To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
Tuesday's editorial on UMS again illustrates the consistently militaristic position of the CRIMSON's editors. The three premises upon which this editorial seems to have been written were: dependence and regimentation through indoctrination and resignation, equality through force, and peace through domination. This is the CRIMSON's three point program to defeat the same three point program of the communist powers.
In trying to demolish the attempts of the "National Council Against Conscription" (which incidentally includes on its Board such men as Harry Emerson Fosdick, William Faulkner, Albert Einstein, the late Dennis Cardinal Dougherty, Louis Bromfield, and Zechariah Chafee, Jr.), your editorial does not show us one positive contribution of UMS. As The Christian Century has pointed out, UMS would reduce both the size and the effectiveness of the army; thus even General MacArthur has advised against passing a UMT measure under the stress of the "emergency" situation today.
But perhaps the most dangerous part of your doctrine is that of the "new" democratic ideal, as opposed to the older outworn concept. The "'self-reliant man," you state, "'capable of making his own decisions and standing by them, along if necessary' ... looks rather silly in the light of modern life." I suppose he does seem rather out of place in the new nation which our "modern" pioneers are forging. Yet would you tell us, after you have built this "brave new America," based on the firm foundation of these two well-known continental peace preservatives, armaments and conscription, who will defend what? Ray Gastil '53
Mr. Gastil confuses the CRIMSON's premises with his own. The CRIMSON's editorial had nothing to do with gaining peace by dominating the world, and it specifically stated that UMS was not an attempt to match Russian forces soldier for soldier. Nor is UMS an attempt to regiment anyone or to turn American boys into automatons. Serving under military discipline for two years would hardly reduce men, brought up in a country where freedom and individuality is guaranteed, to the low level Mr. Gastil assumes.
He has also confused UMS and Universal Military Training. The editorial concerned UMS, which calls for two years of active service. UMT requires only six months of training, which explains General MacArthur's opposition to UMT. Obviously, Universal Military Service would not reduce the size of the army.