Archive for Monday, November 27, 2006

Proposed military draft enlists no support

November 27, 2006


In 1969, Francis Kelly was prepared to go to Canada to avoid the United States military draft.

He even traveled to Montreal before the draft and stayed for a week to find out what it would be like.

"I wanted to know if I would be all alone," said Kelly, 55, of Lawrence. "I wouldn't have been. There was a network of people helping."

Kelly recently recalled those days when the war in Vietnam raged on and this nation was divided on what to do about it. Talk of a draft to supplement the U.S. military was resurrected two weeks ago as the country fights a war in Iraq that is becoming increasingly unpopular with the American public.

Kelly did not go to Canada. When the draft lottery occurred, his number - 357 - was so high that he was sure he never would be called to serve. He wasn't.

"I was very relieved when I got that number," Kelly said. "I had been a 'hell no, we won't go' kind of guy right from the beginning. Both of my parents served in World War II and they were against it."

Earlier this month, U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., suggested reinstating the military draft as a method of deterring politicians from launching more wars and bolstering troop levels for possible future military action against Iran or North Korea.

Rangel noted that minorities make up a large number of enlisted members of the military, and suggested that the duties of military service should be shared among all classes.

He introduced similar legislation in 2003 that would have established two-year mandatory military service. In 2004 the measure was defeated in the House by an overwhelming vote of 402-2.

Kelly doesn't think there is much of a chance that today's young Americans will have to ponder the choices he did nearly 40 years ago.

"I don't really like the idea of a draft, but I think he's trying to make a point and it's a good one to make," he said of Rangel. "I don't think it would be that popular politically."

Kansas congressional representatives agree with Kelly. None wants a draft reinstated or thinks it is necessary.

"I have opposed legislation to reinstate the draft because a volunteer force is more effective and less expensive than a draft system," said U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore, D-Kan.

He also noted there does not appear to be broad-based support for the idea.

Outgoing U.S. Rep. Jim Ryun, R-Kan., said he does not favor a draft and thinks it is unnecessary because of strong re-enlistment rates.

"It is very telling that one of the first priorities of Democratic leaders after taking control of Congress is to talk about reinstating the draft," Ryun said.

Nancy Boyda, a Democrat who defeated Ryun in the Nov. 7 election and takes office next year, said she does not favor a draft.

"I think what he's actually trying to do is make the point there is not enough of a shared sacrifice right now," Boyda said of Rangel. "What he's trying to do is make sure there's a conversation about shared sacrifice and about how dangerously thin our troops are stretched. I do respect the man for at least having the guts to bring up the situation."

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., a former Marine and a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, does not support reinstating the draft.

"The all-volunteer force works well and compulsory military service would fail to benefit our citizens, our military or the nation as a whole," Roberts said.

Incoming Democratic leaders in the U.S. House, including the next speaker, Nancy Pelosi, have also voiced opposition to Rangel's proposal.


Richard Heckler 11 years, 2 months ago

What does Ryun know? He's walking off with his share of tax dollars from big government that he denounces.

No one wants their children getting killed in war for oil control. There is some method in the madness of Rangel. He knows exactly what he is doing.

If enlistment rates are so damn strong why did they need to call up the reserves?

Had Bush/Cheney/Rice/Rummy not dropped the ball on 9/11/01 we would not be having this discussion. That might not be true. Because the Iraq invasion was on the Iran Contra Neoconservative Bush table before he was elected.

SteelHorseRider 11 years, 2 months ago

Can you imagine the horror if the Republicans had of proposed this?

What is wrong with serving the country and the World in some manner for 2-3 years? The military does so many great things around the world for the benefit of all. With the help of our media we tend to concentrate on the negative. The Peace Corps, America Corps or Border Patrol (just had to add that one) would be good alternate choices for youth to serve.

As Clinton said when he visited Lawrence to help open the Dole Center and I paraphrase here, "When you are the most powerful economic, political and military nation on earth you have a moral obligation to act in the defense of the defenseless." He was referring to Bosnia and his thoughts at the time he sent troops there, but I believe his words are true.

geekin_topekan 11 years, 2 months ago

Bringing the classes to the same level?Pretty gutsy.Of course Ryun doesn't see the strategy in preventative measures.

SteelHorseRider 11 years, 2 months ago

The Reserve and National Guard have been part of the overall military force for some time now. As part of the "Total Force" our own Kansas National Guard has been sending units on missions overseas since the late 80's.

What Rangel is mistaken on is the fact that the lower to high middle class youth are the ones signing up. It is not the poor inner-city youth. The other glaring income section of the population not represented are the highest income brackets (duh!).

kjoarcik 11 years, 2 months ago

Forcing people to fight in a war they don't agree with will not work. You can force people to be in the military, but you cannot force them to fight. You can put a gun in my hand, but I won't use it. I'd go to jail first. There is no way that young Americans will agree to this. I guarantee an uproar.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 2 months ago

We were suppose to be tracking down 9/11/01 terrorists not invading countries that did not attack the USA. Military advisors did not want to do Iraq. Now we know why and it is as they predicted. Bush lied to the world which is not acceptable.

Our military presence in the mideast is what drives the anger toward the USA government. Mideast people are not necessarily angry at americans in general.

BTW Rangel knows the votes are not there

hipper_than_hip 11 years, 2 months ago

We're going to need a bigger military to fight the islamists and/or the chinese.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 2 months ago

"We're going to need a bigger military to fight the islamists and/or the chinese."

Considering that together they outnumber us 8 to 1, and we can't even control a country we outnumber by more than 10-1, then we'd better increase immigration, not decrease it.

bearded_gnome 11 years, 2 months ago

note: the DEMOCRATS are the ones putting forth the idea of a draft.
and, rangel's concept: "

Rangel noted that minorities make up a large number of enlisted members of the military, and suggested that the duties of military service should be shared among all classes. "

is completely false! 75% of those dying in Iraq are white a representative figure of the general american population.

further, a Heritage Foundation study found that the military is actually slightly higher socio-economic status than the general american public.

rangel's comments simply represent his very negatively biased perspective, not the reality. in a way, rangel's comments simply echo Kerry's recent statement that our troops are losers. rangel is trying to make out that our troops are somehow victims. but, this doesn't work in a volunteer setting and with the proven numbers.

common_cents 11 years, 2 months ago

I found some good data about the makeup of the military. Although the links to the pictures including the data are broken, you can right-click and "save picture as" to get them to your computer for later viewing.

All in all, although Rangel's reasoning is touching, it holds no merit. The middle class tends to bear the burden of our defense, and in 2003 the greatest percentage increase in recruiting came from the richest quintile. Recruits generally have at least a high-school education so the "poor and uneducated" statement is completely false, unless Rangel is claiming that a high-school education is now meaningless... which he may be doing, considering the state of our educational system.

One other item to note - the highest recruiting comes from red states. Go figure.

The data charts are quite interesting and I think everyone should take a look at them.

Once again, Rangel is trying to flame up the racial divide in our country by blasting the military with false accusations about its racial and monetary makeup. When will our politicians quit playing with our "feelings" and actually do some work?

common_cents 11 years, 2 months ago

bearded gnome - too funny... I was reading the same article... posted the link.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Mkh 11 years, 2 months ago

Here you go RT, gnome, etc....send me a post card.

US Army Recruiting Office 2223 Louisiana 66046 785-843-0465

don_burgess 11 years, 2 months ago

"We are gonna lose to a bunch of third world Arabs that don't even have an organized military!"

First of all - the use of the pronoun "we" is incorrect. I have never supported this war. Yes - I am a US citizen, but I have nothing to do with IRaq other than pay a good portion of my tax dollers to DUBYA and CHENY's little endeavor. So please use "They" or the us military" instead of "we". (because I know you arent stationed there - thank god)

Secondly - that is exactly WHY we are "losing" this war. It's because our trillion dollar military is geared to fight enire nations, large scale wars, and maybe alien invasions. - not a small fraction of insurgents who cannot be identified.

Also - you are wrong again. The insurgency in iraq is much larger more organized than you think.

Right thinker - It's not about winning or losing or surrendering. It's about saving money and lives and stopping this completely pointless campaign before it starts to take a serious toll on this nation.

REpublican pride is the problem.

werekoala 11 years, 2 months ago

If you really support the war in Iraq, and our troops, you can do a lot more than posting withering diatribes againts the far-left military-hating Demon Dems.

Like what?

On a person-to-person level:

Donate to a soldier's charity. Set out flags in the Ft. Leavenworth cemetary. Write to lonely soldiers. If you're business owner, work to hire and retrain returning veterans. Volunteer at the VA.

On a more global level:

Buy a more fuel effiecient car and encourage alternative energy sources that reduce the importance of the Middle East in global affairs. Buy american-made or fair trade goods, so that our soldiers are supported by and return to a strong internal economy that will provide them jobs. Donate to causes like Doctors without Borders to generate international good will toward our country. Vote for politicans that build and maintain strong alliances.

Oh, and here's a big one for all you hawks: support a tax increase. Seriously, lack of funding prevented troops from getting body armor, and still prevents them from getting much needed equipment. If you want us to suceed, you look like a farking hypocrite complaining about the cost.

rhd99 11 years, 2 months ago

You know, I had high hopes for Charles Rangel. The man disappointed me by offering this draft proposal. Does he NOT, like the other Democrats, have a mandate from the election to drop kick the Medicare Prescription drug plan that has hurt our senior citizens' & their pocket books, & GET RID of all UNFUNDED mandates, like No Child Left Behind? If he & other Democrats are WORTH ANYTHING in the next two years, given what I just mentioned, now's the time to ACT. Otherwise, time for new & fresh faces in Congress. Enough is Enough!

BrianR 11 years, 2 months ago

Can I get anyone to support a Guinness draught?

rhd99 11 years, 2 months ago

Count me in. Where do I sign up? :)

common_cents 11 years, 2 months ago

don_burgess wrote:

"...Has there ever been a bigger mistake in the history of the US?"

Yes... Vietnam - brought to you by... Kennedy and Johnson.

People complain about the 2,879 American deaths in this war, yet seem to forget that there were half a million American soldiers deployed in Vietnam by 1968. And, that over 1,000 per month were being killed between '67 and '68.

If we are going to get political about this... let's remember who brought us our "historical" wars:

WWI - Wilson (D) WWII - FDR (D) Korea - Truman (D) Vietnam - Kennedy/Johnson (D)

Everyone has played a part. Nobody is clean.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 11 years, 2 months ago


Your incomplete history of the Vietnam War neglects to mention that Eisenhower sent the first troops there, and Nixon/Ford presided over the war from 69 till we finally pulled out in 75.

Jackalope 11 years, 2 months ago

My military experience tells me that Bush was a draft dodger that let other get killed and Kerry was a specie of young officer that would get others killed. Both types kept me looking over my shoulder.

Katara 11 years, 2 months ago


Interesting how you claim liberals are the ones avoiding military service.

Do you dispute the info on military service provided?

It is also interesting to note that many right-wing media figures have absolutely no military service.

Also interesting on how you equate being female (having a vagina, tampon collection, etc) with something you feel needs to be mocked.

You couldn't handle having your vag waxed.

rhd99 11 years, 2 months ago

Folks, I have a medical condition that probably would have military officials worried SICK about drafting me into war, unless they have administrative roles for me to play. Make no mistake, I WANTED to serve my country in uniform, but because of medical reasons, I feel horrible that I can't. So, does Rangel have a good legislative idea in this draft? NO! That said, it does not mean that I don't support EVERYTHING our military is doing. I do support our troops 100%. The way Rangel is going about it is questionable & this administration uses rosey colored 3-D glasses as a ploy, knowing full well they SCREWED up royally in Iraq.

Jackalope 11 years, 2 months ago

Is draft dodging cowardice in it's purest form? If it was not, then it was quite close. Other forms of cowardice may involve wanting to live a good and free life on the backs of others.

Jackalope 11 years, 2 months ago

Not too fond of Bush, Cheney or Wolfowitz.........

Jackalope 11 years, 2 months ago

Scenebooster . . it means, apparently, what you want it to mean. I would hope, however, it means that if a person wants to be a citizen of the United States, that they would be willing to do some significant service or sacrifice of time and aspirations for the good of the nation as a whole beyond simply living here. That can take many forms. What can you do? What does it mean to you?

don_burgess 11 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

common_cents 11 years, 2 months ago


Actually it was Truman who first got us involved in Vietnam by helping the French in their attempt to overthrow Ho Chi Minh, while at the same time trying not to appear to support the French's colonistic efforts in the area. Eisenhower did increase French aid and then contributed with naval and air power. Both Truman and Eisenhower dedicated to preventing the "spread" of communism.

A settlement was signed in Geneva in 1954 between the French and the Viet Minh, which created the seventeenth division parallel. The French administered South Vietnam until 1956, at which time, like normal, they left someone else holding the bag they botched. (Then they weren't happy when the U.S. influence increased in the area.)

So... was Eisenhower to just say, "Well, thanks Diem for fighting the good fight, but you're on your own now."? Or since the French cut out on them was he to help out, considering Minh began guerilla warfare in the south in '56?

I suppose he could have just cut and run, or he could have helped the people the U.S. had started to help under Truman. Granted I think we should have let the French lay in their own poo, but times were different back then. You decide.

Jackalope 11 years, 2 months ago

A person can always renounce their citizenship. But, I would not suggest that. That would be the very old and very tired end of conversation phrase of "love it or leave it." Not a solution to anything, really. It was one of the most ridiculous things I heard when I was in the military decades ago. Of course, the war in Iraq is a bloody dangerous quagmire. The question posed in my comments is what can a citizen do that would entail sacrifice of time and aspiration, perhaps our two most precious commodities, beyond merely living here to better this nation. Identify one and go do it. Don't sit around and classify people who are in the military or people who think that is an option. That solves nothing. The only thing that will solve anything is citizens who are willing to give up their time and aspirations, if only for short time to better their nation. Citizenship, in your case, may be a birthright. Any right, however, has obligations and duties. I have never found anything in life to be absolutely free. Any anyone who thinks that citizenship should not entail sacrifice of a personal nature would be living in a dream world and, quite frankly, is a coward.

Jackalope 11 years, 2 months ago

I have already stated that I am not fond of Bush, Cheney or others who sat out in style......... Cowards? Yes.

Jackalope 11 years, 2 months ago

Read scenebooster then went back up to see againwhat all Robert had said to start this thing. I was a thinking I was loosing the thread after reading so much of scenbooster. Looks like Robert got "suggest removal" or some such administrative broad brush. Oh well, such is life. And the debate rages on. Got to go to work. Bye for now.

Mkh 11 years, 2 months ago

Commin Cents and Bozo:

With all due respect I believe perhaps you are both missing the point. Republican and Democrats are not the issue when it comes to foreign policy. Since the end of World War II they have both had the same goals, one side is just more aggressive (though not always the Rep.).

It is the Elitist leaders (of both parties, industry, military, etc.) who are common members of policy making "think groups" such as The Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberg Group, Trilateral Commission etc, that have dicted the course of US policy.

During the Cold War these leaders had a common and obvious goal, to defeat communism and promote capitalism. After the Cold War they were able to rapidly expand their "global capitalist market place" with thier institutions like the World Bank, the IMF, the WTO,etc.
This lead to more "super-state" policy making bodies such as NAFTA and now its big brother the FTAA.

The common critique of these istituions is that they erode sovereignty and democratic principles and exploit the poor nations of the world.

However, toward the dawn of this new century a very interesting twist happened with the emergence of the Neo-Cons into power. The neo-cons are in effect a splinter group of the Elitist who believe the best way to achieve the total dominance of the "global capitalist market" is through massive military force. They argued that the standard Elitist's policies of "containment" and "diplomacy" were becoming ineffective. After 9/11, the found that at least for a time being many others began to go along with their ideas.

However, I think its fair to say that most of the Elitists are now more afraid of the Neo-Cons than ever. Especially after the Elitists' candidate Kerry was defeated in '04 (whether it was legit or not, the neo-cons stayed in power) and the Iraq War continues to spiral out of control.

Here is my bottom line point though. America's problems with the rest of the World are NOT going to be solved simply by electing Democrats to Congress or the White House. We need Fundmental Change in our system of government and we need to STOP global institutions from eroding our Democratic principles of Sovereignty.

