Sun
Nov 19 2006
08:06 pm

It seems the Democratic Congress is set to reinstate the draft now that they are back in power - (link...)

 Can we count on President Bush to veto this measure?

bizgrrl's picture

Gee, it's so scary that

Gee, it's so scary that Democrats will be in the majority. I believe the Democratic Congressman already made this suggestion when there was a Republican Congress. Why should he change his tune when Congress becomes a Democrat majority?

Rangel, a veteran of the Korean War who has unsuccessfully sponsored legislation on conscription in the past, said he will propose the measure early next year.

Halfdan's picture

Draft is Good

I would be glad to see a draft--a professional army is bad for democracy. Admittedly, I'm of an age unlikely to be drafted, but I would be willing to serve my country were I selected.

JaHu's picture

"I would be glad to see a

"I would be glad to see a draft--a professional army is bad for democracy."

Personally I'm for keeping only a volunteer army. What I am against is, the leaders using our troops for their personal gain and not for the reasons they were intended for, as in, the protection of our country. I'm afraid if we had a draft, it would only open the doors for an increased abuse of power. If this country had a legitimate attack on our soil and not some dreamed up national crisis to drag us into an unwarranted war (Sorry, personal assumption there), we would have all the volunteers we would ever need.

Adrift in the Sea of Humility

JaHu's picture

Draft Unconstitutional

Amendment 13 - Slavery Abolished
1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

Notice the "nor involuntary servitude" in the first line! I think this statement says it all.

Adrift in the Sea of Humility

JaHu's picture

You are paid when you are in

You are paid when you are in the military. It may be involuntary, but it is not legal servitude.

If a guy raped a girl. Then paid her for her services, is that legal servitude?

Adrift in the Sea of Humility

JaHu's picture

A very, very, very, very,

A very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very bad analogy.

No I don't think it was. I was using the most horrendous example I could, to get my point across. A draft forces our young men into a form of slavery where they can be sent off to die in wars without having any say so in the matter at all. Forced into service where they can be tested on like human Ginny pigs (I think this is something Reagan passed). Sure they pay them, but it is a forced payment.

Example of what happened in the last draft. A total of 58,148 Americans died in Vietnam. Suicides among Vietnam veterans range from 50,000 to 100,000 - 6 to 11 times the non-Vietnam veteran population. I know of one who took his own life just a few days ago. These were people who were forced to go to another war we shouldn't have been in. Tell me the draft isn't devastating to families. Even with a draft, it is proven that the rich still get out of serving. Two examples Bush and Cheney.

Also - By implementing a draft what kind of message would this send to the rest of the world? Will they think we are increasing our military so we can attack more nations? Isn't our Democratic position supposed to be freedom of Choice?

I'm deeply sorry if my analogy was hurtful to anyone, it wasn't my intent.

Adrift in the Sea of Humility

edens's picture

Yep, conscription is more

Yep, conscription is more akin to taxation, although it's a tax on one's time, rather than income.

Regarding how professional armies are supposedly bad for democracy, might I refer you to most of America history.

And Great Britain, while you're at it.

WhitesCreek's picture

Involuntary servitude

Metulj, I think you are stretching a bit on this one. A draft is involuntary and no one I know has ever thought the pay was fair. Contractors and Soldiers doing the same job in Iraq have monstrously divergent pay scales, for example, and they pay prisoners for making liscense plates or whatever.

 Having said that, I think the courts have held the draft ,in time of national emergency, to be Constitutional. I don't know this, but it is settled law.

Anyhoo, reinstating the Draft is treating the symptom. Sure it wil place rich kids in a bit more risk, but they'll always be able to serve in the National Guard, in Alabama, skip out, and destroy the careers of journalists who point it out.

I favor attacking the root cause of a draft which is corrupt politicians. Difficult, but what the heck. If you don't shoot, you can't score.

And pardon me for saying it, but....

Peace,

Steve

talidapali's picture

Volunteerism went up...

 If this country had a legitimate attack on our soil and not some dreamed up national crisis to drag us into an unwarranted war (Sorry, personal assumption there), we would have all the volunteers we would ever need.

 


Right after 9/11 volunteerism in the armed forces went up by quite a lot, I believe. Then it began dropping after we went into Iraq. I believe that the citizens of the United States know the difference between a legitimate cause for armed conflict and an illegitimate one and they don't volunteer so readily to go fight some empire-building conflict based on made-up evidence.

