Militarism and LANDBACK

What triggered this blog post was learning Congress is working to require women to register for the Selective Service System (“draft”). Men have been required to do so for decades.

As I began to write about that, I had to decide whether to post this article on my blog Quakers, social justice and revolution where it would fit with what that blog is about.

Or whether it might fit with the posts on this blog that I recently started about LANDBACK. I’ve been learning about LANDBACK, and wonder how militarism fits into this idea.
(For an introduction to LANDBACK see: https://landbackfriends.com/2021/07/29/landback-movement/)

LANDBACK is about breaking away from white supremacy, the capitalist economic system and the structures that enforce them. So I updated this diagram I’ve been working on to add the military to the justice, police and prison systems that enforce colonial/corporate capitalism.

A growing number of us are working for the abolition of police and prisons. The military enforces white supremacy and capitalism beyond our borders. Thus, I think, abolition of the military, military bases and the use of weaponized drones could be considered part of LANDBACK.

Thinking about LANDBACK as an antiwar framework is intriguing. Mutual Aid is part of the LANDBACK idea. I was very interested to learn Des Moines Mutual Aid’s first public appearance was at an antiwar march:

One year ago today (2020) Des Moines Mutual Aid participated in a march protesting the potential for war or increased hostilities with Iran that followed the fallout of the assassination of Qassem Soleimani by drone strike in Baghdad.

Ronnie James

The immediate collapse of the Afghan government when U.S. troops left Afghanistan after twenty years of war has a great many of people wondering about militarism and war.

Most Quakers, such as myself, have opposed the draft in many ways, for many years. The issue resulted in a group of Quakers leaving the country called the United States and establishing a thriving community in Costa Rica, a country that does not even have a military. Numerous Quaker men either registered as conscientious objectors, or refused to cooperate with the Selective Service System. Some were sentenced to prison. This is a link to stories about Quaker men and the miltary: Young Quaker Men Face War and Conscription.

Senators on the Armed Services Committee recently approved a revision to military draft laws that would require women to register for the Selective Service System (SSS).

Proponents of the measure, which was included as part of the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), see it as a matter of gender equality. This argument misses the point: Congress should be focused on abolishing the draft entirely, not expanding it.

As laid out in a coalition letter we supported to members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, this legislation “does not represent a move forward for women; it represents a move backward, imposing on young women a burden that young men have had to bear unjustly for decades – a burden that no young person should have to bear at all.”

Congress Should Abolish the Selective Service System, Not Expand It by Alex Frandsen, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), August 12, 2021

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