MOTHERS AGAINST THE DRAFT
Like many Americans, I am horrified to watch as more and more Americans come back from Iraq (and soon from Iran?) in metal boxes. I am frightened that someone I love may be sent off to die in a senseless war. Unfortunately, the chances that will happen have increased . You see, there's a draft in the offing. There are other mothers who are as concerned as I am. A well-organized group of very serious folks has mobilized to shout very loudly- "STOP IT NOW." Their website, www.mothersagainstthedraft.org says what a lot of us are feeling.
The return to conscription that was dismissed as an "internet hoax" and downplayed in the months before the presidential election is here. It just hasn't been called a "draft". D's and R's and liberals and conservatives of every stripe see the return of the draft as a good thing.
But don't even think about dodging because, unlike the draft during the Vietnam war, going to college or Canada will not be options.
Consider that in December of 2001, Canada and the United States signed a "smart border declaration" which could be used to keep draft dodgers home. The document, signed by Homeland Security director Tom Ridge involves a mind-bogglingly comprehensive 30 point plan which includes provision for a "pre-clearance agreement" of people entering and leaving the country. (Note well that no similar agreement has been signed with Mexico, because, after all, Bush couldn't very well put any restrictions on Mexico's greatest export-aliens.) Reforms aimed at making the draft "fair" eliminates higher education as an out.
Students could only postpone service until the end of the current semester. Even those Americans who support our involvement in the war in Iraq should be outraged that their children will not have any say about going to fight.
The requirement that some National Guard troops stay past their statutory two-year limit is an indication of what is to come. It's nothing more than a back-door draft. The heart-breaking stories of Guardsmen and women being forced back into service should be proof of what lies ahead.
Lt. General James Helmly, chief of the Army Reserves wrote an "internal memo" dated December 20, 2004 that pointed to the need for more bodies (live ones). He wrote: "The purpose of this memo is to inform you (that)… under current policies the Reserve's unable to meet mission requirements associated with Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom". Helmly also complained that the Army is relying too heavily on volunteers. He added "those who volunteer are those who often enjoy lesser responsible positions in civilian life".
That says it all. This "internal memo" didn't "leak" out; it's just the first of many tidbits aimed at getting the American people used to the fact that a draft is not only "necessary" but ultimately "fair".
But wait, there's a whole lot more. What's called the Universal National Service Act of 2003 sits waiting ever so patiently to quietly become a law of the land whereby ALL young Americans-women included- upon turning 18, will be REQUIRED to serve for 2 years or 4,000 hours in military or civilian service.
The legislation that sounds benign has the 'working' or 'short' title of "Reinstate Draft Bill". It will be, after all, easier to push it through Congress if everybody thinks "Universal National Service Act" means kids who turn 18 will be asked to man a food bank a few hours a month or deliver hot meals to seniors once in awhile. "What's wrong with that?" many would ask .Well, for starters, it eviscerates the 13th Amendment that guarantees "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime… shall exist within the United States." The Founders, once again saw to it that their new country would be a place people fled to- not from- the likes of totalitarian dictators like Hitler, Stalin and Mao. Those despots had their own "Universal National Service Act" to mold the thoughts of the young and build their own labor forces.
Bush started priming the "national service" pump years ago during his State of the Union Address of 2002 when he said " I ask all Americans to dedicate 2 years of their lives...to the service of our country." Remember that? I got chills, how about you? Bush encouraged people to become volunteers to "fight evil by doing good." There's nothing wrong with volunteering- unless of course you're forced to "volunteer".
Constitution- minded Representative Ron Paul said "politicians simply love the thought of mandatory service to the state. To them American government is America. Patriotism means working for the benefit of the state. On a crude level the draft appeals to patriotic fervor….Conscription is wrongly associated with patriotism, when it really represents collectivism and involuntary servitude" Ronald Reagan said: " The most fundamental objection to draft registration is moral." In other words, conscription assumes our young people belong to the state. A state that is increasingly blood-thirsty.
Additionally, no one would be exempt. Conscientious Objectors wouldn't have an out this go-round; they would be pressed into service, as the law states "in furtherance of homeland security AND OTHER PURPOSES" (italics mine). Just what nebulous "other purposes"?
One can only imagine. Add to this the wide berth given to a president to conscript as many young people as he/she wanted!
No Child Left Un-Recruited
I've written before about the wholly sinister "No Child Left Behind" Education Act that President George W. Bush was able to sell with such ease.
Buried in the almost 700 page act is a provision for not only providing military recruiters access to high schools but also to contact info for each student.
Schools that balk face a cutoff of federal funds.
Some argue that the current global climate necessitates U.S. commitments world-wide. The present carnage in Iraq as well as virtually every "conflict" in the last few decades doesn't pass the Constitutional smell test for going to war -to defend our nation. That's becoming painfully more apparent. Neither does our overreaching presence in Haiti, Somalia or Bosnia have anything to do with American national security.
Film maker Michael Moore hit a home run when he dogged members of Congress and asked them if they'd sign their kids up for a tour of duty in Iraq. With the exception of ONE elected representative (he declined to say who) none has a child serving in active duty in Iraq. Hmmm.
During America's first war (against Great Britain) President Madison tried to introduce a draft. Daniel Webster responded with an impassioned plea against conscription in the House of Representatives on December 9, 1814. Webster said:
"…The Government is entitled to the aid of the militia of the States... "to repel invasion, suppress insurrection, or execute the laws." (This while our southern border leaks a steady stream of invaders we PAY to be here!) Webster continued:
"The question is nothing less than whether the most essential rights of personal liberty shall be surrendered, and despotism embraced in its worst form."
The United States has relied on a volunteer military for most of its history. The "shortage" of troops we're hearing about now should be looked at as a natural consequence of an out of control foreign policy, not as proof we need another draft.
The draft is slavery. It is worse than slavery. Forcing a man or woman to work your fields is bad enough, forcing them to kill and die is another.
While Iraq becomes an increasingly bloody and bottomless pit, your elected representatives are crying " More! More!" Forced conscription will make your sons and daughters chattel of a government that feels it has a right to your children's very lives to advance a global agenda.
Columnist Doug Bandow writes: "The highest form of service is rendered by those who serve voluntarily, not those who are forced, under pain of imprisonment to fill out a Selective Service card".
Contact your Congressional Representatives and Senators. Tell them you'll be watching very closely. Tell them you will be gathering like-minded constituents to visit them (and then do it!) Tell them this is a non-negotiable point. Your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews are not theirs for the taking.
Do it now!
© 2005 Mary Starrett - All Rights Reserved
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Mary Starrett was on television for 21 years as a news anchor, morning talk show host and medical reporter. For the last 5 years she hosted a radio program. Mary is a frequent guest on radio talk shows. E-Mail M123STAR@aol.com