Archive for Monday, November 20, 2006

Lawmaker to propose new draft registration

Congressman says change could deter U.S. war moves

November 20, 2006


— 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.

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

In 2003, Rangel 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 election.

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. "I think to do so is hypocritical."

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 service.

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 conscription.

Outgoing Defense Secretary Donald 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 mind.

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, 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 CBS.


Godot 11 years, 6 months ago

Well, thank goodness! Finally the dems have come to the rescue! It is about time someone came up with a way to protect our high school students from those dastardly military recruiters.

This is way better than that awful NCLB. Wayyyyy better.

Rationalanimal 11 years, 6 months ago

This is the new direction Democrats promised, now their delivering. Interesting that the Lawrence liberal/socialist pack of hyenas aren't howling over this article today. "Woah dude, the draft is back; that's totally bogus man." With minor modification, "2 and out" has a particular poignant ring to it this time of year.

Porter 11 years, 6 months ago

Did any of you read Rangel's quote?? He knows this won't pass. It's just there to point out the fact that we wouldn't be in pointless wars if the chickenhawks might have to send their children to die for their kickbacks.

Rationalanimal 11 years, 6 months ago


At least you have the honesty to admit it is the Conservatives who are behind the war on terror, and it is the Democrat position that the enemy doesn't exist. Yup, 9-11 never happened. OBL is just a fictional figure. Iran is building nukes. etc, etc. Kind of a nasty mess this war on terror is isn't it. Democrats asked for the chance to fix the war on terror, they got it and this is the first thing we get from the democrats. Welcome to when your party is in power you have to come up with ideas, scrutinized to a macro degree, endless Monday morning arm chair quaterbacks, and zero patience. I do applaud you logic for being the only liberal/socialist to make an attempt to defend Rangel. But, spare us the Rangel is the fringe of the party defense. He's chairing the ways and means committee, you don't get there without party backing.

heysoos 11 years, 6 months ago

"it is the Conservatives who are behind the war on terror, and it is the Democrat position that the enemy doesn't exist."

"OBL is just a fictional figure. Iran is building nukes. etc, etc. Kind of a nasty mess this war on terror is isn't it."

Please, do tell, what conservatives have done about either OBL or Iran. I know they have done a bunch of damage in Iraq, but haven't seen them doing anything about Bin Laden or Iran...

heysoos 11 years, 6 months ago

Unless, of course, you count disbanding the Osama Bin Laden Task Force as doing something about him.

white_mountain 11 years, 6 months ago

Why haven't the Democrats tried "reaching out" to our enemies before? Just because they didn't control Congress doesn't mean they couldn't do anything.

Democrats, what are some SPECIFIC steps we should do to foster greater harmony in the world?

Rationalanimal 11 years, 6 months ago


"...I already pointed out that this bill is NOT A DEMOCRAT INITIATIVE, but rather a point being made by ONE DEMOCRAT."

look logic, its a little late to have this pick and choose what political leader represents a party model. That went out the window at election time. Remember, the jackals on here weren't naming candidates, they were naming parties. To say Rangel is ONE democrat is disingenious to a spectacular degree (and I had such high hopes for your honesty). Rangel is the Ways and Means Committee Chair, aka a mucky-muck, bigwig, the big cheese, a power-to-be, a policy maker, or for the lay person, a party leader. You guys elected the boozo, now you get the guilt by association fire all the Republican candidates had to go through. What goes around comes around, there's no way avoiden it.


"If Rangel is your strereotypical democrat, then is Mark Foley the stereotypical republican?"

Nice point. It concedes Rangel is an idiot (who didn't know that?). First, we'll all know its sincere when democrats call for Rangel's resignation. You should led the charge. Second, if Foley is the republican poster-boy, then the democrat state senator from S. Dakota is the alter-boy. Curious why you fail to mention a democrat with allegations of the same nature. Hmm, I smell double standard, or is it the onerous odor of hypocrisy.

Last, for all that keep dragging this what have the Republicans done in the war on terror question? For a big starter, no terrorist acts have taken place on American soil since 9-11. That's a pretty good track record where it really counts.

