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A most profound flip-flop on the left

The greatest heyday of the left has to have been the period from 1964 until the late 1970's. They had one of the most liberal presidents in history handing them all the social programs they could possibly want, and a war that they could all unite in opposing and despising. They had the Right on the run, for the most part, and only by running as a "new Nixon" could the former vice-president regain the presidency.

And it was that opposition to the Viet Nam war that gave them their greatest triumphs. They brought down one president. They nearly crippled another. They converted the military into a despised, maligned, gelded shadow of its glory days of World War II.

One of their greatest victories was the ending of the draft. Mandatory military service, where all young men had to register for military service, was seen as a great injustice. Draft cards were burned, draft dodgers lionized, draft offices openly attacked and their records destroyed. It was seen as such a great moral crusade that even ordained members of the clergy participated in openly attacking the Selective Service movement (see Daniel and Philip Berrigan).

And they won.

In 1975, President Ford formally abolished the draft, ending mandatory military service in the United States. And 30 years ago today, on his first day in office, President Jimmy Carter formally pardoned those who had evaded the draft.

It was a body blow to our armed services. No longer could they simply tap the ready pool of conscriptees to fill their ranks. They suddenly had to rely wholely on volunteers, on men and women who wanted to serve. Deprived of the draft stick, they had to add more and more carrots to the mix to meet their needs for new personnel.

It took a long time, but it eventually the military recovered -- and excelled. Within a decade or so, the United States armed services had transformed into the most competent, most professional, most dedicated, most capable force the world had ever seen. And the grizzled veterans who swore up and down that the end of the draft would lead to the utter collapse of the military found themselves amazed -- and outclassed -- by their successors.

But now things have come full circle. Once again, we are at war far from home, in a struggle that many consider essential, while others say is drastically flawed. And the response of the left is much the same: to attack the military, to attempt to thwart the war by stripping our armed services of their ability to fight effectively. And to do so under the banner of 'social justice" and "fairness."

But they've had to flip their argument around. Where in the 1960's the draft was the great evil, today it is the great savior. They want to revive the bete noir they fought so hard to slay, to bring it back to "share the burdens and sacrifices" across social, racial, and economic strata. Only if all Americans are equally involved in the conflict, if all are equally committed, if all are equally at risk, can we fairly and justly determine just when we should -- and should not -- fight.

That's the crux of the argument. They can gussy it up with fancy, intellectual rhetoric or cheap emotionalism ("Send the Bush twins to Iraq!"), but it's all the same: to end the war they despise by attacking our very ability to fight. They believe that they can fortify their arguments against the rightness of the fight by adding in the element of "we can't win it anyway," carefully omitting their own role in making that a self-fulfilling prophesy.

The draft is dead. It died over 30 years ago, and it should stay dead. These efforts to bring it back are nothing short of necrophilia, the grotesque rape of a long-dead cadaver. It's "beating a dead horse" taken to a pornographic extreme.

I would say that the proponents ought to be ashamed of themselves, but I'm convinced that "shame" is simply a concept they don't recognize.

Update: one commenter has challenged me to back up my allegation that the Democrats are in favor of reinstating the draft. While it is true that the majority of Democrats haven't endorsed it yet, it speaks volumes that the Democrats have chosen to entrust the chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee, one of the most powerful positions in Congress, to Charles Rangel, who has repeatedly introduced legislation to bring back the draft -- and reaffirmed that intention as recently as last November.


Comments (62)

Great article. I must say ... (Below threshold)
judith:

Great article. I must say the dems have turned their party into an abomination.

As usual, much of what Jay ... (Below threshold)
Herman:

As usual, much of what Jay writes here is nonsense.

Jay, tell us all whether or not Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi, the two Democratic leaders of Congress, have come out for reinstating the draft. Was reinstating the draft a part of the "first 100 hours" itinerary?

How about the blogosphere? Has Kos called for reinstating the draft? How about the people at the Leftcoaster? Glenn Greenwald? Few if any at all?

Only a minority (most likely a very tiny minority) on the left has called for the return of the draft. Like the rest of us leftwingers, this minority finds it OBSCENE that Americans who've signed up for the military, say, only to obtain educational benefits, with the understanding that they would be sent to war ONLY AS A LAST RESORT, are now under fire, while Bush's daughters, nieces, and nephews, and the rest of all you CHICKENHAWKS are free to pursue your indulgent ways, content that others are doing the dying both to assuage your paranoia and ensure that the ayatollahs have less control over your oil supply. What this minority does not realize is that Bush's Iraq war won't last forever, and once again when a Democrat returns to the White House, the nation will enjoy peace. And when peace reigns, no benefits ensue from forcing people into the military as opposed to other occupational pursuits.