 

 

"You can't fix stupid..." ~ Ron White"

JaHu's picture

Right after 9/11

Right after 9/11 volunteerism in the armed forces went up by quite a lot, I believe.

It did go up! Then Bush took advantage of the increase in volunteers to attack Iraq. That very reason makes me wonder if 911 was purposely orchestrated or they at least allowed it to happen to increase the amount of volunteers, so to bring troop levels up so we could go into Iraq. Something just doesn't feel right with this draft talk. I gotta bad feeling.

Adrift in the Sea of Humility

rikki's picture

duh

Something just doesn't feel right with this draft talk. I gotta bad feeling.

Try looking at who started the thread. Do you see that person getting involved in the conversation? Does RedDog ever engage in dialogue on KnoxViews? No, he doesn't. This is the corner of the yard where he defecates. When you see the name RedDog, think, "I should try not to step in it!"

Charles Rangel has been talking about a draft for years. He talks far more often about how it is not the sons and daughters of the people who decided to invade Iraq who are putting their lives on the line. Proposing a draft is his way of trying to force the hand of the wealthy Congressmen who support the war to see whether they are willing to put their own children at risk. He is only willing to introduce such legislation because he knows it will fail, and the failure will highlight the hypocrisy of all the clowns who voted for the invasion.

mpower1952's picture

Re: Rangel

Rangel is also talking about using the draftees to protect the ports and the borders, and doing Americorp type jobs. I think he sees it as a way to employ the minority kids who are now underemployed. That would be great if that was where it stopped but we all know what would happen. The rich and connected kids would be sent to protect the beach at Malibu while the poor kids would be the infantry again. His heart is in the right place but it will never be fair.

Be a blessing to someone today.

WhitesCreek's picture

I actually favor the all

I actually favor the all volunteer military with the draft available for National emergencies. I would personally set the bar very high for what constitutes an emergency and couple all this with a peace time National draft for political office. Anybody who actually wants to serve in political office would be automatically excluded, since they would obviously have some personality defect.

(note...this is a joke, ok? but just barely...)

redmondkr's picture

couple all this with a peace

couple all this with a peace time National draft for political office

This could be a great boon if these political inductees were afforded compensation packages similar to those of the military inductees.  It should not take them very long to legislate better care for veterans.


"Where we have strong emotions, we're liable to fool ourselves." - Carl Sagan

 

Nelle's picture

This is right on, Rikki

Rangel knows the draft won't be reinstated, and he knows that most, if not all, Democrats will oppose the legislation. But he'll be making a point to the powers that be: put up or shut up.

Rangel's legislation also becomes valuable when McCain or another GOP hatchet man goes on about increasing the number of troops on the ground in Iraq. The military says our forces are stretched to the hilt. So it's either

a) Continue to suffer loss of life on both sides in a slow-motion civil war

b) Get out

or

c) Use the draft to get the troops that some say will help nail down order in Iraq, which may or may not actually work and certainly won't "create democracy," or whatever today's rationale for the war is.

It's a rock and a hard place and a pile of sh*t. Which do you choose?

JaHu's picture

a) Continue to suffer loss

a) Continue to suffer loss of life on both sides in a slow-motion civil war

b) Get out

or

c) Use the draft to get the troops that some say will help nail down order in Iraq, which may or may not actually work and certainly won't "create democracy," or whatever today's rationale for the war is.

I choose, get out! They have 27 million people in Iraq. Surely they won't miss our measly 160,000 troops. I'd be willing to bet, they will be glad to see us go. Kinda like an obnoxious family member asking to stay with you for a week. Two years later, they're still there eating your food (oil), taking your bed (palaces), inviting over their obnoxious friends who also refuse to leave (Taliban} and then smashing your house apart with a sledge hammer (the war).

Hey metulj, how was that analogy? ;-)

Adrift in the Sea of Humility

Rachel's picture

Rangel knows the draft won't

Rangel knows the draft won't be reinstated, and he knows that most, if not all, Democrats will oppose the legislation. But he'll be making a point to the powers that be: put up or shut up.

Yes.

BTW, both the title and the lead sentence of this post were misleading, to put it kindly.  Reddog wouldn't pass high school journalism with headlines and leads like these.

rikki's picture

sniff test

Reddog wouldn't pass high school journalism with headlines and leads like these.

True, but would he pass the Hornback tabloid sniff test?

