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By: Paul Fallavollita

When I graduated from high school in 1995, turning 18 that June, and I was going through the college application process, I briefly considered joining an ROTC program. I even filled out a business reply card and mailed it in for more information. But I never returned the recruiter’s calls.

My father had been in the Navy, but I thought about doing ROTC with the Marines. They struck me as the branch most steeped in tradition and the least corrupted by the ills of the modern age. I still find their image attractive and alluring. I thought that through my participation I might better myself.

Then I came to my senses. What would it all be for? There are a lot of oldsters out there who may have served and who will be angry that I’m writing this, but that’s my whole point. This is not the good, decent America of the past.

I’m too young to have had the chance to enjoy that old way of life, the one that characterized the good America. My parents caught the tail end of it, living off its fumes, so to speak. I learned of it through my own curiosity and reading, and my mother occasionally discusses it. Over time, I discovered that a coalition of countercultural forces including gays, feminists, Blacks, Jews, and assorted hippies came together around the 1960s (with roots stretching further back in time) and stole that future from me before I was born. They don’t represent me. In fact, they want me dead because I’m a White male, so they have made me a permanent opponent of their plans for a "New World Order."

The Establishment, however, continues marketing the idea that there is an "America" still worth defending, still trying to generate some sparks for their agenda from the aforementioned fleeting fumes. On Sunday, November 17, Bob Schieffer from CBS’ talk show Face The Nation stated in his weekly commentary on that program,

"Until we eradicate terrorism, our way of life cannot survive. If that means re-instituting the draft, so be it. If that means American troops posted in Iraq for as long as they were stationed in Germany, so be it...The world we want for our children is the world we once knew, not the world of today. And we can promise them no less. Like Churchill, our aim must be victory."

Upon hearing his Hillaryesque call to arms in the name of the ubiquitous "children," I headed for my computer to write a quick response to CBS by e-mail. I sent the following short paragraph:

"Schieffer suggested re-instituting the draft in his Nov. 17 FTN commentary regarding the ‘War on Terror.’ Easy for him to say! As a young person, I say ‘Hell no, I won't go!’ You see, I don’t believe in fighting Israel’s wars for them."

A couple days later, I received a one-line response, apparently from him, stating,

"Your choice. Thanks for letting me know. Bob Schieffer."

I found the key word involved here, "choice," to be both ironic and bizarre. Kids who get drafted don’t have a choice—they have to pay with limb and life for the mistakes of their elders. The American people really don’t have a choice, either, in this Age of the Lemming in which media outlets like Schieffer’s manipulate information and perceptions to reach their desired outcome. Is it any wonder that the polls say a majority of the American people supports a war against Iraq? I often wonder how the distribution of political power would change if more people turned off their television sets and read instead.

Today, the military is used to defend the interests of Israel abroad and the mega-corporations at home. Schieffer seems to have no problem with this state of affairs, so his claim that he hopes America will return to "the world we once knew" strikes me as odd. I am not surprised, though, by his glowing references to World War Two. Americans entered that war saying, "Remember Pearl Harbor." The War on Terror began with the words "Remember 9/11." Yet, someday, people are going to think that America fought World War Two to rescue the Jews from ovens, thanks to academic "Holocaust Studies," just as many now think the North fought the South in the Civil War to free the slaves. Similarly, years from now, they’ll say we fought the Afghan war to free Muslim women from their veils. "First Lady" Bush has approvingly hinted in the past at this pro-feminist aspect of the Afghan war. Again, I ask the prospective draftee, or volunteer, "What would it all be for?"

Had I joined the military, I might have been deployed in Bosnia or South Korea. I don’t believe in those missions. I couldn’t give it a hundred percent. I don’t belong there. My parents, who lived through Vietnam, agreed that their only child should not join the military.

In the military, you have to respect "civilian control." Yet I hold those politicians in utter contempt. Plus, I’m not good at keeping my mouth shut about politics. I’m sure they’d have court-martialed me for having extremist literature or some such thing.

As far as fighting for the Empire in Iraq, I won’t do it. I can’t find a single war the United States fought in during the twentieth and now twenty-first centuries that I think was correct or justified or that I could support. Should I be pressed into service by the government to do the dirty work of Israel and the like, well, the government will have already taken my life by enslaving me. As a newly walking-dead-draftee, they’d be advised not to give me a weapon because I’d likely point it at the politicians who snatched me up.

This is always an interesting aspect of the situation for me, because I refuse to be driven from my own country—I’m not going to seek asylum in Canada. I find the prospect of conscription quite insulting; my life is my own, not the State’s. The boys in DC brought these foreign conflicts on themselves, and they expect those in my generation, the friends I care about, to bail them out? No way!

Some will inevitably suggest I must be a coward for planning to resist the draft, should one occur some day. I’ve thought deeply about my motives, and I don’t believe I am a coward. Do I want to die or be maimed? No, of course not, and that’s a natural and rational response. I do think my life is worth more than to be killed on some far-flung battlefield for objectives at odds with the true spirit of America. If America were invaded by a foreign power, and I doubt that would ever happen given the logistics involved, then I would obviously fight the invaders. I’d probably target both the foreign personnel as well as the Feds, since both threaten my freedom, but I digress.

Actually, one could say that a true coward would just cooperate if drafted, since it’s "easier" and "safer" to be a cog and comply since it involves more risk and effort to resist the police or military at home. After all, lots of people who fight overseas in wars aren’t killed or injured, while the odds of my arrest and imprisonment at home may be higher—thanks to the coming Department of Homeland Security. So if I’m going to take risks, I’d rather take them for something I actually believe in—and I don’t believe in the Empire.

Don’t get me wrong. War has largely been a positive force for the United States; war gave birth to this nation, helped it expand across a continent, and kept it free and independent. War only becomes detrimental when waged for purposes other than securing the national interest. Incidentally, wars truly in the national interest tend to be very scarce. This is the crucial distinction between a pacifist and a unilateralist, and paleoconservatives and allied adherents of the Authentic Right are certainly not pacifists, but unilateralists.

In these times of crusading liberalism, tough, true conservatives must return to their long-lost anti-war heritage.

It really is too bad that one can’t serve one’s country these days and remain truly connected to the values of the Old Republic. I’d much rather join an unorganized militia that is free of the governmental stamp of approval. That’s how you defend liberty and your fellow Americans in Soviet America circa 2002.

"Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."

Paul Fallavollita holds an M.A. in political science from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Paul is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.

Paul Fallavollita can be reached at pfallavollita@aol.com

Published in the November 28, 2002 issue of  Ether Zone.
Copyright 1997 - 2002 Ether Zone.

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