In another example
of dangerous brinksmanship by the incoming Democratic Party, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY)
has renewed his aggressive push to restore
the military draft.
Rangel has been
pushing for a new draft for years, ostensibly from an �antiwar� position. It is
not clear if Rangel is stupidly and stubbornly making a point, or if he, like
many Democrats, actually supports the endless war agenda formed by bipartisan
Washington consensus and the Bush administration. Careful analysis of Rangel�s
actual bill suggests the latter.
The most dangerous
and stupid antiwar act in history (if that is, in fact, what it is).
According to the Washington
Post, Rangel �portrayed the draft, suspended since 1973, as a means of
spreading military obligations more equitably and prompting political leaders
to think twice before starting wars."
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," said Rangel, a Korean War veteran.
actions have already succeed in setting off a firestorm of debate about the
war, he is either delusional and naive, and/or lying, if he believes that a
military draft will accomplish any of these aims.
1. The �war on
terrorism," which includes Iraq, has already �started." It started in
2001. The introduction of legislation designed to proactively �stop the war� is
idiotic, and several years late.
obligations have never been �spread equitably� -- and never will be. Favored
classes and individuals will always find loopholes, while the poor and the
ethnic are always cannon fodder. In the American Empire, this is by design.
Scions of criminal families, such as the Bushes, never obey laws, particularly when
it comes to protecting themselves and their family members from actually
fighting in the wars that they create. This was the case during Vietnam, and it
remains the case now.
politicians never �think twice� about starting wars. The American Empire
thrives on war, its main business. (They do, however, think twice about ending
wars -- and rarely end them.)
4. The continuing
�war on terrorism� and global energy conquest -- the use of criminal force to
preserve the American Empire and the �American way of life� -- is a not only a
bipartisan imperative, but a war supported by the vast majority of American
citizens who still believe the myth that 9/11 was carried out by foreign
�terrorists." Every military action, every Homeland Security atrocity
since 2001, has been supported by manipulated citizens. Why not a draft?
Taste of Armageddon backfiring
In an episode of
the science fiction television series Star Trek, titled �A Taste
of Armageddon," Captain Kirk attempts to end a �bloodless� intergalactic
war by reintroducing the horrors of real war, real death and real devastation,
and urging the (now terrified) planners and participants to end the war by
Backers of Rangel
insist that he is trying to pull a similar trick in the real world, by trying
to reintroduce the draft to the United States.
But is Rangel
actually against the war? Again quoting him from the Washington Post: "If
we're going to challenge Iran and challenge North Korea and then, as some
people have asked, to send more troops to Iraq, we can't do that without a
Is Rangel actually
a �realist� who supports �challenging Iran and North Korea," and knows
that the war will not end but expand, no matter which faction dominates
conscription for war
Looking at the fine
print, Rangel�s bill is, literally, hell.
In fact, his bill
is enthusiastically supported by the most hawkish and criminal elements,
including the Bush-Cheney administration and the Project for the New American
Century (PNAC), and will force a new generation of men and women into the meat
grinder of total and infinite war, and into the coming American police state
According to Michel
Chossudovsky, �the bill supports Washington's stated objective to
extend the war into new frontiers and to ultmately send an entire
generation of young Americans to fight an illegal, and unjust war. It is worth
noting in this regard that the Neoconservative Project for a New American
Century calls for increasing active duty strength from 1.4 to 1.6 million.
�The bill also supports Big Brother. Those who are not
sent overseas to the war theater would, according to the clauses of the bill,
be inducted into the civilian homeland defense corps and other civilian
duties, including the Citizens Corps, the "Neighborhood Watch
Teams" and the "Volunteer Police Service" established in partnership
with local law enforcement. (see citizencorps.gov/pdf/council.pdf
�While there is at present significant opposition to the
bill on both sides of the House, the US military is overextended and lacks the
manpower to carry out its global war agenda. This shortage of military
personnel is blatantly obvious in Iraq, where the occupation forces are meeting
�The situation regarding the draft could also change if the
war were to be extended into Iran. In which case, the substance of this
bill could indeed be adopted to meet the manpower requirements of the US
Rangel may actually
Over the past few
years, the issue of the draft and the war and the machinations of Rangel have
been thoroughly analyzed, from every conceivable angle by the editors of From The Wilderness. It is
instructive to revisit the work of Stan Goff in The
Draft-Part One and By
The Numbers-The Specter of the Draft.
To quote Goff at
Congressman Charles Rangel's office announced his intention to reintroduce a
bill reinstating the draft. The same bill, then entitled HR163, was summarily
introduced and voted down in October last year, when the Democrats began to see
it as an election year liability for John Kerry. Rangel is a Democrat, and a stubborn
one by the looks of it, who seems honestly to believe in his draft/national
service scheme, contrary to the speculation (which I shared last year) that
this was merely a partisan ploy to point up contradictions about the war and
occupation in Iraq. Rangel seems to agree with former South Carolina Senator
Fritz Hollings that having a draft would make it more difficult to achieve
consensus in the United States in support of military adventures.
Donald Rumsfeld agrees with them.
�But Rangel and
Hollings now have a rather strange bedfellow: the Project for a New American
Century (PNAC), whose alumni include key members of this administration,
including the vice prez. PNAC is as well known for it failure to foresee the
consequences of the mad actions it continually promotes as it is for its naked
geopolitical ambition. When PNAC calls for something, even if it is a
spectacularly bad idea, we should take this as an ominous sign . . . because
they have the ear of this administration.
�Let's revisit the
background for this issue -- which FTW covered last year in its two-part
Will the US reopen the Draft?
�In fact, my own
belief is that the administration believes what they are telling the rest of
us, that Iraqis will be able to take over the business of carrying out the U.S.
occupation by proxy, relieving the majority of the burden on U.S. forces and
leaving them to run their lily pad bases. This is a desperate belief, like the
belief of a compulsive gambler that the next one is going to hit. And given
that Iraqi soldiers and police are still abandoning their posts like the
ballroom dancers off the Titanic, it will not likely play out.
�So this draft
issue has painted them into yet another corner, which means that the lies will
become thinner and more audacious, the stories more fantastic, the need for
press complicity more dire, and the disengagement of half the American public
from any interest whatsoever in the welfare of Iraqis more essential. Because
as long as they cling to their commitment to stay, the inevitability of a draft
�That PNAC is
making the call is a very ominous sign indeed. Without conscription, there are
four futures I see (though reality is always infinitely more complex than
this!): (1) get out of Iraq, (2) grind away toward a slow and painful political
defeat, (3) conscript, or (4 )open up a hi-tech and genocidal offensive against
the Iraqis and perhaps even the Iranians. The latter will require a pretext.�
As posed by Michael
Kane in Refugees
�Is America ready
for a draft? If not, then what would it take to change that? Would another
9/11-style terror attack (possibly nuclear) ready the nation to send its young
to slaughter? Would the mere threat of losing our �way of life� suffice?
�Would $4 for a gallon of gasoline do it?