2005-05-21 15:17:41 UTC
WMD ON CAPITOL HILL
Bring back the draft
Nebraska's Chuck Hagel says 'all of our citizens' should 'pay some
price' for U.S. Iraqi operation
Posted: April 20, 2004
11:21 p.m. Eastern
© 2004 WorldNetDaily.com
A Republican U.S. senator is calling for a return of the military draft
so the cost of the Iraq operation could be borne by people of all
Speaking at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on
post-occupation Iraq, Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., said, "There's not an
American ... that doesn't understand what we are engaged in today and
what the prospects are for the future."
Hagel, a member of the committee, says all Americans should be involved
in the effort.
"Why shouldn't we ask all of our citizens to bear some responsibility
and pay some price?" Hagel said, arguing that restoring the draft would
force "our citizens to understand the intensity and depth of challenges
The senator also argued re-instituting the draft, which ended in the
early '70s, would cause the burden of military service to be spread
among all economic classes of people.
"Those who are serving today and dying today are the middle class and
lower middle class," he claimed.
Hagel's call comes just days after the Pentagon moved to extend the
missions of some 20,000 of the 135,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, noted a
report from Agence France-Presse. The Bush administration has been
criticized for not using enough troops as the coalition works to keep
order in Iraqi cities.
As WorldNetDaily reported, a pair of bills was introduced in Congress
last year that would bring back the military draft.
S. 89, the Senate version of the legislation, indicates its purpose is
"to provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons
in the United States, including women, perform a period of military
service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national
defense and homeland security, and for other purposes."
The bill was introduced Jan. 7, 2003, by Sen. Fritz Hollings, D-S.C.
Says the text of the bill: "It is the obligation of every citizen of the
United States, and every other person residing in the United States who
is between the ages of 18 and 26 to perform a period of national service
as prescribed in this Act unless exempted under the provisions of this Act."
This service, which would be for a minimum of two years, can be either
in the military or "in a civilian capacity that, as determined by the
president, promotes the national defense, including national or
community service and homeland security."
Under the bill, "conscientious objectors" may request a deferment from
military training, but must still provide service "that does not include
any combatant training component." Alternatively, the objector can be
transferred to a civilian service job.
The House of Representatives version of the bill, H.R. 163, is sponsored
by Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y.
The bill differs from an earlier attempt to re-institute the draft. As
WorldNetDaily reported, the "Universal Military Training and Service
Act," introduced in December 2001, applied only to men and only those
from 18-22 years of age. Also, the earlier bill required just six months
Libertarian presidential candidate Aaron Russo has launched a petition
drive against the draft.
Last fall, media reported on the fact the Selective Service System had
posted a notice saying the agency was looking for people to serve on
local draft boards. Since then, the appeal has been changed to assure
the public that "there is NO connection between this ongoing, routine
public outreach to compensate for natural board attrition and current
international events. Both the president and the secretary of defense
have stated on several occasions that a draft is not needed for the war
on terrorism, including Iraq."
Libertarian commentators claim the government is getting things prepared
so if the draft is re-instated, conscription can begin as quickly as
possible. Recently, presidential candidate Ralph Nader also has warned
about attempts to bring back the draft.
Petition drive opposes military draft
Congress considers new kind of draft