Great. Another war coming. That’s what some are predicting as a logical conclusion of President Donald J. Trump playing hide-and-seek with bits and pieces of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Do I care that Soleimani is dead? Only when I think about his sad grandkids. Other than that, no, I don’t. But we all know from high school history that things like this can lead to wider horribleness.
Nothing snowballs out of control quite like countries beating their chests about national honor. One country’s leader forgets to flush the toilet while visiting the palace of another country’s leader and, within minutes, thousands of young men are being machine-gunned in a part of the world no one would go to on purpose.
Global conflicts always seem to start out small and rapidly engulf the entire planet — except for Switzerland — in blood.
What’s most worrisome to me isn’t that there will be another war — because there always is — but rather that the U.S. will once again force young people to fight in it by drafting them into the school of murderously hard knocks and explosions.
Short of “I’m pregnant,” the scariest phrase for a young high school senior boy to hear in my day was “the draft.” When I finally got my draft number (15), I responded the way most did at the time: “Bullsh--! I’m going to Canada.”
The Old Man — who was in the Army at the time — told me I was staying put. If I was called up, I would go and do my best not to embarrass him or America — in that order.
Me • “What if I get killed?”
Him • “Then you’ll be dead. And that will hurt your mother and me more than it hurt you.”
I wasn’t even high and that actually made a certain amount of sense. But I still didn’t want to go. I had plans for my life, most of them bad or of no account, some of them even illegal, which makes what happened next OK.
My number came up and I went. The luck of fools was with me. I went straight into the reserves and got out before the next war, Desert Storm. And if I’m being honest, military regimen did me some good.
That doesn’t make the idea of a military draft — unlikely as it is — OK today. Dragging me off against my will is one thing. Taking my grandsons is another.
I don’t want them being press-ganged into a war started by political thugs who should be forced to sort out their “national honor” inside a dark room filled with baseball bats.
What’s even scarier to me is that the military might come after my granddaughters. In this day of political correctness to the point of stupidity, that seems likely to come up.
If my granddaughters want to serve, that’s fine. Judging from the way they drive, they could easily fly a drone missile into the bottom of a terrorist.
Meh. I wouldn’t worry. America has the capacity to learn from its past mistakes. It doesn’t always but maybe it has about the draft.
Dragging me into it should have taught this country something. Idiots may start wars, but only smart people should be allowed to fight them.
Robert Kirby is The Salt Lake Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.