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Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:36 PM

Thom Hartmann: It's Time to Bring Back the Draft for Men & Women



Next month marks the tenth anniversary of the beginning of our war in Iraq - and
in these ten years - thousands of Americans have given their lives in the name
of our country - while thousands of others are forever changed. How do we make
sure a debacle like Iraq never happens again?

The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann on RT TV & FSTV "live" 9pm and 11pm check www.thomhartmann.com/tv for local listings

36 replies, 2637 views

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Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply Thom Hartmann: It's Time to Bring Back the Draft for Men & Women (Original post)
thomhartmann Feb 2013 OP
bowens43 Feb 2013 #1
rschallack Feb 2013 #2
mahatmakanejeeves Feb 2013 #30
AnotherMcIntosh Feb 2013 #36
AnotherMcIntosh Feb 2013 #3
Plucketeer Feb 2013 #5
AnotherMcIntosh Feb 2013 #7
Plucketeer Feb 2013 #8
AnotherMcIntosh Feb 2013 #9
Plucketeer Feb 2013 #10
AnotherMcIntosh Feb 2013 #11
Plucketeer Feb 2013 #12
AnotherMcIntosh Feb 2013 #13
Plucketeer Feb 2013 #18
sulphurdunn Feb 2013 #21
sulphurdunn Feb 2013 #17
AnotherMcIntosh Feb 2013 #25
sulphurdunn Feb 2013 #35
elzenmahn Feb 2013 #28
LineLineLineLineLineNew Reply .
AnotherMcIntosh Feb 2013 #29
sulphurdunn Feb 2013 #16
Art_from_Ark Feb 2013 #27
sulphurdunn Feb 2013 #33
nineteen50 Feb 2013 #4
Plucketeer Feb 2013 #6
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #15
sulphurdunn Feb 2013 #19
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #23
sulphurdunn Feb 2013 #32
putitinD Feb 2013 #26
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #14
sulphurdunn Feb 2013 #20
AverageJoe90 Feb 2013 #22
sulphurdunn Feb 2013 #31
DeSwiss Feb 2013 #24
PDJane Feb 2013 #34

Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:55 PM

1. Not this dumbass idea. Again

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 12:57 PM

2. It's time we had mandatory service

I think that it's long past time the US started a program of 2 years mandatory service. You can go into the military, Peace Corps, or other such governmental organization (or even non-profits like the Habitat for Humanity). They did this in the Scandinavian countries (and still do as far as I know). It would give all involved new perspective on life and it's citizens. It would also make all of our citizens understand sacrifice for country. No deferments. No excuses (Mr. boil on his bum).

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Response to rschallack (Reply #2)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 09:21 AM

30. Re: "It's time we had mandatory service"

I know where he's coming from. I was drafted. I certainly wasn't looking forward to it, but it did broaden the way I think about things.

I think that the option to work for a 21st century CCC or some other outfit improving the country's infrastructure would be a necessity for a new draft. If nothing else, it would prepare people for the various branches of engineering. I used my GI Bill benefits to go to engineering school. If it weren't for that, I don't know what I would be doing now.

To answer another poster to this thread, Thom Hartmann is two months older than I am. The first ballot I cast in my life was for George McGovern.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #30)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:34 PM

36. A great majority of people favor the rule of law under the Constitution:

 

"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."


Repealing the 13th Amendment for a limited time period without call it that is not going to happen.

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 01:01 PM

3. Start with Thom Hartmann first.

 

Should he be excused from his proposed draft because he's too old and weak looking to be wearing a uniform?

How old is he?

How youthful and strong would he have to be to put on a uniform and drive a Humvee?

Until his proposed draft is adopted, he could always push the military and his Congressman to accept him as a volunteer.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 03:21 PM

5. Not necessary

As Thom says: we all need some skin in the game. Hartmann has three kids and presumably some grandkids. How do you think he'd feel about any of them being sent off to some meat grinder of a conflict?

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Response to Plucketeer (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 03:40 PM

7. What do I think? He's a hypocrite who used to publicly criticize chicken-hawks and who obviously

 

is willing to blow smoke while knowing that neither his kids or his grandkids, if any, will be drafted.

You have a Viet Nam Service Ribbon for your avatar? How efficient was the draft in ending the unnecessary Viet Nam war? You should know that it went on for 10 years.

You want to bring back the draft, and celebrate Thom Hartmann for saying that? You're welcome to do so but bringing back the draft is never going to happen. The reason is not the opposition of those whose children and grandchildren could be war fodder, but that those who financially benefit from endless wars and an endless war footing can make more money by building drones, F-35's, etc.