Just my .02

Godot 11 years, 2 months ago

By golly, if we are going to make everyone sacrifice for the war, lets do it the right way. Require that everyone over the age of 18 who has not already served in the military serve two years of public service. (holding political office does not qualify) What's up with targeting the 18-42 year olds?

Godot 11 years, 2 months ago

Rangel's real concern about the socio-economic mix of an all volunteer army is that there are far more social conservatives volunteering than there are liberals. He is playing the race and class card as a smoke screen.

Unfortunately for the Dems, the only way they can dilute the conservative majority in the military is to force liberals to serve.

Tychoman 11 years, 2 months ago

Typical Democrat role, Thinker? Not at all. Rangel is on his own for this, no other Democrats (or Republicans for that matter) are supporting this.

Actually, Godot, the only way that we can dilute the conservative majority is...oh wait, we did...on November 7. Crap I forgot.

Godot 11 years, 2 months ago

"The draft will not change the mix of people."

That is right. The ones with means, be it financial, educational or political, those who would never consider voluntary service in the military, will find a way to dodge the draft; the ones who end up paying the liberal piper of "service for all" will, indeed, be the poor, the undereducated, the ones who lack influence.

Rangel should be ashamed of his sham proposal. Democrats should be embarrassed that Rangel holds a leadership position in their party.

Godot 11 years, 2 months ago

"By the way, a large percentage of those being killed are actually caucasian.

"large percentage" means 75%.

They are also well educated, come from the middle class or above, and are conservative in philosophy.

a_new_voice 11 years, 2 months ago

While I dislike the idea of a draft, I dislike draft dodgers even more.

skewed_veiw 11 years, 2 months ago

Posted by merrill at 8:25 a.m.

"Had Bush/Cheney/Rice/Rummy not dropped the ball on 9/11/01 we would not be having this discussion."

Perhaps if Clinton would have been doing his job instead of his intern, he could have captured OBL and 9/11/01 would not have happened?

bearded_gnome 11 years, 2 months ago

thanks common-cents, and welcome to the forum. nice to have another conservative thinker here. yes, we were both reffing the same work. cool.

I see the wacko conspiracy bilderberg CFR etc. has been on this thread too. wow, the lefties sure are burdened by heavy conspiracy theories!

the military doesn't want this, shouldn't happen, and Rangel's comments supporting a draft are completely wrong.

chickenhawk ref, just sad, just sad, passes for discussion. not every one can serve. or, are you saying no president should send troops into harm's way unless he/she has worn a uniform? rules out both Clintons. rules out FDR. rules out Lincoln except for some militia service. think might rule out Wilson. not wise and just an empty attack.

Common-cents, in listing the wars started by the dem presidents, you could add Carter, since we were essentially in a war with Iran re hostages and Iran firing on ships.

Mkh 11 years, 2 months ago

Posted by bearded_gnome (anonymous) on November 28, 2006 at 9:21 p.m. (Suggest removal) "I see the wacko conspiracy bilderberg CFR etc. has been on this thread too. wow, the lefties sure are burdened by heavy conspiracy theories!"

gnome, once again, just because you don't understand something doesn't make it a conspiracy theory. What did I mention regarding the CFR, etc that could be considered a "heavy conspiracy theory"?

Are you denying that these foreign policy groups exist, that their members are the elitists of all industries, and that they gather to discuss foriegn policy agendas???

Have you ever read anything in your life that was not the Bible?

This is a public group which publicly lists its members, its meetings, and publicly discloses its recommended agendas (at least to some extent).

The CFR's main goal is to decide foreign policy matters among the top members of the Elite. They admit to this, its their frick'in motto. Almost every time a foreign policy agenda is implemented by the US the CFR has had a very extensive debate regarding it before hand.

This is NOT a Conspiracy Theory; it's called politics and you are just uneducated, it's painfully obvious that you have never been to a political science class in your life. Try opening a poli-sci or a history book for God's sake!

First you don't believe in the Project For the New American Century and now you think that the Council on Foreign Relations deciding foreign policy matters is a "conspiracy theory"?!? It's called the Council on Foreign Relations you moron! Do you think they gather the most powerful people in the World together to discuss Tom-Kat's wedding and Britney/K-Fed's break-up??? Just how thick is your head?

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