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News ::
get active or get drafted
18 Mar 2004
stop militarism now or the steps now being taken to reactivate the SSS are liable to result in people being drafted into military service;
note US casualty rate for first Iraq war was 30%
The Selective Service System is getting ready to draft people for
military service, including young women.
Whether it happens depends on whether there is enough public pressure,
now, through the campaign, in the election, and afterward on whoever
gets control of the white house and congress. People of any age,
from little children to grandparents, can write letters to government
and media, join protests, tell their friends to do likewise, etc.
The Spanish people threw out their pro-war government, but the new
government's plan to withdraw their soldiers from Iraq increases the
shortage of US soldiers.

The number of US casualties from Iraq was between 11,000 and 22,000
for the year of 2003 and is higher now.
[ ]
The true toll may be significantly higher as there are reports commanders
have refused to evacuate sick soldiers, so they don't get counted.
The ultimate toll could be dramatically higher, given what has happened
with vets of the first Gulf War.

The number of US casualties from the first Gulf War is over 270,000,
a rate of about 30% of those who served
[ , ].
While the absolute numbers are of course smaller than WW I or WW II,
this is a higher casualty percentage than any US war since the Civil War,
and as the numbers are still rising, it could end up being the highest of all.
That's not the impression we got from mainstream media coverage, is it?

The US just carried out a coup in Haiti that overthrew elected president
Aristide, and has sent in US military forces to prevent the Haitian public
from fighting back.
[ , Democracy Now ]
(Note: Bush was not elected by the American people, so Aristide has more
legitimacy than Bush does.) The US has threatened Iran, Syria, Venezuela,
and who knows how many other countries.

To keep this warmongering going, more cannon fodder (ie young people)
will be required.
The "war on terrorism" is a war without end, so younger children will
be affected when they come of age, if we allow this to continue.

At the same time election-year-conscious officials are publicly proclaiming
there are no plans to impose a draft, they are quietly taking steps to do
just that - after the election. Another possibility is to start with a draft
of just those with technical skills needed by the military. Medical expertise
will be of special interest given the rate of casualties, and a system to draft
health care personnel up to age 44 is already in place. The Selective Service
System is currently preparing to expand this to include those with computer
and foreign language skills.
[ SF Chronicle 2004/03/13 ]

Some say a draft may be a good thing, because it will make people realize
we can't just keep our heads in the sand while letting poor people be
sucked into doing the dirty work, but must get active to put a stop to the
aggressive militarism which not only threatens our young people but also
threatens world peace and ultimately threatens our security by turning more
and more of the rest of the world against us.

What you can do:

Connect with others working on these issues:

National Youth and Student Peace Coalition
Student Peace Action Network
Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft

Join the big antiwar protest on Saturday March 20.

Events are happening in San Francisco & around the world:
info (at), SF: 510-444-6466 415-821-6545
LA: 213-487-2368 answer-la (at)

For info on prominent people in the media, government, etc who advocate
war to which others will be sent but declined to serve themselves, see:

Write Congress and the media demanding that all these chickenhawks and their
children be drafted first, before there is a draft on the general public.

Get friendly people to join the Selective Service boards that decide
who gets exempted.

Feel free to spread the word by forwarding this. 13 Feb 2004
US Preparing for Military Draft in Spring 2005
by Adam Stutz
Vancouver IndyMedia - Wednesday January 28, 2004

If voters who currently support U.S. aggression abroad were confronted
with the possibility that their own children or grandchildren might
not have a say about whether to fight, many of these same voters might
have a change of mind. (Not that it should make a difference, but this
plan would among other things eliminate higher education as a shelter
and would not exclude women -- and Canada is no longer an option.)

$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. SSS 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 H.R. 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
remember. 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, Gov. 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.

Become a Selective Service System Local Board Member

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Re: get active or get drafted
18 Mar 2004
I've been kind fo wary about all of these reports of reinstating the draft. Maybe it's that I have trouble believing that the government wants to have major discontent in military rankis and give millions of young people a personal reason to oppose war. Maybe it's that I'm upset that my best friend is now seriously considering a move to Canada because she's concerned for her son. But for whatever reason, I'm skeptical.

