Kurt Jaworski in the Philadelphia Inquirer – December 10, 2006
Although I, too, have concerns (“Let them serve first,” Nov. 28) regarding U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel’s interest in the military draft, I feel it important to understand the thinking behind this unpopular legislative gesture. Rangel (D., N.Y.) is responding to a tough-talking president, vice president and congressional leadership that self-servingly forced this nation into a questionable war while apparently seeing no contradiction with their own history in escaping their generation’s war of choice.
Rangel – who, by contrast, won a Bronze Star in the Korean War – is most concerned about reducing the ease of such executive branch overreaching in the future. In addition, it has always been clear that the only lesson that this president and his cabal took from Vietnam was that, for political reasons, a draft must remain off the table.
What we have instead is the utilization of every measure possible to concentrate the burden on those already accustomed to minimal choice within our society. So, instead of the draft, we get a broken military where multiple combat tours are the norm, where stop-loss measures invalidate service term agreements, and where the National Guard is serving and dying overseas.
Rangel is pointedly asking that if Iraq is, as portrayed, a necessary and vital war, then why is the sacrifice being shouldered by so few in general, and by so many among the working class?