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Charlie Rangel wants to bring back the draft.  Whew!  That takes me back 45 years.  We had the draft back then, all right.  I ought to know.  I dodged it.  You see, the way I figured it, if they sent me to Vietnam, there were people over there that were going to try to kill me.  Fortunately, I managed to sleaze one right past draft board.  But enough about me.

As reported by The Hill, Rangel’s reason for wanting to reinstate the draft is that of fairness.  It is a matter of shared sacrifice:  “Reinstating the draft and requiring women to register for the Selective Service would compel the American public to have a stake in the wars we fight as a nation.”  And a beneficial consequence of this shared sacrifice is that we would be less likely to go to war in the first place:  "Take my word for it, if every time a president was about to put our kids in harm's way, we were thinking about our kids and grandkids, it just wouldn't happen."

The idea of shared sacrifice makes sense to me, at least in the abstract.  It didn’t really appeal to me in 1968, but that’s neither here nor there.  In any event, Rangel’s proposed legislation would undo this very principle that is supposed to justify it, because it would allow the draftee to perform his two years of national service in AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps.  Are we to believe that there is some kind of equivalence between after-school tutoring on the one hand, and being maimed, crippled, or killed on the other; or between building homes and killing lots of people?  One thing I can attest to from my many conversations with my fraternity brothers, as we counted down the days until our student deferments ran out, is this:  given the choice between staying home and doing a little community service, or going to fight a war in Southeast Asia, there was not a single one of us that would have put on a uniform.  In other words, given the civilian option, there would be no shared sacrifice in any real sense of the word.

To give Rangel’s legislation some bite, let us assume that the civilian option would be available only in peacetime, or to those who were not physically capable of serving in the military.  Only by limiting the civilian option in this way would there be anything like the sort of draft we had until about 40 years ago.

Let us now turn to Rangel’s second reason for reinstating the draft.  As he sees it, the draft will prevent war.  Exactly when, I have to ask, did that ever happen?  It sure didn’t slow them down during the Vietnam War.  There were students burning their draft cards; there were sit-ins, rallies, and marches; there were even a few riots.  But in 1968, the Democratic Party, the more dovish party, could not even nominate its anti-war candidate, Eugene McCarthy.  Instead, Hubert Humphrey got the nomination, and he was all for staying in Vietnam, just like president Johnson. Even so, the more hawkish party, the Republicans, won the election with Richard Nixon.  Then, in 1972, the Democratic Party finally nominated an anti-war candidate, George McGovern, who lost in a landslide to Nixon again.  In other words, given the choice, Americans voted twice to stay in Vietnam.  Rangel’s belief that the draft will restrain the government from waging war must be based on intuition.  It sure isn’t based on experience.

The draft was a nuisance, however.  It didn’t stop the Vietnam War, but it did disturb our domestic tranquility.  Once we got rid of the draft, we found that we could fight wars abroad while enjoying peace at home.  And Rangel thinks we’re going to give that up?  Not a chance.

Let’s face it.  The draft is no longer useful.  We simply do not need as much manpower to fight these wars as we used to.  That is why the only reason given by Rangel for reinstating the draft is a moral one.  And that is not a sufficient reason, because we are not that good.  The only chance his legislation has of passing will be if the civilian option is unrestricted, which means it will be a draft in name only.  And then it will be a shared sacrifice in name only.


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Comment Preferences

  •  As a deterrent, it's a mixed bag (5+ / 0-)

    The argument for the draft is that it means in the case of a war, and if there was a draft it would not pick so freely from those who are at the bottom of our financial system and who need military work.

    This is a sensible argument.   Rangel can now extend that argument by contending that the draft could be extended to women, now that permission to serve in active deployment is a possibility.

    Could these ideas act as a deterrent?  It's unknown.

    But the bigger problem is that our current enlistment and those who serve in services that can be called into active duty actually exceeds any expected need.

