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View Diary: Is he crazy? Rangel to reintroduce draft bill (93 comments)

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    Please consider recommeding this diary.  Thank you.

    (And sorry to anyone I've pissed off.  Hell, there's a war on.)

    LibL TK supports freedom from the draft.

    by Tom Kertes on Fri Jan 14, 2005 at 12:11:29 PM PST

    •  Here's some mojo (none)
      We are all prodigal at times in our lives.
    •  Today's news on the draft (4.00)

      Today's News on the Draft Issue from

      Bad news for Bush today. Usually I have to look for stories related to the draft issue in the corporate media, but today there were tons of reports on moral refusers, on the possibility of the draft and on the immoral actions of the Bush adminstration.


      Rangel to Introduce Draft Bill Again Rep. Charles Rangel intends to reintroduce legislation calling for resumption of the draft during the current Congressional term, according to a memo circulated by Bill Galvin of the Center on Conscience and War. Rangel, it will be recalled, was the author of the notorious HR 163, the "universal" conscription bill that became a political football during the 2004 Presidential campaign. When charges that Bush would reinstate the draft emerged as a red-hot election issue last October, HR 163 became a liability for the Kerry campaign -- whereupon Rangel's bill was rushed to the floor and summarily voted down by a huge majority. For tactical reasons even the bill's sponsors, including Rangel, voted against it.

      Be sure to visit the following highlights:

      News on the Youth Draft & Skilled Worker Draft

      Aberdeen: Local board members needed The Selective Service System is looking for men and women to serve as members of local boards that are currently in a standby mode. A prospective member must be a United States citizen, at least 18 years old, registered with the Selective Service (if male), not employed in law enforcement, not an active or retired Armed Forces member and not convicted in any criminal offense. Once identified as qualified, candidates recommended by the governor are appointed by the Director of Selective Service, acting on behalf of the president. As board vacancies occur, they must be filled with candidates from their identified jurisdictions. Each new board member receives initial training after appointment, and continuation training each year thereafter to improve their knowledge of the laws and precedents which encompass the Military Selective Service Act and its application to civilians. Board members may serve up to 20 years. "Local board members are uncompensated volunteers who play an important community role closely connected with our nation's defense," says a news release. If a military draft becomes necessary, approximately 2,000 local and appeal boards throughout the nation would decide which young men in each community receive deferments, postponements or exemptions from military service, based on federal guidelines and community standards. Anyone interested should contact Sonny Magnuson at (605) 484-2554 or Wayne Asscherick at (605) 484-9355 or visit and click on "Board Member Application."

      Someone explain where sanity went So that's why this morning's news item about seeking draft board members set us off. It appears the Bush people are gearing up for more of the same insanity. Are we to invade another innocent country to raise Bush's ratings in the polls? Is that reason enough? Or are oil- and war-profiteering the real motivation for this gross stupidity? After all, except for such profiteering, what possible 'good' can come from yet another war against another hapless country?

      Bush says elections will bring democracy to Iraq, but that is as unrealistic as all his other now-disproved rosy scenarios. Scowcroft was joined by Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security advisor, who spelled out the minimal metrics for winning the Iraq war -- 500,000 troops, $500 billion, a military draft and a wartime tax -- and added that it would take at least 10 years. Unwillingness to pay this essential price while continuing on the current path would be a sign of "decadence."

      News on Already Enlisted & Other Moral Refusers

      Deserters flee to Canada to avoid Iraq service An estimated 5,500 men and women have deserted from the U.S. Army since the invasion of Iraq, reflecting growing problems with troop morale in the United States. Many people are fleeing to Canada, according to the Sunday Telegraph, a trend that rekindles memories of the draft dodgers who flooded north to avoid service in Vietnam. Jeremy Hinzman, a 26-year-old from South Dakota who deserted from the 82nd Airborne, is among those who have applied for refugee status in Canada. "This is a criminal war and any act of violence in an unjustified conflict is an atrocity," Hinzman said. "I signed a contract for four years, and I was totally willing to fulfill it. Just not in combat arms jobs."

      Iraq War Resister: "You Just Don't Know How Bad It Is [in Iraq]"
      Here at home more soldiers are refusing to go back to Iraq. In Savannah Georgia 40-year-old Sgt. Kevin Benderman has become one of the country's latest war resisters. When asked about the situation in Iraq, the Army mechanic told the Associated Press "you just don't know how bad it is."

