Re: AntiDraft Policy - a failed standard of the Sixties (fwd)

John Andrew (J_Andrew@ACAD.FANDM.EDU)
Mon, 12 Aug 1996 11:26:18 -0400

>Sender: "m.bibby" <>
>Subject: Re: AntiDraft Policy - a failed standard of the Sixties
>In response to John's comment on my post:
>Perhaps I haven't made myself clear, and I'm sorry if I've misinterpreted
>John's argument--but my point wasn't really about the *legitimacy* of
>using military force as an arm of the state--as anti-militarist as I am,
>I'm also pragmatic enough to recognize this necessity. Actually what I
>wanted to raise for consideration--and what the rest of my post asked--was
>whether it would be possible to have an all-volunteer military that would
>not act as "a mercenary force to be used at the whim of a president"
>(John's 8/6 post). This is actually a question of political philosophy, I
>suppose, but it reflects on the nature of the previous posts' critique of
>the results of Nixon's end to the draft. Wouldn't it be possible to have a
>"people's army" that answered directly to citizens without forcing them to
>serve in it? I ask this question because I honestly don't know if such a
>thing is theoretically or practically possible--but I also feel very
>strongly that the draft is wrong. [stuff deleted]
>Michael Bibby
In response to Michael's query, it's a good question but how would it be
fulfilled in our current system of government? The President is commander
in chief - the Congress declares war [at least in constitutional terms] -
what role is there for citizens aside from (a) turning out their Cong.
representatives in the next election - which we hold by the calendar rather
than when needed - or (b) massive public demonstrations - or (c) enlistees
refusing to fight (but what were they thinking when they enlisted? that
they would only direct traffic during hurricanes?) - or (d) reinstitute a
draft - so that ordinary citizens woud find their lives put in a danger
they militantly opposed - along with their fellow citizens - such as in the
anti-draft/anti-war protest during Viet Nam - are there other options?
listening for suggestions.
John Andrew

John Andrew email: J_ANDREW@ACAD.FANDM.EDU
Department of History fax 717-399-4413
Franklin and Marshall College
Lancaster, PA. 17604-3003

"Fantasy Will Set You Free" - Steppenwolf