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imperialism & war | youth

HR 163 Draft Bill Defeated in Congress!

DEAR COLLEAGUE: I have introduced the ``Selective Service Registration Termination Act'' (H.R. 4746) in order to dismantle the machinery of a draft which would suck American youth deeper into the quagmire of the Iraq War and also provide manpower for new preemptive wars. Our nation is at a pivotal point with respect to the use of military force to protect our vital interests around the world. The worship of the false god of war would be lessened if we take clear and careful steps to reduce the pool of potential combat troops. Continuing a volunteer army policy will provide a strong restraint and check on new violent adventures.
- Major R. Owens,
Member of Congress.
i dont recall EVER hearing anything about this. has it been on the wire???
HR 163 defeated:
 http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d108:HR00163:@@@X

read all about it here. the discussion is interesting and disturbing:
 http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/R?r108:FLD001:H58118

read about owens here:
 http://www.house.gov/owens/

Kucinich and DeFazio are both cosponsors of HR 4746 - a new bill in the house to abolish the registration requirement of selective service.
the congressmen and women mention the "internet rumours" and the republican need for good press as one possible reason for the quick defeat.


the following is the transcript of the words of representative Owens:


Mr. OWENS. Mr. Speaker, it is insulting and disgusting for the Republican Majority to make a joke of serious war and peace policy by bringing draft legislation to the floor as a frivolous matter, as a joke.

Every member of the House who is against the draft should join me as a co-sponsor of H.R. 4746, the Selective Service Registration Termination Act. The attached ``Dear Colleague'' letter of June 25, 2004 provides a fuller explanation of H.R. 4746

This bill proposes the termination of the selective service registration system which requires that all eighteen-year-old males register. This lost component of the system maintains a large manpower pool readily available for the quick implementation of a draft. This bill takes away the draft option and guarantees that future policy makers must confine their adventures to actions which can be launched and maintained with only a volunteer military force.

H.R. 4746 clearly indicates that in the case of a full declaration of war by the Congress of the United States the Selective Service System may be reinstituted. Only as a last resort should a war be declared and mandatory proscription be authorized.

In the case of a draft there must be no exemptions for the rich and the powerful. If a draft is implemented the rich and powerful should go first. Attached is a statement from the CONGRESSIONAL RECORD submitted on July 16, 2003 which expresses the conviction which must guide any future draft: Let the rich go first.

[End Insert]

U.S. CONGRESS,

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,

Jun. 25, 2004.

Working Families Need Jobs, Not Guns and Uniforms--We Must Terminate Selective Service Registration

DEAR COLLEAGUE: I have introduced the ``Selective Service Registration Termination Act'' (H.R. 4746) in order to dismantle the machinery of a draft which would suck American youth deeper into the quagmire of the Iraq War and also provide manpower for new preemptive wars. Our nation is at a pivotal point with respect to the use of military force to protect our vital interests around the world. The worship of the false god of war would be lessened if we take clear and careful steps to reduce the pool of potential combat troops. Continuing a volunteer army policy will provide a strong restraint and check on new violent adventures.

Every presidential candidate must be made to pledge that there will be no implementation of a draft after the election. Working families need jobs, not guns and uniforms. Preparations for a draft are presently an underground, covert, ghost operation as we move toward election day; however, there are distinct actions which point the way to a future sudden ``common sense'' announcement that the machinery of the draft must be reactivated. Please note that the Senate recently authorized a twenty thousand soldier increase for the Department of Defense. All experts have agreed that unless circumstances change the size of the occupying army in Iraq must be greatly increased. Instead of the creation of a vast new pool of cannon fodder, we must insist that ``the circumstances must be changed.''

``Shock and Awe'' invasions must not continue to be an alternative for the unilateral

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confrontation of enemies in the war against terrorists. The machinery of diplomacy; a world wide network of coordinated intelligence; and the maintenance of the capacity to execute swift, targeted actions must replace the obsolete and costly total war strategy. Ending the draft system is the most practical step available to use to force the end of reckless war as an alternative.
Working families need jobs, not guns and uniforms. Support a giant step toward lasting peace. Please join me by cosponsoring H.R. 4746 by contacting Larry J. Walker at 225-6231.

Sincerely,

Major R. Owens,
Member of Congress.

--
[Begin Insert]

Mr. Speaker, the July 10th vote to allow the expenditure of funds to implement radical changes in the overtime provisions of the Wage and Hour Act was an outrageous and devastating attack on working families. Compounding the horror of this action is the recent announcement that our present compliment of soldiers in Iraq, ninety percent of whom come from working families, will be forced into combat overtime for the indefinite future. Not even the one year rotation rule of Viet Nam will be applied to relieve their long ordeal under extreme heat and guerilla warfare duress.

Overtime in the dangerous defense of the nation is being mandated without controls while at the same time overtime wages to feed working families is being subjected to new schemes which reduce take-home pay. This is an unacceptable continuation of the gross exploitation and oppression of working families by the Republican Scrooges who presently dominate the Congress and the White House. This nation faces a tragic predicament: An elite group of juvenile old men have plunged us into a war where great suffering and pain is being inflicted on working families who bear the brunt of the casualties on the front lines as well as the fallout from economic dislocations and recession here at home.

It appears that the Republican well-to-do decision makers have great contempt for those who do the dangerous and dirty work for our nation. All Americans must remember the debt we owe to those who risk their last full measure of devotion. Or perhaps the powerful and the rich should go to the front lines first. The RAP poem below is a summary of my indignation on this critical action:

[End Insert]

Let the Rich Go First
Working Families
Keep your soldiers at home,
For overtime in Iraq
No cash
No comp time
Not even gratitude,
Republicans intrude
To exempt all heroes,
No combat rotation
Life on indefinite probation
Scrooges running the nation.
To the front lines
Let the rich go first--
For blood they got a thirst,
Let the superstars drink it
In the glorious trenches;
Leave the disadvantaged on the benches.
Working Families
Let the rich go first:
The battlegrounds they always choose
Their estates have the most to lose;
Send highest IQs to
Take positions at the front,
Let them perform their best
High tech warfare stunt;
Working Families
Keep your malnourished sons home--
Harvard Yale kids should roam
The world with guns and tanks,
Reserve gold medals
For the loyal Ivy League ranks.
O say can you see
Millionaire graduates
Dying for you and me?
Welfare Moms
Have a message for the masters:
Tell Uncle Sam
His TANF pennies he can keep
For food stamps we refuse to leap
Through your hoops like beasts;
Promise to leave our soldier alone
And we'll find our own feasts.
To Uncle Sam we offer a bargain--
Don's throw us dirty crumbs
Don't treat us like bums
And then demand
The full measure of devotion;
Our minds are now in motion
Class warfare
Is not such a bad notion;
Your swindle will not last
Recruiters we won't let pass,
Finally, we opened our eyes--
Each family is a private enterprise.
Each child a precious prize;
We got American property rights,
Before our children die in war
This time we'll choose the fights.
Let the rich go first:
They worry about
The overtime we abuse;
The battlefields they always choose
Their estates have the most to lose.
Let the rich go first!



damn...way to stick it to em major owens!!!
Hoo boy 17.Oct.2004 12:55

Colby

That is an amazing poem. And an amazing idea. Major Owens is now added to my list of "Congressmen who ROCK"

:)