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Ending the draft helped create the horror of endless war

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"Be careful what you wish for, you may receive it," wrote author W.W. Jacobs in the classic horror story The Monkey's Paw in 1902.

Nearly 50 years after military conscription, or the draft, ended in the United States in 1973, we can see that that admonition is a salient one. Opponents of the draft got what they wanted when the government agreed to conscription's end, but they also got something they never bargained for: endless war.

Oct. 16, 1965, news photo: antiwar and anti-protest demonstrations, together on the University of Michigan Diag.
Oct. 16, 1965, news photo: antiwar and anti-protest demonstrations, together on the University of Michigan Diag.
(Image by In Memoriam: Wystan)
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Anti-Vietnam War protests helped end both the war and the draft. Photo by Wystan.

European governments engaged in endless war for centuries, and they could do so because there was no draft. Soldiers were professionals, so the endless European wars affected them, their families, and their governments, but often had little effect on the general populace. A farm family in Eastern Europe might find itself in Polish territory one decade, in German territory in another, and in Austrian Empire territory in another, but unless there was a son in the military, that affected their lives very little.

In 1813, the Kingdom of Prussia introduced universal conscription; that was the first occurrence since the Roman Empire of an army comprised primarily of civilians. As Thomas Brophy of Holy Cross College writes in the Delta Epsilon Sigma Journal, "now wars became national affairs that the whole country was engaged in, rather than simply a ruler with his or her army against another ruler and their army."

Because wars became national affairs, the general populace started to have a say. Public pressure to end a war quickly to bring the conscripts home was a huge factor in the American Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and culminating in the Vietnam War, when "bring the boys home" was a rallying cry for the war's opponents.

They not only managed to bring the boys home, but they went a step further and got the government to end the draft, which had been in force since 1948 in both peacetime and wartime.

In the world wars and Korean and Vietnam wars, everyone had a son, a brother, a cousin, or a neighbor who was fighting, so everyone had a stake in bringing that person home. The end of the draft had the unintended consequence of putting the onus of the fighting on America's brave volunteer military. While most Americans rightly respect them for their service, many do not even know anyone in the military, so bringing our soldiers and sailors home no longer seems to be a national priority. When it comes to the military, we're back to the pre-1813 European model of out of sight, out of mind.

With the draft, America's military involvement in World War I lasted two years; in World War II and Korea, four years each; in Vietnam, about a decade. Without a draft, America's military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq is coming on nearly two decades, with no end in sight.

Is a return to the draft the answer? No. The answers are more interest in covering the wars we're in by the media (when is the last time you read an article about Afghanistan or Iraq?), and more concern by the American people for our military personnel, with the resulting pressure to end these endless wars and to bring the boys, and girls, home.

"Out of sight, out of mind" is no way to oversee the government's use of the military.

 

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William S. Bike is Senior Vice President of ANB Communications, a communications consulting and political consulting firm based in Chicago. Bike has worked in journalism, public relations, and politics since 1979 and is the former Communications (more...)
 
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11 people are discussing this page, with 17 comments


William Bike

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Many young people in the United States have never even seen a war end.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 at 4:00:57 AM

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Dennis Kaiser

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People see no end to these illegal genocides because there is no plan to end them. The only plan is to illegally invade wither through economic bombs through sanctions or physical bombs and/or chemical devices with the intention of totally disrupting the target nation, plundering their natural resources, and killing millions (let's remember the goal (see #9) is to reduce the global population by 3 billion by the year 2050).

Imposing a draft would bring these illegal genocides to the forefront as it would affect every family with children of draft age. We saw what this caused with Viet Nam.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 at 12:20:27 PM

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William Bike

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Reply to Dennis Kaiser:   New Content

Thanks for your insights on the draft.


Submitted on Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 at 4:22:30 PM

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Mrs. Fuxit

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Many honest, ethical, morally upright (wo)men decide to become indentured slaves, property of U.S. GOVERNMENT, and are subjected to medical and psychological experiments. Endless war is the most profitable product sold to Congress every year. More than thirty (30) National Emergencies continue to deny Universal Human Rights & Civil Rights for those who volunteer to serve as cannon fodder. Human Beings were not designed to be slaves.Teach each and every child self defense. Teach them how to make weapons,and how to grow food that's good for them. Teach children First Aid. Is Betsy DeVos reading this?

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 at 1:24:50 PM

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William Bike

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Reply to Mrs. Fuxit:   New Content

I hope Betsy de Vos does read this!

