Dems plan to reintroduce the draft? WTF!

I jest not:

A senior House Democrat said Sunday he will introduce legislation to reinstate the military draft...

Charlie Rangel, that is. Presumptive Ways and Means chairman in the 110th. Chatting to Bob Schieffer today.

One senses his proposal (not the first time he's made it - there was HR 4752 in the 109th for a start) is intended merely to demonstrate the gross overstretch of US forces under the current regime.

For instance, he told Schieffer

There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way.

Now, this is the sort of thing that minorities spend their time on, in the almost certain knowledge that they can do pretty much nothing about the topic in hand.

But, lo! The Dems' Fairy Godmother has paid a visit - and they're not going to be the minority for much longer.

Fast forward to the second week of the 110th. The first and famous 100 hours are over, and Rangel tosses his draft bill into the hopper.

A Senior Dem, chairing one of the most important committees, leading light of the CBC - and he puts in a bill to reinstate the draft.

Presumably he's cleared it with Nancy first. Or perhaps not.

So - unlike his effort earlier this year, Rangel will be looking to get his bill onto the floor in 2007, surely.

So he'll need a rule - from Slaughter's Rules Committee. He wouldn't put the bill in without knowing he was going to get a rule - and a rule favorable to the bill's early passage, to boot - from Slaughter's committee. Would he?

Now, according to an AP piece on Rangel's performance today,

Repeated polls have shown that about seven in 10 Americans oppose reinstatement of the draft and officials say they do not expect to restart conscription.

Why should the Dems, returned to Congressional control after 12 years, take an early opportunity to poke 7 out of 10 Americans in the eye is something of a puzzle.

Ergo, they don't. Rangel's draft bill is a charade. To make a serious - as opposed to a merely rhetorical - effort to reimpose the draft would be proof of rampant Dem insanity. (And, following Hoyer/Murtha and Harman/Hastings, that's a touchy subject!)

Will the average voter be confused? Write it all off as a Beltway game? Take it at face value and become seriously alarmed?

I sense that this is another sign that, whilst the electoral side of the Dems' operation has hit its winning stride, some elements of the governing side may not quite be ready for prime time.

Tags: HR 4752, Military Draft, Rangel, Universal National Service Act (all tags)

Comments

45 Comments

Re: Dems plan to reintroduce the draft? WTF!

I don't know why he insists on using "draft" to describe the bill:  Universal National Service Act of 2006.  It is indeed a shell bill, but far wider in scope than a simple draft.  Concept is worth at least debating.

by rba 2006-11-19 11:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Dems plan to reintroduce the draft? WTF!

Don't you get it?  He is trying to force the issue on the wing nuts once and for all.  If the Repubs want to fight in Iraq, lets send the SOB's over there.  You should realize by now that if a draft was started, the Iraq mess would end before you could blink your eye.

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2006-11-19 01:29PM | 0 recs
Just walk me through this one

So Rangel pops his bill in the hopper, and it gets committed to Armed Services under the chairmanship of Ike Skelton.

Would there be hearings? (Don't need to be.) Would there be a written report? (Ditto.)

Let's skip that; assume it emerges from Rules with - whatever sort of rule we want, I'm not quite sure what that would be right now.

First, there'd need to be a debate on the rule. Dem time would probably be controlled by Skelton as HASC chairman - but some Dem has got to say something about the bill.

What? He can't say he approves of the bill, because the Dems don't approve of reinstituting the draft.

He can't say the bill is meant to embarrass the GOP, because that would only be embarrassing to the Dems!

What do the GOP say? They say, We agree with the two-thirds (or whatever it is) majority of the American people who oppose a new draft. We can win without it.

Now, of course that last point is - to use the mot du jour - 'total crap'.

But the bill hasn't yet succeeded in putting the GOP on the spot. They will vote against the rule, and against the bill, and ballyhoo it like crazy.

Meanwhile, what do the Dem reps do? Assume they vote for the rule, because majority reps almost always do.

What about the vote on the bill? If they vote for it, they're voting for the draft, and cutting their own throats at the same time. If they vote against, they're voting against their own leadership.

Except, of course, the Dem leadership don't want the bill to pass either.

I may be being completely obtuse (it's happened once or twice) but I can't see how the Dems come out ahead with it.

by skeptic06 2006-11-19 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Just walk me through this one

This will, once again, get almost no support. I don't think the Democrats will have a very hard time painting this as Rangel's idea, not the party's idea. Maybe the Democrats don't come out ahead, but at least they don't look like fools. I can just imagine the headlines if he gets any backing: "Democrats oppose war, support draft." Frankly, we'll be seeing those headlines even if the plural turns out to be unwarranted.

by liberal atheist 2006-11-19 03:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Dems plan to reintroduce the draft? WTF!

Most of us who took to the streets in opposition to the War in Vietnam were also protesting the draft.  We wanted it stopped and most Americans eventually joined us in favoring the all-volunteer armed forces.  That's youthful idealism I lived to change my mind about.  

It's just too easy for the upper and upper-middle classes to support sending troops into battle when those troops are, to a large degree, faceless names to them.   Oh, yeah, they slap "Support our Troops" yellow ribbons on the bumpers of their SUVs, but the war is just a television show they can turn off.  The horrors of the Iraqi occupation - the maimed as well as the dead - are a tragedy being endured by a very small percentage of Americans.  Other than having to assume the colossal debt the BushLeague has rung up, most of us will pay no personal price for the battle-lust of Republicans.  I simply cannot believe that George and Laura would have such a need to invade the Middle East if their precious party-girls had to do the job.  

We're all sick of this war so the public isn't going to respond well to Rep. Rangel's call for Universal National Service, and it's a shame he didn't initiate the discussion more clearly and carefully.   But I believe in principle he's right; at the very least it's, as rba says, "a concept worth at least debating."

by jukesgrrl 2006-11-20 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Dems plan to reintroduce the draft? WTF!

Illuminati, one and all!

by Lasthorseman 2006-11-19 01:02PM | 0 recs
The high dudgeon is truly touching

What's the big deal?

I do this all the time. I know plenty of twenty-somethings (and their parents) who still think dubya's war is a splendid enterprise. That's why I always have copies of DD-4s [pdf] with me in my briefcase. If they're really into the war and they haven't already enlisted I have the ability to hand them the proper form.

It's interesting, though. Of late there haven't been any people of enlistment age who actively express their support of "stay the course" in my presence. Actually, it's been two years since the last one. I wonder why? I still have plenty of DD-4s in my briefcase.

Ike Skelton, soon to be Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, has two sons serving active duty - one in the Army, one in the Navy. There are a few other members of Congress who have experienced the same (Kit Bond, also from Missouri is one of them). I would suspect that Congress would think twice about committing our nation to a  war based on flimsy evidence (or Dick Cheney's "one per cent certainty") if they were worried about their own children and the wrath of a large number of constituent parents who had children in harm's way.

Congressman Rangel is right.

by Michael Bersin 2006-11-19 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: The high dudgeon is truly touching

Yes, for partisan democrats like you, its NO BIG DEAL!

But for the millions of Independent voters who were responsible for our victory, IT IS A BIG DEAL!

This type of news is the WORST Nightmare for ANY PARENT who has teenage kids REGARDLESS of party affiliation.

You don't start Splashing " Controversial Decisions" this early.

This has a similar SHOCK effect as announcing, " I am raising Taxes, I am outlawing abortion, I am
legalizing gay marriage".

Rangel should know better. Yes, we are partisan Democrats understand what he is trying to do. But most voters will not. All they will see & feel is fear.

by labanman 2006-11-19 05:31PM | 0 recs
Re: The high dudgeon is truly touching

Yes, for partisan democrats like you, its NO BIG DEAL!

I have been an outspoken critic of this war since the administration started marketing it. I raise my voice as a deeply concerned citizen, not as a partisan Democrat.

November 19, 2003

Some days I don't know why I keep doing this.

A columnist in today's Kansas City Star reported that the Kansas City "Police investigative units have been shooting pictures [of the Plaza protesters] `to monitor those activities.'"  He added, "The information they've gathered also could be shared with other law enforcement agencies."

Look ma, I'm notorious...

