A perfect picture of oblivious entitlement »« But everyone should know that the HuffPo sucks!

"the wisdom of Nixon…" <shudder>

This is a fine analysis of the whole argument that women’s exclusion from the draft is a feminist plot…but the point that the end of the draft was a calculated effort to gut the peace movement was just too true, and a good explanation for why college campuses have been so damned quiet in the last dozen years of non-stop war. (I came of age in the 1970s — I was too young to be at any risk of getting drafted, but just old enough that I was required by law to register, and then they even ended that requirement a few months after I signed in. But I protested our various wars more than most of my students have.)

Comments

  1. says

    Nixon made a political calculation that he would benefit from ending the military draft of young men as the war in Vietnam stumbled toward its conclusion. He suspended draft calls just before my 2-S deferment was going to expire with my graduation from college. It’s the only favor the SOB ever did for me. Except for that resignation thing. That was a favor to the whole country.

  2. Matrim says

    but just old enough that I was required by law to register, and then they even ended that requirement a few months after I signed in.

    …Huh? Unless you’re talking about something completely different than what I’m thinking of, there is still a requirement for males to register.

  3. robertfoster says

    Anyone who has never been glued to the TV waiting for their lottery number to come up just wouldn’t understand. Then again, I’m not a big fan of the professional army either. Sure, they’re good at what they do, but I sometime get the feeling that if given the order they’d have no trouble turning their weapons on people like us.

  4. says

    @Matrim: I was thinking the same thing. According to Wikipedia’s Selective Service article, there was a gap from 1975 to 1980 where registration was no longer required.

  5. ekwhite says

    @RobertFoster

    My lottery number was 307. Before the lottery, I was looking at brochures about Toronto. :)

  6. ludicrous says

    Empire has been good to me. I was safely drafted shortly after the Korean ceasefire and got 4 years of tuition, books and room rent out of it. My female friends were not so fortunate. And they would have been welcome company.

  7. Al Dente says

    I graduated from high school in 1966. I went into the Navy later that summer primarily to ensure I wouldn’t become an infantryman in Vietnam. I ended up spending 20 years in the Navy*, retiring as a Senior Chief (E8). When I retired I had a BS in accounting and had most of my MBA done.

    When I went into the Navy the major social problem in the military was racism. That got more or less resolved and was replaced by sexism. In the middle and late 1970s there were problems attracting men into the military, particularly the Army, and so opportunities were made for women to be in other jobs besides clerical and medical. I knew the first woman to become a First Class Torpedoman. However there was and still is rampant sexism, misogyny and rape culture in the US military, as we’re all well aware.

    *During my first day in boot camp a Chief told us: “Men, some of you will not like the Navy. My advice to you is put in your 20 and get out.” I took his advice.

  8. twas brillig (stevem) says

    Did not watch the video. As my underage-for-draft mind remembers those days: the draft was the biggest roadblock to the E.R.A. Everybody telling women, “If you get the ERA, then you will have to be drafted, just like the boys. (and share locker rooms, and bathrooms, and yada, yada, yada) We are opposed to the ERA just to PROTECT you!”
    Aside from that, I also seem to remember when the draft was reinstituted, for a year or two, and I missed it both times. The first time: just as I was about to get my name thrown into the lottery, they disbanded it. Then when they restarted it, my birthdate fell just outside the window of eligibility.
    And then they made such a huge spectacle that the Army was now ALL VOLUNTEER, Hurraaayyyyy!

  9. says

    The US military has a long history of allowing people to pay someone to take their place in a draft. It won’t surprise anyone to realize that clever idea was cooked up by someone wealthy.

  10. says

    I sometime get the feeling that if given the order they’d have no trouble turning their weapons on people like us.

    Of course they wouldn’t. They are a self-selected sample of people who are willing to kill at the order of the state. Their loyalty is not to the people, it is to their chain of command, and they have been indoctrinated with a thorough “othering” of pretty much anyone who isn’t in the military.

  11. abusedbypenguins says

    Canada was just too cold, jail would be worse, marching through the jungle with a full pack, rifle and being shot at sucks worse than Canada or jail. Knowing the draft notice was probably in the mail, I joined uncle sams’ canoe club and still did a year in Viet Nam. 9/3/68 to 9/3/69 in vacation land southeast asia. The only republican I have ever voted for, because I wanted out of Viet Nam, was POS nixon. The lying crook got caught and it is unfortunate that there is not a toilet on his grave or I would be in line with a six-pack.

