WILL IT BE REINSTITUTED?
OR SHOULD WE HAVE ALL VOLUNTEERS
MALE AND FEMALE
United States Marine Corps recruits
recite answers to questions
about Marine Corps history asked by their drill instructor
during a break in training at boot camp at Parris Island,
compiled by Dee Finney
|A Dream of my Friend:
7-16-07 - DREAM - My son Brian
had just turned 17 and he got drafted to go fight in Iraq.
He hadn't been gone all that long and there was a knock at the door.
Two soldiers stood there, holding my son's bloody body in their
arms. They said, "Your son served valiantly Ma'am! and then they threw my
son onto the floor at my feet.
I picked up my son's dead body and held him in my arms and rocked
him like a baby. He had been shot in the head.
I just cried and cried over my son's body until I woke up and I
still couldn't stop crying.
NOTE: My son will be 16 in a few months and I will guarantee you, he
will be sent to Canada for safekeeping if they re-institute the draft.
NOTE: In case you don't realize it, every high school
now has military personnel spending their lunch hours with the kids,
coercing them to join up and sometimes making false promises of large
amounts of money to sign on the dotted line. This starts at age 14,
when the schools are required to submit a list of students to the
Military recruiters target schools strategically
POMFRET, Md. -- Military recruiting saturates life at
McDonough High, a working-class public school where
recruiters chaperon dances, students in a junior ROTC class
learn drills from a retired sergeant major in uniform, and
every prospect gets called at least six times by the Army
Recruiters distribute key chains, mugs, and
military brochures at McDonough's cafeteria. They are
trained to target students at schools like McDonough across
the country, using techniques such as identifying a popular
student -- whom they call a "center of influence" -- and
conspicuously talking to that student in front of others.
Meanwhile, at McLean High, a more affluent public
school 37 miles away in Virginia, there is no military
chaperoning and no ROTC class. Recruiters adhere to a strict
quota of visits, lining up behind dozens of colleges. In the
guidance office, military brochures are dwarfed by college
pennants. Posters promote life amid ivy-covered walls, not
in the cockpits of fighter jets.
Students from McDonough are as much as six times more
likely than those from McLean to join the military, a
disparity that is replicated elsewhere. A survey of the
military's recruitment system found that the Defense
Department zeroes in on schools where students are perceived
to be more likely to join up, while making far less effort
at schools where students are steered toward college.
Now, as pressure mounts on recruiters to find 180,000
volunteers amid casualty counts from Iraq and Afghanistan
that have surpassed 1,300 dead and 10,000 wounded, the
fairness of the system by which the nation persuades young
people to take on the burden of national defense is coming
under increasing scrutiny.
The Globe inquiry found that recruiters target certain
schools and students for heavy recruitment, and then won't
give up easily: Officers call the chosen students
repeatedly, tracking their responses in a computer program
the Army calls "the Blueprint." Eligible students are hit
with a blitz of mailings and home visits. Recruiters go
hunting wherever teens from a targeted area hang out,
following them to sporting events, shopping malls, and
Officers are trained to analyze students and make a
pitch according to what will strike a motivational chord --
job training, college scholarships, adventure, signing
bonuses, or service to country. A high-school recruiting
manual describes the Army as "a product which can be sold."
The manual offers tips for recruiters to make
themselves "indispensable" to schools; suggests tactics such
as reading yearbooks to "mysteriously" know something about
a prospect to spark the student's curiosity; notes that "it
is only natural for people to resist" and suggests ways to
turn aside objections; and lists techniques for closing the
deal, such as the "challenge close":
"This closing method works best with younger men," the
manual reads. "You must be careful how you use this one. You
must be on friendly terms with your prospect, or this may
backfire. It works like this: When you find difficulty in
closing, particularly when your prospect's interest seems to
be waning, challenge his ego by suggesting that basic
training may be too difficult for him and he might not be
able to pass it. Then, if he accepts your challenge, you
will be a giant step closer to getting him to enlist."
The Defense Department spends $2.6 billion each year on
recruiting, including signing bonuses, college funds,
advertising, recruiter pay, and administering the Armed
Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. The military pitches
the test to schools as a free career exploration program,
but which its manual notes is also "specifically designed"
to "provide the recruiter with concrete and personal
information about the student."
Nearly all efforts
are aimed at impending or recent high school graduates. But
the marketing message is not targeted equally, acknowledged
Kurt Gilroy, who directs recruiting policy for the Office of
the Secretary of Defense.
Although the military strives to maintain a presence
everywhere "to give everyone an opportunity to enlist if
they so choose," he said, it concentrates on places most
likely to "maximize return on the recruiting dollar
[because] the advertising and marketing research people tell
us to go where the low-hanging fruit is. In other words, we
fish where the fish are."
But targeting some schools more than others raises
questions about fairness. While some students at targeted
schools are eager to join, others may be unduly manipulated
into signing up.
David Walsh, a psychologist who
has written a book about the impact of media on the
adolescent brain, says teenage brains are not yet fully
developed. Studies have shown that teens' brain structures
make them less independent of group opinion and less likely
to consider long-term consequences than adults a few years
For the masses of teenagers who are not peer group
leaders, Walsh said, an aggressive sales pitch can sway
their decisions -- especially if the recruiter knows how to
get coaches, counselors, and popular students to endorse
Indeed, the Army trains its recruiters to do exactly
"Some influential students such as the student
president or the captain of the football team may not
enlist; however, they can and will provide you with
referrals who will enlist," the Army's school recruiting
handbook says. "More important is the fact that an informed
student leader will respect the choice of enlistment."
Walsh says an approach like this is certain to
persuade some teens at targeted schools to join up, while
essentially identical teens at other schools will make other
"What we end up doing is maintaining the gap between
the haves and the have-nots, because they are the ones who
are targeted to put their lives on the line and make
sacrifices for the rest of us," Walsh said. "The kids with
more options, we don't bother with them."
Principals and teachers play a role in determining whether
military recruitment succeeds. In schools where educators
are skeptical of the military, recruiters are shut out
beyond the minimum required by President Bush's No Child
Left Behind Act: two visits a year per service, as well as a
list with every student's name, address, and phone number.
In other schools, the people who fill those same influential roles
serve as advocates for the military.
At McDonough, guidance counselor Wanda Welch, who notes
that her son recently completed four years in the Air Force,
talks of the virtues of defending the country. Sitting near
military posters and brochures, she says she appreciates the
services recruiters give to the school and tells students
that "if they don't know what they want to do, enlisting can
be a good choice."
At McLean, counselor Isobel Rahn,
who notes that she came of age amid the Vietnam War
protests, says the school requires recruiters to sign in
like any other outsider because "we protect our kids."
Sitting near a poster announcing visits from 23
colleges in the coming two weeks, she says she tells
students that the military offers benefits but that "the con
in 2004 is that you can get killed."
Over the past year, as casualties in Iraq have filled
the news, recruiting has become much more difficult. For the
2003-04 recruiting year, which ended in September, the
Army's active-duty and reserves recruiting effort narrowly
met its quota, but the Army National Guard missed its goal
of 56,000 soldiers by about 5,000 -- its first shortfall in
"I think Iraq has hurt recruiting," said Sergeant
Kevin Bidwell, who commands the Army recruiting station that
includes McDonough High. "People automatically think that as
soon as they join up, they're going to go over there."
Bidwell said he tells prospects that such a fear is a
"misperception,because objectively you don't know for sure.
The Army is a million strong, and if you look at statistics
over there, there's under 100,000 from all four branches."
Actually, about 140,000 US troops are serving in Iraq.
The number of students who go from the halls of
McDonough to boot camp is substantial: 15 of its 322 seniors
last year had decided to enlist by graduation, according to
a state website. Local recruiters say that number will rise
as they continue to contact targeted McDonough students over
the next two years.
Far fewer students enlist coming out of McLean.
Precise statistics are not available, but Rahn said that
each year between three and seven of her roughly 400 seniors
join the military.
Those familiar with military recruiting say lower family
incomes make McDonough students more likely to enlist, but
that marketing also plays a major role.
Richard I. Stark Jr., a retired Army officer who once
worked on personnel issues for the secretary of defense,
said he thinks the targeted hard sell draws in students who
otherwise might not join, while failing to find potential
recruits at other schools.
"It's hard to imagine that it doesn't influence the
proclivities of those people to make a judgment for
themselves about the military," Stark said. "Once you start
[recruiting at a school heavily], it's like a snowball. As
more people from the school join the military, they go back
on leave, walk around in their spiffy uniforms, brag about
accomplishments. That generates interest by more recruits
Stark said the recruiting marketing gap is a problem only
insofar as it deprives the military of qualified students
from a full range of high schools and all walks of life. But
the recruiting system has drawn more aggressive critics.
Representative Charles Rangel, Democrat of New York, says
society places what should be a shared burden of defense
only on those poor enough to be induced to risk their lives
for a chance at college or a signing bonus. Those who sign
up with the infantry for five years get $12,000 in cash or a
smaller bonus, as well as up to $70,000 in college aid.
"These young people are not 'volunteers,' " Rangel said.
"They're not there, because they're patriotic. They're there
they need the money."
Sergeant Isaac Horton, McDonough's Army recruiter,
sees it differently. For him, enlisting is a way to improve
the lives of young people with few options. In his pitches
to recruits, he uses his life as an example, talking of
returning home to find many of his high school friends
either dead or in jail.
"If I had to do it over again, I would do it," Horton
said. "Look at the crime rate in D.C. -- I'll take my
chances in the military."
To show his displeasure with military recruiting,
Rangel filed a bill in early 2003, before the Iraq invasion,
proposing to revive the national draft. Congress killed the
A class issue
Rangel's critique also has a strong sense of racial
grievance, but data suggest that the military is not putting
its energy into high schools attended by poor minority
students. Instead of race, the clearest indicator of how
hard a sell a student will receive is class. Generally,
recruiters focus on the lower middle class in places with
little economic opportunity.
The Defense Department does not track the
socioeconomic background of its recruits, although Rangel
has commissioned a Government Accountability Office study of
the matter. The military also does not collect data for how
many recruits it gets from which high schools; that
information gets no higher than local recruiting commands.
But in 1999, the RAND Corp. conducted a study seeking
patterns among qualified high school seniors.
"It turned out that kids who were of upper income were
more likely to go to college, but it also turned out that
kids from lower incomes had better chances of getting
need-based financial aid to college," said Beth Asch, a RAND
military personnel analyst. "So when you look at who goes to
the military, you tend to get those in the middle."
Local recruiters use a computer system that combines
socioeconomic data from the census, high school recruiting
data for all four services, ZIP codes with high numbers of
young adults, and other information to identify the
The obvious school districts that get screened out are
those affluent enough that most of their students are
probably college-bound. But recruiters also put less energy
into underclass high schools, because they do not want
prospects who might be ineligible because they drop out of
school, have criminal records, or do not score high enough
on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.
Every three months, each service hands recruiting
station commanders a quota to meet. The Army pegs its
signing bonuses to the specific jobs with the greatest
openings. Highly qualified recruits are much more coveted
than low-scoring prospects, who can do only basic tasks.
But this year, the Army is relaxing its rules to help
fill its quotas. The number of high school dropouts allowed
to enlist will rise 25 percent -- accounting for 10 percent
of recruits this year, compared with 8 percent last year.
The percentage allowed to enlist despite borderline scores
on a service aptitude test will rise by 33 percent -- from
1.5 percent last year to 2 percent this year.
For recruiters on the ground such as Bidwell, it will
be a tough year. So focusing on schools and ZIP codes that
have had the highest rates of enlistment is good business
"They have a higher propensity to enlist, so why not
concentrate your efforts there?" Bidwell said.
© Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.
$20,000 Bonus For 'Quick' Recruits
Bonus Goes To
Those Willing To Ship Out Within Month
POSTED: 8:41 am EDT July 27, 2007
As the U.S. Army
continues to keep
troops deployed in
recruiters have a
new perk to offer
The Army is now
offering a $20,000
"QS" – or “Quick
Shipper” -- bonus
to new and prior
any job and
shipping out for
training within 30
"The Q.S. letters
Foley in a news
well, it means a
lot of seed money
for new soldiers
Army's call to
duty. The Army is
growing in size
and we simply need
more recruits for
The $20,000 bonus is in addition to previous offers already in place.
The Army has had trouble meeting recruiting goals, especially in southwest Ohio, in the past few months as the Middle East conflicts continue.
Soldiers have often complained about the traditionally low pay as well.
Foley said some recruits could tally bonuses up to $40,000 during this period with enlistments of four years or more.
Students News 5 spoke to at Boone County High School said the money is appealing, but would not convince them to join.
"I don't think I would, for that reason, to go over to Iraq,” said senior Jared Snow. “I don't think it would be worth it to me, but it would appeal to me."
Copyright 2007 by WLWT.com. All rights reserved.
Should the United States Re-institute a Draft?
