Skip to comments."Needed: Sense of service and sacrifice" (Mackenzie calls for 'compulsory service' - a draft lite?)
Posted on 11/22/2004 12:08:13 AM PST by churchillbuff
Herewith some key policy recommendations for the second Bush administration now forming up - with emphasis on a biggie. . . .
Among others, the new administration should do these things:
- Complete the mission in Iraq and move to a strategy of coalition troops in key locations as ultimate backups while stable, unified democracy takes root there.
- Track all illegal aliens (including terrorists) in the United States, and move to temporary-worker cards for legals.
-Crack the legislative code on the liberal Democratic lock stymieing so many administration nominees to the federal bench.
- Infuse the environmental "problem" with free-market solutions.
- Likewise, infuse the developing energy shortage with incentives that will bring about energy independence.
- Enact a private-investment corollary to Social Security, now facing unfunded liabilities of $26 trillion. As even Bill Clinton pointed out, the only options for reforming Social Security are: raise taxes, cut benefits, or invest privately. John Kerry ruled out the first two; President Bush embraced the last.
- Permanentize the Bush tax cuts and eliminate the estate tax.
- Further, simplify the tax code - truly simplify it, even through a revenue-neutral flat tax whereby taxes would be filed via hardly more than a post card asking, How much did you make last year from all sources? The tax paid would be a stipulated low percentage of that amount.
-And - the biggie - move to one year of compulsory universal service with a front-end military component for all men and women 18-23.
This is the biggie because - well, let's go back.
It is clear our standing active-duty military is too small and currently stretched thin by demands in Afghanistan and Iraq - with the prospect of difficulties with the likes of Iran and North Korea to come. We are overstressing our Reserve and Guard forces through rarely envisioned long-term use of their services.
It is equally clear the nation could benefit hugely from an enhanced sense of service on the part of the young. Compulsion and service are notions commonly - but not exclusively - fostered by the left. For example, in the presidential campaign just ended, Kerry floated a plan as part of his Real Deal to (his words) "require service for high-school students":
John Kerry believes we need to think big and do better and get more young Americans serving the nation. As part of his 100-day plan to change America, (he) will propose a comprehensive plan that includes requiring mandatory service for high-school students.
Moreover, in September the Democrats began rumoring that a re-elected Bush would reinstate the military draft - and never mind denials by Republicans from Bush to Vice President Cheney to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld ("The truth is, we don't need a draft. We're not going to have a draft."). Bush was similarly emphatic: "We will not have a draft so long as I am president of the United States."
Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel, mumbling about domestic class war or something, submitted a measure to reinstate a military draft. Led by Majority Leader Tom DeLay ("We're going to put a nail in that coffin"), the Republican House killed the Rangel measure 402-2. Democrat Kerry evidently favored the Rangel position. In an interview aired Sept. 26 he said he would not reinstate a draft now, but: If we had a need for a general mobilization at some time in the future, then I think that's the only fair way to do it.
So we have arrived at this juncture:
(a) The military is strained (the Army has 10 active-duty divisions, with nearly all either in Iraq, just returned, or preparing to go). The left, especially, wants to remedy the situation by reinstating the draft.
(b) Just about everybody sees the need to instill the virtue of service in the young; high-schoolers themselves unabashedly pad their resumes with testimonials about all the volunteer service they have done - the better to please collegiate admissions officers. Some high schools already make community service a condition for graduation.
Then why not a program addressing both issues: one year of compulsory service - no exceptions? The service component could be satisfied by practically anything on a long approved list, from nursing homes and mental wards to soup kitchens and juvenile homes.
That component would follow the front-end military component - the equivalent of boot camp. All would get a taste of the military, even an appreciation for it, so as to understand it better. And there would be established thereby a constant, lightly trained cohort from which the military might draw in times of stress on its regular forces - as now.
This is the biggie.
With the nation in by all accounts a protracted World War IV against jihadist terrorism, what is lacking is any sense of sacrifice. These days post-9/11 flags are broadly absent on cars and front porches; undermining any determination to win the war, the administration has told us repeatedly to go about our business as though little had changed.
But much has changed. We require a renewed sense of service and sacrifice. We also require a populace fully appreciative of the importance of the military, and knowing full well where additional manpower will come from should the need arise. The way to accomplish all that is through a new program of compulsory universal service with a front-end military component - one year, no exceptions. Now.
I predicted 1) there would be calls for a renewed draft; and 2) it would be called something different.
Mackenzie's a prominent conservative voice, making the kind of proposal I saw coming - and, indeed, calling it something else: compulsory service with a 'military component.'"
