Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

MILITARIZATION OF THE YOUTH


A Maine National Guard helicopter landed at two Portland high schools last Friday giving the kids a chance to sit in the cockpit. One TV news announcer called the whole process "cool". In another part of the state a middle school is working with the National Guard to send the school kids on a two-day "campout" at a local military training facility. One parent refused to sign the permission slip and the teacher said to the parent, "If you could have just seen how sad your son was when he turned in this to me." Teachers are now becoming recruiters.

Another story I heard is that the military recruiters in Maine are now doing kiddies birthday parties. They bring a big military tent and a truck and set it all up for the kids to play Army. Big time cool stuff!!

And then today I read a story about an 18 year old kid in Oregon who suffers from autism. The Army "promised" the kid he would be a "combat scout" in the service. One friend of the kid's family described the job of a combat scout as "it's like send him in and if he doesn't get blown up, it's safe for the rest of us."

Can anyone doubt that our culture is being militarized? Can anyone doubt that the message to working class kids, early on in their life, is that you only have one real choice for a job and that is in the military.

Now why is this happening? Endless war....no manufacturing jobs in America anymore....America's role in the world will be the military boot to enforce the dictates of corporate globalization. Non-stop war for oil, for water, to keep the low-wage workers in the Third World under control.

Parents need to get on the stick. They need to get involved and engaged right now or their kids will be the next ones marching off to war. Is this what you raised your kid for? If not, then the time has come to step up and fight against this militarization of the youth.

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