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Poverty draft?
Friday, 31 July 2009 22:00
by Mickey Z

You take a black kid, Hispanic kid, Italian kid, and a kid of undefined ethnicity…and let’s say each of them—surprise, surprise—has meager pecuniaryprospects. You know, the whole “economic downturn” thing everyone is yapping about.

So…the undefined guy weighs his options and promptly enlists in the United States Marine Corps. The few, the proud, and all that.

Everyone—and I mean, everyone—in his immediate circle applauds this decision. Not only will undefined guy pull himself out of financial hardship, they reason (sic), but he also gets to “serve his country.” Bravo…

Meanwhile, the poor black kid weighs his options and promptly “enlists” in the Crips.

The poverty-stricken Hispanic weighs his options and promptly “enlists” in Latin Kings.

The uneducated Italian kid weighs his options and promptly“enlists” in the Mafia.

Like the “heroes” in the military, these three kids are also facing a stark choice—being poor or choosing a uniform and gun—but no one hangs yellow ribbons for them, no one makes excuses them when they kill innocents.

No one argues when these kids are called “criminals.”


Well, there’s one colossal difference between them and the men and women who volunteer to join the US military and get paid to wage illegal and immoral war:

Even though the US military is far more dangerous than any street gang or Mafia family, the US military is considered legal.

Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net

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Comments (1)add comment

Nell H. said:

dark age days - this is not just opinion, this is food for thought ....
Thanks so much for this post on how it is that people with an IQ over 80 go into the services to fight illegal wars - committ murder, plunder, pillaging, and other crimes - for a place and the honor to be tough, and the glory of "nationalistic heroism" even if they leave behind a family, for no reason but that the corporate ruler of the west want to control the middle east and its resources?! It is so true that no one wants to ever, ever challange a young person for going into the U.S. military to participate in these horrendous attacks on and occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan - i.e. control the middle east for future resources development when it comes to every last drop of crude.

I remember learning, as a teen, that critisizing some former Viet Nam soldiers I had met was the wrong thing to do. As a much older woman, it is even more difficult to deny my compassion to the young who become soldiers. But then I read your article, and wonder - how can I hold this conviction, still, when I actually believe as you do - that it is wrong to volunteer to commit all these crimes? Why do we let them do it without telling them we don't approve? Why don't we send the message that we don't want them to die, or be hurt - but that more than that, we don't want anyone going anywhere to hurt other people when it is both illegal and immoral?

How are we to motivate and mobilize people, personally and publically, who believe as you and so many of us do - despite the fact that soldiers are brainwashed, manipulated, and usually much less financially well off than the other high school students they graduated with?

I even believe, sometimes, that public anti-abortionists are people who not only hate women, but who also believe we need these "murdered children" as warm bodies to fight for capitalism forever in the future! So I have that empathy I think many of us do about young people becomming soldiers. We need to counter or pose the empathy somehow with activist wisdom. Create a critique of soldiers as unacceptable in our culture and society. "In the 21st century, becomming a soldier is not honorable." "An American soldier is, by definition, a traitor to the people, a criminal and a loser." "Soldiers work for big brother - not the people." Something like this .... any ideas?
August 04, 2009 | url
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