Re "A call to mandatory national service" (Forum, July 20): In proposing a two-year stint of mandatory national service, Gerald Haslam believes he knows how to dispose of your life better than you. Although he personally made the voluntary choice to enter the military, he is not prepared to leave that same decision to others.
Any person who proposes to force life-altering decisions upon you has the mentality of a dictator and lacks all respect for your personal autonomy. Proposals like this rest upon the unstated belief that citizens are a natural resource to be utilized at the whim of bureaucrats.
Am I being unfair? Haslam states "In case of war, conscripts in non-military service- all of them already having completed military basic training- could provide a ready second line of soldiers."
In other words, you are the property of the state and nothing more than disposable cannon fodder. This is the unvarnished face of totalitarianism.
-- C. Jeffery Small, Mercer Island, Wash.