Monday, November 2, 2009

America's War

I try to stay away from overtly political topics on this blog but i was forwarded this clip from a friend today and thought it would make a good blog topic. Bill Moyers is a noted journalist, spending most of his time working for PBS. He was press secretary for President Lyndon B. Johnson when Vietnam was becoming an issue and being so, had access to the President while he was considering going to War. Moyers, on his current show at PBS, made the following comment recently here. What do you feel about this? What if America reinstated a draft? Have we become too detached from the War? How has media coverage of the War impacted our view of it?

21 comments:

Wesley said...

I do not feel that the majority of those sreving or in families near those serving feel disconnected from the war. The fact is that a majority of our citizens have already and will be affected directly by the war because of the number of our people serving. We are disconnected from September the 11. We continually allow left wing views that only report the mayhem of war and deny the progress we have made against terror. We somehow have an out of sight out of mind approach that is very disrespectful to those that have lost their lives for freedom.
Should we reinstate the draft? I feel at this point it is very unnecessary. We have so many volunteers that a draft is not needed. Should it become a need and not a want then it all changes. However, we do not need a draft today. Those signing up to serve that are and have have been interviewed have consistently felt that it was the best thing to do and wanted to go back overseas. Many of this individuals have signed back up to go overseas. The draft is not what we need.

Alexis K. Ellis said...

I think that people are not detached from the war, but want an end to it. I think that the draft would not make us win the war by requiring young men to go to war, but would put their life in their hands. I think that Americans today suffer for the troops who protect us, and Moyers was right that the terrorists will not stop even if we continue fighting; I think this is true, and because we continue fighting we are losing our troops. Families are suffering for their loved ones fighting, people are struggling financially, people are homeless, and I think we should end the war simply because we are fighting a no-win situation, and the price is the lives of our soldiers.

Travis_Page said...

First of all, I do not think that America needs to reinstate the draft..there is not a shortage of men and women who are willing to go and serve our country. If there comes a time when the troop count runs low and they are needed, yes, the draft should be reinstated, but for right now, I do not think it is needed.

I agree with Wesley and Alexis in that I do not think we have become too disconnected from the War. Just ask people who have family members who are currently on foreign soil. I bet they do not think that we are disconnected from the war. Just becuase it is not mentioned every hour of every day on the news does not mean it is not going on. As far as the media, I think they only focus on the negative side. Like others have already mentioned, they do not highlight the progress that has been made. Also, this war is a hard one to cover, in the respect that it is a 'War on Terror' and not with an exact geographic location. This war is with a group of people that are dispersed and do not have a central location, such as the Vietnam War, or the Civil War. What country are we exactly with war? Do 'terrorists' have a country?

Glenda said...

I too do not think bringing back the draft is the thing to do. There are still ample volunteers. There is no need to send potentially disgruntled people overseas to war when we have the ones who want to go.

I feel that we have not forgotten or become disattached from the war. I believe that people as a whole want it to end and stop the killing of our troops. Almost everyone knows someone who has a family member there at some time and understand the fear and stress being held. My problem is that we cannot seem to determine who we are really fighting. Will more really 'fix' the problem. I think not. I do not think that we will ever remove all of the terrorists regardless of how we fight or how long. We cannot win this war.

sterry said...

I feel that some of what Bill Moyers said is correct, but in some parts I don't. I don't believe that we should reinstate the draft, but I can see how it would make some people rethink their opinions of the war. Majority of the people for the war are those who have a family member in the military or have strong beliefs of patriotism. In actuality, the rest of the nation are just common people wanting to live everyday lives with the ones they love but the war is taking that away for some of us. If the draft was to be reinstated a lot of people thar are for the war now, may go against it because the draft would require people they love going into war that they feel aren't suppose to. Nobody likes to lose a loved one, but the war is making this impact on family's across the nation everyday.
I don't believe that we have become detached from war because its there everytime we turn on our televisions or each time we see a group of military trucks going up the highway. Of course, we aren't in the actual war zone to see what is going on but we know that whatever is going on is not bringing enough of our soilders back alive. I feel that media coverage of the war has been very guarded to the American people. No one really wants to see what goes on over there because if we did, then I think the strong belivers of war would want to put an end to it. Some people belive that things are better left heard about than seen because seeing is believing. The media covers story in a manner that is family friendly so its impact makes a lot of Americans feel a little bit better about the true dangers of war. People don't really want to think about what could happen or whats really happening to those they care about in the military. News coverage basically cushions the blow for when the real deal occurs. I feel that the war was started on the wrong intentions and now nobody really knows what we are even fighting for anymore.

