Subject 12 ways to fight the draft Written 429 pm Jan 30, 1991 by peacelaw in cdpmcli.peac
Subject: 12 ways to fight the draft
Written 4:29 pm Jan 30, 1991 by peacelaw in cdp:mcli.peacelaw
TWELVE FOOLPROOF WAYS TO STAY OUT OF THE DRAFT
1. If you have already registered with the Selective Service System at age
18: Write them a letter saying simply:
"I am conscientiously opposed to participation in war in any form, and to
noncombatant service, on the basis of my religious training and belief. (SEE
NOTE AT BOTTOM OF ARTICLE) As you know, there was no place on the
registration form to indicate this belief and for that reason I am now
sending you this notification and I am sending myself a copy at the same
time so that I am on record as of this date. (signed) ___________________"
Make 2 copies of this letter. Send the original to your Selective
Service Board. Send a copy to yourself; when you receive it, do not open it;
file it, noting that the envelope contains the date on which it was
delivered. Keep another copy in the "CO File" you are going to build.
2. Tell your younger brothers, cousins, friends when they register with
Selective Service at age 18 to find a blank spot on the form and to write
the words in the first sentence above.
3. Write a letter to your Congressmember and Senators urging them to pass a
law requiring the Selective Service System to modify its forms NOW to
provide a place on the registration form for a person to announce his
conscientious objector status.
IF YOU STOP HERE, YOU WILL PROBABLY BE DRAFTED. THEREFORE, PLEASE
READ 4 THROUGH 10.
4. Write to Congressmembers and Senators and tell them that if they vote
for a new draft law you will vote them out of office and nothing else they
do in their term will change your mind. Repeat this step every time you hear
that a Committee of the House or a Committee of the Senate is considering a
draft law STARTING NOW WITH CONG. LEE ASPIN (D-Wis.). There are eight times
to stop a bill from passing. If you stop it only seven times, it will become
law. It must be stopped eight times!
1. In the House committee.
2. In the Senate committee.
3. In the full House.
4. In the full Senate.
5. In the Joint House and Senate Conference Committee.
That is the authorization bill. Then you must also stop an appropriations
bill that provides the money. You must stop it:
1. through 5. and you must repeat this in September when the annual
budget comes up for approval.
FAILURE TO TAKE STEP 4 OVER AND OVER WILL ALSO MEAN YOU WILL PROBABLY BE
Note: All court opinions and other documents mentioned in 5-11 are
available from Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute, Box 673, Berkeley, CA
94701 (415) 848-0599; FAX (415) 848-6008, as well as the sources mentioned.
5. Read the 1965 United States Supreme Court opinion in U.S. v. Seeger that
describes the law on conscientious objection to war. It makes clear that ANY
spiritual belief qualifies a person to be a CO if that belief plays a role
in a person's life that is parallel to the role that traditional religion
plays in the life of a member of a traditional Quaker/Brethren/Jehovah's
Witness. This includes atheists and theists of all descriptions.
This must be the law under our First Amendment protection of the exercise
of religion and the prohibition against favoring one belief over another.
Justice Clark wrote for the unanimous Court:
"...the test of belief 'in a relation to a Supreme Being' is whether a
given belief that is sincere and meaningful occupies a place in the life of
its possessor parallel to that filled by the orthodox belief in God of one
who clearly qualifies for the exemption. Where such beliefs have parallel
positions in the lives of their respective holders we cannot say that one is
'in a relation to a Supreme Being' and the other is not."
Justice Clark concluded: "this construction embraces the ever- broadening
understanding of the modern religious community."
You can find this opinion in volume 380 of the United States Supreme Court
Reports starting on page 163, see pages 165, 180-185. Make a copy of the
opinion. Reread it. Also read Welsh v. U.S., volume 398 U.S. Sup. Ct.
Reports page 163 (1970) (petitioner who held deep conscientious scruples
against participating in war was entitled to CO status despite his lack of
belief in a "Supreme Being".) Discuss and debate the meaning of these
sentences with friends and strangers until they are clear to you. Consult
Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors, War Resisters League,
National Lawyers Guild, church counsellors, etc.
6. Read the NUREMBERG PRINCIPLES. They are also part of U.S. law. They set
forth in 1945 crimes that had not been as clearly defined before the
holocaust and World War II, and they set forth new responsibilities, as
well--responsibilities of every civilian, every government official, as well
as every military person. The crimes are: CRIMES AGAINST PEACE, CRIMES
AGAINST HUMANITY, and WAR CRIMES. And they provide that a person may be in
complicity with the criminals if they know these crimes are being committed
and do nothing about it.
You can find the NUREMBERG PRINCIPLES in the U.S. Army Field Manual,
"The Law of Land Warfare" (FM 27-10), (18 July 1956) Sections 498-511. You
can also find them in any law library in volume 59 of Statutes at Large page
1544 or volume 82 United Nations Treaty Series page 279.
As you are reading these Principles, think about Anne Frank in Nazi
Germany, and think about civilians in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Israel who
have never committed any crimes and face death from missiles. Think about
people in the service who push buttons that send bombs down on
civilians--the fact that they are not bayoneting someone face to face does
not make them any less killers--and the killing of civilians is a crime; the
targeting of civilians is a crime. Whoever kills civilians pays for these
crimes--in the long years to come.
