I haven’t watched the video of this incident. I don’t really want to.? The descriptions of it are enough for me.

Our all volunteer army, as Jeff notes, is a very real problem, particularly when we do not have a draft during wartime.? No draft means that no one with the means or intention to avoid military service ever serves in the military. ? That means our volunteer army is made up of people who want to be in situations like the one which resulted in the death of innocent journalists, women, and children, or people who have to be because of their socio-economic status.

Our military force is thus not a cross section of America.? It is a distilled, highly concentrated group of Americans who are insulated from the very American instinct to shy away from war, but surrounded by an equally American instinct toward war.? That means there are no mitigating influences in the military culture, which by nature would create a more representative force.

There is no Yale freshman forced against his will to be in that helicopter next to the kid from an Alabama trailer park.? Both would do the job just as well, but together they might do the job with a bit more professionalism than what is displayed in this 2007 incident – not because a Yalie who is forced to be there would be any better at it, but that Yalie just may not enjoy it, his Alabama buddy might respect his partner’s reluctance, and together that might reduce the very ugly reaction of dumbasses doing victory dances on dead bodies.

What’s more, today’s military very deliberately distills a higher proof of this moonshine.? We recruit these kids with video games, these kids grow up playing those video games, thus reinforcing a detached sanitary approach to killing.? We have a universally accepted notion that whatever our military does, they are heroes.? We parade them around like talismans of all that is America, in a media environment with a twitchy reflex deployed 24/7 to defend their every mistake.

War is an awful business, not to be enjoyed.? Yes, do your job.? Rip those fuckers heads off.? But do so because you have to – not because you enjoy it.? Try getting a World War II veteran to sound as callous as these guys about his body count at The Bulge.?? You won’t get very far.

I submit that’s because American society was more fully represented in our military in World War II, because everyone had to serve, and the culture of our killing machine was far more representative of our country’s approach to war itself.? It’s why Iraq has lasted longer than WWII.? It’s why it took us less than 4 years to take out Hirohito, Mussolini, and Hitler, but Osama Bin Laden is still out there almost 9 years after 9/11.? When all of America goes to war, we do so as a final resort, with our full conscience represented in our forces, thus it is quick, it is brutal, and then it is OVER.

A draft would help accomplish all of this. Rather quickly.

Tagged with: