Planet News Views

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Wrangling With Congressman Rangel Over His Terrible Draft Idea

By Scott McLean

Someday it might be cool to get a senior citizen discount. But don't rush me. For now, being 'barely' middle-aged has its privileges, such as being too old for a proposed draft by Congressman Charles Rangel, a draft idea that has shocked Americans. In my opinion, nobody, regardless of age, should be drafted to fight in Iraq or in this war on terror.

While this strange draft idea doesn't appear to be going anwhere with his fellow Democrats, who will in January take over the leadership in Congress, it does raise a red flag that there could be trouble ahead for Congress trying to figure out what to do next about Iraq.

Congressman Rangel would be better off using his time and energy working with the Democratic leadership on realistic proposals to bring an end to the war. Rangel's draft idea seems to have the goal of causing more opposition to war in Congress and among the elites who would be afraid their grown children (from age 18) would be drafted.

Now, I might as well add my name to the long list of people who think the war in Iraq is looking more like the Vietnam War everday.

It's a protracted military involvement and doesn't appear to be a war that can be won, which is basically what Henry Kissinger, the former secretary of state, has said, and a sharp contrast with President Bush's belief that the war can be won.

That doesn't make it necessary to have a draft, or increase the number of troops as Senator John McCain and others including some Democratic Senators, Senator Hillary Clinton included in this group, as I understand it. No, not at all.
The only way to bring the war to an end is to decide to do so, then decide the timetable and stages for withdrawal of troops.

Without a plan in place, the war could go on and on for a very long time. It would be the right approach for Congress to deal with this directly, rather than propose a draft or increase troops in order to get out later.


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