I think he wants either Bush out or the draft in.
Frank Schaeffer's most recent book is Baby Jack a novel about class, politics, service, God, the military, and the America of today---where a few are asked to give their lives while most are asked to sacrifice nothing. Here's what he has to say about, Charlie Rangel, the Draft, And Bush:
Charles Rangel is right to call for a draft. The present system is unfair. We don't really have an "all-volunteer" military. We have a recruited military and the recruiting is mostly done where it works, in other words in middle class and working class neighborhoods and from "legacy" families where someone is already in the military. Where recruiters usually don't bother going---and often aren't even allowed to go---is to elite private high schools and colleges.
The spirit of the Vietnam-era deferments has carried into the all-volunteer era. There is a subtle unstated, unplanned but nevertheless real collusion between the upper middle class, the military and the civilian government. Everyone is happy to leave things the way they are. The upper classes aren't asked to serve. The government doesn't have to spend money on expensive ROTC programs in top schools or fight to get recruiters on anti-military campuses.
No one has done more to perpetuate the recruiting status quo than President Bush. After 9/11 he asked our military to go to war. He asked the rest of us to travel, go on vacation and shop.
Following 9/11, like most Americans, I rallied behind our president. And I had a very personal stake in the success of the "war on terror." My youngest son was a Marine. I desperately wanted to believe in the man who held my son's life in his hands. My response to friends who spoke against Bush was basically; "Go to hell, how dare you criticize my son's commander while my beloved boy is in harm's way?"
Bush said we were in a "global war" then sent fewer soldiers to Afghanistan than there are cops in Manhattan. He let bin Laden get away with murder and let jihad-funding Saudi Arabia off the hook. Bush called two-faced, terror-sponsoring Pakistan an "ally" and then attacked Iraq. The Commander in Chief changed his "reasons" for war from eliminating weapons of mass destruction to "building democracy." Then---by not sending enough troops to Iraq, for the post-war "reconstruction" phase---he showed himself to be one of the most incompetent war leaders in American history. And throughout Bush has never asked his own class, the most privileged Americans, to step up.
Do you remember after 9/11 how we were so ready to do whatever was asked of us? What did President Bush NOT ask?
My fellow Americans we are at war. I am calling on every American of military-service-age to consider volunteering including those of you fortunate enough to be in our best private colleges or employed in highly paid jobs. The spirit of defending our democracy requires that Americans of all classes fairly share the sacrifice we must now make.
. . . . Our response to unprovoked aggression must involve every American. So I'm proud to tell you that my military-age children walked to a military recruiting office this afternoon and volunteered. We are all in this war together. . . .
Rangel was quoted as saying*:
There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way.
We are now so used to the anti-democratic and immoral status quo where we ask some to give everything while most Americans are asked to give nothing, that I'll bet Rangel's bill doesn't stand a chance. If the leaders of both parties haven't even asked their own children and their own class to volunteer why would they support a draft?
The Democrats and Republicans are as frivolous in wartime as the nation they represent. Today the Democrat's idea of a good potential Commander in Chief is Barack Obama, a man who never served, has no international experience and whose "qualification" for the presidency is that he's spent about as much time in Congress as he has on Oprah. And the Republicans have given us Bush, a president who is so incompetent a war leader that tolerating his "leadership" is an immoral act. If the Republican Party cared about our troops they would be asking President Bush to resign.
And the rest of us are little better. We prove every day that we are unworthy of the sacrifice our troops are making. We're still driving terrorist-funding gas guzzlers. And we're still playing "red-state" "blue-state" gotcha-political games. If 9/11 didn't get our attention what kind of cataclysm will it take?