We continue or vigil on the Quad.  One individual cheerily stopped by to ask us if we had "heard the President's great speech?"  We should have just laughed at him, instead he continued on a riff about fighting terrorism and getting rid of social security.  This free association continued for some time.  Finally, as he walked away, my colleague called after him, "If we're at war, what have you sacrificed?"  He didn't answer.

A friend stopped by for a while during the lull between passing periods to chat with us.

This afternoon, while loading items which included my protest posters in my car, I had another in a series of interesting encounters.

An individual called out to me, "Hey!...I don't approve what you do out there protesting."  I turned to him and shrugged.  He continued, "My daughter is in Iraq."  I looked at him and replied, "I hope she's okay."  He repeated, "I don't approve of your protesting."  I asked, "Did she sign a DD-4?"  "What my daughter does is none of your business."  "You're the one who mentioned your daughter.  She took an oath to the Constitution."  He replied, "You ought to be ashamed."  I answered, "I am."  I didn't tell him of what.  Maybe I should have.  At that point he started walking away.  I lost my temper as I called out something about the Constitution.  He turned and said, "I served for 20 years."  I answered, "My father served for over 20 years..."  As he continued to walk away I yelled something else about the Constitution.

Another voice called out, "Who are you yelling at?"  Startled, I looked.  It was a colleague.  I crossed the street and pointed out the individual walking away in the distance.  I explained the encounter.  He listened sympathetically and added, "It may be because of his daughter."

I was angry with myself for not remaining calm.  I understand a father's concern about his child, but I am neither the reason she is there nor an acceptable target of his misplaced self-righteousness.  I resent that and I resent anyone else questioning my patriotism, even by implication.

Still, I should not have lost my temper.

God is not finished with me yet. And boy, is she pissed.

Indeed, what have we sacrificed? Congressman Rangel is asking that question.

Next time, capitalize the D in Democrat or people will begin to think you're trolling. Oh, and writing in all caps is the Internets equivalent of shouting.

by Michael Bersin 2006-11-20 12:56AM | 0 recs
Re: The high dudgeon is truly touching

CAPS do not MAKE your posts more EFFECTIVE

by RickD 2006-11-20 02:06AM | 0 recs
Re: The high dudgeon is truly touching

You're right. This is not only a stupid fight to pick, but a wrong one.

by Liberal Avenger 2006-11-20 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Dems plan to reintroduce the draft? WTF!

Underclass getting too uppity again you think, skeptic?

Great move by Charlie Rangel.

The face of America is changing.  The lily white Bourbons and their satraps have had their day.  They spent the money and laid waste the land.  Time to clean up things is fast approaching.

Best,  Terry

by terryhallinan 2006-11-19 02:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Dems plan to reintroduce the draft? WTF!

It's fine as long as they draft the people from Alabama, Georgia, Missippi and Texas

by orin76 2006-11-19 02:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Dems plan to reintroduce the draft? WTF!

It's fine as long as they draft the people from Alabama, Georgia, Missippi and Texas

Excellent idea but change "the people" to "only Republicans."

Thus we get:

Draft only Republicans from Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas.

I hope somebody tells Charlie.  What right-thinking person could object to that law?

Best,  Terry

by terryhallinan 2006-11-20 03:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Dems plan to reintroduce the draft? WTF!

Yes, except I fear it will blow up in our face. The draft is even less popular than the war, and will probably remain so. Rangel's point will probably be lost on the general public.

by liberal atheist 2006-11-19 03:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Dems plan to reintroduce the draft? WTF!

So instead of raising the minimum wage, repealing the Bush tax cuts, implementing the 9/11 commission recommendations, and lowering interest rates on college tuition the public is introduced to the Democrats fighting over leadership positions and bringing back the draft.

To use the words of Charlie Brown, "good grief."

by Vox Populi 2006-11-19 04:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Amen!

Of All the most important issues that got us to the majority, Rangel makes a Big Splash by announcing the Draft.

This is the 2nd Major blunder in a week. We haven't even started!

First, Pelosi's Public Announcement of taking sides. ( and ends up losing )

Second, this one by Rangel.

Then you wonder why there are thousands of anxious independents & Reagan Democrats who voted for us who are hoping they made the right decision.

This is sure an excellent way to Increase & Sustain our Majority.

