Sep 282004
 
Authors: James Baetke

During this election year, mass e-mails and exaggerated

information are blowing around rumors of the reinstatement of

military draft is near reality and is giving people shivers.

Although many people may be unaware of it, two twin bills were

introduced to the Senate and the House of Representatives in

January 2003. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-New York) in January 2003 was

first to present a bill designed to reinstate the draft and U.S.

Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-South Carolina) followed Rangel’s lead.

Under the bills, a national service obligation for every U.S.

citizen would be required for males and females between the ages of

18 and 26 to enter selected military service authorized by the

president who will determine the number of people and by what means

they will be selected.

The bills have remained under committees.

“I will tell you right now, (the bill) will never see the light

of day. It’s never going to happen,” said Carrie Sloan, the press

secretary for the House Armed Service Committee.

Sloan said Rangel is a strong proponent behind this bill and has

introduced it many times over the years where it does not get much

attention.

If no action is taken by the end of this year, the bill will be

dissolved and no threat of a military draft will exist in 2005

unless it is reintroduced, where the process of legislature will

recycle.

Ilene Zeldin, Hollings’ press secretary, spoke on behalf of him

by saying Hollings truly stands behind the idea that a military

draft is needed.

“The facts are, (the bill) has been sitting there since January

of 2003 without a hearing or a vote. The only person supporting the

bill is Sen. Hollings,” Zeldin said.

Zeldin said Hollings introduced the bill for two reasons: to

preserve the character of Americans and to eliminate the high

amount of minorities in the military fighting our battles.

E-mails and Web logs have traced their ways into the Internet

claiming that if President George W. Bush is re-elected he will

reinstate the draft and other exaggerations have been displayed via

the Net as well.

Sloan said there is too much “misinformation” out in the public

and it is important to realize that reinstating the draft is “never

going to happen.”

Bush has publicly announced he will not reinstate the draft and

has no intentions to do so. Additionally, Defense Sec. Donald

Rumsfeld has also publicly squelched rumors a draft will occur.

“I’m not supposed to get in politics, but it is absolutely false

that this administration is considering reinstating the draft,”

Rumsfeld told a Senate hearing.

Robert Lawrence, a political science professor at CSU, said it

is important to remember that it does not matter which president is

elected into office in November, but to the world events that are

to follow in the future that may require more troops.

On whether a draft will be implemented Lawrence said: “I think

it all depends; if we engage in regime change in another country,

need troops in North Korea in case of a nuclear situation or if

things change in Iraq requiring more troops.”

Lawrence also was somewhat surprised about the inclusion of

women under the proposed military draft bills.

“That is a remarkable departure, to draft women. I think

drafting women in pretty unlikely,” Lawrence said. “It’s a very

volatile and fluid world.”

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