Monday, November 20, 2006

Return of the Conscientious Objector

The Rangel draft bill makes me sick. We elect a Democratic Congress to pull us out of Iraq, out of war, and we get Charles B. Rangel, Democratic Representative from Harlem, NY, demanding mandatory conscription. Why won't he open his eyes and look what the draft does to a nation. I cry as I write this, but look at Israel. People leave the country in droves so they will not have to send their kids to the army. The army spreads a set of mores that are controversial and it's unfair to enforce this on the populace. Not only that, but conscription invites corruption; draft dodgers would have been good citizens, but the draft made them hate their country.

The United States government's arms will be tied by a draft; poor decisions will be made because of powerful pressure from a group like PoSiHW (Parents of Soldiers in Harm's Way) that will be created when parents fear for their drafted children. Or the military will grow too powerful, as it has in Israel, and gain undue influence over the civilian government. We'll have a situation where the military battles the parents lobby over policy decisions, instead of our elected officials making them.

Besides, Rangel's figures are off. I don't know what his agenda is, but he is not talking sense. We don't need more troops; if we institute the draft, the extra "soldiers" will be put into community service posts, which amounts to forced labor. We don't need our youth on a slave market . We do need to pay the army better, and maybe that will encourage more volunteerism, which will bring pride and patriotism. Drafting young people to fight in wars we don't believe in will result in another Vietnam. I can only conclude that instituting the draft is a political ploy by Rangel to call attention to himself.

Interesting aside: Remember what John Kerry said during the recent election campaign? About the importance of education, "so you don't get mired in Iraq"? Many took this to mean that the uneducated often end up in the military and slammed Kerry for being unpatriotic. Kerry later explained he meant that a guy like Bush will end up leading a war in Iraq and it was not a knock to the soldiers. It seems Rangel and Kerry do not see eye to eye. Talk about splits in the Democratic party!

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