In 1968, Berrigan and eight other Catholic activists, including his brother Philip, a group subsequently known as the Catonsville Nine, took hundreds of draft files and burned them outside a Selective Service office with homemade napalm.
Of the action, Berrigan stated, "Our apologies, good friends, for the fracture of good order, the burning of paper instead of children, the angering of the orderlies in the front parlor of the charnel house. We could not, so help us God, do otherwise."
According to a historian, it was "the single most powerful anti-war act in American history."
The draft was unfair and as corrupt as any other U.S. policy initiative of the era--the rich could get out of service, as could students. Strings were pulled and influence peddled. Look at the entire coterie, with a few exceptions, of Iraq War criminals starting with Bush Jr., who served, until he was rousted out, in the Texas Air Guard. Didn't go near Vietnam. Cheney claimed deferment after deferment.
Today, some people are clamoring for a new draft, or as it is often colored over--compulsory service to the nation.
Why people believe that financial elites, again with few exceptions, would ever allow their sons and daughter to be placed in harm's way is a curious conceit.
Anything compulsory and slightly dangerous, like say the military in an era of perpetual war (as is happening now), would soon be just as corrupted as the old draft.
A compulsory service might one day be in the cards, but it will never be clean.