Monday, September 17, 2007

The Draft

Last week we should have been inundated by stories on the Iraq war, but instead O. J. Simpson and a lost British child seemed to take center stage. There are too many echoes of Viet Nam for me to feel any sense of rightness about the war. We should never have gone to war in Iraq, but we cannot leave precipitously now.

I believe we should reinstate the draft and take both men and women. Why? Because as long as the majority of Americans have no personal stake in the Iraq war, the political will for change will not be intense enough to make Congress act. Only if your flesh and blood is at risk is the war personal. Women are no less able to serve than men. There are real physical differences that have to be acknowledged, but any job a woman is physically able to handle should be open.

A draft would allow creation of a larger military and perhaps a chance to keep Afghanistan from sliding back into the hands of the Taliban. We were right to invade Afghanistan, we were wrong to turn our attention to Iraq. We had the opportunity to make a change that could have protected generations from jihad instead President Bush has made sure that Western civilization will face a threat for this entire century. How we ultimately face that threat will determine our fate.

A draft would engage all in the choices to be made and the risks to be taken. I believe the draft provides socio-economic diversity that is not there now. All strata of society should be faced with the potential loss of loved ones.

I believe that we will be attacked here in our homeland because an open society is just too vulnerable. When that happens I am sure all levels of society will be affected. I also believe we must target our opponents narrowly. Al Queda and organizations like it deserve our full attention and the larger military a draft would provide.

I have no personal fear of an attack. Some lack of fear results from the knowledge that where I live is an unlikely target. I have a far greater reason not to fear. As a Christian, I believe in existence beyond the grave. Death is just a threshold we must all cross. I fear suffering, but even that must end. This life is but a shadow of that to come. For me, that is enough.

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