Charlie Rangel to Introduce Draft Bill

For all you naysayers who thought we were crazy when we wrote about bringing back the draft, here it is, Charlie Rangel, obviously having a deranged moment, is introducing a bill to reinstate the draft.

Rangel mistakenly thinks that a draft would have prevented the war in Iraq.

"There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way," Rangel said.

A draft would not have prevented Iraq any more than it prevented Vietnam. I cannot support risking the lives of this country's youth to make a political point. They should not be used as pawns in the war debate.

Let's hope Rangel's bill dies as swift a death this year as it did in 2004.

More from TalkLeft on the possibility of a draft.

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    Y'know, as long as men are allowed to... (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Bill Arnett on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 03:30:44 PM EST
    ...raise armies and spend a HUGH portion of a country's money and resources towards war, war will continue unabated until eventually nuclear weapons or some hitherto unknown weapon will be invented that will assure the destruction of large portions of, if not the complete, planet.

    It would be far better to eliminate war as a means of dispute resolution and seeking global hegemony.

    Every time I see or read these arguments about the best ways to raise an army, conscripting our youth for the commission of violence, and the most efficient ways to wage wars and kill entire populations if need be, I am reminded that man is and will always be his own worst enemy.

    Every time I hear of the spectacular sums of money sunk into this effort I stop to think, how many could we feed, house, educate, and care for with that money? How many of the elderly and infirm could be raised from poverty and cured of the ills that beset them? How many improvements could be made to the benefit of man instead of towards destruction of the entire human race?

    No, I think the better debate to have, by far, is how can we stop the madness of war, reduce the war machine to a purely defensive machine on a vastly smaller scale, and shrink the Pentagon's budget to a fraction of what it is now and put those trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars devoted to death and convert them to an investment to assure the peaceful survival and advancement of man?

    I know the warhawks here will savage me tirelessly for what they will term a "pie in the sky" fantasy wish for peace, but unless you endeavor to succeed, you never will.

    I would strive mightily to leave a legacy of peace and goodwill towards all men than to leave our children a smoking ember incapable of supporting life.

    Admirable sentiment. (none / 0) (#47)
    by Gabriel Malor on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 03:57:59 PM EST
    Bill, I agree that the rarification of war is a desirable goal. I especially like your emphasis on the dangers of escalation. But I have two further comments to make--one on the necessity of the war machine and a second on the right to make war.

    The first is a simple idea: there are warmakers out there in the world. We cannot lay down our arms until we can be sure that these warmakers will leave us alone. If we cannot eliminate warmakers altogether, we must maintain an adequate deterrent to warmaking.

    That's why we must have and mantain our war machine--at least for defensive purposes, though trying to make do without any ability to project power oversees leaves us vulnerable and our allies undefended. We must do this for ourselves and our children. We have a duty to preserve for them our way of life.

    Second, all persons in the world must be allowed to fight evil men. Oppressors and tyrants don't get a pass because we've decided that all wars are bad. Simply put: some wars are good. Rather than outlaw war, we must expend effort to tell the good ones from the bad ones.


    Ahem... (none / 0) (#49)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 04:06:00 PM EST
    Nowhere in his post does Bill propiose that the US "lay down our arms", Gabriel.

    The rest of your post is based on that strawmwan claim.


    I wasn't disagreeing with him, Edger. (none / 0) (#51)
    by Gabriel Malor on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 04:10:20 PM EST
    I wasn't disagreeing with Bill. That's why I wrote "further comments" and not something along the lines of "You're wrong and here's why."

    If you have a problem with my comments, feel free to point them out. Yelling "strawman!" doesn't constitute "thoughtful" discussion.

    Edger, I know you don't like me, but would it be too much to ask that you actually read my comments before you start bashing?


    feel free to point them out? (none / 0) (#52)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 04:19:26 PM EST
    Calm down, Gabriel. Where do you think I copied your line in your post from while I was reading your post?

    And Gabriel... (none / 0) (#53)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 04:21:38 PM EST
    I don't know you. I have no idea whether I'd like you personally or not. Do you? Some things you say I'll admit to not liking, but look, lay off the strawman claims ok? Including claims that I don't like you.

    I would have thought my statement: (none / 0) (#61)
    by Bill Arnett on Tue Nov 21, 2006 at 03:01:14 PM EST
    No, I think the better debate to have, by far, is how can we stop the madness of war, reduce the war machine to a purely defensive machine on a vastly smaller scale...

    would make it clear that I believe we must have a defensive capability.  It doesn't take a trillion dollars a year or more to stand up a defensive force.

    And as to your second point, I vehemently disagree that there is any such thing as a "good" war or that war is the preferred method of dealing with evil men.

    Evil men may be tried in absentia, sentenced, and ordered to commence serving that sentence upon arrest, whereupon any/all police forces in the world could arrest and confine the "evil men" without destroying entire countries and large portions of the  populations. It is pretty apparent that not "all persons in the world must be allowed to fight evil men" when civilized countries train a select few for that purpose, police agents, who do not feel compelled to destroy indiscriminately.

