What else would you call being forced to do something against your will by the threat of force?
Thomas Ricks argues in the New York Times that we should reinstate military conscription (via Chris Preble). He quotes Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who thinks risk of death ought to be thrust on all Americans if the criminals in government decide they want to make war. “I think if a nation goes to war, every town, every city needs to be at risk,” McChrystal said at the Aspen Ideas Festival. “You make that decision and everybody has skin in the game.”
And libertarians who object to a draft could opt out. Those who declined to help Uncle Sam would in return pledge to ask nothing from him — no Medicare, no subsidized college loans and no mortgage guarantees. Those who want minimal government can have it.
I’m charmed that Ricks is thinking of libertarians. But if opting out of the draft means opting out of state services, I hope I can also opt out of paying for them and of being a subject of His Majesty Uncle Sam. (By the way, is there anything more revolting than a cartoon caricature of the state like Uncle Sam? It smacks of attracting children to smoke by advertising with Joe Camel.)
Emma Goldman used to say that the draft was a direct violation of the Thirteenth Amendment’s prohibition against slavery and involuntary servitude. Murray Rothbard, of course, said conscription “is slavery pure and simple, and because slavery is a moral evil; to use slavery in order defend the ‘free world’ is a grisly joke.”
Guess running for president in the war monger party can change a person.
Free trade and an open and honest relationship with Iran would do much more good in the long run to insure peace.
During a New Year’s Day appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” former Pennsylvania Republican Senator and come-from-behind GOP presidential frontrunner Rick Santorum threatened to attack Iran if he becomes President.
“I would be working openly with the state of Israel and I would be saying to the Iranians, you either open up those facilities, you begin to dismantle them and make them available to inspectors or we will degrade those facilities through air strikes – and make it very public that we are doing that,” Santorum told “Meet The Press” host David Gregory. The candidate went on to promise that under his administration, Iranian nuclear scientists “will be treated as an enemy combatant, like an Al Qaida member.”
Santorum’s belligerent rhetoric on the campaign trail presents a stark contrast to statements he made when he served in the Senate. In September 2006, Santorum hosted Reza Pahlavi (more on him later), the son of deposed Iranian monarch Mohammed-Reza Shah Pahlavi, for a meeting with his congressional colleagues. Pahlavi reportedly urged his audience to support a supposedly democratic movement inside Iran. He then emphasized that “the option of war must be taken off the table.”
Agreeing that war was not an option, Senator Santorum said, of Reza Pahlavi: “He is a leading and enthusiastic advocate of the principals [sic] of freedom, democracy and human rights for his countrymen;” adding that “Reza Pahlavi has upheld the honor of his country in a time of upheaval and darkness.”
So Santorum was against going to war with Iran before he was for it. And he has yet to offer an explanation for his flip-flop.