Monday, October 09, 2006

Kim du Toit on Conscription: Carnaby Responds!

Kim du Toit finally posted on the issue of "the draft" over at his blog. Earlier in the week, the matter came up and I commented that I'm firmly against it. One of my readers politely excused himself from the blog on account of my views. I hope to make my position on the matter clearer, and I invite that reader back for some dialogue (I am young after all, and my opinions are not as well formed as those who were alive when there may have been a draft). I won't bother posting a reply in comments at du Toit's blog, on account of it will just get lost in the volume of comments. Maybe I'll copy and paste this there. Here goes:

I think the draft (conscription that is) as it was in the Vietnam conflict is unacceptable. Kim alluded that he thinks this is true also, but makes no provision for outlawing the draft for such "foreign adventure" situations, except to say
Once again, let me remind everyone of who we’re talking about here, when we talk about who would impose conscription: we would. We The People, through our elected Congressional representatives and our elected President, would impose conscription. Can anyone even remotely believe that this nation would re-introduce conscription, except under the direst of circumstances? If any good at all came from the Vietnam War, it’s that we saw that conscription is a last resort, not a first.
I agree with the substance of this point, but for the same reason we need the 2nd Amendment, I think his argument fails. Anti-gunners always argue the line that "our government would never become tyranical." I don't buy it, and I know Kim does not buy it (the fact that my wife's name is also Kim is not helping here). Fine, whatever, we're in some grey area. He does think that the draft is necessary for when the cataclysm occurs. I see his point, but still disagree.

The reason, as far as I know, that what du Toit says is true is that those in command in the U.S. military would rather fight wars with super-soakers than use a conscripted army again. A conscripted army in an unpopular war is worse than useless. In a popular war, a conscripted army is just fine (cf. WWII). Heck, in a popular war, conscription helps with organization, and helps weed out the real cowards, which brings us to one of du Toit's more important points
At its most basic foundation, conscription addresses an unpleasant little fact: most people are cowards. They might be cowards on their own behalf, or because they want to protect their children from dying, but they are cowards nevertheless.
Well, Kim and his kids can fight with the conscripts. My kids and I will stick with the volunteers. Maybe conscription will help the cowards actually point and shoot, or else the du Toits can use them as cost effective practice targets. I think I have a better solution to the problem of cowards which benefits both the warriors on the battlefields and their families back home: conscript wealth.

If you are a pussy, if you come from a long line of bedwetters, then the government should not hold a gun to your head and make you piss yourself in line with a bunch of real men. The government should take everything you and your parents own and give it to the volunteers and their families. You may keep what a coward deserves, enough to subsist on, but during the time of need, you will forfeit all your property beyond the basics, especially any land you own. This property will be given to the warriors upon their return, or if they do not return, then to their heirs.

Now, Tech Support brought up an important point that many in WWII wanted to volunteer, but chose to wait for the draft in order to maintain seniority at their work, or to make sure they did not loose their place in school etc. Now this is not a difficult problem to solve, people! How about the .gov enacts a law that says if the government requests volunteers under "extraordinary circumstances" (i.e. ones that would have previously envoked the draft), then those benefits of the draft will apply to any and all who volunteer from this point forward. Done, next...

And then there's this comment in the post at Kim's (argh!)
2nd - the common idea that seems to run here that, given modern technology, massed numbers of boots on the ground are no longer needed seems to run counter to any historical or military experence. In fact, given the nature of the current difficulties in Iraq, it seems that boots on the ground is exactly what we need more of.
And my response
Sorry, but that notion is completely retarded. We only need boots on the ground in Iraq because we are trying to pacify a bunch of idiots who can’t get along. In the face of a cataclysm, we’d just nook the bitches and be done with it. We would owe them nothing, especially not our boots. While the temptation to name call right now is great, I’ll leave that to the [].
Maybe this is how we can tell when we've gotten ourselvs into something bad. We tried to help the Iraqis. Turns out that, while a minority of them can be helped, the majority cannot. It is time to leave them to their own devices, protect our friends in the north, and let the Sunnis and Shias (and their foreign backers) fight it out.

Then Kim invokes majority rule. I don't buy it. If the majority wants to gas Jews, I ain't gonna go along. I'm all about the militia. I'm a member. If the homeland is going to be invaded, I'm going to be there at the front and my son, when he's older than 6 years, will be with me. If it's foreign and a cataclysm, again I say nook the bitches. I think that is the end of that.

One final note: I'm an engineer, and the way I see it is to basically make an unmanned combat force. Ten combat drones to every one operator. We pay with money and the enemy pays in blood. We win, because we know which is worth more, and so do they. They don't mind a poor exchange rate when the currency is equivilent, but I think when we stop paying with our blood, they'll be hard pressed to pay with their own. And we'll still have a rifleman behind every blade of grass to back us up.


Blogger Ed said...

"Anti-gunners always argue the line that "our government would never become tyranical." I don't buy it, and I know Kim does not buy it"

"[If one does not volunteer for military service then] The government should take everything you and your parents own and give it to the volunteers and their families. You may keep what a coward deserves, enough to subsist on, but during the time of need, you will forfit all your property beyond the basics, especially any land you own."

Carnaby, do you see how these two statements that you made are incompatible?

How about farmers, who cannot simply leave their animals to die? Dairy farmers never ever get a day off, because their cows need to be milked every day - would you take away their property, let all their cattle die, and then give it to someone else a few years later when the war is over?

A draft is not necessary in a popular war, and is - as you state - worse than useless in an unpopular war. I think the idea should be abandoned once and for all.

10/10/2006 7:06 AM  
Blogger carnaby said...

Obviously there are exceptions. The government does not draft farmers. My uncle tried desperately to sign up for WWII, and they wouldn't even let him VOLUNTEER because he was a dairy farmer.

10/10/2006 7:34 AM  
Anonymous David said...

The government should never force anyone to do anything. Personally I was turned down for the drafter in 1970, 1971, and 1972 for various reasons. In 1974 I enlisted and served for just short of 13 years.

However not wanting to be in the military does not make one a coward. Nor should they be treated as second class citizens. I was quite content to serve because that service allowed someone else to not to. It gave them the FREEDOM not to.

10/11/2006 10:33 AM  
Blogger carnaby said...

Good point, David. I'll defer to you since you actually served. I admit my ideas on this are not well formed, but I do loathe government coersion.

10/11/2006 11:56 AM  
Blogger Stickwick Stapers said...

Well, I took the "coward" comment to be in the context of a very dire situation in which the fate of one's nation is at stake. In that case, I think coward might be fitting. Although some people are pacifist for religious/ideological reasons, like the Quakers, so maybe there is some grey area.

10/12/2006 4:51 PM  

Post a Comment

Testing ...

<< Home