The Senate Democratic leaders are doing a Much Better Job as far as First Impressions are concerned. And first impressions are important.

by labanman 2006-11-19 05:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Dems plan to reintroduce the draft? WTF!

Exactly.  Rangel has been talking about reinstating the draft since the beginning of Iraq.  This bill is being introduced to make the point that only a small portion of the country - generally poor and working class - are fighting this war.  Rangel doesn't chair Armed Services and the bill is not going anywhere.

THere is a part of me that thinks this is a good idea since it would stop any future President from even thinking about starting another "pre-emptive war."  Does anyone think Bush would ever have gotten support for Iraq if there was a draft and most people b/w the ages of 18-30 would have had a chance of being sent???

by John Mills 2006-11-19 05:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Very Poor PR to Start

Its all over  the news. All over MSM.

Yes, everyone here knows & understands what Rangel is trying to do.

Nonetheless, this is very poor public relations. Especially as we are just about to take over congress.

This is the type of headline that gives voters, especially independent voters " buyers remorse".

This news is just as bad as Rangel announcing " I will be raising taxes".

You will immediately see Democrats of all stripes distancing themselves from Rangel.

Its way too early to be pulling off stunts like this!

by labanman 2006-11-19 05:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Dems plan to reintroduce the draft? WTF!

Mayb Rangel's doing it because he knows all you Blog Birchers mad? If he's been doing this as a ploy, I don't know what to think.

by spirowasright 2006-11-19 05:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Dems plan to reintroduce the draft? WTF!

Senior Democrats like Rangel better realize quickly that since we are now in the majority, people take him 10 times more seriously than when he was making noise in the minority.

He should also realize that the media will eat & digest every word he throws out there. He is not a protester anymore. He is the one governing & he should get use to that.

I thought it would at least take 12 months to screw things up.

by labanman 2006-11-19 05:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Dems plan to reintroduce the draft? WTF!

Get over yourself.  It's not the end of the world.  Have you read Seymour Hersh lately?  If not, you might want to.  Bush is obviously itching to attack Iran.  Call it doubling down if you like.  A draft is one sure way to nip that idea of Bush's in the bud.

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2006-11-19 06:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Dems plan to reintroduce the draft? WTF!

Also, have you ever heard of Chicken Little?  The sky isn't falling yet, so chill out.  The Dems are still 7 weeks from taking power.

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2006-11-19 06:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, for years as a Minority member

Yes Lucas, Rangel has been saying that for years  But he never got this much publicity. Why?

BIG DIFFERENCE! Rangel has been saying that as part of the minority.

Rangel is NOW in the MAJORITY! Not only is he in the Majority, but he is Now the POWERFUL CHAIRMAN of the Ways and Means Committee.

Look at how the MSM ate that announcement. Its on every fucking channel, every online news site.

BIG DIFFERENCE!

All Voters regardless of party affiliation take him 200% more seriously now. The Media takes him 10 times more seriously now. Things are different now.

BIG DIFFERENCE!

Senior Democrats like Rangel better realize that quickly. He may be one person but he is still speaking for the Democratic party in his new role.

After being out of power for 12 years, the last thing you want is to cause a SPLASH thru CONTROVERSIAL issues when you don't even have the gavel yet.

If two years ago, Rangel announced he was in favor of increasing taxes. The MSM & most voters wouldn't give a crap since he has no power as the minority.

IF Rangel announced tomorrow morning that he is going to Propose Tax Hikes, THAT WOULD DOMINATE THE NEWS FOR THE NEXT 48 HOURS!

Big Difference!

by labanman 2006-11-19 06:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Very Poor PR to Start

And by Tuesday morning everyone will have forgotten Rangel's interview on Face the Nation.  How many people watch the Sunday political talk shows and Sunday night news, which generally conflicts with NFL games?  I bet a 10th of the audience of Sunday Night Football if you are lucky.

Most people, now that the election is over, have tuned this out.  I'll be interested to see if anyone talks about it at work over the coffee machine tomorrow.  If the bill actually moves during the Congress, it could be an electoral problem but since that is unlikely this legislation will become one of the 10,000 or so bills that never see the light of day.

by John Mills 2006-11-19 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Very Poor PR to Start

"unlikely this legislation will become one of the 10,000"

Meant to say likely this legislation will become one of the 10,000 or so bill

by John Mills 2006-11-19 06:20PM | 0 recs
The Rubber Meets The Old Road!