Jay, that is a well written... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Jay, that is a well written piece, and one who has lived through the sixties, very truthful. The lefties always will dispise the military. They do not believe in war so therefore, the military is part of the problem. They couch all their arguments with " I support the troops but..." which means they do not. What the lefties lack is loyalty and character. We all know, even the lefties no matter how hard they protest, are anti military. Always has been, and always will. ww

Herman, you're crazy... (Below threshold)
Gringo:

Herman, you're crazy if you think only people who have served in the military should be able to vote for president.

One of the big points of this country is civilian control of the military.

I advise you to re-think your position-- it could lead us down in a fascist direction, like 1930's Italy.

That's what you meant by chickenhawk, right?

Excellent post Jay.... (Below threshold)

Excellent post Jay.

Herman wrote:"...a... (Below threshold)
robert the original:

Herman wrote:

"...and once again when a Democrat returns to the White House, the nation will enjoy peace. And when peace reigns, no benefits ensue from forcing people into the military as opposed to other occupational pursuits".

Would this be the peace of Kennedy/Johnson (D) (Vietnam), or FDR/Truman (D) (WWII) or Clinton (D) (Bosnis, Kosovo), or would this be the Black Hawk Down/Iran hostage rescue type of peace?

You are right on the draft, but your history sucks.

Every President is for peace, the question is: "At what price?"

In Southeast Asia, the price of the Democrats' bail was many millions tortured, killed and imprisoned, the advance of such men as Pol Pot and Ho Chi Minh, and the interests of the Soviet Union.

Oddly enough, even though this was a war we got into with Kennedy/Johnson (D), it was the military and the Republicans who wanted to avoid bloodshed on this scale.

And when you answer the question with "Peace at any cost", you will get Jimmy Carter, Rwanda and Mogadishu - and maybe ten million dead in Iraq, and the empowerment of AQ and Iran.

But you I gather, would be happy with that as long as it helps elect Democrats.

Jay,One issue you ... (Below threshold)
Larkin:

Jay,

One issue you never address when you attack the left for supporting the draft is whether you believe we have enough people in the military right now to meet our security needs? Do you think we could send 500,000 to a million troops to Iran or North Korea if events required us to do so?

What if the North Koreans sold a nuke to a terrorist group? Wouldn't we be forced to invade them at that point? Where would we get the troops?

The bottom line is that we clearly do not have enough troops even without additional threats. This forces us to send people back for third and fourth tours of duty in Iraq.

The volunteer military worked great for us in the past but on 9/11 everything changed. We should have reinstituted the draft on 9/12. If we had we wouldn't be facing the situation today of having inadequate numbers of forces to handle the conflicts we are currently fighting much less the ones that could be coming up in the future.

I could support the draft i... (Below threshold)
Matt:

I could support the draft if it was pretty rigidly enforced.

They should leave young middle and lower income men and woman alone though. Start your draft with those groups that most vociferously oppose the war. No exeptions, unless severely disabled. Draft the young celebrities (K-Fed needs work), Draft the athlete-entertainers (they are in shape, and seem to have a lot of anger), draft the wanna-be politicians (a failed candidacy should move you up on the list, a succesful candidacy should move you up even further), draft the politicians kids and grandkids, draft the young politicians for real "leadership positions, etc. Design a draft for the people that truly suck the life-blood from america, instead of the people that contribute and build the country. Draft college students, they can finish their college education when they come back, it'll wait. Draft college proffesors, they seem to know all about war and how to end it. Draft the TV news people that go on and on about the war with never having experienced it. Draft the bloggers, it will give them something to really write about!

Jay:You were right... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Jay:

You were right about one thing in your piece: In your little Update you note that "it speaks volumes...." that Charlie Rangel is the Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. Unlike the new Republican Party, the Party of Tom Delay and Company, the democratic party encourages and tolerates differences within its rank and file. It's one of the reasons I love being a Democrat. The recent history of republicans has been lockstep march, no dissent and clearly not an iota of imagination.

It does amaze me that such ardent supporters of Israel as you folks despise the draft while Israel has mandatory military service.

As for the gist of your post Jay, I didn't know you were so into kinky sex. Good for you. There wasn't much else new or interesting in it.

The true goal of the US soc... (Below threshold)
GeminiChuck:

The true goal of the US socialist left is to totally disband our military from the Pentagon down. Their idea of support for the troops is getting them all back into civilian life. They want the US to be like the Europeans - fight terrorism via police actions only. Problem is, there wont be a military left to truly fight the enemies of the west - guess what that brings!

Good article, Jay - I guess Herman didnt catch the excellent post on being a chickenhawk.

gc

The draft is dead. It di... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

The draft is dead. It died over 30 years ago, and it should stay dead. These efforts to bring it back are nothing short of necrophilia, the grotesque rape of a long-dead cadaver. It's "beating a dead horse" taken to a pornographic extreme.

