Carronade The Yankee Sailor Carronade

The Sea is a choosy mistress. She takes the men that come to her and weighs them and measures them. The ones she adores, she keeps; the ones she hates, she destroys. The rest she casts back to land. I count myself among the adored, for I am Her willing Captive.

I've relocated to a new Yankee Sailor.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Dopey Draft Advocacy

In an article titled Rough Draft: The gross unfairness of an all-volunteer Army, Jacob Weisberg meanders through an odd laundry list of woes that he believes can be attributed to the all-volunteer force.

Most middle-class professionals, academics, and journalists don't have relatives or friends serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Servicemen are less than one percent of the population. The vast majority of Americans don't have relatives or friends serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. Also, perhaps you and your pals don't know any because the circles you travel in, Jake, have spent the last thirty years bad mouthing the military and people who join.

We have not been called upon to make any sacrifices, financial or otherwise.
Wrong again. The president has repeatedly called on all Americans to sacrifice, and I would say the $200+ billion dollar pricetag of the War on Terror is a significant financial sacrifice. I would also say anyone who's travelled by air lately, or had their bags searched to get into a hockey game or onto the subway, might be making a sacrifice or two.

Finally, the young men who might be [drafted] do not want to contemplate having to kill, die, or be maimed in a war that inspires little idealism. Nor do their families want to dwell on such possibilities.
Liberal young men, Jacob, Liberal young men. Tens of thousands of Americans still enlist every year, and about 80% of them are Conservatives. Now, this is scary:

The real "two Americas" are not rich versus poor or religious versus secular but military versus civilian.
Less than one percent of Americans serve in the military at this time, and only 12.7 percent of Americans were veterans at the time of the 2000 census, a figure which hardly supports a claim of a "second America." But as a subscriber to an ideology that seeks to divide, I'm not surprised you groped for a "faultline."

The current distribution is consistent with periods when the United States had a draft that the sons of privilege could readily evade, by hiring "replacements" during the Civil War, or getting an educational deferment or lobbying one's draft board during the Vietnam era. Once again, young people without good opportunities in life are handling the fighting and dying for those with better things to do—only this time, there is not even a pretense of shared responsibility for defending the country.
Au contraire, my dear, elitist friend. Enlistees are much more likely to be high school graduates, more likely to have parents that are high school graduates, just as likely to have parents that have completed some or all of college, more likely to have employed parents, and their socioeconomic distribution matches the spectrum of the rest of America nicely. (I even included pictures, because I know how that helps intellectuals wrap their minds around things) .

My advice to you, Jake: get your facts straight next time.

Open posted in Mudville.