We old anti-Vietnam War folks predicted that exactly this Iraq scenario would happen way back when the 'all-volunteer military' was instituted on July 1, 1973. Well, as far as expedience being opposed to principle, this is right where the rubber meets the road, eh?

WHY WE NEED THE DRAFT BACK
______________ _____

San Francisco Chronicle
OPEN FORUM
The All-Volunteer Military
Why we need the draft back

Noel Koch

Wednesday, August 4, 2004

Class lines blurred and so did racial lines. The military did more to advance the cause of equality in the United States than any other law, institution or movement. Not for nothing did "bro" come into common usage in the Vietnam era: "Who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother."

The draft furthered the work begun during the Civil War. It advanced the business of making us one people. The draftees may not have liked being pulled away from the careers that awaited them and being thrown in with people they probably wouldn't have associated with otherwise. But over the two-year span of their service, there were sea changes. The disaffected became the committed, became leaders who demanded the best of others and especially of themselves. They saluted with a snap indistinguishable from any other.

When they took their discharges and went home, they had an investment in America not shared by those who did not serve. Try to find a draftee who regrets his service to America. After a time they were not "draftees" at all; they were American soldiers -- part of the fabric of the nation, committed to its values and their preservation.

The resurrection of the draft, so vitally necessary to restore the depth of ready manpower we need in our force structure, is self-justifying despite the arguments of a succession of defense secretaries who feel obliged to defend our "volunteer military" with technical arguments that mask political squeamishness.

_____________ _____

I would not be one bit surprised if Little Georgie just walks away from the white house, and his wife Laura, his hard-partying, military avoiding twin daughters Jenna and Barbara, and all, and just flies off to Paraguay with a few female Secret Service officers, and maybe Condoleezza. Won't even be bothered to resign.

Below, I repost a little open letter, which I sent by e-mail to (now) Supreme Court justice Sam Alito's son Phil. It is given here as I posted it as a MyDD post on Monday, January 09, 2006.

_____________ ______

Brown College at Monroe Hill (a school within The University of Virginia)
People
View Profile

http://www.brown-college.org/people/?pag e=viewprof&id=788

Philip Alito
# Email: psa7p (at) virginia (dot) edu

January 09, 2006

Hey Phil:

Thousands of my poor friends are getting their legs blown off right now because they are in the middle of a war in Iraq that was started for no verifiably reasonable stated purpose by one President George W. Bush. Who is the gentleman who nominated your father to be a justice on the United States Supreme Court.

Why is it that virtually every kid whose parents have money and influence is in college, or, like the Bush twins, partying down hard in fancy dig in Georgetown (etc.)? This is not to say that you are necessarily a bad person or anything -- but why, since your father is so incredibly well-connected with the folks who started that war -- should the rest of us not ask you to defer your education for a few months to go over there and fight with the poor grunts who could not afford to escape the Iraq Pogrom?

Please think about it. There must be a military recruiter somewhere around The University of Virginia.

Good luck, anyway. I am posting this on MyDD at:

http://www.mydd.com/story/2006/1/8/20332 3/1122

You may certainly respond there, if you feel so inclined! And please remind your father to remind George W. Bush that he is not really a king, although he would do well to pay some attention to the Magna Charta, anyway!

by blues 2006-11-19 06:56PM | 0 recs
Re: The Rubber Meets The Old Road!

Thanks for posting it.  Everyone who criticizes Rangel should read this.  You should cross post it over at DailyKos as well.

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2006-11-19 07:21PM | 0 recs
Re: The Rubber Meets The Old Road!

Thanks. What really bothers me is that most of the posts on this story are about how people might react, whose feelings we might hurt, whether it's a "good move" politically, and very little about the merits of the proposal.

How about it folks? How about some shared sacrifice!

by Bob Miller 2006-11-20 08:00AM | 0 recs
Re: The Rubber Meets The Old Road!

How about it folks? How about some shared sacrifice!

You some kind of liberal wacko or something?

Sacrifice and hard labor is for illegals and lower classes.  Certainly not for the middle and upper classes as Bill Clinton has taught.  

There is the fine example of Carthage and its war with the Roman Republic.  You might recall that Carthage also kinda favored elephants.

Carthage was a rich and powerful city state that used mercenaries to fight its wars like America does now.  Rome drafted its able-bodied male citizens to fight its wars.

When Rome defeated Carthage, it killed all the Carthaginians except the best-looking women taken back to Rome as sex slaves, burned everything to the ground that couldn't be carried off as booty and salted the soil so that after thousands of years it is still difficult for a handful of miserable later immigrants to grow crops.

But thankfully the Carthaginians didn't have to be slaves to a draft.

Always good to stand by your principles no matter what the cost.

Best,  Terry

by terryhallinan 2006-11-20 08:55AM | 0 recs
This is a good thing.

Charlie Rangel is a Democrat, not a Republican.  He gets to think what he thinks without taking orders from somebody "above" him.

When he introduces a proposal, it gets a fair shot in the People's House.  If the committee thinks it's serious, they give it hearings hearings and the pros and cons get aired.  Alternative ideas get consideration, as do amendments.  If they have the votes, they report it to the floor.

They don't have to ask the permission of some "Hammer" guy or some K Street lobbyists, and they don't have to wait for the White House to write all their legislation for them.

If it gets a majority of the votes in the chamber, it becomes law.  If it doesn't have the votes, it fails.

That is the measure of a legitimate legislature worthy of its Constitutional responsibilities.  If voters think their Rep is doing his/her job, they'll reelect him/her.  That's democracy.  That's what we want.

It's not about panicking that somebody on some talk show is going to have a hissy, or whether the "image of the party" will take a hit this week.  It's about governing.

Given the arguments here, a draft is certainly worth considering on the merits.  That's a good thing.

by DFLer 2006-11-19 07:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Dems plan to reintroduce the draft? WTF!

Rangel's been doing this since 2003.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/01/0 7/rangel.draft/

The intention of the move is to get the vast American public out of the mindset that American military action is a spectator sport.  Perhaps if more Americans realized that war involves a lot of bullets flying around at human beings, there would be less of a "pissing contest" nature to war debates.

I'm not sure I completely agree with Rangel's implication: that war might be less likely if a draft were involved.  But I do agree with his sentiment that, right now, poor people are disproportionately represented among the grunts who are sent to war.  

In any case, this is NOT "Dems plan to reintroduce the draft".  This is all Rangel's doing.  I think he's sincere, FWIW.  And part of his point is that "people who claim to support the war should support the draft".  

by RickD 2006-11-20 02:05AM | 0 recs
Hell No -- We Won't Go!

In response to the post above by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, a little slice of the red meat:

Most of the time, The New Yorker's articles require a subscription, but sometimes they consider something so important that they make it available in the clear. For example:

THE NEXT ACT
Is a damaged Administration less likely to attack Iran, or more?
by SEYMOUR M. HERSH
Issue of 2006-11-27
Posted 2006-11-20
http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/ar ticles/061127fa_fact?page=1

[...]Richard Armitage, the Deputy Secretary of State in Bush's first term, told me that he believed the Democratic election victory, followed by Rumsfeld's dismissal, meant that the Administration "has backed off," in terms of the pace of its planning for a military campaign against Iran. Gates and other decision-makers would now have more time to push for a diplomatic solution in Iran and deal with other, arguably more immediate issues. "Iraq is as bad as it looks, and Afghanistan is worse than it looks," Armitage said. "A year ago, the Taliban were fighting us in units of eight to twelve, and now they're sometimes in company-size, and even larger." Bombing Iran and expecting the Iranian public "to rise up" and overthrow the government, as some in the White House believe, Armitage added, "is a fool's errand."[...]

[...]In the current issue of Foreign Policy, Joshua Muravchik, a prominent neoconservative, argued that the Administration had little choice. "Make no mistake: President Bush will need to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities before leaving office," he wrote. The President would be bitterly criticized for a preëmptive attack on Iran, Muravchik said, and so neoconservatives "need to pave the way intellectually now and be prepared to defend the action when it comes."[...]