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 at 4:23:11 PM

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Dennis Kaiser

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Reply to William Bike:   New Content

Are we sure she cn read anything but a financial statement?


Submitted on Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 at 4:43:44 PM

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kappie

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great article until the end when in the last paragraph the author says reinstating the draft isn't the answer.It is the answer because only that will make the consequences of war meaningful,news coverage his answer won't do it.people seeing the news will say "Oh,thats terrible" and continue on with their day but receving a letter saying your son is dead will hit people like a ton of bricks.i predicted this result when the draft was cancelled that it would lead to indiscriminate war.My fellow Americans never stop to think their actions through

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 at 3:43:03 PM

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William Bike

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Reply to kappie:   New Content

Thanks for gently disagreeing with my last paragraph! I appreciate your viewpoint.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 at 4:24:00 PM

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George W.Reichel

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Reply to kappie:   New Content

Agree completely.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 at 7:50:56 PM

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George W.Reichel

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Reply to kappie:   New Content

Great response,I agree.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 at 7:52:13 PM

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Don Smith

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Indeed: Rising costs, dwindling recruit numbers, increasing demands may bring back the military draft and the article mentions that doing so may discourage militarism.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 at 8:26:39 PM

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Kenneth Lee

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The consequences of ending the draft (but curiously not registration, lol...) were NOT unintended. The powers that control these things knew exactly what they were doing. Our protests in the streets, my and many others' refusal to participate, NONE of it mattered to those who actually control what happens in this country. Frankly, nor does it matter who we "vote" for, what opinion polls we sign or in what marches and demonstrations we participate. Unfortunately, these are just the 'feel-good' events that we are allowed in order to further the mistaken belief that our concerns have any relevance. This government, in collusion with some others, is on a chosen path of world domination that the 'civilian' population seems powerless to stop. We can only control what we are as individuals, and hopefully strive to be the best of humankind as long as it is possible. That legacy is ours to shape, and ours alone.

If anyone out there still believes that their vote or their opinion matters to anyone other than themselves, just think about the FACT that about 90% of the population here want universal background checks on gun purchases and the fact that it is barely discussed, let alone voted for by our so-called 'representatives'. That is simply the most glaring example of the impotence and irrelevance of the voting public re: government policies. How many of us want an obscene "border wall" of steel and concrete surrounding us or literally endless wars that we initiate and perpetuate? There are too many other examples to spend my time on, but I challenge anyone to prove me wrong. We don't even have a President who was elected by the PEOPLE. Always bear in mind that there are literally hundreds of thousands of gov. employees and contractors whose ONLY JOB is to consider the ramifications of every action or inaction this government takes around the world, and to determine which of these will best serve those who control, NOT the rest of us. The evidence for this is literally everywhere you look, from the endless wars to the massive surveillance apparatus all around us.

I cannot help those veterans returning home. The best thing they can do is spend the rest of their lives trying to atone for what they have done, and perhaps join me in strongly DIS-couraging others from following in their footsteps. Once they learn that they have fought and suffered, not for the rest of us, but for the elite controllers who create the propaganda and write and give the orders, then their atonement and healing can begin.

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 at 9:18:22 PM

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I'll be 75 years old in a few months and we have been at war some place in the world all my life. Every war we have had in my lifetime has been a BIG FAT LIE! The filthy rich GARBAGE that controls this country have to have war so they can get richer! They are the ones who should be hung up by their necks and left to die! Read the little 15 page book "War is a Racket" by Major Gen. Smedley Butler. It's at ical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html

Submitted on Thursday, Nov 21, 2019 at 9:22:57 PM

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"Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars" is a very interesting document. Links for two articles posted a month ago are at the end of this comment.


This is the section on the draft. This document was approved at the very first Bilderberg Meeting in 1954.

The Draft (As military service)

Few efforts of human behavior modification are more remarkable or more effective than that of the socio-military institution known as the draft. A primary purpose of a draft or other such institution is to instill, by intimidation, in the young males of a society the uncritical conviction that the government is omnipotent. He is soon taught that a prayer is slow to reverse what a bullet can do in an instant. Thus, a man trained in a religious environment for eighteen years of his life can, by this instrument of the government, be broken down, be purged of his fantasies and delusions in a matter of mere months. Once that conviction is instilled, all else becomes easy to instill.

