Letter From The Editor 

I'm starting to think we should bring back the military draft. As someone who has draft-age children, I realize this may seem insane, but I've come to think it's the only way to stop the larger insanity that infects us. With a draft, all of us -- parents and children, rich or poor -- would have to confront the reality of military service and decide whether it was the right thing to do.

When I was 18, the draft lottery was in effect. By fortunate accident, my birthday gave me the 223rd spot in the draft order, which meant I could keep slacking my way through college. My roommate, whose mother had the poor judgment to give birth to him on March 14th, got number four. He was off to Vietnam within six months.

Fair? Hell, no. But neither is what we're doing now. Minorities comprise 35 percent of our military, well above their proportion of the general population. They, along with poor and rural whites, are fighting this war. The rest of us are free to continue life uninterrupted.

Here are some numbers: 44, 63, 96. They represent American military deaths in Iraq for the past three Octobers -- in chronological order. This is progress? Our soldiers are being killed by suicide bombers and IEDs. They're driving around, patrolling like hell's policemen, playing roulette with their lives. It's not combat, it's madness. And the volunteer Army has helped free our current leaders from accountability.

As the curtain slowly rises, revealing the "wizards" behind the cynical PR campaign to manipulate us into this war, the carnage continues. It's November 8th as I write this. Already, 28 Americans have been killed this month. I don't know any of them. Neither do you. But we owe them something. The truth would be a start.

Bruce VanWyngarden, Editor

brucev@MemphisFlyer.com

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

News Blog

BREAKING: Fairgrounds TDZ Wins State Approval

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday: Fingertrick

From My Seat

Gameday Gratitude

We Saw You

Indie Film Fest, Grilled Cheese Fest, Adapt-A-Door and more!

Tiger Blue

Tigers 109, Yale 102 (2 OT)

Tiger Blue

Tigers 28, SMU 18

Beyond the Arc

Grizzlies Defeat Kings 112-104

Hungry Memphis

Zopita's on the Square to open Nov. 19

Hungry Memphis

Little Italy Opening Downtown

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Bruce VanWyngarden

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation