“Chicks up front”: Why Hillary Will Support the Draft
By Bernie Quigley for The Free Market News Network, 11/09/07
I take Mitt Romney on face value when he says the all-volunteer army is working and he doesn’t intend to change it. It is in keeping with his nature and all his personal history to manage and improve an existing paradigm rather than to arbitrarily break it and do something else. But what will President Hillary do? I am almost certain by now that she will establish a military draft.
I have traveled in the same river as these people and one of the weirdly random talents I have had in my life is to show up unintentionally at places just when they were getting interesting. Like when Jack Kennedy rose out of my father’s old neighborhood in
I ended up sleeping in Union Station for three days, waiting for family to wire some of my cash. I hadn’t a clue what was going on in the
As it turned out, it was a major turning point for people my age and thousands gathered to protest the war in
But it didn’t turn out because the hippies and the war resisters did not pass the test of fire: On May 4, 1970, when four were left dead at
That failure haunts that same generation today because a revolutionary culture cannot change in mid-stream and join the mainstream corporate culture;
That was John Kerry’s problem from the first. He wanted to be one of the hippies . . . and was famously photographed at an anti-war rally with John Lennon . . . and one of the soldiers too; he proudly decorated his office with his military colors. It doesn’t work. The hippies didn’t consider him one of them, nor did some of his fellow soldiers who swift-boated him.
Gary Hart made a better transition. He opposed the war in
Senator Clinton today represents the people of her age who opted-out of the hippie days when its brief allure receded in the smoke at
A problem arises now and has over the years and it is a mythic problem. The Billarys and the Cheneys and Bushs did not participate in the tribal adventure they were sent to as young ‘uns and they all appear to be living out the failed consequences of a myth unfulfilled. Certainly Cheney and the neocons seem to be living out a dangerous fantasy with their war adventures in Iraq and everywhere, but likewise the Dems seem to be unleavened by the tragedies and successes of military experience.
The key question today is how will the Democrats and the Republicans manage the continuing mess in
There are two “prisons” here – as Toynbee called them. The one is mythical: She opposed the war in
The Democrats in this regard are now displaying romanticized notions of the citizen-soldier in World War II and the draftee in Vietnam which I see as a default of intelligent analysis and avoidance of the problem at hand. This romanticizing comes from a lack of personal experience in time of crisis: One can only imagine fair action and judgment in war if there is no personal experience as touchstone, so one makes decisions by feelings and imaginings.
The question of military service popped up here in
Unfortunately, that does not answer the question of whether or not she supports the draft, and like oh-so-much she and her husband have said to us over the years; it does not even address the question. We already know that there is no interest in the draft in the military. And if we were unsure we would go and ask them. We want to know what she thinks about the draft and specifically, if she would establish a draft to continue the conflict which, if she, Romney or most of the others are elected, is certain to go on for at least a decade if not much longer.
But she has not answered that question.
Under the circumstance it is probably better to try to get the answer as Greg House, MD, of the clever TV show House does. House never listens to his patients. He assumes they always lie, obfuscate or hide the truth. Instead, he sends his interns out to search their houses and talk to their friends and relatives to find out what is going on.
We might do the same with Bill and Hillary. If we don’t know what they are thinking; if they are congenitally incapable of talking straight, we might look to their friends and those who they would bring with them to the Oval Office if they are elected. It has been suggested in the press that Hillary would bring either Jim Webb, warrior, novelist and the new Senator from Virginia, or General Wesley Clark. I would think that someone like Kathleen Sebelius, Governor of
When he ran for Senate Webb was forced to answer if he would support the Democratic candidate “no matter who it is” (meaning Hillary) and he said he would.
In ’04 when he ran for President there was a clear suggestion that he would like the job of Secretary of State. Some of the best commentators have speculated this year that because of the good work he did in the ’06 race for vets running for office and because of the high profile he showed in opposition to a potential invasion of
When he endorsed Senator Clinton, General Clark said he had known her for 21 years. He is one of Bill’s best friends; I see him as Bill’s “alter ego” –
On July 6, 2004, Clark addressed a small group in
He cited the classic argument of a “professional army” as the tool of an elite regime while the draft was the way of an egalitarian, democratic people.
Myself, I find this faulty. Both Hitler and Stalin relied on a draft.
It is an important issue because increasingly, Clark appears to be forming opinion for the Democrats and for the
Senator Clinton needs to be asked directly if she is committed to the all-volunteer army as Romney is or if she is in agreement with Wesley Clark on this issue. Which of these will be the law of the land when she is President?
If she doesn’t answer straight, which she won’t, we should press her on who she will bring forth on military issues and make our own assumptions from that.
She certainly believes in registration and told my local reporters that 18-year-old women, along with men should be required to register.
“I think that should be required of everyone in case of a national emergency,” she said. And in a hair-raising aside, she suggested that 9-11 was such an emergency.
“I really believe that Bush could have gotten the nation involved. He chose not to,” she said. “He had a chance after 9-11 to summon
She said she would also “like to do more” with national service and presumably everyone could be pressed into “national service” in case of “a national emergency.”
So in a Hillary Presidency, you won’t only have the chance to be pulled out of a card game, as I was, and drafted into the war in Vietnam, but could also be drafted, man or woman, into alternative service; possibly doing laundry at the White House or scrubbing floors at the William J. Clinton Library and Museum in Arkansas.
Some of my madcap, dynamic friends up here in the Free State Project in
Her political vision goes back further than that. It goes back to Peter the Great.