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40 years ago - Clay v. United States

FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style?Registered User regular
edited June 2011 in Debate and/or Discourse
On June 28, 1971, the Supreme Court of the US ruled to overturn Muhammad Ali's conviction for draft dodging in Clay v. United States.

In short, Muhammad Ali filed for conscientious objector status when, in 1967, he appeared for his induction into the US Army in Texas but refused to step forward when his name was called. He was convicted for dodging the draft and stripped of his boxing title.

Ali's objection to the Vietnam War was both religious and political. As a member of Nation of Islam, he publicly declared that he would not fight in any war that was not declared by Allah. He also was very critical of the war politically: "Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs?"

Sadly, I can't post Ali's most famous quote on the subject in it's full unedited form here but you can use your imagination or just follow the link: "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong. They never called me n..."

...bong.

His conviction was overturned on an anticlimactic procedural basis. In a very short and to-the-point opinion, SCOTUS ruled that because the Court of Appeals did not specify which of the three basic tests for conscientious objector status that Ali failed, the case was impossible to determine.

However, that simple ruling obscures the contemporary relevance of the case. According to Bob Woodward's book on SCOTUS, The Brethren (Google Books link) SCOTUS chose to hear the case due to Ali's prominence as a black athlete. Objectors and antiwar demonstrators were being arrested by the thousands, and the racial overtones of the case were not lost on SCOTUS.

Because one justice, Thurgood Marshall, recused himself, only 8 justices presided over the case. The case threatened to go to a 4-4 deadlock, which means that SCOTUS would not have issued an opinion. Ali would have been arrested without him - or the American public - knowing why. Justice Potter Stewart suggested the procedural decision as a compromise.

The case set no new precedent nor did it provide any novel interpretations of existing precdent. From a legal perspective, it's barely a historical blip - a minor ruling. Historically, though, for a famous black Muslim, a member of Nation of Islam - an organization popularly seen as separatist, even seditionist - to object to the war in such an outspoken way was not a minor occurrence.

We've had a few threads here regarding civil disobedience; whether humans have an inviolate duty to follow the law even when it conflicts with their own consciences. I don't think that we do. I believe that if a legal prescription is unjust - whether that prescription is a law, a command, a writ, or whatever we want to call it - we not only have the moral option to refuse it, in some cases we may have a positive duty to refuse it.

This may have been easier to remember in 1967-1971 than it is today. It had only been a few years since Hannah Arendt published Eichmann in Jerusalem, in which she famously observed that Eichmann committed atrocities not out of violent impulse or sociopathy, but out of simple conformity.

It remains true, however. In 2004, Philip Zimbardo (yes, that Philip Zimbardo) interviewed Staff Sergeant Ivan Frederick, highest ranking officer convicted of torturing prisoners at Abu Ghraib. From that interview, Zimbardo testified that Frederick "had no sadistic or pathological tendencies." To use Zimbardo's metaphor, Frederick was not a bad apple who spoiled the barrel, he was a good apple spoiled by a bad barrel.

Dissenters, even deserters, form the necessary conscience of a healthy democracy. Muhammad Ali risked his career and his legacy to refuse to serve in an unjust war, so even though he never wore a uniform, I consider him a war hero.

Feral on
every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
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Posts

  • HacksawHacksaw J. Duggan Wrestler at LawRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Rocky Balboa was a better boxer.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    The sad part is that this all possibly cost Ali his health. Because of the cost of this case, he kept fighting past when he should have retired.

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  • ThomamelasThomamelas Bro!Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    The sad part is that this all possibly cost Ali his health. Because of the cost of this case, he kept fighting past when he should have retired.

    The 3 year suspension didn't help. But I don't think Ali would have stopped fighting three years earlier because of it. The Rumble in the Jungle gave him a huge purse to work with but the man had a drive and an ego.

  • TarantioTarantio Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Which decade it did you forget?

    I bet it was the 90s.

