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A Military Draft Will Return When the Ninth Circle of Hell Freezes Over

Dante put the worst sinners in the Ninth Circle (guilty of treachery) of hell—right next to Satan at its center. People with whom readers would not want to share a dinner ended there as eternal punishment. But that doesn’t mean that the militarists and the chief crazy in the White House, in other words those who would get an immediate pass for the Ninth Circle, are going to establish a military draft anytime soon. There would be such massive resistance by young adults that there would have to be even more exemptions to the draft than there are loopholes for the wealthy in the U.S. tax code. That scenario would be the equivalent of the slogan from the Vietnam era: Suppose they gave a war and nobody came.

Even those who have been crushed in the past by Trump’s incoherent grammar and syntax, and the gross stupidity of the content of his message, know that even those in the Inferno’s depths knew which end was up.

Those at the top of the military-industrial complex could bring out all sorts of scams and rouses to try to get some interested in the military. Students, however, are already somewhat cognizant of the fact that fighting in a country like Iran is not even close to what the War on Terror is all about. After almost 17 years of endless and expanding war in Afghanistan, many ask just what is the War on Terror all about? There seem to be no demonstrable victories and lots and lots of newly found hot spots to stoke about $639 billion worth of FY 2018 military spending. Only eight Democrats in the Senate voted against that bill.

The latest troop surge in Afghanistan is a continuation of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission, which will increase the U.S.-NATO presence there to about 16,000 troops. The deadly air war in Afghanistan saw a 50 percent increase from August to September 2017. “The expansion threatens to continue the U.S. military’s involvement in the Afghan quagmire for years to come, but Kabul has been supportive of the additional troops, saying that the country needs the U.S. to enhance its security” (“Trump’s Afghanistan Troop Surge Is Complete, Raising Total Number of U.S. Servicemen to 14,000,” Newsweek, November 17, 2017).

Masses of young adults have been screwed by an economy that is global and cares little about their economic well being. If they’re fortunate to have had the benefit of a higher education then the majority carry with them the burden of years of indebtedness. There will always be some who enlist out of their belief system and those who do so to survive economically, but many know that by putting themselves in harms way, the primary beneficiaries will be corporations like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman, to name a few. The list of war profiteers goes on with about 53 cents of every dollar of discretionary spending going to fighting endless wars. Most Democrats and Republicans love being on the side of that 53 cent mark.

Since Iran is complying with the 2015 deal to halt its nuclear weapons program, the media will have to produce a new set of aluminum tubes and nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. Perhaps the media giants could hire a few of the Russia bashers and convince them to attest to the fact that Iran is hiding its nuclear bomb-making facilities a mile or so underground? U.S. policy in the Middle East is largely the poor stepchild of Israel, and that fact almost by itself is a recipe for disaster.

When Richard Nixon ended the draft in 1973, he knew that it would take the wind right out of the sails of the antiwar movement and he was right. Besides exhaustion entering into the equation after over nine years of war in Vietnam, the issue of self-interest is what finally ended the massive amount of resistance to that war. People finally went home and even a warmonger like Ronald Reagan knew that he would have to rely on hype and propaganda to get the war machine rolling smoothly again and open the door for George H.W. Bush to squash the Vietnam Syndrome once and for all. The rest of the story of unending warfare and untold mayhem is history, so to speak.

There’s no doubt that Bin Laden and his band of psychotic murderers were a threat, but even that issue can be traced to the U.S. support of the mujahideen during the Soviet war in Afghanistan: It’s what’s called blowback and there were those in high places in the U.S. so-called intelligence services who knew about that threat and chose to ignore it along with George W. Bush. It’s difficult to believe that Bin Laden’s religious “convictions” about the Gulf War could have been the only reason fueling his insane plans.

Here’s Professor Larry Wilkerson on the Real News Network (“Wilkerson: On Iran, Trump Follows the Iraq War Playbook,” February 6, 2018):

So, you’re going to have to put troops on the ground. You’re going to have to go into Iran. You’re going to have to invade. You’re going to have to probably sweep the country. This takes a half a million troops. Think full mobilization. Think the draft coming back. And you’re going to have to spend 3-5 trillion dollars and you’ll probably have to occupy for at least a decade and at the end of that decade, you’ll have even more destabilization of the region. Let’s look at the truth. Iran is one of the most stable countries in the region right now. We will totally destabilize that country and its neighbors, once again, and we’ll have a true mess on our hands.

Professor Wilkerson is right about the disaster that the U.S. would make out of Iran in a military invasion. But, there is also the slow wearing down of Iran through a number of other actions that the U.S. has used against Iran and elsewhere. Ordinary people in Iran will be harmed. The military-industrial elites will never achieve their ends in Iran with a draft.

 

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Howard Lisnoff is a freelance writer. He is the author of Against the Wall: Memoir of a Vietnam-Era War Resister (2017).

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