So I did a little seraching for the bills that are supposedly there to reinstate the draft, S89 and HR163. You can do the same--just go to

which provides legislative information.

Basically, the two bills in question are more than a year old intruduced January 7 2003), and they have next to no backing. The Senate Bill has no cosponsors besides its original author, Deomcratic Senator Fritz Hollings of South Carolina. And the House bill, in a 435-person body, has a whopping 14 sponsors including its author, Rep Charles Rangel of New York.

But Charlie Rangel, you say? Isn't he one of the most progrsesive members of the House? How is he in on the Bush administration's march to war? And how is it that the co-sponsors of this bill are other progressives like Eleanor Holmes Norton, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Former SNCC leader John Lewis?

Yes. Which brings us to our next point--Rangel introduced this bill before the Iraq war. He did NOT do so to bring back the draft, but to make a point about how few members of Congres in the military. He argued that if they were so gung-ho to send other people's kids off to war, they should consider requiring their own kids to join in. Hence, a draft law that doesn't have the college deferments and such that existed during Vietnam.

Now, one may agree or disagree with Rangel's using this as a way to make a point. But the fact remains that this is old news and is NOT a Bush administration plan to reinstate the draft! If there is other proof of a plan to bring back the draft, I'd like to see it.

I am not an apologist for the Bush administration. I've been organizing against the jerk since before he was president, when several of my friends got arrested at the Republican Convention in Philly in 2000. But I find that the internet is great for spreading half-truths that waste the precious time of progressives who already feel overwhelmed.

We have a lot to worry about, and two year-old dead-on-arrival bills that made a point about the draft do not measure up.
Re: get active or get drafted
18 Mar 2004

There are currently two bills in Congress that if passed would require a mandatory two years of military service for all men and women between the ages of 18 and 26.

Identical bills pending in both the House of Representatives and the Senate (H.R. 163 and S. 89), both known as the Universal Service Act of 2003, would “provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons 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."
-Source: Reenacting the Draft and a "Free" Country
Shannon Baldwin. January 20, 2004

The text of these bills is available at:

On September 23, 2003 a Defense Department website called “Defend America” issued a call for people to join local draft boards.

The notice explained that should a draft become necessary, approximately 2000 local and appeal boards will decide who receives deferments, postponements, or exemptions from military service.

This received little to no attention in the mainstream U.S. press, but the Defense Department removed the page shortly after the British and Canadian press reported the story.
You can view a copy of the page at:

Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich is predicting “there will be a draft by 2005 if we don’t stop this war machine.”
-Source: Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune. Feb. 15, 2004

The Cato Institute has compared the British occupation of Northern Ireland and the U.S. occupation of Iraq. At the height of their occupation, the British needed a ratio of 20 soldiers per each 1,000 of the population. If that were applied to Iraq the number of soldiers would exceed 400,000. That number would be difficult to achieve without a draft.

Many states already restrict drivers’ licenses or other services if people do not sign up for Selective Service and the trend has been increasing. The Annual Performance Plan for the Selective Service system advocates supporting the states’ efforts to pass such legislation.

The Annual Performance Plan for the Selective Service is the plan to have the draft ready to go in early 2005. The document, which refers to the draft as a “Manpower Delivery System”, has four strategic goals including enhancing “the system which guarantees that each conscientious objector is properly classified, placed, and monitored.”

The plan also seeks to boost the number of high schools with Selective Service registrars on their faculty to 85%.
-Read the whole plan at:
Re: get active or get drafted
02 Oct 2004
Women--Wake up! Now they're after you and your sisters and daughters! Men aren't satisfied with forcing us to be their personal servants all over the world for thousands of years. Now they want to force us and our female loved ones to be killers and cannon fodder for their endless territorial wars. Don't let it happen! Fight back!