Yes - males only (1100)
Yes - males & females (2311)
Don't know, don't care (38)
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 26, 2005
RENEWS CALL FOR MILITARY DRAFT
||WASHINGTON, May 26, 2005 -- Lawmaker
Says Desperate Measures to Bolster Dwindling Recruitment
Highlight Concerns About an Impending Collapse of the
Congressman Charles Rangel today
announced the reintroduction of his legislation to
reinstate the military draft.
"I oppose the war in Iraq, but I support the
military and the men and women who serve in it,"
Congressman Rangel said. "What is happening now indicates
to me that the entire volunteer system is in danger of
collapse under the weight of the burden being placed on
those who are serving."
The Congressman's decision to reintroduce his draft
legislation now was prompted in part by the growing crisis
in military recruiting, which in recent months has
suffered a 30 percent decline in enlistments, endangering
the long-term viability of the U.S. military.
A symptom of the military's problems was the recent
announcement of the Army's intention to allow recruits to
sign up for 15 months of active duty service rather than
the typical four-year enlistment. This effort to make
military service more attractive to recruits is the
shortest active-duty requirement ever.
"In rejecting the draft, the Pentagon has argued for
years that volunteers wanted to fight and draftees were
reluctant. The Secretary of Defense even belittled the
sacrifices of Vietnam draftees. They also argued that
recruits needed more time for training in order to handle
today's high tech systems--not less. This decision
shatters the myth of the superiority of the volunteer
military while exposing the hypocrisy of the Pentagon's
arguments," Congressman Rangel said.
The Army has failed to meet its recruiting goals in
successive months since last February, despite increasing
enlistment bonuses to $30,000 and enlarging the corps of
recruiters, among whom there have been widespread reports
of fraud committed under the pressure of meeting their
"Everyone knows that we went into this war with an
insufficient number of troops, but the problem now is
filling the ranks of those units that are already on the
ground," Congressman Rangel said. "We are only able to
keep troops in field by extending deployments, calling
back veterans who have previously served in combat and
placing an unsustainable burden on the Reserves, who
typically were attracted by the extra income they could
earn after serving on active duty.
"These practices have devastated the troops' morale,
made life more difficult for military families, and in
many cases caused the loss of civilian jobs, homes and
Congressman Rangel, a Purple Heart and Bronze Star
veteran of the Korean War, first introduced legislation to
reinstate the draft in January 2003. The bill was
defeated by the House of Representatives in a surprise
vote in October 2004. Many critics, including Congressman
Rangel, believed that the vote was an effort by the
Republican leadership to end widespread rumors of
President Bush's intention to resort to conscription
after the 2004 election.
As in the 108th Congress, the new bill would cover
all men and women, 18-26 years of age. It would make
military service compulsory for the number determined by
the President or alternative national civilian service for
those remaining. The length of active duty service would
be reduced to 15 months, in line with the recent change
announced by the Army. As before, deferments for
education would be permitted only through completion of
high school, up to age 20, and for reasons of health or
"The longer we stay in Iraq and the more Americans
are killed, and the less attractive military service
appears to potential recruits, the closer the country will
move toward a decision on the draft," Congressman Rangel
"The American people lost confidence in this war
long ago, and now that parents are discouraging their
children from volunteering, we are faced with a situation
in which the most disadvantaged young people from areas of
high unemployment will be even more likely to carry the
greatest share of the burden," Congressman Rangel said.
"If the President wants to do something right now, he
should publicly appeal to all Americans to make a personal
sacrifice to benefit the war effort."
"Despite the evidence to the contrary, it is just
too easy for the President to give assurances that our
military would be available and ready to carry out regime
change, wherever and whenever he and his advisors want to,
whether in Iraq, Iran, Syria or North Korea," Congressman
"The President said in his State of the Union
address that war was an option that remained on the table
in dealing with these countries. In my view, the war
option would not be on the table if the people being
placed in harm's way were children of White House
officials, members of Congress or CEOs in the
boardrooms. As other people's children endure a grinding
war, they have been given huge tax cuts, while our
veterans have gotten cuts in health benefits," Congressman
WASHINGTON, DC OFFICE
2354 Rayburn House
Washington, DC 20515
NEW YORK OFFICE
163 W. 125th Street #737
New York, NY 10027
WHATCHA GOIN' TO DO WHEN THEY COME FOR YOU?
Tue Jul 17, 2007 at 04:45:29 PM EST
Whatcha gonna do when they come for you? What's it gonna
be boy/girl? I wonder how those that are in the age
needed....will they serve?
I stumbled on this story...whilst listening to cspan
regarding the Iraq war...maybe our leaders know something
No way out for the coalition troops excerpt:
Iraq is so far from a conclusion that the US may have
to bring in a draft, robert fox reveals.
The US is considering introducing a limited
military draft if it is to keep its present force levels
in Iraq and Afghanistan, Pentagon advisers have warned
British colleagues. Next month, US forces in Iraq will
peak at around 170,000, and GIs in the new units are
being told they could be on operations for at least 15
Over Memorial Day weekend, Americans have been
faced by the grim statistic that in the year since the
last Memorial Day, very nearly 1,000 US military have
been killed in Iraq, and many more wounded. These are
the worst casualty rates since the coalition invaded
Iraq in March 2003.
US-led operations in Iraq appear to have reached
yet another turning point with the American commander,
General David Petraeus, due to hand to Congress a report
on his latest strategic thinking. He appears to have
given up on the so-called 'surge' which has brought an
extra 21,000 US troops to central Iraq. According to
advance reports from Baghdad, the surge has failed
because the Iraqi government and forces were not
prepared to fulfill their promise to back it in word and
deed. Last week, a US patrol shot dead an Iraqi in the
act of concealing a roadside booby trap bomb - and
discovered his identity card showed he was a sergeant in
the new Iraqi army.
- snip -
To mix a metaphor, both the Americans and the
British seem caught in a drifting impasse now in Iraq.
They cannot go forward, nor suddenly pull out, for fear
of triggering a major regional war - for which all the
combustible ingredients are in place. Both London and
Washington face the issue of forces and equipment
reaching exhaustion point by this time next year.
Army recruitment efforts in a death
This post was written by Chase.Hamil
on 13 July, 2007 (11:52) |
All News 408 Views
U.S. Army officials said on Monday of
this week that its enlistment program is
in trouble. Recruiters have been missing
their monthly quota by 15 percent. It’s
the second month in a row for the
shortfall, even though these are
traditionally the best three months for
recruiting, due to June student
Harper’s magazine, Edward Luttwak
notes that senior military officials are
concerned that it will take years for the
Army and Marine Corps to recover from a
“death spiral” in which “readiness ratings
are starting to unravel” with recruiting
efforts “encountering serious quality and
number problems.” The problem is twofold:
troops are weary, with extended tours of
duty for both the regular Army and the
Reserves. Lt. Gen. James Helmly, head of
the 205,000 member Army Reserve told
USA Today that he is worried about
retention rates. “This is the first
extended duration war the country has
fought with an all-volunteer force,” said
Helmly. “The National Guard and Reserve
were designed to mobilize for big wars and
then bring soldiers home quickly.”
The regular Army is facing
challenges of a different sort. While
reenlistments are encouraging, the initial
efforts at signing up recruits are not. In
order to meet its numbers, writes Josh
White in The Washington Post,
“Recruiters are offering higher incentives
to join by broadening its potential pool
by offering wavers - for physical
conditions and violating the law - to
people who normally would not qualify.”
Thousands of volunteers who previously
would have been classified as unfit are
now in the armed forces. The
percentage of high school drop-outs
entering the service has reached its
highest level since 1981. [The
American Conservative, June 4, 2007]
This blogger wrote in Blogger News
Network in November of last year (Bring
Back the Draft) that ABC Television
had caught on videotape Army recruiters
telling high school students that the war
was over and that soldiers were no longer
being sent overseas. One member of the
House Ways and Means Committee, Democratic
Congressman Charles Rangel of New York,
has even proposed bringing back the draft,
saying we can’t find the needed additional
troops without one. Rangel says an
all-volunteer army is inequitable, luring
recruits, who otherwise would not consider
a military career, into the military with
promises of free training, education, and
Recruiters also say sagging
enlistment levels are also a result of
lack of encouragement from the
“influencers,” as a Washington Post
article notes. Parents, coaches, and
others who can affect decisions are now
remaining silent. They know that enlisting
in the Army or Marine Corps means an
eventual taste of the battlefield and the
risk of death or dismemberment. The
Post quotes a Pentagon official: “If
you don’t think that’s affecting the
influencers, then you have your head under
Extended tours of duty for members
of the Reserve and National Guard also
have the potential of drawing down the
numbers substantially. There is a
little-known order known as the Stop Loss
Policy in which soldiers on active duty
are prohibited from leaving the service.
In other words, even though your
enlistment is up, if you have been rotated
overseas, there you will stay under the
rest of your unit is sent home. Some
military officials believe these
involuntary extensions of duty could
trigger an exodus of forces once they make
it back home. The Army is currently short
3,000 commissioned officers. The National
Guard and Reserves have a shortage of
The situation only gets worse if one
takes seriously the possibility that
America’s battlefield commitment to the
war on terrorism could expand. The New
York Times has reported on a debate
within the Bush administration on whether
to attack Iran. The Times says
the hawks inside the administration,
especially those in Vice President Dick
Cheney’s office, are “pressing for greater
consideration of military strikes against
Iranian nuclear facilities.” Thus the
question arises, how is the U.S. going to
fight a war on an additional front when
our troop strength is dwindling and
recruitment efforts are faltering? The
answer that keeps recurring is revive
To make matters even worse (if
that’s possible) the head of U.S. forces
in Iraq, General David Petraeus, says
fighting the insurgents there “could take
decades.” In an interview with the British
Broadcasting System (BBC), Petraeus
compared America’s role in Iraq to that of
the British in Northern Ireland. “My
counterparts in your British forces really
understand this kind of operation.
Northern Ireland took a long time,
decades. I don’t know whether this will be
decades, but the average counter
insurgency is somewhere around a nine or
Petraeus then went on to assert that
a number of troops would be required to
remain in Iraq, even after a “withdrawal”
takes place. Petraeus is scheduled to
return to Washington in September to
report on the “surge” campaign’s progress,
in which some 30,000 extra U.S. troops
were deployed. So far, April, May and June
have been the deadliest three months for
U.S. troops since the invasion of Iraq in
All of these developments point to a
need for more fresh troops to replace the
battle weary soldiers who have been on the
front lines well beyond the anticipated
time frame. A study by The American
Enterprise Institute (AEI) says that even
before the war on terror opened, the U.S.
armed services were already understaffed.
“The only way to resolve this serious
shortage,” says the AEI, “is to bring back
the draft. A draft would dramatically
upgrade the quality of U.S. recruits,
because it would give the military access
to a true cross-section of our youth.”
Those who support a twenty-first
century draft (including this blogger)
believe that the current all-volunteer
force allows the privileged to avoid
military service. It promotes a
“disconnect” between the military and
society. When America’s armed forces go to
war, all of America should go to war. If
the children of America’s elite faced the
prospect of performing military service,
perhaps politicians and the captains of
industry would take a declaration of war
much more seriously.
Report: Draft would hurt quality of force
By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Jul 20, 2007 11:41:40 EDT
A new congressional report finds little
reason to consider a return to a military draft
and lots of problems if conscription were
In a report released Thursday, the
Congressional Budget Office says drafting people
into the Army could make it easier for that
service to expand its active-duty force to
547,000 people by 2012, the current goal, and
could save a little money in the process,
especially if Congress were to reduce basic pay
levels for draftees in comparison to pay for
However, a force of draftees would be
younger and less experienced, which could affect
“Usually, greater accumulated knowledge
and skills come with increased experience,” the
report says. “Because most draftees leave after
completing a two-year obligation, a draft might
affect the services’ ability to perform those
A draftee force has higher training costs,
but there are savings from lower expenses for
advertising, enlistment bonuses and recruiters.
But the report says that may not be a wise
“Although including draftees in the force
could yield budgetary savings, that force would
not be as effective as if the same increase in
end strength was achieved using only volunteers
because average seniority would fall,” the
report says. To get an equally effective force
with draftees, the Army would have to be bigger,
and bigger is more expensive.
By CBO’s estimates, the military would not
need to draft more than 165,000 people a year
and could use as few as 27,000. With 2 million
men turning 18 in the U.S. each year, the low
requirement for draftees could create a problem
in deciding who goes and who stays home. And the
U.S would have to face the question of whether
to draft women, the report notes.
Matthew Goldberg, deputy assistant
director of CBO’s national security division,
said the report comes at a time when the
all-volunteer force created at the end of the
Vietnam War is undergoing its biggest test in
Iraq, and when there are concerns about whether
the military can continue to fill the ranks when
at war and whether the force is representative
of the nation.
While the services — especially the Army —
are having more difficulty recruiting, Goldberg
described the problem as “a little bit of
slippage in the last two years” that did not
reflect any crisis.
