Tuesday, September 07, 2004

I Feel a Draft

Well, come on all of you, big strong men, Uncle Sam needs your help again. Yeah, he's got himself in a terrible jam Way down yonder in Vietnam So put down your books and pick up a gun, Gonna have a whole lotta fun.

Joe McDonald

I've said before that if Bush is reelected, we'll have a military draft by May of 2005. Now, every time this gets brought up, the arguments come rolling in. It won't do any good because it will take two years to get actual troops. The Selective Service is just a relic. The American people won't stand for it.

Sorry, guys. The military is stretched uncomfortably tightly now, and the Grand Neocon Plan involves taking over at least five more countries (Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Somalia and Sudan, according to Wesley Clark) each of which will be as big a quagmire as Iraq. We're gonna need a lot of manpower, along with a vast increase in the budget for material. (Neocons seem to think that Bradley treads and Humvee tires grow on trees. Not to mention bullets.)

Here's a description of how it will be done (via). Nice and simple; no fuss,no bother.

Protest? Resistance? Not bloody likely. A lot of noise, a few high-profile protesters thrown into Leavenworth to be beaten, maimed, and probably killed, and any protests will turn into just noise. Note that, for all the noise that the Vietnam-era draft protests made, nothing was actually done until the war was effectively over.

Legal challenges? Even less likely. Here is a sample of the Supreme Court opinion on the case that conclusively legalized the draft:

Finally, as we are unable to conceive upon what theory the exaction by government from the citizen of the performance of his supreme and noble duty of contributing to the defense of the rights and honor of the nation as the result of a war declared by the great representative body of the people can be said to be the imposition of involuntary servitude in violation of the prohibitions of the Thirteenth Amendment, we are constrained to the conclusion that the contention to that effect is refuted by its mere statement.

U.S. Supreme Court, ARVER v. U.S. , 245 U.S. 366 (1918)

This is, bluntly, one of the most appalling Supreme Court decisions I've ever read. Basically, it says that the right of the United States to raise armies means that the US has the right to raise armies by any means whatever. Its language is absolutist and dogmatic. It does not argue that the Draft is legal on Constitutional grounds; aside from the right to raise armies, there are none. Instead, it makes its arguments with phrases like "in the light of the fundamental principles with which the subject is concerned", "the inevitable consequence of the provisions of the Constitution", "its unsoundness is too apparent to require us to do more", and, of course, "refuted by its mere statement".

This isn't law. This is bluster. It's what you say when you don't have a real argument.

Georgie will love it.

LATER — Looks like the Army is looking at a little problem next year ...

Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com