Some Democrat Party lawmakers claim the volunteer military may become dangerously stretched thin by events occuring in Iran, North Korea and Syria. They believe the answer to acquiring more troops is to reinstate the draft.
Congressman Charles Rangel says that once he's chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee he will introduce new legislation to reinstate the military draft.
"Every day that the military option is on the table, as declared by the President in his State of the Union address, in Iran, North Korea, and Syria, reinstatement of the military draft is an option that must also be considered, whether we like it or not," Congressman Rangel said in a statement.
"If the military is already having trouble getting the recruits they need, what can we do to fill the ranks if the war spreads from Iraq to other countries? We may have no other choice but a draft."
During the Bush-Kerry battle for the White House, Democrats alleged that President Bush had a "secret" plan to reinstitute the draft, when in fact it was certain Democrats such as Rangel who wanted a new military draft.
Rangel's new draft bill would mandate military service for men and women between the ages of 18 and 42. Deferments would be allowed only for completion of high school up to the age of 20, and for reasons of health, conscience or religious belief. Recruits not needed by the military in any given year would be required to perform some national civilian service.
”Our military is more like a mercenary force than a citizen militia. It is dominated by men and women who need an economic leg-up. Bonuses of up to $40,000 and a promise of college tuition look very good to someone from an economically depressed urban or rural community," he said, displaying his contempt for the US military.
Rep. Rangel and members of the Congressional Black Caucus had complained that Blacks were being used as "cannon fodder" in the Iraq war, until they were confronted with the fact that only five percent (5%) of the troops in Iraq are African-Americans, while 14% of the US population are black. Rangel backed off from making that allegation when speaking with whites, yet he continues to use the canard when speaking to black audiences.
"This is vintage Charlie Rangel. He's adept at distortion and his proposed draft isn't meant to improve the military but to create a Vietnam era military of draftees. Anyone who knows anything about the military knows that conscription brings about negative results, " says former Marine intelligence officer and NYPD detective Sid Francis, himself an African-American.
In addition, most men and women in today's military come from middle- and upper-middle class families.
Republicans understand Rangel's motive for calling for a renewed draft. He's opposed to all military actions undertaken by the Bush Administration and is a vocal opponent of the Iraq war, but he sees an opportunity to undermine the military by infusing it with draftees who don't want to fight. He is also aware that conscription creates civil discord.
"Rangel's draft is part and parcel of the "class warfare" strategy the Democrat Party uses to divide the country," says a high-ranking military officer.
Rangel's critics point out that he has a penchant for making outrageous statements and if he's asked to reinterate them on television or radio he backs off from those comments with tepid excuses. For instance, in a speech in Harlem in New York City, Rangel said that President Bush is "our Bull Connor" a reference to the southern sheriff who used attack dogs on civil-rights protesters. Rangel, however, failed to mention that Sheriff Connor was a Democrat.
Let's take a look at the real Charlie Rangel as evidenced in a little known story of how a New York City detective knocked the robust politician on his keister following the utterance of a Rangelism in the 1960s:
Sidney was one of New York City’s first African-American detectives. In fact, he was so good at policing in the city's toughest neighborhoods, that he was promoted to the coveted rank of 1st Grade Detective in the NYPD, the youngest in New York's history. A former Marine -- one of the first blacks to be accepted into the Marine Corps in 1945 -- Sid was your consummate police officer. Tough, relentless and proud Sid tempered his tough street persona with intelligence and a sense of fairness that won the respect of his superiors, his fellow cops and the citizens he served. Sid came from a black family of achievement with one brother becoming a police captain and another serving as a colonel in the US Army.
Sidney saw action in Korea at about the same time as Rangel took to the battlefield with the US Army. While Rangel brags about his military service and being awarded a Purple Heart for wounds he received, Sid believed a good marine does the wounding and killing not the other way around. He openly admired General George Patton and Sid repeatedly viewed the motion picture "Patton" in which, during the opening monologue by George C. Scott portraying General Patton, he says, "No one wins a war by dying for his country. You win a war by making the other poor son-of-a-bitch die for his country." Sid was a blood and guts Marine and a blood and guts cop. I know. I partnered with him during his later years.
While still a young detective, Sidney arrested a black man who was dealing drugs on streets and schoolyards of Harlem. The drug dealer sold heroin to black youngsters who were being told over and over again since they were knee high that their lives were hopeless in an America that at best cared little for them, at worst wanted them in prison or dead. They were indoctrinated with this rhetoric by the likes of Charlie Rangel, white liberals and their echo chamber, the mainstream news media. Detective Sid had little compassion for a man who sold drugs to black kids.
At the time, Charlie Rangel was an up-and-coming political hack in the local Democrat Club and a lawyer more adept at shooting off his mouth than arguing his position on jurisprudence. Rangel ended up representing the drug-pushing punk -- whose parents, by the way, were financially very well off. The punk's dad was a bigtime contributor to the local Democrat Party and a supporter of Rangel for congressman which led to Rangel acting on behalf of an unrepentant drug pusher. Ironically, Rangel later would become chairman of Congress' Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control.
So Charles Rangel, attorney-at-law, visited my partner Sid in order to get him to back off and perhaps change some of the testimony should the case go to trial. The young detective told Rangel, “No way. That skell sells poison to kids.” At that point Charlie Rangel, a known bully in Harlem and northern Manhattan, called Sid an Uncle Tom and got in his face. The six-foot tall detective hauled off and bopped him right in his face and Rangel went down.
After getting up from the floor and brushing himself off, the opulent future congressman made some empty threats of retaliation, however Rangel never filed departmental charges of police brutality. Sid believed Charlie Rangel knew if he did he would find himself in a jackpot over witness tampering and he may have had to kiss his political career goodbye.
Oh, and by the way, the first time his own draft bill came before congress in 2004, Congressman Charlie Rangel voted "nay."
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.