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(en) Compulsory Boot Camp as Public Relations from Daybreak! #3

From <daybreak@dojo.tao.ca>
Date Wed, 13 Nov 2002 03:53:29 -0500 (EST)

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

> Compulsory Boot Camp as Public Relations By Tabatha Static
Back in December, the Universal Military Training and Service Act (HR 
3598) was proposed in the House of Representatives. If approved, a 
new law would be created that forces ALL males between 18 and 22 
years old to submit to military training and education for either six or 
twelve months (depending upon what the Secretary of War thinks, in this 
case Donald Rumsfeld). Registered and documented religious 
conscientious objectors would perform civilian alternative service, but 
only after completing boot camp and combat training; high school 
dropouts must serve an additional six months. Women are not forced 
into this program, but they would be strongly encouraged to volunteer for 
duty as well. 

When I first heard about this, I thought that it was the first step in 
reactivating the military draft. But as I began to read up on it, I saw that 
even some of the supporters of HR 3598 have gone on record to say 
that a return to a military draft is not necessary, and that a draft could 
even be detrimental to the military. And another thing: HR 3598^s military 
training and service is supposed to last from between 6 and 12 months, 
which is not really enough time to make the average 18 year-old ready 
for combat in Iraq, Colombia, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Georgia, 
Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, or wherever else in the 
Southern hemisphere that the Executive Branch is sending people to kill 
and die. So what the hell is really going on here?

The objective of HR 3598 is to militarize hundreds of thousands of 
young people for up to a year, and then release them back into civilian 
society with pro-military (in other words, pro-war) attitudes. This may 
sound paranoid at first, but think about it: over the last year, we^ve been 
told to get used to seeing armed soldiers on city street corners, in 
airports, and on trains. The Pentagon and the White House are 
desperate to brainwash civilian society as much as possible, as they 
have already been doing with ambitious youth publicity programs that 
include slick Army of One television commercials, internet webcam 
propaganda, and free computer video wargames, as well as 
blockbuster Hollywood movies that spew inane patriotism and 
demonize people who live in the so-called Third World. HR 3598 is a 
six-month Pentagon pep rally and a brainwashing session into the 
ridiculous Homeland Security cult. It would allow rigid warmongering 
hierarchies unprecedented influence over the socialization of young 
people, dehumanizing and desensitizing them into becoming 
submissive, mindless patriots who follow orders without question. HR 
3598 is a Pentagon public-relations operation with a captive audience 
robbed of at least six months of their lives. 

In many ways, HR 3598 is just one more variation on the subtle 
methods used to influence the civilian population to be less suspicious 
of the military, like we^ve seen in high schools with the JROTC, military 
aptitude (ASVAB) testing, and youth mentoring by Army recruiters. The 
Pentagon knows that starting up the draft again would anger a lot of 
people immediately, and this is why they have spent so much time 
hanging around schools and calling up high-school seniors before 
graduation, telling many low-income kids that joining up with the 
National Guard is the only way to earn money for college.To make the 
whole thing less threatening to high school kids, they point out how the 
majority of U.S. military operations in the last fifteen years have been 
low-risk tactics like high-tech, high-altitude bombing or getting locals in 
these faraway countries to do the real fighting with guidance from U.S. 
military advisors. 

As the current regime commits more troops and weapons to its petro-
imperial adventures across the globe in order to erect the New World 
Order at gunpoint, it will become increasingly necessary to massage 
peopleİ^s attitudes domestically and internationally to accept it. After all, 
it is obvious that the Bush-Cheney Administration has put a great deal of 
time and effort into engineering public opinion: the Pentagon's 
proposed Office of Strategic Information was meant to spread 
disinformation that would bolster U.S. defense policy; the U.S. 
Department of State has an Office of Public Diplomacy whose job it is to 
convince people that the U.S. is not a corrupt, war-mongering empire 
driven by oil companies and investment banks; the White House 
recently opened an Office of Global Communications to provide spin 
directly from the West Wing. If it becomes law, and young people are 
packed off to boot camp to have their behavior modified by systematic 
humiliation, desensitization, and militarism before being mixed back 
into the general population, HR 3598 will have served its purpose as 
just one more public relations campaign designed to make the U.S. war 
and the war machine as something logical, inevitable, and normal, 
instead of an outrageous abomination that must be stopped. 

[Daybeak! badly needs monetary support since we give it out free locally. 
1$/issue, 10$/solidarity subscription Cash/Checks to Amy Smith/paypal 
at website 
Daybreak PO Box 14007 Minneapolis MN 55404 
daybreak@tao.ca www.freespeech.org/mn/daybreak]

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