Rep. Charles B. Rangel, New York Democrat, does not appear convinced by assurances that U.S. engagement in Syria’s civil war will not involve “boots on the ground,” saying Wednesday that “you cannot be part pregnant” in such international conflicts and that “once you get in, all these resolutions mean nothing.”
“I don’t see where this issue is important enough for members of Congress who have no skin in the game,” Mr. Rangel, who was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star during the Korean War, said on MSNBC. “You know, they don’t get these volunteers for combat from Harvard or Yale. They get them for communities like mine. And so there’s risk involved — risk for whom?”
“No one can judge the reaction of the country that you attack, especially irresponsible people,” he said. “We’re dealing with a civil war. We have no idea who wants to overthrow this madman. …Once you get in, all these resolutions mean nothing. We’re going to send troops to protect our people whenever we can, and you know it and I know it.”
Mr. Rangel said the stances of members of Congress would be different if a military draft were reinstated.
“They don’t go to funerals like I do — they don’t have any skin in this game,” he said. “And they don’t have to worry about their families ever being drafted. I say this: For all of these excursions and intrusions militarily, if members of Congress thought for one minute that [the country would be] drafting their kids and their grandkids, you [would] not see this overwhelming sense of patriotism that you see.”