Ding, Dong, The Draft Looks Dead...Or Does It?

Our new Democratic leaders have come to their senses and said Charlie Rangel's draft bill will be D.O.A. in the next Congress.

Others, however, aren't so sure.

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    Feeling a draft (none / 0) (#1)
    by Zeno on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 12:20:30 AM EST
    "Democrat leaders"?

    Is that really what you meant to write.

    Ok, I'll change it (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 12:26:30 AM EST
    to Democratic.  Is that what you meant?

    What's in a name? (none / 0) (#3)
    by Zeno on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 01:03:11 AM EST

    The 60's (none / 0) (#4)
    by Pete Guither on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:06:25 AM EST
    One thing that hasn't been discussed much regarding the recent proposal for a draft is that the draft could re-invigorate the dormant youth activist/protest movement.

    Certainly that's a slumbering beast that the government doesn't wish to awaken.

    The reason I became politically aware in college many years ago was because of the draft.  Part of me would like to see that raw power again (but not enough to welcome the squandered lives that a draft would bring).

    UMS (none / 0) (#5)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:16:01 AM EST
    Pete - How do you feel about Universal Military Service??

    UNS (none / 0) (#15)
    by Pete Guither on Thu Nov 23, 2006 at 05:05:16 PM EST
    I'm not opposed to Universal National Service of some kind (I'd have a problem if is was limited to military service).

    I think in this particular case, the unpopularity of the Iraq war would cause a draft to awaken a major protest movement, whereas in legitimate times of national defense, the draft would be supported and encouraged by the people.

    In this way, the draft can actually serve a legitimate purpose of checks and balances on the government to prevent over-reach.  No such function exists with an all-volunteer army.


    C'mon, you sound like the wingers. (none / 0) (#6)
    by lilybart on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:38:48 AM EST
    Introducing the draft is a way of extending the Iraq conversation to all Americans. It is easy to ignore what is going on there, and the criminal cluelessnes of the Governmernt, if you have no dog in the fight, so to speak.

    Somehow winger talking points got put under your pillow last night!

    He's not serious. (none / 0) (#7)
    by editor u on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 08:53:27 AM EST
    Rangel's approach seems rather weird, but I don't think he is seriously suggesting the return of the draft. He has said that he would vote against his own bill, just like he did the last time.

    See The Editors comments at this URL

    I think The Poorman is right.

    A draft or the discussion of a draft... (none / 0) (#8)
    by Bill Arnett on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 12:57:05 PM EST
    ...would not be necessary if we had principled, honest, inspiring leadership and adhered to the principle that wars are a matter of LAST RESORT, not first.

    When you make wars a matter of choice and advocate for preemptive strikes against other nations without the intent or ability to attack America, it makes America and its troops subject to distrust, derision, and accusations of hubris and imperial desires.

    It also drives down enlistments, breaks the military, bankrupts our treasury, and reduces military service to being cannon-fodder in illegal wars.

    I think THAT will be bush's sole legacy: the pure folly and idiocy of trying to install freedom and democracy at the barrel of a gun or the dropping of massive amounts of ordinance will neither win war nor make any friends.

    A draft to support an illegal war is just involuntary servitude forced upon society for ill-purposes and not noble ones.

    The Draft is good (none / 0) (#9)
    by bau996 on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 02:30:43 PM EST
    Personally, as a 29 year old, I think the draft is a good thing.  However, I would call it compulsory civil service, because the military isn't for everyone.  However, I think everyone should perform civil service.  Perhaps then we wouldn't have such a lethargic electorate.  My proposal would be that everyone after graduating high school or turning 18 would have to perform 18-24 months of civil service (no deferments or evading it for anyone, period).  They could join the military, peace corps, habitat for humanity, or any other organization that performs a public service (and that would be created as a result of this new "draft").  I think that we could create a new deal type of organization that put the youth of America to work and let them feel what it is like to work for someone else's benefit, not just their own.

    Sen Rangel's justification is off base (he thinks that a draft will influence leaders not to put us in bad siuations like Iraq).  I think a better solution to this problem is if Americans got up off of their lazy indifferent rear-ends and voted    in politicians that were responsible in the first place.  Perhaps that would happen if people felt that they had made more of an investment in the country in the first place.

