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I would no more teach children military training than teach them arson, robbery and assassination.
-- Eugene Victor Debs

"War is a racket.  I spent thirty-three years as a member of the Marine Corps. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism."
-- Brigadier General Smedley Butler, 1933 www.warisaracket.net

"I realized what the world war meant.  Instead of new uniforms and brass bands, I saw. . . men without arms and legs, men who were paralyzed, and men who were blind.   To kill, to suffer, to be maimed, wasted, paralyzed, to shovel under the dead and to die 'gloriously', that is what war is about.  I'd rather rot in a federal penitentiary than put my skills as a pilot to its service"
-- Amelia Earhart, 1935

"In the face of this approaching disaster, it behooves men and women not yet overcome by war madness to raise their voice of protest, to call the attention of the people to the crime and outrage which are about to be perpetrated on them."
-- Emma Goldman, "Preparedness, The Road to Universal Slaughter," Mother Earth December 1915, http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/Goldman/

 

www.prorev.com/2008/11/obama-plans-draft.html

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2008
THE REVIEW HELPS CLOSE DOOR ON OBAMA'S DRAFT

Universal National Service Act of 2007 (Introduced in House)
HR 393 IH
110th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 393
To require all persons in the United States between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform national service, either as a member of the uniformed services or in civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, to authorize the induction of persons in the uniformed services during wartime to meet end-strength requirements of the uniformed services, to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make permanent the favorable treatment afforded combat pay under the earned income tax credit, and for other purposes.


"There is now a massive, politically based effort to scare our college students into thinking that somehow there is a secret plan by this administration to reinstate the draft,''
- Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa, July 9, 2004 San Francisco Chronicle


www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=11698

Military Draft Needed for War With Iran and Syria?
By Steve Hammons
The American Chronicle
Thursday 20 September 2006


U.S. is recruiting misfits for army
Felons, racists, gang members fill in the ranks
Nick Turse
Sunday, October 1, 2006
"We're looking for high school graduates with no more than one felony on their record," one recruiter said ...
Law enforcement officials report that the military is now "allowing more applicants with gang tattoos," the Chicago Sun-Times reports, "because they are under the gun to keep enlistment up." They also note that "gang activity maybe rising among soldiers." The paper was provided with "photos of military buildings and equipment in Iraq that were vandalized with graffiti of gangs based in Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities." ...
Earlier this year, it was reported that an expected transfer of 10,000 to 20,000 troops to Fort Bliss, Texas, caused FBI and local law enforcement to fear a turf war between "members of the FolkNation gang ... (and) a criminal group that is already well-established in the area, Barrio Azteca." The New York Sun wrote that, according to one FBI agent, "FolkNation, which was founded in Chicago and includes several branches using the name Gangster Disciples, has gained a foothold in the Army." ...

www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2006/10/01/ING42LCIGK1.DTL


www.nhgazette.com/news/chickenhawks/chickenhawk_headquarters/

The Chicken Hawk Database - top Republicans who love war, as long as they don't have to fight it themselves


Draft Dodger Rag
By Phil Ochs

I'm just a typical American boy from a typical American town
I believe in God and Senator Dodd and keeping old Castro down
And when it came my time to serve I knew better dead than red
But when I got to my old draft board, buddy, this is what I said:

CHORUS:
Sarge, I'm only eighteen, I got a ruptured spleen, and I always carry a purse
I got eyes like a bat, my feet are flat, and my asthma's getting worse
O think of my career, my sweetheart dear, and my poor old invalid aunt
Besides, I ain't no fool, I'm a goin' to school, and I'm working in a defense plant

I've got a dislocated disc and a racked up back, I'm allergic to flowers and bugs
And when the bombshell hits, I get epileptic fits, and I'm addicted to a thousand drugs
I got the weakness woes, and I can't touch my toes, I can hardly reach my knees
And if the enemy came close to me, I'd probably start to sneeze

CHORUS:

I hate Chou En Lai, and I hope he dies, but one thing you gotta see
That someone's gotta go over there, and that someone isn't me
So I wish you well, Sarge, give 'em Hell, Yeah, Kill me a thousand or so
And if you ever get a war without blood and gore, Well I'll be the first to go

CHORUS:


FTW's Newest Feature Story
February 27, 2004
THE DRAFT -- A Special Two-Part Series by Stan Goff and Michael C. Ruppert on the coming reinstitution of the draft as US military force readiness evaporates
Part I ˆ "Will the US Reopen the Draft?" - by Stan Goff
-- Retired US Army Special Forces Master Sergeant and former West Point Instructor Stan Goff probes the political documents, pending legislation and engages in a detailed analysis of US force readiness. There is only one conclusion and it will be obvious as soon as next spring. The draft is coming.
Subscribers Read Full Story Here
Part II ˆ "Nowhere to Run Nowhere to Hide" - by Michael C. Ruppert.
- FTW Editor Mike Ruppert examines the legal climate today and how it differs from the Vietnam era. The FBI is in 45 countries. Treaties have changed. A living chart of 74 countries listing official responses from foreign ministries to one question: "Will you extradite an American male for draft evasion?" This chart is constantly updated. The answers are official diplomatic responses.
Subscribers Read Full Story Here
www.fromthewilderness.com


www.blackcommentator.com/126/126_cover_draft.html

February 17 2005
Issue 126

Threat of Draft Will Tame Warlike US Populace

great article about racism, militarism and the threat of the draft


AWOL NUMBERS RISE
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/story.jsp?story=638635

INDEPENDENT, UK - The most recent Pentagon figures suggest there are 5,133 troops missing from duty. Of these 2,376 are sought by the Army, 1,410 by the Navy, 1,297 by the Marines and 50 by the Air Force. Some have been missing for decades. But campaigners say the true figure could be far higher. Staff who run a volunteer hotline to help desperate soldiers and recruits who want to get out, say the number of calls has increased by 50 per cent since 9/11. Last year alone, the GI Rights Hotline took more than 30,000 calls. At present, the hotline gets 3,000 calls a month and the volunteers say that by the time a soldier or recruit dials the help-line they have almost always made up their mind to get out by one means or another.