Mark said...

Except when there are high casualties the Media barely reports ont eh war. Unless you have a loved one or friend serving in the war how has it affected you. I am ready for it to be over and am tired of the misinformation about terrorism and progress in area of the world that does not share our values. Why do we seem to think everyone wants democracy? Who made us rulers of the world?
Bill Moyer spoke to what I beleive to be true, and I think maybe a draft is the way to go. At the very least it may even out the sacrifice. If we were to leave Afaganistant what is going to happen. The Taliban would ragain control and maybe Al-Quida would move back in. But we have already made significantly more headway in destroying Al-Quida economically than we have with bullets. Why not focus those resources on border security and economic counter terrorism (like destroyiing their opium business that has grown since we invaded).
Ultimatly more people will die this year because of our broken health care system than died on Sept 11th. But they will die silently while the rest of us fear what the media and government tells us to fear.

Mark Stephenson

jdg158 said...

Bill Moyers the journalist for PBS made some exceptional points in the video clip. He stated facts that need to be heard by all Americans. We are suffering at home, yet continue to commit billions of dollars a year to a war thousands of miles away. This is a major issue right now and deserves to be looked at long and hard.

Although I though Bill made great points I do not feel as though America should reinstate the draft. We are not in need of soldiers, and should allow people that are dedicated to the military continue to serve their country. If the time comes that the draft is neccesary, I believe our government will make the correct choice regarding its reinstatement.

Dianna Majors said...

I thoroughly appreciated this broadcast. I think everything Bill Moyers had to say was completely on target, and although I was entirely thrown off by his statement of reinstating the draft, I feel he was just using this as a clever and pronounced way of driving home his point. We are reliving Vietnam, but I feel this country is going to be broke before our governing bodies wise up to this. However, many citizens who are jobless and penniless and others who have lost loved ones in vain realize this point, which I believe is all Bill Moyers was trying to explain.
I certainly do not think America ever would or should reinstate the draft if not for the sheer principle of the matter, which is in direct violation of our civil liberties, than for well-being of our country. First of all, more soldiers means more money spent overseas, and more overseas spending means even less money on our countries home front where we are now in dire need. Second of all, a draft means the loss of even more of our fathers, brothers, and sons, and for what?
I do not claim to be an expert on foreign affairs, but feel I am somewhat well read on this subject and as far as the opinions of any experts I have read from, this war is doing us much more harm than good.
Also, I do feel that we have become detached from the war. I do not think our nation is detached in the sense that no one has a clue as to what is happening, because our media does do a good job of making the war a large part of its topic coverage consistently, but I do think our nation has become emotionally detached.
Certainly the families of those fighting are not detached emotionally, but as a whole I think our country has become callus to all the death and destruction being reported just because of the sheer amount of such news that we take in on a daily basis. Not to mention the war video games and insensitivity of some reports that cause us to treat the war overseas as though it is a war on another planet. We hear about the deaths while drinking our morning coffee, and then without another thought leave to go about the rest of our day.

David Camp said...

I do think the majority of Americans have become detached from the war. The points Moyer made about the video game detail and that’s about as close as we will come to war is true. He also made reference to the actual dollar amount that this war is costing in a time when everyone is looking for more money to pay his or her own bills. America has done and probably will continue to help all over the world but with our current troubles we may be better off to come back home and tend to matters here, rebuild so that we can do better in the future. I think we are spreading our resources (military and money) to thin.

