May 2008

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Comments

K

I don't think draft-dodging is ever patriotic; I think the very concept of a draft is immoral.

bill

If a Police Officer knows that going to one more domestic abuse call and seeing a child that has been beaten within an inch of her life will do permanent damage do they go on the next call?

If a citizen knows that helping someone who is being mugged at knifepoint may result in physical or psychological harm do they still help?

If a psychiatrist knows that counseling one more drug addict will take them further into their own depression do they provide the counseling?

If a parent sees another person's child about to walk into traffic and realizes that if they try to help the last thing they will probably see is that child's face screaming in terror do they still try?

Are these people patriotic or unpatriotic for doing what the moment calls for?

venkyx

actually if a person dodges draft and remains mentally more healthy, s/he will be contributing more to the country overall during their life-span.

The impulsive idiotic patriot who rushes into draft may end up as a burden to the state welfare, economy, family members & neighborhood, and drags the whole country down...

Now you decide who is a patriotic in the long run?

Dee

Blind allegiance to an entity or country serves no one.

Dodge the draft and live to fight another day when there is really something to fight for.

Jim Ourada

As long as they leave and don't come back, (and don't whine about it), then that is always a viable choice.

Putting your life on the line for your country is one of the costs of our freedom. It has already been paid ahead for you by those that have come and done before you. But you have an implied responsibility for those that come after you to pay the same price. If you are unwilling or unable to make that payment, then you need to leave. Simple.

Frigga

I think this hypothetical boy didn't get beat up enough as a child. Life is not all pillow fights, some are real. Those who can't handle it die. War is war, the loser dies, plain and simple.

quantum_flux

The Fundie Invasion:

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=5801410974377137535&postID=6781355296784567697

Dave Oblad

Does our country own us.. or do we own the country? I don't recall ever seeing any vote by the American people in regards to employing the draft. If we are short soldiers then perhaps we should pay them more than a $1502.70 per year. Since you are on call 24/7 that works out to be: 17 cents per hour. Even if it's 8 hours per day, that's only 51 cents per hour. That's for an E2 private under 2 years service. It usually take's almost two years to rise above the rank of E2. Ok.. they also get a bed and 3 meals per day.. same as a homeless person for free. Ok.. a green outfit too.. that's not much for putting up with being bossed around and punished by idiots, and a nearly complete lack of freedom while sticking your neck out without knowing why your doing it. Being in the army was exactly like living in a communist country. Funny how army Lifer's loved the army life and hated communists.. that really never made sense to me.

But Patriotism? That's like Nationalism. Faith and belief that your country is always right and better than other countries. These are the same as Racism, Sexism, and many others, all designed to separate you into a unique group, where you and your group are superior to the other groups. We humans need to stop grouping ourselves and recognize we are all part of a whole. The United Nations was a grand step in bringing all governments under one roof and a chance for peace to the world. But it was never given the muscle to force a settlement between idiotic factions. War is stupid. Stupid folks make war. Stupid folks can never compromise.

Again, Patriotism depends on who's asking you to to risk you life and why. To do so blindly is just stupid. Is it your government asking you to serve? Are they forcing your choice and what reasons are being given for your abduction and forced servitude. Do you trust your Government? Have they ever lied to you?

Remember that George Washington, Ben Franklin, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, just to name a few, were all traitors in their time. Our Government was England. Were they being Patriotic, when mounting a armed resistance against the Government? So much for Patriotism! It's defined by the times.

I was drafted and served in Vietnam. We (soldiers) knew we couldn't win because our hands were tied. Try being a boxer in a ring with your hands tied. Best you can do is dodge punches and hope the other guy gets tired of hitting you. After over a decade, we gave up and cut our losses to a few hundred thousand kids killed. What a waste.

When we leave Iraq, the puppet democracy we installed will fail and civil war will erupt. Many more will be killed. The majority there want a specific government and we won't let them have that option. Best we can do is hold the doors open and let everyone have a chance to leave that doesn't want to stay there. Relocating a few thousand people has to be cheaper than the cost of the war and all the lives lost. Afterwards, just leave them the hell alone. Isolate them if they won't play well with others.

So what's the patriotic choice of a young man or woman facing the draft? I say go fight and blame your folks for not controlling their government to the extent of giving better options. Besides, if your truly afraid to risk your life, the army allows you to request a safe desk-job by objecting to war and refusing a weapon. Of course the road is very rough for those kids. I knew a few.. I chose to risk my life over army harassment. That was 33 years ago and the nightmares of real flying body parts have almost gone now.