Hartmann did well when co-authoring Ultimate Sacrifice, but he is just blowing smoke about bringing back the draft.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 03:48 PM

8. So I guess

you have a problem with Thom's civil service facet as well. My thinking is that young folks need a sense of belonging to and having an investment in, our country. There's none of that without having served some time.

BTW, my time IN Vietnam would've come to pass even if we hadn't had a draft at the time. I wanted to have an investment and be a part of my country. That's how I got to go there.

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Response to Plucketeer (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 04:21 PM

9. Yea, well

 

(1) I believe in the rule of law under the Constitution. The type of conscription for civil service is prohibited by the 13th Amendment.
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

(2) I am a 12th generation American whose ancestors have fought in every war that the colonies and this country had, including the Pequot War of 1637. During the Viet Nam war, one of my cousins (an Annapolis graduate) was with the top staff in charge of the 7th Fleet for a time. None of us going back for 12 generations have ever been drafted or even signed up for the draft. I'm somewhat familiar with Viet Nam but I never signed up for the draft because I don't believe in it. Not then, not now.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 04:49 PM

10. So - for WWII for instance...

Once Pearl Harbor was bombed, we should have had a call for volunteers?

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Response to Plucketeer (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 05:36 PM

11. I can see that you are starting to understand.

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:43 PM

12. Oh..... I understood with your first reply!

What I grasped (once again) is that intellect is where one finds it - or doesn't, as the case might be. The first time I can recall was some years ago. Of course, each new day can yield a refresher course.

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Response to Plucketeer (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 07:57 PM

13. In WW II, 6,332,000 Americans volunteered.

 

"THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF WWII"
ARMED SERVICES MEMORIAL EDITION

When the top brass needs to rely upon volunteers instead of draftees or conscripts, the smart ones adapt to the situation and adopt tactics to not needlessly squander the lives of the troops.

When the top brass has an unlimited or near unlimited supply of draftees or conscripts, they can waste the lives of the troops without serious consequences for them. The British, in WW I, provided a perfect example of this.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #13)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:44 PM

18. Uh-huh

Last edited Mon Feb 25, 2013, 09:52 PM - Edit history (1)

"When the top brass needs to rely upon volunteers instead of draftees or conscripts, the smart ones adapt to the situation and adopt tactics to not needlessly squander the lives of the troops."

So.... on the advice of our best military minds - we've expended (in Iraq and Afghanistan) way more than we lost to terrorist attacks in the last two decades. These losses against a mere handful of baddies. Here's my slant on this: When you turn things over to generals, generals are gonna do what generals LIVE to do. What general would wanna retire without ever having proved his prowess in his chosen field. Volunteer / draftee / it's not gonna dissuade or encourage a leader trying to leave a legacy he fancies for himself. The ONLY edge the volunteers might afford is that they want to do what they're doing. If they didn't, they wouldn't have joined OR would've quit early on.

Edit to add...... What we've seen in recent years is the sad fact that those we've put in the White House have NO on the front lines experience - while depending on generals for advice as to what to do with our standing forces. So what ARE a general's endeavors??? To keep his horse IN the stable so to speak? That'd equate to me owning a Ferrari and figuring what's best is that it stays in the garage.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #13)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:52 PM

21. Traditionally,

American conscription has only been used when volunteers failed to meet the quota for personnel.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:44 PM

17. During Vietnam

opposition to the war was intense by 1968. The real question has less to do with the draft than with resistance to the war, which hastened its end. That has not happened since. For better or worse I don't think a democratic society can long endure a professional military any more than a professional political class.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #17)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 10:14 PM

25. Do you think that we have a "democratic society"?

 

It's lost. It's gone. It's here in name only.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #25)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:08 PM

35. No

We don't even have a representative government. A professional military is unlikely to ever aide us in getting one.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 10:53 PM

28. A few points...

1. First, how do you know that Mr. Hartmann "knows" that neither his kids nor grandkids will be drafted? I submit that he knows that risk quite well;

2. I've listened to Thom Hartmann for many years, and have read many of his books and attended his speeches. He is no hypocrite;

3. (This you might agree with): Show me one military leader of any substantial rank that wants to bring back the draft. Soldiers are much easier to train when they are volunteers - they want to be there, and signed up by their own choice - than if they are conscripts. Ask any drill sergeant from the Vietnam Era what it was like to try to discipline conscripts, many of whom did not want any part of that War;

4. I don't believe in compulsory anything when one turns eighteen - but, I would propose that instead of the conscription stick for either military service or civil service, make the carrot so that one would be a fool to turn it down. The military has their incentives, and we all know about them. The incentives for non-military service should be comparable - a year of university education for a year of service in the Peace Corps or other volunteer organization, for example.