And, while people from the lowest and high
family incomes in the U.S. are under-represented
in the military, data on the people being
deployed to the combat zone and the combat
casualties do not show that minorities are
over-represented, Goldberg said.
If anything, Caucasians are slightly
over-represented in both deployments and
casualties, according to the report, which also
notes that because unemployment rates for white
youths have increased more than for black youths
in recent years, there could be a trend in which
even more white males to consider enlisting.
7-21-07 - Even as there's talk inside the Pentagon of extending
the troop surge in Iraq well into 2008, the U.S. military remains
in a vise, crushed
between the demands of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that have made
recruiting more difficult. Right now, there
are only two real
ways to extend or even increase the surge: call up more reservists
— always tough to do in an election year —
active-duty combat tours from the current morale-wrecking 15
months to an even more painful 18 months. But Marine
General Peter Pace,
outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs, reassured GIs in
Afghanistan this week that 18-month combat tours
are not, as has
been rumored, in their future. "An 18-month tour has zero, zero,
none, nada, squat, nothing, no validity, OK?"
he said. "I want to
make sure you got that."
So then what about the third, most controversial option — is it
time to reinstitute the draft? That option has a certain appeal as
Army fell short of its
active-duty recruiting goal for June by about 15%. It is the
second consecutive month the service's enlistment
effort has slipped as
public discontent grows over the war in Iraq.
Bringing back mandatory service has been the refrain of many who
want to put the brakes on the Iraq war; if every young man is
suddenly a potential
grunt on his way to Baghdad, the thinking goes, the war would end
rather quickly. It's also an argument made
by those who are uneasy
that the burden of this war is being unfairly shouldered by the
1.4-million-strong U.S. military and no one else.
But a new report from the
Congressional Budget Office this week makes clear that resuming
the draft would be no panacea.
In response to Monday's letter "Bring back the
draft," this motion would be catastrophic.
The report, requested by
Rep. John Murtha, D-Penn., chairman of the defense subcommittee of
the House Appropriations
Committee, says that
drafting people could make it easier for the Army to reach its
2012 goal of 547,000 soldiers. It might also
save some money if
Congress opted to pay draftees less than volunteers. But the
downside, the report claims, would be a less
effective fighting force,
thanks to a sudden influx of draftees who would remain in uniform
for much shorter spells than today's
"Usually, greater accumulated knowledge and skills come with
increased experience," the report notes. "Because most draftees
completing a two-year obligation, a draft might affect the
services' ability to perform those functions efficiently."
To maintain the
same capability, the CBO suggests, the Army might have to grow,
which could eliminate any savings. On the
increased training costs for draftees — with less time in uniform,
more have to be trained — could be offset by cuts
in advertising and
bonuses now used to entice volunteer recruits.
The report says that while 91% of last year's recruits were high
school graduates, only 80% of U.S. residents aged 18 to 24 have
attained that level
of education. And high school graduates, the military says, make
better soldiers than dropouts. The CBO,
which does not make
recommendations but only charts options for lawmakers, estimates
that somewhere between 27,000 and
165,000 would be
drafted each year. That relatively small slice — some 2 million
males turn 18 each year — could resurrect the
problems seen in
the Vietnam era when deferments and friendly draft boards kept
some well-connected young men out of uniform.
Under current law,
women could not be drafted.
If it doesn't make military or economic sense to launch the draft,
what about the notion of fairness? Critics have claimed that
over-represented in the all-volunteer military because they have
fewer options in the civilian world. The CBO
saying that "members of the armed forces are racially and
ethnically diverse." African Americans accounted for
13% of active-duty
recruits in 2005, just under their 14% share of 17-to-49-year-olds
in the overall U.S. population. And minorities
are not being used
as cannon fodder. "Data on fatalities indicate that minorities are
not being killed [in Iraq and Afghanistan] at
greater rates than
their representation in the force," the study says. "Rather,
fatalities of white service members have been
higher than their
representation in the force," in large part because whites are
over-represented in the military's combat, as
opposed to support,
US military deserters could face punishment of up to
five years' imprisonment if caught.
BEFORE he deserted the US Marines, Dean Walcott rode
shotgun on besieged convoys to Baghdad and spent a
second Iraq tour
deserters seek refuge in Canada
Ian Munro, Toronto
July 21, 2007
Even though he was in no imminent danger of
returning for a third deployment, he took a
Greyhound bus to Canada.
He is one of dozens of US military deserters hoping
to be granted refugee status in Canada under the
rule of the United Nations
It was not Mr Walcott's combat experience but his
time in a military hospital in Germany that prompted
His route north followed a path taken decades
earlier by tens of thousands of Vietnam War draft
dodgers and deserters, to Toronto
and the War
Resisters Support Campaign.
Mr Walcott was in Landstuhl military hospital when
the hideously burned survivors of the 2004 Mosul
mess tent bombing arrived.
Some, he says,
resembled nothing so much as a lump of coal, still
screaming in pain despite the tide of morphine
coursing through them.
"Seeing people in that suffering and pain,
if you are going to do that to your country's
soldiers and sailors, then there's got to be
a damn good
reason, not just the abstract like this one was,"
says Mr Walcott, 25.
He grew tired of trying to answer the questions of
young reservists, recovering from the loss of limbs,
who wanted to know what
the heck the
war was about.
Meanwhile, in Canada, two wars and two tales of
atrocities against children have driven Lee
Zaslofsky, one of that earlier
The first story helps explain why Mr Zaslofsky
deserted the US Army in January 1970, before he was
During his military training, a returned infantryman
told Mr Zaslofsky how he saw another US trooper
clean his gun and then
test fire a
round into a Vietnamese toddler. Asked why he was
killing children, the trooper replied: "Well, they
grow up to kill you."
The other story is of Iraq and was related to Mr
Zaslofsky by a new generation deserter, who was on
patrol, guarding a highway
Baghdad. Each day the patrol had to check suspected
roadside bombs. Done properly it was a long, tedious
The patrol's frustrated sergeant decided to speed
things up by cajoling a child with candy to help.
The child was killed when it
suspicious device and it exploded.
Mr Zaslofsky has offered his support for the man who
relayed the tale. The ex-trooper is now in Canada,
on the run and sheltered
Mr Zaslofsky's group is in touch with up to 40
deserters or war-resisters seeking refugee status,
but there may be several
in Canada, he says.
He does not put his own decision to desert down just
to accounts of atrocities, such as the My Lai
"I deserted partly because I did not believe in that
war (and) partly because I was an infantryman and if
I was present at My
might join in like all of them. What moved them was
a mob feeling of rage," he says.
Mr Zaslofsky, soon to turn 63, made a new life in
Canada, working as a political aide and community
activist. But in 2004
deserters contacted the Canadian peace movement, and
the war resisters group was formed.
The deserters he sees are mostly young, from late
teens to mid-30s, of sergeant's rank or lower. They
are deeply disillusioned
with the war in Iraq, where US military deaths top
3600, a fraction of the 60,000 killed or missing in
Vietnam. An estimated
50,000 Americans sought sanctuary in Canada during
the Vietnam conflict, all but a few thousand
believed to be avoiding the draft.
Those seeking refuge from fighting in Iraq are
deserters rather than draft dodgers, the draft
having been abolished in the 1970s.
Toronto lawyer Jeff House says he has spoken to 170
individuals hiding in Canada, and he estimates the
total of deserters in the
country at about 250.
Mr House says the basis of the refugee claims lie in
the United Nations charter, which says there is no
obligation on a soldier
to participate in a war begun in violation of
international law. A soldier facing punishment for
refusing to fight in such a case is
considered to be facing persecution.
"We have said that the US Administration violates
international law, and condones violation of
international law in relation to
its interrogation policy," Mr House says.
At 21, Phillip McDowell, formerly of Rhode Island,
was just the sort of recruit US President George
Bush would embrace.
Mr McDowell's response to 9/11 was to enlist.
"I was thinking how we responded to this big event
would define us as a nation," Mr McDowell says.
But last Saturday Mr McDowell, Iraq veteran,
deserter and would-be refugee was outside a Toronto
support for the resisters and opposition to the war.
He would have gone to Afghanistan, he says, but he
was not prepared to return to Iraq.
"I believed everything the Government told us about
weapons of mass destruction, that there were links
Hussein and al-Qaeda," he says.
"I was aware of the international opposition to
going in, but growing up I always trust my
He says his 12 months in Iraq until March 2005 sowed
doubts. "What was the justification for the invasion
if everything they
said was false?" he asks.
He did not intend to make a career out of the
military, just to serve four years.
"Speaking to the Iraqis there, everybody said, 'Of
course we didn't like Saddam, but since you guys
have been here everything
is worse — you have to go'," he says.
By the end of his tour he viewed the war as wrong,
illegal and counterproductive. He was disturbed,
too, by some of the
treatment he saw meted out to detainees.
He thought he was clear of the army by the middle of
last year when his enlistment expired. Then the army
called him back
after a change of regulations.
He and his partner, Jamine, took the Canada option
in October last year, with his family's support. The
couple have resettled
in Toronto and are seeking refugee status.
The resisters group found them a sponsor who housed
and supported them when they first moved to Toronto.
says the group is now seeking sponsors further
afield as his local contacts are being stretched.
The refugee claim of the former marine Dean Walcott
was heard a week ago, and he is waiting on a ruling,
applications have failed and are now being appealed
through higher courts.
The Toronto lawyer, Mr House, said he did not expect
to learn whether leave to appeal against the refugee
be granted before mid-September. Meanwhile, Mr
Zaslofsky is lobbying opposition political parties
in Canada for support.
He said an opinion poll in May taken in Ontario
showed 64 per cent support for allowing the
resisters to stay.
Mr Walcott, who had six year in the US Marines, knew
he wasn't coping .
He eyes well up when he discusses his hospital
experiences in Germany. His time there was followed
by eight further months
in Iraq, ending in March last year.
He says he was not coping emotionally and asked to
be moved to a unit that was not to be redeployed to
Iraq. Instead he was
preparing others to ship out to Iraq.
"The unit I was with was sending reservists to fight
this war," he says. "My role was supposed to be to
train them to fix
electronics. "I put myself in a position where I may
be safe, but I was asking other people to go instead
One morning late last year he resolved not to do it
any more. He had seen a psychiatrist while in the
military, but not since
arriving in Canada in December.
"I don't think there's any doctor in the world can
take away memories," he says.
Bringing back draft a bad idea
author wrote, less than 1 percent of Americans
are directly involved in the military. There
must be a reason why this
percentage is so low.
amount of Americans who are against the war in
Iraq is overwhelming, especially in younger
Perhaps young Americans are ticked off because
the federal government will accept them into
the military but refuse to provide
basic health insurance for them or their
As citizens of the richest country in the
world, we are taxed heavily but not deserving
of universal health care.
When young adults turn 18, most are unable to
stay on their parents' health insurance. These
people are forced to make difficult
decisions, such as going straight into the
military (or workforce) so they may receive
health care or choosing college and not having
health care for several years.
Does the federal government provide any health
care for these young adults? The answer is no.
Why should high school graduates be drafted
when the federal government does not take care
of something as fundamental as
Forcing young adults who are against the war
in the first place to join the military would
be catastrophic. There are many young
Americans who would rather sit in jail than be
drafted for the war in Iraq. They will resist
and revolt against the chance of dying for
cause that is not justified in any reliable
©Beaver County Times Allegheny Times 2007
Sunday July 22, 2007 at 05:19 PM EST
Bringing back draft a bad idea
With all the negative views by the media
and the Hollywood Elitists it’s easy to
understand why so few are enlisting. I
it because the federal government will
accept them in to the military but
refuse to provide basic health insurance
for them or their
families. For one thing, if they were in
the military they would receive free
health care for them and their families
along with free
housing. If I’m not mistaken they can
stay on their parents health insurance
until they finish college. Are you
willing to pay for this
“free health care”? I’m not. I was 20
years old when I enlisted and the
military gave me free health care. Upon
discharge from the
service I went to work and paid my share
of my health care insurance with some
pretty healthy co-pays. I still believe
private sector is the way to go for
health care insurance. In those
countries that provide socialistic
health care, it is free but the
wait for services is long. Take your
pick. Some services are denied based on
your age. After experiencing Medicare, I
the government in charge of all my
health care. I still pay the same
premium for my secondary insurance with
Medicare as I did
before and I’m not willing to give that
up now. Our system isn't perfect and
could use some tweaks, but having more
control -- like Medicare -- is one
reason seniors can't get some services.
The government won't pay what it really
takes to cover
the needed treatment. Doctors then won't
take them as patients.
REDUCES TIME OF MILITARY SERVICE BUT ALSO REDUCES DRAFT DEFERMENTS
Putin signs new law on recruitment
July 19, 2007
MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signed into law a bill cutting the length of military service, but
also canceling many deferments from the draft, the Kremlin said.
