Die Schutzstaffel f?r das neue amerikanische Jahrhundert

It surprised me to find an interesting article in WorldNetDaily, but it happened. This article (story also available here) about a Selective Service contingency plan is interesting, yes, but disturbing.

The Selective Service System has proposed revamping the draft to include the registration of women, expanding the age limits and requiring that young Americans keep the government informed about those critical skills most valuable to the military.

Not only is the fact that the Selective Service System exists at all outrageous, now they're prepared to expand it. I could see the argument that if men have to register, women should have to as well, though I can also see the counterargument that women as not as reliable as men are for soldiering. To that response, I offer Lynndie England as an example that women can be every bit as cruel as men; however, I am generally sympathetic to it.

Another argument for expansion that I could see is that it might lead to the end of the SSS (extra S added to distinguish it from a cousin in the 20th century) by increasing public scrutiny. I think, though, that this is unlikely. The machine gun was supposed to be the ultimate diplomatic tool because no government would want to waste its manpower against such a deadly weapon. World War 1 taught us what a joke that was, and showed us the absolute disregard for their own citizens that the governments of supposedly civilized countries could have.

But the truly alarming point of the proposal is that young Americans would have to keep the government up to date on skills they have which would be valuable in a military capacity if needed. Now they don't just own your body, they own your mind.

I am one of the people currently kept on file by the SSS, and while that angers me philosophically, I know that practically it doesn't mean much: I'm not going to be drafted. Under the new proposal that could all change. For them to put me to work in war currently, my body needs to be at the site of the conflict, and they have to train it and feed it along the way. When, instead, my skills are up for grabs, the sky's the limit. I can write computer code right here at my own computer, for example, or calculate statistics or review designs. I'd need only minimal training to prepare my skills for their purposes, and I'd have to feed myself. It doesn't take Salvador Dali's imagination to see what the Pentagon could dream up then. When literally anyone with any skills can be bent to military purposes at almost no cost to the military, we could truly have perpetual war.

Already, with the military 'stretched thin' it's involved in several conflicts around the world, with no indications of when it will ever be able to end the involvement. Just imagine what they could do with every single young person in the country at their disposal.

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I think Congress came close

I think Congress came close to adopting civilian labor conscription during WWII.

And I heard a couple of years about legislation in the works to allow the government to conscript select occupational categories (e.g., specific types of medical professionals in short supply) if it became necessary.

Anybody know more details, or what became of the proposal?

Kevin, as far as I know,

Kevin, as far as I know, it's just a proposal. Bush and Co. will have to get the US into another conflict or two before the public will be convinced of how badly it's needed.

They had de facto, if not de

They had de facto, if not de jure, civilian labor conscription, in that they had labor and production boards that determined what jobs you were to get (if you weren't 'needed' at your current job).

For me, a silver lining to

For me, a silver lining to all of this is that america's appetite for any kind of imperial adventure has been seriously sated for what I imagine is a long time to come- so even if Kerry gets elected and wants to go all Clintonian on our asses (making the US Army a mercenary force for the UN, EU, or NGO-of-choice), people will likely say "hell no". So, because of Iraq, we're less likely to invade places than before (we have a token force in Haiti, but at least its not an "american" operation, and the French/Canadians are taking most of the lead and paying most of the bill).

I'd say Iraq-as-flypaper strategy works both ways... its keeps the US stuck in one place and therefore unlikely to start anything else...