September 12, 2001
2:18 PM   Subscribe

Military recruitment offices have reported a jump in visitors and phone calls. Lots of people apparently want to kick someone's ass themselves. "I'd be happy to go to the draft now," said one person. Do young people around you want to join the armed forces now?
posted by gluechunk (24 comments total)
I do.
posted by dagny at 2:33 PM on September 12, 2001

While I understand the reaction, this makes me a little nervous. Knee-jerk reactions are NOT what we need right now. Emotions are running high (I spent a good part of yesterday crying, and I feel like staying home and doing the same today) and everyone needs to step back and breathe for a minute. While I admire the patriotism of people throughout the US, how many of these young men and women aren't going to think this through before committing themselves to something they may later want to back out of? I admire all those in the US armed forces who risk their lives to protect the safety of people throughout the world. However, the decision to march off to fight needs to be carefully considered. Don't get yourselves into something you aren't prepared for, people.

In addition, joining the military just to "kick someone's ass" is the wrong way to go. Defending our liberties is one thing. Specifically joining a group so you can get a weapon and go hunt someone down scares me. Let's remember who we are and what we're fighting against.
posted by Watsonne at 2:48 PM on September 12, 2001

What is this, Armageddon? C'mon! War is a horrible thing.
posted by papalotl at 2:53 PM on September 12, 2001

Being 20 years old myself, as soon as I heard of the second plane crash, my mind jumped directly thoughts of the draft. After reading the articles here last week about selective service and conscientious objection, this topic had been on my mind recently.

I am a pacifist, but I also believe in the basic principals of freedom my country is based upon. Unfortunately there are those out there who are willing to give their lives to take my freedom and my life.

I'm not ready to sign up, but I'm not going to shirk what I feel are my responsibilities as a member of this society. I mean, if I'm not willing to fight for my freedom who is?
posted by betaray at 3:24 PM on September 12, 2001

As the person who posted the conscientious objector thread, this is a situation I was talking about. In this case I would possibly sign up to fight, even though I am steadfastly against violence. This war would be a just cause, in my eyes.
posted by owillis at 3:29 PM on September 12, 2001

I understand how nationalism can arise when something so terrible as this tragedy happens, but war is the worst thing ever! YOU DON'T WANT TO GO TO WAR. You want to defend your country and your lifestyle. You don't have to learn how to kill to defend those things. In war, everybody's life is destroyed again and again everyday for infinite months or years. There is not such a thing as a just cause for war.
posted by papalotl at 3:44 PM on September 12, 2001

Great post betaray, and I agree with it completely. I'm not a US citizen, I'm British, but America is my home, and I'm proud to live here. I would not enjoy going to war, but I would serve without complaint, for it's my duty.
posted by SiW at 3:44 PM on September 12, 2001

War is terrible. No one wants to go to war.

Question is, if war is what is asked of me to protect this country, which is my home and a nation that will fiercely protect the right to an individual's personal freedom, then that is enough for me.
posted by linux at 3:54 PM on September 12, 2001

Mistake. Remove "Question is" from that last part.
posted by linux at 3:55 PM on September 12, 2001

There is not such a thing as a just cause for war.
WW2 didn't have a just cause for us going to war? I think it did. And this does too, against whoever is found responsible.
posted by owillis at 3:55 PM on September 12, 2001

By the way, SiW, all green card holders (permanent resident aliens) are definitely subject to the US draft, and to criminal sanctions (including extradition back from their homeland) if they disobey. Holders of other immigration statuses may or may not be subject to the draft.
posted by MattD at 4:16 PM on September 12, 2001

In Central America we were in war for 30 years (sponsored by...) and I can tell you there's nothing compared with pain and horror of war in the country you were born. Take yesterday and multiply it for everyday during years. I don't understand how could I be proud of defending my country if I killed hundreds, raped a few and burned some civilian towns around. It's just my 3rd-world-based opinion.
posted by papalotl at 4:26 PM on September 12, 2001

I work at a community college, and yesterday I had a student stop by my office. He looked to be late teens, and all I could think as I looked at him (it was still pretty early in the morning) was that this boy could be drafted and die. I'm not really putting that very well, but the feeling shocked me.
posted by epersonae at 4:41 PM on September 12, 2001

I'm not fighting for shit. I didn't start this, and I didn't get blown up. I'll just help those who were hurt by this. I'm a lover, not a fighter.
posted by trioperative at 4:47 PM on September 12, 2001

I'm so ambivalent about this.

On one hand I feel that pacifism is a luxury few can afford, and that it is arrogant to even suggest not fighting. To even suggest that retaliation is not an option. This is compounded by the crys heard in the middle east yesterday that America should now reconsider its position in the Arab-Israeli conflict to denounce reciprocal violence.

But on the other hand, with the idea in mind that revenge is a dish best served cold, I do believe in a calm, considered course of action. And, shit, I don't want to die, and I sure as hell don't want any non-Americans to die, either. Even if their government is responsible. This is not my fight. This is not my war. I have no doubt that so many Americans feel the same way, and that many non-Americans share that sentiment.

However, I have resolved--and I began thinking about this in relation to a possible war in China when the spy plane incident began this spring--to fight if we do, indeed, go to war. That is, I will adhere to any draft that might occur.

Much of the reason I have decided this is because New York--Manhattan--is like a second home to me. I felt my heart being stabbed yesterday morning. I can't imagine how much the pain and anger I felt would have been compounded if the attacks had been on the Transco Tower here in Houston. If that had happened, I have no doubt that a cold anger that might never go away would certainly have been born in me. One fights when one's home is attacked. One retaliates in an attempt to ensure that one's home is never attacked again.
posted by prozaction at 4:54 PM on September 12, 2001

This is great news, the more reactionary militant types we can get to sign away years of their lives and keep them off the street the better society is.