    So, the only way a draft would be triggered is with a vast, worldwide war at this point.

    That is both unlikely - and if it occurred, the use of a draft would be the last real thing on our mind.

    That said, legislation aimed at making us talk about the disparity of who serves is worthwhile.  Sometimes it's not about passing the legislation, it's about starting the conversation.

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 06:24:53 PM PST

  •  I thought I heard some statistic during the Bush.. (14+ / 0-)

    era that virtually none of the congress persons had children in the military and that they were essentially sending off the sons and daughters of the poor and working class on their stupid military adventures. That bothered me a lot. How do we fix that without a draft?

    It seems to me as long as the children of the wealthy and powerful don't have to do the fighting, the wealthy and powerful have license to be cavalier with the military.

  •  It would be a stimulus to the economy. It would (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    help restore the middle class and bring the poor out of poverty.
    Having said that, I wouldn't want our drafted soldiers to go to war.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 06:38:50 PM PST

    •  I agree with that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David54, beemerr

      It would probably be a good idea to use AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps as a way of employing those who cannot find work.  And this need have nothing to do with conscription proper.  But then the question would arise as to how we pay for it:  by raising taxes, cutting spending elsewhere, or borrowing the money.  Given today’s political realities, I think that means it won’t happen at all.

    •  It would only be a stimulus... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Samulayo, soros

      ...if the people employed in the civilian service corps were doing things that nobody is already being paid to do, and especially things that nobody is being paid more to do.

      The danger is that the civilian service corps would be used like "Teach" For America, to bust unions and replace well-paid experienced workers with inexperienced, low-paid temps.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 06:32:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Problem: to a man with a hammer everything looks (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldJackPine, beemerr, kurt

    like a nail.   Reinstate the draft and you will be sure that we will find situations where we need it.    Israel goes to war when it is useful to the party in power, forced military service is very disruptive to the opposition.

  •  you are right (0+ / 0-)

    let the poor slobs who don't have any other options they can discern volunteer to do the wet work for us.

    I certainly don't want to do it, and clearly, you don't either.

    We are both fortunate that there are some desperate folks out there who will do it for us, and so we don't have to worry about it.


    Oregon:'s cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 06:48:04 PM PST

  •  Rangel is an old fart with 19th century ideas (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, OleHippieChick

    No offense to one of our own, but conscription is one of those bad ideas that keep coming back because old farts who had to deal with it want the next generation to have to deal with it too.  What's next, polio?

    The argument that a draft prevents war is disproven by Vietnam, a war much bigger (in terms of US soldiers) than Iraq or Afghanistan, which was certainly not stopped by the draft and the opposition that it raised.  Rather, the draft helped divide our youth and send Canada some of our best and brightest.  Where some who remained enjoy national health insurance and a better economy than our own.

    Other old folks think that mandatory military service is good because it "trains" young people, gives them "discipline" which somehow makes them better people.  The assembly line system of the early 20th century did depend on large numbers of obedient men, broken like horses, to do repetitive tasks without question.  But the modern economy is more about creativity, about solving problems, not mass anything.  

    It strikes me as no coincidence that immediately after the draft ended, we enjoyed a huge boom in the computer sector, outside of the hyper-obedient IBM/EDS axis.  Americans led the world in information technology for decades beginning in the mid-1970s, a time when a man could graduate college, go to grad school if he wanted, or go straight to work without risk of being beaten into an automaton.  Young workers in 1980 were thus a very different group than young workers in 1970.  And this was good for the economy, as the low-end jobs went elsewhere.

    •  VN was smaller than Korea (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisePiper, S F Hippie

      and we were cured of foreign adventures for a while.  I would argue the protests against the war and the open mutiny of troops in country hastened the end of the war for  the US or else we would have reinvested to save Minh as Ford wanted to in 1975.