Best to all.. from Dave :^)

David

Here is the real answer and logical conclusion. If the kid is likely to be, as you state, have "mental problems for the rest of his life even if he is not wounded" which will leave him "mentaly crippled," then he should be on the front line where he is likely to be wounded or killed as that situation presents no further damage and no greater risk. It is likely that these are the same kids who re-enlist until they die in battle, literally, as they have died a bit during each tour. They are patriots upon whose sholders we all stand.

Pat

First: This country was founded on "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Make the decision you can live with -- patriotic or not.

Second: Killing off your young men is not a particularly intelligent way to solve problems. Read history. One of the leading causes of WW2 was WW1. Did Viet Nam really solve anything?

Third: We have all tried not to repeat the unsupportive treatment that was given the Viet Nam Vets. And that's good. Young men in the military risk a great deal and that should be respected. But there's a difference between respect and failure to look the truth in the eye. Is it unpatriotic not to go along with a mistake?

ceolaf

Last week, Scott Adams (the author of Dilbert) posed the following question on his blog:
If a person is relatively certain that going to war will end his ability to enjoy the rest of his life, one way or another, and the war does not present a plausible threat to the homeland, is such a person unpatriotic for dodging the draft to save himself?
Some of comments struck me as rather asinine. For example, they keep referring to you "your country calling you to serve," or questioning the value of patriotism. And yet, they don't actually get to the real question Mr. Adams is posing: What is patriotism?

Many arguing that patriotism itself is a bad thing seem to be operating under the assumption that patriotism mean blind acceptance of the president's views/beliefs/orders/desires. But plainly that can't be true.

Obviously, one element of patriotism is love of country. I would suggest that that is actually the root of patriotism, it's essence. Love of one political party over another is not patriotism, nor is love of a particular leader, though perhaps either could be compatible with patriotism.

Refusing to defend one's country against and existential threat is clearly unpatriotic. No question.

Refusing to enable internal powers to twist one's country to support their new goals or ends is not unpatriotic.

But the line is not clear. If you love your country enough, wouldn't you want to see its interests furthered? For example, if the United States needed to annex Canada in order to survive an energy crisis, it strikes me as being unpatriotic to refuse to take part in the invasion. Of course, allowing the country to get to point -- or enabling others to do so -- would also be unpatriotic.

An essential element of modern (liberal) democracies is the peaceful handover of power from one faction/party to another. George Washington stepped down after two terms, peacefully. And Al Gore refused to challenge the results of the 2000 election past the Supreme Court decision, though many urged him to and the Constitution allowed for it. Is it inevitable that power will change hands, and with that so will policy. Louis XIV said, "L'Etat c'est moi" (i.e. "The state is me"), but democracies' leaders cannot say such a thing. Therefore, aggrandizement of a particular leader or blind devotion to his/her policies cannot be patriotism, as both will change shortly, perhaps even radically.

Criticism of a leader is not unpatriotic, on it face. And refusal to serve an unjust cause that does not protect the nation or its interests is not unpatriotic, either.

Of course, one must come to some kind of answer of what it is that is loved, when on proclaims love of country. Is is the land itself? Is the original peoples? The powerful classes? The masses? The messy diversity that exists in that particular country, be it ethnic, socio-economic, regional, what have you? Their common denominator? Some set of value or principals or some sort?

I think that there are different kinds of countries and that there different answers for these different countries. I don't think that Iceland and the United States can have the kind of patriotism. Icelanders share a common language that goes back centuries, a homeland which their forbearers have inhabited for as least as long, a common culture and way of life. The US is almost entirely made of immigrants and their descendants. Has even a quarter of our population's families been here for even 100 years? (Half of New York City either immigrated here themselves or are the children of immigrants.) The French might love their common culture and language, both of which go back far further than this country's.

I think that this country, the United States, is especially a country of values. 230 years ago, it was not out ethnicity that set us apart from England, and yet we broke apart from the British Empire. Patriotism in the United States cannot simply be about our ethnic heritage, as that varies. It cannot be about the land, as we have grown through our history and out founding documents barely reference it at all. Clearly, the United States is largely about our governing values and principals.

However, I would not argue that the Constitution is the entirety of what matters about the US. There are other values that are a part the very fabric of this nation that do not about in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. Pluralism, the common school, economic opportunity, freedom from many areas of discrimination.

I acknowledge that there are some questions as to which values actually should be included in that group. Simply projecting all of my own values cannot work, as others have different values. There will always be arguments about what values are the essential American values, and some incontestable values likely can be in conflict with others, so the prioritization of those values will also be an area of debate.

But blind faith in the leader of the moment or the powers of the day? That is not patriotism. Temporary control over the levers of power does not make a group, however powerful, the same thing as state.

So, dodging a draft that exists to fight an unjust war that does not protect whatever it is about a nation that is loved when one is patriotic? That is not unpatriotic. And it might even be patriotic itself.

izzy

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

Justin

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.

You hint at a more fundamental point: any country that seeks to control your life would be your natural enemy. Is that not what the government seeks to do? Pay taxes or face imprisonment (which is tantamount to taking some part of your life).

Patriotism is just a made up concept used to try and guilt people into adhering to their "natural enemy" -- an enemy not just in this situation, but in any situation where you are being forced to give up your life for their whims.

carfree since '93

I think the ones who can go to war and come home unscathed were already damaged before they got there.
The Draft dodgers are braver and more sensible. The government counts on people being easily led sheep, else the draft would never work.

CFS '93

mike

were you reading catch 22?

You'd be labeled unpatriotic but that's cool by me. The idea that it's noble to die for your country is silly. Whoever got that in the minds of the public pulled one hell of a joke. I happen to like living, if someone was a real threat to that they could do with an ass kicking. If not a harmless label isn't too much of an inconvenience. Let's get it out of the way now, i'm unpatriotic, now if the draft is reinstated they don't have to bother with me.

Dan

I agree with jp fielding's post.

If a war is truly necessary, I believe volunteers would show up.

Other posters commented that inaction is not a patriotic or noble answer, and that there is more to do in the army then shoot a gun. This is also true.

My grandfather knew how bad WW1 was and he didn't want anything to do with WW2. So he became an engineer and made himself more important to the war effort by staying behind then he would be at the front lines. He didn't need to dodge the draft.

Since the rise of "equality" I've often posed this question to feminists:

If there were a draft, should women be drafted?
If you, as a woman were drafted, would you fight?

I realize women were suppose to stay behind to have/raise children, but many women these days aren't doing that anyways.

Matthew Kovich

Perhaps it's insensible to be patriotic?

Friendsofderek

unpatriotic perhaps but is that such a bad thing?

just because you love your country doesn't mean you should let it away with doing bad things

maybe its unpatriotic to allow such a war in the first place?

Regis McCock

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Rob

where do you get this belief?

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

If some idiot politician calls on you to do something that is stupid (both for yourself and/or your country) then I'd say the patriotic thing was to avoid it. What is right for your country is not necessarily what the government says is right.

After all - in some countries (cough UK & US cough) you can end up with a Leader who was not chosen in an election.

Surely it is the vietnam protestors who were the real patriots?

Joshua Jacobsen

Compelling hypothetical question. It makes me pretty sympathetic to the draft dodger.

I'd still go with "unpatriotic," though. As others have said in the comments, a person can't ethically benefit from the choices our country makes, and then shirk his/her responsibilities while other people pay the price.

Ibid

My answers make certain assumptions about the war that aren't stated in Scott's example but apply in every real world scenario that parallels the example.

1) He's patriotic. The war is not in defense of the country and is actively harming it. To fight would be unpatriotic.

2) He's unpatriotic. His motivations were for his own mental health not the good or ill of the country.

3) He's not unpatriotic. He's being asked to fight for his corporations, not his country.

Chuck

Your country owns you and if you are a patriot it is not your place to question its decisions.

If your country wants you to go to war then you must go to war. If you don't go to war then you don't deserve to be a part of your country and you are not a patriot.

Being patriotic is black and white - if you contradict your country in any way then you are not patriotic.

Or is that brutally stark contrast between patriotic and unpatriotic not the crux of your scenario?

Americans have terms like "Patriotic" and "Homeland" rammed down their throats from an early age. Being "Unamerican" is among the biggest insults you can receive. It's sad really. The country that prides itself on being the land of the free and the home of democracy uses every trick in book for stigmatising being different and having a converse opinion.

So is it really so bad that your hypothetical person isn't a patriot? I think it's sweet that he tried to think for himself.

john

You think way too much.

Grizzly Adams

There are other countries you can live in. If this country requires you to fight, and you do not want to, then move on.

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