Bad call to try to reinstate draft

You're at the airport. You reach out to hug your brother before his flight departs and he is taken away from you.

Tears begin to form in your eyes, but he keeps his composure, warns you not to cry or he might also. So you don't.

You wait 10 minutes until you're a safe distance away, in the car with your parents. And all three of you break down, knowing he eventually is headed to Iraq, knowing you may never see him again.

This heart-breaking scenario may well be headed to American homes in the near future, and it's not only limited to sons this time.

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-New York, includes all young people between the ages of 18 and 26 in his proposal to reinstate the military draft.

His reasoning?

According to an article entitled "Pentagon Tries to Head Off the Draft" by Pauline Jelinek, Rangel wants military service to be a "shared sacrifice" of all able young Americans.

Rangel's goal with the debate is to make political leaders take a second look at the war in Iraq.

He feels that if their sons and daughters are the ones on the front line, politicians may find a more peaceful solution to the country's problems with Iraq.

He actually is opposing the war in Iraq. But there are consequences to his actions.

The real issue now is that others more serious about reinstating the draft than Rangel may take up the fight where he left off.

While Rangel's motive behind this proposal is understandable, the reinstatement of the draft would be the worst possible thing for this country.

There are many arguments against the reinstatement of the military draft, but the three strongest are that it is unnecessary, it will decrease the efficiency of the military and it goes against the American principle of civil liberty.

First of all, a military draft is unnecessary at this point. Even if the country went to war tomorrow, there would be enough military personnel in active service and the reserves to fight for many years.

Secondly, a draft will decrease the efficiency of the military. There will, of course, be an ongoing battle between the groups who chose to serve and the people who were drafted. This will weaken the bonds between units and eventually break down camaraderie in the time when it is needed most: when lives are on the line.

Lastly, a military draft is unconstitutional. It defies the principle of civil liberty. No big deal, right? Well, it was written down somewhere that all individuals possess natural, God-given rights.

Remember that one? OK, maybe it's a big deal. If this statement applies to all other aspects of life, it should apply to service in the country's military as well.

The Founding Fathers were on to something. Their Constitution has gotten the country this far, so let's trust it one more time on the issue of a military draft.

While you may not be saying good bye to a loved one right away, a reinstatement of the military draft is not out of the question yet.

As a high school student, I will be keeping close tabs on this issue in the weeks and months to come.

We all need to realize the consequences the reinstatement of the draft would bring and work hard to keep military service a voluntary one.

Jessica Smallman is a senior at Carson High School. She's writing a regular column for the Nevada Appeal as her senior project.


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