Berkeley and the Marines

February 10, 2008

I’ve gotten lots of requests for comments about the ongoing situation involving [tag]Marine recruiting[/tag], the city of [tag]Berkeley[/tag], and Federal Legislators threatening to punish citizens by withholding money from, among other things, the schools. I’m not there, so I can’t comment directly on the situation. I may not even understand the situation at all, for that matter. But I can comment on some of the assumptions present in some of the emails and articles and news stories I’ve seen or been sent.

For starters, Berkeley’s mayor, Tom Bates, was a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserves, and apparently not a lifelong anarchist. (Or, if is his, he was probably the most confused Army officer ever).

Second of all, Code Pink as an organization (which I am not a spokesperson for) does not advocate fragging. Code Pink supports the troops, not the war.

Anyone who thinks the tactics some recruiters use aren’t predatory are high.

And last of all, if you’re so damned determined to send every able-bodied American to serve in this so-called nobel war, why don’t you shut up and go set an example?

If you’d like to read more about the recruiting practices being protested, you can check out this page.

Sure, there are liberal activists who would like to dismantle the military. There are Conservatives who want to abolish the federal government and organize around militias, too. Focusing on the fringe isn’t a very good way to have a rational conversation.

The core issue here isn’t to my understanding the existence of the military, nor is it about people who choose to become public servants by joining the armed forces. It’s the increasingly desperate and deceptive recruiting practices that have most people concerned.

I’m rather tired and I’m sure after 9 or 10 drafts I could make this cogent and reasonable, but then I’d never get around to posting it.