As long as neocons keep talking about the US effecting regime change in Middle East countries beyond Iraq, it's foolish NOT to talk about a draft, er "compulsory service with a military component" - because Iraq alone is more than the troops we've got there now can handle (as McCain admits today in calling for tens of thousands more to be sent to Iraq.)
Our military since the 70's has become purely professional. I believe it would be a mistake to dilute their greatness with those who would protest and carry on to no end about having to be there. It would automatically sink morale to below negative levels. The professionals who volunteered would resent having to carry the burden for all the pansies.
Sacrifice and love of country won't be instilled by compulsory service. Those attributes can only be taught by parents or accepted willingly in adulthood.
In short, the military is opposed to a draft and that should be reason enough.
There's the second sure way (the first is illegal alien amnesty) to lose in 2008.
The average American is not going to support a draft to "bring freedom" to the people of the Middle East. They can take care of themselves, as far as I am concerned. There needs to be some boundary on this neo-con outlook.
And it would hugely dilute our military, and its ability to defend OUR country. Do you want OUR troops to be dependent upon draftees? Public school graduates that are illiterate? What about liberal kids from Marin County and the Upper West Side that support Saddam over Bush? Would you want to put your life in their (incompetent, treasonous) hands? I sure wouldn't.
And.. I almost forgot... what are we going to do about gays? I am sure the troops will appreciate sharing the showers with a bunch of gay draftees.
IIRC conventional forces (peace time?) by law must be 2.1 million.
It's always interesting when people talk about shared sacrifice, it is some one else doing the sacrificing.
Talk a good look at the average 18-23 year old and think how interested they will be in this legislated sacrifice.
This 18-23 yr old must be about 20 million people. Are they going to work for free like the Americorp "volunteers".
What about the administration of another massive Federal program? Free?
Who is elegible to receive the "volunteers"? Social activist groups and Get-Out-the Vote scams?
I think us non-veteran Boomers should be the first to sacrifice, since it would be a novel experience for so many.
FDR would love it.
You better believe those with an agenda would use compulsory service to demand compulsory "acceptance".
There are legitimate reasons for anti-sodomy laws in the UCMJ and it needs to stay that way. The same thing for women in direct combat.
If those two issues are ever breached it will be the beginning of the end of American military superiority.
"This 18-23 yr old must be about 20 million people. Are they going to work for free like the Americorp "volunteers".
What about the administration of another massive Federal program? Free? Who is elegible to receive the "volunteers"? Social activist groups and Get-Out-the Vote scams?"
This country would be a whole lot better if we could draft every 18 year old from Kentucky or Indiana, send them unsupervised to New York City for a year, and put them to work for handing out birth control, photocopying court briefs for gay marriage, picketing energy companies, and signing up voters in the projects for Hillary's 2006 reelection campaign.
I truly had no idea. I had the great misfortune of being in the Army during Clinton's CIC days. The way he was scaling back and gutting the forces I don't see how those numbers could be possible.
Inside of six months they'd be decked in out in Armani, working for MTV or Saatchi and hitting on euro-trash chicks while talking about semiotics' place in a post-modern world.
allow 'older' Americans to enlist....
come on ! change the darn rules....
"Inside of six months they'd be decked in out in Armani, working for MTV or Saatchi and hitting on euro-trash chicks while talking about semiotics' place in a post-modern world."
Isn't MTV going to be running Hillary's get-out-the-vote operation like it ran Kerry's? I bet the NY Times and NBC News could use some draftees as well. Somebody's got to hold the camera, as they chase our troops around Falluja.
Go ahead, laugh. I actually saw it happen recently. Sweet girl from Minnesota or someplace. I see her once and she's dressed in suburban pastels and awed by NYC. Three months later she's dressed in black Helmut Lang and lecturing me on Matthew Barney and the Cremaster Cycle. Quickest transformation, ever.
Agreed. This program has the potential to corrupt young Americans, and corrupt our military.
I will say... and I initially censored this
6 months.. Euro trash chicks. 12 months.. something else.
I actually like the idea of some form of voluntary service with some GI Bill type pay off at the end.
We already have a volunteer military, with scholarship and ROTC programs.
In terms of civilian volunteer service, we need to see what we can afford. Spending is already out of control, before we go and subsidize Planned Parenthood or America Coming Together.
Just my opinion.
I'm not thinking Planned Parenthood, but something on the order public works projects or a partnershhip with businesses. I don't watch cable television often, but when I do watch it, I'm appalled that it's what is being fed to teens. Particularly offensive is the MTV show Cribs, which glorifies mindless extravagance bought with easily acquired money.
Also, we don't know what is being wasted out there. The next Jonas Salk or Einstein could be sitting in some trailer park or housing project...
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.