For months there has been hints in the air, small traces here and there which indicated that the mandatory draft might be returning. When Bush was trouncing and shelling recalcitrant, freedom loving and wanting Iraqis into body parts sizzling on the sands of their own land with regular frequency and ease, then these hints were easily dismissed. A report from the DOD, a memo here or there, cryptic statements by Colin Powell, it was all easily denied, and people were easily convinced it was nothing.
In my zine we reported months ago that a Draft would likely be re-instituted, we got a lot of emails saying we were nuts, usually from people in the military at present, or retired. With each passing day however, Iraq becomes more and more of the quagmire that neo-cons fear, which may create a long dragged out war, which will soon sap and steal the resolve and support of the American people. Cheney and Bush have both noted that there are at least 50 countries which they would like to "intervene" in, meaning invade or dominant through other means. To do so, more troops will be needed. As more and more Americans die in Iraq however, promises of college education and other economic incentives aren't as effective. It is obvious that something will soon have to be done, to ensure that the hegemonic needs of this neo-conservative foreign policy has enough warm bodies to produce cold bodies in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and later on the Philippines, Iran, Syria and so on.
This is something we should all watch very closely, because were are talking about further increasing a society which after September 11th, seems willing to accept such invasions and dictation. We are also talking about Chamorros being drafted as they were in Vietnam, by their colonial masters, sent to fight and die for a country which doesn't respect them enough to even remedy their island's colonial status.
Subject: Mandatory Draft Legislation Please Read
Mandatory draft for boys and girls (ages 18-26) starting June 15, 2005, is something that everyone should know about. This literally effects everyone since we all have or know children that will have to go if this bill passes.
There is pending legislation in the house and senate (twin bills: S89 and HR 163) which will time the program's initiation so the draft can begin as early as spring, 2005, just after the 2004 presidential election. The administration is quietly trying to get these bills passed now, while the public's attention is on the elections, so our action on this is needed immediately. Details and links follow. This plan, among other things, eliminates higher education as a shelter and includes women in the draft. Also, crossing into Canada has already been made very difficult.
Please send this on to all the parents and teachers you know, and all the aunts and uncles, grandparents, godparents . . . And let your children know - - it's their future, and they can be a powerful voice for change!
This legislation is called HR 163 and can be found in detail at this website: http://thomas.loc.gov/ Just enter in "HR 163" and click search and will bring up the bill for you to read.
It is less than two pages long. If this bill passes, it will include all men and ALL WOMEN from ages 18 - 26 in a draft for military action. In addition, college will no longer be an option for avoiding the draft and they will be signing an agreement with Canada which will no longer permit anyone attempting to dodge the draft to stay within it's borders. This bill also includes the extension of military service for all those that are currently active.
If you go to the selective service web site and read their 2004 FYI Goals you will see that the reasoning for this is to increase the size of the military in case of terrorism.
This is a critical piece of legislation, this will effect our undergraduates, our children and our grandchildren. Please take the time to write your congressman and let them know how you feel about this legislation. www.house.gov www.senate.gov
Please also write to your representatives and ask them why they aren't telling their constituents about these bills and write to newspapers and other media outlets to ask them why they're not covering this important story.
The draft $28 million has been added to the 2004 selective service system budget to prepare for a military draft that could start as early as June 15, 2005. Selective service must report to Bush on March 31, 2005, that the system, which has lain dormant for decades, is ready for activation. Please see www.sss.gov/perfplan_fy2004.html to view the Selective Service System annual performance plan, fiscal year 2004.
The pentagon has quietly begun a public campaign to fill all 10,350 draft board positions and 11,070 appeals board slots nationwide. Though this is an unpopular election year topic, military experts and influential members of congress are suggesting that if Rumsfeld's prediction of a "long, hard slog" in Iraq and Afghanistan (and permanent state of war on terrorism) proves accurate, the US may have no choice but to draft. www.hslda.org/legislation/national/2003/s89/default.asp entitled the Universal National service Act of 2003, "to provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons (age 18-26) in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes."
These active bills currently sit in the committee on armed services. Dodging the draft will be more difficult than those from the Vietnam era. College and Canada will not be options. In December 2001, Canada and the US signed a "smart border declaration," which could be used to keep would-be draft dodgers in. Signed by Canada's minister of foreign affairs, John Manley, and US Homeland Security director, Tom Ridge, the declaration involves a 30-point plan which implements, among other things, a "pre-clearance agreement" of people entering and departing each country. Reforms aimed at making the draft more equitable along gender and class lines also eliminates higher education as a shelter. Underclassmen would only be able to postpone service until the end of their current semester. Seniors would have until the end of the academic year.
What to do:
Tell your friends
Contact your legislators and ask them to oppose these bills. Just type "congress" into the AOL search engine and input your zip code. A list of your reps will pop up with a way to email them directly. We can't just sit and pretend that by ignoring it, it will go away. We must voice our concerns and create the world we want to live in for our children and grandchildren.