      •  Vietnam was half-again as big as Korea in (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurt, OleHippieChick

        casualties:  58,200 versus 36,500 (0.03 v. 0.02 percent of the population at the time), in part because it was so much longer.  Even though I devoted two full years of my life to resisting the war, including several arrests and risking prison for refusing induction, I don't believe that the anti-war movement had a significant effect on the length of the war.  We withdrew from Vietnam because it had been apparent to the power establishment for many years that the war was unwinnable -- I.e., that it had always been misconceived --  which is also the reason that we've withdrawn from Iraq and will soon withdraw from Afghanistan.  Of course, we never learn from this history, but empires never do, draft or no;  otherwise they'd stop trying to empires.

        •  then we agree to disagree but re: Korea (0+ / 0-)

          it was larger in terms of nations involved, total troops committed and in terms of the only time armies of two of the three super powers faced off in direct combat.

          Tet does not compare to Chosin or to the Fall of Seoul in terms of a complete US defeat.

          •  Whatever -- the point is that Vietnam lasted a lot (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            longer (1964-1975) and rang up a hell of a lot more American deaths, even in the absence of such a clear-cut causus bellum as the invasion of South Korea by the North.  Besides, as I noted in another comment, there is no way that the U.S. could have put 500,000 troops in the Vietnam theater without a draft.  Notice Rumsfeld's idiotic demand that we occupy Iraq with a force deemed grossly inadequate by his own generals, to whose advice he reacted by essentially cashiering them (e.g., Shinseki). If the question is whether the draft shortened or otherwise constricted the war, it obviously did a pretty piss-poor job.  

            •  Rummy's problem was he played too much Risk (0+ / 0-)

              and people let him win so he would not throw a tantrum.  I understand George III also played with toy soldiers.  I see some toy soldiers of that era will be coming up on auction

              Korea did not last long enough so we did not see unit mutinies the way we did in VN

    •  Nonsense. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alice kleeman, S F Hippie

      It was mass resistance to the draft that helped bring an end to that misbegotten war, and it was the adoption of the "all volunteer" force that enabled Americans to turn a blind eye to the misbegotten wars that followed.

      Study up, young fart.

      Fuck Harry Reid. Too blunt? Fine. Fuck Harry Reid. After months of lying his ass off he willfully killed filibuster reform. "DINO" is too complimentary a descriptor. Fuck him.

      by WisePiper on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 08:37:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I may well be older than you (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WisePiper, kurt

        I don't know how old you are. But I am of the Vietnam generation.  Some of my cohort did go there.

        Even if what you said were true, which I don't believe to be the case, it would not be a valid reason to have a draft.  Doing evil in order to make other evil even worse is a really bad idea.  We don't tie people to railroad tracks in hopes of getting trains to test their brakes, either.

        •  While I take serious issue with your railroad (4+ / 0-)

          tracks analogy, I do believe that sending young people overseas to fight offensive wars of choice is evil, whether the fighters are coerced into serving by draft, or by lack of civilian employment opportunity.

          Fuck Harry Reid. Too blunt? Fine. Fuck Harry Reid. After months of lying his ass off he willfully killed filibuster reform. "DINO" is too complimentary a descriptor. Fuck him.

          by WisePiper on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 09:18:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  As someone who was smack in the middle of the (0+ / 0-)

        whole thing, it is VERY difficult to believe that the anti-war movement and the fact of the draft had much of an effect on the length of the war in comparison to other factors, such as the determination of the Vietnamese people not to be dominated by foreign powers and cultures.  To think otherwise strikes me as the rankest hubris, especially since the war basically lasted 11 years -- from the Tonkin fakery to the fall of Saigon in 1975.  How the hell long would the war have lasted if we hadn't had a draft?  After all, the much smaller Afghanistan "war" will be over in 12.

         Besides, without the draft there is no way that we could have put 500,000 troops on the ground there at the height of our part of the war.  Why do you think that Rumsfeld pooh-poohed Shinseki et al.'s estimates of how many troops it would take for an effective occupation of Iraq, which, IIRC, was a lot less than 500,000 and an even smaller part of today's American population?

