by John Hawkins | December 31, 2002 12:09 pm
Don’t Hold Your Breath While You Wait To Get Drafted: Charles Rangel’s call for a draft has gotten a lot of attention on the net, more than it probably deserves given the silly reasoning behind it. Here’s Rangel’s explanation of why he thinks we should have a draft…
“Rangel said the prospect of a draft would make Congress less likely to support a war.
“I believe that if those calling for war knew their children were more likely to be required to serve – and to be placed in harm’s way – there would be more caution and a greater willingness to work with the international community in dealing with Iraq,” Rangel wrote.
Military service should be a “shared sacrifice” asked of all able young Americans, he said, noting that minorities make up a “disproportionate number” of enlisted members of the military.”
First of all, the idea that the Bush administration or Congress is cavalier about risking the lives of our soldiers is ridiculous. In the past 22 years, the US military has fought two major wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They’ve also gone into combat in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Grenada, Panama, Lebanon (peacekeeping), Libya (bombing raid), & Haiti. Yet, despite all of that fighting, we’ve only lost roughly around a thousand men. That’s because the people of the United States, from the average citizen all the way up to the Commander and Chief, are deeply concerned about the welfare of our men & women in the armed forces and insist on taking every precaution to insure their safety. For Rangel to act as if this were Europe in WW1, where politicians fed the youth of their nations into a sausage grinder while they sat far from the front eating caviar and daintily wiping their mouths with scented napkins is disingenuous at best.
Moreover, Rangel’s implications that minorities are being treated unfairly because they, “make up a “disproportionate number” of enlisted members of the military” is similarly preposterous when you consider that we have an all volunteer force. In today’s military, there are no poor kids getting drafted while the rich kids with connected parents find ways to keep them out of the fighting. So if there’s a “disproportionate number” of minorities in the military, it’s because they chose to enlist.
It goes without saying that Rangel’s goofball proposal isn’t going anywhere in Congress. But I have to ask — is this the best the Democrats can come up with on the foreign policy front? A gimmicky and foolish idea to reinstitute the draft? We’re in a brutal struggle against a global terrorist network and the nations that support it with millions of American lives riding on the outcome and the best thing the Democrats can come up with is to start up a draft that is in their own words aimed at making, “Congress less likely to support a war”? No wonder so many Americans don’t believe the Democrats are serious about defending America…
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