptionalism. He described the two major candidates for this years election as having only operational differences in their approach to the war on terror and that the debate about the US foreign policy is dangerously narrow with both candidates essentially agreeing that the war on terror must be won, varying only in where they plan to focus the military's energies after they win the election.
Bacevich notes that when Nixon ended the draft which created a professional army his motive was to deflate anti-war movement. The slew of small US interventions that followed were a result of political elites showing off a well oiled professional army. Bacevich notes that American Citizens are insulated from the costs of the war. Not only are we isolated from the war by a corporate media, but we were told after 9/11 not to sacrifice, but to get back to the malls! There are many things that must change in our country for authentic democracy to take root, a mandatory military draft might be one of them.
I know I have had conversations with people about my reaction to a reinstated draft. My usual reply is that I would go to Canada. Imagine if every time the US government wanted to invade a country they had to go through every able bodied man and woman in this country. I think it would not only make congress think twice about a preemptive war, it would also awaken many Americans to the real possibility of being sent to war, and they would then be forced to analyze their feelings about said conflict. Blind patriotic flag waving might be replaced with community councils, fact finding missions and a vibrant resistance movement. If it worked for Nixon, it could work in reverse for Iraq! Implement the draft, end the WAR!