    Violence, especially the horrific violence of war, need not be the only or preferred method of problem resolution. If you MUST resort to violence for anything short of actual self-defense, you have already lost, IMO.


    Draft: punctuates the war (4.00 / 1) (#3)
    by avahome on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 03:06:43 PM EST
    It's reality check time.  Our National Guard, and ready reserve........these guys are pooped.  Professional soldiers are in the volunteer force but many have been maimed or worse.  America needs this conversation.  Personally, I think there are many young men in jails wasting their lives away..time to put that anger to work....as opposed to getting tattoos, body piercings, gangs, you name it!

    I do not think it is right to have soldiers rotated in and out of a war zone time after time after time......they will go mad!  Shame on Rummy and the Chickenhawks!

    Rotation (none / 0) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 06:24:48 PM EST
    Actually rotation in and out of combat is a very old tradition. Read "Band of Brothers" and/or any number of history of war books and you will find that to be true.

    Draft (4.00 / 1) (#8)
    by brian on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 03:59:29 PM EST
    I do not think it is fair to criticize Rep. Rangel by saying that he favors the draft to score political points.  His point is deeper than that.  The fact is that our country goes to war.  To my mind it goes far too often, but it does so, as other countries do.  We are able to wage wars in the absence of broad-based political will to do so because entire classes of our citizenry is able to skip out on them.  Having a draft, with very few exceptions (unlike the one that prevailed during much of the Vietnam War), would require our country to decide whether it really wanted to go to war.  It is simply unacceptable to go to war without all of our people taking responsibility for it.

    XX (none / 0) (#16)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 06:34:49 PM EST
    Although I am a fan of Universal Service, you are wrong.

    Of the 535 members of Congress, at least seven have a great personal interest: They have children in the military who already are participating in the war or could be called to do so.


    Seven would be 1.3%. I think that is greater than the general population.


    maybe (none / 0) (#20)
    by roy on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 06:49:13 PM EST
    "Participating in the war or could be called to do so" leaves a lot of wiggle room.  They "could" be called, and daddums "could" pull strings and arrange otherwise.

    And the same "greater than the general population" idea was floating around the rightie blogs a while back to refute something in a Michael Moore movie, but it turned out that none of the members' children were in a war zone at the time.  So they were serving, but not fighting the war in question.

    Do you have more up-to-date, relevant figures?

    No offense to our troops who serve stateside or in peaceful areas, but when we talk about expecting the lawmakers and upper classes to share the burden of the war, we don't mean having their children train reservists in Georgia.


    Don't know (none / 0) (#25)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 06:45:02 AM EST
    Roy - All the link says that they were in Iraq or Afghanistan.. Since I think every one should serve I haven't researched it very much.

    Could people still crawl through the cracks? Sure. But my real point is that the two societies the Left is always speaking of get to meet each other on a fairly level playing field.


    Democratic Party is preparing military draft (3.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Andreas on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 02:56:51 PM EST
    A few days before the recent election Bill Van Auken, Socialist Equality candidate for US Senate from New York declared:

    A Democratic ascendancy in the US Congress will also make all the more likely the renewal of the draft--the dragooning of American youth into the military to serve as cannon fodder in Iraq and elsewhere.

    Illinois Congressman Rahm Emanuel, the principal figure in the US House of Representatives responsible for selecting this year's Democratic candidates, has written a book entitled The Plan, which lays out the party's agenda on a number of issues. This includes the creation of a new mandatory program of "universal citizen service" in which "all Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 should be asked to serve their country by going through three months of basic civil defense training and community service."

    While the book claims this is not a step toward the draft, one doesn't have to be a soothsayer to predict that, combined with Democratic criticisms that not enough troops have been deployed in Iraq and the party's proposal to significantly expand the ranks of the US Army, this is precisely what it represents.

    And the restoration of the draft to provide the military forces needed in both current and future US wars can far better be advanced by the Democrats than by discredited figures like Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. Already, Democratic politicians have indicated the line of the "liberal" argument for expanded militarism, pitching it as "equality of sacrifice" in which the burden would not be borne only by the disadvantaged.

    On the eve of the 2006 midterm election
    US faces stepped-up war abroad, social conflict at home

    By Bill Van Auken, Socialist Equality candidate for US Senate from New York, 7 November 2006

    Rangel and the draft (2.00 / 1) (#7)
    by diogenes on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 03:56:36 PM EST
    Pelosi picks Murtha?  Rangel introduces a bill calling for the draft?  The Democrats haven't been in power a month and they're already self-destructing.

    Charlie is not deranged (none / 0) (#2)
    by koshembos on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 03:04:12 PM EST
    Charlie Rangle is black. Blacks and Hispanics represent the lion share of the casualties in Iraq. It is Charlie's responsibility that his voters are not sacrificed for us the white middle class. He basically makes a statement knowing that the proposed draft will fail.

