Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Counter Recruiters

From USA Today comes this story about Iraq War opponents who are now taking their fight against all things Military to our Country's high schools.

""I don't tell kids not to join the military," says Murphy, 59, a member of Veterans for Peace. "I tell them: 'Have a plan for your future. Because if you don't, the military has a plan for you.' ""

What else do you tell them? Because to me, that's not really a good enough reason to throw away being in the military. Do you tell them that they should throw away an excellent opportunity to better themselves because there is a chance they might die? That they'll be forced to commit atrocities? That they'll become involved in an unjust war?

Ah, here is the answer:

"For one thing, Murphy helped convince him that he could go to college to pursue his interest in criminal justice, and that there was no guarantee he'd get his request for assignment to military police. For another, he's worried about combat in Iraq.

Yes, its true that there is no guarantee that he will not get an assignment to military police. I highly doubt the recruiter made that kind of a promise. The recruiter probably said something to the effect of, "you know, there's a good chance that you could be assigned to a MP police unit, considering that they are in heavy demand right now." The kid then took that to mean that he would be guaranteed an MP slot. Anyway, where is this kid's drive? There's no guarantee I'm going to get a nav slot in the Air Force; you don't see that stopping me from joining just because there is a risk that I might get stuck being an R & D guy, or, God forbid, an intel weenie (no offense intended to all the intelligence guys out there).

Finally, we get to the crux of Mr. Murphy's argument:

"Murphy told him that even for Americans from the most violent neighborhoods, combat is a shock. "It's gonna change you forever, and not necessarily positively. Think of all the civilians killed in Fallujah. You're gonna see something like that for the rest of your life," he told him.""

Yes, that is true, combat is a shock. But what would Mr. Murphy know of ground combat? He served in the Air Force in Vietnam. This means that he was either a rated officer, serving in some sort of flying capacity, some type of non-rated REMF officer, or an enlisted ground crew. (Judging by his appearance, "His untucked shirt covers a pot belly, his gray hair reaches his shoulders, and he favors blue jeans and windbreakers," I'd be willing to venture a guess as to him being enlisted, but that's just me stereotyping again.) Anyway, none of the above mentioned capacities involve sustained ground combat, with the related shock, violence, and effects that come with it. What does Mr. Murphy know of ground combat?

Perhaps a better question is what he knows of Fallujah. Almost all news accounts I've read, along with accounts of people who were there (thanks Redsix!) seemed to indicate that by the time the Marines and Armored Cav went in, the only people left in the town were those that needed to die. (Not civilians, for those of you that were wondering.)

I feel sorry for the young adult that Mr. Murphy counseled out of the military. I feel sorry because he appeared to be someone that truly had a love for the Military, and in particular, the Corps. He "was a member of the Junior ROTC Honor Guard at his High School" and "loved everything about being a Marine, from the lore to the uniform." He had tried to enlist twice before, and was rejected due to his age. Then Mr. Murphy got to him.

I feel sorry for young Greg McCullough because thanks to the efforts of military-hating peacniks like Mr. Murphy, Greg will never know the satisfaction that comes from being a member of the most professional military force on the planet.