Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Draft... You've Got to be Kidding....

As we are all aware, Congressman Charles Rangel has brought the issue of the military draft to the forefront once again. Much has been written about it in the blogosphere. Once I calmed down from just being angry with Charlie - again - I decided I needed to read what he wrote and posted on his congressional site, before I stated my opinion about his proposal.

First, the title of his news release is REINSTATE THE DRAFT: IT'S A MATTER OF FAIRNESS. Please note, that it has nothing to do with national need or national security. It has to do with his convoluted sense of fairness, which boils down to wanting to force the children of the Republicans, specifically President Bush and Vice-President Cheney, to serve. To this end, he has included men and women up to age 42 eligible for service.

Second, he says, "The great majority of people bearing arms for this country in Iraq are from the poorer communities in our inner cities and rural areas." This could not be farther from the truth. There a smaller percentage of minorities in the military, than in the general population, though it is close to being equal. The enlistments out of inner-cities is proportionate to the population. The attack on rural areas as being poor is also incorrect. He goes on to site that 70% of the volunteers in New York City were Black or Hispanic. Perhaps he should worry about the citizens of New York City as a whole, and leave the rest of us alone.

Third, he says, "the unfairness and absence of shared sacrifice in the population cannot be challenged." Well, Charlie, I challenge that. I've been to two military funerals for young men from my area. Both were white. Both were from solidly upper-middle class families. Both were well-educated.

Fourth, he says, "If this war is the threat to our national security that the Bush Administration insists it is..." Where was he on September 11, for the Beirut Bombings, for the Iran Hostage Crisis, for the Somalia episode, for the bombings of our embassies in Africa, for Kobar Towers? Oh yeah, comfortable ensconced in his offices in the Capitol Building - and has been since 1971. I think I find that statement more offensive than the idea of the draft. I fear Charlie has disconnected from any reality that doesn't include pitting races against one another.

A study by the Heritage Foundation found that the opposite of what Charlie is saying is true. "A proportion of high-income recruits rose in a disproportionately high level after the war on terrorism began, as did the proportion of highly educated enlistees." It found that "the current makeup of the all voluntary military looks like America. Where they are different, the data show that the average soldier is slightly better educated and comes from a slightly wealthier, more rural area." As for the weight falling to the rural areas, I believe this is because we still honor flag and country, honor and duty, in the rural areas.

Last, his statement, "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 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." This is just dumb. If the military did not come from communities of any of the representatives in Congress, just where did they come from - Mars?

What Charlie is trying to do is use the draft as an instrument of pacifism. He wants to upset those who do not want to have anything to do with the safety and security of our country. He wants them to rise up in the streets to protest the war he doesn't like. He also wants to use it as an instrument of "equality" - which translates to more racial divisiveness.

Regarding the draft itself, I can't think of a better way to cause the military to degenerate into an ineffective force than to reinstate the draft. After years of working with this age group, I know how truly ineffective they can be. I do believe that military service would be good for a great many of the American youth who have no sense of anything beyond themselves, but I certainly do not want to put the readiness and the defense of my country in their hands, nor do I want to see the military absorbing their problems. I'd be all for a year of mandatory service to our country after a stint in a boot camp for all kids, but I don't want to pay billions (trillions) of dollars for it. I'd rather see American history taught in the schools. I'd like to see young people educated about this wonderful country we live in. I'd like to see people remember flag and country, duty and honor.

Charlie's Statement:

Heritage Foundation Study:


yankeemom said...

Amazing how so many of our elected idiots just can't seem to pull themselves out of the 20th century. Hello ~ it's not 1965 or 1950 or even 1992.

Flag Gazer said...

Charlie is on the Kerry mantra now and wants to have INVESTIGATIONS into the quality of the troops.