      The Stickiness of the 'Band of Brothers' CBS News reported, in December 2004, that 5,500 soldiers have deserted since the US invaded Iraq. One of those soldiers, Pfc. Dan Felushko was quoted as saying: “I didn’t want, you know, ‘died deluded in Iraq’ over my gravestone.” Some of these soldiers -- like Jeremy Hinzmen -- applied for Conscientious Objector status but were denied. Hinzmen fled to Canada with his family. In October of 2004, 16 members of the 343rd Quartermaster Company defied orders to go out on what they described as a “suicide mission” for lack of armor. None of them was court marshaled and lack of armor became a bit of a thorn for Donald Rumsfeld, assisted in part by Tennessee Guard member Thomas Wilson. His direct question about armor was heard around the world. Peace activists have embraced these examples and many live in hope that others will follow in dissent.

      Brothers and Sisters in the Military: "Refuse to Fight! Refuse to Kill!"

      Reluctant soldier sent back to Iraq An Arkansas Army reserve soldier who unsuccessfully sued the US Army to prevent his return to Iraq has been redeployed to the country, an Arkansas National Guard spokeswoman said.

      News on the Poverty Draft & Backdoor Draft

      Survey Offers First Glimpse of 'War on Terror'; Combat Veterans Seeking Homeless Assistance Combat veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and the Global War on Terror who need help -- from mental health programs to housing, employment training and job placement assistance -- are beginning to trickle into the nation's community-based homeless veteran service provider organizations. Already stressed by an increasing need for assistance by post-Vietnam era veterans and strained budgets, homeless service providers are deeply concerned about the inevitable rising tide of combat veterans who will soon be requesting their support.

      Army may keep extra 30,000 in Iraq The Army is likely to make a temporary 30,000 increase in troop numbers permanent as it struggles to ease the burden on forces strained by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a senior Army general said Thursday.

      Oppose the draft? It's already here While most pollsters would agree that there is almost no discernable support for reinstating the military draft, why should the public support the military's policy of forcing exhausted those who already have fulfilled their contractual obligation to serve into an open-ended term of indentured — potentially fatal — military servitude?

      News on the Illegal Occupation of Iraq

      Jury Told Abu Ghraib Abuse Was for Laughs "It was a persistent, consistent set of orders," said Womack. "To soften up the detainees, to do things so we can interrogate them successfully in support of our mission. … We had men and women being killed."

      Soldier Serves as Scapegoat in Iraq Prison Scandal While Higher-Ups Duck Responsibility

      Group Calls for a Kenneth Starr for Abu Ghraib The latest annual report by Human Rights Watch describes the torture and sexual humiliation as Abu Ghraib one of the most insidious threats to human rights in 2004. In an interview with SPIEGEL INTERNATIONAL, the group's associate director explains why the US should has a greater responsibility and how the world is failing the people of Sudan.

      Human Rights Watch: Abu Ghraib, Darfur: Call for Prosecutions

      Human Rights Watch: Three Years of Lawlessness Detainees Still Held Indefinitely Without Basic Rights

      The needless war After two years of intensive investigation, the White House's hunt for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has officially come to naught with the shutdown of the Iraq Survey Group, which had been searching the country.

      UK: Hold the elections, then get out The biggest surprise of the White House announcement calling off the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is that there was anyone still out there looking for them. The rest of the planet has known for over a year that there are no WMD to be found in Iraq, and that hunting for them is just as eccentric - and even less interesting - as poring over arcane codes in the hope of unearthing the holy grail.

      WMD Hunt Ends; Bush's Spin Goes On And nothing has changed in terms of the White House's response to the absence of WMDs. Bush refuses to address the consequences of having misled the nation and the world. Before the war, he stated that there was "no doubt" that Iraq was loaded to the gills with WMDs.

      Iraq War May Incite Terror, CIA Study Says

      Call to Action

      Reasonable fear of the draft helps build opposition to the occupation. Spread the word that the draft is a real possibility. All Americans have the right to exercise freedom from fighting for an immoral and illegal occupation. Help spread the word:

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