Thursday, July 14, 2005

Couple Things- Home Grown Terrorists; Military Recruiting

Is it just me or do you find the consistent neocon argument/justification for destroying Iraq and it's people absurd. That argument (for those of you who have been living under a rock) is that we're -- apparently meaning the United States and Great Britain -- fighting the good fight in Afghanistan and Iraq so we don't have to fight a decidedly more dangerous fight in, oh, let's say the streets of Topeka, Kansas or DeMoines, Iowa. The presumptive reasoning for this absurd justification is that surely Islamic fundamentalists bent upon destroying the infidel (us) cannot and do not thrive within the glorious clutch of western democracies which, of course, we're creating in Iraq (:-])

Now, according to all the reports I've read, the -- what appears to have been -- suicide bombers who fomented the recent violence in London were, yes, children of western democracies. Sure, they were born in Pakistan (and a very late report that one was born in Jamaica??), but they were raised, lived, worked within that sacred -- or so say the neocons -- mystically cleansing western-style democracy of London and its quaint suburbs.

So, of course, the question occurs: Why are American young men and women dying in the hell that is Afghanistan and Iraq; why are (probably) hundreds of thousands of Iraqis being killed and their cities destroyed by the Christian, democratic infidels (I have read that Islamic fundamentalists look upon democracy as a religion) when, in reality, the ultimately more important battle is within those western democracies themselves? Sleeper cells? Yes, we're being told that the CIA has identified thousands of Islamic fundamentalist sleeper cells just waiting, waiting, waiting within our own glorious republic to be awoken and, Allah be praised!, bring the jihad home to where it belongs, yes, in the streets of Topeka and DeMoines, Paonia and Pueblo.

Yet, Dubya and the boys and girls just don't get it. Gotta have a war to sustain the neocon GOP at least through the 2006 elections. Right? God, I hope the American people are ON to this disastrous, costly strategy; this strategy that leaves mother's without sons; wives without husbands; children without fathers and, yes, lovers without their partners.

This from AlterNet this morning, "An Army of (No) One," that reads, in part:
It's been a tough year for the U.S. military. But you wouldn't know it from the Internet, now increasingly packed with slick, non-military looking websites of every sort that are lying in wait for curious teens (or their exasperated parents) who might be surfing by. On the ground, the military may be bogged down in a seemingly interminable mission that was supposedly "accomplished" back on May 1, 2003, but on the Web it's still a be-all-that-you-can-be world of advanced career choices, peaceful pursuits, and risk-free excitement.
What I find really interesting, though is this:
What we do know, however, is that JAMRS is currently focusing on the following areas of interest in an attempt to bolster the all-volunteer military:

Hispanic Barriers to Enlistment: a project to "identify the factors contributing to under-representation of Hispanic youth among military accessions" and "inform future strategies for increasing Hispanic representation among the branches of the Military."

College Drop Outs/Stop Outs Study: a project "aimed to gain a better understanding of what drives college students to... 'drop out' and determine how the Services can capitalize on this group of individuals (ages 18-24)."
Mothers' Attitude Study: "This study gauges the target audience's (270 mothers of 10th- and 11th-grade youth) attitudes toward the Military and enlistment."

During the Vietnam War, Hispanics took disproportionate numbers of casualties and similar disparities have been reported in Iraq. JAMRS, apparently, is looking to make certain that this military tradition is maintained. Additionally, eyebrows ought to be raised over a Pentagon that is looking at ways to influence the mothers of teens to send their sons and daughters off to war and at a military eager to study what it takes to get kids to "drop out" of school and how the military might then scoop them up. Perhaps the most intriguing line of research, however, is the "Moral Waiver Study" whose seemingly benign goal is "to better define relationships between pre-Service behaviors and subsequent Service success." What the JAMRS informational page doesn't make clear, but what might be better explained in the password-protected section of the site, is that a "moral character waiver" is the means by which potential recruits with criminal records are allowed to enlist in the U.S. military.
Okay. I posted a picture of my Basic Combat Training outfit, Delta 1-1 from way back in 1972. There was an "all volunteer Army" happenin' at that time, too (although there were still a few draftees in the mix). But, something has gone terribly wrong here. Take a look at the picture (blow it up by clicking on it and click the + sign and then the "Original" option in Flickr). Tell me how many white, black and Hispanic faces you see in that picture? (Lawdy, lookit all them white boys!) Can you pick out those with criminal records? What I think is that way back when I volunteered for service to my country there was still a little integrity left in the system; there was still a little reason to stand-up and be willing to give two or three or four years or a lifetime to your country as a soldier, whether you were white, or black or brown or polkadot. Not so today.
I'm thinkin' the Department of Defense is gettting a little desperate. Yup, I'm thinkin' that ol' Rummie and his crew are shitting bricks wondering where in hell they're going to get those young men and women to fight their fucking nasty little wars that serve only to prop-up a president who can't even find the Oval Office shithouse without Karl Rove holding his hand. And, what about this nation's National Guard and Reserves? What about Homeland Security? What about the Mexican and Canadian borders where anyone, literally anyone can enter the United States with impunity?
Jesus... And the Democrats? Well, I'm thinkin' there's a lost cause there as well.
I guess it's time for the people to take back their government.

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