Consensus did not mean identical motivations. Socialists argued that the position of the military raised troubling issues about the rule of law, human rights, and the functioning of a democratic system. Socialists sought to curb military budgets and the length of service. One of their central tenets was that if the military could try soldiers and sailors according to procedures that violated theConstitution, then it effectively enjoyed a fuero But the left did not have a monopoly on the issue. Many conservatives and Radicals, shared with Socialists the belief that conscripts were citizens before they were soldiers. Politicians and ad-hoc citizen groups often campaigned for limited goals; a single wronged conscript, a group of young men who had not registered and sought amnesty, and even draft dodgers who had left the country. And politicians across the spectrum often responded to constituencies who were sympathetic to both draft dodgers and conscripts under indictment in military tribunals. Many felt that brutal punishments reflected poorly on Argentina’s coveted status as a bastion of European civilization in the Americas and would scare young men into evading service.
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