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November 20, 2006

I love this.

Rep. Rangel Will Seek to Reinstate Draft Nov 19 12:41 PM US/Eastern

A senior House Democrat said Sunday he will introduce legislation to reinstate the military draft, asserting that current troop levels are insufficient to sustain possible challenges against Iran, North Korea and 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," said Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y.

Snerk. First paragraph, we might need 'em to fight all these bad guys. See? I'm tough on defense!

Second paragraph - Ha! If we had a draft, no one would ever be able to go to war again, unless it was a war the Dems approved of! [But wait, they *did* approve of this one - and would still approve if it had gone well. Success has many fathers, and in 2008 we'd be hearing about how Senator Clinton actually wrote the plan...] See, we're tough on, er, um, well, war is, y'know, bad. Besides, we'll blame it on President Bush, as we had no choice, and then after you dolts er, voters, put a Democrat back in the White House (while letting us keep the Congress, too, of course), we'll repeal it because it won't be needed after all, and then we can say we made it go away.

Of course, I doubt the President will sign any such bill, which means Rangel and Co. can then bust on him for being weak on defense.

Gad, it's a perfect gambit from a Democrat perspective. Unless it were to backfire. [dreamy look]

Be funny if the Prez *did* sign it. Would the campuses erupt? Blaming the Republicans, of course, because, well, they can't blame the Democrats, if you do that, it's unpatriotic and undemocratic. Just ask 'em.

First off, Mr. Rangel - how many troops do we need? Oh, wait - you'll ask the DoD to tell you, won't you? Oddly, they aren't interested in drafting anyone, but, hey. Or if you *do* have a number, do please let us know what it is.

Then, if you want to draft 'em, tot up those costs. Because the last time we had a draftee army, we weren't paying very well. You remember that Army - you were in it, during Korea. And we pay pretty good bucks, now. Or are you going to give all the people on active duty a paycut? Or, better yet, pay the draftees less... that'll play well when they start dying.

C'mon, Mr. Rangel - less bluster, more muster. Muster up some details so we can really evaluate your proposal. Otherwise, it's just another exercise in blowhard demogoguery.

Read the whole thing here. H/t, CAPT H.

Comments on I love this.
Eric briefed on November 20, 2006 07:04 AM

Mr. Rangel has been running this scam for the last 5 years. His bunch of jokers are the ones who demanded there 'peace dividend' the commenced cutting the end strength by 25% (1992 through 1995. I find it amazing that this bunch where the ones who were screaming that this administration was planning to restart the draft.

Eric briefed on November 20, 2006 07:09 AM

And another thing, that joker has no clue as to how long it takes to "grow" a trained soldier who is able to survive and function on the modern battlefield.

Pragonautomatic briefed on November 20, 2006 07:36 AM

Here's the thing, you can think that Rangel's move is a dumb stunt, but it may get people thinking about what is needed to win in Iraq and given that Abazaid has said that more troops are needed, it seems like a good idea to start thinking about these issues.

And I think the point of Rangel's second paragraph is not that we'd never go to war again, but simply that people invested in the process by virtue of having their own kids in the line of fire are more likely to take things slow and steady instead of rushing into a mistake like Iraq. FDR's kids fought. There was no President Joseph Kennedy, Jr., because he got blown away in WW2. JFK got his back messed up in the service. But in this epic battle for civilization? Where are the children of the ruling class? Jim Webb's son. Of course Webb is a Democrat, so we have to hate him and question his motives.

John of Argghhh! briefed on November 20, 2006 08:02 AM

Pragon - you are certainly right - it's still illustrative of how the Left thinks.

More troops in Iraq isn't the same thing as more troops overall. There are many things that come into play.

Because the flip side to Rangel's argument can also be - the fact that we had a draft allowed us to continue during Vietnam far longer than we might have had we the size Army we'd have had given an all-vol force. The fact that we don't, and we're stretching the ground forces thin, means perhaps we can't have a 12 year war like we did in Vietnam.

Regardless, if you think we're going to be able to keep up the quality of force we have now with any significant addition of forced-to-serve troops, you don't understand the costs involved. Too many people look at the draft era Army numbers without realizing they weren't getting paid diddle.

All well and good to call for a draft - gimme the analysis that says how big that force needs to be, so we can then start costing it out.

Speaking as someone who has bridged the draftee force and all-vol force, I'm not interested in a draft until there is literally no other choice.

fdcol63 briefed on November 20, 2006 10:02 AM

Man, this "rush to war" crap just gets old.

12 years of continued violations of umpteen dozen UN resolutions, and then over a year of escalation post 9/11 during which Saddam was given MONTHS to comply with those resolutions, avoid military action, and prepare for war is all considered a "rush"? I wonder just what constitutes "plodding" your way into a conflict?

In any event, after this election, it's clear that the American public believes that all future conflicts should be neatly "wrapped up" after the initial combat phase - like in Desert Storm and Kosovo (LOL - yeah, we see how great they worked!). They don't have the patience or the will to allow a POTUS to do what they demanded BEFORE the conflict: "If you break it, will you stay committed to fixing it?".

