[eDebate] Anti-war protests & the Vietnam Analogy

Omar G Guevara oguevara
Thu Jun 29 15:53:55 CDT 2006


Jack-

While I share your anti-war politics, I'd like to hear some additional discussion about the efficacy of student-faculty "sit ins."

While the current war in Iraq is slowly more like Vietnam each and every day (i.e. the points of analogic comparison are becoming stronger and the points of difference weaker), there is still one major difference that directly implicates, although does not necessarily dismiss, the plausibility of your proposed resistance: the draft.

The Vietnam war, much more so than the current folly, was pursued on the backs of hundred of thousands of working class, and disproportional minority, Americans.  The need for large conventional forces on the ground in Vietnam necessitated a draft which, in turn, accelerated the politicization of the war on the home front.  But the current war in Iraq has its political consequences insulated because of its reliance of the AVF (probably more of a myth than a reality: both of my former debate students who are in Iraq now came from working class backgrounds and thus were particularly vulnerable to the "big all you can be" pitch).

So I guess my question is this:  Given that your proposed resistance to this war is modeled, in part, on the resistance to the last war of American hegemony, does that not mean that for these tactics to be successful this time around that the same structural conditions (i.e. large conventional troops unhappily drafted) need to be at play?  

After all, that would explain why the Bush Administration has resisted all discussion of the draft even though the volunteer forces are obviously exhausted and over-worked.

Just a thought,

OG

PS: It would also partly explain why the Iraq War is simply not a salient issue to many folks who read this board.  There has been virtually no discussion (your posts being the obvious exception) of the debacle in Iraq since the early days of the invasion in 2003.  It is a sad day when mainstream media BBS have more actively Iraq war debate than www.ndtceda.com.  Why? I am not sure, but I suspect it has something to do with unwillingness to internalize the cost of the war among those who drive large SUVs...

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