Thursday, March 24, 2005

Teaching Disrespect For The Military

I honestly don't understand the impulse that some people have against the military. Did this vile hatred exist before Vietnam, and people just mostly kept it to themselves? Or did Vietnam make it OK to denigrate the national service of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines? Or would the lefties not mind the military so much if it were enforcing their world view?

I just don't know.

I already related here about learning that anti-military brochures being found on a table in my school's counseling office.

This story cries out for an explanation that doesn't make the teacher look like a fool. Boys and girls, can you say "inappropriate"? I knew you could.

And now we have this story (available on any number of sites) about an intellectual "ambush" which took place in--you guessed it--Seattle. (Aside: what is it about Seattle that makes them nuts up there? Is it all the rain? What? And with as many Army, Navy, and Air Force bases in the vicinity, you'd think they'd like the economic boost). Students rehearsing some kind of skit about US servicemen and women killing civilians? Adults dressed like prisoners in some Abu Ghraib diorama? But wait, there's more. This was supposed to be a forum in which the war was going to be discussed from several angles, with uniformed servicemembers present.

Are the lefties so far gone now that civil discourse no longer has meaning for them? Does their message justify any means necessary (to borrow from a lefty hate group) to get the word out? I'm wondering if denigrating police officers is next. And then FBI or ATF or INS agents. And then abortion doctors.

Oops! Wrong side of the political divide.

I've always believed that people can think what they want, even hate whom they want. Legal restrictions are placed only on their actions, not their thoughts. It would be nice but naive to think, though, that common courtesy would guide some of their actions. It would be nicer, and even more naive, to think they wouldn't so blatantly indoctrinate students in these acts of hatred--a term they so often rail against.

Update, 3/26/05, 9:43 am: As if on queue, a teach-in is held in Berkeley. Go here to read about this obviously balanced and unbiased presentation, and wonder what it would have been like outside (or even inside) if opposing viewpoints had been on display.

The idea of the anti-war teach-in—four different presentations given to four groups of about 300 students—was hatched by students studying social justice and social action in CAS, Berkeley High’s Communication Arts and Sciences school. The project was guided by CAS teacher Joanna Sapir.


Anonymous said...

If you ever want to understand this phenomenon, you must learn to differentiate between fear of a draft, a dislike for some of the deceitful tactics practiced by military recruiters, and a more general hatred for the military.

There is no dismissing the argument that the fuel for most of this anti-military rhetoric (both past and present) has been fueled by a fear of a draft. Involuntary servitude is against the core principles that America stands for. Whether it be the New York draft riots of 1863 or Kent State, nothing brings out the worst in America’s youth. Enough said.

Secondly, even the most ardent Bush Backer such as yourself will admit that some military recruiters use deceitful tactics. As a result of No Child Left Behind, parents have lost control of the issue. As a result of President Bush, military recruiters have access to personal information about minors without parental consent.

As a side note, it is an indisputable fact that some military recruiters have been convicted as sex offenders. How do you feel about giving a 15 year old girl’s home phone number and address to a potential sexual predator? It’s ok, if you are a Bush Backer. As a progressive American, I feel that parents should have more control.

You love to whine about anti-military leaflets at you high school, which is a drop compared to the $2.5 billion ocean the DoD spends on military recruiting.

What really bothers me here, in addition to your distortions, is I know you know better. You know that military recruiters often operate without any supervision or oversight. You also know that they lie to recruits. Why no outrage there? If you have a solution to that problem, I’m all ears.

Lastly, I’m sick of you constantly bringing up a woman’s right to choose, even when it has nothing do with your main argument. What “wire coat hanger crowd” does not understand is that restricting abortion in America only impacts the poor. Paris Hilton and her cohorts will just have the procedure done overseas. If abortion is no longer safe and legal, you might as well just hand the poor a bloody wire coat hanger yourself.

Darren said...

I'm glad that you "know me better", 4_progressive_america. I have no idea who you are.

Your points are puerile. No one but Charlie Rangel is considering a draft. That red herring has been created by the left in order to inflame younger people. Hopefully you will admit that.

Drafts aren't fun, and no one's proposing one. Interesting that you mentioned the Civil War and Vietnam (was Kent State even about the draft? or the war in general) but not the world wars in the middle. Hmmmmm.