    Link please?? (none / 0) (#13)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 06:00:51 PM EST
    I haven't seen a breakdown of the races.

    Can you give us a link? I would find an analysis most interesting.

    Of course if you cannot....


    You of course have a link for this (none / 0) (#24)
    by Wile ECoyote on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 06:42:01 AM EST
    Lets see it please.  I think you will find the opposite.

    2004 Figures (none / 0) (#32)
    by Jlvngstn on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 09:36:56 AM EST
    Statistics don't bear out those perceptions. According to independent researchers with Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, a Web site that tracks casualty statistics based on Defense Department press releases and media reports, whites have suffered 74 percent of deaths in Iraq, while blacks have suffered 10.4 percent and Hispanics 11 percent.



    More class than race (none / 0) (#43)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 01:28:52 PM EST
    What was the average income of the parents of those killed? That's a better question. When I was in the military in the 1980s the combat arms MOSs were majority black/hispanic from low income families and the white guys were majority from low income families as well.

    It's About Time! (none / 0) (#4)
    by jcarr on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 03:11:54 PM EST
    Good for Rangel! A draft will immediately sharpen the focus on this war and get us the f*@k out of there. Both Left and Right politicos appear to be content that their own children are safe. Take that perceived safety net away by instituting a draft and watch how fast action will be taken to end this debacle.

    You are wrong about Vietnam (none / 0) (#5)
    by froomkin on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 03:20:40 PM EST
    The draft did end Vietnam -- once the college deferments were eliminated.  Before then, the draft was disproportionally picking up working class children.  Recall Cheney's multiple deferments.

    I didn't say (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 03:41:21 PM EST
    I didn't say the draft didn't end vietnam. I said the draft wouldn't have prevented Vietnam any more than it prevented Iraq.

    It was up to Rangel and others in Congress to fight the President when he decided to invade Iraq. They failed in their duty to us and our kids and went along with Bush. They shouldn't be allowed now to use our kids as pawns to get us out of Iraq, a country we never should have invaded in the first place.


    Reverse Logic (none / 0) (#22)
    by terry hallinan on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 07:18:17 PM EST
    They shouldn't be allowed now to use our kids as pawns to get us out of Iraq

    Don't you see the problem with what you are saying?

    Saddam was shooting at American planes patrolling the skies over northern and southern Iraq.  Reportedly he was offering a substantial reward to anyone shooting down an American plane.

    Who's kids should fight America's wars?  Somebody else's you think?

    Whatever we might have done, we would not be in the fix we are in if we had a citizen army rather than a mercenary army.  Why would we give a rat's ass about Iraqi democracy when we aren't doing so hot in this country in many places?

    You tell 'em, Charlie.

    Best,  Terry


    relaaax (none / 0) (#10)
    by roy on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 04:29:18 PM EST
    The draft is not entirely a fringe idea -- Murtha has murmured support in the past, and Kerry had his "mandatory national service" that was evil for many of the same reasons -- but there's no real chance of it happening any time soon.  The only reason Dems have to advocate a draft is to make the Republicans' plans look bad, but the Dems know the American people are smart enough to blame the congressmen who pass the draft.  Talking about a draft tweaks poll numbers.  Passing a draft would be political suicide.

    And if the poor want to make military service more uniform, they can stop enlisting.  If the rich want to, they can start.  No enslavement of teenagers necessary.

    Read (none / 0) (#11)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 05:57:31 PM EST
    Come on BTD, read the link.

    DISAGREE. Draft would prevent war (none / 0) (#12)
    by lilybart on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 05:59:28 PM EST
    I believe that if people had a family member at risk, the hard questions about Iraq would have been asked.

    Even if there were a war, it would not have gone on so long.

    I absolutely believe this.

    UMS (none / 0) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 06:12:12 PM EST
    I have long commented that what this country needs is Universal Military Service, not a draft.

    Simply put, all would serve for two years, starting upon graduation from highschool or age 19, whichever came first. After two years they could go active reserve for 8 years with monthly three day meetings and annual two week meetings. Or, they could go to active duty for four additional years with an additional two years of inactive reserve.

    We have the greatest military in the world, but our civilians suffer from not being allowed to serve, and our military men suffer from not being around those elite youngsters who are destined by luck of birth to have parents who have no understanding of the rest of the country and forsee a bountiul future for their children as stock brokers, attorneys, etc. Protected by the military.

    I can see it now. A stock broker's daughter drinking beer at the Enlisted Club with a truck driver's son. Aw, the sweet smell of love...or at least lust... ;-)

    BTW - No deferments. Something can be found for everyone to do.

    Re: Something can be found for everyone to do. (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Edger on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 06:40:11 PM EST
    We have the greatest military in the world

    Nice sentiment, Jim. Your level of respect for those who serve and fight for you is touching, and unequalled.

