To the editor:
It was tough picking just one disturbing item from the Saturday Journal-World for comment, but the dart landed on the Public Forum letter about reinstatement of the draft.
Ms. Cooper's letter and an earlier disquieting e-mail sent me to factcheck.org for clarification. The bills cited, calling for reinstatement of a draft, were presented before the Iraq war to protest the use of military force in that country with no action expected or taken. The principal sponsor of HR 163 wrote:
"I fear that the Bush administration's apparent determination to invade Iraq could thrust us into all-out war ... in the Middle East. I do not share Defense Secretary Rumsfeld's certainty that the U.S. has the capacity to defeat Iraq and North Korea in quick succession. Most dismaying is the absence of any discussion of the potential loss of life and the principle of shared sacrifice -- in both the military and economic spheres. While deploying thousands of troops ... the President is promoting ... additional tax cuts which will primarily benefit ... those whose sons and daughters are least likely to set foot on the sands of Iraq." -- Congressman Charles B. Rangel, Jan.7, 2003
Senator Kerry never said "the Bush administration plans to reinstate the draft," as stated in the Cooper letter. In response to a question about the draft, he said "If George Bush were to be re-elected, given the way he has gone about this war and ... his avoidance of responsibility in North Korea and Iran ... is it possible? I can't tell you."