Friday, January 27, 2006

You'd better hurry.

This is what my barman friend told me when I offered to burn him a CD. "Why do I need to hurry? It's only Jimmy Buffett!"

"I have to go to the Army on February 1."

I was shocked. Here's this young man in front of me, perfectly content to serve drinks and listen to reggae music and he's been conscripted!

Now I don't want to get too involved with Polish politics. It's too comical to be taken seriously. But I just can't see the logic in this. He'll have to serve for nine months. Only nine months. That doesn't seem very economical to me. All the resources necessary to train, house, and feed this man and they'll only get nine months out of him.

Of course, they'll get only the bare minimum out of him because he's a conscript.

I'm not saying that he should have to serve longer. I firmly believe that conscription is one of the most foolish ideas in human history.

I'm not good at political analysis, so I'll just bring this back to my level (a quite low one, indeed). Here I am sitting at a bar with a young guy who's going to have to leave his family and friends for nine months for no discernible cause. And I have no words with which to comfort him.


At 1/27/2006 01:28:00 PM, Blogger beatroot said...

Conscript armies are completly stupid and a complete waiste of everyone's time. But a professional army is expensive. I think there is plans to do away with this nonsense here, but I don;t know how close they are to doing it.

And many kids - most - don;t actually attend the call up anyway. There are lots of ways to get around it...

At 1/28/2006 01:54:00 PM, Blogger Michael Farris said...

Yeah, the draft is a strange, fickle (as in unpredictable) but ultimately mostly avoidable hassle in Poland. Talk to a lot of guys in their 20's and 30's and you'll hear lots of intriguing ways to get out of it.
I'm mostly convinced that a lot of the guys that do go in are looking for a way to get away from home for a few months.

At 1/28/2006 06:33:00 PM, Blogger Guy said...

Do they have alternatives? What I mean is whether they can do ie. community service. This was a rather popular alternative in Belgium before they finally decided to move to a fully professional army (don't laugh too loud though ;-) ).

Happy I never had to serve. But married the daughter of a military instead....

At 5/07/2006 12:09:00 PM, Blogger Roman Werpachowski said...

For a lot of people from small towns, conscription is the entry to serving in the military as a volunteer. It's one of the few job prospects they have. So it's not like that everybody is dodging the draft now.


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