Even more interesting is the process by which a young man's parents, who purportedly love him, can be induced to send him off to war to his death. Although the scope of this work will not allow this matter to be expanded in full detail, nevertheless, a coarse overview will be possible and can serve to reveal those factors which must be included in some numerical form in a computer analysis of social and war systems.

....

Enforcement

Factor I

As in every social system approach, stability is achieved only by understanding and accounting for human nature (action/reaction patterns). A failure to do so can be, and usually is, disastrous.

As in other human social schemes, one form or another of intimidation (or incentive) is essential to the success of the draft. Physical principles of action and reaction must be applied to both internal and external subsystems.

To secure the draft, individual brainwashing/programming and both the family unit and the peer group must be engaged and brought under control.

Factor II - Father

The man of the household must be housebroken to ensure that junior will grow up with the right social training and attitudes. The advertising media, etc., are engaged to see to it that father-to-be is p*ssy-whipped before or by the time he is married. He is taught that he either conforms to the social notch cut out for him or his sex life will be hobbled and his tender companionship will be zero. He is made to see that women demand security more than logical, principled, or honorable behavior.

By the time his son must go to war, father (with jelly for a backbone) will slam a gun into junior's hand before father will risk the censure of his peers, or make a hypocrite of himself by crossing the investment he has in his own personal opinion or self-esteem. Junior will go to war or father will be embarrassed. So junior will go to war, the true purpose not withstanding.

Factor III - Mother

The female element of human society is ruled by emotion first and logic second. In the battle between logic and imagination, imagination always wins, fantasy prevails, maternal instinct dominates so that the child comes first and the future comes second. A woman with a newborn baby is too starry-eyed to see a wealthy man's cannon fodder or a cheap source of slave labor. A woman must, however, be conditioned to accept the transition to "reality" when it comes, or sooner.

As the transition becomes more difficult to manage, the family unit must be carefully disintegrated, and state-controlled public education and state-operated child-care centers must be become more common and legally enforced so as to begin the detachment of the child from the mother and father at an earlier age. Inoculation of behavioral drugs [Ritalin] can speed the transition for the child (mandatory). Caution: A woman's impulsive anger can override her fear. An irate woman's power must never be underestimated, and her power over a p*ssy-whipped husband must likewise never be underestimated. It got women the vote in 1920.

Factor IV - Junior

The emotional pressure for self-preservation during the time of war and the self-serving attitude of the common herd that have an option to avoid the battlefield - if junior can be persuaded to go - is all of the pressure finally necessary to propel Johnny off to war. Their quiet blackmailings of him are the threats: "No sacrifice, no friends; no glory, no girlfriends."

Factor V - Sister

And what about junior's sister? She is given all the good things of life by her father, and taught to expect the same from her future husband regardless of the price.

Factor VI - Cattle

Those who will not use their brains are no better off than those who have no brains, and so this mindless school of jelly-fish, father, mother, son, and daughter, become useful beasts of burden or trainers of the same.


"Connecting the Dots." Introduction to Dot1, "Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars."

Dot1: "Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars." Blueprint for Taking Control of the World. Crucial Inside Information.

Submitted on Friday, Nov 22, 2019 at 11:34:26 PM

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Lance Ciepiela

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Of course 'without a draft', and relying on 'a voluntary armed force', means that Americans, generation after generation, will be growing up without having to serve the nation in uniform - eventually 'they' possibly will come to believe, that 'for themselves', 'freedom and liberty' are 'for free' and suddenly, Americans are lusting after the 'milk and honey' of the United States and letting all the 'volunteers do all the fighting, killing, and dying', while charlatans and draft dodgers ("02") are suddenly in high office and walking in the halls of congress, plotting ('passing' the #PatriotAct eviscerating America's Civil Liberties) and orchestrating (#AUMF2001/2002) and prolonging the endless wars and the endless debt (#911NeverForget "explosives used on 9/11 say Commissioners") for the 21st Century. #NurembergRedux.

Submitted on Saturday, Nov 23, 2019 at 1:26:10 PM

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Jill Herendeen

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Those Who Profit from endless wars don't NEED a draft, after they've sunk so large a proportion of the public into poverty that the only jobs available which pay enough to live on (almost) are in the military.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 24, 2019 at 2:24:21 PM

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William Bike

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Reply to Jill Herendeen:   New Content

Very insightful, Jill. Thanks for commenting.

Submitted on Sunday, Nov 24, 2019 at 3:11:38 PM

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