Rationalanimal 11 years, 6 months ago


Sorry, I forgot to mention Barney Frank. He's been after young boys for decades. I certainly don't want to forget anyone.

Rationalanimal 11 years, 6 months ago


Wow, for someone coming from a party were terms like "soldier," "national security," and "war on terror" are pejorative terms, that was simply a brilliant point. Brilliant meaning illustrating the totally unintelligible ranting of the hyena packs on the left. Kind of like Rangel: in response to the recent referendum calling for new direction and leadership, the democrats answer the call by introducing this "in the history of bad ideas, this is a humdinger" pieces of legislation. Like I said much earlier, if this is the best democrats can come up with, you better prepare yourself for the phrase "2 and out."

Rationalanimal 11 years, 6 months ago

"3) Deal with Al Queda and be willing to hear their complaints"

I think the kidnapped citizens in Iraq heared OBL's complaints right before they were beheaded. "Convert or die infidel." Guys, wake up to reality.

conservativepunker 11 years, 6 months ago

Never let a bush run for office....does that include Pelosi and Dragon Lady Clinton?

conservativepunker 11 years, 6 months ago

Oh.....anyone for a pool on how long it'll be before Liberals and Conservatives have at it like warring Topeka and Kansas City gangbangers after a fun night at The Granada?

ksmoderate 11 years, 6 months ago

I wonder if Rangel was drafted to serve in Korea, or did he volunteer?

BigAl 11 years, 6 months ago

Typical how the rightwing gets all sweaty when confronted with the draft. It sure is easier to support war when you, or someone in your family, won't be going. People like Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Cheney and others didn't stand up when it was their turn. But now that they are "safe", it is "stay the course"......

Stephen Roberts 11 years, 6 months ago

O['Reilly, Cheney didn't stand up when it was their turn. Don't forget Bill.

white_mountain 11 years, 6 months ago

couranna1.. I always knew we couldn't make Osama happy until the Northern Ireland question was resolved..

Are you telling me that no Democrat has ever volunteered to listen to al-Queda's complaints?

If they have, what were some of those complaints, and how would you propose we attempt to address them?

BigAl 11 years, 6 months ago

I didn't forget Bill.
Bill isn't the one still saying "stay the course".....

bearded_gnome 11 years, 6 months ago

election of Nancy Boyda and reelection of Denny Moore empowered Charlie Rangel, democrat NY. good example of what I've been writing on here: no such thing as a "moderate" or even "conservative" democrat, because their leaders are these fringies like Rangel! Rangel also wants to reconsider all of the Bush tax cuts...won't rule out raising taxes. his "tax the rich" actually means taxing more heavily the small businesses. guess what that will do...

taking Al-qaeda's complaints seriously would only validate terror/beheadings/mass casualty attacks as a valid form of political expression. we do not want such a world!

LiberalDude 11 years, 6 months ago

BigAl is right on the money here.

I don't think Rangel ever had any thought that this bill would pass, but I think he's introducing it to point out the hypocracy of the Republicans. The GOP is willing to start fights when they know that they're sons and daughters won't have to do any fighting. If they knew that their family members might fight and die, they might not be dragging us through pointless, endless wars.

Mkh 11 years, 6 months ago

If your Pro-War and support Operation Iraqi Freedom, get your butt on a plane and go fight for the ideals you preach! Unless of course your just a cheerleader like "W".

white_mountain 11 years, 6 months ago

I'm not sure where people get their assumptions about members of the military coming mainly from "liberal" families.

Most military come from conservative families, because they were raised to believe in serving the country, with honor and self-sacrifice. Those are values that conservative families raise their children to believe in.

Jackalope 11 years, 6 months ago

I not certain from the comments why a draft is considered so ridiculous. Maybe its because of who suggested it. He seems to be a lighting rod of his own doing. Is there something wrong any type of national service? Is there something wrong with doing something for the nation that requires your personal wants and desires to be delayed a few years? Who cares if Rangel volunteered or was drafted. Many in the era up through the early 70's volunteered because they were going to be drafted. That was my case. The vast majority, volunteer or draftee, whether they liked or hated their service, would not wish to have never served at all.

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