"People are calling us because there is a real problem," said Robert Dove, a Quaker who works in the Boston office of the American Friends Service Committee, one of several volunteer groups that have operated the hotline since 1995. "We do not profess to be lawyers or therapists but we do provide both types of support.". . .

Campaigners say recruits who decide they want to leave the military are the most vulnerable to pressure from sergeants and officers who try to force them to stay. Some are told they will go to jail, others are told they will never be able to get a job if they receive a "less than honourable discharge", they say. They also face intense peer pressure and abuse, as they try to get out and after they manage to do so. . .


www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/_/id/6862691?rnd=1108332616515&has-player=true&version=6.0.12.1040

The Return of the Draft
With the army desperate for recruits, should college students be packing their bags for Canada?
By TIM DICKINSON


www.iraqdraft.com

www.enjoythedraft.com

www.objector.org
Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors


http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/197438_pot30.html
Saturday, October 30, 2004
Potomac Watch: Administration's own actions fuel rumors of draft
By ERIC ROSENBERG
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER WASHINGTON BUREAU
WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld indignantly scoffs and scolds about the relentless rumors that the Bush administration is planning to reinstate the military draft.
"This plot is so secret that it doesn't exist," Rumsfeld wrote this week in the Deseret News of Salt Lake City. "To my knowledge, in the time I have served as secretary of defense, the idea of reinstating the draft has never been debated, endorsed, discussed, theorized, pondered or even whispered by anyone in the Bush administration."
In a radio interview earlier this month, Rumsfeld denounced the rumors as "a mischievous political effort that's being made to frighten young men and women."
This may come as a shock to the Pentagon chief, but most of the rumors have arisen from actions within the Bush administration, which has studied how to expand draft registration to include women, target some civilian work specialties for special attention by the draft and extend the required draft registration age from 25 years old to 34 years.
These draft plans were discussed at the Pentagon on Feb. 11, 2003, by the chief of the Selective Service System, the federal agency that would operate a draft, and senior Pentagon officials.
At the Pentagon meeting, the Selective Service System's then-acting director, Lewis Brodsky, and the director of public and congressional affairs, Richard Flahavan, met with Rumsfeld aides responsible for personnel issues.
Those aides included Charles Abell, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness; William Carr, deputy undersecretary of defense for military personnel policy; and a top Army personnel aide, Col. David Kopanski.
According to a copy of the meeting agenda, the Selective Service System leaders reviewed the past 30 years of draft registration planning and then made their pitch for more aggressive draft preparations.
"In line with today's needs, the Selective Service System's structure, programs and activities should be re-engineered toward maintaining a national inventory of American men and, for the first time, women, ages 18 through 34, with an added focus on identifying individuals with critical skills," the agency said in its February 2003 proposal.
The agency officials recommended formation of a government-wide task force "to examine the feasibility of this proposal" and design efforts "to market the concept" to congressional lawmakers.
The Arlington, Va.-based Selective Service System, which is independent from the Defense Department, envisioned the creation of a massive database that would require all registrants to indicate whether they have skills "critical to national security or community health and safety."
The database could then be used to fill key posts throughout the armed forces and federal, state and local government agencies in time of crisis.
Some of the skill areas where the armed forces are facing "critical shortages" include linguists and computer specialists, the agency said. As part of the expanded draft registration process, Americans would be required to regularly update the agency on their skills until they reach age 35.
The six-page proposal was initially made public after Hearst Newspapers filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
At present, the agency is authorized to register young men, ages 18 through 25, who are not required to regularly inform the government about their professional skills.
Separately, the agency also has in place a special registration system to draft health care personnel in more than 60 specialties into the military if necessary in a crisis.
Flahavan said Pentagon officials have not agreed to any aspect of the Selective Service's far-reaching proposal.
"We went over there, we briefed it. Nobody committed to anything," he said in an interview. "Those ideas are, in fact, dead. Nobody wants to talk about them. Nobody is interested in them" in the Pentagon.
Army Lt. Col. Joe Richard, a spokesman for Rumsfeld, did not respond for comment.
Rumors about the draft also have been fueled by the update of contingency plans for a draft of medical personnel in a crisis.
The New York Times reported this month that the Selective Service System had hired a public relations agency, Widmeyer Communications, to assess how to plan for such a medical draft. The agency advised that "overtures from Selective Service to the medical community will be seen as precursors to a draft" that could alarm the public, the newspaper reported.
The military draft ended in 1973 as the American commitment in Vietnam waned, beginning the era of the all-volunteer force. Mandatory registration for the draft was suspended in 1975 but was resumed in 1980 by President Carter after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan.
About 13.5 million men, ages 18 to 25, currently are registered with the Selective Service.
The issue of a renewed draft has gained attention because of concerns that U.S. military forces are stretched thin due to worldwide commitments.
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist strikes, U.S. forces have fought two wars, have established a major military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq and have undertaken peacekeeping duties in Haiti.
Potomac Watch is a weekly look at issues and personalities in Washington, D.C.