  12. says

    The one small nit-picking criticism I have for the video comes from having read Rachel Maddow’s book Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power. According to interviews with Johnson after the war his reasoning behind the draft was to prevent the sons of the wealthy and powerful from having to serve because they predominantly joined National Guard units of some kind and their parents could get them into such units if needed to avoid combat service. His plan was to use draftees and unlike the Korean War not to use National Guard units intentionally as a de facto exemption for sons of the wealthy and powerful. (Case in point, a Congressional Representative named George Bush had his eldest son and namesake skip over about 50 fully qualified applicants to join the Texas Air National Guard). The idea backfired as Johnson was worried about push-back from the U.S. elite but did not foresee that the middle class would go as far as open revolt en masse.

    Oops.

  13. says

    I sometime get the feeling that if given the order they’d have no trouble turning their weapons on people like us.

    Of course they wouldn’t. They are a self-selected sample of people who are willing to kill at the order of the state. Their loyalty is not to the people, it is to their chain of command, and they have been indoctrinated with a thorough “othering” of pretty much anyone who isn’t in the military.

    This has been a problem since forever. The Roman Senate feared that letting the Plebeians into the army in large numbers would result in their having loyalty only to their general as they had little personal stake in the fortunes of the republic. The Senate only consented to this because of an existential threat. Julius Caesar proved them right 60 years later.

    What do the people who join the military in the U.S. think of the rest of us, especially “godless liberals” and such like? Do they value concepts such as pluralism and the politics of loyal opposition?

  14. says

    What do the people who join the military in the U.S. think of the rest of us, especially “godless liberals” and such like?

    Considering that it’s an organization based on conformity to norms (been there: class of Ft Dix, August, 1983) what do you think? When I was in basic, they were still singing cadences like “kill a commie for your mommy” but ‘we’re just kidding, really’ was the not quite message. I don’t know what it is nowadays but I bet it’s got something to do with killing people who wear cloth headcoverings. That stuff eats into your brain over time. And very few will admit it but a lot of people go into the military because they want to see how they’ll fare in the “ultimate crucible of manliness” – killing people.

    This ( http://www.killology.com/sheep_dog.htm ) is the kind of bullshit that gets passed around in the military; I remember this one particularly (thank you, google!) because it’s – well – disgusting. But it actually conveys fairly well an attitude of sorts that I’ve heard a lot of people who serve in the military express: the people are sheep and we’re the “rough men who guard liberty” – shit like that. Not that they understand for a second that they’re uniformed patsies for imperial ambitions of cowardly old men like Dick Cheney.

  15. Endorkened says

    They’re about as fond of their government as they are of us, really. If the sampling of ham-fisted military sci-fi I’ve been exposed to is any indication, they have even less respect for the average politician than they do for working civvies like us–and at least a lot of the white people who tend to join the army are a breed of right-libertarian who’s always paranoid about the government anyway.

  16. davidrichardson says

    The Swedish Army introduced female enrollment on the same basis as male enrollment about 20 years ago (I.e. Swedish women soldiers are all expected to fight in combat zones). I’ve done a lot of work with the Swedish Army over the years and have heard lots of stories about what happened when women started turning up in uniform. At first, for example, the army used unisex toilet and shower facilities … but who do you think protested? Yes, it was the men “because the women keep pointing at us in the shower and laughing”. They also quickly reviewed their physical fitness requirements when they realized that they were all based on raw strength and spurts of activity. When they included tests of stamina too, the women started to outdo the men.

  17. says

    If the sampling of ham-fisted military sci-fi I’ve been exposed to is any indication

    I’ve read some of that stuff, for the lulz – the current crop seem to frequently contain the trope of “politicians screw things up so that the only solution is for the warriors to step in and, might makes right, ta-da!” Violence is the deus ex machina that solves all problems. It’s as if the readers and writers of these books have never looked at the world around them, or history, and managed not to notice that violence creates at least as many problems as it solves, usually more. Doubly interesting, to me, the writers are obviously more than noddingly familiar with their military history – they just drew rather stark conclusions from it. It’s as if they really think “300” was an accurate documentary, or something.

  18. schweinhundt says

    One quibble with the video. All soldiers (regardless of gender, etc.) are trained to be combatants even if they are not in the infantry.

