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think of the children

Rangel calls for mandatory military service

Hmm..Does Rep. Charles Rangel (D-New York) think we need to shore up our defense to prepare for future wars?


Does he think mandatory military service will instill some sense of patriotism, pride and duty in the youth of America?


Is he worried about declining enlistment in the armed forces?


So why does Rep. Rangel want to institute mandatory service? Because, Rangel states:

such legislation could make members of Congress more reluctant to authorize military action.

I see. Let's make everyone over the age of 18 serve some time in the armed forces in order to make Congress say no to military action. Let's put our sons and daughters out there in the hopes that some congressmen will say "not with my child" and vote against any future invasions/wars.

Pardon me for use of hyperbole, but I think that's tantamount to using a child as a shield in a gunfight.

What does Rep. Rangel intend to say if his idea is instituted, a draft is enacted, a vote to go to war comes to the floor and Congress votes to fight? Will he say "oops, bad idea" and go back to the drawing board?

I'm not going to get into the issue here of whether or not a draft is needed or if it is a good/bad idea. The issue is that Rangel has obviously failed to think his flight of fancy through.

"When you talk about a war, you're talking about ground troops, you're talking about enlisted people, and they don't come from the kids and members of Congress," he said.

"I think, if we went home and found out that there were families concerned about their kids going off to war, there would be more cautiousness and a more willingness to work with the international community than to say, 'Our way or the highway.' "

Basically what he is saying is that his fellow congressmen and women care only about their families and not about the families of their constituents. I think every member of Congress should be outraged by Rangel's assertions.

Rangel did not provide specifics of his proposal.

Well, he did in a way. The specifics would be to for Rangel to use the military-age children of the members of Congress as hostages in his kidnapping of the attempt to oust Saddam from power.

The outcome of this would be rather interesting. I can't imagine that any member of Congress who voted in favor of military use of power would suddenly change their minds if a draft was enacted. And if they did it would certainly say a lot about their convictions.

As for Rangel, I think he is way off base and out of line with this idea. The motive and intentions are all wrong.


i personally think a mandatory military service is a good idea, but for far different ideas. i think people outta start having to earn the freedoms they enjoy. plus it would give some of these college morons the chance to actually see these countries they think are so great. let some of these woman's movement girls take a 3 month trip to saudi where they can't drive a car or many other things and being an american doesn't help. then maybe they'll find not being able to join augusta isn't such a big deal.

Two words: Ass. Hat.

Betcha five Rangel is childless.

Damn, that Santa Ho doesn't know when to quit, does she???

How about mandatory enlistment prior to serving in the Senate or House, or, better yet, as President or in the Cabinet. Ah, the possibilities...

That's Heinlein territory, dave. Read Starship Troopers and ignore the bad movie.

Of course, without it, we get the Chickenhawks.

Rangel makes a point that is, of course, lost on many folks. I'll leave it to y'all to figure it out.

Even if such a draft were instituted, all the congresscritters' kids would never find their way to the front lines. Thus the whole raison d'etre is bullshit.

Yes, I get it Scott.

Perhaps Congress would be less likely to vote for military action if it was their own children going to war and not someone else's kids.

I still think his motives are foolish and dangerous.

Of course, without it, we get the Chickenhawks.

And with it, we get a country ruled by a military elite with no civilian input into its own governance.

It really appears lost on the type of person who uses phrases like "chickenhawk" that the Constitution explicitly makes the President, likely to be a civilian, Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces. The Constitution, therefore, practically mandates that A "Chickenhawk" Shall Lead Them.

Yup, if I had to come up with an argument for a draft, the Heinleinian one would be my choice too. But I'm not in favor of a draft, actually I'm quite pleased with the fact that you don't have to have a military background in order to have a say in whether we should go to war or not.

If that WASN'T the case, all you'd have would be bloody-hungry hawks like me making all the decisions for you.

On the other hand, once the decision's been made and the war has been committed to, the civilians should shut the Hell up and let the Army do its job.

not a military draft--a 'service' draft

two years mandatory National Service.

Any job anywhere its needed. Military included. Testing to find aptitudes.

There needs to be some reward for this service--a GI bill type of thing.

Heinlein's version wasn't a draft, the services in Starship Troopers were all volunteers. And the notion that those who get to vote be those who VOLUNTARILY chose to serve the nation is not a bad one. It would result in an electorate that actually understood the concept of patriotism--not a military elite.(active duty military could NOT hold office)

While I put forth a mandatory National Service, putting the ST system in place would be far preferable.

Don't forget the effects such a plan would have on the money side... Wouldn't supporting that many troops just about bankrupt the U.S.? I don't know any numbers offhand, but I'm assuming this would increase the military's size several times over. Troops need food, shelter, and health care.

Oh, how silly of me. We could raise taxes.

There was a classic British comedy series - Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister in the early 1980s - (here is a good link The Yes Minister Files where the topic of "National Service" (conscription) came up. This was the exchange between Sir Humphrey Appleby (the Cabinet Secretary) and Bernard Wooley (the PM's principal private secratary) on having a balanced public survery on the topic:

Sir Humphrey: "You know what happens: nice young lady comes up to you. Obviously you want to create a good impression, you don't want to look a fool, do you? So she starts asking you some questions: Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the number of young people without jobs?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Are you worried about the rise in crime among teenagers?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Do you think there is a lack of discipline in our Comprehensive schools?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Do you think young people welcome some authority and leadership in their lives?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Do you think they respond to a challenge?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Would you be in favour of reintroducing National Service?"
Bernard Woolley: "Oh...well, I suppose I might be."
Sir Humphrey: "Yes or no?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Of course you would, Bernard. After all you told you can't say no to that. So they don't mention the first five questions and they publish the last one."
Bernard Woolley: "Is that really what they do?"
Sir Humphrey: "Well, not the reputable ones no, but there aren't many of those. So alternatively the young lady can get the opposite result."
Bernard Woolley: "How?"
Sir Humphrey: "Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the danger of war?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Are you worried about the growth of armaments?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Do you think there is a danger in giving young people guns and teaching them how to kill?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Do you think it is wrong to force people to take up arms against their will?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Would you oppose the reintroduction of National Service?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "There you are, you see Bernard. The perfect balanced sample."

A classic.

$.02--There are currently damn few members of Congress with military service themselves. So when they start voting on military-related issues (not just go/no go) but wages/pensions/healthcare for vets and active-duty personnel they don't have the perspective being a former member brings to the table. I think that would be worthwhile.

Robert A. Heinlein hated the draft and belived in a volunteer armed forces. Heinlein was an Annapolis graduate who left the Navy suffering from TB.

'Starship Troopers' is an exercise in political speculation (what, you thought that Sci-fi consisted of bad laser sword fights?) that posited a democracy where the franchise had to be earned, it wasn't a birthright. One of the most important points in the book, and one consistantly missed by the reactionary left is that you couldn't vote until you left government service. Ergo, it wasn't "militaristic."

Rangel's whole aim is to bring back the anti-draft demonstrations (read riots) of the 60s.

Imperial Falconer (With Stipend™)

You were expecting Rangle to make sense?

"......way off base and out of line...." That's Charlie! Very reliable in this regard. Jeeze, I've missed him. Where has he been?

Hey linkmeister, I'm not sure what consitutes "damn few" but there are 156 members of congress with military service.

doggy or something

Larry, Do I know you?
Have you ever been to St Louis?
If yes, hit me up on ICQ: 136547585.
If not - sorry you just remind me of someone.

I am against military service!


Thank you very much for suggessting me an idea !

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