Monday, May 10, 2004

Draft Conspiracy Theory

Much as I hate to disagree with the redoubtable Glenn Reynolds, I think there is an aspect of the draft controversy that he is ignoring:
Quoting James Dunnigan

Talk of reviving the military draft, to supply enough troops for the war on terror, is just that, talk. More accurately, it's clueless and opportunistic politicians fishing for headlines. But the draft "controversy" has become a popular media story in the last few months, even though the military says it has more volunteers than it needs and is even laying off people.

Glenn comments:
And note that there seem to be a lot of "clueless and opportunistic politicians fishing for headlines" these days. It's as if they don't know there's a war on. Or don't care.

I would venture to suggest a third choice to the "don't get it or don't care" alternative. Many people on the left are aware that the opposition to the Vietnam war evaporated at precisely the point that the draft was eliminated. Is it possible that many people who oppose the present war are hoping that reinstating the draft will energize the anti-war movement? That was, after all, a factor in the original proposal:
"One way to avoid a lot more wars to come is institute the draft," Mr. Hollings [author of Senate Bill 89] said. "You will find that this country will sober up, and its leadership, too."

Now, I am not big on conspiracy theories and it makes me feel a little dirty to always be imputing the worst motives to my oponents on the left. But it is difficult not to be suspicious of a group that takes every opportunity to make political capital out of every minor setback or misstep in the war on terror.

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