  19. Endorkened says

    Exactly, Marcus–and even the high-ranking brass is usually corrupted by proximity to the politicians. That’s why I’m not so sure about the powers that be being able to count on the army if they actually did something as crazy as order them to unload on civilians. A few demonstrators throwing bricks, maybe–but asking your military to quell a large-scale popular uprising is asking for trouble. The real problem is that once the army is ostensibly on your side, it winds up dominating the revolution and whatever comes after–that’s the factor that makes so many revolutions turn into police states.

  20. says

    @ Endorkened #19

    Remember Stanley McChrystal? He pontificated on matters of policy in very unflattering terms toward the President and Vice President. The ones who defended him based of freeze peach forget that you do not have freedom of speech in the execution of your job and that Generals overtly engaging in politics crosses a line that separates democracy from the other, “more efficient,” forms of government.

  21. says

    but asking your military to quell a large-scale popular uprising is asking for trouble. The real problem is that once the army is ostensibly on your side, it winds up dominating the revolution and whatever comes after–that’s the factor that makes so many revolutions turn into police states.

    OK, so… My father is a historian. In fact he’s a historian of revolutions, with a specific focus on the rise of absolutism under Louis XIV and the early French revolutions (there were several, before the one that finally went viral, moslty tax revolts though one really interesting one was a judiciary revolt .. um… see: http://tinyurl.com/p95he5n ) I kind of grew up with deconstruction of revolutionary ideology as frequent dinner conversation, especially when my dad’s colleagues were visiting and the wine spigot was open.

    Anyway, you’re completely right. One of the things I learned growing up that particularly fascinated me was that revolutions usually only succeed when the established military takes sides; the effectiveness of professionals at violence really is that dramatically better. And, as you say, consequentially, when the revolution succeeds you have a successful military in charge, which has to guarantee whatever government comes next. You can see exactly how this happens in Egypt, recently, and – of course – in France; after the chaos and terror, France was a “failed state” in modern parlance and the other European powers moved in to carve it up, triggering the rise of a short corporal of artillery from Corsica. It’s not safe to say “all” revolutions turn into police states but all governments established post-revolution are established with the tacit approval of the military victors, which is why anarchists argue (rightly, I think) that no state has ever been truly legitimate and all are established through coercion. I’d correct your wording slightly – it’s not “police states” they turn into but “military dictatorships” or “militarized oligarchies” or some variant of the above. The United States, by the way, immediately became the latter of those and, once the wealthy and powerful winners cemented their rule by establishing a power-sharing arrangement then ratifying it without asking “Them, The People” they immediately set about suppressing the remaining tax revolts and renters rebellions (e.g: Shay’s rebellion) which, if you think about it, were the ostensible reason why the colonies rebelled in the first place.

    The reason it is dangerous when you see a professional military that is “othering” the people is because it sets up the necessary conditions for a military take-over. Military take-overs, of course, can come when the politicians are such fuck-ups that they need to be tossed out (is that what happened to Morsi in Egypt, or was that the CIA?) or the military becomes like the Praetorian Guard and decides that they can do a better job of picking rulers than the current rulers. Admittedly, when the ruler is Caligula – they can. But in the end, Mao was right: power comes from the barrel of a gun and any state that doesn’t carefully think through how to manage its army is going to wind up being managed by it. (Gaius Marius probably had more to do, BTW, with the breakdown into dictatorship of the Roman Republic than Caesar; Caesar just finished the job)

    Militaries are indoctrinated by “othering” their likely targets in order to build unit cohesion, cleaving to the chain of command, and willingness to kill. In pre-enlightenment militaries, religion was also a core piece of that proposition – ranging from “our leader is a god” to “eradicate the pagans” etc. You’ll notice that particular lever stopped being pulled when several monarchs came into conflict with the papacy and had to deal with their sudden religious de-legitimization, which amounted to an internal rebellion. After that, monarchs were more careful to ensure their troops loyalty to the state than to religion.

    There’s a funny vignette in the “Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” about the student rebellion at Columbia University in the 60s, when my dad was a professor there. Most of the funny details don’t actually appear in the book but the story is that dad (whose office was in Low Library) climbed in the window in cap and gown and began discussing politics with the students. Apparently he quickly concluded that they had only a surface understanding of Marxism and began asking them how they intended, after the US was overthrown, to prevent the establishment of a dictatorship as had happened in Russia. Apparently he irritated them so thoroughly that they finally asked him to leave, and he did, so they burned his office (including the manuscript for the book he was currently working on)… The funny part about all of that was the meanwhile, a real rebellion was underway, as the US moved from an apartheid state, and – oddly – it only worked because the established military remained on the side of the government. The student protests amounted to a middle-class rebellion against the draft.

