Sunday, June 26, 2005

No Draft, No

I have finally gotten off the “picket fence” so to speak in terms of “to draft or not to draft.” I have really been torn in terms of a draft. On the one hand I have partially supported a call for the draft because I thought if anything might arouse the people of this nation in terms of opposing the BushCo perpetual war plans it would be if the draft were started once again. However, upon much reading, study and personal reflection, I am standing solidly in back of efforts to oppose not only the draft, but will be ramping up my efforts to get recruiters out of the nation’s schools as well. Besides, we do not have an all “volunteer” military as the illusion presented to us states; all the recruitment efforts behind the misnamed “volunteer” military are aimed at the same kids, the same population from which kids would be drafted if and when the draft is initiated—the poor and the working poor, whose numbers are growing daily thru the failed economics of BushCo. It is for these reasons, and reasons not mentioned here, that I fully support the work of, have signed the petition and wrote them asking what I may do to help with their efforts. I hope some, if not all of you, will join with me in joining with this organization and its efforts to oppose any draft. – Jack, 6/26/05

Reinstatement of the draft is likely soon, despite what the politicians say.

No Draft No

We must begin NOW to build a movement to stop the draft before it starts.

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 more 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, and is threatening to launch new wars against Iran, North Korea, and Syria.

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. (Stop-loss is nothing more than a back-door draft)

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. Military experts agree that in order to maintain long-term mobilizations, an army needs twice as many soldiers at home as deployed. That means the U.S. Army is more than 100,000 soldiers short. The Bush Administration has been trying to fill the gap with Reserve and National Guard troops, but this is a temporary fix at best.

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.

We must begin NOW to organize against the draft.
We need to begin now to build this movement.

Here are some ways to begin:

Become a organizer in your area.

Organize a local anti-draft group in your community.

Download the NoDraftNoWay literature and begin to get the word out in your school, union, place of worship, and workplace.

Expose the "Economic Draft" already in place by providing counter-recruiting information to young people and organizing demonstrations outside recruiting centers.

Organize local demonstrations at the site of your local Selective Service office.

Write letters to members of Congress and the local media expressing opposition to the draft.

Donate to help us get the word out.

Contact Info: 39 W. 14 St., #206, New York, NY 10011 · (212) 633-6646 · - Donate Now


Blogger Edward said...

I usually agree whole-heartedly with my good friend Jack on all issues domestic and foreign. I may catch alot of flak for my opinion here but I have to disagree with the vehemant anti-draft movement. Allow me to explain.

I hate the war in Iraq and I hate what this country is becoming. We are mired down deep in a mess that smells more and more like the insurgency we fought in Viet Nam. Our troops are fighting an enemy that they cannot identify. We have massive firepower against people who are determined to drive the occupying forces from their homeland. In the face of these disastrous conditions, our leaders give us more lies like "the insurgency is in it's final death throes" which sounds exactly like "the light at the end of the tunnel" that Westmoreland promised us in southeast Asia.

If I sound as though I am digressing, the point I'm trying to make is this: the only thing that broke the backs of the media and the politicians back then was the monumental loss that was felt by every American in that conflict over 30 years ago. Everybody I knew then knew someone who lost their life in Viet Nam. As much as I hate the idea of a draft, it seems to me that it's the only thing that will wake up the collective minds of every ignorant American who thinks "well, they knew what they were getting into when the signed the dotted line". It's a copout and a cheap way of distancing themselves from the horror that this evil mistake of a war has become.

We will never win, just like we would never have won in Viet Nam. I mourn the loss of every Soldier and Marine and I wish to Christ the whole mess would end right now, but it won't. Until the whole country shares the burden and the pain of this war, it could go on for a very long time. The politicians will never admit the terrible mistake they made in dragging us into this mess and they sure as hell won't volunteer their sons and daughters to fight "the global war on terrorism" (yeah, right...that's what they're calling it this time). But if everyone of sacrificial age has an equal chance of being called to fight, people will start seriously thinking about the losses versus the potential gains.

Let the stuffed shirts and loudmouth neocons put their loved ones in harms way and we'll see how loudly they bang the war drum then. Let me reiterate, I hate the idea of the draft coming back...but I hate the senseless, neverending war that this deserting SOB "President" has got us into even more. I totally respect the other side on this issue and I understand where they are coming from. I just want to see this war end and I don't forsee that happening soon with the current rules in effect.

Sun Jun 26, 07:20:00 PM  
Blogger Jack Dalton said...

We're after the same thing Ed. Try and remember that the American war in Vietnam went on for over 6 years after the draft and that was with an existing strong anti-draft coalition. Vietnam only saw 25% draftess there Ed; but that's a lot of people when considering during tens years 2.5 million went there. All the draftess came from the very same group of families as they would today--the poor and the working poor. The others, that today are the chreeleaders and one's that initiated this war in Iraq, their children, as they were 35 years ago, would be insulated. Even today the DoD has contracted a marketing firm to develope a data base of all the kids in schools 16 to 18. Recuriters already have free and total access to these kids at their schools. How many of the kids of these right-wing nut-jobs do you think go to federally funded schools? Those are the schools, those are the kids that are targeted, and the ones that would be the target of a draft. There are a lot of other reasons I have taken this position, Ed, but we can talk about that when next we speak. You're a good man with a good heart, Ed, and one I am proud to have as a friend, and be called friend by.

Sun Jun 26, 08:44:00 PM  

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