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  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Tarantio wrote: »
    Which decade it did you forget?

    I bet it was the 90s.

    GaaaaaaawdDAMNit.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • programjunkieprogramjunkie Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Feral wrote: »
    Dissenters, even deserters, form the necessary conscience of a healthy democracy. Muhammad Ali risked his career and his legacy to refuse to serve in an unjust war, so even though he never wore a uniform, I consider him a war hero.

    I don't consider someone who hasn't been shot at a war hero, with the possible exception of hyper competent non-combatants who directly support the war effort, like doctors / nurses or war R&D. There are other sorts of heroes. I consider Gandhi a hero, and he was a pacifist.

    That said, I agree with the end result, if not any part of the situation that arrived there. A draft should be reserved for imminent destruction or dishonor (being enslaved, for example) and for no other reason. Vietnam did not qualify under that standard by any reasonable analysis.

    I'm a proponent of using military force for a variety of policy goals including regime change solely for moral reasons, but a military force should be composed of volunteers who are there by choice, are treated with respect, and are compensated fairly both during and after their service.

    That said, in the rare cases where there is imminent destruction or dishonor as a reasonably foreseen danger to loss, I don't think there should be any exemptions for religious reasons. If the result of not fighting is the genocide of your populace, I would say anyone refusing to fight is a traitor and a coward. But only in those cases.

  • themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    That said, in the rare cases where there is imminent destruction or dishonor as a reasonably foreseen danger to loss, I don't think there should be any exemptions for religious reasons. If the result of not fighting is the genocide of your populace, I would say anyone refusing to fight is a traitor and a coward. But only in those cases.

    By making them traitors you make it hard to sus out their cowardice as I'm pretty sure the penalty for traitors is death.

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  • Rhan9Rhan9 Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    That said, in the rare cases where there is imminent destruction or dishonor as a reasonably foreseen danger to loss, I don't think there should be any exemptions for religious reasons. If the result of not fighting is the genocide of your populace, I would say anyone refusing to fight is a traitor and a coward. But only in those cases.

    That depends. Cowardice is certainly a possibility, but to be a traitor, one needs to betray one's duty. Depending on what ideology one subscribes to, duty as a concept can be something that one needs to choose to partake in. Imposing duties on people without their consent and then calling them traitors for betraying those duties they never agreed to uphold is something that I find incredibly distasteful. Obviously this doesn't apply to some basic duties that are imposed on everyone, such as following laws in a society that are for the public benefit(regarding murder, theft etc.).

    However, to expect a person to go fight and die for a cause they may not have voluntarily taken as their own, with the alternative being proclaimed a traitor - with all the unpleasant consequences that follow - is essentially taking away personal choice. If a war started, where my home country were under threat, and I would be forced to fight to defend it regardless of my personal feelings on the matter, or be tried and executed as a traitor, I would harbor more ill feelings towards my "own" people than the hypothetical enemy threatening the country. If I had chosen to defend the country, fine. If I'm forced to do it against my will, I'd probably try to desert or switch sides at the first opportunity. At least the enemy hadn't essentially enslaved me, and switching sides would be my own choice.

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  • Void SlayerVoid Slayer Very Suspicious Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I thought there were systems where conscientious objectors still had to perform some sort of non-military national service even if they were removed from the military draft. Or maybe that is just the sane thing to do rather then putting people in jail.

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  • JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited June 2011
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Rocky Balboa was a better boxer.

    I don't think it's too much to ask that the very second post in a thread at least make some sort of vague stab towards being on-topic.

  • ATIRageATIRage Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    From what I understand conscientious objector status is something legally required. Also, for those with spiritual reasons, you can't be forced to fight in a war (i think there are some supreme court cases on that). I wouldn't consider people who fail to fight as a matter of spirituality treasonous, but, if there were another draft, I don't know how I'd rule if I had to determine which comes first, our religious protection obligations or the country's obligations (i'd probably go with country).

