Peace Group Denounces Surprise Draft VotePeace Action, the nation’s largest peace and disarmament organization with over 100,000 members, today denounced the decision by House leadership to call a vote on U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel’s (D-NY) bill to re-institute the military draft.
SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND – Peace Action, the nation’s largest peace and disarmament organization with over 100,000 members, today denounced the decision by House leadership to call a vote on U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel’s (D-NY) bill to re-institute the military draft.
The House leadership had previously shown no interest in moving the bill, H.R. 163, but are said to want to vote it down today to blunt Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry’s criticism of President Bush’s war policies and his assertion the draft might need to be re-instituted to keep up with the demand for troops to fight in Iraq in a second Bush Administration.
House Republicans have called for the surprise vote at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time today under suspension of House rules, allowing minimal debate and no amendments. Rep. Rangel, a Korean War veteran and opponent of the Iraq war, was only told this morning his bill would be voted on today. Rangel believes the all-voluntary military is an unjust form of military conscription that draws primarily from the economically disadvantaged.
He also believes the U.S. would be more cautious about going to war if everyone’s son or daughter had an equal likelihood of being called upon to fight. Still, Rangel will vote against his own bill to protest this blatant partisan chicanery by the GOP.
“This is a cynical ploy by Republicans, probably trying desperately to help Dick Cheney out in the debate tonight. This vote is unnecessary, as there is no support in the country for re-instituting the draft, including among the uniformed and civilian leadership of the military. The real issues are the poverty draft, wherein low-income rural and urban young people join the military because there are few good education and job opportunities in their communities, and the back-door draft of military reservists, who are being kept on extended combat tours in Iraq, away from their jobs and families, to fight Bush’s illegal, immoral war,” said Kevin Martin, Executive Director of Peace Action.
“In nearly twenty years of pro-peace political activism, this is one of the most cynical ploys I have ever seen. Do the Republicans think they will fool the majority of Americans who now oppose the Iraq war that they are now doves because they vote against bringing back the draft? It smells of desperation by the pro-war forces to me,” continued Martin.