    BTW, there is still an unanswered question waiting for you here, after your so many nice comments like this one, in this thread about one of those veterans you hold in such high regard.

    I know you'e so busy spreading respect and high sentiments around that you probably just forgot about it, so I thought I'd refresh your memory, since I'm sure that particular vet is interested in your answer, as probably everyone else is.


    XX (none / 0) (#26)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 06:51:45 AM EST
    edger - As you may be aware, it is possible to admire organizations, but not specific people in the organization.

    I mean most people do understand that concept.

    As for your claims and links, it is usual to either provide a quote, or a specific time. But you just want to complain.


    Not necessary (none / 0) (#28)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 07:50:02 AM EST
    For the kind of childish and disrespectful dreck you had to say over there about a veteran univerally respected here (except by you) there is no need to cut and paste a quote.  

    Most commenters here can probably well imagine your "level of "respect" wthout even clicking the links. I doubt they want or need to read the dreck again.

    The links will suffice for anyone who doesn't know you, and wants to know what they are dealing with when they run across you.


    usual bad idea (none / 0) (#18)
    by soccerdad on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 06:35:50 PM EST
    The last thing this country needs is universal service. With a trained army that big we'd be invading countries all over the globe.

    A strong army is a necesaary thing, but the country would be better served by trying to save the planet and mankind. The continued spread of nuclear weapons will eventually lead to destruction of major portions of the earth.

    Continued glorification of the military as if its the answer to every problem will clearly lead to our destruction in the long run as the wars will go one for ever with ever increasing risk.

    But the fascist among us trys to scare us at every turn. The real agenda is for the US to control at least the useful parts of the world, who cares about Darfur call us when you get enough oil to make it worth our while.

    Maybe the human race isnt worth saving. It will have been a pimple on the ass of the universe.


    Not necessarily (none / 0) (#21)
    by LarryInCincy on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 07:09:41 PM EST
    A draft or universal military service might not necessarily result in a larger standing military.  In fact, I would hope it would reduce it.

    The size of the standing army is set by the goals our political leaders set for the military.  With everyone's children potentially at risk I would hope that political pressure would scale back those goals.

    Our military is still built and maintained to fight the cold war Red Army.  Why is that when that threat hasn't existed for 15 years?


    XX (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 06:54:27 AM EST
    True. And yet everyone attacked Rumsfeld whose goal was to change it rom an army of occupation concept to a highly mobile quick hitting force.

    Why? Because they claim we need an army of occupation.


    Rummy Grade? (none / 0) (#33)
    by Jlvngstn on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 10:13:10 AM EST
    and how is that working out for Rummy so far?  Horrible planning caused by his arrogance made this war what it is.  Failed leadership is at the core of our current failing in Iraq, not failed execution.  

    This conversation is essential (none / 0) (#17)
    by LarryInCincy on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 06:35:13 PM EST
    I am in agreement with several previous posters.  This national conversation is critical.  Why is it that the vast majority of the grieving in this war - or any other that would currently be taking place - must be born by mothers at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder?  And how is that fair?  Americans need to be talking about this and Charlie Rangel's bill sounds like a great way to start.

    let's hope rangel's bill (none / 0) (#23)
    by cpinva on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 10:33:01 PM EST
    gets the full hearing it deserves. it's been my position, since day one, that only a no-deferment draft puts every mother's son/daughter, etc. at risk. only when the risk is shared, by the entire populace, can we have a full discussion and agreement about when this country should go to war.

    btw jeralyn, the draft, per se, didn't stop vietnam. the knowledge that neither the military nor the civilian leadership had a clue, and that our military intelligence was so ineffective, the nva could plan and execute the tet offensive, without a hint of it leaking to us, combined with the draft, finally ended that war.

    tet was supposedly a military failure for the nva, and only the american media's negative reaction caused it to be anything else, or so popular lore has it. hogwash. it was the unrivaled intelligence success in military history, for the nva.

    there seem to be some parallels in iraq: our military & civilian leadership hasn't a clue, and the insurgents operate with near impunity. really, at this point, the only thing missing is a draft. oh, and some good anti-war tunes.

    Remind me... (none / 0) (#29)
    by jarober on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 08:25:46 AM EST
    Remind me again which party Rangel is in?  And remind me again which party is the only one advocating for a draft?

    It turned out to be true! (4.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Gabriel Malor on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 10:19:04 AM EST
    Well, Democrats warned us in 2004 that if Bush were elected, the draft would come back. I guess we should have taken them seriously!

    On a more...er, serious note, a draft program like Congressman Rangel's which would require "a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense." This is a bad idea for three reasons.  

    First, the military doesn't want a draft. Among the many benefits which have accrued to the military and to servicemebers as a result of voluntary recruitment policies are increases in career members, decrease in disciplinary problems associated with forced service, and decrease in enlistment rates for traditionally underrepresented groups who could not obtain deferments to the draft.

