Welcome to Liberrants, a blog dedicated to editorials, discussions, and studies of all things libertarian. Don't let the title mislead you; it's merely my attempt to be creative in describing myself as a "hopeful curmudgeon" who embraces the goal of the free, peaceful, economically vibrant society envisioned by America's founding fathers. Jump in! Contribute! Enjoy!

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Location: Tucson, Arizona, United States

A critically thinking curmudgeon whose goal, in addition to creatively venting about the imperfect world in which we live, is to induce critical thinking in others. The ultimate goal is to help bring about a peaceful world in which we can all live in freedom.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Say “NO!”, Loudly and Clearly, to the Draft!

The Bushtards seemed to have finally discovered that the dual wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not only being lost, but that there is increasingly a dearth of “warriors” to fight them. It has at last dawned on those wretched souls populating today’s American armed forces, especially those in front-line combat roles, that they are not at all “defenders of freedom and the homeland” (as the ‘Tard-in-Chief and his lackeys love to propagandize endlessly), but unprincipled mercenaries enmeshed in global wars of conquest having nothing remotely to do with national defense and everything to do with hidden agendas and material gain for a handful of wealthy powerbrokers. It is further dawning on “our” fighting men and women that they themselves stand nothing whatsoever to gain by remaining connected to the “defense” [sic] establishment and everything to lose, especially given the abominable lack of support they will receive should they be unfortunate enough to become wounded or maimed in defense of the Empire. For these reasons a stampede for the exits has begun, even despite such heavy-handed measures as “stop-loss” orders or raw attempts at bribery in the form of exorbitant “re-enlistment bonuses.” The powerbrokers apparently now believe that the only way to reverse this trend is through a return to the draft.

Many quasi-libertarian “conservatives” argue that this is actually a blessing in disguise, that a draft will force accountability upon the Executive Branch of government, thus making it less likely to pursue unpopular wars lacking any rational defensive basis. They often point to the Vietnam War as an example, claiming that the war ended precisely because of its unpopularity and that because a draft was in effect, the average American saw himself directly affected by the war, either because he himself was subject to it or had a close relative or family member who was. However, no libertarian can really buy into this argument on a philosophical basis, since it condones the use of force by the State. What follows are three key reasons, though by no means the only reasons, to oppose institution of the draft.

Conscription is costly. Maintaining a bloated and ineffective (for the purposes of national defense) fighting force is already costing this nation more than it can afford. Instituting a draft will only worsen the situation. Because conscription involves forcing people to do what is not in their own best interests to do, the government must implement extra enforcement mechanisms to compel people to comply who would otherwise use every means at their disposal to evade military service. While more than enough has been written on this elsewhere, suffice it to say that the last thing that a beleaguered imperial mercenary force trapped in a losing quagmire of a foreign war (and this is exactly what the U.S. armed forces have degenerated into) needs is to be flooded with conscripts who have been forced into service against their will. Rates of desertion and rebellion with the ranks will skyrocket, requiring that the military allocate scarce extra personnel and resources to combating desertion and crime. Such wasteful misallocations will do nothing but detract from what little operational readiness the armed forces are able to sustain, thus even further eroding defensive capability that is already highly degraded through neglect and wasteful misallocation of appropriations and materiel.

Conscription is unnecessary for national defense.
History has proved time and again that any nation suffering an unprovoked attack by a foreign aggressor will see its citizenry rally to action with all available resources to defend their homes, property and families. An excellent if tragic example of this was the response of the citizens of the USSR to the Nazi German invasion in June of 1941. While we can assume that the overwhelming majority of the Soviet citizenry, having just been on the receiving end of Uncle Joe Stalin’s purges, was less than happy with Bolshevik rule and would probably have preferred to see Uncle Joe and the entire Communist Party liquidated in a similar purge, they wasted no time coming to the defense of their home turf once the Wehrmacht rolled across the border. Clearly they were not confusing defense of the Socialist Motherland with defense of their homeland. If the Chinese (just to pick a hypothetical threat) were to drop paratroopers into the heartland of America or managed to somehow land naval infantrymen on the shores of California tomorrow, there is no doubt in any reasonable person’s mind that American citizens, no matter how much they detest the fascist Amerikan regime now in power, will do everything in their power to resist the invaders.

What the Bushtards and their puppeteers realize but refuse to acknowledge is that Americans are simply not interested in being poorly paid and under-equipped mercenary occupiers of the entire planet. They also realize and refuse to admit that the odds against foreign invasion of American soil by a comparably armed force are precisely zero (or less) and that they cannot justify the size and mission of the armed forces as now constituted. Thus they must find a way to force the people to comply with their insane imperial goals through either propaganda or executive fiat backed by force.

Conscription is slavery. This simple statement is the most powerful argument against any form of military draft, or indeed, the use of force by the State against the citizen for any other purpose. It does not matter that the State’s premier judicial organ has issued fiats to the contrary; the fact of the matter is that the State is compelling the individual to do something that he or she would not otherwise do voluntarily. This constitutes the use of coercion, something that every true lover of liberty strenuously opposes as a violation of natural justice and the rights of man. The usual argument against this libertarian reasoning is “well, if we didn’t have a draft, no one would volunteer to defend the nation against aggression.” As I pointed out in the previous paragraph, such reasoning is utter nonsense. Individuals, alone or as groups, will always do whatever is necessary to defend themselves and their property against genuine threats. Nations full of individuals are no exception. To force an individual to do something against their will is to force an individual to do something at their expense for your benefit. This is the very definition of tyranny and is exactly what the Washington power clique intends to exercise. It cannot rationally justify the use of armed force for national defense, so it seeks to impose a form of slavery upon the population at large in order to benefit the few (i.e., defense contractors, oil company executives, and a handful of central bankers). Is there anything more insidiously anti-American or anti-freedom than this? I’m hard-pressed to find an example.

So next time someone urges you to support a return to the draft, or if you should hear your senator or congresscriminal argue for such a measure, tell them to spend their own money on a soldier of fortune to fight their pet conflict du jour. Better yet, tell them to go suit up in a uniform, pick up a weapon, and go off and fight it themselves. Just leave the rest of the nation out of it; we’ll fight when we see the foreign hoards actually landing on our shores and posing a direct threat to our own lives and property.