From the June 2004 Idaho Observer:

Congress going forward with plans to militarize nation

House, Senate to pass bills mobilizing draft by spring, 2005

If there is any one clue that would indicate the fundamental irrelevance of who becomes the next president, it would be the imminent reinstatement of the draft. Both houses of Congress are quietly entertaining bills that show how our leaders are planning for our nation's people to fight their ill-conceived wars for the duration of the foreseeable future. Unless the American people decide to change the current reality, they can expect to be at war for a long time. The dirty little wars for which our sons and daughters will be dying are not to make the world safe for “democracy” -- they are to diminish world population, destroy national sovereignty and to pave the way for multinational corporations to rape and exploit what remains of the world's resources. Bush? Kerry? Would either one have the power or the desire to stop the machinery from moving toward perpetual global conflict?

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- There is pending legislation in the House and Senate (twin bills: S 89 and HR 163) which will time the program's initiation so the draft can begin at early as Spring 2005 -- just after the 2004 presidential election. The administration is quietly trying to get these bills passed now, while the public's attention is on the elections.

Another $28 million has been added to the 2004 Selective Service System (SSS) budget to prepare for a military draft that could start as early as June 15, 2005. Selective Service must report to Bush on March 31, 2005 that the system, which has lain dormant for decades, is ready for activation. Please see website: to view the sss annual performance plan for fiscal year 2004.

The Pentagon has quietly begun a public campaign to fill all 10,350 draft board positions and 11,070 appeals board slots nationwide. Though this is an unpopular election year topic, military experts and influential members of congress are suggesting that if Rumsfeld's prediction of a “long, hard slog” in Iraq and Afghanistan [and a permanent state of war on “terrorism”] proves accurate, the U.S. may have no choice but to draft.

Congress brought twin bills, S. 89 and HR 163 forward this year, [fix link] entitled the Universal National Service Act of 2003, “to provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons [age 18 -- 26] 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.” These active bills currently sit in the committee on armed services.

Dodging the draft will be more difficult than during the Vietnam era.

College and Canada will not be options. In December 2001, Canada and the U.S. signed a “smart border declaration,” which could be used to keep would-be draft dodgers in. Signed by Canada's minister of foreign affairs, John Manley, and U.S. Homeland Security director, Tom Ridge, the declaration involves a 30-point plan which implements, among other things, a “pre-clearance agreement” of people entering and departing each country. Reforms aimed at making the draft more equitable along gender and class lines also eliminates higher education as a shelter. Underclassmen would only be able to postpone service until the end of their current semester. Seniors would have until the end of the academic year.


“Supporters of the draft defend it by arguing that it is necessary to preserve freedom, democracy and the American way of life. But military conscription is the antithesis of the American way of life. It represents the ultimate form of tyranny -- a euphemism for enslavement. Ordering someone to kill another in the name of the state or face imprisonment is an act of nihilism.”

~Thomas Naylor

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