Friday, February 11, 2005

Peace Vigil Notes #5

Tonight was another quiet one. It was also raining, so turnout was on the low side. The only notable thing was a conversation with the woman that I tend to chat with the most at the vigil -- she was saying that she has a son who is in the age range that could be drafted, and was asking about the possibilities of sending him to Canada if they reinstate the draft here in the U.S. I had to regretfully say that as far as I knew the government had made no announcements about how they might handle hypothetical future U.S. draft resisters making Canada their home. So I hope peace movement folks back in Canada get to work pressuring Paul Martin to let 'em stay!

I don't have a good sense, by the way, of how likely a reinstatement of the draft is. I think it will be necessary if they plan to engage in any new military adventures that go beyond bombing and small-scale special forces stuff. Which they may. At the same time, I think the Republicans are aware of the potential political cost of reinstating the draft. Which is obscene in and of itself, because it would carry that political cost because folks who are white and middle class would start having to bear more of the burden of danger and death in these imperial misadventures, costs currently borne disproportionately by people of colour pushed into the military by poverty -- as an essay by Tamara Nopper puts it, "the anxiety of whites who fear an impending draft can not be understood unless we look at the situation as one in which, to the 'general public,' some bodies matter more than others. Implicit in this privileging of certain bodies are racist/sexist assumptions about other bodies."

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