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Analysis Last Updated: Jan 4th, 2007 - 01:08:31

Charles Rangel�s taste of Armageddon
By Larry Chin
Online Journal Associate Editor

Nov 23, 2006, 01:12

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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."

"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," said Rangel, a Korean War veteran.

While Rangel�s 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.

2. Military 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.

3. Washington 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 making peace.

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 draft."

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 Washington?

Forced conscription for war without end

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 (�Homeland Security�).

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 )

�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 fierce resistance.

�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 military.�

Rangel may actually mean it

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 length:

�In January, 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.

�Oddly enough, 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 series,
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 will increase.�

Goff ominously notes:

�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 and Extradition:

�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?�

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