Monday, November 20, 2006

It Rhymes With Chuck

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) has once again suggested that the United States reinstate a military draft, and plans to instigate legislation to that effect when Democrats take over Congress in January.

Rangel’s previously stated rationale for this position was that a disproportionate amount of Americans who see combat are minorities or low-income people. Chuck, I’m guessing that would be because a disproportionate number of people meeting one or both of those criteria have joined the military.

As for the reasons behind the disproportionate enlistment, well, let’s first determine then address them. I’m all for that. They could be a family history of enlistment. They could be a lack of viable alternatives for those who can’t afford college or find a decent job. Again, let’s determine and address – not draft indiscriminately (pun intended).

Rangel also feels that if members of Congress knew their own children might be drafted, they’d never vote for war. Um, Chuck, can I chat with you again? I agree, but why don’t you introduce a bill that specifically requires all non-minor children of lawmakers be drafted if a war is started? That way you address the problem directly.

On a side note, I once had an idea that, when a person who has been executed for a crime is later found to be innocent (it does happen), the sentencing judge should be executed. With regard to the draft issue, this is relevant in that it makes the person with power over the life and death of others think really hard about whether the execution/war is the right thing to do.

Over the weekend Rangel pointed out that conflicts we may be facing with Iran and North Korea underscore the need for a draft. In other words, he thinks we should accept, as official US government policy, that international diplomacy no longer exists. Just bulk up those troop levels on a permanent basis.

I’m not na├»ve about Iran and NK; they’re both run by kooks that should not be allowed to have nukes. Come to think of it… well, I’ll just hold that thought. So where do we get military personnel to deal with those problems, if need be? Right now I’m thinking the 100,000+ troops we have in Iraq – some having completed multiple tours of duty there – could have been better used.

OK, OK, shoulda coulda woulda. But to Rangel’s point about increasing US military involvement in the world, perhaps we shouldn’t keep getting ourselves into some of these situations. We didn’t ask for war with Afghanistan, we were thrust into it by 9/11. Iraq was an elective war, however. So inadequate US troop levels caused by commitments that should never have been made mean we need a draft? Chuck that. We need a change in policy.

The change is diplomacy first, pride aside. There are some countries we don’t talk to, and that will always lead to conflict. If we go to war, it must always be a last resort. Some would argue that’s the current US policy, but it’s simply not true.

Some countries can’t be reasoned with. But we need to be able to demonstrate that we have at least tried to do that before starting wars. Wars that require troops. Troops that are people who sometimes don’t sign up on their own, and therefore, as some suggest, need to be compelled into service.

To his credit, Rangel has said that as an alternative to compulsory military service, young people be allowed to choose some other kind of national service. We can debate that, as far as I am concerned; the former, hell no (we won't go!). I do think that if people are given a choice, they’re not going to take the military option. Certainly not when war is underway and/or another on the horizon.

Chucky, let’s drop all this ridiculous talk about a draft, shall we? It’s stirring up the base (me, for starters) with thoughts of kids being forced to kill and/or die against their will, and for bad reasons. You know, morally unconscionable stuff like that. Relax, have a draught (pronounced "draft"see what I did there?) on me, and take some time to think this thing through.

41 comments:

Hellpig said...

Bogs Rangel’s previously stated rationale for this position was that a disproportionate amount of Americans who see combat are minorities or low-income people. Chuck, I’m guessing that would be because a disproportionate number of people meeting one or both of those criteria have joined the military.

This statement is false,please provide proof...I know I can find a dozen reports that differ

Rangle sees it as the elected politicians not wanting to send their base to war not the sons and daughters of the politicians..

Way I see it is they should send all the Mexicans after all that is a job most Americans won't do...or even send the "Moderate so-called Muslims" to fight including the mis-placed Iraqi Nationals..

Blue said...

Bogs, I do love the way your mind works :-)

This line is a particular favourite and one I have used myself:

On a side note, I once had an idea that, when a person who has been executed for a crime is later found to be innocent (it does happen), the sentencing judge should be executed. With regard to the draft issue, this is relevant in that it makes the person with power over the life and death of others think really hard about whether the execution/war is the right thing to do.

Prefer a pale ale myself - but draught will do....

