By | Rachel Brooks
Contributor | Telegraph Local
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Will there be a draft? Many young Americans are fearful of it after the events in Iraq this past week. So many, in fact, citing Mother Jones, that the Selective Service’s website temporarily crashed from the number of people Google searching “draft requirements” and “military exemptions.” The Selective Service issued this statement via Twitter:
“Due to the spread of misinformation, our website is experiencing high traffic volumes at this time. If you are attempting to register or verify registration, please check back later today as we are working to resolve this issue. We appreciate your patience.” This was published at 9:56 am on January 3, 2020.
The last active US draft was in the Vietnam War. It ended in 1973. All the military service since those days has been voluntary. Even so, American men between the ages of 18 and 25 are required to join the Selective Service System should a draft become necessary. A draft will require Congressional approval. This means that eligible enlistment-age men won’t be drafted and sent overseas in the immediate future.
Market Watch also reported that many young people are afraid they will be compelled into military service because of their student loans. This fear was sparked by the FAFSA form which asks if men are signed up for the Selective Service. The acronym FAFSA was trending on Twitter on Friday, January 3, 2020, as fears for the draft continued to circulate among American youths. Especially among those young male students who had recently completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid_(abbreviated FAFSA).
The fears over FAFSA are not founded in fact. Further citing Market Watch, all American male citizens are compelled to register to the Selective Service at the age of 18. This has been American law since 1917. Failure to register for the draft is punishable by a fine of $250,000 or a prison term of up to five years.
The Selective Service attributes the fear of the draft to the rampant spread of misinformation.
Citing the Daily Dot, increased rhetoric of an emerging World War 3 is spreading via memes. These memes highlight the concern over the “rhetorical World War 3” The rhetoric of WW3 memes immediately followed the drone strike that took down Iranian Quds Force General Soleimani and the Hezbollah leader al-Muhandis.
The majority of the WW3 memes are poking fun at the prospect of the draft. Many of them read things such as “me faking my own death to avoid being drafted,” or “me at home after ignoring my draft notice” and even “me dodging bullets after being drafted for WW3”. Others also centered around the general lack of preparedness that Millenials and Gen Z have for wartime.
The memes were met with swift backlash. Many internet users were upset by the implications of the memes. They severely scolded the posters for their general nonchalant attitude toward another Global-scale conflict.
For example, one wrote, “War is not a f_ing joke.”
US-Iran hostility is a developing story. Keep checking back to Telegraph Local for updates.