Monday, November 20, 2006

Charlie Rangel and the Draft

Charlie Rangel, Face the Nation

Charlie Rangel has two obsessions -- raising taxes and reinstating the draft.

WASHINGTON -- Americans would have to sign up for a new military draft after turning 18 under a bill the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee says he will introduce next year.

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., said Sunday he sees his idea as a way to deter politicians from launching wars.

Would a draft have kept our military out of Bosnia?

"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.

The "flimsy evidence" that was presented to Congress was the same evidence that prompted Clinton to argue for a use of force against Saddam Hussein for failing to comply with UN resolutions.

Clinton gave this address to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Pentagon staff in 1998:

I ask all of you to remember the record here what he promised to do within 15 days of the end of the Gulf War, what he repeatedly refused to do, what we found out in 1995, what the inspectors have done against all odds. We have no business agreeing to any resolution of this that does not include free, unfettered access to the remaining sites by people who have integrity and proven confidence in the inspection business. That should be our standard. That's what UNSCOM has done, and that's why I have been fighting for it so hard. And that's why the United States should insist upon it.

Now, let's imagine the future. What if he fails to comply, and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction and continue to press for the release of the sanctions and continue to ignore the solemn commitments that he made?

Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction.

And some day, some way, I guarantee you, he'll use the arsenal. And I think every one of you who's really worked on this for any length of time believes that, too.

Was Clinton's evidence of Iraq's WMD programs "flimsy"? Was that all crap?

Did Clinton lie? Of course, we know he lied, a lot. But did he lie about Iraq, too?

Rangel, a veteran of the Korean War who has unsuccessfully sponsored legislation on conscription in the past, has said the all-volunteer military disproportionately puts the burden of war on minorities and lower-income families.

Rangel doesn't know what he's talking about.

The all-volunteer military DOES NOT disproportionately put the burden of war on the poor and minorities.

Read "Who Are the Recruits? The Demographic Characteristics of U.S. Military Enlistment, 2003–2005."

It makes Rangel and others echoing the claim that the volunteer military is made up of young people with no other options look like fools.

Hopefully, the consequences of people like Rangel chairing committees will convince Americans that it was a terrible mistake to give the Dems power in the House and the Senate.

Rangel said he will propose a measure early next year. While he said he is serious about the proposal, there is little evident support among the public or lawmakers for it.

There's no way, at this point, that the Dems would reinstate the draft.

They're busy with other more pressing issues.

They want to raise the minimum wage.

They want to raise taxes.

Some want to impeach President Bush.

First things first.

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