Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) wants all Americans to serve their government, including women. On Friday he introduced one bill that would reinstate the draft and another that would require all women to register for Selective Service as well.
Rangel introduced the The National Universal Service Act (H.R. 747) for the sixth time since first being proposed in 2003 during the Iraq war. H.R 747 “would require 30 million people in the United States between the ages of 18 and 25 to perform two years of national service in either the armed services or in civilian life.”
Rangel also introduced the All American Selective Service Act (H.R. 748) which requires all women to enroll in the Selective Service System. This would essentially double the number of registrants. The current law requires only men ages 18 to 25 to register, leaving approximately only 13.5 million in the registry.
“Now that women can serve in combat they should register for the Selective Service alongside their male counterparts,” said Rangel 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.”
The last time Rangel introduced the “draft” bill was in 2011 on the very same day the Obama Administration launched a preemptive war in Libya on no-fly zone orders from the U.N., without Congressional approval, and despite never having been attacked or threatened by Libya.
He admitted at the time that the Iraq war was based on lies, “on false pretenses of weapons of mass destruction and involvement in the 9/11.” Yet he still insisted more Americans should be “sharing in duty and service.”
In one sense Rangel truly believes all Americans should serve their country in some capacity, especially because the military is stretched so thin where multiple tours of duty are resulting in increased PTSD and record suicide rates.
On the other hand, he also believes a draft would force more young Americans to question the necessity of current wars.
“I served in Korea, and understand that sometimes war is inevitable,” Rangel continued. “However military engagement should be our last resort. If we must go to war, every American should be compelled to stop and think twice about whether it is worth sending our brothers and sisters, and sons and daughters to fight. Currently less than one percent of America’s population is unfairly shouldering the burden of war.”
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