October 19, 2004 - The New York Times
THE MILITARY
U.S. Has Contingency Plans for a Draft of Medical Workers
By ROBERT PEAR

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 - The Selective Service has been updating its contingency plans for a draft of doctors, nurses and other health care workers in case of a national emergency that overwhelms the military's medical corps.
In a confidential report this summer, a contractor hired by the agency described how such a draft might work, how to secure compliance and how to mold public opinion and communicate with health care professionals, whose lives could be disrupted.
On the one hand, the report said, the Selective Service System should establish contacts in advance with medical societies, hospitals, schools of medicine and nursing, managed care organizations, rural health care providers and the editors of medical journals and trade publications.
On the other hand, it said, such contacts must be limited, low key and discreet because "overtures from Selective Service to the medical community will be seen as precursors to a draft," and that could alarm the public.
In this election year, the report said, "very few ideas or activities are viewed without some degree of cynicism."
President Bush has flatly declared that there will be no draft, but Senator John Kerry has suggested that this is a possibility if Mr. Bush is re-elected.
Richard S. Flahavan, a spokesman for the Selective Service System, said Monday: "We have been routinely updating the entire plan for a health care draft. The plan is on the shelf and will remain there unless Congress and the president decide that it's needed and direct us to carry it out."
The Selective Service does not decide whether a draft will occur. It would carry out the mechanics only if the president and Congress authorized a draft.
The chief Pentagon spokesman, Lawrence T. Di Rita, said Monday: "It is the policy of this administration to oppose a military draft for any purpose whatsoever. A return to the draft is unthinkable. There will be no draft."
Mr. Di Rita said the armed forces could offer bonus pay and other incentives to attract and retain medical specialists.
In 1987, Congress enacted a law requiring the Selective Service to develop a plan for "registration and classification" of health care professionals essential to the armed forces.
Under the plan, Mr. Flahavan said, about 3.4 million male and female health care workers ages 18 to 44 would be expected to register with the Selective Service. From this pool, he said, the agency could select tens of thousands of health care professionals practicing in 62 health care specialties.
"The Selective Service System plans on delivering about 36,000 health care specialists to the Defense Department if and when a special skills draft were activated," Mr. Flahavan said.
The contractor hired by Selective Service, Widmeyer Communications, said that local government operations would be affected by a call-up of emergency medical technicians, so it advised the Selective Service to contact groups like the United States Conference of Mayors and the National Association of Counties.
Doctors and nurses would be eligible for deferments if they could show that they were providing essential health care services to civilians in their communities.
But the contractor said: "There is no getting around the fact that a medical draft would disrupt lives. Many familial, business and community responsibilities will be impacted."
Moreover, Widmeyer said, "if medical professionals are singled out and other professionals are not called, many will find the process unfair," and health care workers will ask, "Why us?"
In a recent article in The Wisconsin Medical Journal, published by the state medical society, Col. Roger A. Lalich, a senior physician in the Army National Guard, said: "It appears that a general draft is not likely to occur. A physician draft is the most likely conscription into the military in the near future."
Since 2003, the Selective Service has said it is shifting its preparations for a draft in a national crisis toward narrow sectors of specialists, including medical personnel.
Colonel Lalich, citing Selective Service memorandums on the subject, said the Defense Department had indicated that "a conventional draft of untrained manpower is not necessary for the war on terrorism." But, he said, "the Department of Defense has stated that what most likely will be needed is a 'special skills draft,' " including care workers in particular.
That view was echoed in a newsletter circulated recently by the Selective Service System, which said the all-volunteer force had "critical shortages of individuals with special skills'' that might be needed in a crisis.
The Selective Service and Widmeyer held focus groups this summer to sample public opinion toward registration and a possible draft including medical personnel. People from a variety of professions, including doctors and nurses, were questioned.
The report summarized the findings this way:

"There was substantial resistance to the notion of a call-up of civilian professionals that would send draftees to foreign soil."
A draft of civilian professionals was seen as unworkable because "training would be inadequate to transform groups of people who had never worked together into cohesive units."
People are apprehensive about the length of service that might be required. The "occupation of Iraq has proved more costly, in terms of dollars and lives, than most Americans expected." Members of the National Guard are "serving tours of duty far longer than many ever anticipated."
People believe the government has the ability to "find whomever it needs" in a crisis, by using a "master database" if necessary.

President Bush and Mr. Kerry have said they oppose a draft. "Forget all this talk about a draft," Mr. Bush said at the second presidential debate, on Oct. 8 in St. Louis. "We're not going to have a draft so long as I'm the president."
But Mr. Kerry said, "You've got a backdoor draft right now" because "our military is overextended" as a result of policies adopted by Mr. Bush.
Bryan G. Whitman, a spokesman for the Defense Department, said: "The all-volunteer force has been working very well for 30 years. There is absolutely no reason to go back to a draft."


www.truthout.org/docs_04/092104V.shtml

    Hidden Agenda: A National Draft in the Future?
    By Howard Dean
    YubaNet.com
    Monday 20 September 2004
    A key issue for young Americans and their families to consider as they prepare to cast their votes in the upcoming presidential election is the real likelihood of a military draft being reinstated if President Bush is re-elected. President Bush should tell us now whether he supports a military draft.
    Here is the evidence that makes a draft likely:
    The U.S. Army has acknowledged that they are stretched thin and that finding new recruits is challenging. They recently placed 300 new recruiters in the field. Bonuses for new recruits to the Army have risen by 67 percent to a maximum of $10,000 and $15,000 for hard-to-fill specialties.       The extended tours of duty have made service less attractive for both the regular armed forces, and particularly for the National Guard and Reserves. To meet this year's quota for enlistees, the Army has sped up the induction of "delayed entry" recruits, meaning they are already borrowing from next year's quotas in order to meet this year's numbers.       Reservists are now being called away for longer periods. In 2003, President Bush dramatically extended the length of time for the Guard and Reserves deployment in Iraq. Extended tours of up to a year have become common.       In a further sign of a lack of adequate staffing, the armed forces are now in the process of calling up members of the Individual Ready Reserves. These are often older reservists usually waiting retirement. They are typically in their mid-to-late forties, and have not been on active duty and have not trained for some time. Traditionally, they are only supposed to be called up during a time of national emergency. In 2001, President Bush authorized their call up but never rescinded this order even after he declared "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq in May of 2003.       The Armed Forces are already chronically understaffed. In 2003, General Eric Shinseki testified before Congress that an additional 50,000 troops would be needed beyond what the Bush administration said would be necessary to stabilize Iraq after the invasion. The President ignored him. We do not have enough troops in Afghanistan to be able to stabilize the country, as shown by the continual putting off of elections well past their announced date. In an effort to free up yet more troops in the coming years, we are moving troops away from the Demilitarized Zone in Korea and reducing the number of troops on the Korean Peninsula at a time when North Korea poses more of a danger to the U.S. - not less. Because of the President's military adventurism, our Armed Forces are under enormous pressure. The only place to go for more troops is a draft.       Selective service boards have already been notified that 20-year-olds and medical personnel will be called up first.
    President Bush will be forced to decide whether we can continue the current course in Iraq, which will clearly require the reinstatement of the draft. The Pentagon has objected to a draft but, the President has ignored other Pentagon recommendations in the past.
    American families and young people are owed an explanation about the President's plans. Will the President withdraw from some of our military commitments or will he reinstate the draft? We need to know that before we vote, not afterwards.
    Howard Dean, former governor of Vermont, is the founder of Democracy for America, a grassroots organization that supports socially progressive and fiscally responsible political candidates.


