Jesse Ventura on Defense

War isnít civilized; donít expect warriors to be

A Navy SEAL will defy death at least twice a week. When you get that kind of familiarity with death, barriers go down, and anything else seems insignificant.

I donít like what happened in the navyís Tailhook scandal; I think what those officers did was wrong. But I understand why it happened. When you get a force of that many hundreds of warriors together, thereís bound to be trouble. Weíre responsible for making them what they are. You just canít bring them back into civilization and expect that everything that was drilled into them is going to go away.

When youíre dealing with death face-to-face, there are no rules. Itís all about survival. After that, bad behavior doesnít affect you all that much.

War isnít civilized. War is failure. Itís the ultimate result of a breakdown in public policy, and soldiers are the machines that handle that breakdown. In warfare, youíre taught to do whatever you have to, to stay alive. Can you imagine bringing that mind-set into a party?

Source: Ainít Got Time to Bleed, p.105-6 Jan 1, 1999

Military is stronger if all-volunteer

Even while I was a Navy SEAL, I participated in the 1970s peace movement. I marched at peace rallies. I admit it wasnít so much because of my great love of peace as it was because of my great love of female companionship. To the women in the movement, I was the poor beleaguered victim of the system, sent off against his will to fight this horrible war [in Vietnam]. They didnít realize that the navy had no draft!

I loved the braless thing. Iím very heterosexual. Iíd see women out burning their bras, and Iíd go over with a lighter, ďCan I help?Ē I did participate seriously, though, in the anti-draft movement. To this day, Iím against the draft. I believe the military is much stronger if itís an all-volunteer organization.

Source: Ainít Got Time to Bleed, p.109 Jan 1, 1999

Against the draft; for including women except in combat

Iím against the draft. I believe we should have a professional military; it might be smaller, but it would be more effective. The draft is unfair. Rich kids didnít get drafted [in Vietnam]; they went to college and hid.

If weíre going to draft at all, then we should draft women too, as long as we donít send them into combat. The problem is men, [not womenís effectiveness in combat]. Thereís something protective in men that makes us want to protect women. And that would be disastrous in battle.

Source: Ainít Got Time To Bleed, p. 34 Jan 1, 1999

Other candidates on Defense: Jesse Ventura on other issues:
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