I don’t think he was serious in reinstating the draft. I think he was making a point that we should all stand up and protect the young men and women who join the military for a job and health care because of economic hardship. The only way people are going to stand up and say end the war is if they may be in that war. I think this is the point Moyer was trying to make. However, if America did reinstate the draft I think the first named drawn should be every single person in Washington that seems to want to keep this war going.

David Camp

KamrynsMom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KamrynsMom said...

To just think about re-instating the draft is a scary feeling. To draft young men who have registered with the Selective Service and not any branch of the military is not the answer to our problems. The answer to this problem was avoided eight years ago. The United States is always trying to rebuild another country, but this time we are on the other end of the stick, our country needs to be rebuilt and we are still at war. There is so much going on in the world right now with the war and life in general.

Many people are having an extremely hard time finding jobs, keeping job, and etc. We have become detached from the war in a sense, but not completely. Many people have family in the military, whether that family be immediate or distant family, so I do not think we become fully detached from the war. But, we now may look at the war and think of it as a nightmare that began during the tenure of the Bush Administration. Media coverage may report the news, but I do not think video games should be allowed to be made now. Our country has been going through this recession for a long time, but we are just now able to see all of the mess that was going on in the office. It took eight years to put our country in reverse, and I think it may take double that to put our country back in drive again.

Nateisha Marchbanks

blueeye2131 said...

I do not think people are detached from the war. I do think that media coverage of the war has impacted some people’s views. I think there are a lot of people that want to end this war. It cost the people of United States a lot of money to keep sending troops overseas.
I do not think that the draft needs to be reinstated. I think there are enough people signing up for the military that the draft is not needed. The draft should only be reinstated when there are not people getting in to the military.
Mary Thomas

Sherry Osborn said...

I honestly don't think that there is a "right way" about things done differently when it comes to war. This is just a harsh realization that we all must face and deal with. There will always be lost lives that should not have been.
No one can say how many lives will be lost. It should be "0" lives lost!
I don't think that we have become too detached from war, especially the families who have a loved one serving. I believe that we have become desensitized to a lot of things because of our media and society.
I do not believe that a draft should be reinstated. There are so many commendable people that are willing to risk and give their lives for OUR country!
I pray for our soldiers every night and thank my All Mighty King for everything they do and their families.

Sherry Osborn said...

I also believe it just depends on which news channel you're watching as to what you see and hear about the wary.

burnham_tj said...

If a draft was reinstated because it was needed I would be in support of it. If this is what it would take to defend this great country of ours. However, I do not see a need for it now or in the near future. Our opinion of the war is based solely off what the media reports. That is all we have to go by, the only information we are given. as far as CBS using animation, I disagree with that decision. It takes away from the seriousness of the war. Real lives are taken and it should be treated with respect for those lost defending our freedom.

Michael said...

There are many answers to the questions stated depending on view points. I believe that, in general, most Americans are disconnected from the war because we are not there. We see news and numbers, but we really don't understand the severity of the situation. It's awful that lives are being lost, and even worse that more are being sent over there to potentially lose theirs. But the truth of the matter is that it is needed. People wanted to crucify Bush for his tactics overseas while our new "savior" Obama has increased numbers overseas. So, basically, what I'm trying to get to is that we don't have a clue what's really happening over there.

If America reinstated the draft, I believe there would be a lot of chaos and fear spread throughout the nation. Like Moyers mentioned in his piece, there would be hysteria in Washington and people finding loop holes and other ways to stay home.

The media has overall covered the war decently. However, as I mentioned earlier, we are just short of oblivious when it comes to the knowledge of what goes on overseas. We just trust the government will figure it out. The media reports stories and numbers that are significant. After the war ends, hopefully we will be able to look back and make sense out of all of the strategy like we have of the other American wars.

gina said...

