When Rep.  Charlie Rangel (D- New York) started the furor over reinstating the draft he left out one thing: women. Does he envision a draft of men only? That hardly seems politically correct or fair given the great efforts of feminists to see to it that women have full access to military careers, even ones involving combat. It has taken feminist politicians, lawyers and civil rights advocates a few decades to shove the idea of sexual equality in the military down the  throats of an unwilling and uncomprehending military establishment composed almost entirely of men. Now that they have done so, the notion of a new draft law leaves them in a quandry.

 Compulsory military service, to have any merit whatsoever, must be universal. In the old days of a virtually all-male military, universal service meant men-only. That much was understood. Of course, women who wanted to could join the various services in sexually segregated support organization that, while useful or even vital, were never intended to see combat. Now it also remains true the term “universal” had enough loopholes attached so that the sons of the elite were exempt if they wanted to be. It’s no coincidence that almost no sons of members of Congress served in Vietnam.

The draft has always been meant for the poor and the working class, despite high-falutin’ language to the contrary. Rangel can’t really be serious when he proposes the draft as a way of “sharing the burden” in Iraq and elsewhere in the “War on Terrorism.”  He also claims that the current all-volunteer Army is drawing far too many of its recruits from the ranks of minorities and further that they are somehow being pressured into becoming cannon foder by racist economic policies orchestrated by Republicans. The fact is that 74% of casualties in Iraq have been suffered by whites. So much for the “sharing the burden” argument for the draft.

In minority communities all across America the rumors about an impending draft have been circulating since 9/11. How ironic that its most vocal advocate should be a black congressman! But relax, there’s not going to be any draft for the reason I mentioned first: women! Can’t draft with ’em; can’t draft without ’em. So forget about it!

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