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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:53 PM
Original message
Absence Of America's Upper Classes From The Military
Edited on Fri Aug-04-06 12:03 AM by RamboLiberal
http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=2270473&page=1

Thanks to Sen. John McCain's youngest son checking into Marine Corps boot camp, the number of Congress members with enlisted children will skyrocket a whopping 50 percent. He joins the armed forces with two other enlisted and a few officer children of those serving in Congress in this nation at war, meaning that in all, about 1 percent of U.S. representatives and senators have a child in uniform. And the Capitol building is no different from other places where the leadership class of this country gather no different from the boardrooms, newsrooms, ivory towers and penthouses of our nation. Less than 1 percent of today's graduates from Ivy League schools go on to serve in the military.

Why does it matter? Because, quite simply, we cannot remain both the world's great power and a robust democracy without a broad sense of ownership of all classes but particularly the leadership classes in the military. Our military is too consequential, and the implications of our disconnect from it too far-reaching. We are on the wrong path today.

Those who opine, argue, publish, fund and decide courses of action for our country rarely see members of their families doing the deeds these leaders would send them to do, deeds which have such moment in the world. These deeds hardly begin and end with the Iraq War 200,000 U.S. troops are deployed in 130 other countries around the world, keeping it "flat," in Thomas Friedman's phrase. They train other nation's security forces, help keep the peace, provide humanitarian assistance, rescuing Americans from Lebanon, standing ready to go to Darfur if sent, to go wherever the country calls on them for assistance in short they do the complex work of the world's sole superpower. Yet these doers are strangers to most of us, and the very missions they do are mysterious.

When the deciders are disconnected from the doers, self-government can't work as it should. Most of these decisions about whether and how to use the U.S. military are hard, and we need to be as best equipped to make them as possible. We need to be intellectually capable have real knowledge about what the military in fact does, but we also need to be morally capable, which means we need a moral connection to those Americans we send into harm's way. Moreover, we need the largest pool of talent from which to draw those troops. Military work must not simply become fee for service.

<snip>

Kathy Roth-Doquet co-wrote "AWOL, The Unexcused Absence of America's Upper Classes from Military Service and How It Hurts Our Country" (Harper Collins, 2006).
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OwnedByFerrets Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. And this is news??
:rofl:
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Erika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Yes, GOP elitists support the war, as long as their kids don't go
That's news.
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Demit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Actually, it's an opinion piece. Like it says. n/t
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Erika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 11:59 PM
Response to Original message
2. I talked to my right wing friend on this
She said this was a great opportunity for "the underprivilieged" to get an education and travel. Kind of a Barbara Bush remark.

She's high income and, of course, her son "has other priorities" and won't enlist.
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. Yep - that's exactly what the author says
Today narrow self-interest, a sense of "other priorities" or a misguided sense of moral preference means most of the upper class never considers military service.

Or as one mother in an upper-class Pittsburgh suburb put it to a recruiter: "Military service isn't for our son. It isn't for our kind of people,"

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05223/552161.stm
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lostinacause Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:23 AM
Response to Reply #2
9. I actually agree with this. In a strange way the American forces act
as a welfare system for a certain proportion of the population.
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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-09-06 06:03 AM
Response to Reply #2
12. why are you friends with someone like her?
that would make me sick
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TaleWgnDg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 12:06 AM
Response to Original message
5. S'mattah? The poor and working class trying to "get ahead"
.

S'mattah? The immigrant, poor, working class, and lower middle class trying to "get ahead" by giving up their sons and daughters to the military to be killed in George W. Bush's Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq isn't good enough? The lowering of admissibility into the military in order to soak in these kids isn't good enough? You want the upper classes who avoid such power struggles in the military too? Hey, the upper classes already have power! Why should they join the military? Tell me. Why? What's in it for them? They are already U.S. citizens so that's no carrot. They are already college trained so that's no carrot. They are already making big bucks so that's no carrot. They already have prestige and underlings "salute" them so that's no carrot. So why should they join the military?

S'mattah? George W. Bush's legions of military immigrants, poor, working class, lower middle class, and crazy rightwing "Christians" isn't enough to float the boat?

Oh.
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Erika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:12 AM
Response to Original message
7. When the poor fight the rich's wars our nation will crumble
Edited on Fri Aug-04-06 01:14 AM by Erika
Yes, it's always happened, but now we know about it.
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azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 01:18 AM
Response to Original message
8. Suspect its always
been this way at least from the Civil war on. Actually I've wondered if the "job-less recovery" was to leave poor or working class kids with out much other choice if they didn't want a life time of being a Walmart greeter".
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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-04-06 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Not Really - actually many of the sons of the wealthy
would serve in the officer corp. It was a mark of honor. In the ABC article I linked the authors say one reason for the draft in WWI was the nation feared losing it's "ruler class".

And in WWII on the bomber mission young Joe Kennedy died in, in one of the chase planes was FDR's son. In Normandy several days after D-Day Teddy Roosevelt's son died (he was an Army officer who had participated in D-Day and died a few days after of a heart attack).

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Cobalt-60 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-09-06 03:54 AM
Response to Original message
11. Who needs them?
Would you want to depend on a Pansy bitch like young dubya in battle?
I'd frag the chimp as a precaution, even if I outranked him.
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