Suzy, let Toner speak for himself:
"I personally have never met an Arab or an Egyptian that I didn't like. I know they are out there, but the ones I have known are great people, including many MD's who cared for me and my family here.
On the other hand, I find the Israeli's and their supporters to be a rather obnoxious bunch, personally."
Au brought up the holocaust, but I agree with his point.
As for personal experience touted by Toner. I don't think personal experience is necessarily better than other kinds of knowledge. A soldier on the front lines may not have a clue why he's there. The old saying "Our's is not to reason why, our's is but to do or die" has a great deal of truth in it.
I never met a suicide bomber. As far as I know, they are all dead.
That goes for the Japanese and Arab's.
Jews are no strangers to suicide, BTW. Read about Masada.
Jews are no strangers to suicide, BTW. Read about Masada.
Even you must understand that is not analogous to today's suicide bombers. You, it would appear, are clutching at straws.
And you, au, are straining for a gnat while swallowing a camel.
I see you are in Brooklyn. I was born in Jamaica, Queens, 1931. Spent a lot of time in Brooklyn. Nathan's in Coney Island.
Those were the days, my friends, those were the days.
Well at least we can agree on one thing those were the days.
Have always lived in Brooklyn and spent many a summer day at Brighten Beach and Coney Island. It was only about a 20 minute ride on the subway from where I grew up. At the present time live a twenty minute walk from Nathans. Unfortuneately Nathans is not what it used to be and neither is Coney Island.
PS. I was born in Crown Heights, Brooklyn in 1929. In the shadow of Ebbets field.
au1929 - Another senior citizen, I see.
Stop putzing around and hire a professional.
Anyway, back to the war.
"WAR IS JUST A RACKET"
We are in war of aggression against Iraq, a nation that had nothing to do with the 9-11 attacks, while we are still at war with Afghanistan, another nation that never did a thing against us.
The Hawks promoting this are Bush, Cheney, Perle, Wolfowitz, Fleisher, Rumsfeld, and Ashcroft, to name a few. All managed to avoid service in either Korea or Vietnam. These are veritable Chickenhawks.
We must keep the lesson of Gen. S. Butler USMC, recipient of 2 Congressional Medals of Honor, in mind before we waste more lives, and make more enemies.
"War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.
I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight.
The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.
I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.
There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.
It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.
I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service.
My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.
I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in.
I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."
Sound familiar? Think about it.
Commentary > Opinion
from the April 26, 2004 edition
Calls for military draft promote illusion of equality
By David Greenberg
NEW YORK – No idea excites self-styled reformers, whether liberal or conservative, more than calls to revive the military draft. In the run-up to the invasion of Iraq last year, Rep. Charles Rangel (D) of New York lobbied for conscription. Last week, it was Sen. Chuck Hagel (R) of Nebraska. Both contend that a draft would spread the burden of sacrifice more justly than our all-volunteer armed forces and make jaded Americans own up to the brutal toll war exacts.
Those seduced by Senator Hagel's call should take note of how deep opposition to the draft has been throughout US history. The idea certainly appeals to Americans' traditional concern for equal treatment. But it often romanticizes the extent to which conscription has been equitable in practice.
Aversion to the draft dates to the Revolutionary War. The Minute Men needed no official orders to rebel against British rule. But the reliance on volunteers sometimes crippled the Continental Army, as in the winter of 1776, when Tom Paine disparaged the "summer soldier and the sunshine patriot."
But although Gen. George Washington wanted national conscription, the Continental Congress denied his request. The select states that did draft soldiers let well-born conscripts hire replacements, who were usually poor and jobless. Military service hardly forged the bond that today's draft advocates imagine.
A decade later, the Constitution's framers broke with European practice and omitted from the founding document any reference to conscription - conferring on Congress alone the power to "raise and support armies." A draft would "stretch the strings of government too violently," argued Virginia's delegate Edmund Randolph. Even when war came, in 1812, Congress refused to allow what Rep. Daniel Webster of New Hampshire warned would amount to "Napoleonic despotism," despite President James Madison's pleas for a draft.
The Civil War did see limited use of the draft by the Union following a drop in enlistment. But again, the policy was hardly fair. Because draftees could escape service for $300, then a hefty sum, critics charged that the conflict had become "a rich man's war but a poor man's fight." Ferocious antidraft riots in New York City killed more than 100 people in July 1863.
Although the World War I draft law prohibited hiring substitutes, the inherent coerciveness of the policy still sparked enormous dissent. An estimated 3 million young men refused to register, and of those called up, 12 percent either didn't report or deserted. Civil libertarians even went to court to argue that the draft violated the 13th Amendment ban on involuntary servitude, though they lost before the Supreme Court.
Even Franklin Roosevelt faced hostility in trying to impose a draft as World War II neared. Sen. Arthur Vandenberg (R) of Michigan accused the president of "tearing up 150 years of American history and tradition, in which none but volunteers have entered the peacetime Armies and Navies." And although FDR prevailed, the public expected that peace would end the draft, as it did after World War I. Indeed, in 1947, President Harry Truman proclaimed his "earnest desire of placing our Army and Navy on an entirely volunteer basis." Only after the "red scare" set in did Truman allow the unprecedented peacetime draft to continue.
Until Vietnam. By 1969, antiwar sentiment reached record highs, with critics charging, among other complaints, that the jerry-built system of deferments forced the lower classes to face combat disproportionately. Entering the presidency, Richard Nixon endorsed draft reform as a means to quiet the movement. He forced into retirement Maj. Gen. Lewis B. Hershey, the head of the Selective Service who opposed draft reform, and created a lottery to make the draft fairer. Ultimately, he put in place today's all-volunteer force.
Since then, every deployment of US forces has triggered high-minded calls to revive the draft, invariably in the name of fairness. But conscription in the US has never been a model of fairness. Indeed, if 225 years of skepticism toward the draft offer any lesson, it's that entrusting our defense to soldiers who actually want to fight is, ultimately, the fairest way to keep the peace.
Most of the armies in south america are professional. Thats why there are so many military revolts displacing elected governments. The draft is constituted of citizen soilders who want to get it over with so they can get home. It would be hard to convince a draftee to displace an elected president. Not so hard I suspect to convince an army of professionals whose allagence is to thier generals.
Perhaps this is a late response, however I just want to respond to a few early comments. First, in the early comments, there were a few members that were talking CASUALLY about reinstating the draft. I do not know how you can casually talk about something so serious. Reinstating the draft would send thousands upon thousands to fight in Iraq or elsewhere. You want to give the "pampered" youth of America a taste of "Reality" by FORCING them to go to war, where some of them faced certain death, while others looked on? I think the whole idea is absurd.
Secondly, I want to respond to something stated above about the gas prices in the country. A big criticism of Bush and his war is the fact that it is causing gas prices to sky rocket. This is a rather large misconception. Rising oil prices have very little to do with the increase in gas prices. In fact, the unbelievably high gas prices right now are purely the US's fault in the sense that we're consuming too much of it. Fuel producers can not keep up with the demand, and therefore it is the US's consumption of gas (due to SUV's, etc.) that is causing the fuel prices to rise. We have no one to blame but ourselves.
Ed's views are 100% correct!
The Draft? OK but women, as well and this time they should find a way to compell the Upper Class 18 to 27 to also serve.