Well, I’m 22 pages into the prologue of Over Here, by David M. Kennedy; I thought it was about time to post a thought-provoking quote. 🙂

Others made a similar argument about compulsory military service, “I have thought that in a Republic like ours,” said one anti-war Senator, “where the public sentiment was supposed to control, a cause for war must be so plain and so just and so necessary that the people would be as one man and volunteer their lives to support the cause. Do you find any such proposition suggested in the United States Senate or in this Congress today? No! We must, in order to raise and arm troops, adopt this same militarism that we have denounced and decried. In order to raise an army we must make compulsory universal military service.” Representative Ernest Lundeen of Minnesota predicted that “This may prove to be the most unpopular war in our history. Conscription, always distasteful to a free people, may soon stalk through he land, hand in hand with his brothers, war and death. If you conscript men for war, conscript wealth for war.”

And one more:

A third source of anti-war sentiment was to be found in the simple conviction that no cause could sanctify the wanton bloodletting of modern warfare. There were those in the Congress of 1917 who knew the carnage first hand. “My experience in the Civil War has saddened all my life,” said the venerable Isaac Sherwood. “I had my soul rent with indescribably agony, as I stood in the presence of comrades who were maimed, mangled, and dying on 42 battlefields of this Republic. As I love my country, I feel it is my sacred duty to keep the stalwart young men of today out of a barbarous war 3500 miles away, in which we have no vital interest.”

Sad, no? 😦

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