Written by Jean Fritz

In his bid forrepparttar presidency, John Kerry pronounced a “secret plan” to reinstate selective service. The fact that New York Democrat and fellow leftist Charles Rangel had proposed this plan wasn’t mentioned, so Kerry’s allegation created hysteria withinrepparttar 125932 blue states. But there are several ways in which reinstatingrepparttar 125933 draft could benefit our country.

FREEDOM IS EARNED Too many people inrepparttar 125934 United States believe thatrepparttar 125935 freedoms granted them underrepparttar 125936 Constitution are an entitlement program provided byrepparttar 125937 government. A general paucity of historical education, combined with a public education agenda derogatory torepparttar 125938 Founding Fathers as well as God, contribute to this attitude. The fact is,repparttar 125939 Founding Fathers understood that codifying our freedoms within a constitution was only part ofrepparttar 125940 picture, but our freedoms are ultimately earned and protected through military preparedness andrepparttar 125941 judicious use of force, generation after generation. The reinstatement of selective service createsrepparttar 125942 opportunity for every citizen to participate inrepparttar 125943 protection ofrepparttar 125944 freedoms they hold dear, and having thus participated, would contribute to a greater appreciation of and gratitude for those freedoms.

ECONOMIC BENEFITS One reason that war has traditionally created a phenomenal decline inrepparttar 125945 unemployment rate is that during a war, a large section ofrepparttar 125946 workforce is taken out ofrepparttar 125947 labor market. By reinstatingrepparttar 125948 draft, unemployed young people would in fact become employed, and would no longer be counted amongrepparttar 125949 jobless.

Within that population, there are many with limited to no job experience or skill development. During peacetime, military service can help young people develop their skills and become more focused on “what they want to be when they grow up.” Military service is a more effective career development tool than is a series of low-paying, dead-end jobs.

White Farms, Black Farmers

Written by Sam Vaknin

The Western press casts him inrepparttar role of an African Saddam Hussein. Neighboring leaders supported his policies but then succumbed to diplomacy and world opinion and, with a few notable exceptions, shunned him. The opposition in and its mouthpieces accuse him - justly - of brutal disregard for human, civil, and political rights and of underminingrepparttar 125931 rule of law.

All he wants, insists Comrade - his official party title - Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is to right an ancient wrong by returning land, expropriated by white settlers, to its rightful black owners. Most ofrepparttar 125932 beneficiaries, being war veterans, happen to support his party,repparttar 125933 Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, or ZANU-PF, and its profligate largesse:

"We must deliverrepparttar 125934 land unencumbered by impediments to its rightful owners. It is theirs by birth; it is theirs by natural and legal right. It is theirs by struggle. Indeed their(s) by legacy." - he thundered in a speech he made torepparttar 125935 Central Committee of his party in March 2001 in response to mounting multi-annual pressures from war veteran associations.

It was Margaret Thatcher of Falklands fame who, after two decades of fierce fighting, capitulated to rebels, headed by Mugabe. The Iron Lady handed to them, inrepparttar 125936 Lancaster House agreement, an independent Zimbabwe - literally, "Great Stone House". The racist Rhodesia was no more. Butrepparttar 125937 agreement enshrinedrepparttar 125938 property rights of white farmers until 1990 and has, thus, sownrepparttar 125939 seeds ofrepparttar 125940 current chaos.

Many nostalgic white settlers in Zimbabwe - mostly descendents of British invaders atrepparttar 125941 end ofrepparttar 125942 19th century - still believe in their cultural - if not genetic - superiority. Their forefathers bought indigenous land from commercial outfits supported byrepparttar 125943 British Crown. The blacks - their plots and livestock confiscated - were resettled in barren "communal areas", akin to Native-American reserves inrepparttar 125944 USA minusrepparttar 125945 gambling concessions.

