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what is your part?
November 23, 2006, 11:15 PM

The draft is among us.

Rep. Charles Rangel (D) has once again brought up the draft and most people have gone nuts and screamed no draft. Why is this?

It seems to this peace activist and veteran that having an all-volunteer military has been a monumental failure. We have separated ourselves from what our government is doing in our name; we have failed as good citizens of this republic. How many of you know how many of our beloved troops have given their lives to this lunacy called the War in Iraq? How many of you know the true number of seriously wounded and those who are waiting for the VA to process their paperwork in order to get to see a doctor. How many of you care? Does the war touch you?

I would be willing to go out on a limb---that if your son, daughter, father, mother or other member of your family were in Iraq, you would know the answer to all my questions. The war would directly affect you. The good citizen participates in the governing of the State; the lazy citizen says not my problem. To preserve a republic you must do more than just vote, you have to keep the politicians honest, and the way to do that is by being involved. Here is something for your consideration. Before Congress can declare war or pass a resolution giving the power to the President to wage war, the Congress must pass a draft and full mobilization.

Full mobilization would mean all industrial corporations would go on a war schedule, no war profiteering would be allowed and severe penalties would be passed and prosecuted. There would be mandatory prison for CEO's and the board members who attempted to make a profit on the blood of our heroes.

Now to the Draft:

There would be no exceptions or deferments. Have a pimple on your ass like Rush Limbaugh---take a "whoopee" cushion and---drive the truck that-a-way. Too busy like Dick Cheney, ha, ha, get that helmet on Mr. Coward and move out. There would be no entrance into the National Guard after the declaration of war.

All college students would have to take military training during their time in school. There would be an option for Conscientious Objectors: Draft would be for two years, do not want to kill anybody---you would have to serve the community for the duration of the war. Politicians would be encouraged to be represented by having their kids be among the first to show up for duty. The only people who could serve on the Draft Board would be people who have a relative serving in the war. The last part would include the veterans who come home during or after the war.

Veterans would be made whole. No paper work, they would receive whatever it takes to get them back to where they were when drafted. Any employer found violating the law concerning job security for the heroes returning home would immediately be drafted and sent to the front lines. Can not get them back to where they were before going to war, then you take care of them and their families for the rest of their lives. No military family should suffer more during peace than when they were in war.

Rep. Charles Rangel is right, want war---do the mobilization and draft first.

Joe Walsh, Lone Vet
Portland, Or.

there is a problem, but a draft is not the solution 28.Nov.2006 03:20


First of all, Rangel's proposal is nothing more than a political stunt; it has no traction in congress and he knows it. And while I agree that it's important to raise the issue that politicians fight wars when it's not their kids who will be dying, it is still not a solution to the problem and dangerous even as a political stunt.

Conscription is one of the most evil forms of governmental abuse and it should not be tolerated by anyone who desires freedom, especially from governmental tyranny. No government can be trusted with the power to conscript citizens into the military. While your point is valid, that the somewhat volunteer military that is in place now does serve to let people disengage from the reality of the horrors of invasion and occupation, conscription will not lead to a good outcome. Governments that have the power to conscript are some of the worst abusers of military power.

Do not kid yourself, even with a draft the rich will get their kids out of having to fight, just as they did during Vietnam and every other time this government has had a draft. There is no way to prevent the rich from sending their kids to another country or any number of other schemes. Besides having such a military at the disposal of politicians is a recipe for disaster. Jefferson wanted to have no standing army during times of peace so that the army could not be used in acts of aggression against other countries. That's why the 2nd amendment of the US Constitution protects the right for form armed militias; that was seen as the best way to conduct national defense, an armed citizenry who would defend their land if attacked but who could not be made to invade other countries.

Those who believe in the spirit of liberty means that citizens must be free to choose their path, and that includes the path to avoid military servitude. The problem is not that the rich get out of military service, but that the poor are often manipulated into it. People will not join and the military if they perceive that there are better options and creating those options will leave the military unusable to the politicians for the purposes of invasion and occupation. So let's focus on good solutions and there are many of them:

* ban military recruitment - This is millions of tax dollars for the ads on tv, video games, funding recruitment centers, and sending recruiters into schools and malls. Ban it all. It is immoral to try to sell someone the military life; let those who choose it do so due to their own initiative and education.

* bring charges against congress and the president for using the military without a declaration of war - (this is like your proposal) - Congress must declare war for any military action to take place. Any congressperson who abdicates their constitutional responsibility (Article 1 Section 8 of the US Constitution) should be tried for treason. Any president using the military without congress declaring war should be impeached and removed from office and/or tried for treason.

* continue to educate people on the disparity in military recruitment and especially that almost no politician has children in the military.

* work to create better job opportunities so people can have something meaningful to do with their lives instead of what passes for alternatives these days.

And there are many other solutions that do not deprive people of liberty as conscription does. For a far more eloquent take read Daniel Webster's "On Conscription":


Draft is an antiwar blessing. 28.Nov.2006 20:25


Nothing would make the nonprotesting, pseudo-hip youth get off their asses like a draft! (My apologies to the many dedicated young activists out there.)

sometimes what seems like a blessing in the short term 28.Nov.2006 22:02

can be a curse in the long term

Sacrifice everyone's liberty for some extra protest involvement? Sorry that sounds like a bad trade to me. Furthermore, while you may get more protesters, you'll also have to deal with far more soldiers being used to wage war. I'll take apathetic disengaged youth to brain-washed military youth any day.

DRAFT AMONG US 03.Dec.2006 01:00


Draft among us

The draft, mobilization and war are subjects that taken separately will put me in opposition with many of my friends; taken together puts me back in the folds of progressive thinking. You cannot have a draft for the occupation of Iraq--I would be in the streets to oppose such a notion; however, we must have more conversations about the future.

Suppose in the future there is a real threat to us, what should we do as a nation? I don't want Congress to give one man the decision to go to war. I think the more people involved in that decision the more likely we will make an honorable decision. My vision would go something like this:

The Secretaries of Defense and Peace would present evidence to go to war or negotiate with another nation; The Congress would debate the issue and come to a conclusion. The next step would be based on the decision, if Congress were going to vote on a declaration of war, they would have to pass two bills before any action could happen. First an order to mobilize the nation and second, the draft.

My intent is to keep us safe, but never be wrong about going to war. The volunteer army would stay in effect to fight for a very limited time until Congress has made a decision to go to war or attempt diplomacy. I do know this---what we have done in Vietnam, and now this war is insane and will have to change. This is a tough subject but it must be discussed in the environment of peace and not during a war or occupation. When this madness comes to some end, we have to say to our leaders, do something about what happened not just once but twice (Vietnam and Iraq.)

More to come? What ya think?