Pete Bogs said...

hell - I don't have any proof; it's a supposition... but it's a logical one... wait, are you saying my statement is false, or Rangel's is? or both? I'm merely saying that in any situation where you have more of Group A than Group B in a given occupation, then more of Group A are naturally going to be involved in any conflict relevant to their occupations... if it's true more minorities see combat, then let's examine why... either way, Rangel is seriously misguided... I will never hesitate to criticize one of my own when they are wrong...

we did the equivalent of your Mexican idea in the Civil War... did you see Gangs of NY? Irish immigrants coming right off the boat and enlisting in the army for guaranteed citizenship...

blue - that was something I came up with as a teenager! there was an inescapable logic there for me... glad you like... drink whatever you like, as long as it's not watery American brew!

Bird said...

we still do a version of hell's idea - immigrants often join up because the prize is citizenship.

yes bogs, we have a large amount of group a in the military because a large amount of group a join.

why:
the military markets agressively to minorities. why? because typically minority groups are on a lower economic scale (class) and are looking for ways to rise up - military offers enlistment bonuses, and the promise of a paid education. this is no mystery. the military also markets agressively to the lower economic class. also not a mystery.

we could examine that further and arrive at some general statements about class and race in american society i'm sure.

in times of (relative) peace, a volunteer army appears to work. even those from higher socio-econmic classes join. the standards to join are also higher. in theory, you get a better educated, informed and skilled military.

in times of war, standards shift - just as they have now. many of the military's enlistment requirements have been relaxed - because we need more soliders. but upper socio-economic classes don't join - at least not in anywhere near the numbers as their lower-class counterparts.

no bristling over these terms uppper and lower class. the US has always had a class system, despite being the land of opportunity.

re-stating the draft would certainly change public opinion even more about the war. there'd be a lot of gung-ho idiots who would change their tune when their own precious babies were conscripted.

actually, i don't see why some sort of national service isn't required of everyone for two years, either right out of high school, or right out of college, or by the time you reach a certain age.

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

i like the service alternative idea like the CCC and the arts partnerships....thats how america ended up with all those thomas hart benton murals in public buildings and loads of high level artistry for national monuments and imagery for *propaganda* or whatever the correct word for printed material that promotes ideas is.....

so many camping sites were built by the ccc's ...trails and camp zones. also, how about caretaking our REAL national treasures like our rivers forests and seashores.

in isreal everyone has to do two years in the military and i think that is a fair approach. and if you make it through youve got mettle to draw upon for the rest of your life.

i did hear rangel on PRI (yes boyed i listen!!) and he said straight up the draft was his attempt to equalize the enlistment demographics.

OT: coming to CenFla around december 10....i will be hosting a blog meet up. are you game? maybe we can flush out mister Q and get aunty in the mix. i will treat ya to some guiness bogshond.

/grrrr

Pete Bogs said...

k9 - I agree with the national service thing being on the table... I think Clinton (yes, him) started Americorps, with a similar idea? that's what I recall hearing from him back in '92...

I know about Israel's permanent draft - wouldn't want to be an Israeli for that reason among many others... it's a constant fight... it's no way to live, but yet it's become a way of life...

Rangel's not made any secret of his rationale, but I strongly disagree with it...

Dec. 10 is fine by me... not the 9th, though, because of a big company holiday shindig...

see ya!

Bird said...

pout. pout. wish i was in florida.

now how the heck can birds pout when they have no lips?

hahahahaha!

roosevelt, considered the great satan by many neo-cons, is responsible for some of the things you mentioned - via the WPA in the depression-era. gave honest people (including artists) a way to survive and contribute to our society. pretty cool stuff.

yeah, rangell is really not for a draft per se- he wants to call attention to the inequites of the current "volunteer" army AND throw some shit into the neo-con's faces. alas, he will only end up alienating the dem base and i can already hear the voice-overs in republican ads for '08. sigh and pity - the issue of who joins and why is an important one and should be debated - not covered up with spin and partisian politics.

same old, same old. doesn't matter who's in power.

damn the system! damn the machine!

Pete Bogs said...

Pete Bogs said...
looks like this draft idea is dead in the water... good to hear it has no traction... try another way, Chucky...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20061120/pl_nm/draft_dc

bird - can't you migrate south for the winter?

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

boyed: "what did you think? it's all right we told you what to think! so wellcommmmmmme to the maaaaaachine!"

boyed, thats it. the WPA. well roosevelt was the OLD SKOOL demoncrat. its not the same anymore.

after this post i checked. the enlistment in our all volunteer military is above the national average in both income and education. btw, chuck voted down his own draft bill in 2004.

maybe chuck can just draft all the 18-26 year olds from mississippi. "who the hell wants to live there anyway" grrherherherhaha, yeah iraq would be an improvement, right? oh charlie charlie. you really ARE an evolved deep thinker, friend to all and egalitarian as all get out.

boyed: class in america. well at least here you can transcend your beginning to become something else if you choose. in some societies as you well know birth is destiny.



/grrr

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

boyed when i come to SF i will take you and jae out for a roll wit da rottie. dont pout.

/grrr

Pete Bogs said...

K9 – Rangel certainly owed Miss an apology… did he give them one? On the same topic, the Miss consterno who criticized Rangel for his comments owes an apology to Democrats in general, since he implied that “this” (comments like Rangel’s) was what America had to look forward to with Democrats in power… but it was not a Democratic Party comment, but simply the remarks of one man… the rest of us don’t appreciate the implication and would like an apology…

rusty shakelford said...

This must be the new direction democrats promised. Rangel feels if he get draft into the headlines before 2008 the Republican party will loose the presidential election. His way of saying vote democrat or I will try to kill you.

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

sorry bogs i had a fur malfunction.

!0-4 on the "this". yeah, how would you like to be grouped in with the evangelicals??? you dont know pain, bogs.

/grr

Pete Bogs said...

rusty - nope... like I said above, Rangel's words are his own... that is not a Democrat position... the day it becomes one is the day I rip up my membership card...

Hellpig said...

Dawg bypass the capitol of moral ineptitude and and travel abit north about 1100 miles north to Seattle,where you have clean air,oceans,mountains w/clean snow,rivers with 10 pound trout and 20 pound steelhead,ocean with 60 pound king salmon and enough ducks that even your rottie would tire from fetch not to mention my world famous BBQ beef ribs or my hand made chicken cordon blue and every micro brew under the sun and you can avoid all liberals just by staying outta starbucks,plenty of room at either of my houses both with fenced yards...open invitation anytime,you too Bogs although I would take you to the Pike Place Market and Trader Joes thats as far as my veggie knowledge goes........

Pete Bogs said...

k9 - it looks like your dance card is pretty full! all of blogland is fighting for your attention!

hell - thanks... I like some of the West Coast microbrews myself... btw, I don't drink coffee, and have barely set foot in a Starbuck's...

Hellpig said...

someone gave me a $10.00 gift card once I went to the drive thru twice had $2.00 left on card refused to refill it so I ended up giving as a tip....I have a MB about 4 blocks from me it's small but good "Pacific Rim Brewery" They make Rat City IPA which is where I live a suburb right on the seattle line called White Center but nick named "Rat City" back in the forties

Hellpig said...

Bad link above,my bad

Pacifc Rim Brewery

Pete Bogs said...

hell - I see they have a stout and a porter... looks like tasty stuff... I will have to remember the name...

Bird said...

k9 - send along that link that has the enlistment figures if you please...i'm interested.

my elders used to say to me: bird, you better pull that lip in before a pelican comes along and roosts on it. so i've stopped pouting, but what a blast it would be to hook up with all you southern bloggers.

bogs - you get a membership card now with the dems? wow - maybe i'll switch back - hahahaha! if they would only follow the old school dems, i'd re-register as a dem in a heartbeat.

Pete Bogs said...

bird - you can always have a West Side bloggers summit... you and hell would get along famously...

yes, there is a membership card... multiple ones, actually... a voter ID card and a DNC card...

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

hell, my bags are packed! man, when i was in alaska i coudnt believe how choked the rivers were with salmon. youd see all these fisherman in the river and then youd look further up and there'd be bears workin the river too. i ate salmon breakfast lunch and dinner.

boyed...heres your link
sorry charlie

youre right grrrrrrrl. southern style fer wild chiles.

/grrr

K9 said...

/b ark bark bark

dag. the link didnt work try this:

http://www.heritage.org/Research/NationalSecurity/cda05-08.cfm

/grrr

Pete Bogs said...

k9 - thanks for the link... love the "Sorry, Charlie"

Heritage Foundation is a consterno thinktank... so its reports are as suspect as any from my liberal sites...

I don't know the actual enlistment demographics, but bird is right - the military does target the vulnerable, whether they are disadvantaged peoople, or just plain young...

looking forward to the Bloggaz Summit '06... you ought to draw up a little logo, dog... ;-)

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

yeah i knew that wouldnt vet from ya'll but its thorough with charts and all..../howl

a line from "platoon": "Ever'body know, the poor are always being f**ked over by the rich. Always have, always will."

do i agree with that? i dont know. i do in the bigger sense that the big money 1%'s get wealthier on the backs of middle america.

logo! good idea! im driving on the 10th, but i was thinking about stopping off at the okeefenokee so it'll be a day or two later. see what you can do with your schedule...course i will be on the east coast which is a haul for you....Q's sorta inbetween and aunty is in otown proper....so likely it'll be in orlando.

/grrr

Pete Bogs said...

k9 - 10th or after is fine... O-Town is fine, too...

as for the logo, my initial image is a blue hand shaking a red hand... lol... nah, too trite, and not really fitting...

Lil Bit said...

"Some countries can’t be reasoned with" - You said it, and I agree.
But do I want to see the draft? no.

Pete Bogs said...

lil bit - you and me both... I think the draft should be permanently outlawed...

Anonymous said...

had the idiot prez thought it through before racing into EYE-RACK, he would have known that to succeed, the draft should have been reinstated beforehand. now he's got us so bogged down, our hands are tied behind our backs.

for this reason, i agree with Rangel.

Bird said...

good link there K9 - now i'll just match it with a lib think tank and between the two - we'll get a clearer picture.

hah- a western blogger fest. first, pig and i can square off in the ring and hurl platitudes, generalities, and unsupported claims at each other - but no ad hominems for pig would surely win. then, to soothe our wounds, we can have a salmon- & crab-eating and beer-drinking contest. though i'd win hands down on the crabfest, i suspect the pig could out-do me on both the salmon and the beer - however, i can out-drink any man, woman, child or creature when it comes to gin. so we'd best add a gin-drinking component to the festivities.

i suppose we should discuss blogging in some intellectual way as well, to make the blogger-fest legit.

Pete Bogs said...

karen - I agree with Rangel's intention, but not is method... a draft is one of those "don't go there" things for me, and has been for over 20 years...

bird - now you're talking!

K9 said...

/bark bark brak

boyed: gin=turpentine.

/grr

Hellpig said...

Bird you win I won't touch GIN....Beer you will lose "A man thing" Crab you win again won't touch it!,Salmon we would tie I can't eat a lot unless it's smoked

We could discuss Baseball and how both our teams SUCK

Theres should be some kind of Liberal saving rates for traveling between the 2 largest liberal cities in the USA... so you will need to come here or we could meet in the Republic of Oregon.

Peaches said...

As an outsider;
You, Pete are right. This bloke Rangel is wrong.

Please please don't go there..coz our stupid PM will just follow suit!!

Bird said...

k9 - are you drinking cheap gin? that, indeed, tastes like turpentine.

try sapphire. have an extra dry martini (ask the bartender to merely introduce the bottle of vermouth to the martini glass of gin - no mingling allowed!). get exta olives - let them soak up the gin.

ah....and forget the shaken not stirred. james didn't know what he was talking about.

no stirring or shaking. chill the gin bottle in the freezer and avoid the ice thing completely - besides - ice can bruise the gin. mustn't have that.

pig - next time i'm in seattle let's see if you can drink as much beer as i can gin - hahahaha!

and remember - spring brings a new baseball season - who knows what will happen!

bogs - you like gin? or just the crab and salmon and beer?

Pete Bogs said...

only the latter... gin tastes like pine tar to me... and I've been vegetarian for years... no fish, etc.

Hellpig said...

Bird if and when I do drink Gin it's BEEFEATERS

Aunty Belle said...

Wha'??? Lots o' going an' comin'. here theah and evr' whar!

K9, does we all wear masks? Does we adopt nomes de plume? How's we gonna have a summit, and keep our bloglives alive?

Bawgs, does ya trust meetin' up wif' strangers on the net? I done met the dawg, can vouch--heh heh--but then, who will vouh fer Aunty's vouch?

Sweet Shoat--I'se 'bout through wif' you...ya's thrownin' a west coast soiree and said not one word ter Aunty Belle? Iffin' ya' ain't careful honey, youse gonna be inside one of mah Pork Rind bags.

Pete Bogs said...

aunt b - I don't have a problem with it at all... as long as you are not really feds pretending to be teen girls or something... as for anonymity, well, no pictures, I guess...

Aunty Belle said...

What about teen girls pretendin' ter be the feds?? Heh...no teen time fer ole' aunty in decades...ain't saying bout the dawg since a year is seven to them.

Pete Bogs said...

AB - lol... yes, but teens pretending to be Feds don't have arrest powers... lol