    Second, it is economically destructive. It would beggar the federal government to pay for all these jobs. Moreover, the disruption in the economy which results from removing several million people from the workforce for "a period of service" will be severe.

    Third, it would both increase the size of the active military and tend to create a psudo-military "homeland defense force" for youth fulfilling the "period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense" requirement. A larger standing military is probably undesirable since such an increase would require a vast increase in the number and size of military bases and tend to make international conflict more likely. Furthermore, anyone familiar with the deferment system of the Vietnam era should rightly criticize the get-out-of-service loophole of "civilian service." Does anyone doubt that such civilian service will be more difficult to acquire for traditionally disadvantaged groups (therefor, removing one of the key claimed rationales for a return to the draft)?

    Furthermore, creating military policy to accomplish a political goal is dangerous and immoral.

    Militaries are maintained for one purpose only: national defense. National defense necessarily involves danger to life. It is immoral to endanger lives to make a political point. From a classical liberal viewpoint, the morality of an all-volunteer military is obvious: men and women whose lives are put in danger had the capacity to choose. The draft denies that choice, and partisans who support a draft want to put the lives of men and women in danger and refuse to give them any say in the matter. I can think of few positions more illiberal than that.


    Re: It turned out to be true! (none / 0) (#56)
    by LarryInCincy on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 05:21:29 PM EST
    Concerning your first point I would have to agree with you, "...the military doesn't want a draft.", but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be required to accept one and design policies and procedures that effectively implement a national service oriented system. The military always likes the way they are currently doing something and never wants to change.  The phrase, "fighting the last war", comes to mind.

    Also, I am not sure of the source of your assertions regarding performance but if they were taken from the Vietnam era I would expect them to be poor.  Draftees do not take well to being cannon fodder for no good reason.  I would fully expect the military to be undergoing similar performance and retention problems now with the Iraq debacle.

    Regarding the economics question I am not sure your economical pessimism is warranted.  A draft/national service system would be drawing on 18 to 26 year olds. I am not sure this cohort is a large contributor to the nation's economic output. Besides, working people haven't received much of a pay increase since 1973.  Perhaps the nation could benefit from a slightly tighter labor market to increase working people's wages  Also, a 2 year delay with "other world" experience could actually be a net plus for the nation.  Young people would be starting out with an increased level of maturity and experience and probably with a clearer idea of what they would like to do with their lives.

    Your third point is well taken.  We would need to craft policy that insures equal treatment.

    Regarding your point concerning military policy and political goals, as Clausewitz said, "war is a continuation of politics by other means".  The military is political as is the Federal Reserve or any other government function you could name - like the "military/industrial complex".

    Not sure where you are going with your "choice" objection.  National service is not a choice, it is a duty.  Our society does not allow its members to choose to obey laws, it requires that laws be obeyed - to do otherwise results in a lawless society.  Paying taxes is not a choice, it is the  price we must pay for our civilization.  The defense of our national life and liberty has a cost and it should be born by all of us and in a manner that counts.

    Each person is born to one possession which out-values all his others - his last breath." Mark Twain



    Choice (none / 0) (#57)
    by Gabriel Malor on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 07:11:43 PM EST
    Let me make my "choice objection" a little clearer. I just meant that if we're going to put people's lives in danger, we'd better have a better reason for it than "We wanted to make a point." National defense is a pretty good reason. "Let's punish those rich kids for being, well, born with rich parents" is not a good reason.

    Military service is distinct from the other examples of government imposition (laws and taxes) because it carries the possibility that you will die. A person's right to live is, I think, one of his most important and if a person is going to be put in a position where his life is going to be cut short, it is not outrageous to give him a say in the matter. Hence, voluntary service.

    Forcing people to put their lives in danger is the opposite of freedom. Such a thing may be necessary in some cases with compelling reason; world war and invasion come to mind. But doing it to get back at the rich kids and everyone else who chooses not to serve, does not constitute a compelling reason.


    Re: Choice (none / 0) (#60)
    by LarryInCincy on Tue Nov 21, 2006 at 01:50:51 PM EST
    Your notion of freedom of choice here is reminiscent of Anatole France's barb about the equality of the law, namely, "the rich as well as the poor are free to sleep under bridges".

    Of course, the rich don't sleep under bridges just as relatively few are in harms way in the military because they can afford not to.  What drives many to join the military is not abstract musings on freedom and liberty but economic need.  Where exactly is the choice in that?

    The point is - the cost of the blanket of security our military provides should be born by all in a meaningful fashion. It is a matter of basic human fairness.


    This seems a bit of base-stirring, (none / 0) (#30)
    by scribe on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 08:47:53 AM EST
    something both sides can be good at.

    Rover turns out the religious flunkies by telling them, the gays are coming for you....
    Rangel turns out the Dem base, by raising the specter of the draft.