JT, can I have permission to use this quote in part or full at some future time?

Unlike the new Rep... (Below threshold)
Unlike the new Republican Party...the democratic party encourages and tolerates differences within its rank and file.

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Tell that to Joe Lieberman.

Unlike the new Rep... (Below threshold)
Unlike the new Republican Party, the Party of Tom Delay and Company, the democratic party encourages and tolerates differences within its rank and file. It's one of the reasons I love being a Democrat. The recent history of republicans has been lockstep march, no dissent and clearly not an iota of imagination.

Wow, did you type that with a straight face or were you giggling like a moron?

"Once again, we are at war ... (Below threshold)
groucho:

"Once again, we are at war far from home, in a struggle that many consider essential, while others say is drastically flawed. And the response of the left is much the same: to attack the military, to attempt to thwart the war by stripping our armed services of their ability to fight effectively. And to do so under the banner of 'social justice" and "fairness."

A more accurate statement would be ...in a struggle that few consider essential, while most say is drastically flawed...

Where exactly has the "left" attacked the military? Are you talking just politicians here or anyone with an opinion on the Iraq mess and the tenuous current state of our once great military that differs from your own? Perhaps those in power are attempting to throw some clothes on our naked emperor, who foolishly got US into this debacle and, equally as foolishly, offers no real strategy for resolution, other than to stall long enough to dump it in the lap of the next Pres.

Before you go slinging accusations regarding the left "stripping our armed forces' ability to fight effectively", you need to review the current administration's record on same, both in manpower and materiel. Our chance for any degree of success in Iraq was hamstrung from the start by Bush's refusal to listen to his advisors. The buck stops with Bush and his cabal of warmongering incompetents, not with anyone on "the Left".

No, Robert, my history does... (Below threshold)
Herman:

No, Robert, my history doesn't suck, but your logic does.

You bring up references from 40 to 60 years ago (i.e., half a century ago!) to bolster some of your arguments. You even bring up World War II, in which the U.S. was actually attacked and chose to pursue the attacker (unlike, say, your beloved Bush, who, as he himself has stated, is "truly ... not that concerned" about Osama Been Forgotten).

Now, I ask you, Robert:

Do the war policies of Democrats long dead represent current Democratic objectives??? Do the foreign policies of Ike Eisenhower (he who warned us of a "military-industrial complex") represent current Republican policies??? Got an answer, dude???

Turning to Democrats who happen to be alive, how many American soldiers lost their lives fighting in a war under Jimmy Carter??? Give us a nice round number, Robert (hint: very round). How many lost their lives in that oh-so-colossal U.S. involvement under President Clinton in the former Yugoslavia??? (see previous hint).

And yes, a majority of Congressional Democrats did vote to pursue Osama in Afghanistan (not realizing, of course, that Bush is about as concerned about Osama as he was the day in August 2001 that he received the memo, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside the U.S." and chose to go fishing -- he was on one of his month-long vacations at the time, you see). Just what proportion of soldiers have been lost in Afghanistan compared to Iraq? What is it, ten to 15 percent? Of course, it would have been even less under a President Al Gore, who would have through diplomatic means gotten more nations to contribute their soldiers (thereby displacing ours) to military operations in Afghanistan.

Robert would have us believe that the price of the Democrats "bailing" out of Vietnam was "millions" killed. Well, millions were killed by the U.S.-French military involvement. And Robert, you might want to do some reading of your own about history. You mention Ho Chi Minh, and you mention Pol Pot. You might want to reflect upon the fact that it was Eisenhower, not Kennedy, who began U.S. military involvement in Vietnam (you'll find 8 names of U.S. soldiers killed in Vietnam prior to 1961 on the Vietnam War memorial), and it was Eisenhower who provided us with this quote: "It was generally conceded that had an election been held, Ho Chi Minh would have been elected Premier." Again, I ask, do Eisenhower's policies, of, say, opposing the establishment of democracy represent current Republican policies? Finally, is Robert completely unaware that it was the followers of Ho Chi Minh who put an end to the "killing fields" of Cambodia???

The overwhelming response of Democratic congressmen to intervene in Afghanistan proves that their policy is not "Peace at any price." Nope, the policy of Democrats is "War, as a last resort."

So it begins. The first 30... (Below threshold)

So it begins. The first 3000 troops of Bush's surge arrive in Bagdad just as the US suffers one of its worse loss to life in this war since the invasion of 2003. Tell me agian how the the left is reponsible for what's happening in Iraq now.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6283817.stm

Jay,Your pathetic ... (Below threshold)
Herman:

Jay,

Your pathetic attempt to try to weasel out of having been nailed is laughable. You only succeed in drawing yourself further into the much you have created.

