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Col. Ann Wright: Counter-Recruitment Is Not Counter-Military

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 02:29 PM
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Col. Ann Wright: Counter-Recruitment Is Not Counter-Military /

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


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.

Berkeley may be the only city to make a request for the recruiters to close shop, but each week counter-recruitment groups in cities all over our country stage peaceful protests in front of US military recruitment centers. The protestors hope to focus public attention on the unprofessional recruiting practices employed by over-worked and stressed out recruiters who are trying to sell a highly unpopular war to an increasingly hostile public. Many peace organizations greet potential recruits outside military recruiting stations with literature that points out information on military service that recruiters never disclose to recruits and with questions to ask recruiters.

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.

The Berkeley City Councils original language that the Marine recruiting office is not welcome in the city, and if recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders has been removed from the Councils February 13 statement, but the sentiment remains that the Council and the people of Berkeley do not want the youth of their city recruited into this war.

Free speech is the right of our citizens, even when the speech criticizes our government and its actions. The people of Berkeley have stated their adamant opposition to the war in Iraq. This should not be misconstrued as hostility to the young people in our armed forces or as a lack of loyalty to our country. Dissent is a form of patriotism, and the government should listen to its citizens clamoring for an end to this disastrous war.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 02:49 PM
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1. Gotta keep this one kicked
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noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 03:40 PM
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2. K & R (nt)
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femmedem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 09:54 PM
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3. K&R. A friend told me a recruitment story today.
A woman he knows got a call from her 18-year old son, a senior in high school. "Hey Mom, I'm going away with my buds for the weekend."

"What?" she said. "Hold on. Where are you going?"
"New York City."
WHERE in New York City? With who?"
"Just New York. With my friends."
"Hold on. What about your homework? What about--"
"SEe you Sunday night." click.

Turns out a recruiter had come to the high school and treated a few of the kids to a good time in the city. By the time her son came back, he'd enlisted. :mad:

And I spoke today to another friend who's son enlisted without her knowledge. He's in Iraq now. She can't focus on anything, cries when she talks about it. She says it's like grief--she felt the same way when her sister died.
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