Wednesday, January 21, 2015


The President in the State Of The Union speech asked Congress for a new authorization to wage war in the Middle East.

People with money, young people with options, young people raised with advantages, young people able to attend college on their parent’s dime don’t join the military.   The volunteer military, especially the enlisted, for the most part is populated by young people without privilege or options who see the military as a way to security in an uncertain future. 

I know this for a fact, as I spent 22 years as an enlisted man in the Navy.  The Cheneys, the Bushes, the Rumsfelds, and the Romneys don’t serve in the military – it is the people like me: I was a young man raised by my grandmother,raised in poverty,  in a tiny town in Mississippi  – few options, no future – my only chance to ‘get out’ was to opt for the military.

I hate seeing the young men and women coming back missing limbs or otherwise physically or mentally injured.   I have seen the deaths and carnage of war.   I have smelled it.   Bodies stacked like cord-wood on pallets in the hot tropical sun, waiting for a C-130 to come carry them home. 

We lost fifty-eight thousand in Vietnam for absolutely nothing.   We have been involved in the Middle East because of false pretenses.   Men and women are coming back injured from these wars and we have accomplished absolutely nothing

Every military person in harm’s way worries about death or injury, and especially at the end of their tour.   And even worse - to be the last fatality just before the end of hostilities – the last man killed in a war; a death that accomplishes absolutely nothing.

America has been at war for over a decade fought by our volunteer military; and combat injuries and deaths are still occurring.   The hostilities go on, but the American population is unaware and unconcerned because it doesn't affect us or our daily lives.   We go for days unaware that people are dying and being injured.   For the most part we are not even aware that we are at war until we come across something in the news or on TV to remind us; and then we as quickly forget and move on to the next news item.

Where are the protest?   Where is the outrage?  It is not right!

When our politicians decide this nation needs to go to war, or is in a war status there should be a draft instituted.   Everyone should have a stake in the fight.  Only then will our politicians be called to account.




  1. There was a shit pot of money made from the war in Viet Nam. Well, some people made a lot of money....That went so well that the model has been continued up until today.
    A hand full of Saudis attack us so we invade Iraq & Afghanistan...
    You are right, no one seems to care.

  2. Having a draft would indeed make everyone aware of the war(s) currently being fought -- but would it result in more middle/upper class soldiers? They usually all manage to get some kind of deferments, don't they? The list of privileged kids you mentioned didn't serve in the Viet Nam war either.

  3. Wonderful post. 600 boys were called up from out town this past week. They know why and where and the country is solidly behind them. A volunteer army is why the government can keep fighting wars no one wants or cares about as you point out.

  4. Actually, people like the Bushes used to serve in the military. It was part of the whole noblesse oblige thing. They just didn't serve as enlisted personnel, at least not very often. Now, of course, the whole concept of ever giving something back to the country is totally incomprehensible to most people and not just the wealthy.

    I remember an incident from when I worked for the Park Service. One of my colleagues, a nice enough fellow in general, mentioned that one of his kids was having trouble figuring out what to do with his life. He was a senior in high school and couldn't figure out if or where he wanted to go to college. I said something to the effect of "Why doesn't he enlist in the military? It would give him some breathing room." The horrified look on my colleague's face was something else. He made it pretty clear he didn't think anyone would ever enlist if they didn't have to.

    The same guy, of course, claimed to support the troops.

    Where we live here in the U.P. it's still pretty common for young people to go into the military for reasons other than economic desperation, but I've seen enough of the country to know that areas like this are increasingly rare.

  5. the heroin out break in the usa in the 70's was brought about by the cia and the pipe line to bring it to the us so they could get rid of the black 'problem'..that's the only thing that came out of the war.....and I agree..draft those rich kids and see how long it is before they rich shut down the war..

  6. Almost forgot. I think universal service would be a great idea. I think every young person, male or female, rich or poor, should be subject to the draft. I think foreign policy would look a lot different if everyone's kids were at equal risk of getting shot.

  7. I have a different reason for bringing back the draft. When I was subject to the draft and eventually enlisted rather than be drafted, I didn't have a very high opinion of the draft. Now after seeing what the military is like after 4 decades of a voluntary military, we need to bring back the draft in order to improve the military. We need people in the military that don't want to be there to straighten out the military mindset. We need people that will fight back against the brainwashing (I know they call in indoctrination, but it's still a form of brainwashing), that know the military isn't infallible (no doubt in my military mind). And lastly we need some in the military that know the military isn't on a fucking CRUSADE!!

  8. That last bit was a reference to the fact that evangelicals have way too much influence in the military!!


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