Saturday, September 8, 2007

Start the Draft and that'll end the war!

Huh? I've heard this sentence from several Quakers (and other progressives) in the past year. The only way to end the war in Iraq and Afghanistan is to re-instate the draft. What? I understand the idea: the war will never stop until middle class white folks start dying. They point out that we have a "back door draft" now, which means the poor, the folks who can't get a job other than flipping burgers, and people of color. That's what they mean, I guess. So once precious middle class blood starts flowing, then folks will rise up and demand the war ends.

This feels so cynical and hypocritical to me. It assumes that middle class blood is somehow more important than "lower class" blood. As a Quaker it hurts me on two levels. First, it violates the Peace Testimony that we Quakers hold so dear. These progressive Quakers are saying that more killing needs to happen to bring the war to an end. In other words, we need to have the REALLY BIG SURGE so people "get it". Meanwhile, lots more people have to die to meet this "goal". This is not what the Peace Testimony is about. I can't abide by this idea of starting a draft. I don't want my son drafted or anyone else's son or daughter drafted, no matter their socio-economic status, skin color or vocational prospects.

The second thing that grates on me is that we Quaker like to say that "there's that of God in everyone". I truly believe that, although George W Bush is a challenge, I'll admit. So what's being said here by my fellow Quakers? That killing is ok if it ends the war? That the God inside the poor is less important, less of a God somehow, than the middle class God? I am disgusted at this hypocrisy and cynicism by fellow Quakers.

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