From the May 2004 Idaho Observer:

All able bodied men and women...

Rising from the ashes of the U.S. military strategery and public relations disasters that have defined Bush administration operations in the Middle East is the mantra: We need more troops.

On May 11, 2004, Ted Koppel interviewed Rep. John Murch (D-PA) who blamed the Iraqi POW scandal as being caused, in part, by an understaffed, poorly-trained and ill-supplied prison detachment. Murch and a growing contingent of military brass are grumbling that the POW scandal is symptomatic of a much larger problem -- that the entirety of Operation Iraqi Freedom is undermanned, under-trained and undersupplied.

It appears the Bush administration intends to reinstate the draft very soon. Where the previous pools of potential draftees were limited to able-bodied males aged 18-25, the new draft is more expansive.

Per the Universal National Services Act of 2003, which could be passed at moment, all able-bodied men and women ages 18-34 may be called into service for at least two years. Those who are mentally or physically unfit for combat will be drafted to perform non-combative roles.

The bill provides deeper insight into the intent of Congress with regard to the service it plans to demand of Americans. The bill's short title states, “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.”

The “for other purposes” clause appears to be rather open-ended.

U.S. military personnel are on the ground in some 140 countries worldwide; 135,000 are in Iraq and about 35,000 are serving as support personnel in the Middle Eastern theatre of operations. There is little doubt that, as anti-U.S. sentiment grows, more soldiers will be needed than are available from the all-volunteer army currently deployed.

It is expected that the draft will be reinstated by May of next year. Many believe it will come much sooner than that.

Apparently, the military is also hoping for thousands of recruits to meet global challenges ahead. A Mother Jones article titled “No Child Left Unrecruited,” exposes an amazing policy hidden in President Bush's massive education law, “No Child Left Behind.”

American taxpayers weren't told that “...buried deep within the law's 670 pages, is a provision requiring public secondary schools to provide military recruiters not only with access to facilities, but also with contact information for every student -- or face a cutoff of all federal aid.... Recruiters are up front about their plans to use school lists to aggressively pursue students through mailing, phone calls, and personal visits -- even if parents object.”

Understanding the expansive nature of the coming draft is to realize that the war planners are preparing for a time when the need for conscripted bodies will outstrip the volunteer supply.

It also becomes clearer why the government is more interested in developing video games to train little cyber soldiers than developing school curriculums to train productive members of a peaceful society: Peace is not part of the future planned for our children.

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