Affecting your children please take a look

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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: Affecting your children please take a look
By Special_Foreign (Special_Foreign) on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 11:33 am: Edit

Pending Draft Legislation Targeted for Spring 2005
The Draft will Start in June 2005
There is pending legislation in the House and Senate (twin bills: S 89 and HR 163) which will time the program's initiation so the draft can begin at 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.
$28 million has been added to the 2004 Selective Service System (SSS) 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 website: to view the sss 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 a permanent state of war on "terrorism"] proves accurate, the U.S. may have no choice but to draft.
Congress brought twin bills, S. 89 and HR 163 forward this year, 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 U.S. 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 U.S. 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.
Even those voters who currently support US actions abroad may still object to this move, knowing their own children or grandchildren will not have a say about whether to fight. Not that it should make a difference, but this plan, among other things, eliminates higher education as a
shelter and includes women in the draft.
The public has a right to air their opinions about such an important decision.
Please send this on to all the friends, parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and cousins that you know. Let your children know too -- it's their future, and they can be a powerful voice for change!
Please also contact your representatives to ask them why they aren't telling their constituents about these bills -- and contact newspapers and other media outlets to ask them why they're not covering this important story.

again the two sites for info are
to view the sss annual performance plan - fiscal year 2004. and
to view Congress twin bills, S. 89 and HR 163 forward this year, 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."

By Simba (Simba) on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 12:02 pm: Edit

Any suggestions for the actions we could take? I certainly don't want my child to fight for some imaginary reasons dreamed up by a bunch of ego maniacal empire builders (who themselves avoided military services).

By Viola (Viola) on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 12:03 pm: Edit

Dear Special Foreign,

I am grateful to you for posting this message. This is an awful revelation for me. Until I read your post I had no idea what our kids may be forced to do.

You said the twin bills are pending. So, as I understand it, it is not a "done deal." If people know they can still affect a change they are likely to take a serious interest. I will contact my local media and all my friends.

Can you think of any other web-related groups or parent groups (PTAs, etc) to which you can send your message? I'd be happy to help you.

Thank you so much.

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 12:24 pm: Edit

Specialforeign and others,
I am glad this topic is coming up again. I started a similar thread that turned into a very long discussion with lots of good links, in the Cafe:

The easiest way to reach your members of Congress is by going to and keying in your zipcode. Then it takes two seconds to send an email to your Senators and Representatives.

Very important for us to stay on this issue!

By Interesteddad (Interesteddad) on Saturday, May 29, 2004 - 01:22 pm: Edit

These bills were introduced in Jan 2003 by a Democratic Senator (Fritz Hollins) and a Democratic Congressman (Charlie Rangold), both of whom are fiercely opposed to the Iraq invasion. The Bills were introduced as cynical scare tactics, basically political posturing. They died in committee as the Bills own sponsors had no serious intent to push them through nor any prayer of obtaining the necessary majorities.

Think about the ridiculousness of Charlie Rangold championing a mandatory draft.

Come on guys. If you are going to be a political junkie, learn some of the subtleties of the game. Here's a clue. Every bill introduced in Congress either serves a partisan political purpose or the special interests of a legislator's constituency (and I'm not talking about the voters in his district, but rather the constituents writing the checks). I guarantee that a mandatory draft does not serve the interests of Charlie Rangold's constituency.

Intentionally misleading scare tactics and rhetoric are no more valid coming from the Homeschooler's lobby organization than from a demogogue like Rush Limbaugh.

Did it ever occur to anyone to look up the Selective Service's Action Plan for 2000? Or 1995? Or 1990? Or 1985? Or 1980? I believe the mandate of the Selective Service is to have a contingency plan in place at all times.