    I think Ali is a hero, but for different reasons. Dodging the draft isn't a noble thing to do. You can argue the government is being unfair or doesn't hold your beliefs and everything else. But the law is what the law is, and absent taking the appropriate avenues to challenge a law (congress or the courts) you follow the law unless unconstitutional.

    As to the draft in general: There are simple statements like "Freedom ain't free" and "die for your country" and "Not my war" and "Fuck the draft" but to me it boils down to this: If the draft was validly instituted and is equal in its determinations, then the government has rendered its obligation to ensure due process (notice this is a procedural issue not substantive) and has validly executed its authority to draw troops for the US military. If you believe in the Constitution you should believe in that as well.

  • HenroidHenroid Gibberish Cold white sand!Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I thought there were systems where conscientious objectors still had to perform some sort of non-military national service even if they were removed from the military draft. Or maybe that is just the sane thing to do rather then putting people in jail.

    When I got my draft number upon turning 18, this is exactly what I decided for myself. I'm not a fighter, but I will do what I can to support those who do. But nobody is going to ship me out onto the front line.

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  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    ATIRage wrote: »
    As to the draft in general: There are simple statements like "Freedom ain't free" and "die for your country" and "Not my war" and "Fuck the draft" but to me it boils down to this: If the draft was validly instituted and is equal in its determinations, then the government has rendered its obligation to ensure due process (notice this is a procedural issue not substantive) and has validly executed its authority to draw troops for the US military. If you believe in the Constitution you should believe in that as well.

    The constitution says they can raise an army. It does not say they have to force people in to it. So no, I do not have to believe in a draft. In fact I pretty much believe in the opposite.

  • NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    ATIRage wrote: »
    As to the draft in general: There are simple statements like "Freedom ain't free" and "die for your country" and "Not my war" and "Fuck the draft" but to me it boils down to this: If the draft was validly instituted and is equal in its determinations, then the government has rendered its obligation to ensure due process (notice this is a procedural issue not substantive) and has validly executed its authority to draw troops for the US military. If you believe in the Constitution you should believe in that as well.

    I very much disagree. The government does not have some intrinsic right to send you to die. If we lived under the soviet system for instance I don't think any of us would have a moral problem with dodging the draft. You can say that this is different, that Ali was in America not the Soviet Union but he was a black man in a time where it wasn't great to be a black man. When there are laws specifically oppressing a race of people in a country its bullshit of the highest degree to then tell those oppressed people that they have an obligation to risk their life defending the government that is oppressing them.

  • ATIRageATIRage Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Quid that's a very restrictive read on the Constitution. The ability to raise an army is open ended, giving Congress the authority to figure out how to raise an army. If congress decides that a draft is necessary and proper to raising an army that will end up being that. (I'd argue that the constitution remains silent about quite a lot of stuff yet it is perfectly constitutional, not all of it is agreeable but much of it is like abortions, right to marry and so forth)

    Neaden, I believe that there are moral claims that are acceptable for getting out of a draft, like religious observance, or even non religious aversions to violence. BUT that isn't what Ali was arguing, he was arguing about racial inequality which, I agree was awful in the 60s and 70s and I also agree that he had the right to object, and he should have done so by going to court or facing the consequences.

    Personally, I have a ton to lose if there is ever a draft. But if my number gets called, I'm not going to object because America interned my ancestors, or enslaved my past family (yes I am black and japanese), i'm going to fight for this country because it said it was necessary. I follow a bunch of other laws and it isn't up to me to determine what is and isn't reasonable outside of the normal routes of legal objection (Petitioning congress and going to court)

    I'm all okay with civil disobedience when the avenues of legal objection are closed or when something is blatantly unconstitutional (Freedom of speech cases to say things like "Fuck the draft" in court) These avenues were not closed to Ali, he could have stated moral aversion to violence and also been given a pass on the draft. But instead he didn't.

