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Draft would take aim at students

Let’s talk about the draft. Many news reporting agencies as well as politicians are saying that the draft will not be necessary to continue fighting the war on terror. But with talk emanating from the White House about regime change in Iran, and the still difficult fighting that is occurring in Iraq, we may be closer to a draft than most would like to think.

The reason everyone is so tight lipped about it makes sense though; who would vote for a president that wants to send our young men into a foreign country that hasn’t attacked the U.S. or shown any intention to?

The following information I am about to relay to you is fact, and it’s scary when you think about it. All of this information can be accessed by going to www.sss.gov — that’s the selective service systems Web site — or thomas.loc.gov, the congressional Web site which allows you to search for proposed bills.

Earlier this year George W. Bush increased the budget for the SSS. At the same time that the SSS is being beefed up, the Pentagon, in a supposedly unrelated move, posted a message on their home site requesting applications and volunteers to fill vacancies on local draft boards.

This is an interesting situation; the president has increased the draft budget, and is now seeking people to fill draft board vacancies.

According to the SSS Web site the government has no current plans to reinstate the draft, and the budget increase was meant to just maintain operational levels in accordance with law.

On March 31 of 2005 the SSS is required to report to the president that the system is ready to be activated. If activation occurs at this point the first call-ups to the military will take place on June 15th of 2005.

As the current conscription law stands, the following would take place upon reinstatement of the draft:

1. A lottery system would be set up; those who are turning 20 years old that year would be the first called, all the way up to the age of 26. According to the SSS, 18 and 19 year olds would most likely be exempt from draft status.

2. The selective service is then reactivated and boards begin assembling.

3. The appeals boards are then created and set up to begin reviewing appeal statuses.

4. One-hundred-and-ninty-three days after activation the first inductees are delivered to the military. If you are a college student you will not be exempt of draft status as the law stands now. College students will be permitted to finish their current semester at school but then must report to their draft boards for induction.

Currently there are twin bills sitting in Congress to reinstate the draft, S.R. 89 and H.R. 163. Both of these bills are holding in the committee of Armed Services, 90 percent of all bills die in committee, but the fact that they are still there after a year in a holding pattern is suspicious. If war is declared in Iran and the president requests the draft, it would not take long for Congress to pass the two bills.

These bills modify the current draft laws and require not only men, but also women to be registered for draft status. The budget increase, the introduction of the two bills, and the filling of draft board slots should make everyone suspicious.

When you go to the polls this November, keep these facts in mind. As the Bush administration discusses regime change in Iran, ask yourself if you truly want to be there, because by the time your current parking pass for the University expires, you may be studying abroad, in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan or any other country the president sees fit to invade.

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