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Will you be next?

by Robin Hansson, staff writer


With the election around the corner, rumors that the draft might be implemented again have been so strong that the U.S. House of Representatives, on Oct. 5 voted 402-2 to recent the idea.

And President Bush himself stated flatly, in his Oct. 8 debate with Democratic challenger John Kerry, that there would be no draft while he was president.

Of course he said it. And of course the congress voted against it.

Most members of the House of Representatives, like President Bush, are up for reelection Nov. 2. What happens after Nov. 2 is what makes most young U.S. citizens nervous.

Many of their parents remember what President Bush’s father said, about “No new taxes,” when George H. W. Bush was running for president more than a decade ago.

How can this administration do what they want to do with so few military personnel? Is the Bush administration speaking truth? Look at some facts.

For starters, the shortage of military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan is the single most important indication of the likelihood of the draft being implemented again. Actually, it’s so obvious that even Bush supporters have spoken in congress about it. One of them, John McCain, said: “It’s clear, at least to most observers, that we don’t have sufficient personnel.”

The U.S. has 138,000 troops in Iraq. Since 2001, it has called up 335,000 reservists for duty. It has spent more than $200 billion. More than 1,000 U.S. military personnel are dead and 7,400 wounded, all in a period of less than 1.5 years.

The pressure on the U.S. military staff in Iraq is tremendous. Reserve and National Guard units have already been called up, and extended tours of duty are required on a regular basis. Incentives have been offered to encourage military enlistments but recruiters have not met the recruitment goals in 14 of the last 20 months, through May. The U.S. are 7,800 soldiers short. Charles Rangel (D-NY) said a draft is inevitable. “Most people know [Bush is] going to need more people, but where the hell is he going to find them?” Rangel said.

The Selective Services Systems currently has 13.5 million names of men between the ages of 18-25 on their list. That is close to the population of Los Angeles. U.S. young people need to do what they have to do to stop Bush’s brawl in the mid-east by casting a vote against him in November. If they don’t, they might find themselves going to Iraq Vietnam style.



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