Rep. Rangel Will Seek to Reinstate Draft
- In my opinion, this is the kind of stupidity that
should make liberals look more carefully at Democrats
before voting for them. He might be right that this
would keep Congress from getting us into more wars,
but I do not believe that this means justifies that
end. Forcing someone to do a job they do not want to
do, whether it's active military duty or is at "our
seaports, our airports, in schools, in hospitals," is
wrong. And the draft did not keep politicians from
getting us into Vietnam. He may be overestimating our
politicians' care for their kids. And even if he tries
to design this draft as fool-proof so that rich kids
cannot weasel out of it, I bet he will fail. I bet
that will still happen, one way or another.
And from the Democratic party's strategic point of
view, any kid that gets drafted because of a
Democratic Congress is very likely to vote Republican
the first chance they get.
Rep. Rangel Will Seek to Reinstate Draft
By JOHN HEILPRIN
The Associated Press
Sunday, November 19, 2006; 1:31 PM
WASHINGTON -- Americans would have to sign up for a
new military draft after turning 18 if the incoming
chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has his
Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., said Sunday he sees his
idea as a way to deter politicians from launching wars
and to bolster U.S. troop levels insufficient to cover
potential future action in 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," Rangel said.
Rangel, a veteran of the Korean War who has
unsuccessfully sponsored legislation on conscription
in the past, said he will propose a measure early next
In 2003, he proposed a measure covering people age 18
to 26. This year, he offered a plan to mandate
military service for men and women between age 18 and
42; it went nowhere in the Republican-led Congress.
Democrats will control the House and Senate come
January because of their victories in the Nov. 7
At a time when some lawmakers are urging the military
to send more troops to Iraq, "I don't see how anyone
can support the war and not support the draft," said
Rangel, who also proposed a draft in January 2003,
before the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who
is a colonel in the U.S. Air Force Standby Reserve,
said he agreed that the U.S. does not have enough
people in the military.
"I think we can do this with an all-voluntary service,
all-voluntary Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy.
And if we can't, then we'll look for some other
option," said Graham, who is assigned as a reserve
judge to the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals.
Rangel, the next chairman of the House tax-writing
committee, said he worried the military was being
strained by its overseas commitments.
"If we're going to challenge Iran and challenge North
Korea and then, as some people have asked, to send
more troops to Iraq, we can't do that without a
draft," Rangel said.
He said having a draft would not necessarily mean
everyone called to duty would have to serve. Instead,
"young people (would) commit themselves to a couple of
years in service to this great republic, whether it's
our seaports, our airports, in schools, in hospitals,"
with a promise of educational benefits at the end of
Graham said he believes the all-voluntary military
"represents the country pretty well in terms of ethnic
makeup, economic background."
Repeated polls have shown that about seven in 10
Americans oppose reinstatement of the draft and
officials say they do not expect to restart
Outgoing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told
Congress in June 2005 that "there isn't a chance in
the world that the draft will be brought back."
Yet the prospect of the long global fight against
terrorism and the continuing U.S. commitment to
stabilizing Iraq have kept the idea in the public's
The military drafted conscripts during the Civil War,
both world wars and between 1948 and 1973. An agency
independent of the Defense Department, the Selective
Service System trains, keeps an updated registry of
men age 18-25 _ now about 16 million _ from which to
supply untrained draftees that would supplement the
professional all-volunteer armed forces.
Rangel and Graham appeared on "Face the Nation" on
On the Net:
Selective Service System: http://www.sss.gov
- I wonder if his obsession with reinstating the military draft over the
years has anything to do with how he ended up in Korea back in the