As a former Woodstocker who still likes to think in utopian terms, I feel we may indeed need to reconsider the draft -- but in a different way: All high school grads, male and female, or upon reaching the age of 18, would be required to serve a two-year mandatory term (no deferments this time!). Each draftee would be given a choice to serve in the armed forces or in a domestic/international public service corps.
We could give the world what it sorely needs -- human capital to help with infrastructures in Second and Third World countries and assist in times of disasters. Our young people would learn about other cultures, religions, social systems, etc., gaining valuable insight into life and becoming more tolerant of other ways of life.
In return, we would sow the much needed goodwill that we have cast aside so badly with the Iraq war and help those countries by creating base infrastructures (housing, water, sewage, roads, power, etc.) to better support living conditions there. To our benefit in the long run, our actions would create more tolerant people in those places -- and a more educated and modern people. Why can't the powers in the Western world see how much money we waste on war ($1 billion a week spent just by the U.S. in Iraq) and use money more wisely, doing things that benefit the world rather than destroying it?
Perhaps the biggest blind spot for us liberals has been to placidly accept the voluntary armed forces as better than a draft. In hard times, a larger number of impoverished communities from all ethnic sectors are drawn to the military as a means of making a living. By contrast, a draft, if done correctly, picks people from all walks of life, including college students, rich and poor.
Somehow I was able to sidestep the Vietnam War in the 1960s because of my status as a college student. This deferment program was unfair to the masses that did not qualify for postsecondary education. Any fair draft system has to cut across all classes and include college students equally to all people within the age range. If a greater cross section of our country faced an equal chance of being drafted into the military, the decision to pull the trigger would be examined under greater scrutiny. It's time for the liberal, antiwar movement to take a second look at the issue of draft versus voluntary recruitment. Count me as pro-draft, antiwar.