Saturday, December 15, 2007

The First Victims of War

...Are the Soldiers

This is my contribution to the Truth in Recruiting 'blog burst' called for by Anok @ Identity Check. Here's his theme:
Did you know that our government has forced high schools to open its doors to military recruiters? If a school refuses to allow them to recruit on campus, the government will pull their federal funding. Thats right, they're being blackmailed into allowing an open season on minors. Recruiters are meeting with, counseling and setting up recruitment with students as young as 15 years old, maybe younger.
Really. If you've ever seen Gwynne Dyer's excellent, nay definitive seven-part documentary WAR, you were probably struck by the episode entitled Anybody's Son Will Do. That explored the dehumanizing experience of a Marine inductee, or 'boot' at Paris Island. Boot - what does that name alone tell you? It's brutal, but not nearly so brutal as a battlefield - especially when that 'battlefield' in many cases is littered with more dead civilians than legitimate enemy combatants. Not a place for children, in or out of uniform. Dyer's exposé on the methods of turning a normal caring feeling person into a killing machine is burned into my consciousness. And it wasn't pretty.

(By the way, in passing I'd like to say DAMN YOU NFB! Canada's National Film Board owns the copyright to Dyer's documentary series, which has never been made available on DVD for purchase, let alone freely streamed on the web. This is after my tax dollars helped produce the series. Did I say DAMN YOU NFB? Oh, yeah I did. Well, I really meant it.)

I can't do nearly as good a job on this topic as Anok has already done, nor as good as Reconstitution's Jolly Roger has already done, and certainly not as good as Quaker Dave has already done right here at Les Enragé, but I can make you aware of those posts and urge you to read them. And I can echo QDave's sentiment, "Keep Your Bloody Hands Off Our Children." QDave's post has a list of things you can do to combat the ghouls who hang around the schools. Most important:
  1. Write a letter to your local newspaper, explaining what most parents don’t know: that parents are allowing the privacy of their families to be violated if they allow their child’s school to share this information. Inform them they can opt out. It’s easy. Forms for that purpose can be downloaded here.

Another small contribution I can make is to present this wonderful video, an old clip of the late, great Phil Ochs, in my opinion the greatest protest singer of all time.
I Ain't Marchin' Anymore - Phil Ochs

One other thing I can do is link to this article from Alternet (h/t Jump to the Left) about how the military is trying to make themselve look hip to attract more recruits.
Teenagers, be warned: Military recruiters have armed themselves with "Wat up, dude?" and "nmu" in their effort to lure you to Iraq. (For those who lack daily interaction with teens, "nmu" means "Not much. You?")

As headlines reveal that the military is lowering standards to meet its recruiting goals, the Pentagon is trying new techniques to connect with Millennials -- those born between 1980 and 2000, formerly known as Generation Y.

In September, the website Entropic Memes reported that attendees at last spring's Annual Navy Workforce Research and Analysis Conference were given a slideshow presentation titled "The Road to a 2025 Total Force: Talkin 'bout Their Generation."

At the presentation, ad executive Arthur Mitchell, director of strategic planning for Campbell-Ewald, the agency behind the Navy's Accelerate Your Life campaign, talked about the inability of Navy recruiters to connect with today's young people.
And one more thing - as a bonus. While my mind was on Phil Ochs anyway, here's another one of his tunes, my favorite. It wasn't available by him on YouTube, but this cover was. And being a monster songwriter in his own right, Gordon Lightfoot does NOT do many covers. That should tell you something. Enjoy.
Gordon Lightfoot: Changes

TAGS: , , ,

No comments: