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The Plan To Press Young Americans For War


By James Donahue


It was called the “press” when English soldiers used to seize young men on the streets or in the local pubs and force them into mandatory military service.


When it happened, these people virtually disappeared from friends and family, sometimes for years. Often they were killed in action on land or at sea and were never seen again.


The United States has used similar measures to build armies during times of war. But we call it the draft. The draft became extremely unpopular during the controversial Vietnam War and was discontinued. But the machinery for reinstating it has remained in place.


Every young man in the country is still required to register with the local draft board once he reaches the age of 18. That information goes into a data base where it remains on file with the government.


The moves by the Bush Administration toward global imperialism have stretched our military to its limits and many people in high places now fear that the draft will soon be reinstated.


Consideration by our government to expand our military encroachment from Iraq into neighboring Iran and threats of war from China and North Korea may soon force us into it. That thousands of young men and women, left without jobs from outsourcing and a weak national business climate, are volunteering for military service may not be enough.


The draft is not popular, and President Bush is promising during his heated campaign for re-election to a second term that he has no plans to reinstate it. But Congress certainly has.


The Universal National Service Act has been written and gathering dust in Congressional files for over a year. Both the House and Senate have drafted similar bills.


Senate Bill S89, sponsored by South Dakota Democrat Ernest Hollings, reads: “To provide for the common defense by requiring that ALL young persons in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes.”


Both bills make it mandatory for women to serve in the military with the men. And the age window for induction is from 18 to 26.


Mr. Bush can promise anything during his campaign for his last term. But don’t forget that once he gets the term, he becomes a lame duck president. Under the law he can never expect to serve a third term so there will be no restrictions as to what he might be willing to do on behalf of the big business interests who put him where he is.

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