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Sunday, May 30, 2004 - 08:50 am: Edit

Whoa, Interesteddad. As I said on the other thread, all that I read at first about this bill was congruent with what you are saying -- that it was an antiwar gesture. However, it's not that simple. The restaffing of the draft boards adds a big question mark that has been noted in the press:
This site offers citations from network television:

Interesteddad, I hope you're right that these bills are dead. But given that no less a paper than the NY Times admitted this past week that its coverage of the Iraq war was shoddy and credulous, it seems to me that U.S. citizens need to keep our eyes open and make our voices heard before we go along with decisions that lead to the deaths of our young people.

By Justperfect (Justperfect) on Sunday, May 30, 2004 - 01:26 pm: Edit

thats sucks, im in college but theyll still pry take me,what can i do to get get fat,move to canada?

By Lawyergirl4989 (Lawyergirl4989) on Sunday, May 30, 2004 - 01:49 pm: Edit

I agree with Interesteddad. Those are just scare tactics, designed mainly to get Kerry elected president. Aparent, you say that you got this from "no less a paper than the New York Times, but you need to keep in mind that not only is the NY Times an extremely liberal biased paper, but it also has a history of fabricating stories.

On another note, it would be very difficult to draft women, due to emotional instability (i.e. PMS) and it would be too easy to dodge the draft. All we would have to do is get pregnant. They couldn't rely on us to serve.

By Purgeofdoors (Purgeofdoors) on Sunday, May 30, 2004 - 02:04 pm: Edit

Interesteddad is correct. Even the Pentagon does not want a draft; the military higher-ups know what a disaster such a move would be for both national morale and our military's preparedness.

The Republican majorities in the house and senate (along with the majority of democrats) are against any draft legislation, as is the President. The Pentagon's recruitment goals for 2003 were met and even surpassed.

The saddest irony is that getting up in arms about this new legislation will make its few proponents accomplish exactly what they wanted to by authoring it.

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Sunday, May 30, 2004 - 02:43 pm: Edit

How could this bill be a plot to elect Kerry? Kerry has his own national service plan posted on his website. It includes the option of community service as well as time in the military:

Agreed that Rumsfeld does not want a draft, but at the moment Rumsfeld's case for a lean, high-tech volunteer army is not looking good. The draft is not only being proposed by Democrats as a political measure:

Quite a few commentaries I have read do not believe that the bill "died in committee" but that it is being sidelined until after the national election because it is obviously so unpopular.

I am aware of the recent record of the NY Times and of its political predilection. That is why when the Times admitted to printing information from Bush insiders and affiliates without checking its facts, it was especially alarming. Meanwhile, several books and articles have pointed out that the information we have been getting publicly about Iraq is quite different from the events that actually led up to the invasion. I say this not to launch a debate about Iraq, but to point out that these are not times in which we can just shrug and accept the "facts" that appear most palatable to us.

Seems to me that it is our privilege and right as Americans to speak up about what we believe is right and wrong, rather than to just sit back, do nothing, and hope for the best -- especially when the lives of our young people are concerned. Believe if you want that there is zero danger of a draft, but if you are not in favor of one, given all the nibbles out there, there is plenty of reason to believe that now is the time to be heard.

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 07:46 am: Edit

New army orders announced today that many are calling involuntary service.

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 09:02 am: Edit

"Critics Say Policy Shows the Service is Stretched Dangerously Thin"

And a former Army captain tells the stories of some of the servicemen he knows and points out that with the need for soldiers, the new stop-loss policy is a way for the government to avoid reinstituting the draft in an election year:

By Pianoman (Pianoman) on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 10:51 am: Edit

What a bunch of garbage; there is not going to be any draft, since it was recently reported that the army is having a record number of people signing up, and that they are actually having to turn down some applicants. 4 out of 10 applicants are being turned away.

