Since the pamphlets we distributed at registration reached only a quarter of the undergraduates, and since your long editorial of February 5th presumably reached a larger audience, we would like to reply to it. Wherever we refer to UMT. we are also replying to the editorial regarding UMS except in the third paragraph.
You say that "the fact that UMT is not temporary is a strong argument in its favor." Surely the CRIMSON knows that selective serve can be extended indefinitely. Your saying "selective service is always a step behind events" applies to the inflexibility of UMT even more. UMT can do nothing selective service doesn't do already; it merely commits us to a degree of militarization as difficult to repeal once established as, so far, it has been to establish.
College men desiring to appear democratic and self-sacrificing usually support UMT because it applies equality to everybody. But UMT is not combat, and so long as there is war in Korea, some men will be dying while others are enjoying college. The remedy is to end selective service deferments for college students.
The "democratic ideal" of "the self-reliant man capable of making his own decisions and stand by them, alone if necessary," you have called "a caveman approach to democracy ... rather silly in the light of modern life..." Do you mean it? UMT would subject men at the immature age of 18 to a training in obedience, lack of independent thinking, typical soldierly evasion of voluntary duties, and excessive respect for hierarchy. It subjects them to martial law, to which the Bill of Rights does not apply; a $10,000 fine and/or five years in prison, for disobeying the president or a superior officer.
"As for the hazards of armies of occupation ... they have yet to manifest their diabolical influence on World War II veterans ..." is a specious evasion of the issue and an appeal to pseudo-patriotic emotionalism. Peace-time army VD rates were 37 times that of similar age-groups in college. Veterans Administration disability payments do not apply to ex-trainees. The casualty rate in modern military training is 2%; 16,000 casualties out of 800,000 UMT draftees, who may never be needed in combat.
We believe that the only large-scale support for UMT comes from a military officialdom, whose motive, consciously or unconsciously, is to increase its size, budget, permanency, prestige, and power. There is a grave danger to democracy when an official group, claiming the indispensability of its program to the national welfare, is so readily believed. David Drake '52 Undergraduate co-chairman Peace Council
Mr. Drake presents four objections which will be taken up in order.
First, by extending Selective Service, the government would subject students for an indefinite period to the uncertainty and insecurity Inherent in the current system where the Army's constantly changing demands force constant revision of the Draft quotas. At present, students have no way of knowing when during their academic career they will be called to service. UMS is a long-range plan designed specifically to avoid this injustice.
The second objection refers only to University Military Training.
Thirdly, the Army does not crush Independent thinking--in fact the U.S. Army is noted for the stress it puts or initiative. Not is evasion of voluntary duties peculiar to soldiers. Moreover, two years of military service is not, and in this country never has been, enough to reduce American youth to the status of automations. Many young draftees fought three or four years during the last World War, and there have been no indications that they have become unduly discipline-minded.
Lastly, the editorial simply pointed out that the "hazards" of occupation armies have no permanent effect. Moreover, armies will be stationed abroad no matter how they are raised.
In fact it is hard to tell whether arguments three and four apply to. UMS or military duty in general.