How and Why to Oppose a Military Draft

December 21st, 2019 - by We Are Not Your Soldiers and The World Can't Wait

The Chinese Army. A Model of mass dehumanization.

Let Them Know BEFORE They Sign Up

Stephanie Rugoff / We Are Not Your Soldiers and Debra Sweet / The World Can’t Wait

(December 18, 2019) — In the blizzard of outrageous new actions and threats from the current commander in chief, many people heard about “The Afghanistan Papers,” the Washington Post series last week on the US war on Afghanistan.

After three years of lawsuits, the Post obtained partial transcripts of interviews with 400 people involved in pursuing the war through the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations.

The interviews paint a picture of an invasion and occupation with the aim of projecting US power, regardless of consequences for the Afghan people, who had been subjected to invasion and civil war for much of their history before the US bombed its way in.

We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan — we didn’t know what we were doing,” Douglas Lute, a three-star Army general who served as the White House’s Afghan war czar during the Bush and Obama administrations, told government interviewers in 2015. He added: “What are we trying to do here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking.”

The Post focuses on the 2800-plus deaths of US military as being wasted. Those of us who think of humanity look as well at the hundreds of thousands of Afghan people killed, wounded and driven into internal or external exile with their society in shambles — totally outrageous.

See the whole Washington Post article here.

There is a fight to tell the truth about what the US Empire does. This is one reason we ask you to donate to support We Are Not Your Soldiers for its visits to classrooms. Young people need to know what is being carried out in their names in order to be able to stand up in opposition to these policies as well as understand what it means to sign up for the military with the risk of losing their own humanity.

Will you donate today to help get anti-war veterans into more schools?

We Are Not Your Soldiers is the most effective educational program in the United States for teaching students about the realities of military service, combat and the drive for empire. Using seasoned vets from past and present wars who recount their grueling experiences during training and combat, the program offers young men and women a completely unique view of US overseas exploits and military destruction. The program can’t rely on foundations so it needs your generous donations.”

We Are Not Your Soldiers

On Tour with We Are Not Your Soldiers featuring veteran Miles Megaciph.

A teacher from one of the schools wrote: “Just wanted to thank you again for spending a truly engaging, thought-provoking day with us. The work you do is incredibly vital for young people like my students, all of whom were enthusiastic, moved and grateful in their responses when I asked them for their thoughts on your visit in class the next day. I’m constantly trying to raise consciousness (and consciences . . . e), but it is often a tough uphill trek, so I’m happy to have your help in the mission. I would love to have you back next year to meet a new batch of students! In the meantime, please keep doing the work you’re doing — I know how exhausting it is but I promise you it is worth it!”

We just received this message from a pair of co-teachers: “We cannot thank you enough for spending your time, energy and efforts with us and our students. Your dedication and hard work are changing and shaping minds, young and old, every day.” 

Your donations allow us to give veterans small stipends to take time off from work, study or for childcare. We supply them with travel funds and purchase materials for students.

How to End Draft Registration in the US

Special to Environmentalists Against War

(December 20, 2019) — Advice for families on how to proceed regarding specific steps a 17-year-old boy who is conscientiously opposed to war should take while facing mandatory draft registration.

Are you 17 and facing threats from the federal government regarding stiff penalties if you fail to register for the draft? 

 Have they convinced you to register against you will? 

Here’s What You Can Do:

Don’t register online! Instead, go to the post office and properly complete two Selective Service registration forms. Write, “I am conscientiously opposed to war” clearly on the front of both forms. Address envelopes to the Selective Service System and to yourself. Both will be postmarked on the same date. The Selective Service won’t pay attention to what you’ve written and you’ll be registered. When you receive the envelope through the mail, don’t open it. Instead keep it with your important things.

If there’s a draft you must refuse. You will be given the opportunity to plead your case in front of your local draft board. Bring the sealed envelope and open it in front of them. Explain that your opposition to war didn’t suddenly materialize when the draft was reinstituted. 

We should also encourage people to apply to serve on their local draft boards.

A Selective Service local board is a group of five citizen volunteers whose mission, upon a draft, will be to decide who among the registrants in their community will receive deferments, postponements, or exemption from military service based on the individual registrant’s circumstances and beliefs.

How Local Board Members are Appointed

Local board members are appointed by the Director of Selective Service in the name of the President, on recommendations made by their respective state governors or an equivalent public official. If you are interest in serving as a local board member, you may apply online for an application package.

Some requirements to be a board member are that they be:

§ Must be 18 years old or older

§ Must be a citizen of the United States

§ Men must have registered with Selective Service, except those born from March 29, 1957 through December 31, 1959

§ Must not be a member of law enforcement occupation as defined by Selective Service policy (example: police officer or judge)

§ Must not be an active or retired career member of the Armed Forces or Reserves or National Guard

§ Must not have been convicted of any criminal offense 

During Peacetime

The board member program is one of the primary components of the Selective Service System. Approximately 11,000 volunteers are currently trained in Selective Service regulations and procedures so that if a draft is reinstated, they will be able to fulfill their obligations fairly and equitably. Board members undergo an initial 8-hour training session and then participate in annual training in which they review sample cases similar to real-life situations.

During a Draft Registrants with low lottery numbers will be ordered to report for a physical, mental, and moral evaluation at a Military Entrance Processing Station to determine whether they are fit for military service. Once he is notified of the results of the evaluation, a registrant will be given 10 days to file a claim for exemption, postponement, or deferment.

At that time, board members will begin reviewing and deciding the outcome of the individual registrant’s case. They may personally interview the registrant and persons who know him to gain a better understanding of his situation. A man may appeal a Local Board’s decision to a Selective Service District Appeal Board.