Monday, February 07, 2005

Still Drafty After All These Weeks

If you thought you wouldn’t hear about the draft once the elections were over, think again. There are still people out there trying to fool college students into thinking they could be drafted at any time. Last week one such person appeared at our local University campus to engage in a little scaremongering and teach the students how to become conscientious objectors.

For more than two hours Friday night in Phillips Auditorium, Washington D.C. lawyer J.E. McNeil spoke about military recruitment policies, becoming a conscientious objector to war and a host of other current issues related to the ongoing war on terrorism.

With casualties continuing to mount in Iraq and talk of another front being opened in Iran, McNeil gave her opinion on the possibility of a reinstatement of the draft.

"The short version is, probably," she said to an audience of about 60 people, a mixed scattering of students and community members.

I like how she's credited as "Washington D.C. lawyer." Trying to find a lawyer in Washington D.C. is like trying to find a beer-drinker in Wisconsin.

But, . . . um . . . "probably" there will be a draft? How about "probably" she hasn't got a clue.

And, er, . . . far be it from me to comment on someone's appearance, but that picture doesn't
communicate professionalism or inspire confidence. (Although I'm confident she's a professional gadfly. [Though were it not for the welcome inclusion of pronouns in the article, I would not have been confident of her gender.])

In her speech Friday, entitled "Do You Feel a Draft?" she used a PowerPoint presentation to discuss how to become a conscientious objector.

Not a PowerPoint presentation! She really is a radical!

Conscientious objection is based on a person's views on war, not violence. She pointed out that Muhammad Ali, a famous conscientious objector, "beat people up for a living."

However, it is not about opposition to a certain war, but to all wars.

"If you believe that killing babies in Iraq is okay but killing babies in Afghanistan isn't, then you (don't qualify)," McNeil said prior to her speech.

Ah, thank you for that little qualifier. I would have been confused. Because war is all about killing babies, you know.

She pointed out that at Memorial High School in Eau Claire, for example, the military has an office in the school and recruits two or three times a week.

"Treat the recruiter like you would treat the stranger with candy that your mother always told you about," McNeil said, saying recruiters will often lie and deceive when talking to teenagers. "The recruiter only has the power over you that you give him."

And Washington D.C. gadflies only have the power over you that you give them.

(Cross posted to Badger Blog Alliance)


At 10:00 PM, Blogger Sanna said...

I'm so glad the UW can offer such a (garden) variety of viewpoints. On Monday night the speaker was Angela Davis, a communist ex-con who gets paid to travel to a campus near you and whine about how oppressed she is in the United States. Hmmm. Yeah, what an awful country we live in.


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