  • SliderSlider Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    My friend, who is in the Army, said that he wouldn't follow orders if our military told him to go over and fight Israelis. I guess that's where he draws the line.

    I like listening to Jacque Fresco, because he has a lot of important things to say. One thing he says is that soldiers or, the majority of military personnel, are trained killing machines. He disagrees that humans need to kill other humans to prove a point.

  • ATIRageATIRage Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I don't know about that slider. Trying other alternatives doesn't work that well. BUT don't get me wrong, it isn't as if war is a good thing. It's definitely a moral wrong. But to me moral rights and wrongs aren't weighed equally amongst each other, and there is a lot of gray.

  • Walrus von ZeppelinWalrus von Zeppelin Registered User
    edited June 2011
    Regarding the constitutionality of the draft: The constitution very clearly says involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime, shall not exist in the United States.

    However, SCOTUS has ruled, on opposite day, that involuntary military servitude isn't involuntary servitude.

  • ATIRageATIRage Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    It isn't some kind of SCOTUS humbo jumbo they are pulling out of their arse. Its only a very constrained reading of the constitution that thinks involuntary servitude equats to being inducted into the military (You get paid in the military, you can object, you can simply go to jail) Involuntary servitude is a bit different in that you only have one choice, and it isn't for pay.

    At either rate, Ali is a great guy, and I think he is a hero but dodging the draft is, to be tautological :D, dodgy behavior

  • Walrus von ZeppelinWalrus von Zeppelin Registered User
    edited June 2011
    ATIRage wrote: »
    It isn't some kind of SCOTUS humbo jumbo they are pulling out of their arse. Its only a very constrained reading of the constitution that thinks involuntary servitude equats to being inducted into the military (You get paid in the military, you can object, you can simply go to jail) Involuntary servitude is a bit different in that you only have one choice, and it isn't for pay.

    At either rate, Ali is a great guy, and I think he is a hero but dodging the draft is, to be tautological :D, dodgy behavior

    So if I gave my slaves some pocket change it's no longer involuntary servitude? Someone should have told the south!

  • ATIRageATIRage Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Had some stuff against Walrus, but now I am just editing it out and leaving it with:

    Back to the point: Civil disobedience is something that should be honored, and in fact is something that has brought this country far in terms of race relations.
    I just disagree with Ali's methodology in this case because, unlike the above civil disobedience, Ali had legal methods of getting out of the draft and decided not to avail himself of them.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    A draft should be reserved for imminent destruction or dishonor (being enslaved, for example) and for no other reason. Vietnam did not qualify under that standard by any reasonable analysis.

    I largely agree.
    I would say anyone refusing to fight is a traitor and a coward. But only in those cases.

    Well, only if effective civilian service is available.

    In WWII, we rounded up objectors and put them in camps and made them do useless work.

    If we made 1-W objectors do useless work or menial work below their skill level then that would be unacceptable. If somebody were a physics grad student and we put that person to work digging ditches, then I could accept other physics grad students saying "no, fuck you." (Current draft law only allows a maximum of one year of educational deferment.)

    I don't actually think that would be a problem if we reinstated the draft, I'm just talking in hypotheticals here.

    BTW, I think we should be doing more federally to support civilian service organizations like Americorps. We might not have a draft right now, but when we limit funding to education while funding a robust military recruitment system (necessary to maintain an all-volunteer army) we institute a sort of 'economic draft' - we make military service look more attractive to young adults by reducing civilian options. That said, not everybody needs to go to university, and there's a pretty good argument that we have too many people going to universities and getting useless degrees. Civilian service is a good middle ground IMO between military service and college.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    ATIRage wrote: »
    I just disagree with Ali's methodology in this case because, unlike the above civil disobedience, Ali had legal methods of getting out of the draft and decided not to avail himself of them.

    I'm not sure what you mean. He filed for conscientious objector status, was rejected, and went up the court system. He didn't flee to Canada or anything. What should he have done instead?

