ROTC, Stanford, and the “Two Cultures”
Stanford and all Universities should have ROTC, and the DADT should never have been accepted as an excuse to avoid the Salomon Amendment.
Fine article in the Stanford Review:
I will start by looking at how the military culture has evolved since the end of the Vietnam War, and what the causes of that change might be. Then, I will look at the current attitudinal differences that I believe are the most striking differences between the armed services and elite student bodies. Implicit in an article of this type is the risk of generalization, so I disclaim upfront that no discussion of groups as diverse as the U.S. military and elite students can possibly encompass everyone.
But military service, and war, is based on fighting. Killing. Dying. Killing possible civilians in order to reduce the likelihood of being killing.
Just where, and when, do those elites believe it is worth killing possible civilians?The killing of civilians is part of what makes war “hell”. Every war has it.
Elite students reject the idea that America is always right, but neither do we believe that we are always wrong.
Since Vietnam, the elite have consistently claimed that America is wrong every time it has been involved in a war. Including limited objections to 1991 Desert Storm to oust Saddam after his attack on Kuwait. Especially after the 2003 invasion against Saddam, after 16 (or 17?) UN SC resolutions that Saddam violated since his unended 1991 invasion.
Elites like to rationalize their posturing of moral and intellectual superiority, with platitudes like ‘neither do we believe that America is always wrong.’ But if you’re looking at post-Vietnam reality, you need to back that claim with evidence.
Some of us, who support Human Rights, Property Rights, & Civilization, in reality as compared to communist (never been tried! — dishonest) rhetoric, understand that America is imperfect. It’s just a more exceptional, better example for others, than other real societies. The willingness of the EU to allow Muslims to suffer genocide by Serbs, not far from the EU border in Europe, is just one example of the laughable idea that the EU is somehow morally superior to the US in military matters.
I agree that Vietnam was the watershed change, but not because of the draft. Because, after the 1973 Peace Agreement and end of US army presence, the US allowed the N. Viet commies to violate their (Nobel’ed Kissinger brokered) signed agreement and take over; and allowed the Pol Pot commies to take over in Cambodia and commit genocide.This acceptance of genocide is, generally, considered morally superior by the elites.
No side can win a war, nor “decide” to win the war. One can decide to fight, or to stop fighting (and thus, lose). Your War Weariness is indeed important — it’s too bad virtually no elites at Stanford or any Ivies have been discussing how to best win the war against Islamist terrorists. (Setting up small, tribal cantons, with taxing and budget making authority, and military support for the local tribal elite police functions is my own general suggestions. Switzerland, not the USA, should be the pro-democracy model.)
In deciding to fight, one can decide how. For instance, I will always believe that if the USA had used a nuke on Hanoi, or Hai Phong harbor, there would have been a different Peace, with the N. Vietnamese accepting a DMZ like N & S Korea. Then, had the N. Viet copied E. Germany, rather than N. Korea, the two Vietnams could then rejoin each other.If anybody objects to using a nuke to win a war, please recall the actual, historical alternative –losing the war to commies who committed genocide (on innocent civilians who were basically not resisting).The important question not listed is “how many non-fighting civilians are you willing to kill in order to win?”Personally, I wish the US under Bush had also invaded Sudan to stop the Darfu slo-mo genocide, after the long S. Sudan rebellion. It will be interesting to see how S. Sudan develops after (if?) their referendum on independence coming soon, Feb 2011.
The big difference is the blindness of anti-Vietnam War elites to what they were actually supporting — commie takeover and genocide. If you feel like “explaining” how the anti-War folk didn’t really support the genocide, remember the other thing about war. If you support one side, you support the good and the bad; if you oppose one side, you support the other side (good and bad). Anti-Saddam Iraq war supporters don’t like the thousands of non-fighters killed, and especially the tens of thousands killed by the terrorists (which most elite blame on America, not the terrorist enemy) — but we accept it as part of the price.
Again — what is worth killing (innocent civilians & guilty terrorists) for?