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Nisan 2, 5769, 3/27/2009
Word has it that Obama, true to his election promises, is going to start a “civilian national security force” which is meant to be a military force -as strong as the U.S. armed forces, as well funded, and will be situated on the home front. Critics are calling it "Obama's Youth Brigade" and claiming it smells of the 'Brown Shirts' during the Nazi era. His Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, is helping him to implement this new national security force. As of now, it would be mandatory for those citizens who are in the "GIVE “ (Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education) program. But that's not all. The Federal Government will obligate other American youth to serve as well such as those Americans who get student loans.
Below, is a video of an interview on C-SPAN with Rahm Emanuel (who is now the White House Chief of Staff under Obama). In it, he states that this civil security force plan, would be for all American citizens between the ages of 18-25 to serve for 3 months (could eventually be longer) in a type of 'basic training'. This includes women. "Citizenship is not an entitlement program. It comes with responsibilities." Emanuel stated. He claims this is not a draft, rather it is a 'universal service' and 'required'.
It seems though that this is worse than the regular draft Americans knew from the past. Emanuel describes this new plan would require everyone between the ages of 18-25, women included. The Obama administration may get their way.
The rules and demands of this new civilian security force also include religious restrictions. The Bill, as shown below, would forbid American youth in these brigades to participate in conducting worship services, and operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship.
SEC. 1304. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND INELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS.
Section 125 (42 U.S.C. 12575) is amended to read as follows:
SEC. 125. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND INELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS.
(a) Prohibited Activities- A participant in an approved national service position under this subtitle may not engage in the following activities:
(I am skipping here to article # 7)
7) Engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in any form of religious proselytization.
I am curious as to how young religious Jewish American men who need to pray in a minyan (quorum of ten men or more) feel about this. How could a religious Jew manage? Would there be kosher dining rooms? Would they get off for Shabbat? How will Jewish families feel when their sons AND daughters are taken away to serve just because they wanted a higher education but didn't have all the money to plop down at one time, so they took a student loan. Does someone have to be rich now, in order to be able to afford keeping the mitzvoth in America?
And for the rest of the American people… Why even have a civilian national security force? What is the need? Isn't the U.S. military enough? Aren't there enough American soldiers in bases all over the U.S. to use in case of an emergency? And if not, America already has what is called the National Guard. Why is there a need for an additional governmental mandatory youth force? Who will these youth be beholden to, the U.S. Constitution, or the office of the President? And where will this stop? At first, it is voluntary. But the plan is to make it mandatory. Emmanuel says the plan is for it to be 'universal', for all American citizens in the age group they described above. ...And it wouldn't be that difficult to enforce either. One more major terror attack (G-d forbid) against Americans would be a good excuse to push through this draft for all young Americans.
I wonder how American Jews are going to feel, having to possibly soon send their children to a place that does not let them practice their Judaism and denies or prevents them from fulfilling their Jewish obligations (Shabbat, kosher, daily prayer minions, etc,) These demands and restrictions should bother other religious Americans as well. I don't know how this youth brigade is going to manifest itself, but it sure would make me very uncomfortable if I were a religious person living in the 'Land of the Free', because it seems like those freedoms will only be a memory of what once was.
The civilian national security force bill has already passed in the House in a vote of 321-105 and will now go to the Senate. It will then go to President Obama for the final stamp of approval. And I imagine if anyone says 'nay' to him, he will answer, "YES WE CAN!"