Some politicians with souls and consciences don’t sleep very well; they toss and turn, flop on one side, then onto the other; they punch up their pillows, and then BAM, BAMBAM!, their fists frenziedly pound the pillow to make a well in it. They lay waiting for sleep to roll over them and their minds to flutter into a deep slumber.
Jon R. Anderson of Stars and Stripes (March 19, 2005) offers that Gen. Richard A. Cody --Army Vice Chief of Staff–isn’t sleeping so well because of his worry about the shortage of U.S. troops needed to fight in the overseas battles of other countries. He states in this article:
I think it ought to keep all of you awake….This is the first time we’ve taken the all-volunteer force into an extended fight. It’s not a Kosovo, it’s not a Bosnia, it’s not a [Multinational] Force…in the Sinai. It is a war. On any given day, we have 156,000 soldiers for 12 months in a combat zone, as well as…all those other commitments….I worry about the soldiers with their second and third tour by ’07 since 9/11.
Too, Cody’s concern stretches to recognizing that the mandatory draft may be implemented for boys and girls ages 18 to 26—a real worry for every parent who has a son or daughter in that age range. Others claim that the upper limit of draft eligibility may rise to age 39, particularly for Reserves. Their fears are real. This is not a peacetime volunteer enlistment, but rather a forceful mandate that likely could lead to the maiming or death of young people who were raised with love and guidance by devoted parents in hopes of making them better citizens; they are not just bodies for unwanted wars.
New York Rep. Charles Rangel has stridently and adamantly called for a coerced military composed of our youth who have had other plans for their lives but now will have to go to war, risk being blown to shreds or losing limbs, by a command from the government, with Rangel leading the war cheer. It is he who introduced a bill last year legislating the involuntary military. Equally horrific to drafting our children is ordering enlistees to stay beyond their tour, or denying them time off.
Implementing a mandatory draft will affect not only our profile as a powerful country but it also will destroy our confidence as Americans. When we have to send in our “babies” to fight a war created by adults, there definitely is something wrong with the good ol U.S. of A. And remember that the U. stands for “united”—something we are not at all unified in. Our freedoms and liberties seem to be by the control of a few instead of by the vote of a majority. The last wish of Americans is to allow the U.S. government to conscribe their children to wars fought for other nations. Surveys indicate that the majority of our nation’s citizens don’t want an involuntary service, but that may not matter to government officials who too frequently make decisions for all of us without our input.
What must be stressed is that our children are our future, our homeland’s leaders, and our hope for a better world and a happier life. Bombing them, shooting them, decapitating them, disfiguring them destroys parents and demoralizes our nation’s humanity. The consequences of a forced enlistment are too high and too severe to allow our lawmakers to make this decision for us. It’s time to act! And act now! All of us must get involved!
Mothers Against the Draft (MAD) has stepped forward to inform every American about the likelihood of the draft, and to get everyone involved in stopping this unwelcome, hushed plan. As this organization states, “The best time to stop the draft is BEFORE it starts.” Go to www.mothersagainstthedraft.org and volunteer your time and talents to fight this unconstitutional act: Article XIII of the United States Constitution states:
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude…
shall exist within the United States or
anyplace subject to their jurisdiction.
MAD’s website offers a plethora of articles, commentaries, policy papers, documents, publications, and pending legislation that they have pored over to give better understanding to the seriousness and menace of this plot. They offer the meaning of all the reports to you in easy-to-understand words. They also provide a “research room” in their online website. “Mothers Against the Draft was started by a group of concerned mothers and grandmothers from the left, the right, and everywhere in between, all united in opposition to reinstituting a military draft or any other form of compulsory national service.” Read the information, offer to help, and donate to keep the cause going.
MAD’s goal is to make sure that our elected representatives in Congress understand that if they move to violate the God-given rights of our children and grandchildren through mandatory national service programs or an outright military draft, they will give new meaning to the old saying, "When momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!"
Call your congress-people and demand to know where they stand on this matter and how they’ll vote when the mandatory draft issue comes to the table. Insist that you want your voice heard. Emphatically tell them that as elected officials they are obligated to inform you of their stand. Tell them you have a right to know and that it’s their duty to tell you. Sign online petitions. Let your voice ring loud and clear.
