The Joke Is No Longer Funny
By Wayne Sneedon
Editorial - The Ticker
Baruch College - City Universtiy Of New York
12-12 03

Our professors have joked about it. We joke about it with our friends. But it's just a joke, a relic from the "bad old days." The draft is gone forever, isn't it? Think again.
Become acquainted with the Universal National Service Act of 2003, H.R. 163, introduced on January 7, 2003. This act, can be found on the website of the U.S. Congress at (
This act as seen on the website states: Universal National Service Act of 2003
Title: A bill 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.
It declares that it is the obligation of every U.S. citizen, and every other person residing in the United States, between the ages of 18 and 26 to perform a two-year period of national service, unless exempted, either as a member of an active or reserve component of the armed forces or in a civilian capacity that promotes national defense. Requires induction into national service by the President. Sets forth provisions governing: (1) induction deferments, postponements, and exemptions, including exemption of a conscientious objector from military service that includes combatant training; and (2) discharge following national service. Amends the Military Selective Service Act to authorize the military registration of females.
Let's take a look at the contentions in this bill for a moment. First, we notice that it becomes the "obligation" of every person in the United States between 18 and 26 to serve two years in the military. "Obligation," means no choice in the matter. In addition, the Military Selective Service Act is amended to include women. It would appear that this also extends to non-citizens and immigrants, based on the phrase, "every other person residing in the United States."
Exemptions do apply, however, like those considered "conscientious objectors." Conscientious objectors are not necessarily exempt from the draft. People who refuse to fight or fire a weapon are instead placed in non-combat stations of the military. Others who refuse to be in anything military-related for moral or ethical reasons, according the Selective Service System 2004 website (, would be placed in "Alternate Service" areas specializing in "conservation, caring for the very young or very old, education or health care" for the same 24 month (two year) period.
There is also the ominous phrase in the act that speaks of drafting for "furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes." These "other purposes" remain unclear, but are dictated by whatever the president deems appropriate. This is the same president who dodged the draft years ago. But I digress.
H.R. 163 also teams with its sister bill, S. 89. These are two separate bills, written with the exact same lingo. The difference? One sits with the House, the other with the Senate.
Forget your dreams of attending college, getting a job and then developing a career and starting a family. All of these plans can be severely disrupted, if not irrevocably changed by this mandatory government service.
When will this happen? Both bills are on the floor of the Congress, waiting to be picked up and voted on. It is unlikely that we will see this before the election in 2004. No president seriously seeking reelection would dare try to impose a mandatory draft and military service. However, once Bush ends up with a second term, he is basically free to do anything he wants. Look for this in 2005, according to the Selective Service System fiscal year 2004 plan (
President Bush is spending $28 million (see plans 1-3 at the above website for dollar amounts) to have the Selective Service system ready to report to him on March 31, 2005, and then to have the system ready for activation within 75 days. This would make the approximated date of the return of the draft June 15, 2005. All of these numbers can be figured out by reading the above link.
Keep in mind, those of you who are ready to become conscientious objectors, that the world is a vastly different place than it was during the last draft. Applicants will be scrutinized more closely than ever. Those counting on student deferments to keep themselves out of the draft will be disappointed to find that that is no longer guaranteed. And don't even think about running to Canada. Entry into Canada is exceptionally difficult, with all visitors being heavily questioned before entry is allowed, combined with the agreement between Canada and the U.S. to expedite return of those wanted by the U.S.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is no joke. This is not the mindless rambling of a paranoid conspiracy theorist. You think I'm f***ing with you? I am not f***ing with you.
This sucks, I don't want to be forced to serve. Then speak up. Become informed. Tell your friends, who will fall into the age range of 18-26. Talk to your local congress people. Hold peaceful rallies. If you don't want this, take action to stop it now, before it is too late.
The Joke is No Longer Funny




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