Yes, recruiters use deceitful tactics. I don't like it when *any* salesperson uses deceitful tactics. A recruiter played pretty loose with the facts with me when I was in high school, and my mother--at the time an Army Reserve NCO--wanted to address it with his officer-in-charge. To say that recruiters work with no oversight, though, is patently false and ridiculous.

Your comment about child molesters is foolish. I hear much more about teachers molesting children than I do about military recruiters. Non sequitur.

I assume--and correct me if I'm wrong--that you want the federal government to have broad, sweeping powers. That's generally a liberal/progressive view. Yet you want to limit one small part of the government's (the DoD) access to kids. And it's *purely* for ideological reasons. Shameful.

I "whined" about anti-military brochures? Actually, I thought I addressed the topic in a thoughtful way. How do you think I should have addressed it? Thrown a hissy fit? Or "felt" really bad, but done nothing--the typical liberal tactic? And these brochures have no bearing at all on how much the DoD spends on recruiting. Non sequitur.

And lastly, I bring up abortion because it's clearly a case where the federal government has been given a broad power that federalists (like myself) don't think is appropriate. Apparently you cheer that power--but only when it supports your ideology. I view the NCLB/recruiter federal power to be significantly less than the power to regulate states in the case of abortion, yet you support the latter but decry the former. I, at least, am consistent.

Since you "know me better," you know that I'm a federalist. To show my consistency, I need only to point you to my "Coming Republican Schism" post.

You, too, are consistent. You want the federal government to control everything--except when they disagree with you, then something else must be done. Did I get that right?

Now, having completely hacked your arguments apart, let me thank you for coming here and leaving such an impassioned, detailed comment! I'm glad I was able to challenge you--that's part of why I write!

You have no idea how good it feels to have someone read and respond to what I write. So while I disagree with darn near everything you wrote, I appreciate your time and effort in doing so.

See you in FOUR MORE YEARS! :-)

Darren said...

One more clarification.

I don't approve of abortion, but I also don't think that it should fall under the perview of the federal government. That strikes me as something that falls under the responsibility of the states, and I think the Supremes were as wrong with that case as they were with Plessy v. Ferguson. It is, however, the law at this time and must be obeyed.

When I bring up abortion out of the context of killing unborn children, it's purely to show how federal overreaching is applauded by the left--unless the overreach is to the right, in which case it's clearly wrong.

Anonymous said...

My biggest complaint regarding military recruiters revolves around the enlistment contract that young Americans sign every day.

The fundamental principle of contract law is that both parties should understand the contract before signing it. In theory, the government has the responsibility to ensure that the contract is both valid and that the undersigned is giving informed consent. This is where the military fails miserably.

To put it plainly, did you understand your contract when you joined the military? How much time were you afforded to read and review it? Were you given access to all referenced publications and regulations?

In almost all cases, young Americans do not understand their enlistment contract.

In some cases, the enlistment contract is not valid, due to either the fault of the individual or the government.

In both cases, little of this comes back to haunt the recruiter, unless the misinformation/fraud is particularly gross.

The bottom line is that Bush Backers have little sympathy for those who sign their name on the dotted line without knowing what they are getting themselves into. You would think that for the interests of America that our young people would be provided with all the relevant information prior to giving their consent to serve the common defense.

However, this is not the case. Instead, recruiters are evaluated based on the quantity of recruits they get to sign up, not on the quality of information they distribute.

Finally, I think that there should be parental consent given before a military recruiter speaks to a minor. In the case of 17 year olds, parental consent is required for the enlistment contract anyway. Shouldn't this also be the case for military recruiters soliciting 17 year olds?

Darren said...

You make an interesting point about parents having a say in their children's meeting with recruiters. As an avid parents' right supporter, I'm sympathetic to that argument. And you're right that parents of minors do have to approve any enlistment.

Before I address that, however, let's look at the topic of this post. It was about teaching disrespect for the military. If the "recruiter" portion of NCLB were to go away, would this celebration of anti-military "values" go away in the schools? Probably not. I don't think recruiting has any impact on those so-called values. It certainly doesn't explain what occurred in Seattle, which is what I wrote about.

But back to parents. I wouldn't shed a tear if the "recruiter" portion of NCLB were to go away. I could justify that quite easily given the values and responsibilities I hold as a parent. For the most part I could agree that parents should not have their children approached by those they don't want approaching their kids. However, recruiters shouldn't have to turn away anyone without a permission slip, either.

Are there any other government workers whom students shouldn't shouldn't be allowed to communicate without parental permission? Or is it just military recruiters?