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Comments

Courtney B

sensible. And patriotic, in a way. He's supporting his countrymen, according to the polls.

Jim Spahr

I think we should institute a mandatory draft for all citizens in the form of a "National Service" commitment. This would give citizens the option of fulfilling their commitment through military or civilian service (National Park Service, Peace Corps, etc.). During times of hugely unpopular wars you might have trouble getting people to take the military option but at least you'd give conscientious objectors an out without branding them unpatriotic or criminal. And our National Parks would probably be in much better shape.

donny

Interesting conversation. Have to agree though, define patriotism.

Should George W, decide a pre-emptive strike against Iran was a great leaving office present, and need my conscription to make it so - I'd tell him to get stuffed.

Our country is more than the sum of all the idiots who have tricked us into believing we elected them. I will go to war to defend my COUNTRY from attack, not help some saber-rattling jackass score three pages in a history book.

Conor

Calling the dodger unpatriotic was your typical incendiary fare, Scott, but whatever, because I see it worked, as ever.

I'll toss my coins in the hat. I find patriotic that which best represents the interests of my country as I define both those interests and the notion of "my country." For instance, I think supporting the war in Iraq is detrimental to our nation, both politically and economically. Therefore it would be unpatriotic to sign up and intend to serve over there, according to my mindset.

Chris

"The obvious answer is yes, he is unpatriotic. If your country calls on you, you need to go. End of story."

I think it is very sad, in modern times, if people see any truth in the above statement. If that is the definition of patriotism the patriotism is a bad thing. Such unquestioning self-sacrifice for an abstract notion of State or Nationality has normally only been expected by, at best, imperialistic nations (1800's Great Britain) or, at worst, Facist nations. Modern democracies need people who are able to stand as educated individuals who can make autonomous decisions about what is best for them. If serving the state best ensures ongoing personal freedom and economic stability then and only then should you sign up.

K. Larson

The draft is a form of involuntary, uncompensated labor and as such is inherently immoral. Conscription is a violation of civil liberties and doesn't obligate its victims to comply. If a hypothetical country deprived you of freedom of speech for unsound reasons, you would have no obligation to comply with this unreasonable request or to "man up" and suffer the penalties for violating the unreasonable law.

Actually the relevant concern is this: if you dodge the draft, the State doesn't send one less person, they merely pick the next name down the list and send him instead. By dodging, you expose another person to the same risks you yourself have ruled unacceptable. Clearly, we can't be obligated to do something we know to be stupid because the next man in line may be too dim to come to the same conclusion, however, wouldn't a kind and sensitive person be willing to suffer in order to shield another person from harm?

Glenn

"Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious." Oscar Wilde.

RPK

A lot depends on your definition of patriotism. I believe that patriotism is wanting what is best for your country, even if it requires personal sacrifice on your part. (Especially if it requires such sacrifice!) Like it or not, there are times when that means fighting in a war. Other times it can mean doing what you can to keep your country out of a war. The situation that you describe seems to mean the country shouldn't be in the war, so it's not unpatriotic to avoid it.

As for being sensible, we are born with a strong survival instinct, and avoiding being put into a position where we could be killed makes perfect sense.

Thrill

"Bullshit. A country / Government that intends to take away my freedom and put my health at risk IS my enemy. End of story."

Then grab an AK and fight the government. Somehow, I doubt many people with your point of view have the guts to do that either.

Kevin Carson

It's not "your country" calling you. It's the gang of pigs running it. And generally when those pigs get us into a war, it's so their swinish friends on Wall Street can line their pockets.

As Edward Abbey said, a patriot is someone who defends his country against his government.

jenny

If he dodges he's unpatriotic. If he chooses to permanently leave the country that intends to kill him for its own marginal benefit, then it's a valid choice. You can't take all the good a country has to give then dodge the bad stuff and still expect to reap the benefits of a country you won't support. If you don't want to support the country (whatever that means) then leave and don't come back.

Gordon

Just read 'Catch 22'

JimmyF

I must say my dear, dear Dilbertarians, this is an excellent subject for debate. But my feelings about war are much like that talking computer thingy in the Matthew Broderick movie "Wargames." It relates the start of World War 3 to of all things Tic Tac Toe, "Interesting game Professor Vulcan, the only way to win is not to play."

Or as one of the greatest political and philosophical minds of our present generation, a man named Christopher Humphrey said... our goals should not be to fight and win wars but this:

"Start treating people's lives as something precious and irreplaceable. It's that simple,...and everything else follows from it: (1.) Protecting the environment, so that we, and everyone else can live in a world that is green and beautiful. (2.) Helping to stop disease in all of it's forms, so people can live happy and healthy lives. (3.) Helping to end war, and the bigotry and greed that leads to it; and realizing that no war is worth the cost..."

http://jviz.blogspot.com/2008/02/chris-humphrey-gives-us-answers.html

Jimmy F

I must say my dear, dear Dilbertarians, this is an excellent subject for debate. But my feelings about war are much like that talking computer thingy in the Matthew Broderick movie "Wargames." It relates the start of World War 3 to of all things Tic Tac Toe, "Interesting game Professor Vulcan, the only way to win is not to play."

