Sunday, November 26, 2006

Another revelatory remark by a politician

See if the statement I italicized sounds familiar...

WALLACE: Congressman Rangel, you caused quite a stir this week when you said that you're going to introduce a bill to reinstate the draft. Here's what you said this week in a newspaper article. Let's take a look. "The great majority of people bearing arms in this country, for this country in Iraq, are from the poorer communities in our inner cities and rural areas."
But a recent and very detailed study by the
Heritage Foundation, Congressman, found the following and I'm going to put that up: 13 percent of recruits are from the poorest neighborhoods. That's less than the national average of people living in those neighborhoods. Ninety-seven percent of recruits have high school diplomas. Among all Americans, the graduation rate is under 80 percent. And blacks make up 14.5 percent of recruits for the military; the national average is 12 percent.
Congressman, in fact, contrary to what you've been saying, isn't the volunteer army better educated and more well-to-do than the general population?
RANGEL: Of course not. I want to make it abundantly clear that I have been advocating a draft ever since the president has been talking about war, and none of this comes within the jurisdiction of the Ways and Means Committee.
But I want to make it abundantly clear, if there's anyone who believes that these youngsters want to fight, as the Pentagon and some generals have said, you can just forget about it. No young, bright individual wants to fight just because of a bonus and just because of educational benefits. And most all of them come from communities of very, very high unemployment.
If a young fellow has an option of having a decent career or joining the Army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq.
So anyone who supports the war and is against everyone sharing in the sacrifice is being hypocritical about the whole thing. The record is clear, and once we are able to get hearings on this, everyone will see what they already know, and that is that those who have the least opportunities at this age find themselves in the military, as I did when I was 18 years old.


Full transcript here. [I upgraded the Heritage link directly to the study too].

Yeah, quite revealing, Rep Rangel. Another politician saying that only the desperate and futureless bother to fight. Please. Sir, will you make no allowance that some of us actually serve because we want to? No press gangs roam the streets, no recruits wake up hung over and realizing they have been shanghaied into taking the King's shilling. You appear to have lost touch in the 50 years since you last served. Please try to reaquaint yourself with who is in the service these days - then come back and talk to the press.

Not that you seem to watch your words lately...

[h/t Maggie Katzen, via the Signaleer]

7 Comments:

Anonymous Army Lawyer said...

I saw that interview this morning. Needless to say I found it...enlightening.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clearly this man is an idiot. At one time the statistics for members of congress (arrest warrants, etc.) were posted which placed them in the bottom half of the American public. I would like to get that out again.

Rangel is an instigator who has no concept of "duty, honor, country". His remarks ignore the realities of service, including the increasing demands on personnel who continue to reenlist, despite having served in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The simplest example is Pat Tillman who walked away from a very easy life to give his own in service to our nation.

Service is not for everyone, and it often takes many differing forms, but Rangel's comments are ridiculous on their face.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Major John said...

Rangel's own experience was not a good one - conscription era service in the Korean War. Times have changed, drastically, and he has not kept up with them.

Pity.

8:33 AM  
Blogger RTO Trainer said...

I get the impression, that at least in part, Rangel is motivated by his own poor experience in the service.

IOW, he's motivated by a logical fallacy, imparting attributes of the specific onto the general.

3:30 PM  
Blogger Suzi said...

I am appalled at the lack of understanding on the part of our Congress... But especially on this issue, since we just had a huge internet discussion about this exact topic.

4:49 PM  
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