U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., re-elected to his 18th term, just revealed
his plans for a new piece of legislation.
It won’t end the war in Iraq, but it would force America’s youth to fight in it.
This issue is especially important to the college-age demographic. If this legislation is passed, we’ll become numbers, and we’ll watch TV and listen to the radio, hoping ours isn’t the next number they call.
Rangel will likely chair the House Ways and Means Committee, which is responsible for writing tax legislation and bills involving Social Security, Medicare and similar programs.
He said last month on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the war in Iraq wouldn’t have started if there had been a draft.
He said if there was a risk that children of legislators would be sent to fight, they would have been more reluctant to commit troops.
In 2003, Rangel introduced a bill that would draft all those aged 18 to 26, which was defeated after being voted on in 2004. This past year, he again tried to introduce a draft bill, but this wasn’t even voted on.
The implication behind this is that young adults on the low end of the economic scale, when faced with fewer opportunities for their futures, tend to turn toward the military.
The idea behind the draft is to divide the responsibility to fight in a war between the higher and lower classes.
This idea, though noble, is flawed. There is a better way to take the burden of war off the shoulders of the underprivileged – bring the troops home.
Perhaps the solution is so simple that these brilliant lawmakers missed it. Don’t send more people to Iraq. Too many of our troops have died already, not to mention the massive civilian casualties suffered.
Sit through Christmas and New Years, and just devise a plan to pull America’s loved ones out of this war.
Reports have come through the press for months that there is no end in sight for this war. We need to cut our losses now and leave Iraq.
The number of military personnel in Iraq peaks at 140,000, which Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., referred to in “The Washington Post,” as “stretched thinner than paper.”
Rumors are floating about the U.S. possibly going to war with Iran or North Korea to stop their nuclear programs. We already tried that once with North Korea, and we left after China decided to back them up.
China still appears ready to do so again for fear of losing a trading partner. As for Iran, we’d probably have no better luck than we are having in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Our government may have completely given up on the concept of diplomacy.
It is Congress’ job to prevent the president from acting prematurely. The Republican-led Congress failed when they allowed Bush to take us to war in Iraq.
Consider the betrayal the American people would feel if the new Democratic-controlled Congress passed a draft bill. Many voted Democratic because they wanted us out of this war.
It is a comfort that Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who will take over as House speaker when the new congressional term begins, doesn’t support the draft and said the new leadership won’t either.
More than 2,886 Americans have been killed in Iraq since Dec. 1, 2006, and more than 20,000 have been wounded, according to CNN. Those numbers shouldn’t be allowed to increase.
Ashley Helaudais can be reached at email@example.com.