Our military is gravely extended and our country’s debt is shamefully exhausted from disbursement of funds to infuse other countries’ economies and infrastructures; and yet our administration seems to put us—its citizens who love this country and want her to survive--in peril by compelling our young people to “bring democracy” to other nations, most of which do not want America’s help to begin with. It’s time to bring our troops home.
Eternally grateful we will be to those who fought for the liberties of others, but they need to be home with us, protecting our motherland, enjoying their families, and keeping the peace among their own countrymen.
How over-extended are we? In 2004, alone, the government allocated over $28 million for recruitment purposes, and the “Pentagon has quickly begun a public campaign to fill all 10,350 draft board positions, and 11,070 appeals board slots nationwide.” MAD warns us that “In spite of huge signing bonuses and other enlistment incentives, there simply aren't enough new recruits and re-enlistments to keep pace with current military demands. As a result, the Pentagon has taken extreme measures to stop the hemorrhage including issuing "stop-loss" orders, lengthening tours of duty, increasing the number of rotations, and unlawfully placing women into combat positions.” This is unconstitutional and unfair.
“We’re close to the “breaking point”—a phrase used by military officials to connote the idea that a compulsory enlistment is the only answer, but to better delineate it, consider this as it appears in “No Draft, No Way” :
At this point, the U.S. military is in a quagmire in Iraq, facing a national popular uprising against the occupation. Although the U.S. has 138,000 soldiers, supplemented by as many as 20,000 mercenaries, in Iraq, this force is not sufficient to defeat the uprising. According to the Associated Press, military officials have recently admitted that the resistance numbers [may be] as high as 20,000 and has enough popular support among the Iraqi people that they cannot be militarily defeated. Nevertheless, President Bush is committed to trying to maintain 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.
Drafting our leaders of tomorrow for future disappointment and failure not only does not empower other nations but nor does it invigorate our own America. If anything, it crushes our nation’s spine and builds resentment towards our country’s decision-makers. And it does little for the nations we’re fighting for, as they experience destruction of their cities along with both military and civilian deaths. Wikipedia offers 2003 war statistics that, though a bit dated, are astounding and troublesome.
Given these facts, offers MAD, the threat of a new draft is far more real than most would like to admit. Either Congress must immediately re-evaluate our foreign policy and reduce our overseas military commitments, thereby decreasing the number of troops that are needed, or conscript our sons and daughters. There simply aren't any other choices. And yet, says MAD, “There is no sign from Congress that they intend to reduce our military entanglements and the President's inaugural address brings little hope for a less aggressive or expansive foreign policy.”
With thousands of the military having died in this war, and many more injured, not counting those who have made it home but must live the rest of their lives with post-traumatic stress syndrome, as well as adverse reactions to inoculations, what parent wants to risk those horrors happening to their own children? Also not added in are the thousands of civilians who have been murdered in this conflict.
Besides keeping in mind the cost of human life in this war, it’s wise to know that we have spent well over $151.1 billion dollars, and will likely hit over $200 billion in the very near future; that’s a cost of about $3,415-plus for every American household. Consider that this money, if spent here at home, would have paid for 23 million housing vouchers; health care for over 27 million uninsured Americans; salaries for nearly 3 million elementary school teachers; 678,000 new fire engines; over 20 million Head Start slots…or health coverage for 82 million children. Expenses also mount in the States as seen in rising oil prices reflected in petro increases at the gas stations and residential heating bills. For all the money we are spending on the health of other nations, we are in turn debilitating and incapacitating our own kingdom. Thus, our social, educational, and health care benefits are being slashed and will continue to be chopped at as long as we are caught up in other countries’ problems. By anyone’s calculation, the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were miss-calculated. Is our administration out to democratize the entire globe…especially when we are having problems with our own democracy in a rapidly fading Republic?
But what is the bottom line? What is most important to us? If you, as a reader and parent or grandparent, aunt or uncle, don’t know, then perhaps we should send our kids to a gruesome battle. Think about it.
So, back at the ranch, S 89 and HR 163 are being bantered about and pushed on others. These are the two bills that should make us shudder. What are you going to do about it?