By himself Charles Rangel represents what proportion of Congressional Democrats, Jay? Have any Congressional Democrats supported him in his efforts to reintroduce the draft? Any at all? If so, what proportion of the 280 plus Democrats in Congress support Rangel's whacky idea?

Jay, try to come away from the Fantasyland in which you live, and visit the "Reality-based world" we Democrats inhabit. Ask yourself (and provide honest answers!!!!)

1. If a bill to reintroduce the draft came up in The House, what proportion of Democrats would support such a bill?

What's your answer, dude? I'm thinking three to fifteen percent, how about you???

2. Would such a ridiculous bill ever come up in the first place???

3. Why are we having this stupid conversation???

The military was basically... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

The military was basically destroyed in the 90's by the Slick Willie administration and is a documented fact. Over 40% cuts in manpower and no one has ever explained where trillions of dollars worth of military equipment 'disappeared' to. Someone has some really fat bank accounts.
President Bush inherited a stripped military and after 9-11 there was not even a stock of small arms ammunition. Living near one of the producers I can prove they had to go into 24-7 production and hire people to supply enough ammunition for a small brush fire to run Usama and the AQ into their holes.
The democrats have proven to be more dangerous to the freedoms enjoyed by Americans than every nuclear armed nation in the world. Throughtout history cowards have caused the downfall of nations.
Like the ASSociated (with terrorists) Press and their lies to down the military the truch will eventually come out. Will the left wing liberals admit that they have been suckered and made into fools by the antique MSM.

This is the actual bill pro... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

This is the actual bill proposed by Rangel and currently in the pipeline.

CONGRESSMAN RANGEL INTRODUCES NEW BILL TO REINSTATE THE MILITARY DRAFT
Legislation Would Require National Service for All U.S. Residents, Including Mandatory Military Service for Some During Wartime
WASHINGTON - I have reintroduced my bill to reinstate the draft, not because I support the war in Iraq or the President's plan to escalate the conflict. The reason is my belief that if Americans are to be placed in harm's way, all of us, from every income group and position in society, must share the burden of war.

That has not been the case so far. The overwhelming majority of our troops fighting in Iraq are young men and women who have chosen to enlist because military service is an economic opportunity. They are motivated by enlistment bonuses up to $40,000 and additional thousands in scholarships to attend college. They are from urban and rural communities where there is high unemployment and few opportunities to pursue the American Dream. My colleague, Congressman Ike Skelton, has confirmed that fact while pointing out the patriotism of these young men and women, and I agree with him.

It is time that all Americans--including the wealthy--be given the opportunity to prove their patriotism as well, by saluting when the flag goes up and defending their country in wartime. A military draft would ensure that.

My bill requires that, during wartime, all legal residents of the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 42 would be subject to a military draft, with the number determined by the President. No deferments would be allowed beyond the completion of high school, up to age 20, except for conscientious objectors or those with health problems. A permanent provision of the bill mandates that those not needed by the military be required to perform two years of civilian service in our sea and airports, schools, hospitals, and other facilities.

I don't see how anyone who supports the War in Iraq would not support reinstatement of the draft.

The President announced last night his intention to send an additional 21,000 U.S. troops to Iraq. The military is at the breaking point with more than 50 percent of our combat troops already deployed in Iraq. The question is: where will the additional troops--including those that may follow if the war is escalated further--come from?

The 21,000 soldiers that the President was talking about will not be fresh troops. Many of them are already on the ground in Iraq and will have their deployments extended. Almost 250,000 of the troops currently deployed in Iraq have served more than one tour, and some have been deployed as many as six times.

Since the start of the war, more than 14,000 discharged army veterans--members of the Individual Ready Reserve--have been called back from their jobs and families to serve in Iraq. Thousands have had their tours extended under so-called stop-loss orders.

The forced, repeated deployments of nominally volunteer troops not only violates the spirit of the contract with these soldiers, it is a cruel and unfair erosion of the principle of shared sacrifice which has been totally absent in the prosecution of this war.

Last night President Bush warned the nation that we are in for further sacrifices in Iraq. But the truth is, the sacrifice is being borne exclusively by the 1 million-plus troops who have served, and their families. Three thousand have made the ultimate sacrifice and 22,000 have been wounded and maimed.

The rest of us have not been called upon to make any sacrifice at all. It is the first time in an American war in which the populace has not even been asked to bear the burden of the war's cost. Fighting this war with borrowed money, we are leaving our children and their children to pick up the check that as of now is roughly $500 billion,
and counting.

It's simple to check the congressional sites and find out who is proposing what.


Well, Herman, the last time... (Below threshold)

Well, Herman, the last time Rangel put forth its bill, it ended having about 400 votes against it when the Republicans fast-tracked it and brought it to a vote PRECISELY as Rangel submitted it. Then Rangel whined at the "dirty trick" of actually making him and others vote on exactly what he proposed, and he joined the group voting it down.

