Walk Before They Make You Run

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“We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence…….of the good people.”

~ Martin Luther King Jr.

In my most recent frustration, I wrote metaphorically in favor of America reinstating the military draft. For that article, I was just clobbered by so many readers. Someone who escaped from Germany in, say 1938 or so, help me out here!

I asked in the second of the two articles — to those who claimed to be in the antiwar movement, “What have you been doing?” Many took it personally. Perhaps they should — I do. I wrote to one particularly annoyed gentleman that the antiwar movement in America (Japan included) has been a total failure. It has. And may I accept that I’m just as much a part of that miserable failure as the next guy?

In exasperation, I’ve run out of practical ways and ideas on how to stop the runaway train full of the patriotic brain-dead Zombies. Unfortunately, it seems most of those who wrote to me to complain are in the same boat. No one else had any other ideas besides the usual, “People must rise up… Blah, blah, blah.” That was my point. I wish for the federal government to disappear and quit messing with our lives and other’s as well, and it seems the only way is for the people to make it do so. So, just how do we get the people to rise up?

I am so angry with my friends and family in America. What’s going to stop them and make them think about what this war business really means for them and their families? When are Americans — even supposedly intelligent ones — going to realize that their lives are not more valuable than anyone else’s? Good questions. If I did have the answer to them, we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in now.

I’m also ashamed to say that the same horrible fate I wish in my heart reserved for the American warmongers to be also reserved for the silent: Americans and Japanese. I wish something would happen here in this country to also lift the Japanese out of their lethargy. Americans certainly don’t have any exclusivity on being apathetic. There is one big difference in my own personal case, though: I’d encourage my child, if they desired, to flee this country to avoid a draft. If they chose to do so, I’d help finance it anyway I could.

Thousands of American youth took off to Canada and elsewhere during the Vietnam War. One reader told me that he spent time in prison in order to avoid the military. This guy is a hero. To take nothing away from the brave who escaped — because it is difficult to throw away your own country — I will say that I think these guys who went to prison really had some guts. I couldn’t do it.

Sad to say that, with revenge in my heart, I wish for the warmongers — or the silent — to have to pay somehow. Oh sure, the fat-cats won’t have their kids conscripted. I’m not so daft as to believe that would ever happen. But what’s new? When in the history of mankind has it not been a situation where the down-and-out don’t get the worst end of things during war? That’s just the way it is. The best thing that could happen is that average Joe-Blow realizes that he has a risk when innocents are killed by the American military machine operating in foreign countries. Then perhaps Joe gets angry and decides to do something to put a stop to this.

I don’t believe the antiwar movement today necessarily lacks a sufficient number of bodies with brains. But what it lacks is hardcore motivation and a critical mass of bodies. The antiwar movement needs a fire under their ass to get out of their seats.

So the rhetorical question is: Could the draft be the spark that provides that motivation and the critical-mass of bodies?

For the true antiwar believers, I don’t need to mention about the many ways to resist the draft and, in turn, the war. Non-compliance with the system — regardless of individual methodology — by a huge number of people will contribute to its collapse. I am not an expert on draft resistance so please refer to a man with experience: David Wiggins “How To Stay Out of the Military, a primer on draft resistance.”

If American freedom or its integrity truly were in danger, then the US military would have more volunteers then it could handle. That goes without saying. But America’s shores are not in danger of foreign invasion; Al Quaida or “the terrorists” do not hate American freedoms. They just want us out of their backyards. What’s going on now in the Middle East has nothing to do with guarding American freedom or the protection of America’s shores — it’s just another excuse to line the pockets of the military-industrial-mass media complex. If it were your home that was being invaded, then I don’t suppose I would have to even mention anything about a draft. I don’t hear where the Iraqi resistance is holding a lottery.

If you are sincerely antiwar, what to do when the draft starts or if you get drafted? Object. Resist. Join in a re-energized antiwar movement. Work to jail the war-criminals. Working against or failing to cooperate with the system will cause it to stop. If it doesn’t stop, do what I would do: Have my passport ready.

Far-fetched? I don’t think so. I’ll let you know once I have received the letter from someone who escaped Nazi Germany — I already know what happened to the ones who supported the war and stayed.

Mike (in Tokyo) Rogers [send him mail] was born and raised in the USA and moved to Japan in 1984. He has worked as an independent writer, producer, and personality in the mass media for nearly 30 years.

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