Speaking of RedDog, I don't think he actually reads anything here beyond perhaps a headline or two. We could probably criticize him indefinitely in the comments without him even knowing.

Johnny Ringo's picture

Brilliant!

It did go up! Then Bush took advantage of the increase in volunteers to attack Iraq. That very reason makes me wonder if 911 was purposely orchestrated or they at least allowed it to happen to increase the amount of volunteers, so to bring troop levels up so we could go into Iraq.

You could be right! It might be just like when Roosevelt engineered Pearl Harbor so he could get enough volunteers to help out Stalin against Hitler!

Where are the tinfoil hats when you need them?

Tess's picture

Not just kids

Rangel proposes drafting men and women up to the ages of 40, I believe.

Andy Axel's picture

42. After all, that is the

42.

After all, that is the answer to life, the universe, & everything.

____________________________

I don't know the meaning of the word "surrender!" I mean, I know it, I'm not dumb. Just not in this context.

Halfdan's picture

There will not be a draft

First of all, this measure won't pass, so we're only speaking hypotheticals here. But 90% of the officer corps is Republican, and our armed forces have effectively turned into the military wing of the Republican Party. I.e., it's a mercenary corps being funded by tax dollars, and that's precisely the reason why the Pentagon would choose to lose another war than start conscripting people skeptical of the military's ability to solve all our problems.

rikki's picture

grab the aluminum tubes

Gosh, with 90% of the military officers being Republican and 90% of the journalists being liberals, it sounds like our country is in desperate need of a softball league.

cafkia's picture

I'm Conflicted

As a vet and a poor man, I would very much like to see a no deferment draft.  OTOH, I simply do not trust the current (mis)administration in D.C. and providing them more cannon fodder seems foolhardy at best. 

From a completely pragmatic standpoint one major issue is the ramp up time required to significantly increase our force of trained military personel.  One solution might be to have a modified reserve force that has completed basic, intermediate training and skills maintenance but, has much more restrictive restraints on their activation and use.  But really, this bit of mental masturbation is just to say that the conversation might reasonably be had.

Clearly there are larger issues presented here.  Can we have an effective and real democracy without trust in the electoral process?  Can we have real personal involvement in our democracy without trust in the process and it's human outcome?  If we cannot or do not trust our leadership, will we not do everything to discourage our loved ones from participating in the voluntary military?

As a general rule, republicans are goal oriented individuals.  Their first focus is on winning and they figure to deal with anything else that comes up after they win.  Democrats/liberals are more process oriented and seek to reach solutions/positions that anticipates and addresses problems.  Unfortunately, what the republicans have to deal with is a significant percentage of the population that does not trust the motives, speech, or actions of the leader of their party and ostensibly, our nation and the free world.  This simply isn't a situation likely to be effectively addressed by the GOP winning something.  The calls for a draft and a thousand other things are an attempt to get the attention of the GOP on this issue.  Failure is an ugly thing to contemplate.

CAFKIA 

----------------------------------------------------------- 

It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.
  - William G. McAdoo

JustJohnny's picture

phrase of the day award

goes to CAFKIA:

mental masturbation

Having served myself, I buy into CAFKIA's argument wholeheartedly.

On being poor: My high school guidance counselor told me my options were: 1) work at McDonald or 2) join the military. Interestingly, the Air Force recruiter was at school that same week.

Sven's picture

Seriously, people, read this

Seriously, people, read this book.

Andrew Bacevich, who spent more than 20 years in the service, provides a fascinating background on the rationales behind - and resulting consequences of -  the All-Volunteer Force as well as the Total Force policy, which requires the call-up of reserves before battle.

Even worse than the disproportionate burden the AVF places on certain segments of society, he says, is that the disconnect with soldiering has given most Americans a comic-book view on the military, it's capabilities, and foreign affairs in general.

...case in point.  

spintrep's picture

reality check

even if there is NEVER a need to "call up" with the draft, it provides a reality check beyond compare. Is everyone still to just "go shopping" to save our country since 911?

WhereTF is the sense of responsibility with the citizens of our country for waging a war with this schlock and pall?

The sweep should be for all ages to serve the country in different roles, based on ability. (AND deploy the commander-in-chief yesterday!!)

Points to all that see the economics of who fights our wars.

carry on.

(and thanks to whoever wrapped the link... wondered what was going on in this thread.)

we're living in a pathocracy!!

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