The legislation, passed by both houses of parliament in June,
reduces the current two-year conscription term to 1½ years beginning next year, then to one year in 2008.
The bill also
abolishes five accepted reasons for military draft deferments and toughens the requirements for four others. One of the
canceled deferments is for those caring for elderly and sick parents; another is for rural teachers and doctors.
The law has
sparked much public criticism, but military officials say it is necessary to compensate for the shorter conscription term.
between the ages of 18 and 27 are required to serve in Russia’s 1.2 million-member military. However, fewer than 10 percent
of eligible men are currently drafted, with many dodging service by enrolling in college, being excused for health reasons, or
simply bribing draft officers.
Programming by Ayten Alizadeh.
Copyight by IntraNS. All rights reserved.
Iraq war sets stage
for future of U.S. military
Editor’s note: The writer is a resident of Stratham and a retired U.S.
Army chief warrant officer.
hearing on the boob tube that El Presidente Bush wants to push the
immigration bill again in the near future after the
majority of our citizens showed they were against it, but even more
disturbing is the fact that he wants to increase the troop level
have been many things that have turned me off about the Bushes war in
Afghanistan and Iraq. After four years and no real
headway, it was just enough to prompt me to write a few lines about how I
feel about the situation.
really feel extremely sorry for the young men and women now serving in our
armed forces, but I feel a sense of pride at the way
are trying to jury-rig the equipment in order to complete their job
assignments and try to get home in one piece. (One, a great
mine in the Reserves has been in Iraq twice and scheduled for the third
trip in November).
services are over-extended, especially when the regular troops have to
rely on the Guard and Reserves to fulfill their
they are sent to the war zones for three and four tours. While on this
subject, I might add that the way this war is
now will dictate how our armed forces will have big problems in the
hate to see the volunteer regular services be reduced to a point that we’d
have to have a full-time draft, just to have enough
personnel to train in case of an emergency. I’ve talked to quite a few
Guard personnel and a lot of them are resigning as soon
possible. This war is not their real mission. If El Presidente keeps on,
no one will want to be in the military and that’s a real
because my comrades and I are proud of our time in the service.
20-plus years in the Army, I understand that at times we have to make do
with what we have, but after all this time
Iraq, they are still lacking proper supplies and equipment to do the job,
and the fault lies with President Bush and the bunch of
men and women” that he has put into office since his inauguration. That’s
what happens when civilians try to play soldier.
They look at
war like it’s a game. I assure you it isn’t. They don’t care as long as
they aren’t over there on the front lines.
outset, I would like to state that I was against “the Bushes war,” but
once our troops are in harm’s way, we all must support
them all the
a three-month stint of guarding the convoys or other assignments as
required, the majority would probably resign
before their tour is completed, but the ones that finish the assignment
would be glad to pass legislation to help the troops
proper supplies and equipment and manpower to do their job and also get
the required monetary backing to take care of our
veterans. I guarantee that they would have a different outlook on the
discuss the politicians that had the audacity to stick their “pork-barrel”
legislation in and have it passed with the bill
We should do
something special for them.
“pork-barrel” money would have paid for upgrading the trucks and
equipment. Do they care what we think? Hell no.
should be sent over and assigned the lousiest equipment in the worst area
in the theatre of operations and stay an
months, if they last that long.
they could get their priorities straight and care about their constituents
at home, the troops on active duty, and not
so darn much
about themselves and their political careers.
on the subject, if our politicians make it, do you also think we would be
able to get the promised medical care for
I sure hope
the vets of this war are treated a hell of a lot better than those in past
willing to bet that after the first casualty of the politicians that the
Veterans Administration would be receiving funding
do its job and the Guard and the Reserve would receive the necessary
supplies and equipment to put them on equal
the rest of the warriors.
The Guard and
Reserves always get the hand-me-downs from the regular Army. If the
inventory was good enough to help fight
the regulars would never get rid of it.
While on the
subject of war, the do-gooders, naysayers and the ACLU certainly do not
help the situation.
think that the vermin (I almost used the word people) that we are fighting
care what they think?
not a sporting match with a referee. Please take a few moments to analyze
the type of people ours troops are fighting.
long ago, under Saddam Hussein, they were throwing people off buildings,
cutting off their extremities, and otherwise
murdering their own people, simply because they didn’t agree with Hussein.
forget they are the same people that chemically killed 400,000 prisoners
for the same reason. How about the beheadings
highlighted on TV?
about those that killed, beheaded the Americans, and then dragged their
corpses through the streets of Iraq? Should they
treated as human beings? I really and truly believe the adage, “If you
haven’t walked the walk, then don’t try to talk the
that we all remember the Bush Inc. political cronies and backers of the
war, pork-barrel big spenders come election time.
bless our troops and veterans.
Rudy and Romney: Artful dodgers
When the most belligerent Republicans start to beat the war drums,
it's important to look at what they're trying to hide.
By Joe Conason
Rudy Giuliani talks to students during a campaign stop in
Henniker, N.H., on April 24, 2007.
addresses supporters in Indianola, Iowa, on June 30, 2007.
Nothing unites the Republican candidates for president or excites the
conservative base more than their bellicose barking about
confrontation. The GOP presidential debates often sound like a
tough-man competition, with
Romney demanding a double-size Guantánamo detention camp, and the
rest of the pack
struggling to keep
pace with the snarling alpha dogs.
while their rhetoric is invariably loud and aggressive, none of these
martial orators has seen a day of military service -- except
McCain, whose prospects are rapidly deflating, and Duncan Hunter,
whose campaign never got enough air for a single
Unfortunately for those two decorated veterans, their party seems to
prefer its hawks to be of the chicken variety.
None of this may
matter much. Most of the Democratic candidates lack military experience,
too. But when the most belligerent
to beat the war drums, it's important to look at what they're trying to
Consider Giuliani, the former New York mayor who has remained among the
most vocal supporters of the invasion and occupation
of Iraq. He
never hesitates to suggest that politicians with differing opinions
simply lack guts. When he spoke at the 2004
convention, he gleefully insinuated that Democratic nominee
lacked the fortitude to combat terrorism.
denigrates the supposedly spineless Democrats running for president in
But he has
always confined his enthusiasm for war to podium speeches and position
papers. Born in 1944, young Rudy was highly
military service when he reached his 20s during the Vietnam War. He did
not volunteer for combat -- as Kerry did --
found a highly creative way to dodge the draft.
During his years as an undergraduate at Manhattan College and then at
New York University Law School, Giuliani qualified
for a student
deferment. Upon graduation from law school in 1968, he lost that
temporary deferment and his draft status reverted
to 1-A, the
designation awarded to those most qualified for induction into the Army.
At the same time, Giuliani
won a clerkship with federal Judge Lloyd McMahon in the fabled
Southern District of New York,
would become the United States attorney. He naturally had no desire to
trade his ticket on the legal profession's fast
latrine duty in the jungle. So he quickly applied for another deferment
based on his judicial clerkship. This time the
Service System denied his claim.
That was when the desperate Giuliani prevailed upon his boss to write to
the draft board, asking them to grant him a fresh
reclassification as an "essential" civilian employee. As the great
Jimmy Breslin noted 20
during the former prosecutor's first campaign for mayor: "Giuliani did
not attend the war in Vietnam because
Lloyd MacMahon [sic] wrote a letter to the draft board in 1969 and got
him out. Giuliani was a law clerk for
at the time was hearing Selective Service cases. MacMahon's letter to
Giuliani's draft board stated that
so necessary as a law clerk that he could not be allowed to get shot at
His clerkship ended the following year but his luck held firm. By then
President Nixon had transformed the Selective Service
lottery system, and despite Rudy's renewed 1-A status, he drew a high
lottery number and was never drafted.
Today Giuliani's problem is not avoiding military service but explaining
how and why he avoided it. A spokesperson for the
told New York magazine that he "has made it clear that if he had
been called up, he would have served,"
quite expiate his strenuous efforts to make sure that never happened.
Giuliani opposed the Vietnam War for
and tactical" reasons as well, according to his flack. Of course, that
sounds much like the bipartisan dissent against
the Iraq war
that he now dismisses so contemptuously.
If Giuliani has a draft problem, Romney's may be even worse. The former
Massachusetts governor, whose supporters object
to any discussion of his religious beliefs, got his military service
deferred thanks to the Mormon church.
Like Giuliani and millions of other young American men at the time,
Romney started out with student deferments. But he left
after only two semesters in 1966 and would have become eligible for the
draft -- except that the Church of Jesus
Latter Day Saints in Michigan, his home state, provided him with a fresh
deferment as a missionary. According to
excellent investigative series that appeared last month in the
Boston Globe, that deferment, which described Romney as
of religion or divinity student," protected him from the draft between
July 1966 and February 1969, when he enrolled
Young University to complete his undergraduate degree. Mormons in each
state could select a limited number of
upon whom to confer missionary status during the Vietnam years, and
Romney was fortunate enough to be chosen.
(Coincidentally, or possibly not, Mitt's father, George W. Romney, was
governor of Michigan at the time.)
Now Romney echoes Giuliani by asserting that if he had been called, he
would have served. "I was supportive of my country,"
he told Globe
reporter Michael Kranish. "I longed in many respects to actually be in
Vietnam and be representing our country
there and in
some ways it was frustrating not to feel like I was there as part of the
troops that were fighting in Vietnam." Perhaps.
But it is
hard to blame Romney for choosing missionary work over military service.
After all, the Mormons didn't send him to
in the slums of the Philippines, Guatemala or Kenya.
sent him to France.
Immigration reform or Uncle Sam’s green card draft?
Written by Edmundo Rocha
Thursday, 28 June 2007
When it comes to
immigration reform, one of the biggest fear many have is
that Congress might pass some type of domestic
is intended to hurt not only the best interest of the
nation, but the interest of an immigrant - legal and
who are trying to navigate through this
country. Members of Congress have proposed heightened
border security, increased
enforcement of immigration
laws, and even the criminalization of undocumented
immigrants and those who help them.
discussed throughout the media and the blogs is how the
current immigration reform bill being debated in the
create a permanent underclass of indentured
slave labor by allowing multinational corporations and
independent contractors to hire
thousands of "guest"
workers a year outside the US. However, what is not often
discussed or reported is how one of the provisions
inside the bill would also benefit the military.
This provision is called the Development, Relief,
and Education for Alien Minors Act or DREAM Act, which
would legitimize in-
state tuition programs and "provide a
pathway to obtain permanent residency" to immigrant
children who were brought to the
United States illegally
by their parents as children. In other words, the DREAM
Act would allow undocumented immigrant to qualify
in-state tuition and automatically qualify them for
state-funded student financial aid. As things stand, many
students have not benefited from the
financial aid aspect, because students are required to
submit a Free Application for Federal
Student Aid (FAFSA)
application to be considered. However, FAFSA is a federal
form and undocumented students are not eligible
federal student aid.
Recently, Bryan Bender from the Boston Globe
reported how this provision would help boost military
A little-noticed provision in the proposed
immigration bill would grant instant legal status and
ultimately full citizenship to illegal immigrants if
they enlist in the US military, an idea the Pentagon and
military analysts say would boost the Pentagon's
flagging efforts to find and recruit qualified soldiers.
The reality is that military recruitment is down
significantly and there are reports that the Pentagon is
wanting to imposing a
"limited military draft" in order to
maintain "its present force levels in Iraq and
Afghanistan" according to the British daily
Post. If the bill were to become law, the provision
is expected to improve military recruitment numbers by
undocumented immigrants to enlist as a means to
obtain citizenship. It is evident that current recruitment
Recently, the Department of Defense
announced that the recruitment goals fell short in May and
this probably would explain
why the military urgently
wants to have Congress with pass the current immigration
reform bill or just the DREAM Act portion
of the bill. The
Army fell short in May by 7 percent, short of its goal of
5,500, while the Army National Guard fell 12% short of
their goal and the Air National Guard were well below
their target by 23 percent. While the DREAM Act may
facilitate access to
college for a small percentage of
these undocumented students, the promise of legalization
may be a large enough incentive for
many young Latinas and
Latinos to postpone going to college.
When the immigration bill failed to go through
Congress earlier this month, Bill Carr, acting deputy
undersecretary of defense
for military personnel policy,
told a veterans’ group that he would like to see Congress
fast track the DREAM Act so the military
recruiting undocumented immigrants right away.
"In other words, if you had come across (the
border) with your parents, yet you were a minor child
and have been in the U.S. school system for a number of
years, then you could be eligible to enlist," he said.
"And at the end of that enlistment, then you would be
eligible to become a citizen."
The truth is the US is running out of troops because
the war in Iraq has tied down roughly 150,000 US troops
almost four years. Now that the Bush is
sending another 30,000 troops to Iraq this only makes the
troop shortage worse.
Recruitment is so bad, it was
reported that the Army sent its recruiters to Panama City,
FL during Spring Break hoping to entice
some young drunk
white co-ed into signing their life away to the Army.
Currently, between 40,000 and 47,000 non-citizens
are serving in the military. According to Emilio Gonzalez,
director of the
Bureau of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services, about 40,000 non-citizens are already serving in
the military. Another source,
Defense Manpower Data
Center, reports there are 35,000 non-citizens are
currently serving on active duty in the US Armed Forces,
with another 12,000 serving in the Guard and reserves.
However, only legal residents and green card holders
were qualified to serve because the executive order
President Bush signed
2002 only applied to them. If the
current bill were to pass, the Defense Department is
hoping to see a major boost because the
expansion of the
recruiting pool would now include at least 750,000 youths
of military age that could immediately enter the path to
citizenship in exchange for at least two years of service
in the armed forces.
The idea of having foreigners fight for our war in
Iraq is not new. Neo-conservative Max Boot, Council on
senior fellow, had previously proposed
that the military should enlist and actively recruit
foreigners from other countries.
The military would do well today to open its ranks
not only to legal immigrants but also to illegal ones
and, as important, to untold numbers of young men and
women who are not here now but would like to come. No
doubt many would be willing to serve for some set period
in return for one of the world’s most precious
commodities - U.S. citizenship. Open up recruiting
stations from Budapest to Bangkok, Cape Town to Cairo,
Montreal to Mexico City. Some might deride those who
sign up as mercenaries, but these troops would have
significantly different motives than the usual soldier
Given the difficulty many undocumented youth will
have paying for their college tuition along with the
pressure to make financial
contributions to extended
families and coupled with the tendency to adopt uncritical
forms of patriotism based on "gratitude;" it
would be the
military would benefit if this bill if it were to become
Many people assume that enlisting in the military is
a way out of poverty because the military tends to
highlight the few veterans
who do talk about how their
experience in the military and/or the college benefits
they received was helpful to them. With few
gaining US citizenship through the usual channels, and
with little hope of employment, decent housing and
risking ones own life for a glimmer of a chance
for a better future clearly holds some attraction. But it
does comes with a price.
The sad reality, for most
veterans the promises made by the Government frequently
fail to materialize.
According to the Army Times, reports that
over 50,000 unemployed veterans are on the waiting list
for the military's "retraining"
program. The Veterans'
Administration estimates that 1/3 of homeless people are
vets. It was just recently reported that about
of the 9.1 million people covered under the military
health care system seek counseling in their first year
from war. Yet, the soldiers who are
returning from Iraq and Afghanistan "are finding it more
difficult" to receive counseling because
insurance is cutting payments to therapists.
There are still reports that loved ones are still in
harms way because many are still without proper armor and
are in danger of
The US Military has a long history of targeting people
who happen to come from working class families and areas
with a large
returning home with a debilitating brain
injury, missing legs and/or arms, and/or coming back
terribly burned all because of the
roadside bombings that
are taking place. However, to the military, it is being
downplayed with a “war is hell” mentality, therefore,
those who are badly injured, well, that is just the
consequences of war.
number of minorities, both urban and rural -
otherwise known as a "poverty draft." For some immigrants,
the DREAM Act will
help them get into college; but for
others, it might mean risking ones own life to achieve the
American Dream. One thing is certain
- if the immigration
bill passes, there will be more parents who will lose
their child to a war that is illegal, immoral and unjust.
siblings losing their brothers and sisters. And more
families morning over the fresh graves that are being dug
of a polarized debate on
immigration, politicians and the
media continue to paint conflicting
pictures of the influence of
on our communities and
the economy. In an effort to address
these problems, the Senate
previously hit a roadblock on June
when the Comprehensive
Immigration Reform Bill that was
being considered in the Senate was
defeated. . Senators failed to close
off the debate and move toward a
final vote. Just when you thought
that immigration was over for the
year, President George Bush
have none of that. However, George
Bush and the Senate backers of the
bill are pushing really hard to
immigration bill Senate Bill 1639
was introduced by Senators Ted
Kennedy and Arlen Specter earlier
The new bill is the same as
the failed Senate bill Comprehensive
Immigration Reform Bill that was put
together by a small
bipartisan senators working with
Bush. This time around, oddly
enough, the same Senators who were
defeating the bill
are giving life back to the
Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Bill by attaching a series of
seems there was a
change of heart soon after Bush met
with the Republican senators who
voted against the bill.
According to the San Diego
Union-Tribune, the plan was to
submit a series of amendments to the
bill to appease their angry
The bipartisan group is secretly
meeting again and once again are
withholding information of the
proposed changes from
public in order to fast track this
bill before the Fourth of July
recess. How ironic, isn’t it? More
alarming, is how
the Democrat Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid
bamboozled the Latino and the
immigrant community by devising an
"elaborate series of procedural
maneuvers to allow a test-vote" this
Once again, the Democrats
proved themselves to be
hypocritical, they are no better
than the Republicans they just
maneuvering will give lawmakers even
less time for consideration and
deliberation than they had before,
which means they literally will
forgo various procedures that are
associated in the lawmaking process
- hearings, testimony,
debate and amendments, floor debate,
and the possibility of further
amendments. Instead, this bill will
be fast tracked
through the Senate
without a true debate and without
providing us a chance to voice our
This bill is not a clash
pitting nativist forces against big
business "pro-immigrant" forces. At
the heart of this Senate proposal
are: (1) further militarization of
the border and the expansion of
immigrant detention camps; (2) a
"guest worker" program that
keep immigrants in slave-like
conditions; (3) a "legalization"
scheme to force undocumented
immigrants to jump through
hoops to attain permanent residency;
and (4) major restrictions on US
Citizens and permanent residents to
members legally into
the US, which would result in
splitting families apart.
The proposal calls for new
levels in the deployment of border
patrol, hi-tech surveillance
equipment, and detention of
at the border. One of the
key changes is to create of $4.4
billion to a newly created general
(Section 2 IMMIGRATION SECURITY
ACCOUNTS) that would the authorize
Homeland Security to increase the
of the border. The
$4.4 billion would come out of the
fines and back taxes these
undocumented immigrants are required
to pay in
order to apply for a
temporary visa (Title VI, Section
611 AUTHORIZATION OF
APPROPRIATIONS). The funds would be
used to construct more walls, build
more Concentration Camps, provide
more surveillance equipment, develop
verification system, increase the
number of armed agents on the border
and the recruitment of former
from "the Army,
Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and
Coast Guard who have elected to
separate from active duty" (Title I,
Section 101 ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL).
The proposed bill would
construct 20 new concentration camps
that will have the capacity to
detain a total of 20,000 individuals
at any time. Currently, there 22,000
immigrants being detained by the
Homeland Security. This would
increase the number of
beds to 6,700
beds, which would make the gain
since 1994 virtually fourfold. These
detention centers are meant to cage
up in an immigration human
zoo and categorize them as criminals
without trials, "aliens" not
deserving of basic human rights.
It is ironic that every
immigrant (legal and undocumented)
migrating into the US will be forced
to foot the bill to increase the
S.1639: The Secure Borders, Economic
Opportunity and Immigration Reform
Act of 2007 (PDF, 20
militarization at our border that is
meant to keep them out. Today,
thousands of immigrants who have the
desired to have better
life but do
not have means to go through the
process are forced to cross through
dangerous desert and mountain areas
already lead to hundreds
of deaths each year.
Undocumented immigrants have been
made into scapegoats for the
insecurities and problems arising
out of the workings of the
capitalist system itself that are
hitting most people. Through the
reactionary media, the working class
and those in the middle-
constantly bombarded with the
message that "illegal" immigrants
are blamed for everything that has
gone wrong in
this country - from
low wages to cuts in social
services. This is an ugly game that
is being played, it is intended to
from coming together to
stand against the capitalist elites.
This bill was seen for what it is
once and it was opposed, yet, it is
being defied and it is once again
being pushed with very little
All this underscores the urgency for
immigrants and those who stand with
them to resist this capitalist
offensive. Those who are
bill apparently hoped to push it
through "under the radar" and pass
it without anybody noticing, need to
accountable. There is a real
need to build a strong united front
that goes beyond the immigrant
communities if we are ever to
on and defeat the anti-immigrant
breaking ranks with with other
civil rights organizations in 2005
during Alberto Gonzales' nomination
for Attorney General, it
Latino civil rights groups have
finally swallowed their pride and
admit to themselves that Gonzales
was not the
person they thought he
The most depressing
feature of the Gonzales nomination
hearings was neither the faux
support by the Republicans nor the
spineless silence of the Democrats –
both reveal the predictable
inability of most white politicians
to talk candidly about race.
what most disturbing was the high
level of automatic acceptance among
Latinas/os. So the question is, when
light go off for the League
of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
and the National Council of La Raza
According to a New York
Times artice, it was when
Gonzalez decided to snub them. It is
terribly disappointing to see that
this lackluster excuse as their sole
reason to stop supporting him. It
totally negates everything Gonzales
has done to this
country, and sounds
more as if they are "taking their
marbles and going home" because
their homeboy Al snubbed them.
It was obvious a large
majority of Latino organizations,
such as LULAC, NCLR, National
Association of Latino Elected
Appointed Officials, US Hispanic
Chamber of Commerce, the National
Latino Peace Officers Association,
Coalition and the
Hispanic Alliance for Progress
Institute selectively refused to see
that Gonzales was just another peón
blindly following his patrón.
Gonzales has time and time again,
demonstrated both before and during
his current tenure as
General that he served as President
Bush's in-house "yes" man. His role
as Bush's peón is only to seek out
loopholes in the law in order to
uphold, for political or moral
reasons, what his boss has already
decided to do regardless of
nation’s opinion. During his
nomination, many Latino activists,
were perplexed as to how these
short time on the Texas Supreme
Court bench (two-years) as
experience to be Attorney General?
purpose of affirmative
action is to make sure that everyone
has the equal opportunity to enjoy
America's wealth by
barriers. It was not intended to
hire some random unqualified
minority just because they happen to
The reason affirmative
action is being dismantled is that
organizations like LULAC and NCLR
who abuse it for there own
gain. There comes a time we must
realize that actions speak louder
than words, just look what just
person who they
strongly advocated for - in the end
- decided to turn his back on them.
So who will suffer from this
We, the Latino community.
Now, we are forced to work twice as
hard and prove ourselves in order to
erase the damage our
Even if we were to consider
him qualified for the position of
Attorney General, it is still a
mystery how they still could simply
overlook the draconian policies he
has helped put into place. During
his time as White House counsel and
close advisor to
President Bush, he:
With all of this, it should
not be surprising of the recent
scandal involving Gonzales - the
writing was already on the
wall for all the world to
see. The Times article also
mentions that activists have
criticized La Raza and LULAC for
Gonzales. They were precise
in their assessment. It has been
mentioned before by Latino
activists, it is one thing to be
committed and supportive of the
Latino community and communities of
color, it is another to do it just
because he happens
to be Latino. The
truth is Gonzales' interest has
always been confined solely to
himself rather than to larger Latino
Republican politics does not allow
minorities to have a solidarity -
"closing the ranks" - mentality;
instead, his claim to being Latino
is for the purpose of
self-promotion, to gain power and
prestige. All through his
life, he has championed
individual achievement and race-free
standards. Now that he is seeing his
ship sinking, it is not
to see him whip out the race card of
Latino victimization and Latino
There were only a few who had
the courage to publicly say that his
appointment was nothing more but an
act of cynical
tokenism concealed by
outright lies about Gonzales being
the most qualified candidate
regardless of race. The fact is
was simply unqualified for
the position of Attorney General.
The fact no Latino leader could
utter publicly that a Latino
appointee for Attorney General was
unqualified shows how captive they
are to white-racist stereotypes
There were a few who privately
admitted his mediocrity, but they
were also quick to point out the
mediocrity of his processor, John
Ashcroft – as if white mediocrity is
a justification for Latina/o
mediocrity. The argument
made, there are no double standards
if one can defend and excuse any
unqualified Latino or any other
appointee by comparing them
to other unqualified white
appointees. This is nothing more but
cynical tokenism – with little
concern about shattering any racist
stereotype placed on us or
furthering the public interest in
Gonzales proved his usefulness
by playing the role that was
assigned to him, Bush's token
Latino. It was nothing more but
illusion, a ploy to win the Latino
vote and these organizations took
the bait – hook, line and sinker.
Why did so many of
to Bush's cynical strategy? The
answer is simple. Most Latina/o
leaders, like other minority
caught up in a vulgar
form of racial reasoning: the
need for Latino solidarity in the
interest of the Latino community in
hostile white-racist country.
