We should all be talking daily about how best to educate our kids to enter and create the world that we all know is possible. From our place within what remains of our once proud democracy, we should be working and fighting against wars and war machines with every cell in our body, and with every available minute of our day.
The problem of the recruitment of our children is immediate. Ads on TV reach younger and younger audiences. The evening news looks more like an ad for what was supposed to happen with the invasion of Iraq, than any real representation of the carnage on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our children are being wooed, by the richest most powerful advertiser on the planet, to participate in the destruction of humanity. This so called advertiser has already demonstrated a contempt for truth and disclosure. So dont expect what happens on the back end to mirror the excitement and enthusiasm offered up to our teens. Ask any returning vet.
The discussion of recruitment needs to also visit the concept of a reinstatement of the draft, an event that has been planned by Rumsfeld for years. This war strategy needs young people willing to go into harms way and it needs them now! It doesnt take a sharp mind to see that any draft is economically biased, that poor folks have fewer means of avoidance. It is also plain that as our economy goes south, as our jobs go overseas, as our youth get angrier and more disenfranchised from a dream of a good life in America, the field becomes ripe for picking recruits and draftees. It starts in the inner cities and isolated rural lands and works across social, economic and gender lines to bring the issue to the dinner table in every household with a teen. Rumsfelds goal is to make our youth so miserable at home, to have so few options that they will be eager to line up for K rations, desert fatigues and the promise of benefits, that are even now being stripped from veterans by the same administration. Go figure.
Recruitment efforts these days engage all the glitz and glamor that Madison Avenue advertising minds can inject. We know our children are not able to distinguish between what is good and not good for them simply on the basis of advertising. The agenda is not in favor of the young adults or their careers, but it seeks to provide just the right amount of fodder for this and future wars. If it doesnt happen by volunteers (which it is not) then recruitment efforts will heat up. Need more? A draft will be implemented.
The risks of being physically or psychologically damaged forever by the present course and action of war is immense. We know our army has killed tens of thousands more collateral civilians than combatants in Iraq and would easily justify doing the same elsewhere in the name of this war on terror. Is an army computer specialist trainer in San Antonio exempt from responsibility in this war machine because someone else is pulling the trigger in Iraq? Are any of us free of responsibility in this? Joining this army means dividing your brain, your ethics, your sense of community, racial justice, fair treatment of human beings…into two parts. Us and them. You will spend the rest of your life trying to medicate or rationalize that moment.
If all human history has served to consolidate the most fire and political power ever, to the last remaining superpower, and into the narrow agenda of a very few extremely rich and immoral men and women, we must realize that this is a new and different kind of war than the face of the earth has witnessed. They have become fabulously wealthy promoting the end of empire.
This is certainly not a struggle to preserve our democracy, for since 9/11 we have given up wholesale portions of the Bill of Rights and turned our backs on the Constitution and on our own moral core. Fear has been the order of the day, since 9/11 gave the presiding junta the perfect justification to move forward on a strategy of global dominion. This government trades on the fears of its populace. It turns up and down the heat using domestic terror alerts, gas prices, jobs, taxes and news of the war to either incite us or to shut us up.
At core, they are not afraid, Bush, etc. They have their oil and arms riches and their connections and they are lining their pockets so completely with our social security fund, with your taxes present and future, with junk money, and money from weapons sales to other countries. With their thick veneer of deniability and secrecy, they are not afraid of anything, but they need you to be afraid. And if you are not sufficiently scared about the threat of terror and/or not adequately compliant about how they are operating: well then theyll just blow up Fallujah or bomb a wedding in Afghanistan to create a thousand more enemies of America willing to strap a bomb to their bodies, kiss their kids good-bye and hit us just once as hard as they can. Are you invested in the fear machine yet? Does that make you afraid enough now to offer your son or daughter to that mans war? Can you see this for what it truly is?
What loving parent would consciously offer his or her child to participate in this rank slaughter?
Work for Peace.
David Stocker is a Rockford resident.
From the Aug. 24-30, 2005, issue