I definately agree with a majority of the comments above me. I really agree with Wesley in that, the families that have a family member in the war right now feel like the war is probably the biggest part of the life right now. They are very attached to the war as opposed to being detached. I on the other hand, do not have a family member in the war and do not watch much news so I am very disconnected from the war. However, if I had a family member fighting in the war I feel like I would know everything there is to know about it. It would change my outlook completely. I know this is a bad stand because other people's families are over there.

As for reinstating the draft, I do not feel like we should do this. Today, it seems like there are plenty of people who volunteer for the war, that there is no need to have a draft.

I feel like the media gives a negative outlook on the war. They are constantly showing you the negative things that are happening. For people who keep up with the war through the news, I feel like they probably have a negative feeling towards war.

Crystal said...

All I can say is 'WOW!' What an ideal take on this war. I too agree that no matter how many soldiers we send and no matter how many have to die for this 'cause' it will not be enough to change what is a way of life and way of thinking that is embedded into the Afganistanians minds.
I also believe that we ahve become desensitized by the media coverage of this war. Re-instating the draft would make it personal. It would hit home with some, maybe a lot of the seemingly untouchable governing body of this nation and make war a personal problem instead of somebody else's.

Crystal said...

previous post by Crystal Sloan--sorry!

Victoria said...

Unfortunately, I have to disagree with several of the comments made. I do feel that much of the nation has in fact become detached from the war. Other than those families that have loved ones serving in the military, we have gone on about our daily lives and have (I hate to say it) all but forgotten about it. The media dumbs down their broadcasts making it family friendly, as I believe one comment stated. I totally agree. Other topics have become more important in the media - for one thing - President Obama. It's a wonder we don't know when he goes to the restroom they report so frequently on him. The war has been going on for so long now that we've become used to it - a fact of life almost. This is unfortunate but true.
I also agree with the broadcast that the lives, time, and money being spent in this war is a waste. It's a shame to take good people away from their families and send them to a war that will not fix anything once its done - if it ever even ends. These people have been fighting for eons, do we really think going in there and bullying them around will do the job? I think that everyone in Congress, the Senate, and the President should have to suit up and go fight too...that would make it personal. That would make them think a little differently about how we handle our business. I have family and friends that are serving and have served in this war, and even I have forgotten. So, no I don't agree with a draft...I think we should pull out. Just my opinion.

~Victoria

Alana_abk48 said...

My insides shiver when I hear the words "reinstate the draft." I have a son who is about to turn 16. This war does not seem to be nearly close to being over. If there is a draft, it is likely that in two years, he will have to go to war. I do not want my son to face war at the age of 18. What mother would? It was a reality of our grandparents and great grandparents to see their children head off to be killed in a foreign country. Our reality is, like Moyer said, a video game.
What do we know if the tole war takes on the psyche of our young men and women? What do we know of post traumatic stress? We who are attending school and living our laid back Mississippi lives? Unless we have a friend or relative there, we are very removed. I am especially because I rarely take time to watch the news.
When I do hear about the war, it saddens me. I don't know what the solution is, but I really wish our young men and women were not over there dying. I see the reasoning of escalating the war effort to just get it over with, but I wonder if that will even work. We are talking about people who believe in their cause on a spiritual level. Can they be defeated? Can they be stopped or pushed back? For them, this is a battle for spiritual life or death. It is a holy war. Are we sacrificing our citizens for a unreachable goal?
Many times, when I think about our foreign policy, I wonder, why do we feel the need to fight others' battles? We have plenty of battles here on the home front that have not yet been won. What is our debt to society? Have we accomplished what we set out to do? Has it made 9-11 go away? Would it be better to spend the money and effort making our country safer from inside our own borders? I just don't know.
This is more question than comment, but when I think of the war, all I have are questions and no solutions. It breaks my heart. I am not willing to sacrifice myself or my children to fight this war. That is all I know. I hope they do not reinstate a draft. I don't think Moyer really wants to do that either. I think he wants the citizens and politicians of The United States of America to wake up and smell the horrible smell of death that is surrounding our troops and realize that it is reality and it is not over yet.

Alana Bowman