Monday, November 20, 2006

Giving Americans the Shaft...ooops, I mean Draft.

New York Representative (and Korea vet) Charles Rangel thinks we should bring back the draft. I'm not sure why this is news, exactly. He's tried to do this a time or two before. And let me state, for the record, that it is a bad idea.

A few months ago, there was a fair amount of hoopla over John Kerry's quote about the uneducated ending up in Iraq. Let's just ignore, for a moment, that the quote was taken completely out of context and was a slight not on our troops but on President Bush's handling of the war. Let's pretend, just for the sake of argument (and to make Karl Rove smile) that Kerry meant his comment exactly how the GOP spun it: that if you don't get an education, you'll end up in the military and then, of course, in Iraq. If you noticed, though President Bush and a bunch of politicians all got their panties in a wad over the comment, there wasn't much of a reaction from the troops themselves. And that is because there is more than a grain of truth to that statement.

Though you have folks who are called to the military in a similar way that some are called to the priesthood -- men and women like CPT Dick, who are well-educated, but who are compelled to serve -- you also have a lot of people who end up in the military because they have nowhere else to go. Just in the few years that I've been a military wife, I've met soldiers who are in because they were given a choice between enlistment and jail, because the plant closed down and there were no other jobs except McDonald's for a 50 mile radius, because a family member took sick and they believed their enlistment bonus could help save them, because they wanted to go to college but just couldn't find the money. There are so many reasons that people join the military and I would argue that the majority of them do not involve a strong calling to serve one's country. But despite that lack of calling, most who join up manage to step in time and find a place in the military. And quite often, they are often better soldiers because it was not something they thought they would ever do.

But for some, combat boots will just never fit right. And they just wreck it for the rest of the soldiers.

They don't want to be there. They don't want to do their job. And they don't give a rat's ass about service, the betterment of themselves or their fellow man. They just want to get over any way they can. They play the victim and in doing so, they put their fellow troopers at risk. It's a problem.

Re-instating the draft will only exacerbate the problem. You'll just have more people who don't want to be there -- and who are even more bitter about it because they had other options and opportunities that they had to leave behind. And because of that bitterness, they will, like the others who never find their place, slack off and make the military weaker.

Rangel says that he thinks Congress would think twice about wars if kids from their neighborhoods had to serve. Obviously, Rangel doesn't remember how that actually worked in Vietnam and how it would work again now.

Leave the draft alone and start thinking about how the government can inspire Americans once again to take up service.

1 comment:

Miss L said...

I agree 110%.

-L- Female who joined so "your brother wouldn't have to"