        *3+ yrs of fighting an incompetent draft board, 2 years full-time work in the anti-war movement as draft and military (e.g., AWOL, CO claims) counselor, organizer, educator, etc., close friend of many Vietnam vets, and, much later, therapist for vets.

    •  How old are you? (0+ / 0-)

      You couldn't have lived through those times. It seem like your 20th century American history is a little distorted. The Viet Nam war was the start of the American people's education. Nothing like video in everyone's livingrooms to slap some people up-side the head.

      •  I certainly did live through Vietnam (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I did have to fear the draft though I was born just late enough to be safe.

        The war on TV was indeed an education, but the draft went on for years and years.  Yes, it did get resistance going, but that resistance was ineffectual, as the war went on until 1973 (with US troops).

        In any case, there are better ways to get opposition to war than to conscript people.

        Conscription is one of the most regressive taxes, a form of corvee, a tax taken in labor.  It lets the wealthy start wars and not have to pay market rate for the labor to fight it.  That makes war more affordable.

  •  The M-I-C learned from Vietnam... (3+ / 0-)
    Let us now turn to Rangel’s second reason for reinstating the draft.  As he sees it, the draft will prevent war.  Exactly when, I have to ask, did that ever happen?  It sure didn’t slow them down during the Vietnam War.
    Unfortunately, the only lesson the neocons learned from our Vietnam misadventure was that a draft is the quickest way to turn public opinion against them. So your question about whether, empirically, a draft will prevent war, can only be answered when the draft is brought back. But I suspect reinstatement will not make the decision to go to imperialistic wars any easier.

    On a side note: veritable statesman, conservative senator and two-time secretary of state, Daniel Webster thought any type of national conscription was unconstitutional. And I wholeheartedly agree with him.

    "The administration asserts the right to fill the ranks of the regular army by compulsion.... Is this, sir, consistent with the character of a free government? Is this civil liberty? Is this the real character of our Constitution? No, sir, indeed it is not.... Where is it written in the Constitution, in what article or section is it contained, that you may take children from their parents, and parents from their children, and compel them to fight the battles of any war, in which the folly or the wickedness of government may engage it? Under what concealment has this power lain hidden, which now for the first time comes forth, with a tremendous and baleful aspect, to trample down and destroy the dearest rights of personal liberty?

    Daniel Webster (December 9, 1814 House of Representatives Address)

    Conscription in the United States

    "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

    by markthshark on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 06:54:44 PM PST

    •  only problem is I think Webster concurred with (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      markthshark, kurt

      the Founding Fathers and saw the military as a very very small professional core which would be fleshed out by state militias in any emergency (War of 1812 proved the flaw with that viewpoint).  This idea more or less prevailed until WWI.  That marked the advent of American interference in European affairs (before this we more or less stuck to our own backyard.  Spanish American War was something of an aberration)

  •  Yeah, this isn't the first time Rangel has (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alice kleeman

    proposed this. It's a complicated issue---both reinstating the draft and keeping the current volunteer system have their disadvantages.

  •  We need a draft to prevent wars like we need... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...more guns in schools to prevent school shootings.

  •  When we had a draft neither Cheney nor Nugent, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ratcityreprobate, Zinman, kurt, soros

    not to say a bunch of others we could look for, were "called to serve."  Their escape tactics are well known.  If they could do it then, others could do the same now.  Not to put too fine a point on it:  there is no justice.  And I think a draft now would be useless.

