Bring Back the Draft

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Bring Back the Draft
by Amy Branham

I am a peaceful person.  I do not believe in unprovoked war, but I do believe that there is a time and a place for war and a need for the military.  Let’s face it, there are some people in the world who are not very nice and we do have a need to defend ourselves from time to time.  In view of this, I am in support of reinstating the draft.  Let me tell you why.

The war in Iraq is not and never was the time and the place for war.  The reality is that we are at war in Iraq, whether we like it or not.  Unfortunately, those servicemen and women who are fighting in this war have been called time after time to go back to Iraq.  Some are on their third or fourth rotations there.  These men and women are tired.  They want to go home to their families and the homes.  They want to go back to their former lives.  They should be able to.  But Uncle Sam keeps calling them back to duty.  Quite often, their service is extended beyond that which was originally agreed upon.  Now they are called back through the IRR (Individual Ready Reserves) after their terms of service have been met.  This is unacceptable.

The U.S. military is recruiting people from other countries to serve.  Heavy recruitment has been going on in the Pacific Islands as well as South and Central America.  We have been using mercenaries to fight this war to take the place of our own citizenry who will not.

The reason this has been happening is because, quite simply, there are not enough troops to serve.  So the same few must go time after time…

     

In Washington the President and his advisors are not backing down from protracted, endless war.  They continue to insist that we must stay the course in Iraq and not leave.  There are no plans to start withdrawing our troops (my preference — I would like to see this done immediately).   The reality is, my friends, this war is not going to end any time soon. 

There are some who still support the President and his illegal war.  Until we can get those people to quit riding the fence or until they have a personal stake in the war, things will not change.  I don’t care who is in control on Capital Hill.  It is we, the people, who are going to have to end this war. 

So, let’s fight fire with fire and call their bluff.  Let’s reinstate the draft.  Let’s give those soldiers who have been taking the brunt of the fire a break and bring them home while they are still alive.  Send fresh troops to the battlefront.  Take those kids of the neocons who support this war, but will not send their own sons and daughters.  There should be NO exceptions for any able-bodied person.  The wealthy and the poor alike should fight together in battle.  If they have to do this, maybe we will all think twice the next time.  We must, as a nation, share this great burden.

We, in the peace movement, have been calling for quite some time now for an immediate end to the war in Iraq.  Few in Washington are listening to us.  Our protests, calls to action and marches get little or no attention.  There are still people in this country who are not aware that there is a war going on!

I do not want to see any more death, violence and insanity.  My family gave that which was most precious to us, our only son and brother, to this war.  I don’t want to see anymore families suffer the way mine has.  Believe me, I know more than most the human cost of war. 

However, I do not see any other way to end all of this until We, The People as a whole take a stand and demand an end to the war.  It’s time to stop pussyfooting around and get serious. 

I know it’s a hard line in the sand.  But we don’t have time to play games and be gentle anymore.  Too many are dying needlessly. 

In peace,
Amy Branham
Mother of Sgt. Jeremy R. Smith
Nov. 1981 – Feb. 2004
Gold Star Families for Peace


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