Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Creating a true citizen army

Two things have been floating around lately that are coming together in my mind. The first is that the Left is again trying to turn the War against Islamic terrorism into a class war by demanding the draft. The second is the images of Israel's incredibly brave, humane soldiers during this entire Gaza episode. These two thoughts collided in my brain and made me think that we should in fact have a draft -- but not the type that the Left so desperately wants as a way to sow dissension in America. We should have the type of draft they have in Israel and Switzerland, where every single healthy young person, at age 18, begins a two to three year period of service in the military. I know little about Switzerland's efforts in this regard, but I do know something about how it has worked in Israel. First of all, this mandatory service cuts across all races, classes and economic levels, and it functions in war and peace. It is purely egalitarian, and it is not simply to create cannon fodder. Second, it's been a huge help in assimilating immigrants and making friends across Israel's different cultures. Many of our family friends in Israel (and their children and grandchildren) met their spouses in the military. Significantly, these spouses were not the people they would normally have met in the neighborhood, town, moshav or kibbutz in which they grew up. Third, military service helps kids grow up. When Israeli kids hit college at 20, they're not binge drinking partiers who drift through their years of college, bouncing from one major to another. They're young people who have had two or more years to grow up, who have experienced military discipline, and who have had real responsiblities -- not just the responsibility of turning a term paper in on time. The result is that they make the most, not the least, of their college years. Fourth, military service binds these young people to their country. Patriotism is a real thing, and the country's defense needs are obvious to them. So, peace time or war, I think it would be an excellent thing if America would institute a true citizen's army, with every member of every generation, every race, every ethnic group, every religion, every economic class (that's you too, Paris Hilton) spending two years serving the military of this country.