This line of racial reasoning leads
to typical questions regarding
Latino loyalty, such as,
Gonzales a vendido?"; "Is he Brown
enough to defend?" and "Is he a
coconut?" In fact, these questions
be asked, debated, and
answered throughout the Latino
As long as racial reasoning
continues to dominate our action as
a community, the Alberto Gonzaleses
of the world will
continue to haunt
the Latino community – as Bush and
his ilk sit back, watch, and
prosper. It does not help the Latino
if people are willing
compromise their principles by
jumping on every façade bandwagon
just because a person can say "Soy
Latino/a." So how does one go about
undermining the framework of racial
reasoning? By dismantling each
pillar slowly and
with the aim of replacing racial
reasoning with moral reasoning. The
Latina/o struggle is not about a
skin color or having a
Spanish surname but rather a matter
of having ethical principles and
wise politics. If it means passing
up at the chance to have the first
Latino (fill in the blank), so be
it. It would be better have someone
we can be proud of,
someone who will
be a great role model for our
community rather than some fake
Latino we will no longer mention -
Lauro Cavazos, and
Henry Bonilla and we can now add
Alberto Gonzales to this list.
The continuing silence of
these organizations is a clear
message to the Latino/a community
and their allies among people of
Gonzales has to go for the sake
of the nation. It is about time, our
Latino civil rights groups have
finally seen the light, but
color that they are unwilling to
dismantle the framework of racial
reasoning. As long as our leaders
remain caught in a
racial reasoning, they will never
rise above the manipulative language
of Bush and Gonzales. Where there is
no vision, the people perish; where
there is no framework of moral
reasoning, people close ranks in a
war of all against all.
much more that must be done if
Americans are to survive with any
In nearly every category that
measures social well-being, the
conditions of racially oppressed
people have worsened. In the
that began in
South in 1864
the US in the
communities of the African American,
Latino, Asian American, Native
American, and other nationally and
situation is at crisis levels.
Adding another blow, the xenophobic
resident of Farmers Branch, TX has
by a 68% - 32% vote an
ordinance that would fine landlords
and property managers $500.00 for
renting to the undocumented.
However, what occurred in Farmers
Branch is not unusual - it is one of
America's best guarded secrets.
Towns such as
Farmers Branch are
often called "sundown towns" - where
communities systematically exclude
people of color - mainly
Americans - from living in it.
across the US
their homes to
went as far as
Let the Sun Go
Down on You in
never came out
and tried to
be a bit
"If You Can
Read ... You'd
Better Run ...
If You Can't
The signs are
gone now but
they are a
could be found
city limits or
the signs are
gone, does not
and a problem
US. The truth
which did not
race, but also
Jim Crow in
most of the
when they were
well as Asian
Although, Loewen's book
the West and
is not true,
many of these
kept out Asian
Americans. Loewen wrote:
still others established
in the 1930s
and 1940s, as
in much of the
1930, 90% of
who lived in
from Asia and
dogs or worse.
drives to the
there was a
is often lost
because of the
fairy tale, is
that not all
like the King
Ranch. It was
less than "any
and in voting
and were often
shut out of
not stay in
Not only were
of them were
in Texas, the
Jim Crow with
it has now
prejudice as a
same way the
of the same
on the basis
of race. The
history of the
shows why we
This is not the extraordinary rendition of fingered terrorist suspects in some faraway land. This is the increasingly
The pre-dawn pounding at the door startles the family out of its sleep. “Police!” a voice bellows from the other side.
Agents in riot gear seal off the factory, locking doors and windows, and, pointing military rifles at the employees, sort
Maybe a family member or neighbor is in trouble, maybe there’s an emergency in the neighborhood. The door’s
unlatched and opened, and federal agents burst through. They grab the mother, handcuff her, and disappear her into
them into two groups. One group is dragged out and dispersed to prisons a thousand miles away. Older sisters lead
their younger siblings through local jails looking for a parent. A nun roams detention facilities clutching a nursing
baby, trying to find the child’s mother. It takes weeks and a lawsuit before lawyers and family members learn where
all the workers have been taken.
The imprisoned have only two choices: struggle through a legal process they barely understand with official assurances
they won’t succeed and might endanger the rest of their family, or go into self-imposed exile abroad, away from their
wife, husband, sons, and daughters, from their home and their community.
ordinary rendition of migrants from within the United States. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party-controlled Congress touts
a new plan for "comprehensive immigration reform," itself hardly better than the forced-labor Bracero program of five
decades ago. And this time, the migrants will pay for their own exploitation. These are the options offered migrants in the
And so it's happening again. On May 1st, 2007, hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, will stand up to the anti-migrant
tide, against the raids and deportations, against punitive and terroristic "immigration reform." Migrants and those with
recent migrant roots, will emerge from invisible communities and underground economies to demand dignity and justice
from a government that is offering only a choice between which oppression it will unleash on them. And they have an
answer: stop the raids and deportations, and legalization for all immigrants now.
The U.S. House of Representatives, where the Sensenbrenner bill originated, has offered the migrants an untenable
conundrum, a choice between poisons: continue living with the fear of imminent deportation and separation, or accept the
Gutierrez-Flake proposal, officially called the STRIVE Act (Security Through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant
Economy) of 2007 and dismissed on the streets as the Son of Sensenbrenner. In short, the Gutierrez-Flake bill gives
Republicans nearly every punitive measure they flouted in the original Sensenbrenner proposal, and it gives migrants a
rocky, uphill, nearly impossible climb to citizenship.
On Tuesday, there will be marches, rallies, vigils, and boycotts in the largest cities and tiniest hamlets. Small businesses
will shut down, traffic will be detoured, employees will mysteriously fall ill, students will cut classes or make their way home
a few hours later than usual. And on this side of the racial and economic divide, almost nobody knows it's happening,
except for alert economic advisers, wary policy wonks, and savvy political candidates. But powers-that-be are watching
carefully, after last year's protests shut down the onerous Sensenbrenner anti-migrant bill in the House, stalling
immigration reform indefinitely and forcing the Republican juggernaut to a standstill.
Likely they have already noticed that independent truckers have forced the Los Angeles Port Authority to declared May
Day 2007 a holiday, to avoid the fines and penalties for an migrants' rights strike. Last year's May Day strike for migrants'
rights shut down more than 90% of the port's shipping. In claiming victory, Ernesto Nevarez proclaimed, "We forced them
to recognize May Day."
The Bush administration has been fierce in its backlash to last year's demonstrations and legislative shutdown. After
massive numbers of people protested in 2006, Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids took the place of failed
Congressional mandates. In Midwest cities, ICE agents wristbanded workers at the point of assault weapons to signal who
was "foreign" and who was "domestic"; the "foreign" workers were shipped to detention camps across the country. After
the Swift & Co. raids, whole cities rallied to take in abandoned children, and the news couldn't ignore wives begging ICE for
word of their husbands' fate for months without response. So ICE learned to keep the raids small but frequent and harsh, to
strike at small towns and farmlands. Now, ICE agents burst into homes in early morning hours to roust sleeping families and
drag parents away from cringing, terrified children. People who's "crime" of entering the U.S. without a visa is subject to a
$50 fine are dragged off to private prisons for being in the vicinity of ICE sweeps for felons. Farmers in North Dakota are
handcuffed and helplessly overlook vacant fields after thirty-six ICE agents cart away thirteen workers at gunpoint.
Rumors persist of bicyclers dragged away and ICE raids on public busses. Two hundred children wear prison uniforms and
languish in cells 23 hours a day at the T. Don Hutto facility in Taylor, Texas. These and other nightmares spread in whispers
through migrant-descent communities, while ICE gives the media nothing but local stories to report.
Not surprisingly, in the two months leading up to this year's May Day protests, the detentions have intensified. Armed,
warrantless home invasions have left hundreds of families shattered. People have been hauled out of pizza joints, and
"Latino-looking" shoppers at a Chicago mall were lined up against a wall at gunpoint, while white shoppers walked away.
The Department of Homeland Security's notorious raid and deportation program, Operation Return to Sender, brags that it
has imprisoned 18,000 people since its inception eleven months ago.
Last year in Asheville, NC, thousands of people took to the streets. This year, organizers plan a quieter vigil. Danielle
Fernandez of "We Are One America," explains, "There's an unspoken anti-immigrant sentiment in Asheville. We heard
reports of people being ticketed and fired from their jobs for participating in last year's march. But we have to be seen,
as much as it scares us. What's happening here is intolerable." But she adds, "It [the abuse of migrants] has brought the
Latino community together. When I was walking in the marches, a counterprotestor tapped me on the shoulder and said,
'Learn English, or go home.' This whole hoopla is based on appearance." Fernandez is a third-generation U.S. citizen,
descended from Basque migrants.
For the government and its corporate interests, the point of enticing undocumented workers to the U.S. is to hold hostage
a workforce that can't agitate, one that is blackmailed into political and economic silence even as its labor is exploited for
bosses and businesses. But these migrants--from Mexico, Korea, Guatemala, Russia, Ireland, Poland, Nigeria--have not
been invisible enough. They've brought new looks and sounds, different energies, and a darker complexion to their new
country, and they take to the streets to demand humane treatment. Other people, born and raised in the long shadow of
"Father Knows Best" and "Leave It To Beaver," are uncomfortable, and so the newcomers must be intimidated back
into silence and invisibility. Hence, Operation Return to Sender, government doublespeak that lays the blame for global
migration on foreign economies torn to shreds by U.S. trade policies.
Joy Marie Dunlap and Jennaya Dunlap, a mother-daughter team, have dropped off six hundred flyers at the high school,
churches, and grocery stores in Romoland, CA, population 2000. They hope a hundred people will rally with them at 2nd St.
and Highway 74. Joy Marie Dunlap says the point is that "They’ll be on notice that Romoland has a voice. There's little
white support for Latinos here, but our family's motto is 'Do unto to others as you would have them do unto you.' If we
don’t stand up for others, who will stand up for us?" Her daughter adds, "We have friends in the Latino community here
who’ve worked hard all their lives and have nothing to show for it. Here we are back at the civil rights times, only this time
it’s the Latinos.”
But government intimidation and oppression doesn't work when the pain it inflicts outstrips the fear it generates. For
migrants, that pain is family separation. Since the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Bill, the Israeli-style border walls
complete with drone aircraft and razor wire, and increasingly violent Border Patrol tactics, seasonal immigration and
emigration of undocumented workers is too risky, too likely to end in exposure, dehydration, and death in the desert.
Crossing to the U.S. now means family migration and growing, intergenerational communities. And deportation now means
heart-wrenching choices that divide families according to citizenship. Some, like the Miranda-Munoz family chronicled by
the L.A. Times, leave their children in the U.S. Others, like Elvira Arellano, defy all the might of the state's deportation
order for each day with her son, on May 1 breaking a 25-day hunger-strike in the sanctuary Adalberto United Methodist
Church in Chicago. Others take their children away from homes, neighborhoods, friends, and schools to keep their family
intact, to a country where those children confront unfamiliar customs and languages unpracticed since pre-school. The
pain of homeland terrorism, the war on migrants, has outstripped the fear.
In Washington, DC and Los Angeles, hunger strikers maintain a vigil with Arellano, and on Sunday in Los Angeles,
according to organizer Javier Rodriquez, a Youth March from La Placita Church to City Hall will highlight "children and
families affected by racist deportations." The children will demand, "Legalize my parents." Rodriquez, along with Gloria
Saucedo of Hermandad Mexicana Nacional and others, are now in the seventh day of a fourteen-day fast. They anticipate
thousands will join them in one-day fasts. The Los Angeles Police Department is planning for 400,000-person convergence
on Olympic and Broadway on Tuesday morning.
As Justin Akers Chacon has summarized in "H.R. 1645 (The STRIVE ACT): Image and Reality of 'Comprehensive
Immigration Reform'," this version of immigration reform would massively expand the militarization of the border, including
actively recruiting ex-military with border enforcement experience in war zones into the ranks of the Border Patrol. Like the
original Sensenbrenner bill, migrants who cross the border without papers, currently a $50 civil violation, will be criminalized,
subject to 6 months in prison, and employer enforcement and penalties will increase. Local law enforcement will be paid to
train and equip themselves to turn over migrants to federal authorities.
At 4:00 pm EDT, ralliers will gather at Malcolm X Park, 16 St NW and Euclid St, in DC to demand that the District of
Columbia declare itself a sanctuary city, that the city prohibit police for detaining people on suspicion of illegal entry, that all
migrants be legalized, and that deportations end.
The much-touted "amnesty" for migrants already within U.S. borders requires that these low-paid workers leave the country
and return, pay two thousand dollars in fines, prove a consistent work history in the U.S., pay back taxes unless they can
establish a withholding record for years of past employment, and take classes until they are fluent in English. Citizenship could
take up to fifteen years.
Only 400,000 "New Worker" H-2C visas are scheduled for issuance in the first year of implementation, with future adjustments
based on business demand for fresh labor. The visa would cost the visa holder an application fee, now priced at $1000, and up
an additional, punitive $500 fine. In comparison, for technological and other highly skilled occupations, an H-1B visa costs the
visa holder $500, while $1000 is paid by the employer. In spite of claims of portability, these "New Workers" effectively would
be bound to an employer for the three-year duration of the visa and tracked by an “Alien Employment Management System."
If the worker is fired by a vindictive boss or leaves their job and does not have an approved job waiting, they face deportation.
According to Dave Schmidt of Se Se Puede Coalition, "This bill incorporates some of the most odious elements of the
Sensenbrenner Bill. It’s a step backwards. It still has the criminalization element of the Sensenbrenner bill. The people hear
it’s from the Democrats, and they think it’s the best they can get. But it’s a common thing in Latin America, people really
think pretty radically. The answer, if you don’t want people dying in the desert, you allow a humane immigration policy that
allows people to work humanely." Si Se Puede Coalition is coordinating a march from San Diego State College to Presidio
Park on Tuesday.
Migra Matters notes that this Son of Sensenbrenner bill separates those who overstay their visas from those who entered
without papers, targeting Mexican and Central American migrants. It allows broader use of indefinite detention--
imprisonment without a sentence--for lack of government paperwork than proposed in the 2006 Sensenbrenner proposal, and
a fifteen-year prison term for misuse of identification. And the sweeps won't end if the bill is passed: the Gutierrez-Flake bill
provides for building twenty more detention facilities, and a total of 20,000 beds.
Buffalo Forum in New York sponsored a teach-in on the proposed legislation last week. Kathy Chandler says they're planning
a hundred-person march on May 1st from the high school to a nearby park, and a caravan from there to the ICE facility to
continue their protest.
For people who've struggled for years at seasonal, contract, and day labor, often for less than minimum wage and sometimes
for fly-by-night employers, the burden in most cases will be too much to overcome. Fruit vendors on the turnpike entrance,
day laborers, cleaning women, farm workers shunted from site to site by contractors, face insurmountable hurdles. The cost
of the "New Worker" visa alone amounts to roughly 16% of the annual minimum wage of $9750 after federal taxes, making
saving or helping overseas families less than unlikely. But the ultimate insult is what a New York migrant activist called the
"modern-day slavery" of being tied to the whim of an employer, nothing more than the old Bracero program returned, only
this time, workers will pay for their own exploitation.
The incentives to work in the U.S: making money for impoverished family members, the freedom to move up the economic
ladder, putting together a nest egg, all evaporate under Gutierrez-Flake. The carrot of legal status is nearly impossible to
grasp. The penalties for failure to do so are immense. And the choice between Gutierrez-Flake compliance and more
deportations is a choice only between instruments of punishment.
Panama Alba, a New York City activist, isn't worried that this year's numbers may be fewer than last year's. "We don't
have the media backing. They've been told to keep their mouths shut. [The migrants] only have a voice in the streets, so
they go to the streets. But it's not about numbers. They've tried to shut us down. In light of the raids, any migrant who
steps into the streets is a hero or heroine." What's driving them? "People are forced to emigrate for lack of work.
Otherwise, they will die. Fourteen men were rescued last December trying to cross the Atlantic Ocean from Senegal to
New York City in a 50-foot boat, in search of work. Every other week we hear of the death or injury of a construction
worker in New York, because the bosses don't follow safety rules. Any guestworker program is bullshit, it's not acceptable.
We demand full legalization for all who are here." The May 1st Coalition New York is marching from Union Square to the
Federal Building and immigration center at Foley Square.
In Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Ashland, San Diego, Romoland and dozens of other cities, town, and villages
William Shakespeare once wrote, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
on May 1st, businesses will be closed and the streets will be jammed again, although perhaps not so densely as before, with
the outcry of the people forgotten in the equation of "compromise." As chambers of commerce negotiate with nativist
Congresspeople to find common ground, on May 1 the people will give them their answer. It will be one neither the
corporations, the Administration, nor the Congress want to hear. It is a simple demand for freedom and family, and for the
legal recognition and protections afforded to all other human beings in the U.S. The question is, who will listen?
" What's in a name? Plenty, when the lives of millions of immigrants of color are at stake. Here, Shakespeare and subjects
like love are not applicable. Here, the name game attains far greater importance than in besotted Romeo's speeches.
Endgame is a term used in chess; it is the last stage of the game after a series of moves and are ready to use your remaining
primary pieces to take advantage of the weaknesses that you created in your opponent's defense. The new Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids that are paralyzing immigrant communities of color across the US are part of
Operation Endgame, the massive immigration enforcement operation launched by the Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) in 2003. The obvious question, what does chess have to do with immigration? The appropriate response to this question,
Image making is one of the new weapons of modern warfare; it used to construct the governments rationalization for their
military practices. Since the first Gulf War, major US operations have been nicknamed with an eye toward shaping domestic
and international perceptions about the copious undertakings they describe. When it comes to the game of chess, there is
more to mere game than meets the eye. For those who do not play chess, it may seem like a standard game; pieces moving
back and forth on a square checkered chessboard with the aim to checkmate the opponent's king; but to the strategist it is
all about intimidating their opponent by toying with fears and illusions that eerily mirrors the outside world of the human
condition. In chess, the pieces are limited in their movement on the board. Worse, as in the real world, the white pieces have
the upper hand because it always has the first opening moves of a game, in essence, the goal is to create a dynamic imbalance
between the two sides by continuing and increasing the advantage conferred by moving first. And like the real world, there
are times when the black pieces has an opportunity to be in control, however, the white pieces will eventually have no other
alternative but to respond to the situation.
If major US operations are nicknamed to reveal the logic behind their strategic goals, then it safe to assume that the current
Utah - 69 Latinos workers Salt Lake City Airport
100 airports across the country 200,000 workers were questioned
named operations being used under Endgame was meant to dehumanize and criminalize undocumented migrants working in
the US. The table below is short a list of immigration raids conducted by ICE since Endgame began, however, I also included
two significant raids that were conducted by the old Immigration and Naturalization Services (Pre-ICE) that were conducted
right after 9/11.
only 350 detained
561 immigrants - five-state area comprised of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas
Operation Community Shield
||Nationwide - 1,300 Salvadoran suspected to be with MS-13 gang only 43
were actual gang members
||Nationwide - April 2006 1,187 were picked up in a nationwide worksite raid
targeting IFCO Systems North America, Inc. ("IFCO"), the largest pallet services. Locations were in: Alabama, Arizona,
Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota,
Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, South
Carolina, Virginia and Utah.
Operation Wagon Trail
||Nationwide - 1,297 were picked from Swift & Company packing
company only 274 were arrested and 649 were deported
Operation Return to Sender
||Nationwide - over 18,000
undocumented immigrants in cities throughout the US have been picked up.
The ongoing Operation "Return to Sender" does nothing but dehumanize them, so it can remove their likeness to us, our
ability of identify with them. As history repeats itself, there are now instances in this country where the majority are now
desensitized, void of humanity, and are now using derogatory words towards minority groups to perpetuate the belief in the
inherent superiority of one race over all others and thereby the right to dominance ("coons," "wetbacks," "ragheads,"
"chinks"). And like George Orwell's Oceania, new words are created to debase or dehumanize the enemy ("gooks," "japs,"
"krauts," "pinkos") enabling a speedy transition to bypass the instinctive moral apprehension to do harm against another.
Part of the reason has to do with our mainstream media. Journalists know how imagery plays a crucial role in what deeply
affect people's emotions and subsequent actions/reactions (just ask CNN, MTV, psychiatrists, etc.). In today's "age of
imagery," Latinas ARE dehumanized as they are defined into two categories: the virginal señorita or the hot tempered
and oversexed Latina spitfire; while Latinos are often portrayed as the smooth "Latin lover" or your typical janitor,
drug lord and gang banger. It's incredulous to think that people like Lou Dobbs are unaware of such nuances and effect
of their words they use to "editorialize" their "immigration news."
At this time Operation "Return to Sender" has resulted in the indiscriminate roundup of over 18,000 immigrants, which
over one-third of them were not even the people being targeted. According to the figures reported by a Lawton, OK news
station KSWO, since the time ICE's "Operation Return to Sender" began in May 06, roughly "37% of the cases were
'collateral' captives - people who happened to be present when agents arrived."
Couched in pro-worker terms, Endgame is just a piece that is part of a neo-liberal strategy to exploit mainly millions of
Mexican and Central American laborers as transient servants through a national guest worker program. Endgame began
in 2003 and is scheduled for completion by 2012. Their is an ongoing debate to pass legislation for a national guest worker
program. The project clearly establishes proof of the developing the strategy to exploit Latin American labor. Endgame is
an expanded version of "Operation Wetback." The economic goals of both operations is the same - exploit the desirable
workers in servitude and mass removal of undocumented Latin American migrants from the US. The scope of Endgame,
however, includes the short-term deportation project of 1954:
The DRO strategic plan sets in motion a cohesive enforcement program with a ten-year time horizon that will build the
capacity to "remove all removable aliens," eliminate the backlog of unexecuted final order removal cases, and realize
"Within ten years, the Detention and Removal Program will be able to meet all of our commitments to and mandates
from the President, Congress, and the American people."
The Detention and Removal Operation (DRO) facilities operated by ICE under DHS is the infrastructure needed to monitor
and enforce the national guest worker program in the US will eventually be the largest mass deportation in world history. To
strategy behind the "remove all removable aliens" logic is designed to locate, arrest, detain, and deport an excess of twelve
million people. The expansion of these facilities that will be needed to detain and remove tens of millions of undocumented
migrants is already in place or under development. In short, Endgame is the widespread assault on established communities
of undocumented migrants already living and working in the US.
One of the arguments sycophant nativists accuses undocumented workers of doing is crossing the border and stealing jobs
from hard-working Americans. However, the order of events is demonstrably the reverse. Politics by definition is about
compromises and tactical alliances, and one such alliance involves Corporate America. Something is clearly not right when
unions, progressives, and liberals are in bed with Corporate America.
At a time of growing concern about the economic, environmental, and social costs of immigration, as well as new concerns
about threats to national security, their arguments is that is that immigrants are good for the economy because they expand
the domestic consumer market, increase business productivity, and keep the US economy competitive in the worldwide
market. The relentless demand for cheap labor by transnational corporations is the root of our problem. The innocuous
term, "guest worker," obscures the true nature of transient servitude. The word would suggest that a person would be
greeted with open arms and would be treated kindly, but this labor program offers no kindness or generosity to the worker
who is caught in a modern day "slave" trap.
According to Richard D. Vogel, the program will be conducted primarily by private corporations that are only interested in
the bottom line of profits for their stockholders and huge salaries and bonuses for their managers and executives, and it will
be enforced by the unprecedented power of the US government.
However, more troubling is when we have our own Latina/o "leaders" urging us, begging us, to entrust the very people who
are exploiting the millions of Mexican and Central American laborers. Arguing for a National "guest worker" program will
not eliminate the "immigration problem," it will only further undercut the value of all labor in the US. By failing to distinguish
the difference between immigration reform motivated by a desire for cheap labor and immigration reform advocated to attain
a just society does not help our cause.
The Gutierrez-Flake bill being proposed is similar to the old Bracero Program. The Bracero Program was an indentured
servitude program which allowed for the temporary migration of Mexican agricultural workers to the United States from
1942 to 1964. is important because of its impact on the lives of millions of Mexican workers.
The bracero contracts were controlled by independent farmers associations and the "Farm Bureau." The contracts were in
English and the braceros would sign them without understanding their full rights and the conditions of employment. When the
contracts expired, the braceros were required to turn in their permits and return to Mexico. The braceros could return to their
native lands in case of an emergency, only with written permission from their boss.
Ultimately, over 4.6 million Mexican citizens entered the United States under the Bracero Agreement, providing an
abundant supply of cheap workers for US agriculture as long as it was needed. Though the program provided desperately
needed jobs to Mexican workers, the bracero experience was characterized by poverty wages, substandard working
conditions, social discrimination, and lack of even the most basic social services for braceros and their families. Calling the
Bracero Program by another name - Gutierrez-Flake bill - does not make it different.
That reality is, we are living in a post-industrial society where our corporate and government leaders have abandoned US-
based production in field after field, including civilian shipbuilding, railways, computers, and other capital goods, as well as
apparel, consumer electronics, and myriad other consumer goods. The expectant quest for "opportunity" has retreated to
an angry claim to "entitlement." America has become the Land of Entitlement. Now that we have fallen on hard economic
times and looking to see the root cause of this problem. It is not surprising to find most Americans who selfishly believe that
they have the right to maintain living in a lifestyle rich in material comforts, and to do so, many want to displace other families
not just for their pursuit of happiness, but its guarantee to continue in their illusion.
We are living in one of the most ideological epochs in the history of humankind. Few people in America genuinely believe,
Deporting all those without residency papers and walling the US just to retain the present standard of living would only isolate
despite the astute observations of millions of individuals around the world, is that we are living in an empire, and we are no
longer living in a democracy. Every last semblance of democracy in our country that, in our desperate denial, we leave our
claw marks on, is vanishing with each tick of the clock. Despite the clamor in Congress from both conservatives and liberals
for a national guest worker program, it is a reactionary policy with catastrophic economic, social, and political ramifications.
us from the rest of the world by creating a Fortress America. Doing this would create an ironic consequence, the economy
would not only crash therefore turning itself into type of third world country that is so despised by the nativists.
