FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

A Bail Out Draft for a Cakewalk War?

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

 

One of the favorite fantasies of right-wing talk radio and Fox “News” is that only Bush-hating liberals oppose the Iraq war and additional US military incursions into the Middle East or wherever.

Yet, it is the March issue of the Washington Monthly, a magazine with a liberal Democratic audience, which makes a case for the draft as the only way “America can remain the world’s superpower.”

The authors, Phillip Carter and Paul Glastris, take it for granted that America’s duty is to make the rest of the world conform to America. They regard this virtuous calling to be so great that a draft is a small price to pay.

The authors have no doubts that Americans exist in order to serve other countries. American lives, limbs, and treasure are required to rectify whatever happens elsewhere that fails to meet with our leaders’ approval.

Since other countries are not willing “to share the burden” by sacrificing their own citizens and resources, America must build a large enough army to do the job on its own.

The authors try to devise a draft proposal that “would create a cascading series of benefits for society” by instilling “a new ethic of service” among college-bound youth. Before America’s youth could be admitted to college, they would first have to serve either in the military or in tutoring disadvantaged children or by helping old folks, or in homeland security by guarding ports.

The authors admit that few would choose combat abroad, but say that some would out of patriotism. They write: “Even if only 10 percent of the one-million young people who annually start at four-year colleges and universities were to choose the military option, the armed forces would receive 100,000 fresh recruits every year.”

The authors mean “nationalism,” when they say “patriotism.” True patriots would oppose the Jacobin agenda of Global Cop and demand that America stick to its founding principles. But the authors cannot imagine America without “its mantle of global leadership” and regard enslaving youth in the service of the state as a small price to pay.

The authors are probably correct that the neoconservatives’ war plans cannot be undertaken with the present US force structure. The neocons thought that in Iraq all the US had to do was to defeat a poorly equipped army. They overlooked that insurgency is a different kind of fighting.

To deal with insurgencies requires vast numbers of troops and practices that tend to produce more insurgents. When the draft army fails to impose America’s will on the world, we will hear the case for “useable nukes.”

The US desperately needs to escape from Iraq before America is sucked into a wider conflict that will necessitate a draft. Once the Bush administration has created so much instability in the Middle East that a rising Islamic revolution is afoot, the stakes will be too high for the US to be able to withdraw.

What might save America from further neoconservative miscalculations is the collapse of the US dollar. A country dependent on foreign financing, as is the US, cannot fight wars that its foreign bankers do not approve. I suspect America’s foreign bankers would let the US fight itself into a deep hole before pulling the plug. It is the best way the world has of getting rid of us.

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: pcroberts@postmark.net

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
June 23, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Democrats in the Dead Zone
Gary Leupp
Trump, Qatar and the Danger of Total Confusion
Andrew Levine
The “Democracies” We Deserve
Jeffrey St. Clair - Joshua Frank
The FBI’s “Operation Backfire” and the Case of Briana Waters
Rob Urie
Cannibal Corpse
Joseph G. Ramsey
Savage Calculations: On the Exoneration of Philando Castille’s Killer
John Wight
Trump’s Attack on Cuba
Dave Lindorff
We Need a Mass Movement to Demand Radical Progressive Change
Brian Cloughley
Moving Closer to Doom
David Rosen
The Sex Offender: the 21st Century Witch
John Feffer
All Signs Point to Trump’s Coming War With Iran
Jennifer L. Lieberman
What’s Really New About the Gig Economy?
Pete Dolack
Analyzing the Failures of Syriza
Vijay Prashad
The Russian Nexus
Mike Whitney
Putin Tries to Avoid a Wider War With the US
Gregory Barrett
“Realpolitik” in Berlin: Merkel Fawns Over Kissinger
Louis Yako
The Road to Understanding Syria Goes Through Iraq
Graham Peebles
Grenfell Tower: A Disaster Waiting to Happen
Ezra Rosser
The Poverty State of Mind and the State’s Obligations to the Poor
Ron Jacobs
Andrew Jackson and the American Psyche
Pepe Escobar
Fear and Loathing on the Afghan Silk Road
Andre Vltchek
Why I Reject Western Courts and Justice
Lawrence Davidson
On Hidden Cultural Corruptors
Christopher Brauchli
The Routinization of Mass Shootings in America
Missy Comley Beattie
The Poor Need Not Apply
Martin Billheimer
White Man’s Country and the Iron Room
Joseph Natoli
What to Wonder Now
Tom Clifford
Hong Kong: the Chinese Meant Business
Thomas Knapp
The Castile Doctrine: Cops Without Consequences
Nyla Ali Khan
Borders Versus Memory
Binoy Kampmark
Death on the Road: Memory in Tim Winton’s Shrine
Tony McKenna
The Oily Politics of Unity: Owen Smith as Northern Ireland Shadow Secretary
Nizar Visram
If North Korea Didn’t Exist US Would Create It
John Carroll Md
At St. Catherine’s Hospital, Cite Soleil, Haiti
Kenneth Surin
Brief Impressions of the Singaporean Conjucture
Paul C. Bermanzohn
Trump: the Birth of the Hero
Jill Richardson
Trump on Cuba: If Obama Did It, It’s Bad
Olivia Alperstein
Our President’s Word Wars
REZA FIYOUZAT
Useless Idiots or Useful Collaborators?
Clark T. Scott
Parallel in Significance
Louis Proyect
Hitler and the Lone Wolf Assassin
Julian Vigo
Theresa May Can’t Win for Losing
Richard Klin
Prog Rock: Pomp and Circumstance
Charles R. Larson
Review: Malin Persson Giolito’s “Quicksand”
David Yearsley
RIP: Pomp and Circumstance
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail