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Clinton and Draft-Dodging

  1. May 22, 2003 #1
    Did Bill Clinton dodge the draft? What exactly did he do, and what do you find wrong with what he did? Please back up with sources facts that you present.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 22, 2003 #2
    http://www.1stcavmedic.com/bill-clinton-draft.htm

    Information on all the events concerning the draft. If he avoided the draft for school, that is ok as lots of men did, but he went to more extremes then most did and this is a big deal, as he was the Commander in Chief of our country! It's like a racist leading an equality march.
     
  4. May 22, 2003 #3
    Clinton's anti-Vietnam sentiments, as expressed in the draft letter seems to reflect a serious, and well thought-out examination of the issues involved. He was, after all, a young man with a wonderful educational opportunity, being pressured by the government to fight in a war in which he personally had many objections. And, of course, he did finally submit himself to the draft.

    I don't think we can simply say 'Clinton was a draft-dodging coward', though...not when so very many others pulled strings to avoid the war.
     
  5. May 22, 2003 #4
    Lots pulled strings, but they weren't our President. I don't agree with anybody that would dodge the draft, I believe it is a cowardly act. You want to live in the country, but you don't want to ever be asked to do anything BY the country. I understand the argument, you don't believe in it, I say so what, deal with it and go protect your "brothers" then.

    EDIT: They were all young men, they could have all had an education ahead of them, they went, he didn't HE IS A COWARD.
     
  6. May 23, 2003 #5
    so using that logic, any Germans that refused their governments call of duty in ww2 were cowards as well in your eyes eh?
     
  7. May 23, 2003 #6
    Naturally, so? I'm not German....if I was German I would be upset and call them cowards.
     
  8. May 23, 2003 #7

    russ_watters

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    Staff: Mentor

    There are few wars as clearly morally wrong as the German position in WWII. Vietnam is not one of them.
     
  9. May 23, 2003 #8
    Hmmm...well, let's not forget that Bush dodged teh draft, and wasn't nearly as up-front about it.
     
  10. May 23, 2003 #9
    kyle_soul:
    That's extremely hyperbolic. The war in vientnam was of dubious design at best. It was a product of the military industrial complex that put man into space and on the moon. It's demonstrative of the scale of destruction harnessed by modern technology, and the importance of morality in foreign policy.
    sorry, not true.
    obviously, but some of our operations in nam were pretty nasty. The whole thing had such a seedy start, eh?
    I think the story on the web page shows a very eager and ravenous government trying to force people into military service in a "slightly" immoral war, which destroyed big chunks of the ecosystems there as well. Yes, those commies were scary, and it was a strategic victory for Russia, but its better to have a good ex-president than just one more name on the Wall in washington.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2003
  11. May 23, 2003 #10
    Care to give a list of Presidents that dodged the draft?
     
  12. May 23, 2003 #11

    kat

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    I don't think we should be saying that draft dodgers were cowards. I agree with this statement from "Confronting the War Machine" by James Foley,
    "during the Vietnam War, the Johnson and Nixon administrations dishonored a generation of men by making them decide between 1) fighting in a war regarded by many as immoral and illegal, 2) going to prison, or 3) evading both the war and prison. To this day, those choices haunt many of that generation and, I would argue, contribute significantly to the cynicism so many Americans have come to share about the faithfulness of their government."

    I do think we should make a distinction between those who chose to "dodge" the draft by manipulating the system, paying people off or taking advantage of personal relationships and those who actively resisted the draft in order to make political statements. There seems to me to be a sense of dishonesty in the former that does not exist in the latter.

    On the other hand, a draft for a battle that was never declared a war, that did not threaten our statehood directly was monumentally immoral. I would have encouraged my own children to do the same as both Clinton and Bush. I really can't see the value in continueing to condemn men who at the time were little more then children for not hurrying into battle and getting killed or maimed in this "war". There were men who were far more guilty of much graver crimes in relationship to vietnam then this.
     
  13. May 23, 2003 #12
    I don't agree with you, I would not encourage my children to practice anti-patriotism, this is how I see it. I would encourage my children to join the military, I would if I could, but my lungs aren't good and they wouldn't take me.

    This thread isn't about Bush.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2003
  14. May 23, 2003 #13

    kat

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    Just curious, what sex are your children and how old are they?
     
  15. May 23, 2003 #14
    Resisting an unjust war IS patriotism, young grasshopper...and I'm glad I mentioned Bush, since you asked about other presidents who dodged the draft.
     
  16. May 23, 2003 #15
    I'm with Kat on this one -- refusing to go help kill Vietnamese in a morally wrong war that never threatened America, just because the government felt it was a good idea, is far from unpatriotic. It is patriotic to serve your country, but when the government begins to make terribly wrong decisions, it is not wrong to refuse to collaborate with them.

    What annoys me most is so many people wield the club of 'draft-dodger' hypocritically, to impugn politicians they disagree with rather than as a real moral standard. As I see it you should either condemn all politicians who avoided serving in Vietnam -- Clinton, Bush, and many others -- or none, not pick and choose based on their political leanings.
     
  17. May 23, 2003 #16

    kat

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    Small point, I know, but and important one...
    as I mentioned above, resisting and dodging are not the same thing. Clinton and Bush did not resist they dodged.
     
  18. May 23, 2003 #17
    I dunno...looks like Clinton did a little of both, didn't he? Again, it doesn't really matter, overall, what those barely-men did 30 years ago.


    (BTW, I don't have a HUGE problem with Bush's draft dodging...except that he is bragging about his non-service for political points.)
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2003
  19. May 23, 2003 #18

    kat

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    In regards to the vietnam, active resistance meant refusing induction, which had much greater consequences then draft dodging and protesting. Men who, through conscience actively resisted and suffered imprisonment and the impact it made on their futures deserve to be recognized in a manner that those who dodged, even if they protested, do not.
     
  20. May 23, 2003 #19
    You mean like Muhammed Ali?
     
  21. May 23, 2003 #20

    kat

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    Well, Ali has always been a favorite of mine..Friday night boxing was a family tradition...;) but there were many who did not apply for CO, they made a choice to burn or return their draft cards and refused to participate..thousands of these men were sent to prison, many of them for several years.
     
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