Wednesday, February 10, 2016

"Free College Would Absolutely Crush Military Recruitment" -- David Swanson

So Bernie has thrashed Hillary in the New Hampshire primary, except among the very rich and/or very old. This is being seen as a triumph of hope and the desire of the Democratic Party electorate to get fooled yet again. 

One of Bernie's most alluring promises is that of free college education, like all the other wealthy countries have. Because entire generations are being shackled to crippling debt in a job-scarce economy that's teetering on the brink of collapse yet again. 

And, as Student Debt Crisis tweeted a couple of days ago:

But as blogger and antiwar organizer David Swanson pointed out in a recent post How to Counter Recruitment and De-Militarize Schools"Senator Bernie Sanders refuses to say he would pay for any of his plans by cutting the military." 

And the Pentagon budget is the trillion dollar elephant in all of our rooms.

Swanson's most interesting observation in his piece on the military presence in your public schools was this: "Free college would absolutely crush military recruitment." He's basing his claim on the most oft-repeated reason that young people enlist. Young people from predominately low-income families in economically depressed areas are the targets of the economic draft that replaced the wildly unpopular universal conscription.

How do recruiters with an already gargantuan budget use your public school resources to carry their message forward? Let Swanson count the ways:
U.S. military recruiters are teaching in public school classrooms, making presentations at school career days, coordinating with JROTC units in high schools and middle schools, volunteering as sports coaches and tutors and lunch buddies in high, middle, and elementary schools, showing up in humvees with $9,000 stereos, bringing fifth-graders to military bases for hands-on science instruction, and generally pursuing what they call "total market penetration" and "school ownership."
Even more shocking was news last week from Sarah Grey writing in Truthout that Kindergarteners are being subjected to military recruitment by their teachers, in their classrooms. 

Veteran's Day was morphed from Armistice Day, which celebrated the end of the industrial strength bloodbath of WWI, to the public relations opportunity for the Pentagon that is celebrated today. School children spend hours studying who to thank while never being taught about the high suicide rate of veterans (nearly one an hour), or the PTSD, the nightmares and chronic health problems that plague so many. 

Here's a bulletin board put up for Kindergarteners last Veteran's Day. See if you can find the unconstitutional claim:

I'll leave veteran Will Hopkins, director of Peace Action New Hampshire, with the last word here.

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