Tough talk is cheap, and so are votes to go to war if lawmakers and most of their constituents don’t suffer any consequences, said Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) in an interview with The Huffington Post last week.
Rangel called for a military draft and a war tax in order to make the majority of Americans — and the lawmakers who represent them — “feel” the consequences of the ongoing military campaign against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.
His comments came shortly before Congress voted to approve $500 million to train and arm Syrian rebels, permitting an escalation of President Barack Obama’s military campaign against the Islamic State, which is also known as ISIL and ISIS.
The vote allowed Congress to skip town before the November elections without taking a politically consequential vote on whether or not to actually authorize war. At the same time, it lets Obama expand a military effort that several of his advisers have, in fact, described as war.