Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Short Discourse On Military Recruiting And Freedom Of Speech

If recruiters tell your kids packs of clever lies to get them to sign up for some kill-or-be-killed, that's their right.

It's too bad for the kids, of course, but if they're lucky they won't be killed; they will simply be brainwashed and dehumanized, forced to commit the most heinous acts imaginable, and then sent home to live the rest of their lives with post-traumatic stress.

But what happens to your kids is no concern of the recruiters. They don't care. They don't have to care. They're simply exercising their freedom of speech.

But if a city council passes a resolution condemning those recruiters for the lies they tell and the lives they ruin, that's not freedom of speech at all; it's treasonous. It's despicable. And it deserves to be punished.

So if lawmakers in state and national capitals choose to retaliate against the city for trying to protect its young people, that's their right; they're only exercising their power of the purse.

If they want to deprive the kids in that city of funding for their lunches, that's their right. And if they want to deprive that city's policemen of funding for their equipment, that's their right, too.

These are not only their rights but also their duties. After all, they must do what they were elected to do -- even if it means getting your kids killed in pursuit of global empire.

So let the little bastards starve! Let the cops call for their backup with tin cans and string!

But let us never disrupt the greatest killing machine ever built.

San Jose Mercury News:
A pre-dawn confrontation broke out this morning in Berkeley between peaceniks and pro military groups, more than 12 hours before the City Council [meets to consider rescinding] its statement telling the U.S. Marines they're unwelcome [...]

Sacramento-based Move America Forward and a handful of other pro-military organizations are set to have several hundred protesters in front of council chambers starting at 5 a.m. [...]

Move America Forward is already unhappy with what council members are not planning to do - rescinding four other items the council passed that are seen as a swipe at the Marines. Those items asked the city attorney to investigate whether the Marines are violating city law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation; urged people to 'impede' the recruiting work of the Marines in Berkeley; and gave Code Pink a free parking space and sound permit to protest once a week in front of the recruiting station.

The proposal by council members Betty Olds and Laurie Capitelli to rescind the item sending the Marines a letter asking them to leave is No. 25 of 28 items on tonight's agenda, and could come up for debate near midnight. What's more, pro-military supporters will have to sit through another item likely to make them seethe: urging Canada to provide sanctuary for U.S. military war resisters. [...]

"This violent reaction of the pro-war forces shows how threatened they are by a small group of people working against recruitment," [Code Pink activist Zanne] Joi said. "They claim the Marines fought for our freedom of speech, and how dare we use our freedom of speech against them."
The pro-military demonstrators were met by anti-war protesters who had camped out overnight, setting the stage for a dramatic showdown late in the day when the City Council is to discuss whether to revoke its previous vote.

"Their treasonous action, especially at this time of war right now, is not acceptable," said Mary Pearson, a spokeswoman for the group Move America Forward.

"It's very, very important for everyone to stand united ... to give our Marines and all of our military the greatest respect and honor that they deserve."

Before the sun was even up, about 300 demonstrators -- both pro-military and anti-war -- were already standing toe-to-toe in downtown. Many traded jeers and sneers.

"Code Pink doesn't stand for us," one sign said, held by a man in military fatigues. Signs held by anti-war activists read, "End the War" and "Bring the troops home now."

The City Council is to meet at 7 p.m. PT on whether to take back its previous measure urging the Marine recruiters to leave town.