May 21, 2004
A Modest Proposal - A Reformed Military Draft
BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
Compulsory service in the military will be a likely priority of either Mr. Bush or Mr. Kerry since both have stated an intention to "stay the course" in Iraq. Pending in both the US House and Senate is the "Universal National Service Act of 2003"; twin bills, HR 163 and S89; which will re-institute the military draft in the spring of 2005.
In Iraq the current coalition of the "willing" consists of 135,000 US troops (earning about $18,000 a year), 20,000 US mercenaries (earning about $20,000 a month), 10,000 British troops and a smattering of other dependant countries' troops. These troops are being killed, wounded and withdrawn at a steady rate.
Historically, the draft has consumed the young before they have had an opportunity to express their ambitions and dreams and before they have had a chance to contribute to the fabric of our society. My proposal is for a Reformed Draft in which the work of war would be confined to males who had no prior combat service (not to include dental work) between the ages of 50 and 70 years. There would be no deferments and no "other priorities" (sorry Mr. Cheney).
Selective Service would have the following affirmative action criteria:
The beauty and justice of such a Reformed Draft would be the following: the above individuals would have no risk of dying young. Additionally, these patriots would have already made their best contributions to their country and would have received the greatest benefits (including tax breaks) of citizenship in the United States. My proposed Reformed Draft will provide these individuals an opportunity to repay their debt to their country.
Although not a primary intention, perhaps the Reformed Draft would promote peaceful conflict resolution, but if war does occur at least it would result in some income redistribution. Women and non-caucasians would be excluded from the Reformed Draft as part of the affirmative action to address historical societal prejudices, but they would be welcomed as volunteers if they met age and income criteria.
Let those who have benefited from citizenship pay their due and allow the youth an opportunity to make a contribution and earn their due. Contact your Senators and Congresspersons and let them know how you feel about the draft.
A BUZZFLASH READER CONTRIBUTION
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