from the BBC drama "To Play the King"
1994 - BBC Television Episode 4
about a right-wing Machiavellian prime minister's political adventures (highly recommended)

Prime Minister (speaking to his mistress about plans to revive the draft in England):
"You see, the great beauty of conscription is that we'll be able to use the 18 to 23 year olds to subdue their younger brothers in the inner cities ... and then we can think about exporting them - use the british fighting man to redress the balance of trade. They have no skills, they have no education they have no self discipline, they're utterly useless. Well, we're going to make them useful, Sarah. Like factory farming."


'Special skills draft' on drawing board
Computer experts, foreign language specialists lead list of military's needs
Eric Rosenberg, Hearst Newspapers
Saturday, March 13, 2004
©2004 San Francisco Chronicle | Feedback | FAQ

URL: sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/03/13/MNG905K1BC1.DTL
Washington -- The government is taking the first steps toward a targeted military draft of Americans with special skills in computers and foreign languages.
The Selective Service System has begun the process of creating the procedures and policies to conduct such a targeted draft in case military officials ask Congress to authorize it and the lawmakers agree to such a request.
Richard Flahavan, a spokesman for the Selective Service System, said planning for a possible draft of linguists and computer experts had begun last fall after Pentagon personnel officials said the military needed more people with skills in those areas.
"Talking to the manpower folks at the Department of Defense and others, what came up was that nobody foresees a need for a large conventional draft such as we had in Vietnam," Flahavan said. "But they thought that if we have any kind of a draft, it will probably be a special skills draft."
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said he would not ask Congress to authorize a draft, and officials at the Selective Service System, the independent federal agency that would organize any conscription, stress that the possibility of a so-called "special skills draft" is likely far off.
A targeted registration and draft is "is strictly in the planning stage," said Flahavan, adding that "the whole thing is driven by what appears to be the more pressing and relevant need today" -- the deficit in language and computer experts.
"We want to gear up and make sure we are capable of providing (those types of draftees) since that's the more likely need," the spokesman said, adding that it could take about two years to "to have all the kinks worked out. "
The agency already has in place a special system to register and draft health care personnel ages 20 to 44 in more than 60 specialties if necessary in a crisis. According to Flahavan, the agency will expand this system to be able to rapidly register and draft computer specialists and linguists, should the need ever arise. But he stressed that the agency had received no request from the Pentagon to do so.
The issue of a renewed draft has gained attention because of concerns that U.S. military forces are over-extended. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist strikes, U.S. forces have fought two wars, established a major military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq and are now taking on peacekeeping duties in Haiti. But Congress, which would have to authorize a draft, has so far shown no interest in renewing the draft.
Legislation to reinstitute the draft, introduced by Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., has minimal support with only 13 House lawmakers signing on as co- sponsors. A corresponding bill in the Senate introduced by Sen. Fritz Hollings, D-S.C., has no co-sponsors.
The military draft ended in 1973 as the American commitment in Vietnam waned, beginning the era of the all-volunteer force. Mandatory registration for the draft was suspended in 1975 but resumed in 1980 by President Jimmy Carter after the Soviets invaded Afghanistan. About 13.5 million men, ages 18 to 25, are registered with the Selective Service.
But the military has had particular difficulty attracting and retaining language experts, especially people knowledgeable about Arabic and various Afghan dialects.
To address this need, the Army has a new pilot program underway to recruit Arabic speakers into the service's Ready Reserves. The service has signed up about 150 people into the training program.
A Pentagon official familiar with personnel issues stressed that the armed forces were against any form of conscription but acknowledged the groundwork already underway at the Selective Service System.
"We understand that Selective Service has been reviewing existing organizational mission statements to confirm their relevance for the future," the official said. "Some form of 'special skills' registration, not draft, has been a part of its review."
©2004 San Francisco Chronicle | Feedback | FAQ
  Page A - 3


http://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/ny-vpkee223594883dec22,0,6735184.story