    •  by 1965 elected officials had so perverted (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Zinman, alice kleeman, kurt

      the system that almost anyone with a little influence could escape the draft since there was no uniform criteria for who went and who escaped.  In general being buds with the draft board members' kids was a great help

      •  What you say is largely true, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        entlord, kurt

        but it also depended on where you were, whether you were known by members of your local draft board, and what their attitude was toward you.  I know from personal experience.  After four successive student deferments -- this was 1969 -- I was sent off for a physical.  At that time I was 5'10" and only weighed 118 lbs., yet I passed.  I was not having any of it, and left for Europe and points east, effectively a fugitive.  Three and a half years later, with the help of the brilliant War Resisters' League in New York, I returned to the US, had another physical, and failed.  After the exam was finished, one of the doctors told me that he had seen my records and the weight entry on my form had been erased and changed from 119 to 124 to get me in over the lowest acceptable weight limit.  A few years later, I found out that someone on my local board -- a great-uncle, actually, who could barely tolerate being in the same room with me -- had pulled strings to make that change!  The system was -- and probably would be again if allowed to resurface -- corrupt to the core.  Needless to say, I'm dead-set against the idea.                              

        -7.13 / -6.97 "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." -- Edmund Burke

        by GulfExpat on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 09:09:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am not surprised but this was common in other (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          wars.  My father had a friend who had an appendectomy just before his intake physical and was assured he could not pass.  He died on Omaha Beach.

          In my case, I was in the first wave up for induction after Nixon killed the 2S deferment

  •  I have a modest proposal about the draft (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    john keats

    First, let me say that I was drafted and then sent to war during the Vietnam War.

    Here is my solution to this most vexing problem, and while it may appear to be silly, it is not. My solution is based on my observation that most of my compatriots who were scooped up and sent to War were from poorer families. In the interest of shared sacrifice in the draft, that which follows is my proposal to rectify that inequality of sacrifice:

    1. Peacetime military staffing would not include sufficient infantry to wage a ground war.

    2. The draft to fill the need for wartime infantry would select first and foremost by how rich the prospective draftees and their parents are. No exemptions would be allowed for any reason for the children of the upper middle class and those above them in terms of income and wealth. Secondly, none of these draftees could be stationed in country club outfits like George Bush (the lesser), they would all have to go to the front line infantry units.

    Eradicate magical thinking

    by Zinman on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 07:48:59 PM PST

    •  no champagne units? that is unAmerican nt (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Zinman, kurt, soros
    •  In another time and place (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Zinman, kurt

      You and others have rightly observed that it is the lower classes that do most of the fighting.  When we had a draft, the rich found ways to avoid service; now that we have a volunteer army, the rich simply don’t volunteer.

      That is why, whenever I read a nineteenth century British novel like Vanity Fair, I am always stunned when references are made to "buying a commission."  From what I can gather, in order to be an officer, one had to pay the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of dollars, perhaps even over a million, depending on the rank.

      I can say no more.  The very act of writing this comment leaves me speechless.

      •  In that time, some were truly courageous (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        S F Hippie

        Some, like the man known here as Meteor Blades, went to prison instead of acceding to being drafted. Their and his moral courage is shaming to the rest of us who did not have it.

        Eradicate magical thinking

        by Zinman on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 09:20:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Like that would pass! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Zinman, soros

      It sure is a good idea, though.

    •  This idea grates at me. (0+ / 0-)
      The draft to fill the need for wartime infantry would select first and foremost by how rich the prospective draftees and their parents are.
      While the idea that the children of the rich and powerful should serve alongside the children of everyone else is a good one, I don't like this. The change that is needed is cultural, not legal.

      The children of the wealthy had no more control over the families they were born into than you or I did; we want to work towards a country where nobody is punished for the conditions in which they were born, not one in which the wealthy suffer more punishment to bring them "even" with everyone else.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 06:39:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's like Jonathan Swift's Modest Proposal (0+ / 0-)

        The draft laws gave lip service to equality of sacrifice, but as Anatole France observed:

        "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets or steal bread."

        If the children of the very rich were the first to be thrown into the hideous bloody maw of War, we would never have another War.