    And, remember, Rangel represents the Harlem district, which has taken a bunch of casualties (as has the minority population in the rest of NYC and elsewhere) - this is a bit of constitutent service, so to speak.  He's putting their gripe center stage.

    The interesting thing about this is, it will put the Repugs in the difficult position of either supporting the draft "Support the troops" - to keep the bloodshed going -(which Dems predicted in 04 was the inevitable result of the Wah on Terrah in Iraq), or voting against it, and sending the messages that (a) they don't support Bushie and Rummy and Deadeye's plan for world domination, (b) they like exploiting the poor, and (c) they are afraid of exposing their kids to danger, prefering to let the poor and minority do their dying for them, and (d) it allows the Dems to remind the public that, before this all went to crap, when a few more soldiers might have made the difference, Bushie told us to go shopping.

    In both choices, the Repugs would find themselves in the position of giving their Dem opponents in 08 a big stick with which to hit them over the head.  (not that it cannot be wielded both ways, but the Repugs would take the worse of it).

    And, as to the how to work it, my suggestion:

    Section 1. Eligibility for induction
    (a) All persons between the ages of 18 and 45 are eligible for induction.
    (b)  Certain persons shall be eligible for deferment of induction, as set forth in section 4.
    (c) No deferment of induction shall extend more than a combined total of six calendar months.

    Section 2. Enhanced eligibility for induction, selective assignment.
    (a) Any person eligible for enhanced induction shall be inducted immediately and assigned for service as described in section 3 hereof.
    (b)  Any person eligible for enhanced induction shall not receive any deferment of service.
    (c) The following persons are eligible for enhanced induction:
    (1) all persons within the third degree of consanguinity, including by marriage, adoption, or otherwise of any person:
    (A) employed within the period beginning September 11, 2001 in
    (i) the Senior Executive Service
    (ii) as a Member of Congress
    (iii)  as a Senator,
    (iv) a Justice of the Supreme Court, Judge of any Court of Appeals, Judge of any District Court, or
    (v)  as an aide to, assistant to or employee of any person employed in any of the categories in supbaragraphs (i), (ii), (iii) or (iv) hereof;  or
    (B) who claimed on any return of federal or state income taxes an adjusted gross income of more than $1,000,000.00 in any year during the period beginning January 1, 2001;  or
    (C) who received any distribution from any estate, trust or other entity in an amount in excess of $3,000,000.00 in any year during the period beginning January 1, 2001, excepting payments from state lotteries.
    (d)  The eligibility for enhanced induction shall be liberally construed in favor of eligibility for enhanced induction and all cases of doubt shall be resolved infavor of induction.

    Section 3.  Selective assignment.
    (a) No person inducted under the privisions of section 2 hereof shall be eligible to receive a commission as an officer in any branch of the military service for a period of no less than three years after the date of induction.
    (b)  All persons inducted under the provisions of section 2 hereof shall be assigned as follows:
    (1)  Males shall be assigned to duties as infantrymen, combat engineers, cannon artillerymen, cavalry scouts, or tank/armored vehicle crewmen.
    (2)  Females shall be assigned to duty as combat field medical personnel.
    (3)  All persons, upon completion of basic training no longer than 16 weeks, shall be assigned in positions involving direct exposure to enemy fire.

    Section 4.  Deferment of induction.
    (a) Medical reasons.  
    (i) No person shall be exempted from induction by reason of medical reasons.  Any determination of inability to perform military duties by medical reasons shall be made after induction.
    (ii)  In the event a person so inducted shall be medically unable to perform the duties described in Section 3 hereof, the finding of such inability and the reasons therefor shall be a public record and not subject to any provision of any law precluding disclosure, nor shall it be the subject of any privilege against disclosure.
    (b) College and educational deferment.  Any person subject to induction and then presently enrolled in a course of study shall be eligible to defer induction until two weeks after the completion of the current semester of instruction.  Any person eligible for enhanced induction under section 2 hereof shall not be eligible for the deferment under this subsection.

    Section 5.  Priority of induction.
    The Selective Service shall induct those persons eligible for enhanced induction under this act first, and to the exclusion of persons not eligible for enhanced induction, until such time as all requirements of the respective military services for personnel have been filled.

    Rangel is bringing no risk to lives (none / 0) (#31)
    by chemoelectric on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 09:17:20 AM EST
    Given the way the regime has gone to great lengths to avoid a draft, there must be some value in one. But, given that Rangel is calling a bluff, I don't see the problem. What risk is there to people's lives, unless you think the 'pro-war' people are keen on a draft, anyway? Rangel is risking no one's life; and if Charlie Rangel himself were President we would, I imagine, withdraw from Iraq, saving American lives.

    I wouldn't present a conscription bill, myself, but Rangel is a veteran and I am not.