     Bob Keeler | Beware Attempts to Revive Military Draft
     By Bob Keeler
     Newsday
     Monday 22 December 2003
     It has been 30 years since the last time an American entered the armed forces through the not-so-tender mercies of the draft, on June 30, 1973. The next time could be just around the corner, if President George W. Bush is re-elected.
     No, no, no, a thousand times no, say the White House, the Pentagon and Congress. They insist they have no plans for a draft. In any case, take this to the bank: It will not happen before Nov. 2, 2004. Still, the rumors refuse to die, and it was the Pentagon itself that started the buzz.
     Last month, on its anti-terrorism Web site, the Pentagon posted a plea for volunteers to serve on the draft boards and appeals boards that will decide whether men (current draft law does not affect women) can get deferments or exemptions. The law created the boards as an insurance policy, in case of an emergency need for more troops.
     The Selective Service System - the civilian agency that registers men when they turn 18 for a possible future draft - had nothing to do with this announcement. But it did get a lot of applications for draft board membership as a result. (Hint: Opponents of war are also eligible to sit on these boards.) When the appeal created a flurry of stories, the Pentagon quickly took it off the Web.
     At the time, an organization vitally interested in the draft, the Center on Conscience and War, got a flood of anxious e-mails and calls. The center's executive director, J. E. McNeil, did not see the incident as evidence of movement toward the draft. But in recent weeks, she has heard of rumblings, from the Republican side of the aisle in Congress, about a draft after the election.
     In a perfect world, the Pentagon would reject a draft. It likes its soldiers willing and malleable, not angry and cynical. But the current situation is far from perfect. Despite the capture of Saddam Hussein, young Americans are likely to keep dying in Iraq. Reserve and National Guard troops have been deployed far longer than they expected. This may soon start to erode enlistment and re-enlistment rates. At the same time, Bush's reckless preventive-war strategy could commit further troops to battles in other countries.
     If Bush's policy keeps demanding more and more troops, and the supply of volunteers dwindles, it only takes a simple act of Congress to start the draft. That would be a profoundly bad idea.
     As one of 230,991 draftees in 1965, I have some interest in this. When Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Manhattan) proposed this year to create a fairer, more comprehensive draft, including women, it got me thinking about the issue again. If there were a draft, I felt, a lot of young people and their parents might have had second thoughts about cheering Bush's invasion of Iraq. Then I had a second thought of my own: Naaaah!
     "There are usually two reasons for a draft," McNeil said. "One is people who believe that having a draft will keep us out of war. The reality is that the draft has never kept us out of war." The second argument, which seems central to Rangel's thinking, is that a draft would make the military more equitable. It would pull in people from all strata of society, rather than just those who volunteer because they need a job or could not otherwise afford college.
     Some even argue, against the evidence of history, that a draft would conscript the children of members of Congress. "During Vietnam, not one single member of Congress had a child who was drafted," McNeil said. "The reality is that the middle class and the upper middle class always have more options than the lower class in the face of the draft."
     As the law now stands, once Congress activates the draft, it would be somewhat tighter and fairer than in the early Vietnam era, with fewer exemptions. Selective Service would leap into action, using a lottery to start by drafting 20-year-olds. But unless they make the draft age 55, to conscript war-loving lawmakers, "fair draft" is an oxymoron, like "smart bomb" or "friendly fire."
     As divided as this country is now, a new draft would only exacerbate the division. And it would give this war-without-end presidency an endless source of warm bodies to pursue its cowboy foreign policy. Who knows what "October surprise" invasion Bush may have in store to boost his re-election chances in 2004? Then the next step might be a "February surprise" draft in 2005.


Feeling A Draft:
New law ties PFD to draft registry
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5430.htm
SELECTIVE SERVICE: State will forward information to feds.

By SEAN COCKERHAM
Anchorage Daily News
(Published: December 27, 2003)
JUNEAU -- Alaska men between 18 and 25, stand at attention: Selective
Service registration will now be a requirement to get a Permanent Fund check.
Starting Jan. 1, state law will demand that Alaskans be listed with federal
Selective Service to get the dividend. The state plans to forward
information from the dividend applications to the federal government, which
will automatically register the eligible Alaska males who haven't already
signed up.
Under federal law, men are supposed to register with the Selective Service
within 30 days of turning 18. Failure to register is technically punishable
by up to five years in prison and a fine of as much as $250,000. But a lot
of people don't do it.
The state Legislature and the U.S. government wanted more Alaskans on the
list, which the military would use to draft troops. There hasn't been a
draft in the United States since 1973.
Members of the Alaska Libertarian Party argue that the state shouldn't be
aiding a federal effort to force Alaskans into the military.
"A lot of people aren't going to like it," predicted Alaska Libertarian
Party chair Scott Kohlhaas.
Word of the new requirement doesn't seem to have spread. Rob Hartley, a
guidance counselor at Dimond High School in Anchorage, said he hadn't heard
about it and doesn't think word has filtered down to the students either.
"No, I would seriously doubt that they know about that," Hartley said.
The Legislature passed the law two years ago. It also included
requirements, which went into effect in July, that Alaskans be registered
with the federal Selective Service in order to get a state job or a state
student loan. Then-state Rep. Lisa Murkowski, who is now a U.S. senator,
sponsored the bill.
In other states, federal officials have urged state legislators to make
Selective Service registration a requirement for getting a driver's
license. But they came up with a better idea in Alaska, said Debby
Bielanski, acting director of the regional Selective Service office in Denver.
"When they looked at Alaska, they felt the most efficient way to reach the
greatest number of people would be through tying compliance with Selective
Service to the Permanent Fund dividend," she said
Nearly every Alaskan applies for the annual dividend check. The state sent
out $1,107 checks to about 600,000 Alaskans this fall. That's about 94
percent of the population.
But when it comes to registering with the Selective Service, Alaska could
improve, according to federal officials.
In Alaska, 76 percent of 18-year-old men registered last year, according to
the Selective Service. Men are supposed to remain registered until they
turn 26 years old.
Eighty-eight percent of Alaska males had registered prior to their 26th
birthday. Some states, such as Arkansas and Delaware, report almost perfect
compliance.
Alaska might get close by tying it to the dividend, according to Selective
Service officials.
Here is how it will work: There will be a new line on this spring's
dividend applications that reads: "by submitting the application I am
consenting to register with the U.S. Selective Service system if required
by law." The state will then pass on information to the Selective Service
for automatic registration.
"It's going to be very straightforward and easy," said Sharon Barton, state
dividend chief.
The bill unanimously passed the Legislature in 2002. Murkowski, the
sponsor, said at the time that some Alaskans might not realize there is a
federal requirement.
"This is particularly timely in view of the attack on America on September
11th and the resurgence of patriotism and service to protect our freedom
and way of life in our country," Murkowski wrote in her sponsor statement
for the bill.
Kohlhaas, the Libertarian, said he talked to lawyers in hopes of blocking
Murkowski's law but hasn't found effective grounds for a legal challenge.
He said he is opposed to the idea of a draft registration in general.
"Because we are Libertarians and Libertarians believe that you own your
life. It's a life ownership issue," Kohlhaas said.
Kohlhaas is trying to go after the draft at the ballot box. He and others
collected the 6,352 signatures needed to get an anti-draft citizen's
initiative placed on the Anchorage citywide ballot for the April municipal
election.
The initative, if passed by Anchorage voters, would create a task force "to
study the effects of making residents of the Municipality of Anchorage
exempt from registration with the Selective Service System and how that may
best be accomplished, and to issue a report on its findings and conclusions."
Mayor Mark Begich would have to write Selective Service officials and
advise them that Anchorage wants its citizens exempt from registration
until the task force report is done.


