April 3, 2007
Raft of Daft Drafts Wafted Aft
Yet another wacky Democratic voice has joined the growing chorus within the caucus to reinstate the military draft... none other than everyone's favorite friend of the military, Rep. John P. Murtha (D-PA, 65%):
"I voted against the volunteer army because I felt if we ever had a war, we wouldn't be able to sustain [it]," Murtha said during the March 29 edition of CNN's "The Situation Room."
"This is one of the smallest armies we've had since before World War II, right before the Korean War," added the congressman [this is a great help for anyone who doesn't recall when World War II occurred; now you know it was "right before the Korean War."]. Murtha, a frequent critic of the war in Iraq, claimed that the president's handling of the war has depleted the country's strategic reserve.
"And I think also, everybody ought to be able to serve in this country," Murtha said. "I think we ought to not just have a select few who volunteer. I think everybody ought to be obligated to serve. [Did Murtha just change his mind in mid-ramble, or does he literally see no difference between "be able to serve" and "be obligated to serve?"]
"We'd do it by lottery, and we'd call everybody up," he continued. "I think we have a citizen's army is what it ought to be, not just a volunteer professional army."
Murtha -- Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Defense Subcommittee -- thus joins House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY, 95%), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. John Conyers (D-MI, 100%), and then-Sen. Fritz Hollings, Rangel's co-sponsor in the Senate. That's three members of the House leadership and one senior senator who want to reinstate the military draft... and they're all anti-war Democrats!
In fact, Rangel admits that the primary reason for reinstating the draft would be to make it virtually impossible for the United States to actually use its military; like the rest of the Democratic Party, they're living in the past, longing for the good ol' days of mass anti-war protests shaking the foundations of the nation (or so they fantasize; the reality was much less melodramatic):
As Cybercast News Service previously reported, Rangel and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) in Dec. 2002 proposed a reinstatement of the military draft in an attempt to stall possible military action against Iraq.
"I think if [members of Congress] went home and found out that there were families concerned about their kids going off to war," Rangel said at the time, "there would be more cautiousness and more willingness to work with the international community than to say, 'Our way or the highway.'"
The funniest part, however, is the expert trotted out to promote the draft: "John Roper, professor of history at Emory & Henry College in Emory, Va." Mr. Roper explains why conscript soldiers are much better than trained, professional volunteers:
"They defeated the professionals who were well trained and who were, on paper, better suited to the battle," he added. "Citizen soldiers accomplished the stated mission in every war from 1775 to 1973.
...Because, of course, everybody knows that the British during the 1700s never conscripted soldiers; and there were no draftees in the Civil War, or among the Axis armies in World Wars I and II (Hitler was morally opposed to forced labor, you see). As well, every member of the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army was a trained, professional volunteer... Uncle Ho would never force anyone to fight against his will!
I'm certainly glad I never attended Emory & Henry College.
"Such a drafted army looked like America, as some like to say of other things," Roper stated. "It was America. Everybody was in the army, all racial groups, all religious beliefs, every kind of character, people from every class.
As opposed to today's American military, one presumes -- which exclusively comprises blacks, the poor, and people who din't studie in skool and got stuk in irak. This was Rangel's other reason for the draft, he claims: Because the military now is "30% minority."
But according to the 2000 census, America is 31% "minority." (Only 69.1% of the American population is "non-Hispanic white.") Today, the population is even more minority than seven years ago; I wonder if the military has kept up? (I doubt it.)
Does Rangel want the military to be whiter than the country, affording its manifold opportunities and advantages to fewer minorities than it does today? Rangel defends his own attempt to reinstate the draft thus:
People "from the lower economic levels of our society" should not be the only ones placed in harm's way, [Rangel] said.
This has got to be a first for Charlie Rangel -- the first time he has ever demanded a federal affirmative-action program to ensure that America's largest employer hires more rich white kids!
In the real world, the military population is more educated, more accomplished, and more likely to achieve success later in life than the American population as a whole. Looking at John Murtha's syntax above -- "I think we have a citizen's army is what it ought to be" -- I'm not sure he would be qualified to enlist nowadays.
