Information, observations, and analysis from the James River valley on the Northern Plains-----
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When it comes to the really nasty parts of war, as it affects people in the homeland, the nation undergoes massive memory suppression. We forget the Ivy League white boys during the Vietnam War who threw their urine samples in the faces of Army sergeants at the induction centers. We forget that the draft in effect at the time inducted a huge majority of minority young men. And we forget what happened when those young men realized they were regarded by their friends and neighbors as nothing but expendable sub-humans to be sacrificed in war games devised by demented old white men. When the troops themselves questioned and protested the war, the country and its leaders decided it might be better to withdraw from Vietnam than risk the warfare that was shaping up on our own streets.
Here we go again. Just as we expected, the war on Iraq is something that affluent white folks support--as long as their kind don't have to fight it. Nice white folks of means are steering their children away from military service. Military recruiters are finding this a major reason why they can't meet their quotas of enlistees.
Here is an excerpt from a column by Terry Neal
in the Washington Post.
The writer of the Post-Gazette article, Jack Kelly, explored this question in his story that ran on Aug. 11. Kelly wrote of a Marine recruiter, Staff Sgt. Jason Rivera, who went to an
affluent suburb outside of Pittsburgh to follow up with a young man who had expressed interest in enlisting. He pulled up to a house with American flags displayed in the yard. The mother came to the door in an American flag T-shirt and openly declared her support for the troops.
But she made it clear that her support only went so far.
"Military service isn't for our son," she told Rivera. "It isn't for our kind of people."