[...]A nuclear-armed Iran would not only threaten Israel. It could trigger a strategic-arms race throughout the Middle East, as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt--all led by Sunni governments--would be compelled to take steps to defend themselves. The Bush Administration, if it does take military action against Iran, would have support from Democrats as well as Republicans. Senators Hillary Clinton, of New York, and Evan Bayh, of Indiana, who are potential Democratic Presidential candidates, have warned that Iran cannot be permitted to build a bomb and that--as Clinton said earlier this year--"we cannot take any option off the table." Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has also endorsed this view. Last May, Olmert was given a rousing reception when he addressed a joint session of Congress and declared, "A nuclear Iran means a terrorist state could achieve the primary mission for which terrorists live and die--the mass destruction of innocent human life. This challenge, which I believe is the test of our time, is one the West cannot afford to fail."[...]

But there is another side to the planet:

Culture Of Life News

Media Struggles To Understand Basic Diplomacy Vis A Vis Iran
http://elainemeinelsupkis.typepad.com/di plomacy/2006/11/bush_goes_to_vi.html

[...]Didn't China and Vietnam go to war right after the Vietnamese commies kicked our asses? While we ran around weeping about prisoners of war, they turned and fought off Chinese invaders! And yet, today, at peace with China and the USA, we stupidly, insanely, ridiculously sided with...CHINA! China can trade with us unimpeaded while little Vietnam can't?

Um, Vietnam is on China's flank! Handing them over to China is plain stupid! We don't need troops there to 'win', we need to do business! Note that Hu is entering without a single gun shooting! His string of victories across this planet stand in stark contrast to our failures.

He is reuniting the COMMUNIST WORLD!!!! Geeze! This historic push should be noted by someone besided me! Rightwingers in Congress don't care. Hahaha. As a socialist, I find this hysterically funny only they are planning to slit our throats in the bitter end.

So this becomes your new reality. The Bushes and the neocons, flush with billions in warbucks, will move to Paraguay. The Russian and Israeli Mafya, and the Chinese Triads, will own "your" heavily mortgaged home. Everyone else everywhere will starve and freeze in the dark. But if there was the actual threat of a draft, all this could not be accomplished.

by blues 2006-11-20 02:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Dems plan to reintroduce the draft? WTF!

Charlie Rangel is singular, not plural.  Your title is inaccurate.

To low-information voters, since the draft is not actually coming back, this will be nothing but a tiny blip.

To people who think about the news in a little more depth, Rangel's argument is quite serious and should hopefully spark some discussion.

This diary does not present a single argument against Rangel's bill, except the fact that 70% of Americans oppose bringing back the draft.  Well, if that's the only point, then fine, the bill is not going to pass.  But I certainly didn't support the Democrats just so they could govern by the polls.

I think this diary is a serious over-reaction to an issue that will be soon forgotten, and the pity is that we could have had a much more interesting discussion about the merits of the idea.  For those who say "the bill has no chance of passing, so there's nothing to discuss," I ask you, what is YOUR plan to avoid another Iraq?

by Steve M 2006-11-20 05:30AM | 0 recs
That's the difference

Between being the majority and being the minority.

In the minority, it doesn't matter too much if MCs make solo runs for the purpose of catching a bit of press and stirring things up generally.

(Although, as we found with the Feingold censure res, the results on the media are not always pretty.)

In the majority - especially if you're there for the first time in a dozen years - that kind of stunt, from a senior member of the hierarchy, matters more than somewhat.

You asked the question: is this a bit of sua sponte grandstanding from Rangel, or did the top House Dems actually get together and talk it over and say - Hey, Charlie, let's do it!

Or more succinctly, one could ask, What did Pelosi know and when did she know it?

Everything right now comes back to Pelosi: either she's got at least one guy - a key guy for moving the Dems' agenda - who is freelancing for headlines; or she's given her imprimatur for this crazy plan.

Either way, it's worrying.

It's absolutely essential that the Dems have a strategy for Iraq - not a strategy to get out, necessarily, but a strategy to deal with the issue in Congress and with the WH and media. And clearly a withdrawal timetable and military overstretch are two key elements in that debate.

But Rangel isn't raising those issues in a sensible way: he's putting up this tricksy stunt bill. Low information voters (and some will get the news) will be telling their friends, Did you hear the Dems want to bring back the draft? and the friends will say, Gee, they never said that in the TV ads.

And the GOP response? Simple: just repeat what the Rangel bill says: that's the Dem policy, right? Bringing back the draft.

At some stage Rangel has got to say: Y'know, when I said, Bring back the draft, I didn't mean Bring back the draft, I meant, If we don't quit Iraq PDQ, we're gonna have to bring back the draft.

And when he says that, folks are going to say Why didn't you fucking well say that in the first place!

Besides, from what mooching I've done in the sphere, a lot of aficionados - especially aficionados with kids - don't appreciate having their heads screwed with on such a sensitive issue.

The Dems should be talking about Iraq; not playing silly minority games that give the impression that they are not serious about leading the legislative branch.

by skeptic06 2006-11-20 06:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Some here think like still Minority

Some here can't seem to shake off the thought that they are now in the majority.

They still want to play mind games on sensitive issues. After 12 years of street protest, they still do not understand the difference between being the decision maker vs. being a protester.

Talk about Iraq. We are in power today because of Iraq. Fuck this draft. Wrong place,wrong time.

I'm glad Pelosi, Hoyer & Levin gave a Swift Response of opposition.

by labanman 2006-11-20 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Dems plan to reintroduce the draft? WTF!

Rangel is an idiot.  Low information voters will internalize "Dems want to bring back the draft", not "Rangel wants to bring back the draft to prevent wars" because it takes too much thought to get to that conclusion.  If this goes anywhere, it is a major loss for the Dems.

by NJIndependent 2006-11-20 08:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Dems plan to reintroduce the draft? WTF!

I'm pretty sure it's going to take more than one fleeting news story to alter the basic narrative that Dems are the anti-war party.

Seriously, if it's this easy to get a message out that changes the thinking of low information voters for all time, why can't we do it just as easily with our GOOD initiatives?  I think the answer is that people tend to magnify the lasting effect of strategic "blunders" way out of proportion.

by Steve M 2006-11-20 09:18AM | 0 recs
The Lava Will Burst Out

Because of 'Bring It On' Bush, and the Big Media Families that are behind him and his ilk, every nation on earth, right down to Lichtenstein, is going to get nuclear weapons. And The Benighted States, are, at every level, totally fiscally bankrupt. This is a wake-up issue. The draft will return because the big Media Families are compulsive (absentee) warlords. The sooner the 'low information voters' (raise of hands) are informed of this situation, the better.

by blues 2006-11-20 07:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Dems plan to reintroduce the draft? WTF!

I wish we had a draft...

by jallen 2006-11-20 08:16AM | 0 recs
Now, now...

You'll rile the upscale "liberals" who like the present economic draft just fine, thank you very much.

It keeps their kiddies out of harms way, while giving them cover from cognative dissonance. Don't you dare expose their hypocricy overtly!  

by ElitistJohn 2006-11-20 11:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Now, now...

The new liberal talking point:

Reinstate The Draft!

Unpopular?

Let them tell us what's so bad about it!

"Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself": FDR's First Inaugural Address

by blues 2006-11-20 12:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Now, now...

You'll rile the upscale "liberals" who like the present economic draft just fine, thank you very much.

It keeps their kiddies out of harms way

Dang right.

If you can't be comfortable in your limousine, what's the point of being a liberal?

Best,  Terry

by terryhallinan 2006-11-20 10:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Told you, Nancy, Steny & Levin say NO

See, told you so.

Pelosi, Hoyer & Levin all immediately released statements today voicing opposition to Rangel's proposal.

No Democratic in their right mind is going to touch that at this point.

You are obviously still in the "street protest mode". We are now in the majority.

Why in the world would a New Democratic congress Introduce a Controversial bill that 70% of americans are opposed to?

Minimum wage, Yes. Leave Iraq, Yes! But re-institute the draft.

by labanman 2006-11-20 09:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Dems plan to reintroduce the draft? WTF!

Democratic waited 12 years to be in power so Rangel could pull a cheap political ploy?

That's a good way to lose power for nothing.

by Liberal Avenger 2006-11-20 10:49AM | 0 recs

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