    Uh, can you tell I can run on and on about this…?

  22. josephmccauley says

    I went to college on Labor Day 1971. The first notice I took from my school mailbox was “no more student deferments will be issued; if you don’t have one already, you don’t get one.” Ouch.
    I couldn’t stay with the rest of my dorm mates to listen to the picks, I went to calculus class. As I returned to the dorm, some of my buddies hung out the windows to inform me that I was going to die, as I had won (lost) the pool for the worst number. That day I got drunk for the first time.
    My pre-draft physical was way funnier than Alice’s Restaurant, but I passed anyway.
    Only the slowness of the bureaucracy and my paperwork perseverance kept me away from Uncle Sam until the draft ended. Of course, I had quit school to be ready for induction or relocation.
    I called the school to see if I could come back, but they had given my scholarship money to someone else. I borrowed some dough and got my butt back in, and the following semester got my scholarship restored. Whew!

  23. knowknot says

    @21 Marcus Ranum
    Thanks for all that.
    Admittedly, I tend toward ignorance due to personal history, and this sort of thing serves as a jumping-off point for alleviation for at least some of it.

  24. says

    I can only speak for myself and my experiences, but in my little section of the Active Duty Army, we’re not exactly the most indoctrinated bunch. Yeah, there’s a lot more comraderie ingrained in us than your typical civilian company (especially since superiors are expected to get in your personal business during your “off-duty” hours if you aren’t married and live off-post) and the average Soldier is going to lean more conservative, but as a godless liberal, myself, I’ve found a lot of men and women who can agree with or at least accept and understand my progressive beliefs. Some of the older soldiers even complain that the generation that joined since the war in Afghanistan began don’t just do as they’re told anymore, but have to question the purpose behind every order. Even some leadership courses acknowledge this and suggest that leaders tell soldiers why an order needs to be completed. I’m pretty confident that at least the majority of my comrades (though there are some I wouldn’t trust) would give any general who ordered them to attack civilians a big and hearty “screw you.”

  25. Endorkened says

    Yes, and it’s awesome! I’m a history nerd myself, but woe is me, my parents just glaze over when I pontificate about Diocletian. Though my mother agrees with me that he sounds like he might have been autistic (“Okay, I’m a messianic supergenius who’s going to fix very nearly everything wrong with your civilization. All I ask is that you follow these detailed spreadsheets while I sit behind these curtains and wear this veil so I don’t have to ever make eye contact or touch or speak to anyone. And then in about twenty years I’m going to move to Croatia and spend the rest of my life as a recluse. You’re welcome.”

  26. unclefrogy says

    while I do not like the idea and the practice of the fighting wars I am of mixed feelings about all of the issues involved.
    I have heard it advocated that the draft helps to make it a citizen army and ideally that would be a good thing but in practice it often falls short as it tends to be stratified by class and wealth and by sex.
    The troubles we get ourselves into might be fewer if all citizens were likely to serve in the military the children of the rich and powerful as well as the poor and middle classes.
    I do not expect to see that however.
    The other issue that I want to mention related to how basically uninvolved generally and uninformed most are in the governing of the country and the issues related to it. By the type of arguments put forth and the position advocated by many active politicians and their talking heads the revolution of 1776 might never have happened or at least not been completed yet.
    the level of knowledge and understanding of our democratic republican from of government by the majority of the citizens is I am afraid equal the majorities knowledge and understanding of science

    uncle frogy

  27. leni says

    True Pookey has really annoyed me in the past. I feel kinda bad now. Maybe I wasn’t fair. That was really pretty good.

  28. says

    i was drafted out of college in 67.from what i saw they stopped the draft because it pulled in way too many uncontrollable young men.they were either too smart or too street wise for a military to order around the way they did with the normal load of guys who were in for two years and then back home.
    with few exceptions the training cadre were in over there heads.i recalled being told,in a group,that we may be smart college guys but we better pay attention because they knew what would keep us alive in Vietnam,very true but you see what they were up against.not to mention the black guys who were savvy about dealing with authority.
    the Army had been clunking along for years filled up with 40 year old privates who boasted about how many times they were busted and officers who just did enough to work along until retirement.the war was a whole new game and when it was over the ranks were filled with the left overs who could not care less about the mission.