July 20, 2007
CBO Weighs In on the All-Volunteer Force
The Congressional Budget Office has released a major study of the U.S. military's demographics under an all-
volunteer framework versus the draft. The idea of reinstating the draft was a hot-button issue last November
when Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY), a leader and committee chairman in the newly elected Democratic
majority, vocalized his intent to once again make conscription the law of land. Called on by Congress to assess
the matter, CBO offered new findings, which dispassionately deflate the notion that America's All-Volunteer Force
(AVF) is inferior to a conscripted force by any measure: effectiveness, cost, troop quality, retention, morale,
and even social fairness.
Rising Levels of Concern
Last autumn, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) commented to college students in California that without doing your
homework, "you get stuck in Iraq." It created a media circus, with Senator Kerry getting blame for what has in
reality been a long-standing belief that military enlistees are a lower quality group than the civilian population,
though often couched in softer socioeconomic terms. Five years ago, Representative Rangel wrote that a
"disproportionate number of the poor and members of minority groups make up the enlisted ranks of the
military." The stereotype was given another boost by Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. One notorious scene
tracked Marine recruiters, with Moore's overtone: "Where would [the military] find the new recruits? They would
find them all across America in the places that had been destroyed by the economy. Places where one of the
only jobs available was to join the Army." The stereotype entered the mainstream in a front-page Washington
Post article on November 4, 2005: "[T]he military is leaning heavily for recruits on economically depressed, rural
To its great credit, the CBO takes on this challenge with its exhaustive report, "The All-Volunteer Military:
Issues and Performance." The CBO aims to address three main concerns in light of prolonged combat in Iraq
and Afghanistan: "that not enough troops will be available to accomplish the military's missions; that service
members and their families are experiencing continued, significant hardships not shared by the rest of the U.S.
population; and that less-affluent people are more likely to be serving . . ."
The study provides excellent, fact-filled coverage of the first two concerns, which many military professionals
share. Regarding the third concern, CBO shows the stereotype of less-affluent enlistees to be lacking in
substance. In sum, it firmly supports the findings of multiple studies by The Heritage Foundation and lands
strongly in support of policymakers that want to preserve the AVF.
The CBO's Findings
Volunteer service members have a lower turnover rate and higher morale; this has implications for cost
reduction. The CBO notes that the only way to reduce costs with involuntary conscripts is to reduce pay.
Volunteers normally sign up for four- to six-year enlistments, versus the two-year conscriptions allowed by
the Selective Service Act. The continuation rate of today's enlisted troops has varied between 82.4 to 84.5
percent in recent years, and the CBO estimates that an annual crop of up to 90,000 new Army volunteers--;
10,000 more than current goals--;may be necessary to expand the overall force by 2012 as planned. If a draft
is used as an alternative to grow the force, nine out of 10 draftees are likely to leave after their initial two-year
enlistment. A draft involves new expenses as well, not to mention consequences for quality. The high turnover
rate would also severely disrupt U.S. goals to grow long-term capabilities, which starts with a stable force
Data-rich charts in the CBO study shine light on the quality of recruits: (1) Non-prior-service (NPS) recruits
with high school diplomas rose from under 70 percent in 1973 to above 90 percent in every year after 1985;
and (2) the percentage of enlistees in the lowest two intelligence test categories is roughly one-tenth in the
AVF what it is in the civilian population, and is one-seventh what it was in the draft-era enlisted force. These
are consistent with the educational findings in reports from The Heritage Foundation.
Spicing the Numbers
Despite the wide agreement between the studies, the CBO takes pains to say that another study by the
National Priorities Project (NPP) is "consistent" with its own, even though NPP was one of the originators of
the low-income stereotype. The CBO report then goes out of its way to disagree with Heritage, concluding
not with a refutation of the stereotype that motivated its study, but with the following statement: "Neither
of the [CBO or NPP] studies is consistent with the Heritage Foundation's conclusion that recruits come
disproportionately from the top 40 percent of the income distribution."
This is an odd note that is off-key with the substantive message in the other 48 pages. The data from all three
studies are quite similar, showing that in the modern military, the poorest and wealthiest youth populations
are underrepresented while the middle-class is overrepresented. As a matter of fact, the CBO even shows
that recruits with parents in the wealthy 75th-;90th percentile range are overrepresented. Where the studies
differ is how they cut the data and spice it up. CBO, to its credit, has no spice, which makes its final sentence
all the more puzzling.
NPP, in contrast, is heavily spiced. "Lower and middle-income communities experience higher military
enlistment rates than higher income areas," declared NPP's original November 2005 study. This is
demonstrably false, using NPP's own data and charts. Greg Speeter, NPP's Executive Director, said, "this data
makes clear that low- and middle-income kids are paying the highest price." Even now, the NPP Web site says,
"In other words, neighborhoods with low- to middle-median household incomes are over-represented." This
claim is stunning in its boldness, appearing directly above a chart showing that the poorest income bracket
has an enlistment rate roughly one-third the national norm.
Turning now to Heritage, the second chart in its 2006 report shows the percentage point difference between
the median incomes of recruits' "home of record" neighborhoods and the equivalent civilians in 20 income
brackets up to $100,000+. The chart shows a clear bubble of over-representation from middle-class
neighborhoods while the tail ends of the graph are underrepresented. But the wealthy tail is very lightly
populated, which is why Heritage emphasizes population quintiles instead. Heritage cut the data so that
each income class, from poorest to richest, was based on the same population size.
The Heritage report is careful to discuss the overrepresented recruits coming from wealthier neighborhoods,
not families. This fact is indisputable and the CBO does not try to counter it. Rather, its point is that zip code
analysis of the kind that Heritage and NPP undertake is only tentative.
The alternative is to get a broad sample of enlistees to identify their actual parental incomes, and this is what
the CBO attempts to do. The results are based on a sample of "just over 100 people," which is arguably more
tentative and subject to a wide margin of error, especially when broken into income brackets.
The Heritage study did not use such a tiny sample, or any sample for that matter, but the entire population
of NPS enlistees: "The 2003 data cover 176,410 recruits, the 2004 data cover 175,977 recruits, and the 2005
data cover 149,462 recruits." One way to think about the statistical validity is the following: a single 5-digit
zip code in Heritage's study included more enlistees than CBO's entire analysis of socioeconomic fairness.
All in all, the CBO deserves praise for its excellent study. It confirms that today's American troops are not
disadvantaged victims, no matter how the data is sliced. They are smart, competent, and have a host of
opportunities. Despite the opportunities available to intelligent young Americans, hundreds of thousands
are making a free choice to join the ranks every year. Thanks to the CBO, Congress is more likely to agree
that these men and women should not be replaced by conscripts.
Tim Kane, Ph.D., is Director for the Center for International Trade and Economics at The Heritage Foundation.
 Ann Scott Tyson, "Youths in Rural U.S. Are Drawn to Military," The Washington Post, November 4, 2005,
 See National Priorities Project, "Army recruits by neighborhood income, 2004, 2005, 2006," December
22, 2006, at www.nationalpriorities.org/charts/Army-recruits-by-neighborhood-income-2004-2005-2006.html,
and The Heritage Foundation, "Income Difference Between Wartime Recruits and Civilians," at
The Virtue of an All-Volunteer Force
by Walter Oi
Walter Y. Oi is the Elmer B. Milliman Professor of Economics at the University of Rochester, and was staff economist
for President Nixon's Commission on the All-Volunteer Force. A longer version of this article is in the summer issue
of Regulation magazine, a publication of the Cato Institute.
Last January, as Congress and the public grappled with the possibility of U.S. military action in Iraq, Rep. Charles
Rangel (D-N.Y.) introduced the "The National Service Act of 2003" to reinstate compulsory national service. The
congressman justified the bill by claiming the nation's defense should not be "the sole responsibility of paid volunteers."
"If our great nation becomes involved in an all-out war, the sacrifice must be equally shared," Rangel said. "We must
return to the tradition of the citizen soldier."
He freely admitted that the legislation was intended in part to disrupt the push toward war. But, putting that aside, is
the nation's defense better provided through compulsory service or an all-volunteer force? And would compulsory
service provide a preferable sharing of the burden of military preparedness?
For most of U.S. history, volunteers supplied the manpower for the nation's defense. There have been only four
departures from that tradition, and each of those occurred in times of significant perceived threat. The first U.S.
draft bill was passed in March of 1863, nearly two years after the outbreak of the Civil War. It was met with riots
in New York City and was temporarily suspended. The second draft bill passed Congress on May 18, 1917, six
weeks after the United States formally entered the Great War. That draft was short lived; calls were stopped fully
three months before the end of hostilities. The nation's first peacetime draft was adopted Sept. 16, 1940, against
the backdrop of war in Europe. It supplied more than 10 million of the 15 million American service members who
served during World War II, and it remained in place after the war until March 31, 1947. Then, for 15 months, the
nation returned to an all-volunteer force. But the military failed to meet recruitment goals and, with the Cold War
emerging, Congress established the Selective Service System on July 1, 1948. Under that law, compulsory service
would affect the lives of young American men for a quarter of a century.
Over that time, compulsory service met growing criticism and outright opposition. In 1969, President Richard Nixon
established the President's Commission on an All-Volunteer Armed Force to develop a plan to return to an all-
volunteer military. According to the commission, if the entry-level pay of enlisted men were raised, the recruiting
organization expanded, and the conditions of service life improved, the Armed Services could attract enough
volunteers to staff the active-duty strength objectives.
Congress took the first step toward implementing the plan in 1972 when lawmakers raised the pay of first-term
enlisted men by 61.2 percent. The lawmakers also refused to extend the draft authority, which expired on June 30,
1973. The nation's defense was placed in the hands of an all-volunteer force.
Because labor became more expensive, the Pentagon shifted to a leaner, more capital-intensive force. Unlike the
conscripts who served two-year tours of duty, soldiers in the all-volunteer force enrolled in extensive training
courses to learn how to operate and maintain advanced weapons and manage a professional, well-staffed support tail.
This shift appears to have had a dramatically positive effect on U.S. military preparedness. A dozen years ago, the
Gulf War was waged successfully with a total of 147 battlefield deaths. More recently, the American military
experienced 74 deaths in Afghanistan and 137 deaths in Iraq. In comparison, during the Selective Service era, the
U.S. military experienced 33,741 deaths in Korean and 47,414 in Vietnam.
But even if an all-volunteer force is more effective and fights with a dramatically lower loss of life, is it unacceptable
because its demographics do not represent the U.S. population? According to Rep. Rangel, "We must be certain
that the sacrifices we will be asking our armed forces to make are shared by the rest of us."
But compulsory service did not produce an equal sharing of sacrifice. In 1964, for example, 35.6 percent of draft-
eligible young men were exempted from military service for physical or mental reasons. Under the draft, women
made up only four percent of the active duty forces, as compared to 15 percent in 2000. Today, college-educated
African Americans comprise some 12 percent of the officer corps, yet only 7.6 percent of college graduates are
Black. African American enlisted men in the all-volunteer Army are under-represented in the infantry and special
forces, and over-represented in logistical support and administrative occupations - positions that they can serve in
to retirement and that provide them skills valued in the civilian world. Would it be acceptable to use compulsory
service to bring those numbers in line with national demographics?
The draft is a poor way to provide an effective common defense. It discourages the adoption of military technologies
that can reduce the loss of life and improve effectiveness during military operations. It increases the full economic
cost of producing defense capability. And it does not make the military more representative. In a free society,
individuals who serve by choice and not by compulsion should meet the call to arms.
updated 7-19-07 -
AMERICA IS NOW SAFE FROM ITS OWN CITIZENS
By the authority vested in me as President
by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including
the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, as amended (50 U.S.C. 1701
et seq.)(IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.)(NEA),
and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,
updated 7-16-07 -
IS ATTACKING AMERICA
WHETHER YOU KNOW IT OR NOT
FULL TRANSCRIPT OF BENJAMIN FULFORD
updated 7-9-07 -
NORTH AMERICAN UNION BEING DEVELOPED!!!
AMERICA NEEDS TO CLOSE THE BORDER TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS
SOME STATES PASSING LEGISLATION NOT TO COOPERATE
THE NEWEST ONE IS IDAHO
RUDY GUILIANI IS PART OF THE LAW GROUP MANAGING THIS
updated 4-26-07 -
DAVE AND THE STALEMATE
NOT SO STALE ANYMORE
WILL IRAN STRIKE FIRST?????
ISRAEL THREATENED TO BE WIPED OFF THE EARTH
GATHERING OF EAGLES
(THE WAR OF GOG-MAGOG)
THE WAR OF
GREATDREAMS - MAIN INDEX