And he is bringing it up AGAIN.

And he is the Chairman of one of the most powerful committees in the House.

Like it or not, Herman, Rangel is one of the leading Democrats in the nation today. And like it or not, he keeps bringing up the draft. As long as he keeps bringing it up, I and others who actually have a lick of sanity will continue to denounce it and point out just what Rangel is putting forth.

If the Democrats would marginalize Rangel, or openly tell him to knock it off, then you'd have a case. But as long as he enjoys his high position of power, placed there by his fellow Democrats, his actions are "fair game."

J.

Well Herman, the only reaso... (Below threshold)
dickdee:

Well Herman, the only reason the conversation is 'stupid' is that half of the party is a liberal democrat. Having such a mental disfunction causes you to believe abortions should be common, penis's can go wherever they want with government support, and that our military deserves undermining. In this case, I label you pathetic and anti-American. You don't need to rethink your position, we'll just ignore your nutty proclamations. Go Walmart!!

More and more the comments ... (Below threshold)
pagar:

More and more the comments section of Wizbang is nothing but a bulletin board for American leftists to send their messages of support to terrorists throughout the world.

We can't nation build, ever... (Below threshold)
David:

We can't nation build, everyone knows that eh?

South Korea, Japan, West Germany, The Confederacy, etc

Re: ChickenhawksDo... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Re: Chickenhawks

Do we have enough soldiers to fight the global war onterror?
I'm told that calling on those who support the war to enlist is like saying you can't call for better firefighting without actually being a fireman.
True, if there was a vast shortage of firemen and fires were breaking out at an alarming rate.

Is that the situation we find ourselves in?

Also, Scrapiron.
How did the Republican-controlled Congress let slick willie decimate our armed forces in the 90s?
It seems that we both think Republicans in Congress are useless.
And if you want to talk about some people getting rich: Look for the $9 BILLION missing in Iraq. While you're at it, checkout the connection between the war profiteers and those who got us into this war of choice.
I eagerly await your expose in this area.

Stick an apple in Rangle's ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Stick an apple in Rangle's mouth and put him on a platter and what do you have?

"No deferments would be all... (Below threshold)
Elisa:

"No deferments would be allowed beyond the completion of high school, up to age 20, except for conscientious objectors or those with health problems."

He wants to write in an easy "out" for the anti-war left!

"It is time that all Americans--NOT including the LIBERALS--be given the opportunity to prove their patriotism as well, by saluting when the flag goes up and defending their country in wartime."

Fixed that for ya!

Psssst-Robert I got a bridg... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Psssst-Robert I got a bridge to sell. Cheap. No interest. No downpayment. No co-signer. (hallybutin use to own it) All the oil has been wiped off. No toll fees. I will even take "cold" cash if you have any "laying" around. We can meet in N. O. and have the "choc.&van." man draw up the papers. (that way there will be a signature of "charactor" on the papers). After the deal is complete we can get "Dingy" Harry to get his "mafia" buddies to look for your missing $9,000,000,000. Deal? Oh and by the way they found out why the "swamp" stopped draining--it was stopped up with "tuna" cans.

How could Slick get around ... (Below threshold)
David:

How could Slick get around congress? Don't be naive, you take the money that congress has allocated for personnel in the armed forces, you make the job really suck so you don't get a high re-enlistment rate, set a low enlistment rate, and at the end of the year you have Al Gore report to the American people how much money we have saved by reducing the size of government and return the money to the treasury.

That's exactly how they did it.

Flip-Flop, not.Spent... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

Flip-Flop, not.
Spent a couple of hours reading Malking reports on the trip to Iraq and then spent four hours looking for the apologies from the ASSociated (with terrorists) Press, and Roto Reuters for the hundreds of outright lies (no one can make that many mistakes) they have spread about the American Military and the war in Iraq. Surprise, surprise, not an apology to be found. I guess they don't want to bust the bubbles of the left wing liberal progressives so they'll keep up the lies.
The entire antique MSM and the dhimmi's they support have became a joke, dangerous, but a joke. They're propaganda is already responsible for 90% + of the deaths in Iraq, both Allies and Iraqi, but they just keep supporting the enemy.

Excellent! And so true. A... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Excellent! And so true. Another truthful article that hit a nerve with the trolls.

And for 8 years we put up w... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

And for 8 years we put up with a dope smoking wife cheating child killing flag burning draftdodger and the hollywood mush heads treated him like some kind of demigod what rank nonsense

Wanting to reinstate the dr... (Below threshold)

Wanting to reinstate the draft has a more cynical purpose. The Democrats are having a hard time creating the kind of anti-war hysteria we witnessed in the 1960's without it. Every single troop in Iraq is a volunteer. Reenlistments are at record rates. It is hard to get the average kid torn away from their iPod and into the street if they aren't subject to being sent to war.

