As the nation prepares for a possible war with Iraq and National Guard and Reserve Units continue to be called up for service, two senior congressmen, Charles Rangel of New York and John Conyers of Michigan, are pushing for new legislation that would reinstate the draft.
If the draft were reinstituted again, and a Massachusetts group of high school students has its way, any new draft law would include women as well as men. These students plan to sue the federal government, claiming the selective service system is discriminatory because it doesn't require women to register.
On this week's show, three individuals who faced the draft as young men and responded to it in different ways talked about what conscription really means. Boston University Professor of International Relations Andrew Bacevich served as an armored cavalry officer and commanded draftees in the Vietnam War. Boston Globe editorial writer Don MacGillis served as an army medic in Germany during the Vietnam War. Television producer and marketing executive Claude Pelanne volunteered for the draft and served as an artillery man in the Vietnam War.
This program aired on January 19, 2003.