Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) on Friday said he plans to introduce legislation that would bring back the military draft and extend it to women for the first time. Rangel, who has pushed for years to bring back the draft, said the Pentagon's decision to allow women to serve in combat means that they too should register for the Selective Service.It is interesting to consider the prospect that the specter of sending women off to war involuntarily may be so horrible to contemplate that it, itself, may finally be the trigger that brings a halt to the expanding nature the 'warfare' half of the welfare-warfare State. As it is, the 99% don't seem to care much about the steady trickle of those unfortunate members of the 1% that come back in body bags. Perhaps it is because men don't exist, but dead women do. Sort of: Women died in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan so infrequently relative to their male peers (3% of combat deaths) that female deaths are noted but (as yet) fail to significantly resonate emotionally. Thus the result that "women in combat" is treated as something novel, where in reality it's been happening with increasing frequency as warfare moves from 3GW to 4GW to 5GW and beyond.
"Now that women can serve in combat, they should register for the Selective Service alongside their male counterparts," Rangel said in a statement. "Reinstating the draft and requiring women to register for the Selective Service would compel the American public to have a stake in the wars we fight as a nation. We must question why and how we go to war, and who decides to send our men and women into harm's way."
In an interview on MSNBC, Rangel said the draft should be reinstated because the majority of Americans make "no real sacrifice" when the country goes to war. "The Congress never gets a chance to vote up and down on these war questions. Every president just puts our kids in harm's way and we just foot the bill, but there's no real sacrifice in what's going on. Less than 1 percent of American families are involved in the military and they really pay the price for it," he said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
He argued that a draft would make the executive branch think long and hard before sending troops overseas. "Take my word for it, if every time a president was about to put our kids in harm's way, we we're thinking about our kids and grandkids, it just wouldn't happen," he said.
Rangel's legislation would require those between the ages of 18 and 25 to perform two years of national service in either the armed services or in civilian life, while the All American Selective Service Act would force women to enroll in the Selective Service System.
Interesting also to reflect on Congressman Rangel's lament that "Congress never gets a chance to vote up and down on these war questions". Congress could do something about it, if they wished. Tools in their arsenal include cutting off funding (the power of the purse strings) and impeachment. If only they had the will to do either. Strange that Congress doesn't seem all that interested in zealously defending their power, designated for the Legislature alone in the Constitution, to declare war. It seems sufficient to complain about it, just before casting votes in favor funding for undeclared wars on the other side of the planet.