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Commentary :: Environment
Let's Talk About the Draft: Update
05 Jul 2004
Keep on poking, prodding, and pinching the sleeping dogs, because it works. Every Indymedia article, Internet site, forwarded email and question has an effect.
The tides have turned in the past two weeks. Concern about reinstating the military draft is finding its way into the spotlight after percolating beneath the surface for months while most mainstream media and the press allowed the politicians to deflect and avoid pivotal points and thus maintain control over the 2004 Election Issues. Coverage is escalating, though. What was once heard as a whisper is now a clatter and could soon become a lion’s roar.

In his July 1, 2004 article, “Abuzz About the Draft”, International Herald Tribune writer, Brian Knowlton notes…“ …… Internet sites and mass e-mailings have seized on the known facts and then elaborated, at times, with half-facts and speculation.”

However, Mr. Knowlton goes on to report a half-fact of his own, “…Bush and Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, his presumptive Democratic opponent, have given support to enlarging the military - in fact, the Senate voted overwhelmingly this month to expand the army by 20,000…..”

Actually, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005, (nicknamed the Ronald Reagan National Defense Authorization Act), was passed on June 23, 2004, and states:

“There is hereby authorized to be appropriated to the Department of Defense for military personnel for fiscal year 2005 a total of $104,535,458,000.”

"The Armed Forces are authorized strengths for active duty personnel as of September 30, 2005, as follows:

(1) The Army, 482,400.
(2) The Navy, 365,900.
(3) The Marine Corps, 175,000.
(4) The Air Force, 359,700.

SEC. 402. Gives additional authority for increases of Army active duty personnel end strengths for FISCAL YEARS 2005 THROUGH 2009:

(a) AUTHORITY- During fiscal years 2005 through 2009, the Secretary of Defense is authorized to increase by up to 30,000 the end strength authorized for the Army for such fiscal year under section 115(a)(1)(A) of title 10, United States Code, as necessary to support the operational mission of the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan and to achieve transformational reorganization objectives of the Army, including objectives for increased numbers of combat brigades, unit manning, force stabilization and shaping, and rebalancing of the active and reserve component forces of the Army."

In addition, the same document calls for increased strengths for Field Grade and Company Grade Officers in the Marines of 39% for Captains and 35% for 1st and 2nd Grade Lieutenants.

It also authorizes $6.67 billion for weapons activities of the National Nuclear Security Administration, $27.6 million for the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator feasibility study, $9 million for Advanced Concepts, including research on low-yield nuclear weapons, and $30 million for the Enhanced Test Readiness program, which reduces the amount of preparation time to 18 months for conducting a live nuclear weapons test.

If you are interested in reading the document in its entirety please visit:

http://congress.org/congressorg/webreturn/?url=http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c108:S.2400:


IF IT WALKS LIKE A DUCK AND IT TALKS LIKE A DUCK

Meanwhile, the Selective Service System (SSS) is still denying allegations made back in the spring that a Selective Skills Draft is being considered, which would up the conscription age to 34. Yet, there is already a little known Medical Draft that has been on the books and in place since 1987, which allows for the conscription of medical professionals (male and female) up to the age of 44. Automatic Selective Service Registration is now tied to the issuing of Driver’s Licenses in 32 states for all males, citizen or resident, and “The Selective Service System’s Annual Performance Plan for Fiscal Year 2004” clearly states plans to place volunteer registrars in 85 % of the Nation’s High Schools and to report to the president by March 31st, 2005 that the system is ready to roll full steam within 75 days, which would clear the decks for a first lottery by June 15th, 2005.

Many people have pooh-poohed the “Universal National Service Act of 2003” because it has only 13 co-sponsors to date. Some readers have claimed that it would be political suicide to reinstate the draft. Yet the facts speak for themselves. The machinery is in place. The Administration is planning for the worst and is prepared to act quickly once the call is made.

A more important point is this: Political Analysts have stated it would be political suicide for the candidates to allow the draft to become an Election Issue.

