In the wake of the airstrike ordered by President Donald Trump that took out top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the president’s haters on the left immediately jumped to assume the worst — that the Bad Orange Man had just kickstarted World War III on an impulsive whim.
All of that fearmongering was for naught, however, as evidenced by the ineffectual ballistic missile strikes Iran launched into Iraq toward military bases used by U.S. soldiers on Tuesday, which did minimal damage, caused no American casualties and prompted no escalated response from Trump.
Nevertheless, one thing the over-the-top fearmongering did manage to apparently provoke were hoax text messages sent to some people informing them that they’d been drafted by the military for a war with Iran. Whether those messages were simply intended to spark fear or were part of a scam to obtain personal information remains unclear.
The Verge reported on Tuesday about the fake text messages about a military draft as well as the response those hoax messages compelled from the U.S. Army Recruiting Command that set out to debunk the fake communications.
The text messages themselves should have been the first clue that something was amiss, as they were purported to be from the non-existent “United States Official Army Draft” and were filled with all sorts of grammatical and punctuation errors, misspellings and unprofessional wording.
The messages, which provided a number for recipients to call, directed the recipients to report for “immediate departure for Iran” — something that obviously wouldn’t happen without initial training — and in some cases even threatened fines and jail time if the texts were ignored.
In response to those bogus text messages, the U.S. Army Recruiting Command issued an “urgent” statement on Tuesday that acknowledged the worried calls and emails it had received about the fraudulent messages people had been receiving about a military draft.
The statement was intended to “ensure Americans understand these texts are false and were not initiated by this command or the U.S. Army.”
“The decision to enact a draft is not made at or by U.S. Army Recruiting Command,” the statement continued. “The Selective Service System, a separate agency outside of the Department of Defense, is the organization that manages registration for the Selective Service.”
Speaking of the independent Selective Service System, it too appears to have fallen prey to the absurd fearmongering about a war with Iran and a potential military draft, as evidenced by a pair of tweets issued by the System on Jan. 3, the second of which indicated that high traffic to its website — undoubtedly spurred by those worried about a possible draft due to the “spread of misinformation” — had caused the site to crash temporarily.
The first tweet noted that the Selective Service was “conducting business as usual” and reminded people that Congress and the president would have to work cooperatively to reinstate a military draft.
On Monday, the agency issued another tweet warning about fraudulent “websites claiming to be the Selective Service that charge for registration. You will not be registered and your personal information may be at risk.”
As was alluded to in one of the Selective Service tweets as well as the bulletin from the U.S. Army, there currently isn’t a military conscription system in effect, nor has there been since 1973. As noted, it would take an act of Congress and a signature from the president for there to be a military draft once again.
Instead, our nation has relied upon an all-volunteer military for nearly 50 years now, and while the Army and other branches are certainly anxious to receive more recruits, they aren’t reaching out via text message or threatening fines and jail time if such communications about an imaginary and non-existent draft are ignored.
It remains to be seen who specifically is responsible for the fake texts about a draft, and odds are there are authorities looking closely to determine who sent those messages out and what the purpose was.
One thing that is clear, however, is that the left’s incessant fearmongering over everything said or done by Trump, especially in regard to foreign policy and the military, has given license to scammers and jerks to play on people’s fears, either for the benefit of obtaining personal information or simply to fulfill a twisted desire to frighten people.
If there is anything that can be gleaned from this particular incident, it is that everyone should calm down and take a deep breath before jumping off the deep end at every move made by Trump, and instead display some common sense and due diligence rather than succumb to fear.
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