This past election has demonstrated that, just as we can no longer expect a formal declaration of war from a partisan and divided Congress, we can no longer expect a largely myopic, apathetic, and short-sighted American public to divert their attention long enough from the travails of Brittany Spears and Kevin Federlein's divorce to sustain their support for a multi-year conflict and reconstruction effort.

I'm not sure this bodes well for the survival of our Republic.

BloodSpite briefed on November 20, 2006 10:25 AM

With great trepidation I agree with fdcol

I think Tom Petty said it pretty well Even Walls, Fall Down, the point being no great civilization lasts forever. That is not to say that the end is just around the corner (saddening historically speaking that we, in our modern wisdoms, abilities, goods and amenities could not last as long as say...ROme?) but perhaps the decline?

Granted all of this is just depressing doomsday philosophizing however, it's intriguing to consider just what the geo-political ramifications of such a collapse would cause. Multi Nation States? United States of the Southern Aristocracy? Free Peoples Republic of California? The List goes on.

But I doubt, even with my ingrained cynicism, that its something we'll see in our lifetime, barring some massive governmental f'aux pas that causes it's citizens to wake up and smell the proverbial coffee.

J.M. Heinrichs briefed on November 20, 2006 05:19 PM

1. The last time he was making these noises, some one called for a vote in the House on the subject, and I think he was one who voted against. Of course, the vote was reported as a GOP publicity stunt ...

2. When the proposed Draft Bill is discussed, perhaps the participants should be limited to those Congressmen whose immediate family members would be affected. Because it would surely be unjust for Mr Rangel to support a draft if neither his sons or daughters would be eligible for service?


Marine6 briefed on November 20, 2006 06:41 PM

Rangel has brought this up several times over the past five years. As I recall, during the 2004 Presidential campaign he was making a lot of noise on the subject and the Republicans decided to call his bluff and scheduled a vote in the House of Representatives. I believe that the vote was on the order of 405 to 3 or 4 against the bill. Even Rangel voted against his own bill, claiming that he was voting against the proceedure. (Let me see - I was for it before I was against it, and now I'm for it. Sounds like a familiar Democratic refrain.

And, if I'm not mistaken, the Chief Surrender Monkey, the EX-Marine from Pennsylvania, was one of the three or four who voted in favor.

Marine6 - Sends

ry briefed on November 20, 2006 07:25 PM

There's no real merit in this. Go back and look at the Doolitle Report---do we really want those abuses to come back? This is a bad idea.
A buddy of mine, former Army Intel weenie, once had this to say about French conscripts, 'They serve two years, spend every minute trying to get deferment to an NGO, and basically do everything they can to not be a soldier.' Of course that could apply to any industrialized nation that still uses conscription.
It also is oblivious to something very fundamental: when has military service ever been looked at as a good thing? The Ayer family was very upset that, also somewhat wealthy, GS Patton was going to make a career in the Army and force their daughter to live 'that ugly life'. When has the academy really supported military service(Berkeley used to require ROTC enlistment to attend, but that stopped around 1920 and none of the other UC schools had such a requirement). Soldiering has never been looked upon kindly in American society(except maybe in WW2). The real problem is that we look on the military as 'those backwards, barbarous Spartans' while we Normals 'are the virtuous and civilized Athenians'. Change that and you'll no longer have Ivy League kids being contemptous of military service. The pay isn't the same as in the private sector, but there's a lot to make up for that.

I don't care for Adm Webb, but it isn't because he put a D next to his name. I'd have been happier if he opposed his Virginian opponent in the Repunblican primary, but it isn't the D that puts me off.

J-P briefed on November 20, 2006 08:57 PM

This draft legislation is not the way to adapt to a changing situation. It would be like solving a residential burglary problem by conscripting cops to sit three to a home, inside with the family, in a poor neighborhood - would the solution be better than the problem?

Daniel briefed on November 21, 2006 12:49 AM

Has anyone asked the military if they want a draft? Seeing that they would the ones most affected? I as a active duty squid, I don't want to work with anyone who doesn't want to be there in the first place.

fdcol63 briefed on November 21, 2006 07:31 AM

I'm definitely not in favor of a draft, for a variety of reasons.

However, I do favor a "Heinlein-esque" idea regarding EARNING the franchise and the right to vote:

* Require that everyone spend a specific period of time (1 year? 18 months? 2 years? whatever) immediately after high school performing some kind of paid public service; i.e., military service, AmeriCorps/Peace Corps, candystriping, delivering Meals on Wheels, serving as Big Brother/Big Sister mentors, building houses for Habitat for Humanity, community trash pickup, etc. etc. etc.

This would be a voluntary process which would hopefully provide a "maturation" buffer between high school and college wherein people are exposed to the "REAL" world to gain practical experience and exposure to people from segments within American society that they might not otherwise be exposed to, which would hopefully allow them to become more empathetic and understanding of their fellow Americans.

People tend to appreciate more the things that they've had to work for. Most often, people take for granted what is automatically given to them.

Thus, I think we'd see greater voter participation - and much more informed, educated, experienced, and engaged American voters - if we adopted this requirement to earn the right to vote.