Take a gander at the ongoing list of “facts come forward” in recent mainstream news:

Unilatarilism and Preemptive Strikes Don’t Work

The Bush Administration insists on staying the course

Kerry plans to add 40,000 active-duty Army troops, a TEMPORARY (his words) increase likely to last the remainder of the decade.

Terrorism is up in Iraq

U.S. Department of State released faulty info in their initial report on terrorism

Pentagon memos in 2002 paved the way for prison abuse

Supreme Court Justices say, "A state of war is not a blank check for the President when it comes to the rights of the Nation's Citizens” ie; the Patriot Act is Unconstitutional

Recruitment and morale is down

Army plans involuntary call-up of thousands through the Individual Ready Reserve

In addition to the “Stop-Loss” backdoor draft which is already in place

A CNN-USA TODAY-Gallup Poll indicates that no less than 80
percent of Americans are against a return to the draft. Furthermore,
only 17 percent say they support a draft.

The people over at PBS’s program “NOW with Bill Moyers” have recently outed Republican wordsmith and strategist Dr. Frank Luntz as a master of manipulation by making public his memo, “Communicating the Principles of Prevention & Protection in the War on Terror”.

Take a look for yourselves. It’s a rather chilling read:

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/atrios/Luntz.pdf

The strategy is obvious. Keep the American public in an enormously emotional reactive state of mind; keep the trauma and the fear ever present, keep voters from thinking objectively. Never mind the fact that there were no WMD’s found in Iraq, or a link to 9/11…

In the NOW interview, which was broadcast on PBS Friday July 2, 2004, Dr Luntz responds to David Brancaccio’s queries regarding such contradictions with the comment, “…he’s a bad man…...besides, it’s better to fight the War on Terrorism over there than on U.S. Soil.”

Ouch. Since when did it become the “right” thing to do, the Patriotic thing to do- to dump our problems in someone else’s back yard-in the name of establishing Democracy and performing the service of Reconstruction? (By the way, Reconstruction is Big Money for Big and Small Business in the U.S.) To do so in foreign countries with people who have already suffered abuse and atrocities that far exceed any we have ever endured is not only arrogant it is obscene.

And as we sacrifice more and more of our privacies and privileges in the name of "National Security", a serious dilemma presents itself. If we are to claim ourselves the greatest military power in the world, do we not run the risk of becoming citizens to a "military state"?

Where, may I ask, is the Democracy in that? Will we, in the process of forcing Democracy onto other nations and peoples, sacrifice it for ourselves?

Can the public afford NOT to ask questions? We cannot expect to simply sit back on our hands and let Democracy happen to us. Democracy only works if it is “by the people for the people”. It is the voting public that decides the Election Issues, not the Politicians. We must demand an open dialogue, clarity, and accountability…before we cast our votes.

Dr. Luntz also commented that the country was split 50/50, that there are only 2 million swing votes to be had. I beg to differ. If the draft becomes an Election Issue, there are 100,731,931 female citizens in the U.S. over the age of 18, and 28,899,571 males and females between the ages of 18-26. That’s a healthy peace of the pie, no matter how you slice it.

Keep the mass emails, Internet sites and Indymedia articles rolling folks…it’s working…

By the way, here are a couple of helpful sites from readers:

Online petition to end selective service provided by the Libertarian Party:
www.endselectiveservice.org

Online tool for writing letters to editors:
http://action.truemajority.org/l2e/index.asp

For additional research, info, resources, and articles, please visit the discussion board at www.geocities.com/madaboutthedraft

Happy Independence America
the guppy
a.k.a. the M.A.D. Hatter
depending on my mood
See also:
http://www.geocities.com/madaboutthedraft

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Comments

12 years of hell in the military!
06 Jul 2004
Wait till they draft your baby boy or girl...All those SUV's and soccer games you attended isn't going to mean much. When your baby comes home in a box!
The draft will happen. Wait till next March. When the bills come up in Congress.
The politicians are lying to all of us. Two bills are waiting to be voted on. Then? All hell will break loose! No college kid will duck this draft.
And the war on terror? Is going to be the military!