Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Another danger of the draft

There is another reason why the Left wants to reinstate the draft that I didn't mention in my previous post. A hint at it popped up in today's New York Times in an op-ed entitled The Quiet Man:
President Bush’s second inaugural address, with its vision of America’s mission to spread freedom, offers a good platform for a recruiting pitch. And he could broaden his message beyond just military service by calling for young Americans to serve in all areas where their country needs them, from front lines of homeland security to those of inner-city education.
The subtle point being made here is that various non-military problems should be addressed by the President using the same call-to-arms language typically reserved for a military conflict. Similarly, if the military draft is reinstated, there will be a similar temptation for the Left to argue that the draft should be extended to non-military national service as well.

This debate about reinstating the draft is really just another instance of a recurring theme: that the best way to wage the War on Terror and to protect the United States from another terror attack is to first give up on capitalism in favor of a highly regimented, or even socialist, war economy. It's a theme that's emerged in celebrity-authored books, the New York Times Editorial page (any industry that isn't heavily regulated is invariably "highly vulernable", and thus needs more government regulations), and the not uncommon liberal disdain for "fighting terror by going shopping". In reality, a country's ability to wage war depends not just upon the military forces it can field but upon its economic strength as well. The best way for a country to maintain its economic strength is through the normal system of private enterprise. Thus, the ordinary citizen who leads a normal life of self-improvement, productive private enterprise, and prudent planning for the future is already engaged in a form of national service.


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