FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Call to Empire Act

by KURT NIMMO

As Rummy and the guys over at the Pentagon know, reinstituting the draft is a bad idea. Last time young people were forced into the military meat grinder (during the Vietnam War) many responded by fragging (either shooting or throwing grenades at) officers. Morale was dismal, as should have been expected considering the depravity and organized mass murder soldiers were forced to partake in. Not long ago Rumsfeld admitted the Pentagon is not interested in drafting kids from the traditional pool — the working class and poor of urban and rural America — when he said Vietnam era draftees added “no value, no advantage” to the military. No doubt, as well, the current crop of officers don’t relish the prospect of a return to fragging.

Enter the so-called “Call to Service Act,” billed as “the most important change in America’s military recruitment policy since the end of the draft.” It is designed to allow “patriotic” young Americans to join the military for 18 months of “active service” instead of the standard four years. “This would make enlisting in the military a decision upper middle-class youth could identify with,” opined Charles Moskos, a Northwestern University military sociologist who developed the scheme. “Today, they don’t even know anyone in the military.”

Well, Chuck, that’s because the average upper middle-class youth usually doesn’t hobnob with the working class and poor who comprise Rumsfeld’s and Dubya’s grunts.

It didn’t take John McCain, R-Ariz., and Evan Bayh, D- Ind., long to gush over this harebrained scheme to populate the sagging military as it gears up for endless wars of conquest in the name of transnational corporations and rich folks with a stake in Lockheed Martin and other death merchants. “No national endeavor requires as much unshakable resolve as war,” McCain said. “Before we enter one, we should know that most Americans share the commitment and are prepared to make the personal sacrifices it entails.” Translation: it’s probably a good idea to do a more effective job at brainwashing the middle class so they will donate (i.e., “sacrifice”) their kids to Bush’s envisioned future of perpetual war.

As for the required propaganda barrage required to sell what should be entitled the Call to Empire Act, consider the following:

“Disparities in military service can undermine the civic ethic of equal sacrifice, undercut public support for military campaigns, and weaken the effectiveness of civilian oversight,” a report issued by the Progressive Policy Institute, a think tank for “centrist” Democrats concludes.

Naturally, donating your children to wars devised by chicken hawks who never saw fit to join the military (like Cheney, they had “other priorities”) should be viewed by the public as a “civic ethic of equal sacrifice” instead of what it really is: a con game perpetuated by the ruling elite on those they view as expendable pawns. How many senators do you think will be urging their loved ones to join up for 18 months of “equal sacrifice?” None, nada, zip. As for “civilian oversight” of the military, one has to wonder what planet the “centrist” Democrats at the Progressive Policy Institute came from. There’s no such thing.

Hopefully, not many people will be fooled by this nonsense. Military recruiters already have unprecedented access to America’s youth as they attempt to coerce them into becoming cannon fodder for Bush’s New World Order of Shock and Awe Mass Murder on a global scale. If they have any doubt about what happens to far too many veterans, they may want to have a chat with the homeless Vietnam vet down on the corner or one of the hundreds of thousands of veterans suffering from Gulf War Syndrome.

Bush can’t run his all-war, all-the-time scheme if people refuse to join the military. As the Call to Empire Act demonstrates, the military is desperate to replenish its ranks with fresh meat. Rumsfeld likes to brag America can run multiple wars simultaneously, but if young people refuse to join up the war machine will eventually sputter and grind to a halt. The only alternative will be a return to the draft, which the Pentagon fears almost as much as it fears budget cuts and thumbs down to frivolous weapon systems.

If the draft returns, fragging may also return — and in a big way.

KURT NIMMO is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Visit his excellent online gallery. He can be reached at: nimmo@zianet.com

We highly recommend regular visits to Nimmo’s website, Another Day in the Empire

 

More articles by:

KURT NIMMO is a photographer and multimedia developer in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Visit his excellent no holds barred blog at www.kurtnimmo.com/ . Nimmo is a contributor to Cockburn and St. Clair’s, The Politics of Anti-Semitism. A collection of his essays for CounterPunch, Another Day in the Empire, is now available from Dandelion Books. He can be reached at: nimmo@zianet.com

February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
Sheldon Richman
‘Peace Through Strength’ is a Racket
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Taking on the Pentagon
Patrick Cockburn
People Care More About the OXFAM Scandal Than the Cholera Epidemic
Ted Rall
On Gun Violence and Control, a Political Gordian Knot
Binoy Kampmark
Making Mugs of Voters: Mueller’s Russia Indictments
Dave Lindorff
Mass Killers Abetted by Nutjobs
Myles Hoenig
A Response to David Axelrod
Colin Todhunter
The Royal Society and the GMO-Agrochemical Sector
Cesar Chelala
A Student’s Message to Politicians about the Florida Massacre
Weekend Edition
February 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
American Carnage
Paul Street
Michael Wolff, Class Rule, and the Madness of King Don
Andrew Levine
Had Hillary Won: What Now?
David Rosen
Donald Trump’s Pathetic Sex Life
Susan Roberts
Are Modern Cities Sustainable?
Joyce Nelson
Canada vs. Venezuela: Have the Koch Brothers Captured Canada’s Left?
Geoff Dutton
America Loves Islamic Terrorists (Abroad): ISIS as Proxy US Mercenaries
Mike Whitney
The Obnoxious Pence Shows Why Korea Must End US Occupation
Joseph Natoli
In the Post-Truth Classroom
John Eskow
One More Slaughter, One More Piece of Evidence: Racism is a Terminal Mental Disease
John W. Whitehead
War Spending Will Bankrupt America
Robert Fantina
Guns, Violence and the United States
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Latest Insulting Proposal: Converting SNAP into a Canned Goods Distribution Program
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Zaps Oxygen
John Laforge
$1.74 Trillion for H-bomb Profiteers and “Fake” Cleanups
CJ Hopkins
The War on Dissent: the Specter of Divisiveness
Peter A. Coclanis
Chipotle Bell
Anders Sandström – Joona-Hermanni Mäkinen
Ways Forward for the Left
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Winning Hearts and Minds
Tommy Raskin
Syrian Quicksand
Martha Rosenberg
Big Pharma Still Tries to Push Dangerous Drug Class
Jill Richardson
The Attorney General Thinks Aspirin Helps Severe Pain – He’s Wrong
Mike Miller
Herb March: a Legend Deserved
Ann Garrison
If the Democrats Were Decent
Renee Parsons
The Times, They are a-Changing
Howard Gregory
The Democrats Must Campaign to End Trickle-Down Economics
Sean Keller
Agriculture and Autonomy in the Middle East
Ron Jacobs
Re-Visiting Gonzo
Eileen Appelbaum
Rapid Job Growth, More Education Fail to Translate into Higher Wages for Health Care Workers
Ralph Nader
Shernoff, Bidart, and Echeverria—Wide-Ranging Lawyers for the People
Chris Zinda
The Meaning of Virginia Park
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail