Friday, November 24, 2006

Charles Rangel (D-NY) Calls White House Bluff

When the man is right, he’s right. And whether Rangel actually would fight to reinstate the draft or not, is not the point. Rangel is the only person in Congress with the balls to state the obvious and to call the bluff of the Bush administration. Seventy-six-year-old Charles Bernard Rangel, representing Upper Manhattan, Harlem, Spanish Harlem and part of the Upper West Side in New York City says, “as long as this country is placing thousands of young men and women in harm's way in Iraq…as long as Americans are being shipped off to war, then everyone should be vulnerable, not just those who, because of economic circumstances, are attracted by lucrative enlistment bonuses and educational incentives.” In his Press Release of November 21, stating his reasons for calling for a reinstatement of a universal military draft, Rangel went on to say: “Even before the first bomb was dropped, before the first American casualty, I have opposed the war in Iraq. I continue to believe that decision-makers would never have supported the invasion if more of them had family members in line for deployment. “Those who do the fighting have no choice; when the flag goes up, they salute and follow orders. So far, more than 2,800 have died and 21,000 wounded. They are our unrecognized American heroes. “The great majority of people bearing arms for this country in Iraq are from the poorer communities in our inner cities and rural areas, places where enlistment bonuses up to $40,000 and thousands in educational benefits are very attractive. For people who have college as an option, those incentives--at the risk to one's life--don't mean a thing.” In stating the obvious and unpopular fact that if Congress is not prepared to shut down this immoral ego-war of the Bush administration, then a draft cannot be avoided, at least Rangel knows exactly what he’s asking for. He was in the United States Army from 1948 to 1952 and was awarded both a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star. Which is far more than can be said for the following list of neocons, all of who avoided serving in the military: President George W. Bush Vice President Dick Cheney Former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay Former House Majority Whip Roy Blunt Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist Former Majority Whip Mitch McConnell Former Senator (R-PA) Rick Santorum Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott Former Attorney General John Ashcroft Florida Governor Jeb Bush White House Consultant Karl Rove Senator (Independent-CT) Joseph I. Lieberman All of the above love war so much they want thousands more soldiers to be deployed (and redeployed) to both Iraq and Afghanistan. And not one of the above knows from first-hand experience what war is all about. Rangel is right. If the war in Iraq MUST GO ON, if the United States MUST FINISH THE JOB, if the United States MUST STAY THE COURSE, if the United States MUST FIGHT UNTIL VICTORY IS ACHIEVED, if this MISSION MUST BE ACCOMPLISHED, then everyone’s son and daughter MUST BE AVAILABLE to be called up to serve. EVERYONE’S son and daughter. And that includes the children of Congressmen, the spoiled-brat twins of the President and the children of the super-rich on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. ALL kids must be available to be sent to fight the Bush administration's wars If the US is not prepared to call for this unavoidable solution to the problem of having enough young people to fight and be killed in wars, then we should bring our soldiers home. Because the volunteer army is not equal to the job. The volunteer army lost the war as soon as it was started.


AM said...

Great post! And all too true.... These young folk volunteered to defend the country...against invaders, to support their communities in times of natural disasters, etc...they did not sign on as ill-paid mercenaries to invade and inflict harm on others.

It's why the US has no hope of ever winning a war of aggression and possession of another country. True Americans just aren't wired that way.

I don't believe a draft would solve anything either, although expanding the war would enhance the bottom line of war suppliers everywhere.

Thailand Gal said...

Right on! That is the one thing that is never discussed openly and relates directly back to the Kerry comment (which so few actually "got"). This war is a war for the rich, fought by the poor. Disgusting!


~Chani (Thailand Gal)