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 Post subject: Why Go to College, When You Can be Cannon Fodder?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 12:03 am 
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Speaking My Mind
Speaking My Mind

Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 10:35 am
Posts: 82
Location: Germany, near Stuttgart
Why Go to College, When You Can be Cannon Fodder?

Do You Know What Your Kids Are Watching on "Educational" TV at School?

By Dr. TERESA WHITEHURST

"A parent who's too busy or doesn't realize the importance of tuning in to his or her child often expresses surprise when the child gets into trouble or drops out of school. The child knows, but can't explain, that those "bad kids" he or she hangs out with are alike a lifeline. This is the secret pullall the unpleasantness and risk in the world is worth the feeling of being seen and heard by someone."

from Jesus on Parenting: 10 Essential Principles that Will Transform Your Family

I learned something new yesterday. Channel One News, the "educational" TV show that my daughter Isa and millions of other American kids watch every morning at school, is busy recruiting our teenagers into the military.

"Mom, they're really aiming at the black kids, and the Hispanic kids too. I'm so sick of seeing those military ads everyday. "The Power of One", and all that lots of my friends are falling for it!"

This is especially upsetting to Isa because several of her black friends, 18, 19 and 20 years old, have been shipped to Iraq. Some were promised they wouldn't have to be in combat, but would be doing "mechanical work", "communications", or "wiring".

It seems doubtful that, when push comes to shove, kids who've been promised such jobs will be allowed to avoid combat. One of her friends has already been shot "in an embarrassing place"; he's being treated overseas instead of the US so that he can be sent quickly back into combat in Iraq. Mr. Bush's military needs warm bodies, able or not.

I stopped the car and asked, "Wait a minute. What do you mean when you say you're "seeing those military ads every day"?"

"We have to watch this short thing every morning in homeroom called "Channel One News"," Isa explained with a weary tone. "It's educational, supposedly. You know, the day's news, so we'll be up on current events. But in between the stories, there are more and more ads for the Army and the Marines."

I thought about "No Child Left Behind" and the malignant purpose behind that sweet-sounding act that Mr. Bush and his men (and at least one journalist paid $250,000 by the White House) have continuously promoted to trusting parents across the US. After catching my breath I asked,

"Are you saying you're being recruited through the TV you watch during homeroom?" She nodded. I asked again, "What do your teachers think about this? What about Mr. Hitchens (not his real name), who told you privately that he's antiwar? Doesn't he say anything against it?"

Persuaded Away from College, Towards the Military

"No, I think the teachers and the kids are so used to it at my school that they don't even notice anymore. I mean, the other day I was walking to Sociology class and heard the ROTC instructor telling the kids, "Okay, this is how you hold your M-16". The whole culture of the school is military these days, so nobody notices anything unusual about this. And I think the few teachers who aren't prowar or proBush are afraid to get in trouble if they say anything that doesn't sound pro-military."

As noted in my recent articles on military recruitment and the coming draft, for two years my daughter and I have been fighting the aggressive and often sneaky efforts of military recruiters to sign her up. Certainly they don't want her for her physical prowess-she weighs 98 pounds-so I can only assume they want her for other reasons. Either they've seen her high verbal scores, or they just want young bodies-even a tiny one-to serve as cannon fodder.

With a military recruiter present every day in the cafeteria, military "speakers" visiting classrooms, and huge recruiting posters in the guidance office, perhaps it's not surprising that teachers and even guidance counselors have been influenced by the constant hum of "enlist, enlist, enlist". Students at Isa's school are told that, yes, they could consider college, but that it's "very expensive" and "may not guarantee you a job", while the military "will pay for college" and "practically guarantees you'll have a great career". Oh, and "a big cash bonus right now if you sign up today!"