The real reason for wanting to start the draft is so they can stir up massive anti-war activism and use the fear of involuntary military service to spur action on the part of those who may be subject to such a draft.

They tried and failed to use the argument that the military is filled with the poor and uneducated but that fell flat.

I say fine ... if they want to institute a draft, go ahead. But it should be mandatory for EVERY individual graduating high school unless they are enrolled in an ROTC program in college and serve their term after graduation. No exemptions unless someone is physically or mentally unfit.

One caveat crosspatch, ever... (Below threshold)
David:

One caveat crosspatch, every congressman and senator must become officers and spend one deployed year between elections.

JT: you got called out.... (Below threshold)
jp2:

JT: you got called out.

....are now under ... (Below threshold)
marc:
....are now under fire, while Bush's daughters, nieces, and nephews, and the rest of all you CHICKENHAWKS are free to pursue your indulgent ways, :: by Herman on January 21, 2007 9:57 AM
There is a simple solution to that Herman.

Please post back when you have sent a letter to YOUR congressman advocating a Constitutional amendment giving all control of the US Military to only those that have been a member of it.

BTW Herman in reference to our "indulgent ways," can we assume you would be in favor of victory gardens, ration cards for gasoline and meat? That would allow ALL Americans to "share" in the sacrifice. Well... except the vegans, they could be issued ration cards for Tofu.

Note this section of Rangels latest draft bill, "My bill requires that, during wartime, all legal residents of the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 42 would be subject to a military draft,"

The operative words being "during wartime," there's a lot of wiggle room there. Charlie needs to define "wartime."

Called out, jp2? By who, an... (Below threshold)

Called out, jp2? By who, and how? I was accused of using a fringe element of the Democrats to assail all of them. I replied that the Democrat in question was a very, very powerful Congressman who has tried before to pass a draft bill.

Or did you have something/someone else in mind?

J.

" how many American soldier... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

" how many American soldiers lost their lives fighting in a war under Jimmy Carter??? "

Herman: You seem to imply that no soldiers died under Carter. What, about the ones, who did so during that botched rescue attempt?

O.T. - Since the military is continually reporting that they are reaching or exceeding recruitment goals, what in the hell do you plan to do with all of the men/women that are drafted? I find it highly unlikely that congress is going to vote a major increase in funding for the military. Sounds like Rangle wants to replace a bunch of people who want to defend their country with a bunch who don't.

BTW Hugh: Don't forget your newyears resolution, not to use personal attacks.

What a crock of bullsh*t. Y... (Below threshold)
Brian:

What a crock of bullsh*t. You know very well that "Democrats" don't support reinstating the draft. You yourself report above that even Rangel himself voted against the bill. Then you throw in intentionally false statements about "attacking the military", or "attempting to thwart the war by stripping our armed services of their ability to fight effectively". Please, Jay, tell us who has attacked the military? Tell us who has stripped the soldiers of their ability to fight effectively? The only ones I've heard of are those who STILL don't provide the troops with proper body armor... Republicans.

And claiming that Rangel is a leading Democrat, therefore it's fair to paint all Democrats with his rhetoric is also a crock of sh*t. Shall we similarly ascribe all crackpot political rhetoric from Frist, DeLay, Hastert, Cheney, etc. to all Republicans? Is it now a Republican platform that brain damage can be diagnosed via videotape? Is it now a Republican platform that the Iraqi insurgency is in its last throes?

Democrats certainly are due their share of appropriate criticism. But the number of abject lies that have been posted here recently is astounding. And then the inane arguments that if anyone objects to the lies, then they must be true! Jaw-dropping stupidity.

If you people can't think of anything legitimate to criticize about Dems, perhaps you should think about switching parties.

Calling the name "chickenha... (Below threshold)

Calling the name "chickenhawk" is designed to do two things. First of all it is designed to draw attention away from what was said and rather than focusing on the logic of the argument, it is an attempt to change the subject and focus instead on the credentials of the person presenting the argument which has absolutely no bearing on the argument itself. It is a smokescreen used when someone doesn't have a logical argument against that presented.

Secondly it is a way to attempt to limit the field of people who can be opposed to a point of view. So anyone can be against use of the military but only people who have served can be for it, according to that notion. So since relatively small portion of the population has served, it is an attempt to invalidate the opinions of the opposition. They have even expanded that to include "spinsterhawks". Now you must have served AND have children.

It is criteria with no basis in reality pulled out of thin air. Anyone using the word "chickenhawk" in an argument concerning Iraq is admitting they have no argument in logic and have been reduced to parroting buzzwords in order to attempt to remove the messenger since they have to response to the message itself.

