Monday, October 23, 2006

A Prayer for Owen Meany

This book is on my recommended list. I got to thinking about it due to the column I just linked to by Fred Reed. In it, Fred said this:

So many of the Jewish crimes popular on the email circuit don’t stand up to examination. For instance, I hear repeatedly that during Vietnam America won in the field but that Jews stabbed Our Boys in the back by means of the anti-war movement, thus seeking to promote godless atheistic communism.

Not quite. The leadership of the anti-war movement was heavily Jewish. The movement itself was overwhelmingly Christian. At the conservative Southern college I attended, the studentry to a boy wanted no part of the war. It wasn’t because of Jewish anything. It was because they didn’t want to get shot. Their girlfriends didn’t want them to get shot, nor did their parents.

This made me think of the title character of John Irving's classic.

Owen Meany, who ended up volunteering for service in Vietnam, said that anti-war protesters were wrong about one thing: The Draft. He said the draft was the only chance the US had of getting out of Vietnam.

Why? His quote is something like, "Unless Americans are affected with their health or their wallet, they don't care enough about anything to rise up against it."

In other words, without the draft there would have BEEN NO anti-war movement.

How relevant this is for today. Don't you know that college campuses everywhere would be in a MUCH larger uproar over the constantly changing "reasons" for the Iraq war if THEY thought they might have to go?

So would parents of teenagers....middle America across this country. They would be doing more than answering polls negatively about Bush and Congress. They would be in the streets if their sons were being drafted, or about to reach draft age.

I'm convinced this is the reason there hasn't BEEN a draft. Dick Cheney knows this simple fact. Even if the volunteer army is too small to ever win, he can't afford a draft, because then his war would be stopped dead in its tracks.

Every man should read "A Prayer for Owen Meany". And every woman I know who has read it also loved it. At the Episcopal school my parish is associated with, every senior boy is required to read it.

This article was chosen to be a part of the Decline of Democracy, a service of Ken Goldstein and Blog Carnival. Check it out.

No comments: