Hell, it’s scarcely even going to be blogged:
But the attempt to make the current war into a replay of Vietnam is failing quite dramatically. What‚Äôs missing is the key element that provoked many of the old radicals to oppose the Vietnam War in the first place: the draft. It wasn‚Äôt really the war per say that a lot of them opposed; it was the prospect of themselves actually having to go fight it. Lacking that impetus, the younger generation seems distinctly unimpressed by the urgency of ending a war fought so soon after the 9/11 attacks.
What do the old radicals have left to offer the youth? Socialism. One can understand the attraction of this credo back in the 1960s, when its American adherents only had the millions of victims of the Soviet regime to contradict their assertion that socialism would provide a positive alternative to capitalism.
But now, we know of the atrocities of a whole new set of postwar socialist regimes in China, Cambodia, Romania, and countless other places — including Vietnam — as well as the final collapse of most socialist governments and the turn toward capitalism of nearly all the remaining socialist regimes. Younger activists may have the Iraq War to fight against, but they need something to fight for — and with socialism, their older role models are not offering them anything appealing.
Actually, in a strange way this sort of narrative provides both the most compelling reason for the people to want a draft, and the most compelling reason for the state to avoid one. Unguided by any overarching positive ideology and absent unenlightened self-interest, the most energetic class of potential protestors mostly want to just posture and hook up, while providing that same class of people with a reason to actually get excited about mandatory service during a conflict would constrain the power of the state to act.
Which line of thinking takes us down unpleasant corridors in a democracy, nu?