Sunday, January 4, 2009

All Those 'Poor, Uneducated, Minorities Being Drafted in America!'

If you are upset about America's drafting of young people to fight in its unjust wars, you aren't alone.

Here's a comment left recently, on "Cards-to-the-Troops Campaign by Xerox" (July 23, 2007), from Solidinkoutlet:
"I am dedicating this post to all of our soldiers in Iraq and other states fighting for our country! Young men get drafted into the army and most are not really aware of the corruptness of the government with every political issue or economic issue.

"These young men in the army are literally fighting for their lives since it is their 'nations duty'

"Lets all take a moment and really admire our talented individuals fighting for our lives too.."

"January 1, 2009 8:36 PM"
I think the comment is mostly spam for "Xerox Ink Sticks and Xerox Solid Ink for Phaser" - and might, possibly, be referring to a country other than the United States. However, since Xerox is an American company, and this blog is written from a rather unambiguously American viewpoint, I think it's reasonable to assume that Solidinkoutlet was referring to America's military draft.

America's Military Draft: Reality Check, Please!

For the benefit of those who get their information from the likes of United for Peace and Justice, Code Pink, and Berkeley, there hasn't been an active military draft in America since 1973.

Young Americans didn't even need to register with Selective Service from 1975 to 1980. President Carter restarted registration after the former Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Every administration since has kept registration going, and I think it's quite possible that Barack Obama does, too.

So:
  • Could Americans be drafted into the military?
    • Yes
  • Are Americans being drafted into the military?
    • No
  • Are Americans likely to be drafted into the military?
    • In my opinion, not likely
Despite the impression one might get on some campuses, and other enclaves, this isn't the sixties. Times have changed.

Attention, Anti-War Chauvinists: The Age of Aquarius is Now the Information Age

The American military doesn't use - or need - unthinking zombie soldiers. The blindly-obedient, lockstep 'Prussian' military model, as popularized when I entered academia, was a 19th-century phenomena, extending into the 20th. And, as far as I've been able to determine, nowhere near as stupid as it was made to look.

American Soldiers: Not Thugs With Clubs

Draftees have not been part of the American military for over thirty years: and for good reason. It's been a very long time since national armies were hordes of peasants, occasionally trained to use something other than farm implements as weapons.

America's soldiers must know how to use and maintain Information Age technology, and deal with a complicated set of tasks when they are deployed. Even if hordes of ignorant peasants were still available, they wouldn't be very effective. Except for giving the medics something to do.

America's Military 'Looks Like America' - Pretty Much

'Everybody knows' that America's military victimizes the uneducated, the poor, and minorities (black Americans, that is), right? 'Everybody' may know that, but it's not so.

First, I'm not at all sure that employment, plus training that can be transferred to civilian jobs, and educational opportunities constitutes "victimization."

Even if earning that combination-plate of money, training, and education is being 'victimized,' the pain is being spread around rather well, as I learned in research for another post.

American military victimizes:
  • The uneducated
    There's actually a grain of truth to this
    • 2004 recruits' mean reading level was a full grade level higher than that of the comparable youth population
    • You'll find a higher proportion of high school grads in the American military, than you will among civilians
  • The poor
    Again, true - sort of
    • Young people from the poorest and the richest American families are underrepresented, and you're more likely to find middle-class kids in the military
  • Minorities
    There's real 'inequality' here, but probably not what you'd expect
    • Asian - you're not as likely to see someone with this ethnic background in the American military, compared to the American population as a whole
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander - there are 649 percent more people with this ethnicity in the American armed forces, than in the general American population
I think this 'victimization' may have something to do with America having a volunteer military. If an American is a soldier, that person must:
  • Want to be a soldier
  • Have the qualities it takes to serve in the armed forces
Face it: Not everyone wants to be a soldier. It's even possible that young people in some American subcultures are less likely than others to want a military career. No problem with that: with a population topping 300,000,000, it would be a little odd if America didn't have a bit of diversity.

Why Not Let People Live in Their Own World?

People thinking that America's soldiers are drafted, or that a cabal of Jesuit assassins and priests of Baal1 are plotting to take over the world, might not matter if America was an old-fashioned monarchy.

The citizens in this country can vote, and have a voice in decisions that affect everybody. As GlobalSecurity.org put it, "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts."

Related posts: Background: Related posts, on censorship, propaganda, and freedom of speech.
1 I'm not making that up. I wrote more about the Black Pope, secrets of the Vatican library, and global conspiracies, in another blog, A Catholic Citizen in America.

4 comments:

Brigid said...

"Even earning that combination plate of money, training, and education is being 'victimized,' the pain is being spread around rather well, as I learned in research for another post."

I think you meant to have the word 'if' after 'even.'

UNRR said...

This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 1/6/2009, at The Unreligious Right

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

Brigid,

Right you are! Oops. And, it's been corrected.

Xerox 8500 ink said...

I am a young American with many friends who have gone in the armed forces. They have joined every branch from the Army to the Airforce, and I don't feel sorry for them at all. Unfortunately they all have no other choice but to take advantage of the benefits that are offered by the United States, but they chose to. The United States' soldiers have the best training, and the best paying job of any military in the world. Each soldier has their own reason for joining, and I can not say anything bad about their decision, but I DO wish them luck and for a safe return home.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

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In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.