It is a typical technique found on elementary school playgrounds. Reread items where the word "chickenhawk" is invoked and substitute "poopyhead" and you will see what I mean.

The instant I see the ridic... (Below threshold)
JimK:

The instant I see the ridiculous schoolyard taunt "chickenhawk" I immediately ignore everything the person has to say. If they don't respect me enough to talk to me like a rational adult, why should I respect them enough to finish reading what they wrote?

BrianWay to go...J... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

Brian

Way to go...Jay's piece is basic BS cooked up to try to label the Democrats based on Rangel. You said it all very well.

Brian, spin this for me, wi... (Below threshold)

Brian, spin this for me, will you?

1) Charles Rangel introduces a bill to reinstate the draft.

2) The Republicans take his bill PRECISELY AS HE WROTE IT and bring it to a vote.

3) Rangel decries the Republicans' giving him exactly what he asked for as a "dirty political trick" and votes against the bill he wrote -- PRECISELY AS HE WROTE IT.

4) Rangel brings back the very same bill right after the Democrats take control of both Houses.

5) The Democrats CHOOSE to put Rangel in as chairman of the House Ways And Means Committee, apparently under the theory of "the best way to marginalize the kooks is to put them in charge of writing the tax laws."

If the Democrats really don't support Rangel, they have a damned peculiar way of distancing themselves from him.

J.

JayBy your way of ... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

Jay

By your way of thinking, I suppose, that since Republicans kept Senator Frist as Majority Leader, that the Republicans stand for BS medical diagnosis from afar.

Herman,Breaking ne... (Below threshold)
robert the original:

Herman,

Breaking news! Vietnam was Eisenhower's war because he risked those few dozen advisors or so. Good thinking Herman, and shame on me for thinking about Johnson and those 500,000 troops he brought in. Good argument you bring here, Herman, that the Democrats are the party of no wars.

And yes, FDR, Truman, Kennedy and Johnson are, in fact, dead - what a history buff you are after all. It is only to support your silly statement that Democrats are the party of no wars that you now have to, then, forget all history before Carter. Since you have made that silly statement to begin with, do you now have to follow it with an even sillier and feeble argument?

But I will not be disagreeing with you Herman, when you say that you now endorse the Carter way and have forgotten the long dead FDR, Truman and Kennedy. On this we agree completely.

One of the reasons, Herman, that historians rank FDR so highly is that he engaged in helping the British, Russians, and Chinese in WWII - BEFORE WE WERE ATTACKED- despite a very strong anti-war opinion in the country in 1939-1941. He saw a threat and acted, to include domestic surveillance by the way. Many Americans died - 100 US ships sunk for example - in the battle of Britain, the Atlantic war and the air strikes in China, all prior to 12/7/1941. Do you know that it was an American PBY that spotted the Bismarck for its destruction in May 1941? In foreign policy, FDR had many more similarities to Bush than to Carter.

But why you have so run so fast and so far from the best of the Democratic Party into the arms of its worst is beyond me. (That darn tax-cutting, warmonger, Kennedy!).

So, to answer your question: "Do the war policies of Democrats long dead represent current Democratic objectives???"

No, Herman, they don't - not by a long shot - and by your own admission you have embraced the idiot Carter - certainly the worst of recent Presidents - and forgotten FDR, one of the best.

It's simple really. The De... (Below threshold)
_Mike_:

It's simple really. The Democrats don't have the courage of their convictions. As JayTea has repeatedly said (and yet some still seem to be missing it), by keeping Rangel in a prominent position the Democrats are in essence supporting him. If Rangel is just some fring loon as the leftist here seem to be indicating, why doesn't the party position him accordingly ? The answer is that as far as the Democrats are concerned.. Joe Libeirman is the fringe and Charlie Rangel is the 'mainstream'.

robert the original <... (Below threshold)
aRepukelican:

robert the original

as regards to your knowledge of history, it was VP Nixon who 1st advocated that the Eisenhower Administration should pick up from the failed French after Dien Bien Phu in 1954 in order to prevent the Communists from overrunning SE Asia.

And it was after Eisenhower backed Diem in reneging in participation in the unification election of 1956 that Ho Chi Minh began his campaign.

Eisenhower was the first to involve the US in Viet Nam.

No exemptions unless som... (Below threshold)
Actual:

No exemptions unless someone is physically or mentally unfit.

Way to go, Crosspatch. You just gave the lefties another way out.

Puke,I am all too ... (Below threshold)
robert the original:

Puke,

I am all too aware of the involvement of dozens of US advisors in Vietnam in the 1950's, as I wrote in my comment.

I was responding to Herman's claim that Democrats are the party of no wars. Do you now join him with this nonsense and claim that Vietnam was a Republican war? How about forgetting all history before Carter?