October 19, 2004
The New York Times
THE MILITARY
U.S. Has Contingency Plans for a Draft of Medical Workers
By ROBERT PEAR

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18 - The Selective Service has been updating its contingency plans for a draft of doctors, nurses and other health care workers in case of a national emergency that overwhelms the military's medical corps.
In a confidential report this summer, a contractor hired by the agency described how such a draft might work, how to secure compliance and how to mold public opinion and communicate with health care professionals, whose lives could be disrupted.
On the one hand, the report said, the Selective Service System should establish contacts in advance with medical societies, hospitals, schools of medicine and nursing, managed care organizations, rural health care providers and the editors of medical journals and trade publications.
On the other hand, it said, such contacts must be limited, low key and discreet because "overtures from Selective Service to the medical community will be seen as precursors to a draft," and that could alarm the public.
In this election year, the report said, "very few ideas or activities are viewed without some degree of cynicism."
President Bush has flatly declared that there will be no draft, but Senator John Kerry has suggested that this is a possibility if Mr. Bush is re-elected.
Richard S. Flahavan, a spokesman for the Selective Service System, said Monday: "We have been routinely updating the entire plan for a health care draft. The plan is on the shelf and will remain there unless Congress and the president decide that it's needed and direct us to carry it out."
The Selective Service does not decide whether a draft will occur. It would carry out the mechanics only if the president and Congress authorized a draft.
The chief Pentagon spokesman, Lawrence T. Di Rita, said Monday: "It is the policy of this administration to oppose a military draft for any purpose whatsoever. A return to the draft is unthinkable. There will be no draft."
Mr. Di Rita said the armed forces could offer bonus pay and other incentives to attract and retain medical specialists.
In 1987, Congress enacted a law requiring the Selective Service to develop a plan for "registration and classification" of health care professionals essential to the armed forces.
Under the plan, Mr. Flahavan said, about 3.4 million male and female health care workers ages 18 to 44 would be expected to register with the Selective Service. From this pool, he said, the agency could select tens of thousands of health care professionals practicing in 62 health care specialties.
"The Selective Service System plans on delivering about 36,000 health care specialists to the Defense Department if and when a special skills draft were activated," Mr. Flahavan said.
The contractor hired by Selective Service, Widmeyer Communications, said that local government operations would be affected by a call-up of emergency medical technicians, so it advised the Selective Service to contact groups like the United States Conference of Mayors and the National Association of Counties.
Doctors and nurses would be eligible for deferments if they could show that they were providing essential health care services to civilians in their communities.
But the contractor said: "There is no getting around the fact that a medical draft would disrupt lives. Many familial, business and community responsibilities will be impacted."
Moreover, Widmeyer said, "if medical professionals are singled out and other professionals are not called, many will find the process unfair," and health care workers will ask, "Why us?"
In a recent article in The Wisconsin Medical Journal, published by the state medical society, Col. Roger A. Lalich, a senior physician in the Army National Guard, said: "It appears that a general draft is not likely to occur. A physician draft is the most likely conscription into the military in the near future."
Since 2003, the Selective Service has said it is shifting its preparations for a draft in a national crisis toward narrow sectors of specialists, including medical personnel.
Colonel Lalich, citing Selective Service memorandums on the subject, said the Defense Department had indicated that "a conventional draft of untrained manpower is not necessary for the war on terrorism." But, he said, "the Department of Defense has stated that what most likely will be needed is a 'special skills draft,' " including care workers in particular.
That view was echoed in a newsletter circulated recently by the Selective Service System, which said the all-volunteer force had "critical shortages of individuals with special skills'' that might be needed in a crisis.
The Selective Service and Widmeyer held focus groups this summer to sample public opinion toward registration and a possible draft including medical personnel. People from a variety of professions, including doctors and nurses, were questioned.
The report summarized the findings this way:
¶"There was substantial resistance to the notion of a call-up of civilian professionals that would send draftees to foreign soil."
¶A draft of civilian professionals was seen as unworkable because "training would be inadequate to transform groups of people who had never worked together into cohesive units."
¶People are apprehensive about the length of service that might be required. The "occupation of Iraq has proved more costly, in terms of dollars and lives, than most Americans expected." Members of the National Guard are "serving tours of duty far longer than many ever anticipated."
¶People believe the government has the ability to "find whomever it needs" in a crisis, by using a "master database" if necessary.
President Bush and Mr. Kerry have said they oppose a draft. "Forget all this talk about a draft," Mr. Bush said at the second presidential debate, on Oct. 8 in St. Louis. "We're not going to have a draft so long as I'm the president."
But Mr. Kerry said, "You've got a backdoor draft right now" because "our military is overextended" as a result of policies adopted by Mr. Bush.
Bryan G. Whitman, a spokesman for the Defense Department, said: "The all-volunteer force has been working very well for 30 years. There is absolutely no reason to go back to a draft."


