War may change college life

(U-WIRE) CHICAGO — President George W. Bush said “the signs are not encouraging” that Iraq will disclose and disarm weapons of mass destruction in compliance with the U.N. mandate.

Sure, there is good reason to doubt that Hussein will do an about face after more than a decade of defiance. But Bush’s lack of hope leaves Americans wondering if he is disinterested in reaching a peaceful agreement.

This hawkish tone has all but promised war and the American people will have no choice but to be involved.

Among Columbia University’s students, the lack of outrage or support for this drive toward war is disconcerting.

Columbia students are not alone in their apathy. College students nationwide seem to be ignoring the reality that college-aged people are top candidates for manning a war, should one break out.

Students seem to be banking on the current stock of soldiers staffing a war. Most students think it’s unlikely that a war against Iraq would deplete the armed forces enough that a draft would be enacted. But is it really that unlikely? Isn’t registering for the draft still mandatory?

With nearly the entire Arab world up in arms about a United States driven strike on Iraq, this impending war could escalate quickly. And so could the need for soldiers.

Wake up students! It could be you.

The days of college deferment are long gone. Since the reinstatement of the draft in 1980, the provision that exempted college students from the draft was thrown out.

Now, any college student tapped for war would have until the end of the semester to wrap up his studies. Seniors would be able to delay enlistment until the end of the current school year before gearing up for combat.

And with the military requiring more sophisticated soldiers to operate highly technological weaponry, college students and graduates are the most ideal candidates.

Students need to stand up and recognize that talk of war could quickly turn into actual warfare.

And they could end up on the front lines, fighting a war they are ambivalent about, or against, before they even realize how they got there.