A bill has been circulating in the United States Congress (H.R. 163 and S.
89), entitled the Universal National Service Act of 2003. This bill would
institute compulsory military and/or civil service for all American
citizens between the ages of 18
A bill to provide for the common defense by requiring that
all young persons in the United States, including women, perform a period
of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of
the national defense and homeland security, and for other
Now, a similar bill was proposed in 2001 (read about it here
), which is dead in the
water. This bill is currently waiting on an endorsement from the
Department of Defense
. This bill is harsher, however, with a longer term
of service (two years vs. one year) and more stringent requirements.
Lotsa problems arise here. A minor, but interesting one, is the fact that
the bill provides for the conscription of U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico,
Guam, the Virgin Islands, etc., who have no opportunity to vote for or
against it, which is a bad way to start this off.
Moreso, in cosponsoring the bill, Pete Stark (D-CA) made the following
The president is intent on invading Iraq whatever the cost.
Thanks to the president's brand of hotheaded daily diplomacy, war with
North Korea may also be imminent. The only real question that remains is
whether or not Americans are ready and willing to bear the cost?
It is my understanding that out of the 435 members of this House and the
100 members of the Senate, only one -- only one -- has a child in active
military service. Who are we to know the pain of war when we ourselves
will not directly bear the brunt of that action? It won't be us mourning
the death of a child or a loved one. Maybe some of you in this Congress
would think twice about voting for war in Iraq if you knew your child may
be sent to fight in the streets of Baghdad?
That sure will teach George W. Bush
, Petey. "You want an army, huh?
Here's a HUGE army!" Woo. As long as California
Democrats are sponsoring
, you know something's messed up.
But why not pass this kind of law? Israel
and other countries have used
it to great effect, and secured their national defense besides. Why
We, as a nation, have a terrible history with the draft, lately.
Vietnam? Korea? Iraq, depending on who you talk to? The bulk of the
voting population doesn't trust the government to make war anymore, and
the nation is so sharply divided on the question of when we should go into
combat that no consensus has been reached since World War II, when the
need was clear.
The 18- to 26-year-olds of this country, by and large, feel no
obligation to serve. Yes, there are plenty of fine men and women who
enlist each year, but they constitute a tiny percentage of the population.
The formative years are something that people tend to cling to when
they're taken away. I know I would vigorously oppose being sent off to the
Army and having all the plans I've made destroyed.
Keep your eyes open for this bill, because it's garnering a hell of a lot
more support than the last one did.