Doing Something About It!

I read this in CommonDreams and I thought WOW, that’s what I’m talking about, affirmative action! Peaceful affirmative action. While many of us are wondering WHAT exactly to do, those in Berkeley California have figured it out. I guess some good things are bound to come out of California now and again. Here, read for yourself:

Published on Friday, March 14, 2008

Counter-Recruitment Is Not Counter-Military: A Letter From a Colonel

by Ann Wright

As a 29 year US Army/Army Reserves Colonel and a U.S. diplomat who resigned in March 2003 in opposition to the war on Iraq, I am very proud of the city of Berkeley, California. Berkeley and her citizenry have had the courage to stand on their peace convictions and declare that it does not want its youth recruited into the illegal Iraq war. Neither the action of Berkeley City council, nor the actions of the anti-war groups that oppose the location of the office in Berkeley, mean they are anti-military, or that they are “traitors” to their country. Rather, the actions reflect the sentiment of the people of Berkeley that they can “Support the Troops,” but also acknowledge publicly that one of the most effective strategies to resisting the war in Iraq is to make it harder for the military to find young people to send as cannon fodder.

It is not news that Berkeley has a long history of peace activism. In the 60’s the Berkeley Free Speech Movement challenged the University of California’s restrictions on student political activity and the right to speak and organize on the campus. The Berkeley campus was a center of civil rights and anti-war agitation.

Almost forty years later, on February 11, 2003, the Berkeley City Council adopted a resolution that expressed its opposition to “pre-emptive” military action against Iraq. Five years later, in February, 2008, the City Council of Berkeley, reflecting the continuing mood of her citizenry, declared its opposition to the occupation of Iraq by asking the US Marine Corps to remove its officer recruiting station from just off University Avenue, the city’s main thoroughfare, where it is 2 short blocks from the University of California and four blocks from Berkeley High School. Today, concerned and engaged Berkeleyans remain outside of the recruiting station getting more creative with their peaceful resistance to the attempted militarization of their youth and ready to put a measure on the ballot that would further limit the reach of recruiters into their community.

With a recruiting budget ranging into the billions, the military services tempt young high school students with large signing bonuses up to $20,000, home loan opportunities for enlistees, and citizenship for non-citizens. Military recruiters make daily forays into high schools throughout our country, with video games, military paraphernalia and promises of college money and non-combat positions to teens of color and from low-income communities. In many schools recruiters are so integrated into the schools that they have reserved parking spaces.

The request by one city council that one recruiting station be removed from its community does not pose a threat to the national security of the United States. Yet, the Bush administration has created a firestorm over the actions of the City council and anti-war groups by giving “hate” talking points to conservative radio and TV talk show hosts and ordering right-wing street organizations to descend on Berkeley. The anger and virulence of right-wing rhetoric indicates the depth of concern the administration has about its ability to recruit for the war in Iraq and for other potential conflicts. These right-wing groups are even going so far as to launch a new study about the supposed violence perpetrated on Recruiting Stations around the country- with direct reference to the peaceful Berkeley campaign.

Now that is pretty sad when you have to manufacture evidence of violence when faced with peaceful opposition, huh? But how typical of the Bush administration. There is no reasoning with them. They want you on your knees, bowing down low, saying “Yes Master!” Ummmmmmm, last I checked this was still the United States of America and it was LEGAL to do things like this. But lying, manufacturing evidence, and flat out deceit, is what we have come to expect from Bush.

How pathetic does it make the military, the government, the president, etc. to be so intimidated by one city? Now, I could understand it if EVERY CITY did the same thing. Then they could worry.

And what the hell is this about promising Citizenship to those of other countries if they will fight in this ILLEGAL WAR? When did that happen and by what authority is this legal?

As anti-war sentiment has increased in our country, recruiters are having a harder time filling their quotas. Educational standards for recruitment have been reduced. People with criminal records are allowed to join. Potential recruits are told that there is no war. Recruiters bend the rules, and among other illegal practices, let persons with known drug addictions join the military. Other recruiters sexually assault potential recruits. A 2006 Associated Press investigation revealed that across all military services, one out of 200 frontline recruiters-those who deal directly with young people-was disciplined for sexual misconduct in 2005.

And that was a little shocking to me. I thought the military had these high standards. Guess it just goes with this administration. One reflects the other. I’m talking about criminals here. So I pulled up an army site just to see what the qualifications were for the army. However, what I kept coming up with was Green Beret stuff.

To become part of the Army’s Green Berets, you need to be mentally and physically tough, endure difficult training and face all challenges head-on. In addition to that, you must:

Be a male, age 20-30 (Special Forces positions are not open to women)
* Be a U.S. citizen
* Be a high school diploma graduate
* Achieve a General Technical score of 110 or higher and a combat operation score of 98 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.
* Qualify for a secret security clearance.
* Qualify and volunteer for Airborne training
* Take Defense Language Aptitude Battery or Defense Language Proficiency Test
* Achieve a minimum of 60 points on each event and overall minimum score of 229 on the Army Physical Fitness Test

Besides being part of the world’s most highly trained force, other benefits include:
Enlistment bonus of up to $20,000
* Up to $71,424 to further your education
* Camaraderie
* 30 days vacation
* Complete medical and dental care
* Specialized Army training
* Leadership skills

As you can see under Qualifications, you have to be a citizen FIRST, not after the fact. So how can a none-citizen get in? I don’t understand. And do they give those tests in other languages than English? Bets on me getting into trouble for printing this? How about being a High School Diploma Graduate? Not a GED either mind you. So, I want an examination of these boys backgrounds and we’ll just see HOW they are getting in. Because it seems pretty clear from this that you have to BE a US Citizen before you can join. Anyone have a different opinion?

Oh, and that Enlistment Bonus? That $20,000.00? Well, if you get wounded and can’t fulfill your contract, the army will want that back, or at least a portion that is…. Ya, be real careful when you think about trusting the army. It is real good for them if you are well, but if you get hurt, they will wash their hands of you real quick and make you pay for it too.

This was kind of interesting. It didn’t explain as much as I hoped it would. It certainly didn’t spell out WHAT the irregularities were either.

Accession Number : ADA453988
Title : Military Recruiting: DOD and Services Need Better Data to Enhance Visibility over Recruiter Irregularities

Anyway, excellent job Berkeley! Congrats on standing up to the military, bush and company, and the pressure. I salute you!


~ by justmytruth on March 20, 2008.

2 Responses to “Doing Something About It!”

  1. Actually, you are the stupid one. Our military isn’t doing anything for us and hasn’t done anything for us in quite some time. All this talk of doing it for “OUR Freedom” is all bullshit which you have obviously swallowed whole. Maybe you have been indoctrinated but I haven’t been. I suggest you re-evaluate your situation and decide where they are fighting for our freedom and where they are simply fighting… Seems to me this is a way for the government to kill off potentially good citizens while allowing unlimited scum from Mexico across our borders.

  2. are you stupid? seriously? these recruiters go to high school its the students decision to walk up to them or not. our military fights for what is right and for your freedom to degrade them so thank the people your acting out against because they are the ONLY reason you can act out. kind of ironic huh>

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: