Obama: Supports Female Draft

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Obama: Supports Female Draft

 

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Barack Obama says women should be compelled to register for Selective Service (the precusor to future conscription), in the [url=http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08287/919582-470.stm?cmpid=elections.xml]... of equality[/url]:

quote:

During a CNN/YouTube debate for Democratic presidential candidates last year, he said he doesn't "agree" with the draft.

But he did say women should be expected to register with the Selective Service, comparing the role of women to black soldiers and airmen who served during World War II, when the armed forces were still segregated.

"There was a time when African-Americans weren't allowed to serve in combat," Mr. Obama said. "And yet, when they did, not only did they perform brilliantly, but what also happened is they helped to change America, and they helped to underscore that we're equal.

"And I think that if women are registered for service -- not necessarily in combat roles, and I don't agree with the draft -- I think it will help to send a message to my two daughters that they've got obligations to this great country as well as boys do."


Is this a progressive or a reactionary position?

To me it is similar to feminist argument that marriage is a patriachal and oppressive institution. Yet, while it exists, everyone, including gay couples, should have the right to the institution if they so chose.

From that point of view, Obama's position does seem progressive -- doesn't like the draft, but if the US has the draft, American women should legally be obligated to register for it.

If you think about it, this is probably the most progressive position Obama has taken so far. At the least, given the militaristic hue of American politics, it will probably be the most progressive policy he is emable to enact as President (universal health care, for example, will probably be a dead letter).

djelimon

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universal health care, for example, will probably be a dead letter

I saw him say he regards health care to be a human right. I am curious as to what evidence you have seen that makes you doubt his sincerity on this.

I haven't seen that level of commitment on the stump to health care in the Canadian elections.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

quote:


Originally posted by -=+=-:
[b]Is this a progressive or a reactionary position?

To me it is similar to feminist argument that marriage is a patriachal and oppressive institution. Yet, while it exists, everyone, including gay couples, should have the right to the institution if they so chose.

From that point of view, Obama's position does seem progressive -- doesn't like the draft, but if the US has the draft, American women should legally be obligated to register for it.[/b]


Sure, it's progressive. Call it "equal opportunity oppression."

Why force only males to go off to die for Exxon and Halliburton when you could force women to do the same?

djelimon

Not that he actually advocated the draft.

That aside, a somewhat Soviet pragmatism.

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Originally posted by djelimon:
[b]

I saw him say he regards health care to be a human right. I am curious as to what evidence you have seen that makes you doubt his sincerity on this.

I haven't seen that level of commitment on the stump to health care in the Canadian elections.[/b]


He may be sincere. But Bill Clinton, another "progressive" Democrat, was also sincere when he advocated universal healthcare in the US. Look what happened to that initiative.

Dead on arrival.

It appears Americans will vote for a black President, accept female conscription, before the powers that be allow universal health insurance.

Michelle

I think it IS progressive. Because frankly, if there's ever a draft, EVERYONE should have to go. Male, female, rich, poor, college, working. Everyone goes. No exemptions, not even for spoiled rich brats whose daddies vote Republican and who will inherit the world.

Let them all go and get blown to smithereens. And then we'll see how long wars last.

Tommy_Paine

When I was a kid, one of the things that struck me as an abomination was the "selective service" draft with it's defferals. (Dick Cheney had seven of them, I think-- Rush Limbaugh got one for a subaceous cyst-- read soon to be Senator Al Franken's short story, "Operation Chicken Hawk")

The net effect was that only poor whites ("volunteered for the army on my birthday/they draft the white trash first draft here anyway"-- Steve Earl, "Copperhead Road".) and poor African Americans who became disproportionately represented in the Vietnam War.

Funny though, with a purely "volunteer" army for Iraq and Afghanistan, the objectives of the social Darwinistic selective service from the 60's is still being met.

Maybe a draft with no defferals would be more progressive.

Michelle

Sure, it definitely would.

I fully support the US instituting a draft right now. Iraq would be OVER now if they'd done it from the start. People would be screaming bloody murder. Which is exactly what it is.

Star Spangled C...

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Originally posted by Michelle:
[b]Sure, it definitely would.

I fully support the US instituting a draft right now. Iraq would be OVER now if they'd done it from the start. People would be screaming bloody murder. Which is exactly what it is.[/b]


I don't know about that, Michelle. There was a draft during Vietnam (not to mention the two world wars) and they lasted a hell of a long time.

Tommy_Paine, I'm not sure what you're saying. Are you saying that today, even with no draft, it's mostly poor whites and blacks who are serving? I'm sure it's true to a degree but not nearly to the same extent as abck then. I live in the states and meet lots of people from the middle class who ahve family serving over tehre right now.

With regards to the more general question of whether women should ahve to register, I'd say first that I'm against ANYONE having to but if they insist on sticking to this arcane setup, it seems pretty obvious that women should sign up just like men. I'm frankly pretty baffled as to why that hasn't been changed yet. In countries like Israel with mandatory military service, there's no gender distinction as far as I know.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Michelle:
[b]Sure, it definitely would.

I fully support the US instituting a draft right now. Iraq would be OVER now if they'd done it from the start. People would be screaming bloody murder. Which is exactly what it is.[/b]


I hope this is tongue-in-cheek, Michelle, considering the likely consequences.

Peronally, I would never advocate the killing of a lot of innocent young men and women who would otherwise never have anything to do with the military, as a means of radicalizing their survivors. Not only would it be immoral, I don't think it would work.

TVParkdale

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Originally posted by -=+=-:
[b]

He may be sincere. But Bill Clinton, another "progressive" Democrat, was also sincere when he advocated universal healthcare in the US. Look what happened to that initiative.

Dead on arrival.

It appears Americans will vote for a black President, accept female conscription, before the powers that be allow universal health insurance.[/b]


Well, uh, yeah.

Reminds me of the "Better Dead than Red" campaigns... [img]rolleyes.gif" border="0[/img]

TVParkdale

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Originally posted by Michelle:
[b]I think it IS progressive. Because frankly, if there's ever a draft, EVERYONE should have to go. Male, female, rich, poor, college, working. Everyone goes. No exemptions, not even for spoiled rich brats whose daddies vote Republican and who will inherit the world.

Let them all go and get blown to smithereens. And then we'll see how long wars last.[/b]


Since when does "everyone go" though? Deferments, excuses, conscientious objection, replacement-buying all these tactics are used by people with money so their kids DON'T go.

Nobody wanted to be in Vietnam. Dead bodies nightly and political screaming, massive protesting, photographs of napalm victims, draft dodging, Vietnam soldiers refusing to fight,mutiny, NOTHING worked in stopping it.

Now it's even worse because the American media doesn't show the carnage.

Now the Senate [?] is trying to pass legislation [can't remember the bill #, it's on YouTube] so it will be ILLEGAL in the USA to show dead American soldiers, bomb sites, Iraqi and Afghani insurgents demanding on video that America pull out etc.

They've already pressured a number of internet sites into removing such material as "Un-American".

I wish Will Rogers was right when he said, "If every soldier just laid down his kit and refused to fight--wouldn't be no more wars."

[img]frown.gif" border="0[/img]

vaudree

If there was ever a draft that included women, single parenthood would label one unpatriotic. Pregnancy is the easiest way to dodge the draft.

Tommy_Paine

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Tommy_Paine, I'm not sure what you're saying. Are you saying that today, even with no draft, it's mostly poor whites and blacks who are serving? I'm sure it's true to a degree but not nearly to the same extent as abck then.

The military is certainly or was certainly targeting recruiting in impoverished [i]schools[/i] and neighborhoods at least for a time, if not still currently.

Whether it's as bad, or worse than selective service would be a very interesting question to have answered.

But, the intent is not in question, and is alive and well.

The one difference between the the Iraq war and the Vietnam war is that Congress-- the people-- declared war on Iraq, not just the Executive Branch, as in the Vietnam war.

So maybe it would be right, in those circumstances, to institute a draft like they had the last time Congress declared war, back in 1942.

It's Me D

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If there was ever a draft that included women, single parenthood would label one unpatriotic. Pregnancy is the easiest way to dodge the draft.

Depends how long the wars last... if the draft is still going when those draft dodging babies are grown they will provide the soldiers for the next war; now that is imperialism thinking ahead right there! [img]tongue.gif" border="0[/img]

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Tommy_Paine:
[b]When I was a kid, one of the things that struck me as an abomination was the "selective service" draft with it's defferals. (Dick Cheney had seven of them, I think-- Rush Limbaugh got one for a subaceous cyst-- read soon to be Senator Al Franken's short story, "Operation Chicken Hawk")

The net effect was that only poor whites ("volunteered for the army on my birthday/they draft the white trash first draft here anyway"-- Steve Earl, "Copperhead Road".) and poor African Americans who became disproportionately represented in the Vietnam War.

[/b]


And poor Latinos and poor Native Americans as well(like a lot of members of the Tlingit Nation here in Southeast Alaska). Just wanted to include their presence in that event.

[ 30 October 2008: Message edited by: Ken Burch ]

Michelle

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Originally posted by Star Spangled Canadian:
[b]I don't know about that, Michelle. There was a draft during Vietnam (not to mention the two world wars) and they lasted a hell of a long time.[/b]

Sure. Because all the rich brats got deferrals.

I'm talking a draft with NO deferrals. Support a hawkish foreign policy? Put your body (or your kids' bodies) where your mouth is. See you on the next plane to the trenches!

When people get tired of their tax money going to jailing people who refuse to serve, and buying coffins for those who go, and losing a bunch of their productive members of society to a safe haven in Canada, they'll smarten up a lot sooner than they did about Vietnam.

If your country is waging war, then every citizen has to take responsibility for the decision your political masters take. Whether that means going to war, or going to jail for refusing to go to war, you have to suffer for what your government is doing on your behalf.

I would support conscription here, too. We'd be out of Afghanstan in about three seconds if there were conscription in Canada, and hundreds of thousands of military-aged people were being shipped off to war or shipped off to jail for refusing to serve. You want to see people get a little less complacent about politics and right-wing assholes like Stephen Harper? Let them suffer the REAL consequences, just as people in the nations we invade have to.

Michelle

I don't think I made it clear earlier and that was my mistake - the only way I would support a draft (or, in Canada, conscription) is if EVERYONE had to go, and there were absolutely no deferrals.

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Originally posted by vaudree:
[b]If there was ever a draft that included women, single parenthood would label one unpatriotic. Pregnancy is the easiest way to dodge the draft.[/b]

How is fatherhood currently treated in nations with the draft? If a man has a young child, does he get a deferrment?

If he does, then the mother should get exactly the same deferrment.

If the man does not get a deferrment for a child, then the mother shouldn't either -- if the draft is to be truly equal between genders.

Complicating cases would include both parents being of draft age (one would assume the family would get a deferrment for one parent, to be decided by the family).

Single parenthood would be even more complicated. How are single fathers currently treated by the Selective Service in the US or other countries?

(Pregnancy would obviously be a short-term deferment for service. There is an analogue in British prisons of the nineteenth century. Female prisoners to be hung could have their sentences put on hold if they got pregnant in jail. After birth, they went to the gallows.)