According to the Baku Turan (located in Azerbaijan) newspaper, an Azeri soldier was killed today in “a shoot-out” with Armenian forces near the border in Tartar District. That soldier’s name was Mammad Azadaliyev, and importantly, the article notes that he was conscripted.
Poor Mr. Azadaliyev is both a victim of interstate violence and of domestic state violence. The former worries me given the tense situation between Armenia and Azerbaijan. In terms of the latter, I say this because he was forced against his will to join the military – and unfortunately, to involuntarily pay the cost of his life to serve the will of others. Military service is a noble activity on the parts of officers and enlisted. But forced service is nothing less than slavery.
Unfortunately, many in the United States would have us reinstate the draft, forcing people at the barrel of a gun (HT: Mao) to kill and be killed in the service of the state (for good or bad ends). Let’s hope that conscription never returns, and we should pay due tribute to those in and out of the Nixon administration who ended this monstrosity. It is terrible to read about dead American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan – but at least they served honorably, as men and women who freely chose to sacrifice for the state they joined. Mr. Azadaliyev was not able to make such a free choice and died as a result. Yet another victim of the unjust use of state power.