Monday, November 20, 2006


It looks like old Charlie Rangel is at it again.  From the San Jose Mercury News:

Rangel says he's serious about reinstating the draft

WASHINGTON - Rep. Charles Rangel plans to resurrect a bill to reinstate the draft when Democrats take power in January, but the idea got a chilly reception Sunday in the heart of his Harlem district.

"There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq ... 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 Sunday.

Rangel floated the same idea in Congress two years ago, but ended up voting against his own bill, along with 401 other Congress members, when the measure came up just before the presidential election.

At the time, he accused Republicans of rushing it out as a stunt against Democrats instead of giving it a legitimate hearing.

But the soon-to-be chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee said Sunday a draft bill will be no stunt this time, insisting he's very serious about it.

"You bet your life; underscore serious," Rangel said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday.

(emphasis mine)

Here's the deal.  A draft would bring in many thousands of new soldiers.  The problem is this, we don't have enough barracks and bases to house all these new troops.  We don't have enough ships and airplanes for them to man and maintain.  We don't have enough weapons for them to fire.  We can't feed them.  We don't even have enough uniforms for them to wear.  We'd need a massive amount of infrastructure in place before we even think about that kind of expansion.  And that costs money.  Lots of money.  Because building a new infrastructure is more expensive than maintaining an existing infrastructure.  And Charlie Rangel has yet to even mention spending this kind of money, or where it will come from.

To put it another way, instituting a draft before we have the means to house, equip, train, maintain, and transport all of the new personnel it would produce is akin to forming an airline, scheduling flights, and selling tickets before even buying your first airplane, or hiring your first pilot.  You'd have to be stupid to do this.  And Charlie Rangel isn't stupid.  But he hopes the public is.  Because Rangel is playing politics with our military.  Again.

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