I feel like a guy standing before a rapidly advancing tsunami. I’m throwing up a peace sign as if that will stop the wall of water.

I began to realize in 1970, as did millions of other eighteen-year-old American males, that the government considered me little more than a dispensable body to be kidnapped and turned into a bullet-stopping slave.

I was saved by the crank of a tumbler operated over television by two old men in suits. This was a year after the state decided to institute a “lottery” for the draft. I rolled high, so I didn’t need to flee to Canada. Millions of others were not so lucky.

It wasn’t out of empathy and benevolence the state implemented this slavery lottery. For several years, college students and other young people were marching all over America, going so far as to burn down ROTC buildings and occupying college administration offices to force the state to end its insane war in Vietnam.

Eventually, this war was shut down, but behind the scenes less noticeable—to Americans at least—wars were waged around the world. You had to read between the lines of The New York Times and The Washington Post to learn about US dirty dealing in Angola, Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Pakistan, Cambodia, on and on, seemingly endless.

The Pentagon devised a new tactic. Instead of drafting middle-class kids, they made “military service” “voluntary,” in other words only the desperately poor—and those brainwashed by lies and “patriotism”—are sucked into the war machine.

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