Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Terry and Crazy Rich, feel free to comment...or apologize.


It should no more be necessary to write this article than to prove that there were Jews killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11. And yet the mythology refuses to die. Just last week, two well-educated and well-known writer acquaintances of mine remarked in passing on the "fact" that those who serve in the U.S. military typically have no other career options. America's soldiers, they said, were poor and black.

They don't mean this to denigrate their service—no, they mean it as a critique of American society, which turns its unemployed into cannon fodder. Especially today with high unemployment, the charge goes, hapless youths we fail to educate are embarking on a one-way trip to Afghanistan.

These allegations—most frequently leveled at the Army, the military's biggest service and the one with the highest casualty rate—are false.



terry said...

The vast majority of casualty's that I see in the paper are from small town America. While this isn't scientific, it sure seems to be true. Watch the casuality list this week and see the enormous amount of kids from small town's. Wherever they are from I certainly believe that if we had a draft in this country we would have never invaded two country's that did not attack us ( first time in our history I might add). I believe the next war we get in the rule should be leaders kids first.

Jim G. said...

Does not go to the top does it Terry?

Did you not read the article?

Baxter said...

With clear exceptions - including those who attend our military academies - the best and brightest do not take the military route in America today. In the "Greatest Generation" nearly all men served, and through the Viet Name era many wore a uniform. Today, the elite universities are filled with our best and brightest and they are not in ROTC.

I like the democratic nature of our armed forces. I think conscription is akin to slavery and thus cannot support it except in a grave national security emergency. Colin Powell will tell you that the military provides a way for the poorest Americans to join the middle class and learn habits and trades that will serve them well the rest of their life.

Does this mean that some who voluntarily join will die on the battlefield? Sadly, yes. They are fighting wars for crying out loud. I don't know what other expectation one could have. From a moral perspective, it's better that the dead chose to serve rather than being required to, against their wishes, under force of law. This is a free country, after all.