If we’d had a mandatory military service, Lehrer wonders, would we still have invaded Iraq?
Jim Lehrer: Some people would argue – I’ll let the politicians argue this – some of them would argue that if we didn’t have a volunteer military, we’d never have gone to war in Iraq because the public argument would have kept that from happening.
I’m not so sure. I don’t know. But who knows what might have happened?
The more of us who are involved in all of these big events; it’s cumbersome as hell--because democracy is always cumbersome, it’s complicated.
But three guys can’t get in a room and decide to go to war. You just can’t do that. It’s going to take all kinds of new forms of communication, and leadership – leadership, leadership, leadership – to get all these things done.
But to answer your question, I’m not upbeat at all about where we are with our country right now. Some of the things we have done as a country, as a nation, as a people, disturb me. Because I think we’ve done some things. Things have been done in our name. As far as I’m concerned, we did it.
Recorded: July 4, 2007.