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Response to elzenmahn (Reply #28)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 08:50 AM

29. .

 

1. Logic.

2. A hypocrite is a person who acts in contradiction to his stated beliefs or feelings. A person who has a long history of publicly opposing the draft and then, for publicity sake, favors a draft, is a hypocrite.

3. Do your own homework. If you want to find the name of a "military leader of any substantial rank that wants to bring back the draft," you should search for their names.

4. A great majority of people other than you favor the rule of law under the Constitution, including the 13th Amendment:
"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

So you favor a limited repeal of the 13th Amendment without call it that. So what?

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:36 PM

16. Every able bodied

resident between the ages of 18 and 60 should be eligible for the draft without deferment for any reason. That would deliver a blow to the MIC from which it might never recover.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #16)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 10:35 PM

27. That kind of draft will never happen

As has been the case since the Civil War, those who have the money and/or connections will find a way to get out of being drafted as cannon fodder.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #27)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 01:16 PM

33. How would you feel

about it if it could happen?

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 01:51 PM

4. All Americans need

to feel the pressures and pains of war in order to stop unnecessary wars for profit. The current mercenary military is to far removed from the people and too corporate.

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Response to nineteen50 (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 03:28 PM

6. Mercenaries!

That's EXACTLY what we've got! Hell, we even hire them out to resolve other country's conflicts - AND pay for most of it since that pay ends up in the coffers of the Industry half of the M-I complex.

WAR anybody? Wanna stir up a conflict we can use as a proving groounds for our advancing technology? Just start killing folks, then ask Unca Sam for help. We'll be there with lotsa weapons and trained personnel to operate them for you. Get that war you're always wanted. We'll both be winners in the end. AND.......... since we tell our mercenary rubes that they're fighting for freedom, any lives lost won't cost you a dime!

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Response to nineteen50 (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:30 PM

15. And a draft would be any better?

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:48 PM

19. Yes,

with the caveat of it being universal, without exemption save for age or sever physical or mental handicap .

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 09:08 PM

23. That's basically how the old draft was.

Okay, look, I'm not against universal service when we are truly in dire need of it, as was the case in WWII. but a permanent draft can be all too easily abused, especially given who has the say-so in our military these days(PNAC and company).

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #23)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 01:14 PM

32. I see your point.

When the Iraq and Afghan wars began the alternative to a draft was multiple deployments and even worse social problems than a war would normally cause. A draft should have been implemented but wasn't. The answer, I think, to avoiding a permanent draft would be to reduce the size of the Army (the only branch that traditionally drafts) and the other armed forces to levels where peacetime recruitment quotas could be easily met.

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Response to nineteen50 (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 10:34 PM

26. my thoughts exactly

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:30 PM

14. Oh dear, no, no, no. Just NO.

I'm disappointed, Thom. I thought you realized that a permanent draft was totally anathema to the wishes of the founders?....

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 08:50 PM

20. Yes,

but the only alternative would be a return to the state militia system, which might work if we abandoned our empire but not otherwise.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #20)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 09:07 PM

22. Don't we already have the National Guard, though? n/t

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #22)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 01:07 PM

31. Correct

It is a reserve force, essentially a militia.

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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Mon Feb 25, 2013, 09:47 PM

24. You don't stop having illegal wars.....

...by drafting the fodder, Thom.




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Response to thomhartmann (Original post)

Tue Feb 26, 2013, 02:22 PM

34. When you talk about 'drafting the fodder,' be aware of something.

The reason that the draft was removed wasn't because they'd be 'drafting the fodder.' The reason was that they weren't drafting the ones meant to be fodder. They were drafting the bright, middle and upper class kids who came back broken and changed. The weren't drafting the right fodder, and their peers, parents, families and friends were there to complain loudly about the fact.

Make no mistake that the all-volunteer army isn't, precisely. How many young men and women enlisted in order to get a job and health care? How many enlisted because their was nothing else to do in their podunk little town BUT go into the military?

And yes, Tom is correct that this is a rite of passage in a number of countries. He is also correct that a universal draft could and would stop some of the American adventurism by meaning that everyone takes part in the sacrifices of war. And he is very correct that building roads and bridges and infrastructure and putting people back to school and work and building important things would solve the economic crisis for some time to come.

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