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In the first part of the 20th century the pattern was set for the directors of U.S. corporations to determine our nation's foreign policy. For important history, be sure to read The United States and World War I. "Conscription" would constitute the enslavement of young persons by a plutocracy, the international mercantile intests of which now determine our nation's policies. Some things may be worth dying for; clearly, others are not.
On March 31, the Selective Service System will report to President Bush that it is ready to implement a draft within 75 days. We have to organize now to stop the draft before it starts.
Despite what politicians say, there is a high probability that the Bush Administration will attempt to reinstate the draft.
The U.S. military is in a quagmire in Iraq, facing a national popular uprising against the occupation. Soldiers are dying every day. A report issued in January 2004 by Jeffrey Record, a visiting professor at the Air War College, said the Army is "near the breaking point." The Pentagon has been forced to issue repeated "stop loss" orders and recall soldiers who had retired or otherwise returned to civilian life.
Out of 10 Army Divisions, part or all of 9 of them are either deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Twenty-one out of 33 regular combat brigades are on active duty in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Korea, or the Balkans. That's 63% of the Army's combat strength. This means the Army is extremely overextended. The Bush Administration has been trying to fill the gap with Reserve and National Guard troops, but this is a temporary fix at best. The head of the Army Reserves has recently written a memo saying that the readiness of his forces has been drastically reduced through over-deployment and is "degenerating into a broken force."
Meanwhile, official U.S. foreign policy is now the doctrine of "pre-emptive war" and "regime change" wherever a leader runs afoul of U.S. corporate interests. An invasion of Iran, Syria, Korea, or Cuba -- all of whom are on Washington and Wall Street's list of targets -- would require tens or hundreds of thousands of new soldiers.
Enlistment rates not even able to maintain current force levels, much less provide troops for new invasions and occupations. All four services missed their enlistment quotas last year, and enlistments in the Reserves, National Guard, and regular military are at a 30-year low. Many current members of the armed forces plan to get out as soon as their current enlistment ends. According to a poll conducted by the military newspaper Stars & Stripes, 49% of soldiers stationed in Iraq do not plan to re-enlist.
The President has given the Selective Service System a set of readiness goals to be implemented by March 31, 2005. As part of these performance goals, the System must be ready to be fully operational within 75 days. This means we can look for the Draft to be in operation as early as June 15, 2005.
March 19 is the second anniversary of the war. On the weekend of March 19-20, activists all over the globe will take to the streets to demand and end to the war and occupation. No Draft No Way will be mobilizing to take part in these demonstrations, which will take place just a few days before the Selective Service System reports to President Bush that it is ready to go. We must be in the streets to let them know that we oppose the draft and will not be used as cannon fodder in Iraq or in any new war.
Let's Organize NOW to Stop the Draft:
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