Or as one of the greatest political and philosophical minds of our present generation, a man named Christopher Humphrey said... our goals should not be to fight and win wars but this:

"Start treating people's lives as something precious and irreplaceable. It's that simple,...and everything else follows from it: (1.) Protecting the environment, so that we, and everyone else can live in a world that is green and beautiful. (2.) Helping to stop disease in all of it's forms, so people can live happy and healthy lives. (3.) Helping to end war, and the bigotry and greed that leads to it; and realizing that no war is worth the cost..."

http://jviz.blogspot.com/2008/02/chris-humphrey-gives-us-answers.html


bobbert

People have way to much respect for civil authority. Who is the president to tell me when and who to fight? I am a free man. If I wish to defend my homeland from an enemy, I will. If I don't, I won't. This isn't a big insurance program, it's a nation. I don't have to "buy in" in order to live here, I just have to avoid unduly interfering with or harming my fellow citizens. A man who does nothing can wrong no one, and therefore no one can justly coerce him to do anything. Inaction may sometimes be immoral under religious or other above-and-beyond criteria, but it is never a violation of anyone's fundamental rights, and therefore the state should have nothing to say about it. If I want to join a religion (nationalistic or theological), I will.

youth

Did you just say "homeland"?

Do not EVER use that word in any non-ironic context ever again. Thanks.

-The Mgmt.

Chris

Next question: Does heroism, therefore, equal patriotism?

dontbother

This is a hypothetical question to see if our notions of responsibility have changed since I was a kid.

If my unmarried next-door neighbors make enough noise every night and day to drive me to distraction and, potentially, into a serious depression because they are screaming their heads off every time they have sex -- about six or seven times a 24-hour day, it seems to me -- when I am having none (not that I want any, mind you; I just want to be left alone to pet my cat in peace and do my daily work without having to listen to the grinding and moaning of others having fun when I'm not), may I use that potential mental pathology as as insanity defense or a self-defense defense in a capital murder case after I've beheaded, disemboweled, castrated, and cannibalized the cockerel, and beheaded, disemboweled, devaginated, and cannibalized the pullet next door?

I know this has nothing to do with patriotism, but I think that draft dodging has nothing to do with patriotism either. Both have to do with taking responsibility for one's actions.

John Reedy

LOL, I love that you say "hypothetical unpopular war".

http://awritersblock.com

Al

I think they should make a political statement and avoid service by saying that they are gay. If the war is not important enough to allow homosexuals then it must not be very important. There have been a lot of homosexuals with crucial skills kicked out already, and nearly every politician has said they would continue to not allow gays in military.

danbert

This situation truly is hypothetical - and weighted in a way that there is no way to answer "C"
I was drafted and went because it was the law of the land even though I wasn't very enthusiastic about where I might end up (shortly after entering service Viet Nam ended - go figure)
A high school freind of mine received his draft notice at the same time I did, and flatly refused conscription. He did not 'dodge' or 'defect' he 'resisted'. He flatly refused to sign his name or take the oath, and after a lot of hemming and hawing, they eventually called an FBI agent to arrest him. At his trial the judge offered him one more chance to sign up without any repercussions and he still refused, and was sentenced to four years in the Federal Pen (he served two and was paroled)
Fast forward a few years and Jimmy Carter granted amnesty to all the folk who fled the country to avoid the draft. My freind, who to this day is quite bitter and won't talk about his time in jail, is quite vocal about these 'cowards'.
To this day he insists that he loves his country, and since the draft was the law of the land, he conciously broke that law and took his punishment for it. The draft dodgers broke the law and suffered no punishment (Unless spending six years in Canada could be considered...naw let's not go there)
My freind dislikes former President Carter - but rabidly HATES draft dodgers who didn't have the moral courage to stand up for their professed convictions and take their medicine like adults.
So Scott - there IS a "C" answer...

useless fellow

( On the other hand, what is the point of a being patriotic to a country that intends to kill you for its own marginal benefit? Such a country would be your natural enemy, not your friend, so any question of patriotism would be nonsense in this particular situation.

Is the draft dodger in this hypothetical situation unpatriotic or simply sensible?)

LOL ! Reminds me of ' Catch 22' and Yossarian will be proud of reading this ! It doesn't matter which side you are, you are gonna get killed ! " It's not personal " . But what does it matter, personal or impersonal ? You are gonna get killed anyway.

Or.. you " will be disappeared ! " LOL ! Not even proper grammar but conveys the ' bullet' point !

Alas, Joseph Heller passed away. I wish he read your blog !

Abhishek

Tapan Karecha ....

go to the cartoon. Hit \"ALT\" + \"PRT SCRN\" button. Open a graphics package that can import images such as Word, Photoshop, Illustrator, Paint etc. and open a new file then hit \"Paste\". The image on your screen appears as a jpeg. Save and or print

Or... You could simply click on the Embed button, copy to clipboard, paste in Notepad, copy the direct link to the gif and save it using your browser.

Petr

You seem to infer/assume that "patriotic"="good" and "unpatriotic"="bad". Throw away this assumption and you'll see how silly your question is.

And then ask yourself, why did you think that "patriotic" is "good" in the first place?

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