    As a secondary tangent, what do you think of banality-of-evil arguments? If the government demands that you commit an atrocity, and you have no legal recourse in your country to get out of that responsibility (other than going to prison, or worse, facing death), what should you do?

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • SliderSlider Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I found that video I was referring to.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXkFsSry5U8

  • ThomamelasThomamelas Bro!Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    ATIRage wrote: »
    Had some stuff against Walrus, but now I am just editing it out and leaving it with:

    Back to the point: Civil disobedience is something that should be honored, and in fact is something that has brought this country far in terms of race relations.
    I just disagree with Ali's methodology in this case because, unlike the above civil disobedience, Ali had legal methods of getting out of the draft and decided not to avail himself of them.

    There wasn't really any other legal methods. He filed for CC status, got denied, didn't get told why he was denied. He then filed suit and appealed through the court system. This wasn't the civil war, you couldn't pay someone to take your draft slot.

  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Quid wrote: »
    ATIRage wrote: »
    As to the draft in general: There are simple statements like "Freedom ain't free" and "die for your country" and "Not my war" and "Fuck the draft" but to me it boils down to this: If the draft was validly instituted and is equal in its determinations, then the government has rendered its obligation to ensure due process (notice this is a procedural issue not substantive) and has validly executed its authority to draw troops for the US military. If you believe in the Constitution you should believe in that as well.

    The constitution says they can raise an army. It does not say they have to force people in to it. So no, I do not have to believe in a draft. In fact I pretty much believe in the opposite.

    Uh...read the rest of the constitution. If you think the draft is unconstitutional, you also think obamacare's individual mandate is unconstitutional - which I only raise because I think you think it's constitutional.

    "They [draft dodgers] all defended by denying that there had been conferred by the Constitution upon Congress the power to compel military service by a selective draft, and asserted that, even if such power had been given by the Constitution to Congress, the terms of the particular act for various reasons caused it to be beyond the power and repugnant to the Constitution. The cases are here for review because of the constitutional questions thus raised, convictions having resulted from instructions of the courts that the legal defences were without merit, and that the statute was constitutional.

    The possession of authority to enact the statute must be found in the clauses of the Constitution giving Congress power to declare war; . . . to raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years; . . . to make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces. Article I, § 8.

    And, of course, the powers conferred by these provisions, like all other powers given, carry with them, as provided by the Constitution, the authority 'to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers." Article I, § 8.'" Selective Draft Law Cases, 245 U.S. 366, 376-77 (1918).

    The case also makes the equally important point that the power to draft was contemplated within Congress' authority by the founders.

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  • ATIRageATIRage Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Thomamelas if that is true then I retract my prior argument. I'll do some research on it because I wasn't aware Ali had filed for CO status

    Kaliyama: stole words out of my mind ;D

  • ThomamelasThomamelas Bro!Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    ATIRage wrote: »
    Thomamelas if that is true then I retract my prior argument. I'll do some research on it because I wasn't aware Ali had filed for CO status

    Kaliyama: stole words out of my mind ;D

    It's in the OP. It's in the article the OP linked. And the Supremes ruled in his favor because the government didn't state why. I'm deeply curious as to what you think the suit was about?

  • ATIRageATIRage Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    The research is about some other conscientious objector cases and I'm trying to see the differences, those ones were for non religious conscientious objector status but I'm blankingo nthe case names so i'm going through old notes :(

    As to the OP, i didn't get that on the first pass, and I wasn't able to read the particulars of the case yet (when Feral said poltiical and religious I didn't connect that to mean conscientious objector, my bad)

    I'm not entirely sure what the local draft board was thinking when it denied his application, considering at that time religious protection was at its zenith in the Court.

  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    ATIRage wrote: »
    Quid that's a very restrictive read on the Constitution. The ability to raise an army is open ended, giving Congress the authority to figure out how to raise an army. If congress decides that a draft is necessary and proper to raising an army that will end up being that. (I'd argue that the constitution remains silent about quite a lot of stuff yet it is perfectly constitutional, not all of it is agreeable but much of it is like abortions, right to marry and so forth)

    They could also kill people who refuse to serve. I'd be very much against that as well.