By Aparent4 (Aparent4) on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 01:15 pm: Edit

First of all, the way you begin your post is certainly not up to the usual level of discourse on CC. Second, keep in mind that although the armed forces are meeting their current targets, those targets reflect the defense department's stated goal of a lean, high-tech army. Unfortunately for them, the situation in the Middle East, and particularly the Iraqi occupation, is requiring more troops than they had previously imagined, which is why we are relying so heavily on the National Guard and reservists.
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By Britbrat8604 (Britbrat8604) on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 03:04 pm: Edit

whats so bad about a draft? I think there should be one. Many other countries have mandatory service things for both men and women. If you want to live in this country, then you should be patriotic and fight for your freedoms. I think parents are being selfish by trying to discourage it-you wouldnt even be the ones going over. Just so you know, i am almost 18 and would proudly serve in the military, if it was mandatory. It would be nice if i could finish college first, but i imagine they would let me finish when i returned. maybe you are going to say "why dont u just volunteer"....and my reason against that is because i want to go to medical school and get college over with as soon as i can, while we still have the money to pay for it. i just think kids should go to serve their country, whether they agree with what we are doing or not....if you hate the country so much- MOVE-we dont want u here

By Averagemathgeek (Averagemathgeek) on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 03:49 pm: Edit

"whats so bad about a draft?"

A draft is the coercion of individuals to support the government's actions with their lives. How is that good? Why should a person die for something he/she does not support? A draft would be a step towards an authoritarian society where individuals can no longer determine how they will live their lives.

"I think parents are being selfish by trying to discourage it-you wouldnt even be the ones going over."

How is caring for your children selfish? The parents against the draft are anything but selfish because they are trying to protect their children's freedoms.

"if you hate the country so much- MOVE-we dont want u here"

How is this relevant? A person can love his/her country and disagree with it at the same time. Are you so insecure about your political beliefs that you want to get rid of any person who dissents?

By Usunkmyb_Ship (Usunkmyb_Ship) on Thursday, June 03, 2004 - 05:20 pm: Edit

They really shouldn't. I mean the people who volunteered to go are under enough stress. Now having people who never wanted to be in there in the first place, well, I figure military crimes and rape scandals would be a bigger problem than they are now.

By Britbrat8604 (Britbrat8604) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 09:29 am: Edit

I think citizens should support the country they live in. Im not insecure, im sick of all this antipatriotic crap that is happening. People shouldnt take living in this country and taking advantage of all the things it has to offer for granted.

Why is the draft such a big deal?? again, other countries have had mandatory service laws for years. If the person is seriously against fighting, the bill says there are other things for them to do.

By Kluge (Kluge) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 12:25 pm: Edit

"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." Opposing the stupid and destructive policies of a political administration which has demonstrated a lack of concern for the American people's true interests is not being unpatriotic - even if the administration's supporters try to make the argument that it is.
I find it puzzling that some people feel that it's okay to force young people to hand over a couple of years of their lives, but are outraged at the idea that people who earn millions each year should give back even the same portion of income in taxes as they did fifteen years ago. Yet that is what the current administration's position is. Even if a draft isn't instituted, the involuntary extension of the terms of duty of reservists and enlisted soldiers is a forced sacrifice imposed on (mostly) young people. In this country, in this era, only the young and powerless are called upon to make sacrifices. And yes, I think that's wrong.

By Originaloog (Originaloog) on Friday, June 04, 2004 - 04:13 pm: Edit

I have a son entering college in the fall and even though one bill does not provide for college deferments, I wholeheartedly support the legislation!!!

Am I a warmonger? NO! Do I support the war in iraq? NO! Do I support President Bush? I absolutely do not support that Chickenhawk in Chief. I rather loath the man.

Why do I support the draft then? Most Americans were duped into accepting the Iraq war willingly because they thought that their sons and daughters would never be called on to serve in it. The draft puts our grown children at risk and makes us consider war in a more sober and thoughtful light. Did you know that only one member of Congress has a son serving in the armed forces?

I have always said that you cannot support any war that you would be unwilling to die for or have a child die for. For me the answer was Afghanistan-yes, Iraq-no.

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