7. Read the UNITED NATIONS CHARTER. Read it as if it is part of the law of
the United States that Pres. Bush swore to faithfully execute when he took
the oath of office--because it IS part of the law of the U.S. Read the UN
Charter as a treaty that was debated by the U.S. Senate in 1945--just as
every treaty is debated there--and was adopted by a vote of 89-2 in 1945 and
signed by the President. This makes it a treaty and part of the supreme law
of the land under the U.S. Constitution, Article VI, sec. 2.
If there is anything in a statute passed by Congress since 1945 that
does not entirely agree with the UN Charter, then it is the job of U.S.
government officials to enforce both documents as best they can--and that
means that the authorization by Congress of a declaration of war on Jan. 12,
1991 and all orders and actions of Pres Bush as Commander-in-Chief MUST BE
READ IN THE LIGHT OF THE UNITED NATIONS CHARTER PROVISIONS.
Especially read UN Charter Article 2.3 and 2.4 on the peaceful
settlement of disputes. And read Articles 39 to 50, as well as Article 51,
on Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace and
Acts of Aggression. And read them as if your life depended on it--which
well it may.
Copies of the UN Charter are available in every library, hopefully in
every school, at every United Nations Association office, from the UN, etc.
8. Read UN Security Council Resolutions 660 and 678--and all later
Resolutions on the Gulf War. Read them slowly and carefully. Notice that
they are not acts of Congress that you are used to reading. They are not
passed by the House and Senate of the U.S. They are carefully drafted. AND
UNLIKE OUR LAWS THEY CAN HAVE ONLY ONE LEGAL PURPOSE--TO BRING PEACE.
Then read the "goals" set forth from time to time by Pres. Bush.
Compare the goals in the Resolutions and the goals of Bush and realize that
it is NOT legal to have as a goal of the Gulf War the humiliation of Saddam
Hussein, or the driving of Hussein from power, or the destruction of the
Iraqi military forces, or any goal other than restoring peace to the region
by getting Iraq out of Kuwait. And realize that the U.S. does NOT have
authority legally to go on fighting but only to fight for this one goal AND
CONSTANTLY TO REPORT BACK TO THE UN.
This means that this war must end as all wars ultimately have ended
through recent history--around a table. AND THE UN CHARTER REQUIRES THAT
THIS BE DONE SOONER THAN LATER IN ORDER TO SAVE LIVES. This means that you
can call for negotiations to start NOW. And tomorrow. And the day after
9. When you read or hear that someone in the Armed Forces or the Reserves
has filed for Conscientious Objection and then gone AWOL to avoid being sent
to the war area--THINK HOW YOU WOULD FEEL IF YOU WERE THAT PERSON. Read Army
and Marine and Navy Regulations that provide no time limits for processing
CO applications; read new procedures under which CO applicants are sent
overseas and told their CO applications will be processed in Saudi Arabia;
far from some of their witnesses and always far from their lawyers and
counsellors; read Regs under which a CO applicant who goes AWOL will first
be tried on the AWOL before the CO application is processed, even if the CO
application was filed before the AWOL began and the AWOL was the result of
frustration with the slow processing of the CO application.
10. Propose that a law be passed forbidding the making of profits out of
this war--an Excess Profits Tax, like the one passed in World War Two. This
is the other side of the coin--that there should be No War Dividend. Propose
that there can be no profits made from speculating on oil futures and on
stock prices going up in missile/computer industries.
11. Propose that a law be passed forbidding father and mother from both
being sent away from their children when both are in the armed forces. For
the good of the children, society must protect them from becoming orphans.
When both are in the Service, a meeting must be held to determine which one
shall go. The women's movement, the right-to-life movement, everyone who
cares about humanity and the future, should support you in this demand.
12. Repeat steps 2 through 11 as often as necessary until the war is
stopped and negotiations have begun. Send letters to your Selective Service
Board telling them your thoughts about steps 2 through 11, your thoughts
about your own responsibilities as a conscientious objector to see that this
war ends, and let them know what concrete steps you have taken to bring
peace. Send a copy of each communication to yourself, noting that it is date
stamped, and file it, unopened.
(NOTE) If you call your belief that we should not be fighting in the Gulf
"based on religious training and belief," you qualify for conscientious
objector status under existing U.S. law because the First Amendment protects
"the free exercise...of religion." If you call your belief that we should
not be fighting in the Gulf "based on essentially political, sociological,
or philosophical views or a merely personal moral code," you do NOT qualify
for conscientious objector status under existing U.S. law because the U.S.
Constitution does not now protect such views.
There is NO chance that you will be qualified as a CO if YOU label your
beliefs in the second fashion. In the Vietnam War, MANY people who had
beliefs based on political, sociological, and philosophical views, and who
had merely personal moral codes, DID get out of the draft--as COs, because
it was clear, even to civilian draft boards, that they conscientiously held
their beliefs and that these beliefs were central to their being. Many filed
for CO status and were exempted from service on other grounds. Your beliefs
are a rose by any other name.
People were also given CO status who opposed the Vietnam War but might
have fought against fascism in World War II because a person cannot be asked
to speculate on what they would have done in a situation that will never
arise again--as to being drafted, or as to paying taxes. If you cannot
imagine a war you would be willing to fight in for which the U.S. might
draft you, then you can legitimately apply for CO status.
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