Monday, November 20, 2006


A very good case can be made for calling Sunday the worst political news day of the week. At least that seems to be true in recent weeks when the capitalist politicians start blathering on the Sunday news shows. A case in point that confirms this point is an interview on Sunday November 19, 2006 where Democratic Congressman Charles Rangel of New York, soon to be the House Ways and Means Chairman, stated that he intended to propose legislation in the next session to reestablish the military draft. Who needs this madness when we anti-war militants are calling for immediate withdrawal from Iraq? Christ, and this is a liberal Democratic politician. Rangel's rationale, if it can be called that, is that reinstitution of the draft will make capitalist politicians think twice about going to war.

Hello, what planet does this man exist on? President Bush did not have to twist the arms of the likes of John Kerry, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and a whole galaxy of supposedly astute politicians-Democratic and Republican- alike when he pulled down the hammer to rachet up the hysteria to go to war in Iraq. Of course those were sunnier days and everyone was a good fellow (or gal) and true. And then of course everyone assumed the war would be a walkover. Now there are not enough seats on that hell-train out of Iraq.

Despite that recent sorry history what the esteemed Congressman's proposal really means is that the lives and fortunes of the youth of America rest on the 'pacifist' whims of the Congress. Even Vietnam War draft dodger Vice President Dick Cheney would know not to base his career plans on that eventually. No thanks, Congressman.

Apparently the military chieftains do not think much of Congressman Rangel's idea either. They are very happy having their all-volunteer armed forces that, by their lights, are a much better disciplined and maneuverable force. No way do they want an average cross-section of American youth gumming up their works. They saw their army almost destroyed when uppity citizen-soldiers started questioning the Vietnam War. They are still in shock. As for the position of militant leftists we stand fully opposed to reintroduction of the draft. Hell, this is a no-brainer. As this issue comes to the fore over the coming months militant youth must rise up and shout-NO DRAFT! NO WAY!

Sunday, November 19, 2006





In the Op/Ed page of the Idea section of the Boston Sunday Globe of November 19, 2006 conservative pundit, one Jeff Jacoby, in a commentary entitled “Anti-Military Bigotry” is up in arms (figuratively, of course, since like most neo-cons of late he did not avail himself of the opportunity to partake of military service) about the decision of the San Francisco School Board to eliminate the JROTC (Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps) program from the city’s schools. The gist of Mr. Jacoby’s argument is that the decision of that Left Coast town is another unmistakable example of its anti-military and therefore unpatriotic bias, especially in a time of the great struggle his beloved President Bush is leading in the “war on terror”. Militant leftists take a rather different view of the matter. Yes, indeed we do. Hell, we commend that school board decision as an exemplary anti-war action and seek to drive ROTC and JROTC off all campuses and out of all schools.

As part of his argument Mr. Jacoby has dressed up the role of JROTC by giving a litany of its positive effects on San Francisco students as a great bonding and “community” creating activity. In short, it is on the same level as the Boy or Girl Scouts, 4-H Clubs and the like. Wrong. However one wants to dress it up ROTC and JROTC are military organizations which act as a transmission belt to recruit students for military service. The name speaks for itself. Whether those organizations do that successfully or not or provide some non-military activities are separate questions- and subordinate to their real aim. The military is not using them as a vehicle to further the brotherhood and sisterhood of humankind. Ask the Iraqis, among others, for the truth of that assertion.

It is no accident that in the 1930’s and again during the Vietnam War of the 1960’s that a major campus activity for leftists, and not only leftists, was to drive ROTC off college campuses. Why? In the final analysis, as Karl Marx and V.I. Lenin pointed out long ago, the state is “armed bodies of men (and these days, women) - the military, the police, etc.” There are many ways to create that armed body-ROTC and JROTC help that effort. If you want to stop a war there is no way around that hard political problem of curtailing the military's power to recruit. As part of the solution to this problem young militants on campuses and in high schools can form, if they have not already done so, united front committees to organize for the removal of these programs. As an elementary and concrete act of opposition to the Iraq War and ultimately of American imperialism militants have to demand-ROTC OFF CAMPUSES! JROTC OUT OF THE SCHOOLS! MILITARY RECRUITERS OUT EVERYWHERE!