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Kistaro Windrider, Reptillian Situation Assessor

Unfortunately, I Really Am That Nerdy

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The Draft
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A cross-post of a link (from another TopCoder member) to a news item, but a particularly disturbing one. Some numbers on why the draft is probable, and notes on why it's probably got to happen- about three days after Bush is re-elected.

My personal ethics are such that if I can't get out of the military with my asthma, fallen arches, personal ethics, spirituality, bisexuality, or proximity to Canada, I'll commit suicide. It's not an "I might" sort of thing; if it comes down to that, I'll sooner claim my own life than allow myself to be forced to kill others. If death becomes the only way out, I'll take it.

Not a bright subject. But it is more reason why I'm not voting for Bush- and I'll be able to vote this Presidential election, for whatever it's worth.

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Um ... hold on there, Sparky. Look into becoming a conscientious objector. There's an entire system set up to deal with people with objections to violence.

Send a note to your local draft board now. The long-before-draft documentation will add real weight to your argument if you are forced to make it.

You can also simply refuse to serve. Practically speaking, the worst they'll do is jail you (the death penalty -may- be allowed for desertion; but I don't think this has ever actually happened to anyone). Unless you happen to be waiting for something spiffy after death claims you, suicide is a very extreme option compared to your other available ones.

Look up "conscientious objector" on the web for more insight if you would like.

I have looked in to what's involved in being a concientious objector; the rules have been tightened up, according to what I could find from government web sites. As far as I can determine,all they accept is religious cause and a pious life to it; reading other sites on the issue, my taking judo class is actually a serious count against me. And a conscientious objector is still forced into service, simply not on the front lines immediately; I'd be, for example, writing software used to kill people, aiming missiles used to kill people, or building machines used to kill people. And I'd probably wind up killing more people than I would with a gun on the front lines.

Refusing to serve is considered a capital crime; under the Bush administration, I can see it as something that would probably be carried out. For that matter, I can also see them just tracking you down and hauling you off to boot camp anyway, which I would do my utmost to get kicked out of. I doubt it would be as difficult as it might seem, considering I would have little regard for whether such a discharge is honorable or dishonorable; "whatever it takes" is the relevant phrase here. But if even that doesn't work...

Your fear is understandable, but I believe largely unwarranted. I did a little surfing of my own, mostly at objector.org.

This seems like a fairly balanced look at what might await you were a draft to reoccur. They call the worst-case scenario "a court martial and possible prison terms." Also note their legal definition points out "you don't have to believe in God; nor do you have to oppose using violence in personal self-defense. However, under current legal definitions you must oppose participating in all wars."

I urge you at this point to write them an e-mail with your concerns and/or call their telephone hotline (although it's unclear whether the hotline is set up for civilians or just those in the military needing help when they change their mind). A group that's specifically set up to help would-be COs will have a much more crystal-clear view of existing law and legal recourse than I would with a week of web research.

And, of course, vote to get Bush out of office and do your best to spread that word.

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