    This won't help Dems (none / 0) (#35)
    by jarober on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 10:19:50 AM EST
    Neither the military nor the Republicans want a draft.  Historically speaking, the draft is an aberration for the US.  That leaves Rangel out there by himself, saying that it's a good idea somehow. Here's how it will play out:

    1)If Pelosi is smart, it never comes up for a vote, and it's simply forgotten

    2) If Pelosi is dumb, she provides it as a club to Republicans to beat Democrats with.  In this case, the measure will be defeated with only a handful of yes votes (likely not including Rangel's own, if past performance is anything to go on).

    Rangel wants this for one reason, and one reason only: He thinks a draft would create protests on college campuses.  That would provide a "1960's atmosphere" for some stuck in the past people to glom onto.

    One reason (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 10:43:43 AM EST
    The one reason is to stop the occupation....I'm with Rangel 100% on this.  It's easy to support the occupation when you are not risking anything....let's get everybody to risk something, or someone.

    If the bill passed, the occupation would be over before the draft ever got instituted.  Or it would create mass protest....I'd refuse to surrender my freedom to occupy a foreign land, as would hundreds of thousands of others.

    Republicans are against the draft because it would end the occupation and dry up military hardware profits.


    You mean... (none / 0) (#37)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 10:45:09 AM EST
    ...jarober's Brave New World doesn't do much for you, either?

    ohhhhhh scribe.............. (none / 0) (#38)
    by cpinva on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 10:51:31 AM EST
    you are harsh, guy! kind of makes the old estate tax look benign, by comparison. lol

    one thing: why limit females to combat medical duty? they can fire a weapon just as well as the boys can, they deserve equal opportunity to get their butts shot off. it's the right thing to do.

    i have to laugh at you jarober, you are such a transparent channeler of republican spin:

    the republican president and congress f*'d up the whole iraq "war". they've not nearly enough troops available, to effectively control the situation, but they've known all along that re-instituting the draft would result in their utter, complete destruction as a political party.

    so, they somehow contrive to turn this into the dems fault; that consideration of a return to the draft is even plausible, while ignoring the fact that it's the repubs fault that it even has to be realistically considered to begin with.

    i like it, can you get me scripts for 13 episodes in two weeks?

    why no females other than as medics? (none / 0) (#39)
    by scribe on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 12:40:20 PM EST
    Two reasons, or maybe it's three.

    1.  The dad in this YouTube, with extremely-very-not-safe-for-work audio reminds me of the average troop.  He will not gladly accept a woman doing work other than barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen.  FWIW, if every time Dad says some version of "F*ck" you take a drink, you will be quite wrecked in short order.  Even he has to open a cold one about 0:30 or so into the clip.

    2.  Being a combat field medic is quite dangerous enough.

    3.  At the risk of reopening a huge can of worms, my experience tells me that the only thing putting women in units would do is (a) get a whole lot of sex going on, and (more importantly)(b) degrade the units' effectiveness.  Like it or not, most women do not have the upper body strength required for those jobs - though I have heard the Army now allows women bulldozer operators in combat engineer units.

    high-heeled combat boots (none / 0) (#41)
    by roy on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 12:55:21 PM EST
    1, might be a good reason to take baby steps in opening jobs to women, much like they did in integrating black troops, but it's no reason to avoid it entirely.  It's fair to demand better from our troops than blind bigotry.

    3(a), In Afghanistan and Iraq, combat and non-combat troops are thoroughly mixed much of the time already, so they're probably having about as much sex as they're going to.  Evening out the male/female ration might actually be helpful by reducing the emotional toll of frustrated men competing for the few women.

    3(b), When people talk about allowing women into more jobs, they don't usually mean to imply affirmative action.  Those women who don't have enough upper body strength to do the job, won't get the job.  Those who do, will.


    the real point I was trying to make (none / 0) (#42)
    by scribe on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 01:13:49 PM EST
    by limiting the assignments was to avoid the military being able to shunt the darling sons and daughters of the privileged off to wonderful, easy duty.  There are plenty of such postings, like (just pulling/making a few up out of my head) being secretarial help at the Pentagon, the personnel office at 6th Fleet HQ in Naples, Public Affairs office anywhere, Facilities Engineers pretty much anywhere (you supervise the civilian plumbers), and so on.  The point is, put them knee-deep in the filth, dust and gore.  Let them bring those issues home with them.

    IT was a short introduction (none / 0) (#40)
    by Patrick on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 12:49:54 PM EST
    If you believe this, the issue is already settled.  

    Republicans/warmongers worst fear (none / 0) (#44)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 01:35:20 PM EST
    Is that middle/upper class kids will get yanked outta college to go die for the PNAC world plan. The outcry from the wealthy suburbs would put the kabosh on their imperialistc hubris in MINUTES.

    Of course the media looks at Rangel and avoids that obvious reality like the plague. Some things are still just a little too taboo to talk about in 2006.

    Lunacy (none / 0) (#46)
    by Slado on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 03:48:06 PM EST
    This is the most enjoyable post in years by the liberal thinking posters of TalkLeft.