If you feel that you would like to kill strangers because you've been ordered to please contact your local recruiter immediately. Don't ask for advice just go and sign the longest contract you can find, because you never know when they'll strike next. Good job soldier.
posted by skallas at 5:01 PM on September 12, 2001

Bush and all of America is screaming revenge, but who really can you punish? The people that did the damage are dead... you cannot kill something that is already dead. (to my knowledge). What are you going to do? Bomb the innocent families of the race of whatever country these guys were from? That doesn't make any sense. Those involved in the planning didn't really commit a crime in my opinion, any more then the scientists that create computers, guns, or weapons of mass destruction kill people. It is who actually carries out the plans that should be at fault, and they are dead. But on a grander scale, I don't think a crime was committed at all. Perception differs depending on what side you are on, with both sides seeking "justice." If they believed enough in what they were doing to die for it, then how can you blame them. From the Bible... "forgive them, for they know not what they do." If you don't know in your heart that you're wrong, it's not your fault if you are.....just like babies and mentally ill........ all you can do is forgive....and forget. It seems like an insensitive thing to say after the fact, but life will go on.
posted by ryryslider at 5:24 PM on September 12, 2001

If I were in NYC, I'd be queueing up outside the Fire Service to sign up.
posted by holgate at 5:51 PM on September 12, 2001

It fascinates me how little (yes, I use the term advisedly) it can take to completely reverse some people's lifelong views on war, killing, revenge, the military, and pacificism. Did they imagine that everyone who had previously gone to war had done so lightly, on a whim, without concern or reflection?? I'm not pointing the finger at anyone in particular--I'm sure this reaction is rampant across America today, and will continue to be in the weeks and months to come.

I can only assume that such people have no grasp of history, and of what has been common--even usual--throughout most societies of man. Or more than a passing familiarity with what continues to happen every day in many, many parts of the world. I certainly do not belittle anyone's impulse to defend their values or their way of life. But I wonder how many people ever take the time to stop and REALLY try to imagine what it would be like to live in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Israel, Peru, or many, many other places in today's world. Where "terror" type incidents, death, destruction, unfathomable wickedness and injustice are regular occurrences rather than isolated incidences. I don't think we can understand people who live (and perhaps grow up) under those conditions, and if some of their actions appear mad to us, it is perhaps because their world is mad.

We in the West, and the United States in particular, are VERY, VERY fortunate, but that is not my point. What I am suggesting is that if one heinous incident of mad, destructive violence can shake your worldview and make you re-examine your beliefs and your philosophy and your faith in others, how would you be affected by a steady diet of same? I do not mean to sound xenophobic. I know and am amazed by the fact that most people in most every situation, no matter how terrible, bear it astoundingly well and emerge with their humanity intact. But it cannot help but be damaging to suffer any atrocity, any war, much less a seemingly endless (and pointless?) war in your own home.

I hope that we do not ever discover what that is like beyond this brief initial hint.
posted by rushmc at 5:59 PM on September 12, 2001

I had the inclination, for the first time in my life, at about 10AM on Sept. 11th.
posted by canoeguide at 8:30 PM on September 12, 2001

rushmc--yes, we in the US -are- very fortunate. We can't begin to fathom what it's like to live in a warzone. That's the point. You see the fighting, and you draw the conclusion that there is an option not to fight, or that there had been. From that conclusion, you say we shouldn't fight. Why? To set an example? To stop meaningless killing? For ideology?

I can also imagine (not understand) that, in the warzone, the only option is to fight. To defend. Perhaps because we are so fortunate, so TV-ized, we don't understand that the only option now is to fight.

What's the alternative? A false sense of security, surely.

It's amazing how we have the luxury to even think about not fighting.
posted by prozaction at 9:08 PM on September 12, 2001

Why do the movies Stripes and Police Academy come to mind?Good luck anyway, and thanks for your service.
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 9:21 PM on September 12, 2001

This post is directed primarily to U.S. Me-Fiers:

To those who steadfastly refuse to honor the service of noble Americans, either by belittling it or by stereotyping those who serve as "robo-soldiers" or reactionary hicks eager to slaughter, and to those who mock or otherwise belittle the military, please answer me this: Without the United States military, how long do you think our society -- and YOUR freedom -- would last beyond the collapse of the WTC towers? Without the US military, the WTC towers would have been only the very beginning, I assure you. Those who perpetrated these evil acts would love nothing more than to turn our entire nation & society into a flaming pile of twisted girders and charred flesh. The only thing preventing them: your United States Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard, along with several other agencies such as the National Guard, CIA, etc.

Those who serve do so to protect our nation, our freedom, and our way(s) of life -- and that means YOUR nation, YOUR freedom, and YOUR way of life.

I am not asking, nor do I expect or even desire, any & every able-bodied American to enlist tomorrow. But please do not make light of the service that others honorably render.

My post here may sound biased, since I am in the US Air Force. We lost a couple of hundred "brothers" and "sisters" yesterday in the Pentagon.

And to those in this thread (and others) expressing support, or at least sympathy or understanding for the US military, thank you. Thank you.

I don't know what else to say.
posted by davidmsc at 8:13 PM on September 13, 2001

I for one, appreciate your post davidmsc, and your service. It disgusts me to see people mocking the very military, and those who wish to serve, that allows them their freedoms.

Some people are just ignorant, selfish assholes of the highest order.
posted by canoeguide at 2:19 AM on September 14, 2001

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