  29. says

    with few exceptions the training cadre were in over there heads.i recalled being told,in a group,that we may be smart college guys but we better pay attention because they knew what would keep us alive in Vietnam,very true but you see what they were up against.not to mention the black guys who were savvy about dealing with authority

    There was an incident where an entire infantry company sat down and refused to deploy. The 1st Air Cavalry repeatedly refused to advance – once, even, on television. Morale was an all-time low and the racial divide (seriously, what genius thought you could build an effective military out of an apartheid population, then expect everyone to fight well together?) was crucial – “fraggings” and deliberate friendly fire incidents happened. In one year there were over 200 fraggings. There were other semi-mutinous incidents like “search and avoid” missions in which units would go into the bush, fire off a bunch of ammo, camp, and then return to base declaring a fictional body count.There were several rebellions at the stockades of some forts like Ft Bragg and Ft Dix. There were something like 50,000 deserters (though that includes the number that left for Canada when drafted) As the war ground on, the chain of command got more and more disconnected from the reality on the ground, to the point where US commanders cooked up exactly the same dumb-ass idea that brought the French to Dien Bien Phu: let’s do an incursion in force that draws the NVA into a pitched battle where we can crush them. Khe Sahn went better for the US than Dien Bien Phu did for the French, but, seriously, what a bunch of fucking idiots were in command over there.

    I highly highly recommend a documentary called “The Fog Of War” – interviews with Robert S MacNamara. It’s, um…. Mind-bending, if you have any knowledge of the way the war played out. Read Halberstam (“The best and brightest”) and then watch Fog of War: it’s 3 hours of MacNamara explaining how nothing that went wrong in Vietnam was anybody’s fault, really. All the decisions made perfect sense at the time. I do not believe that he ever utters the words “I was wrong” – he’s probably incapable of it. Compare that to Donald Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney. Oh, oops, wait, they can’t utter those words, either, can they? How is it that people lionize such horrible examples of poor leadership?

  30. Endorkened says

    Because that’s what legends are made of — when that personality type gets lucky enough to succeed, they can ride it all the way to the White House. The only reason we don’t have giant iron statues of George W. Bush in our capitols is because nowadays, even our domesticated excuse for a press lets us actually see the people leading the charge from the rear. Five hundred years ago, the only thing anyone who mattered would have ever seen of him was that appalling spectacle with the flight suit when we first conquered Iraq — and that’s what they’d be making statues out of.

    Heck, one of the things that made people lose faith in the Czar during the last years of Imperial Russia was simply his increased exposure — you could see him in the papers, even take a train to Moscow and watch him drive by and realize that he wasn’t even that tall. He was just some poor dumb goober with a fancy house and a family tree that makes the ivy on my garage look linear. He was a guy you could theoretically punch.

  31. says

    I wasn’t too young to be press-ganged into that particular obscenity by my servile pig swill of a government. I remember the demonstrations where police brought in from the country would remove their badges and smash the heads of demonstrators. I remember one servile Prime Minister who trumpeted that we were “all the way with LBJ.” I also remember when protestors lay down in the path of Lyndon Johnson’s car one of the most corrupt premiers my state ever had ordering his driver to “Ride over the Bastards.” I remember conscientious objector being handed over to military police for beating and torture. I also remember the premier of another state who was the last one to order the hanging of a man in Australia dismissing an anti-war demonstration of over 100,000 people as a few trouble making communists. Worst of all I remember the deep divisions it produced in my country and the shameful treatment of returning veterans who had been used as political cannon fodder by self-serving sycophantic politicians who were totally unfit for government.

  32. says

    any general who ordered them to attack civilians a big and hearty “screw you.”

    General Douglas MacArthur army chief of staff when he commanded the cavalry and tanks that helped violently disperse the Bonus Army in Anacostia flats, 1932 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonus_Army) Also participating was Major later “blood and guts” George S Patton. The used tear gas, drove everyone out, and burned the marchers’ shacks. There is no record of any of the troops being brave enough to tell Patton “screw you.”

  33. mildlymagnificent says

    I highly highly recommend a documentary called “The Fog Of War” – interviews with Robert S MacNamara.

    Oh yes. Highly recommended.

    Even for those of us who knew all this to start with, it’s a real punch in the guts to watch and hear the man say all that stuff in one big hit. Oblivious doesn’t begin to cover it.

