Just for a moment, can we all jump ahead, say one or two years from now, into what could be a very real scenario. The draft has been reinstated. Our sons and daughters are faced with the choice of going to war or jail. Parents are in shock. They can't believe this has happened to their very own. Shock turns to anger and confusion. Their former lack of concern and awareness of their government's imperialistic agenda is starting to become the biggest mistake of their lives. They had been reassured that no draft was needed nor wanted and without a deep distrust of all that is the state, there was no reason not to believe the argument. The frustration and anger causes rebellion, even among those who would never have considered such a thing. The rebellion is intense and widespread. Martial law is declared. You either do what you are told or fight.
This whole scenario may seem unlikely but to the parent who has the burden of securing their child's future, it is a possibility that can't be ignored. Just what exactly do you think the powers that be will do when we all just say no to the draft? I hope, like you, that sanity will be the reaction and they will change their course and bring the troops home but I'm not optimistic about a change without a real battle first.
This administration already knows a draft will be rejected but they forge ahead anyway. It is a little unsettling, to say the least, to know they have seen the polls only to continue down the same dead end road of more war. It's not too late to change course. It would be the wise thing to do. However, wisdom in the oval office is in short supply these days.
So given this uncertainty about the future claim these folks might stake on our children, we would do well to gear up to let them know our children belong to us, not them.
What follows are a few steps to help you use one of the main tools we have, the opt-out forms. The military is in our schools trying to influence our juniors and seniors as best they can and they begin with the ASVAB test. We can stop this whole process before it starts by opting out.
- Arm yourself with these powerful and informative websites to educate yourself on all you need to know concerning the draft (in any form) and how to fight it. Here and here
- Help educate your local school officials that the opt-out option is indeed written into the No Child Left Behind Act. Provide chapter and verse. Letting these folks know that you don't think they are the enemy can be instrumental in their long-term cooperation. The reality is most of them don't care one way or the other, and when they see the law they will be glad to help.
- Request that the forms need to be made available in a school newsletter or some other mass mailing. Our school put them in the introductory package that was sent at the beginning of the school year.
- Request to be made aware of the day the recruiters are going to be in your school giving the ASVAB test so you or someone can monitor the whole process.
- Even after you take these steps the recruiters will not inform the students of their option to opt-out, so you have to rely on yourself or one of the school officials to inform.
- Take a stand publicly, Letters to the Editor, radio, etc., and let your community know that opposing this war and being patriotic are one and the same. Show that this is not a left-wing, cowardly action, but a courageous stand against those that are demanding the sacrifice of your child There are people in the wings that oppose this insane war that need just a little encouragement or at least the knowledge that other normal, well meaning, productive citizens like themselves feel the same way. Courage can be contagious.
To some this may all seem fruitless. Some may say that everyone opting out will force us into a draft situation sooner. But keep in mind that a loud voice such as a huge opt-out action would be heard by many as an idea whose time has come. An idea that says we are sick of all these war games and we're not going to play anymore. It would be an action from mainstream America, not just some fringe group. They will know that if they insist on fighting these stupid wars worldwide, they are going to have the biggest battle right here at home.
Inspiration that comes to a parent is most always provided by the desire for the well-being of their children. This natural inspiration armed with the facts, the 13th amendment and a lot of encouragement could be a powerful force indeed.
October 22, 2005