Monday, November 20, 2006

No Apples, No Pie

Rep. Charles Rangel plans to reinstate the draft:

Americans would have to sign up for a new military draft after turning 18 under a bill the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee says he will introduce next year.

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., said Sunday he sees his idea as a way to deter politicians from launching 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," Rangel said.

Rangel, a veteran of the Korean War who has unsuccessfully sponsored legislation on conscription in the past, has said the all-volunteer military disproportionately puts the burden of war on minorities and lower-income families.

Maha provides a simple explanation even slow righties can understand:

If you have ten apples and eat nine of them, don't plan on baking a pie with what's left. Your choices are to get more apples or do without the pie.

Let's make it a little more complicated: If you start with two dozen place settings of china but break twice as many dishes as you replace, eventually you won't have enough for a formal dinner party. Your choices are to replace the dishes or forget fine dining.
[...]
... [B]ack in 2004 righties shoved their fingers into their ears and refused to listen to our warnings that, someday, somebody was going to have to make the tough decision between waging war without end and risking a political firestorm by reinstating the draft. And I personally didn't think Bush would do it, because Bush is a moral weenie who lacks the courage to make decisions that he knows will hurt him politically.

Now, I don't think the draft will be reinstated -- yet -- and I don't want it to be reinstated. But the nation, and Congress, have to make the tough choice that the President won't make -- either end the war, or restart the draft. The obvious, sensible answer is end the war. Whichever way we go, however, the troops deserve an answer. They deserved an answer two years ago.

1 comment:

Random Goblin said...

It's a false dichotomy: end the war of reinstate the draft. The military is fairly small right now, as a legacy of post-Cold War downsizing. They're pretty good at shrinking and growing the military (by adjusting entry requirments and expanding or shrinking enlistment benefits/bonuses).

The National Guard is having a hard time meeting its recruitment quota, sure, but that's a completely different problem and has a lot more to do with a sudden and unprecedented change in the way the Guard is used.

If Congress and the DoD wanted to increase the size of the military, there's a lot they could do before they had to fall back on a draft. Right now there's not been any serious talk about increasing the size of the military to, say, 1980's levels because increasing the size of the military, no matter how you do it, costs a lot of money.

The problem is that Bush has been trying to fight a war on the cheap, i.e., without increasing taxes to pay for a military that is adequately sized to pay for the job.