It is one thing to support and send advisors - we have them all over the place - it is another thing entirely to send 500,000...

First you rewrite history and then you forget it, all very convenient and typical nonsense from you dims.

If you think that Vietnam was a Republican war, you are in denial, ignorant, or both.

Pilot:Where have y... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

Pilot:

Where have you been? Too busy deciding which Medicare prescription drug benefit to pick? Believe it or not, I've missed you.

Don't take my attempts at humor as a personal attack. I thought it was pretty good myself.

H

O Hoo. So it was good for ... (Below threshold)
epador:

O Hoo. So it was good for you too, Hugh?

"hughie" (one of the first ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

"hughie" (one of the first members of the "club") it is obvious that you know nothing about the price of medicine. Togather my wife and I saved over $6,000.00 using one of the drug plans. We do not expect it to be given to us like you leftwing solicist so stick to something you know about when mouthing off-like being a complete shithead.

Brian, spin this for me,... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Brian, spin this for me, will you?

Easy. The Dems know that Rangel isn't serious, and he's just making political rhetoric. The Republicans called his bluff, so good for them. Rangel should have said "d'oh, you got me!" instead of "dirty tricks!" (just like DeLay should have said). But who cares? He's making rhetoric, and you can shoot down his rhetoric if you like. But taking his rhetoric and escalating it to a wide net that "the Democrats" support reinstating the draft is dishonest pabulum.

Now, if you want to discuss kooky ideas that only the fringe element of a party supports, we can talk about this 20,000 troop surge. Or should we follow your rules and declare that all Republicans support the surge?

"My bill requires that, ... (Below threshold)
Mike G in Corvallis:

"My bill requires that, during wartime, all legal residents of the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 42 would be subject to a military draft ..."

That racist, anti-undocumented immigrant bastard!

<a href="http://www.mediabi... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/ratings/bush_on_iraq_fnc_averages_44_million_almost_doubling_cnns_viewership_51028.asp

http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/original/q406vs05.pdf

Yes they decreased, but they still are blowing CNN away, so please, go back to your pacifier on that count. .

Arguing: Well, CNN isn't gettign slapped around by as much as it was!" Isn't much of an argument.\

jhow:I usually don... (Below threshold)
Hugh:

jhow:

I usually don't respond to you for obvious reasons. But I find it incredibly amusing that you would take a personal note to Pilot, assume it was political, and find it necessary to make a political, judgmental response.

scrapiron? you live near lo... (Below threshold)
tj:

scrapiron? you live near lonestar or red river...guess it dont matter..their in the same hood

Be careful not to get a cri... (Below threshold)
epador:

Be careful not to get a crick in your neck lifting your nose high, Hugh.

Herman,Are you hon... (Below threshold)
statboy:

Herman,

Are you honestly foolish enough to believe that no U.S. servicemen died under the Carter administration? Newsflash - 2392 U.S. soldiers died accidentally in 1980, Carter's last year as president. Or do accidental deaths not count to Democrats? If so, you may need to revise your "grim milestone" in Iraq as many of those deaths were accidental, not from combat....

Actually I heard Rangel emp... (Below threshold)
Carl:

Actually I heard Rangel emphasising that he wants the draft as recently as last weekend. Granted hardly any other Democrat congresscritter has joined Rangel on this, but I haven't heard too many of them denouncing the idea either. The silence, as they say, is overwhelming.

Shorter j:Teh evl ... (Below threshold)
Reality:

Shorter j:

Teh evl lib leftists destroyed the draft, and therefore the military in 1975, but it's ok because otherwise me and my cheeto eating friends would have to serve in Iraq.

Correction:The lef... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

Correction:

The left wanted the draft ended and we all agreed. The military doesn't WANT it back --- but the left does.
-=Mike

Earlier, Herman says:<block... (Below threshold)

Earlier, Herman says:

Like the rest of us leftwingers, this minority finds it OBSCENE that Americans who've signed up for the military, say, only to obtain educational benefits, with the understanding that they would be sent to war[additional emphasis mine] ONLY AS A LAST RESORT, are now under fire, while Bush's daughters, nieces, and nephews, and the rest of all you CHICKENHAWKS are free to pursue your indulgent ways, content that others are doing the dying both to assuage your paranoia and ensure that the ayatollahs have less control over your oil supply.
Herman, you demonstrate a total lack of comprehension of who makes up the Armed Forces. Nobody, nobody, joins the military "only to obtain education benefits" without also realizing that they are being trained as warfighters as well. And carrying the battle to an enemy intent on world conquest isn't exactly a display of paranoia, while your "no blood for oil" refrain implicit in your post is as illogical as your statement about why people join the military.

Finally, save your show of faux compassion for the soldiers, 'cause they don't need it, nor want it.

Ignoramus.




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