        Eradicate magical thinking

        by Zinman on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 12:07:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  ironicall my objection was that I would have to (3+ / 0-)

    kill people (my death was also a consideration but I really did not like the idea of taking another person's life, particularly a stranger in his own country)

    The draft board member looked me in the eye and said, "Don't worry; you will outgrow that idea in Basic and Advanced.  If not, maybe you will take a bullet for someone who matters"

    Country Joe and the Fish kind of encapsulated what happened next

  •  Rangel (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, OleHippieChick

    has been introducing the same bill for a decade now.  It isn't strictly a draft bill, but a bill for national service. The short description is always the same:

    To require all persons in the United States between the ages of 18 and 42 to perform national service, either as a member of the uniformed services or in civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, to authorize the induction of persons in the uniformed services during wartime to meet end-strength requirements of the uniformed services, and for other purposes.
    I didn't hear the President mention it in the most recent campaign, but in 2008, he and Hilary both advocated national service, as well.  You don't remember him saying there would be a tuition credit with a national service component?
    •  In fact, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the article from The Hill says almost the same thing:

      Rangel’s legislation would require those between the ages of 18 and 25 to perform two years of national service in either the armed services or in civilian life, while the All American Selective Service Act would force women to enroll in the Selective Service System.
  •  The Lesser of Evils for an Aggressive State (2+ / 0-)

    In my opinion, the Vietnam War would have gone on longer if they had been able to wage it without draftees.  I believe that the draft is the only means for effective consciousness-raising of the middle class about the realities of foreign policy that the right wing will ever be willing to fund.  It is a  cruel reality of that era that those who have come to dominate our politics were those who did not have to publicly make a choice of fighting or going into public opposition, exile or defiance, but rather were able to ambiguously sidestep the conflict.  However, I believe the dangers of a completely professional military are  severe, and that a draft forces the middle class to face the reality of our worship of power.

  •  When the draft gave deferments (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    To those in college or in other things the wealthy were more able to do, it kept going. I know many who stayed out that way, keeping themselves in college as long as possible.

    Once they instituted the lottery, where there weren't any deferments for college any more, all that changed. It was a whole other ball game then.

    I was around, so saw it happen to my brother and his friends. Once there was a chance that the children of the middle class and wealthy might have to go, not just the poor who weren't able to go to college, it only took a year or so for the war to be ended, if I remember correctly.

    Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 08:21:19 PM PST

    •  Due respect: The Lottery was easy to game. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There was a flaw in the draft lottery of the early seventies.
      The lottery pool for a potential draftee was chosen in the year that their status was 1A.
      If you were a student with a deferment you were 1S.

      The first year of the lottery I was 1S My birth date drew a low number (certain to be drafted).

      The next year my birth date drew a high number 317 if my memory serves.

      Data from the previous year made it clear that if I were 1A in the current year it was highly likely that I would not be drafted.

      The day after the numbers were announced I walked into admissions at my college and spoke to the living fossil that ran the place and told her that I was dropping out of college.

      She replied "you can't do that, I'll tell your draft board" I replied in a loud voice, "Lady I am counting it." It was very satisfying.

      I worked and put a little money in the bank and re-enrolled in college as soon as possible after I received my new draft card with a 1H status (served my year of prime eligibility to be drafted).

      I favor a draft for the same reasons that Charlie Rangel does, every family has skin in the game, not just those who don't have any better options.

      Where Charlie and I differ is that I believe that every draftee must have a equal chance of being place in harms way for it to be effective.

      Politicians don't like their election prospects when people in their district have lost loved ones to the politicians ill advised war.

      Just to set the record straight, I worked nights to come up with money for books and supplies. tuition was $6 per semester.

      I am grateful to all that served, but I am no draft dodger. Uncle Sam made the rules I obeyed the rules.

      It was a long time coming but I lost my brother last year as a result of his service in Vietnam.

      Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire

      by leftover on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 11:13:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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