27
Okt
2004

Fight the Draft

Dear MoveOn Students,

MoveOn Student Action exists to help young Americans force politicians to take the issues that affect our lives seriously. And this election cycle, there is no issue that more directly threatens our entire way of life than the possibility of the Draft.

Let’s be clear about what we mean: President Bush’s policy of go-it-alone, preemptive warfare and ongoing occupation have pushed us towards a reinstated Draft. We are not claiming a Draft will pass tomorrow, or that it is inevitable. In fact, it is so vital to raise this issue now precisely because we CAN still change course.

The best way you can help fight the Draft is by writing a Letter to the Editor of your school or local paper. You don’t have to be an expert. You just need to be concerned about a course of events that threatens our education, our plans for the future, even our very lives. We’ve set up a Draft facts page with talking points and contact information for 150 school papers in battleground states. To see them, just go to:

http://www.moveonstudentaction.org/facts/draft

If your school is not on the list, just call your campus paper and ask how to submit a Letter to the Editor. Most schools will only have a few more days to submit for publication before the election, so time is of the essence.

If you do write a letter, please send a copy to info@moveonstudentaction.org. We will save these for future organizing against the Draft, should that prove necessary.

Letters to the Editor should be short, generally less than 250 words (if you stick to this you’re more likely to get published). Try to make only 1 or 2 points. Subjects for a good letter would include:

• How Bush has pushed us towards a Draft.
• Why it’s wrong to have a Draft to force people to fight Bush’s war-of-choice.
• The importance of an all volunteer military in our democracy.
• What we can do as young Americans before, on or after Election Day to change course and protect our future.

To help you write your letter, we’ve listed here the basic fact pattern that has made this an issue. All these points are recognized by decorated veterans and military experts alike. For more details
and citations, go to: http://www.moveonstudentaction.org/facts/draft

* Our military is dangerously overstretched, more so than at any point since the Vietnam War.
* We are locked in a worsening occupation in Iraq with no end in sight.
* Between the unaddressed nuclear threats of Iran and North Korea and the reconstituted forces of Al Queda, demand on our military may increase soon, and without warning.
* Recruitment is dropping for the National Guard, the army has had to issue Backdoor Draft “stop-loss” orders to keep over 80,000 troops on active duty, and full 35% of the Individual Ready Reservists called up since the invasion have failed to report.
* If we don’t change course, the staffing problems facing our military may come to a breaking point, where a new national Draft is the only way to sustain the President’s policies.

If previous generations had rapidly organized when they saw early warning signs of a dangerous injustice, the Vietnam war may not have claimed over 50,000 American soldiers, and countless Vietnamese.

Now our generation is at a crossroads. Will we act when we still have a chance to stave off the catastrophe of a Draft? The answer is in your hands.

Thanks for all that you do.

- Ben, Meighan, Paul, Noah, Manasee
The MoveOn Student Action Team

PS. This is the last phase of a multi-pronged MoveOn Student Action campaign to address the Draft issue. Here are the other things that we’ve done:

* Last week we published our open letter to the President in the national New York Times. The letter demanded an exit strategy from Iraq to avert a draft and was signed by 71,000 students.
* We held an open national conference call with Iraq and Vietnam veterans who told us about the overstretching of the military and the threat of the Draft.
* This week we’re running ads on the Draft in 155 major college newspapers in battleground states, reaching 1.16 million students.

You can see both ads at
http://www.moveonstudentaction.org/facts/draft
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