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Message to America's students
Saturday April 10, 2004
Nader: The War, The Draft, Your Future
We have been down this road before.
U.S. troops sent to war half a world away. American foreign policy controlled by an arrogant elite, bent on projecting military power around the globe. A public misled into supporting an unconstitutional war founded on deceit and fabrications.
As the death toll mounts, we hear claims that the war is nearly won, that victory is just around the corner. But victory never arrives.
As the public loses confidence in the government, the government questions the patriotism of any who express doubt about the war.
When a presidential election arrives, both the Democrat and Republican nominees embrace the policy of continued war.
The military draft comes to dominate the lives of America's young, and vast numbers who believe the war to be a senseless blunder are faced with fighting a war they do not believe in, or facing exile or prison.
The year was 1968. Because voters had no choice that November, the Vietnam War continued for another six years. Hundreds of thousands of Americans like you died, were maimed, or suffered from diseases like malaria. A far greater number of Vietnamese died.
Today, the war is in the quicksands and alleys of Iraq. Once again, under the pressure of a determined resistance, we see an American war policy being slowly torn apart at the seams, while the candidates urge us to "stay the course" in this tragic misadventure. Today's Presidential candidates are not Nixon and Humphrey, they are now Bush and Kerry.
Once again, there is one overriding truth: If war is the only choice in this election, then war we will have.
Today enlistments in the Reserves and National Guard are declining. The Pentagon is quietly recruiting new members to fill local draft boards, as the machinery for drafting a new generation of young Americans is being quietly put into place.
Young Americans need to know that a train is coming, and it could run over their generation in the same way that the Vietnam War devastated the lives of those who came of age in the sixties.
I am running for President, and have been against this war from the beginning. We must not waste lives in order to control and waste more oil. Stand with us and we may yet salvage your future and Americas' future from this looming disaster.