In 1971, Senator Mike Gravel (D-Alaska), by waging a lone five month filibuster, singlehandedly ended the draft in The United States thereby saving thousands of lives.
As a result, aside from those who volunteered, everyone under the age of 54 has been able to stay out of harm’s way in the tragic war against Vietnam, the first war against Iraq, the war in Afghanistan, and Bush’s current war in Iraq. In addition, the children of everyone under the age of 54 have been able to stay out of harm’s way in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mike Gravel is a veteran who enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Germany from 1951-1954 as a Special Adjutant in the Communication and Intelligent Services and as a Special Agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps.
As a freshman Senator from Alaska, he made the judgment that the Vietnam War was a tragic mistake founded on fabrications and lies to the American people and the world. The Senator’s position was vindicated with the release and publication of the Pentagon Papers, actions made possible by Daniel Ellsberg and Senator Gravel.
Mike Gravel came to the same conclusion with regard to the invasion of Iraq by President Bush before the invasion began. The Senator concluded that Bush’s war against Iraq was a terrible misjudgment also founded on lies and deceptions to our nation and the international community.
In short, Senator Gravel’s opposition to the draft is based on his desire to insure that no American man or woman is sent to a distant land to fight unnecessary and ill-advised pre-emptive wars of choice by reckless, ignorant, warmongering leaders.