    The fact of the matter is I'm well aware of what congress currently can do. That does not mean I agree with it, that SCOTUS will always agree with it, nor that not agreeing with this particular point means one can not believe in the constitution.
    kaliyama wrote: »
    If you think the draft is unconstitutional...

    Never said it currently isn't.

  • programjunkieprogramjunkie Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Rhan9 wrote: »
    That said, in the rare cases where there is imminent destruction or dishonor as a reasonably foreseen danger to loss, I don't think there should be any exemptions for religious reasons. If the result of not fighting is the genocide of your populace, I would say anyone refusing to fight is a traitor and a coward. But only in those cases.

    That depends. Cowardice is certainly a possibility, but to be a traitor, one needs to betray one's duty. Depending on what ideology one subscribes to, duty as a concept can be something that one needs to choose to partake in. Imposing duties on people without their consent and then calling them traitors for betraying those duties they never agreed to uphold is something that I find incredibly distasteful. Obviously this doesn't apply to some basic duties that are imposed on everyone, such as following laws in a society that are for the public benefit(regarding murder, theft etc.).

    However, to expect a person to go fight and die for a cause they may not have voluntarily taken as their own, with the alternative being proclaimed a traitor - with all the unpleasant consequences that follow - is essentially taking away personal choice. If a war started, where my home country were under threat, and I would be forced to fight to defend it regardless of my personal feelings on the matter, or be tried and executed as a traitor, I would harbor more ill feelings towards my "own" people than the hypothetical enemy threatening the country. If I had chosen to defend the country, fine. If I'm forced to do it against my will, I'd probably try to desert or switch sides at the first opportunity. At least the enemy hadn't essentially enslaved me, and switching sides would be my own choice.

    I don't have a problem with demanding service when imminent danger is upon a country. I'm not talking about legitimate conflicts of interest (a war between the US and China over a trillion gallon fossil fuel deposit in the arctic, say), but if North Korea decided to raze Seoul down to ash, including anyone who wasn't fast enough to get away, I would say any South Koreans capable of serving would be morally obligated to take up arms, and it would be fine to supplement that obligation with force of law.
    Slider wrote: »
    My friend, who is in the Army, said that he wouldn't follow orders if our military told him to go over and fight Israelis. I guess that's where he draws the line.

    Fuck him. Joining the army isn't about personally picking and choosing where you fight.
    I like listening to Jacque Fresco, because he has a lot of important things to say. One thing he says is that soldiers or, the majority of military personnel, are trained killing machines.

    Human beings trained in killing, perhaps.

    And FWIW, from the video, the military does train people in a huge variety of intellectual and civilian applicable skills, including relating to citizens from foreign countries and speaking their languages. The primary mission of the armed forces is to counter military threats, but we do that in a variety of ways.
    He disagrees that humans need to kill other humans to prove a point.

    That's not really true, and certainly not in the short term. I could see an argument for vastly more restrained military action and less sabre rattling, but wars of aggression happen and even those who love peace should be prepared to go to war.
    Feral wrote: »
    I would say anyone refusing to fight is a traitor and a coward. But only in those cases.

    Well, only if effective civilian service is available.

    In WWII, we rounded up objectors and put them in camps and made them do useless work.

    If we made 1-W objectors do useless work or menial work below their skill level then that would be unacceptable. If somebody were a physics grad student and we put that person to work digging ditches, then I could accept other physics grad students saying "no, fuck you." (Current draft law only allows a maximum of one year of educational deferment.)

    If they can perform equally or greater value work to serving in a combat position, absolutely.
    BTW, I think we should be doing more federally to support civilian service organizations like Americorps. We might not have a draft right now, but when we limit funding to education while funding a robust military recruitment system (necessary to maintain an all-volunteer army) we institute a sort of 'economic draft' - we make military service look more attractive to young adults by reducing civilian options. That said, not everybody needs to go to university, and there's a pretty good argument that we have too many people going to universities and getting useless degrees. Civilian service is a good middle ground IMO between military service and college.

    I'm not sure I really like the military model for anything but the military. A lot of things involved in military service are quite onerous and pointless in a civilian context.

    I do broadly support more government jobs in ways that support economic development to include infrastructure and research, however. But I'm not sure that cannot be treated like another job.

  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Quid, whats your feeling on the draft being a good thing because it spreads the effects of wars evenly. You saw a lot more of this when Iraq was really violent, that the cost of the war was being payed predominantly by the rural and poor in the US, where as many of the people pushing the war knew no one in either of those groups.

  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot P'burg, MTRegistered User regular
    edited June 2011
    The draft didn't treat people equally. Young men with connections and wealth were a lot more likely to get deferments or medical disqualifications.

    Spoiler:
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    The draft didn't treat people equally. Young men with connections and wealth were a lot more likely to get deferments or medical disqualifications.

    This right here.

    I also understand that some of these deferments have a good reason. But the simple fact of the matter is you're more likely going to be able to get an educational deferment if you're rich to start with. And, you know, there's an entire half of the population who it doesn't even apply to. Which goes quite a distance in keeping it from being spread evenly.

    But again, I'm against the idea in general. I'd probably accept it in a few cases, but in general principle I find the concept of forcing others to go out to kill people and risk their lives rather than doing it yourself atrocious.

  • Walrus von ZeppelinWalrus von Zeppelin Registered User
    edited June 2011
    I don't understand why if the slavery is equally distributed among the masses you people would find it more acceptable. Military conscription is simply a barbaric form of slavery that should be outlawed.

  • SyrdonSyrdon Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I don't understand why if the slavery is equally distributed among the masses you people would find it more acceptable. Military conscription is simply a barbaric form of slavery that should be outlawed.
    Slavery is uncompensated, if you're drafted you still get paid.

  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Syrdon wrote: »
    I don't understand why if the slavery is equally distributed among the masses you people would find it more acceptable. Military conscription is simply a barbaric form of slavery that should be outlawed.
    Slavery is uncompensated, if you're drafted you still get paid.

    Incorrect. Slaves can still receive compensation. In fact it happened plenty back in the day. They aren't suddenly free because the person forcing them to work gives them a dollar.

  • ATIRageATIRage Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    Well first, walrus, you and I disagree as to the term slavery, so I'm just leaving that alone.

    But, quid and carrot, I specifically stated in my first post that I'm in favor of a draft that is equal iits treatment and subjective to due process (fairness under the law, in application and in process which would require objections to be made). After doing my homework I realize I was wrong about ali's case and it turns out that the review board should have given him a co waiver to the war.

    I don't disagree that unfair drafts are unconstitutional and immoral, but that isnt what I was advocating. I also disagree with educational deferments as well. There is no unique reason why the educated do not need to serve in war but the uneducated do. As far as I'm concerned if the nation needs service everyone has to serve minus a few exceptions like disability, religious and conscientious reasons. However, I would require these individuals to provide non violent service to the country if they could do that without objection to their principles.

  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    ATIRage wrote: »
    Well first, walrus, you and I disagree as to the term slavery, so I'm just leaving that alone.

    What you consider slavery is wrong. A dollar does not make a man free.

    And what you're for is a fantasy.

  • ATIRageATIRage Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    No, paying someone is only one part of making sure someone isn't enslaved. There is a property aspect, which doesnt happen in the draft, and numerous rights that slaves do not have but dratees do. These things are distinctive in my head.

    My arguments in favor of a draft based on what a draft should be like as opposed go how they have been instituted in the past, which you and I both agree, in the past the draft has been horribly unfair, unequal, and unacceptable.

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