www.brownsvilleherald.com/ts_more.php?id=62232_0_10_0_C

Government looking at military draft lists
By ALMA WALZER
The Monitor

McALLEN, November 15, 2004 — It’s taken one year, seven months and 19 days of combat in Iraq for the Lone Star State to lose 100 of its own.
Texas is the second state, after California, to lose 100 service members, according to The Associated Press.
With continuing war in Iraq and U.S. armed forces dispersed to so many other locations around the globe, Americans may be wondering if compulsory military service could begin again for the first time since the Vietnam War era.
The Selective Service System (SSS) and the U.S. Department of Education now are gearing up to compare their computer records, to make sure all men between the ages of 18 and 25 who are required to register for a military draft have done so.
The SSS and the education department will begin comparing their lists on Jan. 1, 2005, according to a memo authored by Jack Martin, acting Selective Service director.
While similar record checks have been done periodically for the past 10 years, Martin’s memo is dated Oct. 28, just a few days before the Nov. 2 presidential election, a hard-fought campaign in which the question of whether the nation might need to reinstate a military draft was raised in debates and on the stump.
It took several more days, until Nov. 4, for the document to reach the Federal Register, the official daily publication for rules and notices of federal agencies and organizations.
The memo was also produced after the U.S. House voted 402-2 on Oct. 5, against House Resolution 163, a bill that would have required all young people, including women, to serve two years of military service.
Under federal law, a military draft cannot be started without congressional support.
About 94 percent of all men are properly registered for a draft, according to Richard Flahavan, associate director of the office of public and intergovernmental affairs for SSS.
Martin’s memo is just a routine thing, Flahavan said.
“Back in 1982 a federal law was passed that basically linked federal grants, student loans and federal assistance to students with Selective Service,” Flahavan said. “You had to register with Selective Service with a Social Security number (in order to receive federal assistance), and as a consequence of the law the Department of Education came up with an agreement on how to exchange and compare data to comply with the law.
“It just so happens that the current agreement in effect expires next month,” Flahavan said. “All we did is update the agreement slightly, but it has no substantive changes. There is nothing new or shocking to link this to some type of draft right around the corner because its all been in place for almost 18 years.”
Flahavan said the written agreements between SSS and the Department of Education normally run for about four or five years and suggested that a reporter search the 1999 or 2000 records of the Federal Register for the most agreement.
A search of the Federal Register by The Monitor found four such agreements between the two agencies, with effective dates as follows: Jan. 1, 1995; July 1, 1997; Jan. 1, 2000; and July 1, 2002.
All four agreements lasted for 18 months, during which time the SSS and the Department of Education could complete their comparisons.
The most recent agreement, which began July 1, 2002, actually expired Jan. 1, 2004, according to federal records located by The Monitor.
“This has nothing to with current events,” Flahavan said. “This is just the periodic renewal of previous agreements — this one is 18 months but normally it runs four years and that’s why we’re doing it now. I’m not quite sure why it’s 18 months versus the normal number of years.”
Flahavan said the agency was required to place the agreement in the Federal Register.
“That’s fine and we did,” Flahavan said. “We believe the public wouldn’t stand for a draft that isn’t fair and equitable.
“And the only way to be fair and equitable is if everyone who should register is registered, because that’s the pool from which the people who would be drafted would be selected from. So you want everyone who should be in the pot in the pot,” Flahavan said.
U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, who officially begins representing western Hidalgo County residents in January, said Congress has voted on record against a draft.
“It was a near unanimous vote in the House,” Doggett said. “When things are filed in the Federal Register, there will be standards, and they are a reminder that if we cannot get more international participation that the risk of a draft remains out there.
“And I think we do need people to remain watchful of this possibility.”
Doggett said one type of “draft” was already being used by the military.
“I’m concerned that a very real form of the draft is there now for those already in the service,” Doggett said. “People are being forced to stay in beyond their commitment, and that’s an indication of being overextended.
“I want us to pursue policies that don’t overextend us and involve more international participation, so that Americans don’t have to do all the dying and endure all the pain for these international activities,” Doggett said.
Flahavan said the computer records check would help Selective Service with its compliance rates.
“From 1999 to 2000, it was dropping about a percent a year,” Flahavan said. “It’s now inching back up about a percent a year. Last year it was 93 percent.
“At the end of 2004 we anticipate about a 94 percent compliance rate,” Flahavan said. “We’re pleased we’ve got it back on the rise and that’s where we want to keep it — that’s our goal.”

Draft Gear Up?
Who Has To Register?
All male U.S. citizens and male aliens living in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 25
Dual nationals of the U.S. and another country, regardless of where they live
Young men who are in prison or mental institutions do not have to regsiter while they are committed, but must do so if they are released and not reached age 26
Disabled men who live at home and can move about indiependently.

Myths
Contrary to popular belief, only sons and the last son to carry a family name must register and they can be drafted.

What Happens In A Draft
Congress would likely approve a military draft in a time of crisis, in which the mission requires more troops than are in the volunteer military.
Selective Service procedures would treat married men or those with children the same as single men.
The first men to be called up will be those whose 20th birthday falls during that year, followed by those age 21, 22, 23,24 and 25.
The last men to be called are 18 and 19 years of age.

Historical Facts
The last man to be drafted was in June 1973.
Number of Drafted for WWI : 2.8 million
Number of Drafted for WWII: 10 million
Number of Drafted for the Korean War: 1.5 million
Number of Drafted for the Vietnam War: 1.8 million
Source: Selective Service System


    Few but Organized, Iraq Veterans Turn War Critics
    By Neela Banerjee
    The New York Times
    Sunday 23 January 2005

