Online Letters for Friday, October 1, 2004

Draft scare serves as anti-bush message

This letter is in response to Sam Adams’s column, “Draft would take aim at Students.” I think many people have been misled by the threat of the draft being reinstated. If you look up H.R. 163, which can be done at http://Thomas.loc.gov you will find the bill and the line “Mr. RANGEL (for himself, Mr. MCDERMOTT, Mr. CONYERS, Mr. LEWIS of Georgia, Mr. STARK, and Mr. ABERCROMBIE) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services.”

Interestingly enough, every one of them is a democrat. In addition, none of them support the War on Terror. As long as the republicans are in control of congress, there is no need to fear the draft. It is nothing more than another weapon used to stir up anti-bush attitudes. I would like to borrow a line from Adam’s column to conclude: “When you go to the polls this November, keep these facts in mind.”

Astute Reader

Draft Column Defended

I am writing as a response to Matthew Fried’s argument that my article about the draft was nothing more than a scare tactic to elicit votes from the general public. I must say that these allegations could not be further from the truth.

It is true that the current draft legislation sitting in congress was proposed by democrats. Matthew seems to think that the Republican Party would not reinstate the draft and that it would be pointless to do so. My counter-argument to this however is that in January of 2003; H.R. 487 was introduced into congress. This bill would have disintegrated the Selective Service System allowing for funds allocated to it to be used for important programs such as social security, healthcare, etc. The bill was rejected personally by the president. A less extreme bill was proposed in June of 2004, HR 4746, this bill requested that registration for the draft be terminated; this was supported by numerous democrats. As of its latest status the bill is sitting in the Armed Services Committee.

If you have been keeping up to date with current news you may have also read that the individual ready reserve has been called up to fill positions within the military that are needed. The ready reserve consists of soldiers who either recently retired or ended their enlistment. They have served their country, some of them as long as 20 years, and now they have been re-activated. This shows that the military is seriously shorthanded and more manpower is needed. Add to this fact the recent news that the Army National Guard is reporting that they will be 5,000 recruits short of needed enlistments this year and you begin to see the picture. Recently breaking news from Colorado paints an even grimmer picture as to the state of our armed forces. Soldiers stationed at Fort Carson were threatened by their commanding officers to re-enlist for three more years or face immediate transfer and or redeployment to duty stations within Iraq. A congressional inquiry is currently being organized by legislators to look into the matter. The simple fact of the matter is that troops are needed to continue the occupation of Iraq, and we simply do not have enough to invade another nation.

I would also like to respond to the accusation that I am anti-war, which is also untrue. I supported the war in Afghanistan; I support the war on terror. If I were drafted to fight in a country that posed a real threat to America I would go. I do not however believe in fighting an imperialistic war so that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney can give no-bid contracts to their Halliburton buddies on the spilled blood of American Lives. I personally will not fight in Iraq; I will not fight in Iran, and I will not fight in any other nation where ulterior motives are present.

If the republicans truly felt that a draft would not be necessary then why did they not phase out the SSS and why are they re-staffing draft boards? The president lied to us about the WMD’s in Iraq and he has failed to capture Bin Laden, the true enemy of the nation. Why given these circumstances should I trust the government, the president, and the rest of the neo-conservative administration? Bush has no accountability if reelected, he can reinstate the draft, invade half the world, and all he has to lose is American lives. At least if Kerry were elected we’d have the chance to kick him out in four years for bad leadership. It has been said that the Bush foreign policy is strong, I say it’s reckless. You want to know why I’m against the war, the draft, and any other non-essential conflict, watch the last 30 minutes of Fahrenheit 9/11, I don’t care if you watch anything else, but when you see the pain that this war has caused on American families based on the presidents lies, maybe you’ll understand. If we’re really lucky, maybe you’ll gain an ounce of compassion.

Sam Adams

Student