Dave Hodges

More About: Military

Close the Window, the Draft is Coming

Many pro-draft politicians are, no doubt, waiting for the post-election period when the lame duck President will reintroduce the military draft under the pretense of fighting terrorism!

The mere fact that our nation's youth is staring the strong possibility of a military draft in the face should not be a surprise to anybody. The United States military is tremendously overextended. Twenty-one of the US Army's 33 regular combat brigades are now on active duty in the combat zones of Iraq, Afghanistan, South Korea, and the Balkans. These troops represent 63% of the nation's fighting force. Additionally the United States has troops stationed in Saudi Arabia, Germany, Britain, Italy, Japan, the Philippines and elsewhere around the globe.

Our present troop strength cannot support our current imperialistic wars of corporate conquest. Military history clearly demonstrates that long-term military operations can only be sustained if a fighting force has twice as many soldiers in reserve as are assigned to duty in the field. By using this traditional measuring stick, the American military is now 125,000 soldiers short of its needed troop levels. The Bush administration has temporarily covered this shortfall through the involuntary call-up of more than 150,000 Reserve and National Guard troops into active service. What happens when the present troops, guardsmen and reservists do not re-enlist at the rates needed to maintain our present personnel levels? In short, there needs to be a draft in order to maintain the United States' global presence as the 911 corporate enforcer of the world.

There are 140,000 troops stationed in Iraq and just under half of them are with the guard and reserves. In order to maintain our present strength, another 22,000 have already been sent to Iraq. Since the invasion of Iraq, there have been more military casualties than in all the years since the end of the Viet Nam war combined.

The troop strength shortfalls are compounded by the fact that enlistment rates in the regular armed forces and the National Guard are far below the needed number of soldiers needed to maintain our present troop strength. According to a poll conducted by the military newspaper Stars and Stripes, an amazing 49% of soldiers stationed in Iraq say they don't intend to reenlist despite the financial incentives being offered by the military to do so.

Closing the windows, sealing the doors and hiding your children will not protect them from the impending draft. You can bet your bottom dollar that after the midterm elections of 2006, we will see a draft as our children march off to another war on behalf of the special interests.

America hasn't participated in a military draft since 1973, but States like Arizona intends to stand ready to sacrifice its children should the corporate need arise. Under a quietly passed law that took effect in 2004, men between 18 and 25 are automatically registered for selective service whenever they apply for driver's licenses. The change will make Arizona one of 34 states with similar compulsory sign-ups for draft age men. "We are going to use the driver's license for the purpose of seeing that young men are registered," said Tucsonan Victor Schwanbeck, director of the state's selective service system. This is a clear violation of the 10th amendment in which State resources are being used to enforce a federal law. Former Graham County Sheriff, Richard Mack, won a Supreme Court decision on very similar issue when he sued the Clinton administration as they were attempting to force local sheriffs to enforce the various provisions of the Brady Bill. I find it amazing that nobody has seen fit to challenge this unconstitutional misuse of our State's fiscal resources.

No matter how profusely politicians praise the courage of "our sacrificed, conscripted troops," the undeniable fact remains that after your child's funeral is completed with the military salute, your child will quickly become nothing but a military statistic. For "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away....." And your drafted child will fade away far quicker than did Douglas McArthur and his famous saying.

The children of pro-war advocates, senators and congressman will be safely tucked away at home, calling their parents, visiting for Thanksgiving dinner, getting married, and pursing careers while the parents of the poor slobs of this country will be attending a 21 gun salute accompanied by a graveside military salute and will be subsequently presented with a three-cornered American flag and an impersonal computer-generated sympathy card from President Bush; All in exchange for the life of your child. And at the end of the day, who will our children be sacrificed for? The United States of Exxon Mobil? The Republic of Eli Lilly? Will our surviving children combatants come home to us with the modern day version of Agent Orange effects and the new strains of Gulf War Illness only to be told that they are merely suffering from stress?

Ironically, the Selective Service System doesn't call its impending, involuntary servitude an actual "draft." In their very clever library of acronyms, they refer to the draft as a "Registrant Integrated Processing System": or RIPS for short. RIP is also acronym for "Rest in Peace" which is what many of our children will be dong if we do not stand up to this impending tyranny. But do not protest to loudly, lest you be declared to be an enemy combatant as defined under the new Detainee Bill. If you do not continue to adhere to the Detainee's Bill statutory mandate which requires you to demonstrate allegiance to the government, your child could prematurely be attending your funeral, if they can locate your habeas corpus!

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