Those fighting antiwar Democrats

Senior Democrat Rep. Charles Rangel wants to bring back the draft.

Why? Because the U.S. needs more troops in more places to fight all the Hideous Menaces out there. This from a ranking Democrat. Guess he didn’t get the message from the electorate this past election, and he manages to sound more belligerent and clueless than most neocons, foaming about challenging North Korea and Iran.

Were this to happen, campuses nationwide would erupt in protest.

Someone needs to tell Rangel that since the U.S. is losing in Iraq, rational folks would say that attacking more countries is not the next indicated move. U.S. imperialism is losing, and losing badly, but they can’t admit it. That would be “losing face.” So they want sacrifice more lives not their own, or of anyone close to them, in their doomed attempt to fend off the inevitable defeat. Someone else may literally lose their face (or life) so they can figuratively save their own. Sickening, aren’t they?

  • Mark

    My understanding of this is that he wants campuses to erupt in protest. A “volunteer” military that targets the poor is still a very comfortable scenario for a lot of people that have no intention of joining the military. He wants rich kids to get sent over.

  • I say, how about NO kids get sent over!

  • Joe Hartley

    It’s not a per se bad idea. While the danger is that it does permit a vastly larger pool of soldiers, it also will avoid the problems that got us into Iraq without protest in the first place: middle class and upper income kids being put in harm’s way. If only the poor are serving, they are considered by many Americans as expendible. Not so if their own precious darlings are involved. Rangle’s idea, as I understand it, is that by exposing ALL Americans equally to the draft, it would provide a check on military recklessness. As such, it shouldn’t be rejected out of hand. Even with a subservient Congress like we’ve had for the past 6 years, it would make those who otherwise wouldn’t care stop and think.

    This doesn’t mean it’s a good idea, but it’s worth exploring and debating the merits of. Certainly it doesn’t deserve being rejected out of hand in favor of what is effectively an army of mercs.

    Milton Friedman, no socialist, was vehemently opposed to the draft. But then Milton never understood either politics or history–his economic analyses could be incisive, but he often appeared as naive as Candide on nonmathematical matters–and didn’t understand that an army posed certain problems that weren’t reducible to marketplace economics.

  • In many ways Rangel is on the same side on this and the other commenters have it right. I heard this on the radio yesterday and his point, which is in the article you link to, is that if the current members of congress aren’t generally directly touched by the death and disfiguration of our literally war-torn volunteer army. If the members of congress and their more connected constituency felt more directly the effects of war they would be less likely to call for it so casually. He would want this in place before we start congressional-level action on Iran (as opposed to current “covert” operations) so as to slow down the bloodlust acts of congress. I think what you refer to as his “foaming” is really trying to get a leverage point against those who do indeed “foam”. The report I heard had him being very direct about his reasoning and I don’t see that in this article, which may have caused some confusion.

    Whether or not it’s a good idea is a different matter, but his intention should be understood.


  • Stopping war by playing chicken with the lives of privileged kids doesn’t seem the best of all possible plans to me…

  • Joe Hartley

    Playing chicken with the lives of privileged kdis is NOT the best of all possible plans, but it’s a whole lot better than what we have now.

  • Were the US to stop invading other countries, the problem would no longer exist!

  • Here’s an article on about this by Steve Gilliard with the lede “Progressives are drawn to Charlie Rangel’s call for a draft, but a draft only inducts people. Class determines what job they will be assigned once they are in the military and, often, how happy they will be.”

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