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
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.