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Mention of draft is a wake-up call

Uncle Sam wants you — or at least that is what U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., thinks. With the possibility of war against Iraq imminent, Rangel is pushing for a reinstatement of the draft in the name of “shared sacrifice.”

Luckily for those who are opposed to the idea, Rangel holds a minority view.

Several high-ranking government officials disagree with Rangel, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who said draftees provide “no value, no advantage” to the military. And the majority of the Bush administration agrees with Rumsfeld. They are not, however, necessarily opposed to some type of mandatory national service.

One would hope that Rumsfeld knows more about what is best for the military than a U.S. representative.

While Rangel’s proposal is unlikely to be put into effect, it should serve as a reminder that conscription is an option that could be utilized if the situation warranted it. At present, there is no need, and reinstating the draft would serve no purpose.

It should be up to Americans to decide whether to defend the country, and citizens should remember there are ways to support the country other than military service.

Sacrifice takes different forms. With the current situation in Iraq, conserving fuel would be just one way Americans could support their country. Or, in a more visible way, volunteering to serve in the National Guard would support the United States.

But it is hard for Americans to focus their attention on war and take action to help the country when the government continues to send the message that Americans should keep on living life as normal.

The possibility that the draft could return should wake up many college students to what’s going on in the world.

A classic military draft is probably not practical in this day and age, but that does not mean that Americans cannot sacrifice something. There are other ways to support the United States.

University Wire — Illinois State U.