    Watching you some of you guys force youselves to make up reasons to support this because a democrat put it out there shows your partisan colors.

    In 2004 almost everyone who's posted here used talk of a draft as a reason to vote for Kerry.   Now because a democrat was stupid enough to put this on the table you guys are having to bend the laws of physics to figure out a way to support this.


    What are we going to do with all these dratees when we get them?   Send them to Iraq?   I thought the democrats wanted to get out of Iraq?  Now they want a draft?  If we pull the troops out of Iraq then what are all of them for?

    Maybe we could line the boarder with Mexico and keep all the illegal immigrants out?   Maybe we could declare martial law in the ghetto's and arrest all the petty drug criminals that give us all so much trouble?

    Yeah this sounds like a good idea.  More troops!

    slado... (none / 0) (#48)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 04:02:32 PM EST
    If we pull the troops out of Iraq then what are all of them for?

    Listen to what Rangel is saying...if his draft plan was in place in 2002 we would not be in Iraq today...I agree.

    And I'd support it if it was Mickey Mouse's idea...its not a party thing.  A draft would weaken the power of the military industrial complex...I'm all for that.


    The old days. (none / 0) (#50)
    by Gabriel Malor on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 04:06:21 PM EST
    Here's Jeralyn on the draft in 2004. She writes:

    If you're young, and you don't want to be forced into military service, get out there and vote.

    Sadly, the comments are lost to oblivion. I would have loved to read them.

    Here's a rather informative post from that same day in 2004 where Jeralyn discusses the various draft proposals. It's comprehensive coverage of the draft issues from that year, but it's a bit lacking when it comes to analysis.

    She notes that John Kerry said "No draft" we can believe him. When George Bush said the same thing, she wrote "Despite his statements to the contrary, Bush may reinstate the draft."

    Ah, the old days...


    Consistent.... (none / 0) (#54)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 04:51:48 PM EST
    TL's stance has been consistent, she's always been against a draft, Rangel has always been for it. I've always been for it because I know free will is alive and well in this country, and the people will resist, throwing a wrench in the war machine.

    I think she, like many in 04, believed Bush couldn't keep up his war campaign without a draft.  We've under-estimated this admin's willingness to grind our volunteer force into the ground through multiple tours, stop-loss, etc.

    Bottom line, if the war is worth fighting, we all should be willing to fight it and sacrifice our own for it, or it simply isn't worth fighting.


    I doubt it (none / 0) (#55)
    by Slado on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 05:21:18 PM EST
    Kdog if we'd had a draft in 2002 we'd still be in Iraq and we'd still have the same people saying we need to stay and the same people saying we need to get out.

    There would only be more people who didn't want to be there there instead of volunteers.

    How could that be better?   Also with an unlimited supply of troops we would stay even longer then Bush wants us too.

    The pie in the sky notion that a draft would mean the US wouldn't have entered the war only shows that you weren't paying attention in 2003 when a majority of the US supported invasion.

    Now only with 20/20 hindsight has support for the war declined.  

    The draft was a dumb idea in 2002 and it's a dumb idea now.    

    If we get involved in a shooting war with China then I'm all for a draft because we'll need the troops then.  

    Till then the US population and the US congress won't support it.

    If they bring this to a vote it will only make the Democrats look stupid, again.


    And I was correct (none / 0) (#58)
    by jarober on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 10:17:47 PM EST
    Well look - it seems that Pelosi and Hoyer don't want to hand Republicans a stick to beat Democrats with:

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A reinstatement of the military draft, being pushed by a senior Democrat, will not be slated for consideration in the House of Representatives, the chamber's newly elected top leaders said on Monday.

    "We did not include that" in legislative plans for early next year, said Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, who will be House majority leader when the new Congress convenes in January under Democratic control for the first time in 12 years.

    What a surprise.  So much for the theory up-thread that a vote on this would "put Republicans in a bind".  

    Faux "Hilarious" (none / 0) (#59)
    by Che's Lounge on Mon Nov 20, 2006 at 10:52:56 PM EST
    In 2004 almost everyone who's posted here used talk of a draft as a reason to vote for Kerry.   Now because a democrat was stupid enough to put this on the table you guys are having to bend the laws of physics to figure out a way to support this.

    That's ridiculous. We've been aware of Rangel's position on the draft. It came out during the effing campaign. You think that this latest move is some big surprise? Think again.

    No one here wants the draft. It's just viewed as a potential second level consequence of Bush's screw ups. We wouldn't even be talking about it if Bush hadn't F***ed up Iraq.

    This is the absolute WORST time to reinstitute a draft. It smacks of cannonfodder. If the congress had been smart, they would have started it up back in the 90's. But then, and this is where kdog and I diverge, Cheney would have been even MORE emboldened to invade, not less. What could possibly have made Shock and Awe more satisfying for him than having an unlimited supply of boots to engage (not defeat) any resistance? Yummy for Rummy too.