FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

No Lie Left Untried

 

When it comes to a reputation for selling snake oil, surely the army recruiter has long been right down there in the muck with the used car salesman and the patent medicine huckster. It’s common knowledge that the promises made by recruiters about postings and future positions and training are worthless, and that once someone signs on as a recruit, her or his fate is at the whim of the military. That said, recruiters these days, desperate to fill the pipeline to Iraq’s slaughterhouse with new bodies, are resorting to an interesting new spiel this days.

Word comes in from students in the Philadelphia area that recruiters at area high schools are warning them to enlist now, when they can pick the type of service they’d like to do, “because there’s a draft coming next year and then you’ll have no choice.”

It’s an interesting come-on because the White House and Pentagon keep saying that there are no plans for a draft.

Granted, two years ago they began a crash program at the Selective Service System to rebuild the local and regional draft boards, which had been allowed to languish for years with seats going unfilled, and which are essential to a functioning system of conscription. And granted that this year was the worst year for enlistments and reenlistments for all branches of the uniformed services since Vietnam, with even the Marines failing to reach their quota, and with the army raising its maximum enlistment age from 35 to 42.

Still, a draft would be a bitter pill for elected officials in 2006, especially with the entire House up for re-election and with support for the war in Iraq now in the toilet.

So we’re left with two alternatives: either the recruiters know something that the rest of us and our elected political leadership in Congress don’t know, or there is no draft coming next year and the recruiters are using lies to scare young kids into signing on the dotted line.

If it’s the former, it’s time for our representatives to hold hearings to find out what’s up. If it’s the latter, schools should be banning the recruiters from high school campuses and from college information fairs, just as they would if an unaccredited school were lying and saying it offers an accredited degree. Lying recruiters have no place in a school, even if the “No Child Left Behind” law mandates that schools provide the names, addresses and home phone numbers of all high school juniors and seniors to recruiters.

While they’re at it, schools should all get their act together and provide every student aged 16 and up with an opt-out form as provided by law, so that they or their parent(s) can return it and have that child’s contact information kept from recruiters.

A growing grassroots movement of students and parents is resulting in more and more students turning in such forms. The principal’s office in my school district of Upper Dublin, PA, reports that this year a significant number of the junior and senior class have turned in the opt-out forms that were sent out as part of a back-to-school school information packet last August. In Montclair, NJ, 94 percent of the junior and senior class reportedly opted out this year, giving recruiters a pretty small group to harangue.

For information about protecting your child from these deceitful and threatening recruiters of cannon-fodder for Bush’s Iraq War, contact the American Friends Service Committee’s National Youth and Militarism Movement office. (Their website has an opt-out form that can be downloaded and printed out, to be turned in to your local high school or school board.)

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Information about both books and other work by Lindorff can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLARIFICATION

ALEXANDER COCKBURN, JEFFREY ST CLAIR, BECKY GRANT AND THE INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF JOURNALISTIC CLARITY, COUNTERPUNCH

We published an article entitled “A Saudiless Arabia” by Wayne Madsen dated October 22, 2002 (the “Article”), on the website of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalistic Clarity, CounterPunch, www.counterpunch.org (the “Website”).

Although it was not our intention, counsel for Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi has advised us the Article suggests, or could be read as suggesting, that Mr Al Amoudi has funded, supported, or is in some way associated with, the terrorist activities of Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

We do not have any evidence connecting Mr Al Amoudi with terrorism.

As a result of an exchange of communications with Mr Al Amoudi’s lawyers, we have removed the Article from the Website.

We are pleased to clarify the position.

August 17, 2005

 

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savior
Mairead Maguire
Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era
Dean Baker
The Bank Bailout of 2008 was Unnecessary
Wim Laven
Hurricane Trump, Season 2
Yves Engler
Smearing Dimitri Lascaris
Ron Jacobs
From ROTC to Revolution and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
The Cannibals of Horsepower
Binoy Kampmark
A Traditional Right: Jimmie Åkesson and the Sweden Democrats
Laura Flanders
History Markers
Weekend Edition
September 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Obama’s Imperial Presidency
Joshua Frank
From CO2 to Methane, Trump’s Hurricane of Destruction
Jeffrey St. Clair
Maria’s Missing Dead
Andrew Levine
A Bulwark Against the Idiocy of Conservatives Like Brett Kavanaugh
T.J. Coles
Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex
Jeff Ballinger
Nike and Colin Kaepernick: Fronting the Bigots’ Team
David Rosen
Why Stop at Roe? How “Settled Law” Can be Overturned
Gary Olson
Pope Francis and the Battle Over Cultural Terrain
Nick Pemberton
Donald The Victim: A Product of Post-9/11 America
Ramzy Baroud
The Veiled Danger of the ‘Dead’ Oslo Accords
Kevin Martin
U.S. Support for the Bombing of Yemen to Continue
Robert Fisk
A Murder in Aleppo
Robert Hunziker
The Elite World Order in Jitters
Ben Dangl
After 9/11: The Staggering Economic and Human Cost of the War on Terror
Charles Pierson
Invade The Hague! Bolton vs. the ICC
Robert Fantina
Trump and Palestine
Daniel Warner
Hubris on and Off the Court
John Kendall Hawkins
Boning Up on Eternal Recurrence, Kubrick-style: “2001,” Revisited
Haydar Khan
Set Theory of the Left
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail