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).

Weekend Edition
November 16, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jonah Raskin
A California Jew in a Time of Anti-Semitism
Andrew Levine
Whither the Melting Pot?
Joshua Frank
Climate Change and Wildfires: The New Western Travesty
Nick Pemberton
The Revolution’s Here, Please Excuse Me While I Laugh
T.J. Coles
Israel Cannot Use Violent Self-Defense While Occupying Gaza
Rob Urie
Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America
Paul Street
Barack von Obamenburg, Herr Donald, and Big Capitalist Hypocrisy: On How Fascism Happens
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Fire is Sweeping Our Very Streets Today
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s New President, Other European Fools and the Abyss 
Pete Dolack
“Winners” in Amazon Sweepstakes Sure to be the Losers
Richard Eskow
Amazon, Go Home! Billions for Working People, But Not One Cent For Tribute
Ramzy Baroud
In Breach of Human Rights, Netanyahu Supports the Death Penalty against Palestinians
Brian Terrell
Ending the War in Yemen- Congressional Resolution is Not Enough!
John Laforge
Woolsey Fire Burns Toxic Santa Susana Reactor Site
Ralph Nader
The War Over Words: Republicans Easily Defeat the Democrats
M. G. Piety
Reading Plato in the Time of the Oligarchs
Rafael Correa
Ecuador’s Soft Coup and Political Persecution
Brian Cloughley
Aid Projects Can Work, But Not “Head-Smacking Stupid Ones”
David Swanson
A Tale of Two Marines
Robert Fantina
Democrats and the Mid-Term Elections
Joseph Flatley
The Fascist Creep: How Conspiracy Theories and an Unhinged President Created an Anti-Semitic Terrorist
Joseph Natoli
Twitter: Fast Track to the Id
William Hawes
Baselines for Activism: Brecht’s Stance, the New Science, and Planting Seeds
Bob Wing
Toward Racial Justice and a Third Reconstruction
Ron Jacobs
Hunter S. Thompson: Chronicling the Republic’s Fall
Oscar Gonzalez
Stan Lee and a Barrio Kid
Jack Rasmus
Election 2018 and the Unraveling of America
Sam Pizzigati
The Democrats Won Big, But Will They Go Bold?
Yves Engler
Canada and Saudi Arabia: Friends or Enemies?
Cesar Chelala
Can El Paso be a Model for Healing?
Mike Ferner
The Tragically Misnamed Paris Peace Conference
Barry Lando
Trump’s Enablers: Appalling Parallels
Ariel Dorfman
The Boy Who Taught Me About War and Peace
Binoy Kampmark
The Disgruntled Former Prime Minister
Faisal Khan
Is Dubai Really a Destination of Choice?
Arnold August
The Importance of Néstor García Iturbe, Cuban Intellectual
James Munson
An Indecisive War To End All Wars, I Mean the Midterm Elections
Nyla Ali Khan
Women as Repositories of Communal Values and Cultural Traditions
Dan Bacher
Judge Orders Moratorium on Offshore Fracking in Federal Waters off California
Christopher Brauchli
When Depravity Wins
Robby Sherwin
Here’s an Idea
Susan Block
Cucks, Cuckolding and Campaign Management
Louis Proyect
The Mafia and the Class Struggle (Part Two)
David Yearsley
Smoke on the Water: Jazz in San Francisco
Elliot Sperber
All of Those Bezos
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail