One of the things that will surely strike future historians about our era is the odd placidity of American cultural life at the time of a wildly unpopular war — so different from the eruptions that attended Vietnam.
In spite of some similarities, one of the main differences between Vietnam and Iraq is the presence of the draft in the former and its absence in the latter. Without universal conscription, the current war just doesn’t cut as wide a swath in the public’s consciousness, and I can’t help but believe that this was one of the unstated motivations for ending the draft after Vietnam. In a democracy, an army made up of citizens from across the social spectrum serving for relatively short terms of duty becomes much harder to sustain in a wrong-headed war than one composed solely of volunteers.
— Bill Harris, Oxnard