Starting in 1893, successive uprisings were bloodily suppressed byrepparttar 125946 colonizers andrepparttar 125947 British government. A particularly virulent strain of apartheid was introduced. By 1914, notes Steve Lawton in "British Colonialism, Zimbabwe's Land Reform and Settler Resistance", 3 percent ofrepparttar 125948 population controlled 75 percent ofrepparttar 125949 land. The blacks were "harshly restricted to a mere 23 per cent ofrepparttar 125950 worst land in designated Reserves. There were only 28,000 white settlers to nearly one million Africans in Zimbabwe at this time."

Land ownership hasn't changed much since. The 1930 "Land Apportionment Act" perpetuatedrepparttar 125951 glaring inequality. At independence, according to "Zimbabwe's Agricultural Revolution" edited by Mandivamba Rukuni and Carl Eicher and published in 1994 byrepparttar 125952 University of Zimbabwe Publications, 6000 white commercial farms occupied 45 percent of all agricultural land - compared to only 5 percent tilled by 8500 black farmers. Another 70,000 black families futilely cultivatedrepparttar 125953 infertile remaining half ofrepparttar 125954 soil.

As black population exploded, poverty and repression combined to give rise to anti-white guerilla movements. The rest is history. The first post-independence land reform and resettlement program lasted 17 years, until 1997. It targeted refugees, internally displaced people, and squatters and its aims were, as Petrunella Chaminuka, a researcher at SAPES Trust Agrarian Reform Programme in Zimbabwe, summarizes a 1990 government discussion paper inrepparttar 125955 "Workers' Weekly":

"To redress past grievances over land alienation, to alleviate population pressure inrepparttar 125956 communal areas and to achieve national stability and progress. The programme was designed to enhance smallholder food and cash crop production, achieve food self-sufficiency and improve equity in income distribution."

Land reform was an act of anti-colonialist, ideologically-motivated defiance. The first lots went to landless - and utterly unskilled - blacks. Surprisingly, theirs was a success story. They cultivatedrepparttar 125957 land ably and production increased. Certified farmers and agronomists, though, had to wait their turn untilrepparttar 125958 National Land Policy of 1990 which allowed for compulsory land purchases byrepparttar 125959 government. There was no master plan of resettlement and infrastructure deficiencies combined with plot fragmentation to render many new farms economically unviable.

As ready inventory dried up,repparttar 125960 price of land soared. Droughts compounded this sorry state and byrepparttar 125961 late 1980's yields were down and squatting resurged. Unemployment forced people back into rural areas. Egged on by multilateral lenders, white farmers, and Western commercial interests,repparttar 125962 government further exacerbatedrepparttar 125963 situation by allocating enormous tracts of land to horticulture, ostrich farming, crocodile farming, ranching and tourism thus further depletingrepparttar 125964 anyhow meager stock of arable acreage.

International outcry against compulsory acquisitions or targeting of c. 1600 farms forcedrepparttar 125965 Zimbabwean government and its donors to come up in 1997-9 with a second land reform and resettlement programme andrepparttar 125966 Inception Phase Framework Plan. Contrary to disinformation inrepparttar 125967 Western media, white farmers and NGO's were regularly consulted inrepparttar 125968 preparation of both documents.

In what proved to be a prophetic statement,repparttar 125969 aptly named Barbara Kafka ofrepparttar 125970 World Bank, quoted by IPS, gave this warning inrepparttar 125971 September 1998 donor conference:

''We are delighted thatrepparttar 125972 government has called this conference as a key step in our working together to make sure that Zimbabwe reapsrepparttar 125973 results it deserves from its land reform programme ... Nevertheless, we must not be naive. The downside risks are high. There is abundant international experience to show that poorly executed land reform can carry high social and economic costs ... For instance, a programme that does not respect property rights or does not provide sufficient support to new settlers, is underfunded or is excessively bureaucratic and costly, or simply results in large numbers of displaced farm workers, can have very negative outcomes in terms of investment, production, jobs and social stability."

This second phase broke down in mutual recriminations. The government made an election issue out ofrepparttar 125974 much-heralded reform andrepparttar 125975 donors delivered far less than they promised. Acutely aware of this friction, white farmers declined to offer land for sale.

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