Opposition to military recruitment crimps Bush plan for endless war
Jenny Brown
July/August 2005

Two years after Bush declared his Iraq war "Mission Accomplished," his administration has found itself in the uncomfortable position of having to recruit "volunteers" to the military during wartime. Not only during wartime, but during a war which is deemed by a majority of people in the U.S to be not worth fighting.

For the last 6 months polls are consistently showing that majorities think the war in Iraq (1) is making us less safe, (2) is not worth fighting, and (3) they disapprove of Bush's handling of the war. In July, 53% of those called a told CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll that they didn't think it was worth going to war in Iraq (44% said it was). Fifty-four percent said the war was making us less safe (40% said 'more safe') and in June 56% of respondents told an ABC/Washington Post poll that they disapproved of 'the way Bush is handling the situation in Iraq.' Only 43% approved. (Major demonstrations against the war are planned in Washington, D.C. on September 24.)

Meanwhile, recruiters themselves are having nervous breakdowns, unable to meet their quota of one recruit a month. After it was revealed that some recruiters were lying to and threatening their potential recruits, Army recruiters nationwide were called in for a disciplinary session and pep talk.

Governors in several states are wondering aloud when their national guard units will return home and be available to deal with disaster relief should they be needed. Who will sign up for the Guard when "One weekend a month" turns into 2 years in someone else's country pushing around people who don't want you there. "I think all governors right now are worried about the long-term impact of long deployment and frequent deployment on recruiting and retention," Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee told the New York Times at a recent National Governor's Association meeting. (NYT, July 17.)

Meanwhile, parents and students have been exposing the increasingly invasive and deceptive recruiting methods used to convince high school students to join the military.

An outrageous section of the No Child Left Behind education act requires that schools give military recruiters the contact information for all their students, adding a sinister twist to the phrase "No Child Left Behind."

Students who individually opt out are punished for doing so by being told they will also not get information on other job training or college. However, either a student or a parent can submit a form which will require the school not to give the student's name to the military. Locally, students and parents are distributing the form and you can get it by contacting the GI Rights Hotline at 1-800-394-9544.

The North Central Florida GI Rights Hotline and Veterans for Peace are holding a workshop on "Student Privacy Rights and Your Teen's Tomorrow," on Saturday, July 30, at 1 p.m. at the downtown library. (See information below.) They will cover alternatives to military service as well as reveal some of the tactics used by recruiters.

Some things you might not know (from materials prepared by the GI Rights Hotline):

More information Sources:
Family Privacy Campaign - Leave My Child Alone
Military Out of Our Schools Program
In Harms Way - How the Military markets enlistment

Bush and Cheney can declare endless war, and pick various countries to put in the Axis of Evil, but the country's warmaking capacity still depends on the consent of the population, consent which is slowly being withdrawn.


An informational workshop for parents of high school students

In this workshop you will learn about:

Flyers, brochures and related resources will be made available.

Saturday, July 30th
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Alachua County Library Headquarters - meeting room A
401 E. University Ave.

For more information contact: Scott at 352 375-2563

This workshop is free and open to the public.

Organized by Veterans For Peace, G.I. Rights Hotline and concerned parents and residents of our community.

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