Monday, November 27, 2006

Democratic Senator Rangel Outdoes Kerry in Insulting the US Military

Last month Senator John Kerry said his comments were a botched joke.

Senator Charles Rangel (D-NY), who is soon expected to become the Chair of the House Ways and Means committee and one of the most powerful Democratic leaders in Congress was not joking at all last Wednesday when he was quoted in the New York Daily News as saying,
The great majority of people beariing arms for this country in Iraq are from poorer communities in our inner cities and rural areas.
When he was confronted with this quote on Fox News yesterday (watch the video here) and was presented with statistical evidence that disproved his assertion, Rangel responded by saying,
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 fella 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.
First of all, Senator, there are one or two women serving in our military in Iraq, too . . . it's not just the "young fellas."

Also, I suppose it may be true that few young people want to go to war and fight but, those who have volunteered to join our military and have been ordered to "go and fight," are doing it honorably and well. Indeed, vast numbers of our military have volunteered to serve since we entered the war, first in Afghanistan and, three years ago, in Iraq. Many have "gone to war" more than once and many have "re-upped" knowing that they will have to do it again.

Large numbers of our military, both "officer" and "enlisted" have had multiple career options that paid better and offered far better benefits than our military could ever offer. Yet they have turned these things down in favor of entering harms' way in the uniform of the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and National Guard.

It is insulting and degrading for our men and women in uniform to be continually stereotyped as poor, stupid losers by those who have been elected to represent them in the highest offices of our national government.

Rangel clearly believes what he says and this is far more worrisome than if he were simply a bloviating demagog blowing off hot air.

I suppose that some military outfit in Iraq will have to create another banner to set Rangel straight.

But, if they do, don't expect to see a picture of that banner in any major news publication or television broadcast. Why should they publish it when they didn't even bother to report on what Rangel said in the first place!