Bringing the War Home


Fighting American Apathy with the Draft

In the telltale hearts of the 1960’s antiwar movement beat a sincere desire to end the Vietnam War and halt the atrocities committed by US troops in Southeast Asia, and yet that sincerity is little more than nuanced truism: sincere intention arose only as a response to the reinstatement of the military draft. Prior to President Johnson’s enactment of the draft in 1964, few Americans were even aware of U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia: antiwar sentiment arose only when the war came knocking on doors across America, instantly bringing the war home to millions of American draft-age youths and their families.

Although the antiwar movement emerged from the prior decade’s tradition of civil disobedience, the draft provided the catalyst for the transformation of the antiwar movement from a negligible citizen peace movement — largely a product of the Old Left/New Left tradition of radical domestic pacifism in the 1950’s — to an epidemic phenomenon of crystallizing dissent against an illegal war and the atrocities it perpetuated.

Is this what it will take to generate a similar movement in protest against the unspeakable atrocities committed by US troops, to liquidate American apathy regarding crimes against humanity that arguably dwarf those committed in Vietnam?

Incoming Democratic chairman Charles Rangel’s recent suggestion of renewing the draft raises the issue of American apathy, and the drastic measures that will have to be taken to thwart the rapidly growing trend of blind support and moral relativism.  (cont’d)


~ by K. Danconia on 06.10.

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