  34. says

    it’s a real punch in the guts to watch and hear the man say all that stuff in one big hit

    The worst part was I had a friend of mine over a couple weeks after I saw it, and it was still sitting on the counter. And he started cursing and swearing; see, he spent two tours in Vietnam as a scout/sniper and artillery spotter. So it happened that I was the one who broke it to him that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was imaginary plus some friendly fire. He sat there for about 5 minutes without moving or saying anything, then took a big slug of beer and said, “Trust the navy to fuck up.”

  35. says

    And. timgueguen, those of us who have worn Canada’s uniforms don’t make anywhere near as big a deal in society about our having done so; I am willing to say so, but then, the barstewards kicked me out for queerness after slinging me in the lockup for a few weeks of MP hospitality (see: Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, et c.), so I’m not your typical ex-soldier, either – Canada ended the ban on queerfolk in 1992, but I was jailed for it in 1986, along with several friends.

    That said, after Somalia and the Canadian Airborne Regiment’s Nazism revelations and subsequent disbanding, and knowing a number of people who served in the former Yugoslavia and admitted knowledge of more than one atrocity by “our side”, I’m reluctant to tout our military as being any better than anyone else’s in any other part of its conduct, either. I’m actually kinda glad I didn’t get to find out whether I’d be a committer or a whistleblower on that front.

    There’s just something broken about a professional military, and what it does to the human beings it ingests and digests and beau gestes.

    Thanks for the insightful comments, meine Kameraden. Nice to know I’m not the only eyes-open ex-serviceperson here.

  36. Holms says

    The video raises the point that there can’t be a legal challenge against compulsory registration, because without an actual draft, there is no wronged party. Surely though, if a man reaches 18 but does not register for draft, and suffers the penalty for that lapse, then that punishment can form the basis of a legal challenge on the basis that the person has been penalised by the state for breaching a meaningless enrollment.

  37. ysoldeangelique says

    Why is it that all I can think of here is that Nixon signed the EPA into existence. The conservative scum of the universe and he was basically better than BOTH of the Bushes.

    *sigh*

  38. says

    If there had been compulsory service in Canada when I was in my late teens I probably wouldn’t have had to worry. Given my level of physical fitness at the time I likely wouldn’t have made it through basic training. My problems with heights wouldn’t have helped either.

  39. David Marjanović says

    OK, so… My father is a historian. In fact he’s a historian of revolutions, with a specific focus on the rise of absolutism under Louis XIV and the early French revolutions (there were several, before the one that finally went viral, moslty tax revolts though one really interesting one was a judiciary revolt .. um… see: http://tinyurl.com/p95he5n )

    Oh. I thought the Fronde was a classic conflict of nobility vs. the king, the same kind of thing that the king had lost in England a few hundred years earlier and then had to sign the Magna Carta – in France, the king won, well, absolutely.

    “[…] And then in about twenty years I’m going to move to Croatia and spend the rest of my life as a recluse. […]”

    Well, “recluse” might be slightly exaggerated, considering the fact that his palace was so big that the entire city of Split was later built on its ruins.

    Five hundred years ago, the only thing anyone who mattered would have ever seen of him was that appalling spectacle with the flight suit when we first conquered Iraq — and that’s what they’d be making statues out of.

    And there was much giggling.

    Heck, one of the things that made people lose faith in the Czar during the last years of Imperial Russia was simply his increased exposure — you could see him in the papers, even take a train to Moscow

    St. Petersburg, the home of their current successor, not Moscow.

  40. says

    @ck and Marcus Ranum

    True, at least none who lived to talk about it as not that long ago NCOs main job was to kill any enlisted who tried to run for it. You ignore my point that today’s Army isn’t the same as before, having become marginally more progressive recently. I can’t say that this would stop all the grunts (and especially not the jarheads) from going whole hog, but I know neither my buddies nor I would be willing, and we’ve even received training in which we’re told to disobey commanders who give us inethical orders and have procedures for what to do when that becomes necessary. But, like I said, I can only speak for my own circle of coworkers and me.

  41. qwerty says

    I remember entering the navy on October 15, 1968 and unbeknown to us entering, there was a peace protest outside the old federal building in downtown Minneapolis. It was a brief era of symbolic protest in the late 60’s in which no slogans or signs were used (probably because they hadn’t worked.) Most of this consisted of wearing a black armband in school but this protest consisted of a young woman who stabbed a melon while her fellow protesters held it.

    I do remember the reporter using a quote from a policeman who stated that she wasn’t arrested for indecency as no one lodged a complaint.

    My mother sent me a clipping (we neither saw nor heard the protest while being inducted) of it while I was in bootcamp.