    Ifm this midea was coupled... (none / 0) (#10)
    by Bill Arnett on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 03:13:13 PM EST
    ...with guarantees of a college education at public expense I MIGHT be able to support it, but under any other circumstance, if you just take two or three years of a person's life without just compensation (and what would you pay all these people? Minimum wages?) that's just involuntarily servitude.

    well said (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 04:59:02 PM EST
    Bill...well said.  Even if you got some free education out of it...I'm not down with the govt. forcing people to surrender a portion of their life, no matter how good the cause.  Smells of tyranny.  

    I'm convinced Rangel's right though...a draft would give the war machine pause.  If enacted and the war is just the majority would not resist, if unjust the majority would refuse, throwing a wrench in the works.  Nothing wrong with that..a little people power.

    Besides the fact that since nearly every congress person is against it...that tells me it must be a great idea.


    For Bill and Kdog (none / 0) (#13)
    by bau996 on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 07:30:47 PM EST
    Indentured servitude, and surrendering protions of lives, is very extreme language.  We had a draft for WWII.  I don't think anyone would argue that we should have stayed out of that war.  My point is, that extremism is usually wrong and I think, in this case, it contiues to be wrong.  Isreal has compulsory service program for its youth, it seems to work for them.  The America we live in has far too much a sense of entitlement, and it comes from my parents generation, and is being continued by my own.  We need to stop being such a "me, me, me" culture.  

    And I accept the previous proposal-- You serve, you get credits towards a college education.  Lets call it a year for every year served- so, do 4 years of service, get a free Bachelor's degree.    


    History is an odd thing (none / 0) (#14)
    by Dadler on Thu Nov 23, 2006 at 03:12:55 PM EST
    While I agree with the notion of compulsory service, I would suggest military service NOT be considered included.  Being a pawn of idiotic foreign policy is not service.  

    Imagine you were a black soldier in WWII, putting your life on the line, getting shot at by your own soldiers.  Then coming home to a country still racist and segregated to the core.
    What freedom were they fighting for?

    Israel's mandatory military service, Israel itself, exists because of the Holocaust.  Arabs had NOTHING to do with the Holocaust but were asked to pay the most severe cost in restitution (for a crime committed in Europe by Europeans against other Europeans).  As a result, boom, the region has been at war constantly.  Certainly virulent anti-semitism is a problem, but would you have been shocked by virulent anti-British sentiments were you an American colonist supporting independence?  Of course not.  War bends and warps and destroys.  It does not nurture.  

    As for entitlements, are you claiming YOU feel entitled and act entitled or that it's just OTHER people who are the problem?

    But, like I said, I agree with compulsory service.  Just of the non-military variety.  The current military-industrial complex has absolutely no right to expect compulsory cannon fodder be provided for them.  They don't deserve it, nor should any young person be a required servant to its abusive power.


    Overlawyered refused to print this: (none / 0) (#12)
    by Christopher King on Wed Nov 22, 2006 at 06:10:58 PM EST
    Here's what I told them, in tandem with lilybart and editor u:

    C'mon guys you cannot be serious. Rangel is being tongue-in-cheek because we all know that a draft will never occur because the haves will start losing their own offspring.

    Now you want to see some stupid lawyer tricks, how about that case in New Hampshire where a (Republican) Prosecutor and a Police Chief labeled an NAACP legal chair an "extortionist," then wound up dropping all charges and both of them get drummed out of office admist ethics investigations of their own?

    Now that's a good one.

    Read paragraph 3:


    Too bad they wasted nearly 2 years of my life and untold amounts of taxpayer dollars in the process.

    Watch the movies at:



    Someone asked me about this on my blawg today and I said (and maintain) that Charlie is a Good Guy. Let's see how this pans out.


    Hollywood and the Military Draft (none / 0) (#16)
    by trevlin77 on Sun Dec 17, 2006 at 06:08:42 PM EST
    I've been running a blog on the re-institution of the draft for the past year.  (For the record, if Bush disagrees with the Iraq commission and fights for larger forces, there is no way to proceed except instituting the draft.)

    But recently, I stumbled across the newest Elijah Wood vehicle - a what-if-the-draft-started-up-again thriller.  It's actually a decent cast, which indicates that, at the very least, this will be a hot-button issue over the last two years of Bush's presidency.