    Sean Huze enlisted in the Marine Corps right after the Sept. 11 attacks and was, in his own words, "red, white and blue all the way" when he deployed to Iraq 16 months later. Unquestioning in his support of the invasion, he grew irritated when his father, a former National Guardsman, expressed doubts about the war.
    Today, all that has changed. Haunted by the civilian casualties he witnessed, Corporal Huze has become one of a small but increasing number of Iraq veterans who have formed or joined groups to oppose the war or to criticize the way it is being fought.
    The two most visible organizations - Operation Truth, of which Corporal Huze is a member, and Iraq Veterans Against the War - were founded only last summer but are growing in membership and sophistication. The Internet has helped them spread their word and galvanize like-minded people in ways unimaginable to activist veterans of previous generations, who are also lending help.
    "There's strength in numbers," Corporal Huze said. "By ourselves, we're lone voices, a whisper in a swarm of propaganda out there. Combined, we can become a roar and have an impact on the issues that we care about."
    Those who turn to the groups are generally united in their disillusionment, though their responses to the war vary: Iraq Veterans seeks a quick withdrawal from Iraq; Operation Truth focuses on the day-to-day issues affecting troops and veterans.
    Iraq Veterans Against the War, which started in July with 8 people, now has more than 150 members, including some still serving in Iraq, said Michael Hoffman, a former lance corporal in the Marines and a co-founder of the group.
    Operation Truth, based in New York, began with 5 members and now has 300, with an e-mail list of more than 25,000 people. Its Web site is a compendium of soldiers and veterans' stories, a media digest on the war, and a rallying point on issues affecting troops.
    Iraq veterans are keenly aware of the need to argue for their interests, given the struggles of veterans of Vietnam and the Persian Gulf war. The older veterans have offered a reservoir of knowledge and compassion to help Iraq veterans avoid the mistakes they made.
    It took Vietnam Veterans of America almost 15 years to have an effect on government policy, said Steve Robinson, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center, an advocacy group for gulf war veterans. Mr. Robinson said his group did not come into its own for about eight years, despite help from Vietnam Veterans of America.
    Mr. Robinson is working closely with Operation Truth, which he said had already surpassed his operation in raising money.
    For Corporal Huze, the transformation began when he returned home in fall 2003. Unable to forget the carnage he had seen in Iraq, he began to grapple with the justification for the war, he said.
    "By sometime in December 2003, I came to the conclusion that W.M.D.'s weren't there and that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11, and now I'm left with all that I'd experienced in Iraq and nothing to balance it," Corporal Huze said, emphasizing that he was speaking as a citizen, not as a marine. "When I came to that conclusion, I felt this sense of betrayal. I was full of rage and depression."
    That rage has since fueled Corporal Huze, a native of Baton Rouge, La., who is awaiting a medical discharge for a head injury. With the consent of his commanding officers at Camp Lejeune, he speaks regularly to the media and others as a representative for Operation Truth.
    "Who I was before the war, who I was in Iraq and who I am now are three very different men," Corporal Huze said. "I don't think I can ever have the blind trust in the government like I had before. I think that my being over in Iraq as an active participant, I'm a bit more responsible than others for things there. And I think by speaking out now, it's my amends." He added, "I don't know if it will ever balance."
    Operation Truth does not address the necessity of the war. David Chasteen of suburban Washington, a former Army captain in the Third Infantry Division and a member of the group's board, said Operation Truth hoped to stake out a nonpartisan position on aspects of the war that could realistically be changed, as opposed to tackling the administration's Middle East policy.
    "Our attitude was 'Want to do something? Here's what you can do: get body armor to the guys on the ground, get interpreters to people on the ground, get people who know how to plan this stuff on the ground,' " said Mr. Chasteen, who said his experience in Iraq as an expert on unconventional weapons left him disillusioned about the war. "Maybe if we tell people what we saw, maybe some of these things can get fixed. I definitely think we added momentum to some issues."
    Operation Truth points out that when Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld took questions from soldiers in Kuwait last month about equipment shortages, the Web site's readers sent 3,400 e-mail messages in 24 hours to members of Congress asking for hearings into the issue, which are to be held in the next few months.
    Organizing those who have recently returned from Iraq is an uphill battle, older veterans and Iraq veterans agreed. The first priority for many is resuming their lives. And unlike most Vietnam veterans, many Iraq veterans have remained in the military after returning, limiting their ability to participate in groups critical of the government.
    Despite their different focuses, Operation Truth and Iraq Veterans Against the War overlap on some issues, most notably with lobbying the government to address what is expected by many veterans of Iraq and previous wars to be a high incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder among those who served in Iraq.
    Some who served in Vietnam, like Tim Origer of the Santa Fe, N.M., chapter of Veterans for Peace, have said Iraq veterans face a more intense version of the stresses they experienced: constant threats inherent to guerrilla war, inability to distinguish friend from foe, and profound despair that often accompanies taking a life, especially a civilian's.
    In March 2003, reports of suicide-bombing attacks on American soldiers had reached Sgt. Rob Sarra's Marine Corps unit in an Iraqi town called al-Shatra. A short time later, soldiers saw an older woman walking toward them with a small bundle. The marines, fearing that she might be a bomber, called to her to stop, but she kept walking.
    "I was looking at her, and I thought 'I have to stop this woman,' " Mr. Sarra said. "So I fired on her, and then the other marines fired on her."
    "When we got to her, we saw that she was pulling out a white flag," he said. "She had tea and bread in her bag. I kept thinking, 'Was she a grandmother? Was she a mother?' "
    Mr. Sarra, who has left the Marines after nine years, struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder in Iraq and at home in Chicago before seeking counseling and help from other veterans. Now he is one of the leaders of Iraq Veterans Against the War.
    "When someone is wounded or goes through P.T.S.D., it brings what they went through to the forefront," Mr. Sarra said. "I knew when I joined the Marines that if I was going to be there for 20 years, I'd face combat. But the question is, why did we go?"
    A grenade tossed into Robert Acosta's Humvee in Baghdad in July 2003 left him without his right hand and shattered his legs. Mr. Acosta, 21, spent months in hospitals surrounded by other young amputees, watching news about government commissions concluding that Iraq had no unconventional weapons.
    He began reading, watching the news and talking to people, especially Vietnam veterans like Mr. Origer in Santa Fe. Last summer, his girlfriend heard Paul Rieckhoff, the founder of Operation Truth, speak on the radio. Mr. Acosta contacted him. By the fall, Mr. Acosta had become the organization's public face, appearing in a provocative television advertisement.
    Mr. Acosta, who is attending community college in Southern California, said he hoped to bring friends from his old unit in the First Armored Division into Operation Truth as they leave the Army, because they might start to experience some of the problems he faced. For instance, he said, he once used duct tape to hold his prosthesis together because he could not get it repaired quickly at the local Veterans Affairs hospital. And people often asked about his injury.
    "People would just come up to me and say, 'How'd you lose your arm?' " Mr. Acosta said. "And I'd say, 'In the war.' And they would be like, 'What war?' "