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A Too-Hasty Reaction

DISSENTING OPINION

By Wendy L. Wall

WE CANNOT CONDONE blanket anti-draft, anti-military activism. Headstrong demonstrators, excited by the thrill of a new cause, are reacting too vehemently to President Carter's proposal to reinstate Selective Service registration. They do not distinguish between the draft, considered an extreme response to the world situation by large numbers both in Congress and across the country, and registration, a possible compromise between flexing American muscle and stepping up military action.

Registration does not necessarily predicate the draft, and it certainly does not predicate war--as many demonstrators have claimed. It merely prepares us to meet unforeseen challenges. By protesting against increased military spending and against registration, the activists are saying, however, that any solution to foreign problems--no matter how damaging to the American economy or its allies--is preferable to even the consideration of increasing our military potential. That reaction is much too hasty. It is the selfish gesture of people who understandably do not want to fight, but do not realize that no one has asked them to.

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