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Saturday, 28 January 2012


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"...but I cannot think of any history books which have produced such an emotional response in me."

So too David, it was at that period of time, not Viet Nam where was set the stage where a bunch of twenty-somethings began questioning (in every sense of the word) their elders. Your mention of the MSM of the day not having developed the wits to employ Historians (not even "Play-Ones" like our present day Newt) to explain the obvious differences between fighting on the European continent and that of Asia a "Sleeping Giant" if there ever was one!

And yet still, no one connected the dots (to borrow a phrase) - which in the time honored tradition of this blog makes a sort of awful sense - to Why in the hell has our youth so suddenly risen up in protest in the Sixties.

Run your hankies through the wash and dry 'em out thoroughly David - you're gonna need 'em.

(LBJ having personal experience in the Washington of the day not even able -willing- to acknowledge the seeds were planted not in Nam but earlier.)

Well, JK, I never expect perfection from Washington (or London, or anywhere else for that matter) but such a flagrant disregard for the obvious, not just by a faction in the establishment but by virtually its entirety, leaves me gasping. And to do so after the Chinese, with surgical precision, sent them the bloodiest of 6-day warnings. It is beyond comprehensible. Only George Kennan saw through the myth that communism was one massive united bloc acting under Soviet leadership but his day was gone and he had been sidelined.

I tell you, JK, these two books have really shaken me up.

What makes it all the worse - after Nam - America's draft was done away with guarenteeing our public-at-large would no longer have "skin in the game" - that 1% we're hearing so much about today isn't who our MSM (including FOX) makes it out to be.

And it's actually less than 1%. Walk up to 100 houses in the US today and ask, "Scuse me, do you have a son or a daughter in uniform?" (90% of the casualties in Afghanistan come from just 10 of our 50 states - so far as I'm aware - none have been a Washington politician's kid.)

What the US needs is a draft - not a Viet Nam kinda draft - an IDF draft. Yes. I know. Wouldn't want many of our current student crop anywhere near live ammunition but those kids are perfectly suited for shovel-ready projects related to war.

Well, JK, a draft, or national service as we call it 'over here', might be good for instilling discipline in youngsters but I am not sure it s good for the armed services who have to waste professionals' time training them. Anyway, I'm more concerned with how an army is used irrespective of how it is formed.

testing comments

Well then - an IDF style draft for all the Washington politician's kids. Those who'll be voting on supporting wars.

If one is "comfortable at the proposition of running a full office campaign for a Federal level seat" - and we all know to win such a seat, educating one's kids is cheaper than running for office...

PS - 'Lo Brianna, you the gorgeous typepad lady David's always on about?

Well that would certainly concentrate minds, JK, but only if they were put in the infantry!

Something for those long winter days. What? No, nothing to do with any Sarah.

Gracias, Ortega, but Mrs Duff will not be pleased when I tell her that I will be spending even more time with my computer!


Having served in the last of the Draft Army may I offer an opposing opinion?

One of the things that made Vietnam possible was the draft. The forces committed to Vietnam totaled between 500,000 and 600,000 during the peak years. Far more than we couldever get from a volunteer force. Basically, after the Golf of Tonkin Resolution gave him the authroty to fight a major war, Johnson did not have to get any additional authority to deploy that many troops because he had them. Congress already having bought in was not likely to object. Certaily the Democrats would not risk sabotaging Johnson's Great Society program on the issue.

Whatever the overrated virtues of an IDF draft it would never be approved by congress, and politicaans always see that their children get special tratment if want to. Remember Socialist (~ lance corporal in the commonwealth armies) Al Gore who was confined to the base camp with a body guard while others in the same unit went out with Infantry units in the field.

For a more probabal look at what would happen with a draft look up McNamara's 100,000.">">>Hank’s Eclectic MeanderingsPS: Of course that does not count maintaining moral and discipline in platoon with National Guardsman enliste to avoid the draft just before Nixon ended it early, and they never would have been called up. maybe I'm a tad prejudiced.

I always take your observations enjoying your perspectives Hank. Respectfully so Sir.

But with my twist on the draft, I'm figuring in first Korea, then Viet Nam, - and then up to our recent imbroglio viz Iraq and continuing in Afghanistan. I note your sentence,

"One of the things that made Vietnam possible was the draft." I suspect what made Korea possible was the same for war weary America.

And the propensity for we in the US toward a shorter sort of memory perhaps colored somewhat by our supposed "Ideals" and our sense of duty (at least for our politicians) to spread those "Ideals." An argument can be made for at least South Korea and now how Vietnam seems to be headed -pretty good ideals at least for them.

But what's your best guess as to how our Ideals are gonna work out in Iraq and Afghanistan?

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