Joining the military is presented as the one and only path of honor, heroism, and service to one's country. Many students, not surprisingly, want to be heroes or get out of poverty, so they're signing up in droves. College recruiting is a rarity at this school, and at her previous school, as well. Ah, but military recruiters are constantly lurking around, spending quality time with fatherless boys, handing out materials, giving "aptitude tests" (played down as "just helping you figure out what you're really good at"), handing out Marine bumper stickers, and otherwise making their smartly-uniformed presence known.

"It's just everywhere", Isa continued. "Here's an example: In gym we don't exercise or play sports like we used to do-now we "sound off", just like in the military, while running and doing jumping jacks, push-ups, and pull-ups. The freshmen are told to shout, "one, two!", then the sophomores are supposed to answer, "three, four!", and then the whole group of us has to say "Sound off!" I mean it's ridiculous Mom! How are you supposed to exercise while you're shouting at the top of your lungs?"

As I started driving again, I took a moment to reflect on this "military culture" that's replacing the educational culture in America's public schools. Surely Channel One News, which parents and educators have criticized from the start as nothing more than a way to let corporations advertise their products directly to kids without their parents' knowledge, wouldn't go so far as to market the military to children as a (better, more heroic, more exciting) alternative to college? Surely they wouldn't override Mom and Dad by sneakily recruiting through "educational" TV at school? Would they? Could they?

To be continued in, "Military Recruiting Commercials on "Educational" TV in Public Schools: Day after Day, Military Ads Target Children-Especially Hispanics and Blacks-On Channel One News in Schools Across the Nation"

Dr. Teresa Whitehurst is a clinical psychologist and writer. Her most recent book describes the nonviolent guidance of children,Jesus on Parenting: 10 Essential Principles that Will Transform Your Family, Baker Books, 9/2004.

You can contact her at DrTeresa@JesusontheFamily.org

http://www.counterpunch.org/whitehurst02172005.html


Catherine, you should post your links here as well!
This should become common knowledge!

Traude

_________________
Wir sind nicht nur verantwortlich für das, was wir tun, sondern auch für das, was wir nicht tun.
Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.
Voltaire (Francois-Marie Arouet)


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 Post subject: Cannon Fodder
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 12:27 am 
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Involved
Involved

Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 2:38 pm
Posts: 12
Location: usa
I live in a military/civilian community and it is very depressing to see these young people facing the reality of Cannon Fodder. They are so happy to be looked up to by younger people until they see the vets in this community who have been ignored or cheated by their government. It boggles the mind to see how the government treats those who served.
Suddenly the money isn't so good and the duty is unbearable. I am always cheered when I read that the services can't meet their quotas. :twisted:

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"The moving finger writes, & having writ, moves on; And not all your pleas, can call it back to cancel half a line, nor all your tears wash out a word of it."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 12:54 am 
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Speaking My Mind
Speaking My Mind

Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 10:35 am
Posts: 82
Location: Germany, near Stuttgart
j2ts2, I hope you will love to read this article:

America's refuseniks

The movement to refuse military service in Iraq is on the rise, reports Sharif Abdel-Kouddous from Washington

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In his second inauguration address on 20 January United States President George W Bush issued a recruiting call. "I ask our youngest citizens to believe the evidence of your eyes. You have seen duty and allegiance in the determined faces of our soldiers," Bush said. "Make the choice to serve in a cause larger than your wants." Young men and women across the United States are answering his call. But not in the way Bush would like.

A revolt is taking place within the ranks of the US military as a growing number of soldiers refuse to fight in Iraq and are increasingly vocal in their opposition to a war they consider illegal and immoral. They are today's generation of war resisters.

Sergeant Kevin Benderman is one of the US's latest war resisters. Benderman spent eight months in Iraq in 2003 as an army mechanic. Though he never fired a gun in combat, he says the misery he saw firsthand led him to seek conscientious objector status.

"One thing that really sticks out in my mind, is the picture of a young girl standing there with her arm burned," Benderman said in an interview with the Associated Press. "Her mother was there and they were both crying and begging for help. The executive officer refused to help because troops had limited medical supplies."

Benderman, 40, notified his commanders last month that he was seeking a discharge as a conscientious objector. He then refused orders to deploy with his unit on 8 January, while the army processed his claim. He was charged with desertion and a second count that accuses him of intentionally skipping his deployment flight. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in a military prison, demotion and a dishonourable discharge.

"My response to those charges is 'not guilty'," Benderman said. "I am prepared to deal with whatever consequences my action brings."

Sometimes, the consequences of resisting war can go beyond just criminal prosecution. Army Reserve Specialist Aidan Delgado applied for conscientious objector status soon after his deployment to Nasiriya in April 2003. After Delgado, 23, informed his superiors of his decision and handed in his weapon, the military confiscated part of his protective body armour.

"It was a punitive measure, at least a repressive measure, against me for coming out with my beliefs," said Delgado. "They knew I was very sympathetic to the Arabs and very critical of the occupation. So, by and large, people called me a traitor." Delgado was finally granted conscientious objector status in April 2004 and was honourably discharged.

But hundreds of other US soldiers are facing criminal prosecution for refusing to serve in Iraq and some have been jailed for desertion. In May 2004, Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia, 29, was sentenced to one year in prison after a military jury convicted him of desertion.

Mejia spent six months in combat in Iraq where he witnessed the atrocities of the US-led war, including the abuse of prisoners and the killing of civilians. After returning to the US for a two-week leave in October 2003, Mejia decided he never wanted to fight again in Iraq and went AWOL (Absent Without Leave) to avoid re-deployment. He finally surrendered to the military after five months in hiding and filed for conscientious objector status.

"We are doing this for the soldiers and their families who are victims of this war," Mejia wrote from Fort Stewart in a letter to his aunt, Norma Castillo, shortly after turning himself in. "We are doing this for the people of Iraq, who are being oppressed for the oil. We are doing this for humanity, which has already paid a high price." Mejia's application for conscientious objector status was ultimately denied and he is currently in jail, serving out the remaining months of his sentence.

New Pentagon statistics show that more than 5,000 soldiers have now been charged with desertion from US and overseas bases since the invasion of Iraq in early 2003.

"They make it hard to get conscientious objector status," said Steve Morse, the GI Rights Programme coordinator for the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors. "The military says they do not keep statistics on the number of applications filed. But in 2004, it was probably in the high hundreds -- close to 1,000 -- and not many were granted."

The GI Rights Programme maintains a toll free hotline that provides information to members of the military about discharges, grievance and other civil rights. They have experienced a sharp increase in the number of incoming calls since the launch of the invasion. In 2004 alone, they received 32,000 calls, nearly double the number in 2001.

Another solution for US war resisters is simply to flee the country. In January 2004, US Army Specialist Jeremy Hinzman, 26, crossed the border into Canada with his wife and one- year-old son soon after his application for conscientious objector status was denied. Hinzman is believed to be the first US soldier to file for refugee status in Canada for refusing to fight in Iraq. Some say this is the first echo of the tens of thousands of war resisters who went north more than 30 years ago to escape the Vietnam War.

In December 2004, Hinzman told Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board that the war in Iraq was illegal and that fighting in it would make him a war criminal. He faces certain punishment if he returns to the US. The FBI has a federal warrant out for his arrest and he could face up to five years in prison. His case is still pending review by a Canadian tribunal.

It remains to be seen whether the level of resistance to the Iraq war within the US military will ever reach that of Vietnam. But as the bloody US occupation of Iraq spills over into 2005, one thing is clear: dissent is growing.

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/730/in4.htm


There is another link that might interest you
http://www.objector.org/

When will they learn that a war can only be lost on both sides?
Traude

_________________
Wir sind nicht nur verantwortlich für das, was wir tun, sondern auch für das, was wir nicht tun.
Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.
Voltaire (Francois-Marie Arouet)


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