But back to Mr. Roper:
"The beauty of the uniform was that it could not be designer made, and the poor could wear it as proudly as the wealthy," he noted. "The beauty of the mission was that a democratic people could vote to start it or stop it.
We all distinctly remember that there was a "national war plebiscite" before each and every one of America's previous wars... until Iraq rolled around. Then, not even Congress got to vote. King George simply flung us into combat, willy nilly, over the stentorian objections of the House and Senate! (And George Bush went it alone, too... he and his forty allies.)
Heavens, I used to think I remembered at least something from my history classes; but evidently, I am a complete ignoramus, unaware of the most basic facts about the rapture and joy with which Americans greeted the draft in ages past... and also so unobservant that I'm unaware of the mass protests and riots against the all-volunteer army, demanding that Rangel's Roundup immediately restore the Selective Service process.
I have forgotten all about the Civil War volunteer riots; and a century later, the dirty, smelly hippies out in the streets in the 1960s, chanting "F--- the trained, professional, all-volunteer army!"
I should start reading newspapers.
In any event, just so long as all the teenagers in this country understand who is pushing this -- the leaders of the Democratic Party -- and that it's the Republicans in Congress and running the Pentagon who vigorously oppose it. But I have the sinking feeling that if Rangel, Conyers, and Murtha ever get this passed... somehow, it will turn out to be all Bush's fault.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, April 3, 2007, at the time of 6:22 PM
TrackBack URL for this hissing: http://biglizards.net/mt3.36/earendiltrack.cgi/1959
The following hissed in response by: nk
The above hissed in response by: nk at April 3, 2007 8:55 PM
The following hissed in response by: Fritz
nk; My ribs still hurt. That has to be one of the best snarks I've seen on the Democrats. At least it explains their thinking.
It should be interesting to see how the press and the Democrat's talking points try to place the responsibility for the draft on the Republicans. I'm sure they will come up with some way to do so, and it will probably be as grounded in reality as Mr. Roper appears to be.
The following hissed in response by: yetanotherjohn
Be fair. The idea of a draft is entirely consistant philosophically with the rest of the democratic parties thinking. The government should be able to tell you what to do and think. The draft is just taking that to the logical extreme,
The above hissed in response by: yetanotherjohn at April 4, 2007 7:10 AM
The following hissed in response by: MTF
This week qualifies as a disaster for the Democrats: Murtha is in the news, always bad but especially so when he's there because he's calling for the resumption of the draft, we have to witness Nancy Pelosi sucking up to murdering dictators and their toadies and we read of Democrat public intellectuals getting quoted in mainstream organizations defending Khalid Sheikh Mohammad: can it get worse for Democrats?
The following hissed in response by: charlotte
The beauty of the uniform was that it could not be designer made, and the poor could wear it as proudly as the wealthy
I’ve a dark blue two-piece uni-sex Mao suit which my great aunt brought back after a trip to China in the seventies. Perhaps Mr. Roper would like for America at large to adopt egalitarian uniforms to costume over our bourgeois class and gender differences. Why should the military enjoy all the fairness (as dictated by a non-democratic command structure)?
But, for heaven’s sake, let’s leave the military as a professional organization with its fairly high standards required of those signing up and serving. We have the best military in the world comprised of motivated and determined volunteers, despite damaging mil cutbacks over the past several administrations. Of course, this means the Dems are even more motivated and determined to remedy the situation-- that of our having the best armed forces on earth, and not that of their not having enough funding to fight for us given benefit of optimal equipping, training and quality numbers.
The Dems' mission is to blunt and hamper our will to fight in every way possible.
(Had difficulty posting- if comment appears five times, please delete six of 'em!)
The following hissed in response by: Al McAlister
This is really very simple. With today's technology, mass conscript armies are worse than useless, in fact, having one guarantees defeat. The Democratic wing of the Democratic party wants us to lose. Therefore, they want to bring back the draft.
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