Re: Who's Drafted?


On another matter, since my outgoing e-mail is hosed at the moment, any comment?

Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 05-18-04 11:44 PM
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My own experience confirms that the push for nukes enjoys very broad support in Iran. Even quite lefty reformists have said they'd continue the program. It's a very tough call to say what to do about it. Check out the affiliations of the people on the board of directors of the American Iranian Council, which is in favor of a "money flood." Who would they deal with? Government and "private" enterprise in Iran both operate through a thoroughly corrupt bureaucracy. Who would benefit? While it's possible that economic conditions would improve, and there would be social liberalization as a consequence of greater interaction with the outside world, the risk is that established centers of power would become even more firmly entrenched, which undermines the democratic reforms I, at least, still hope to see, and which, in the long-term, makes the return of a nasty oligarchy similar to what we saw under the Shah more likely. (sorry to ramble, that's just off the top of my head--but I don't think there's an easy solution--"in just a few years, the conservatives would be finished...").

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-19-04 12:02 AM
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It's our mess, ogged.

Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 05-19-04 5:30 AM
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"It's our mess, ogged."

Yes and no. On the international stage, this is every American's mess, without fine distinctions. But...

This is why the question of the justifications for the invasion is so important. If people were misled, is it still their mess?

The poor planning is a tougher call. We can't sign on to a policy and, when it's not well-executed, wash our hands of the consequences. But, below a certain level of competence, we can question who bears greater responsibility, and what that entails in terms of obligations. Hard to say.

Now, if you mean "our" as in, yours and mine, baa and ogged, people who supported the invasion, I'd say you're right. Depending on where they draw the age line, I could be eligible. My bad ticker probably ensures no combat for me, but if there's a draft, and my peers are being called, I think I would serve, in whatever role. But I can't say for sure. It's not as if my intentions are knowable before I actually decide...

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-19-04 7:46 AM
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Well, I think I get the exemption for being 35. But were I younger, I wouldn't go no way no how. Not worth dying for, not worth killing for, not my war. As a much more courageous man than me (because 1. not worth going to jail for either and 2. I'd never let Joe Frazier swing at my head) once said, "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Congs."

Call it cowardice if you like - and there would be some truth to the charge - but I suspect a rather higher percentage of cowards get to meet their grandchildren, and I have a keen interest in that. I opposed the invasion from the get-go because I couldn't see any possible outcome other than the one we have produced (i.e., death and destruction until we give up), even under the best of circumstances. I don't feel any patriotic duty to support a blood-soaked, bone-stupid policy to its inevitably bitter end simply because our president is pathologically incapable of admitting he ever makes a mistake.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-19-04 3:03 PM
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I think it's a tough call, apostropher. Even apart from whether one supported the war or not, if my peers were forced to go, it would be my obligation to them--certainly not to the president--that would make we consider joining. (Of course, I'd also have to believe that the situation wasn't hopeless, that our going could make some real difference to the situation.)

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-19-04 3:13 PM
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I should probably qualify that I don't judge anybody else's decision on the matter; that's theirs to make and theirs alone. For myself, my obligation to my child would outweigh the obligation to my peers. But as they say, your mileage may vary.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-19-04 3:25 PM
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Posted by: [redacted] | Link to this comment | 05-19-04 10:33 PM
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Damn, that seriously cracked me up.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-19-04 10:41 PM
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That movie would have a lot of words.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-19-04 10:42 PM
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I'd pay money to be in the same unit with the apostropher and Magik Johnson.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-19-04 10:43 PM
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I'm pretty sure that if I polled my readers about whether they'd go if they were drafted, the response would be a near-anonymous "Fuck no!" My response would be the slightly stronger "Fuck no!!"

I say this because I'm a Roman Catholic, and the pope is against the war, and I don't want to put my salvation in jeopardy by participating in a war the pope has labelled "unjust." Actually, even though I'm Roman Catholic, that's not the reason, but I think it would be just fascinating if priests started denying communion to those "cafeteria Catholics" who decided to join the armed forces -- or who voted for pro-Iraq-war politicians!

Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 05-19-04 11:04 PM
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Adam, that would indeed be fascinating. Since you're following this, has anyone made a serious attempt to reconcile the apparent abortion/war/death penalty inconsistency? Or is it just not discussed?

Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 05-20-04 9:26 AM
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Monsignor Labs,

As you well know, Catholic politicians like John Kerry are not permitted to pick and choose which papal doctrines they can follow. That privilege is reserved for the clergy. In my perfect world, the next priest who blathers on about refusing communion to officeholders because of their abortion stance would have their parish's tax-exempt status revoked.

But then I'm just cranky like that.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-20-04 9:54 AM
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Oh honestly. Is it Catholic doctrine that the Pope's conclusions on the justness of a specfic war are of equivalent importance as the Church's long established opposition to abortion? I'm guessing not. In fact I'm more than guessing (paragraphs 2271, 2309). I know the fun inherent in slinging the charge of hypocrisy, but I recommend forsaking that pleasure if it leads you to say doltish things.

death penalty (paragraph 2267) raises more interesting questions. Scalia discusses the point in the course of a genreally excellent essay here.

Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 05-20-04 10:59 PM
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