Talk of War No Deterrent for Some Looking to Military

This article is over a year old now, and nothing has changed. Young people choosing the possibility of death by war rather than take their chances on the streets. . . because that's all they see in their future in America today. Some parrot the controlled media, and say they enlist because "my country needs me more than ever now". We must pray for our children.

-- Jackie --

November 3, 2002


New York Times

September 22, 2001

Talk of War No Deterrent for Some Looking to Military


CHICAGO, Sept. 21 — There is no hard sell here.

Sandwiched between the Dollar Store and Chop Suey Express in a neon-lighted strip mall on the city's Southwest Side, the red "U.S. Marines" sign is no more distinct than the dozen or so other fluorescent marquees.

It is 11:30 a.m., and business as usual. Inside, Sgt. Leon Shivers, who runs the recruiting station, is a living, breathing billboard, dressed in his wrinkle-less Marine blue slacks, tan shirt and spit-shined shoes.

Jose Pereida, 17, strolls in on his lunch break from nearby Curie High School. He has been stopping in for months now. A senior, Mr. Pereida, like many other inner-city youths, is strapped for cash, short on options. He said he saw joining the military as a way to pay for college, if not the way to get a jump on a career, to get off the streets, maybe even to find himself.

"They want to just make the best out of you. I like that," Mr. Pereida said.

But what of the talk of war since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11?

"It doesn't change my mind," the gangly Mr. Pereida said.

"I am concerned what can happen if I go to war," added Mr. Pereida, who next spring intends to sign up, war or not, "because my country needs me now more than ever."

Even as thousands of troops head overseas, joining the armed forces remains high on the list for some young people in poor and working- class neighborhoods where enlisting is still seen as a way up, if not out.

Like most other recruiters around the country, Sergeant Shivers said he had seen more people walk through his doors since the terrorist attacks. They still are not lining the sidewalk on South Pulaski Road, though. And, like elsewhere in the country, actual enlistment has not gone up or down.

The talk of war swirling around the country is a concern, potential recruits here say, but apparently not enough to scare them away here.

Some come from neighborhoods like Bridgeport, a hardscrabble blue-collar community to the east and the LeClaire Courts housing projects to the west, and even from the city's West Side, where pitfalls sometimes seem as plenteous as potholes. The military can look just great to a poor city kid in peacetime.

But how about when the drums of war are pounding in the wind?

The way Pablo Moran sees it, the armed forces provide a stable job and benefits. Mr. Moran, 18, recently completed Marine Corps basic training and returned this week to the Pulaski recruiting station where he had enlisted. But this time he was there to accompany a recruiter to his high school as living proof of the transforming power of the corps. Recently married, he and his wife are expecting a child soon. Mr. Moran has no regrets, even now.

"I had no plans after school. I was just one of those students that just wanted to graduate," said Mr. Moran, a smiley young man with a fresh crew cut.

When his friends saw him at school this week, they said, " `Hey man, you're walking straight now,' " he said, laughing.

Mr. Moran's former school friends also had something else to say in light of the military buildup in the Middle East: They said, " `Oh yeah, you're going to go die over there,' " he recalled.

"But I was going to die over here, too," Mr. Moran said. "So it doesn't really matter. As a teenager, it's more of a risk to be in the streets."

But some not-so-traditional candidates have shown up. Among them an 87-year-old former marine who wanted to re-enlist.

"We said, we thank him for his interest, but unfortunately we couldn't use him," Sergeant Shivers recalled.

That does not mean that the Marines are not still looking for a few good men.

Less than a block from the recruiting station, where scores of young brown, black and white faces, who have enlisted over the years, hang in picture frames on the walls, the Curie High School football team practiced. Their blue or red jerseys ruffled were by the breeze. Many of Coach Louis Acevedo's players will be moving on soon.

His advice: "I tell our kids this: If they want to go into the military, that's fine. But go in the military as an officer," Mr. Acevedo said. "Go to college, and if college isn't for you, then the military is an option."

For players like Benjamin Vargas, 17, and his younger brother, Erick, 16, the military is the best option of financing college without a football scholarship, something that neither is counting on, the brothers say. They live with an aunt. Their father died of diabetes a year ago. Their mother was murdered five years ago. In addition to classes at Curie and playing football, they work part time.

"We help out with the rent, the food, whatever we can," Benjamin Vargas said.

Both brothers are strongly considering the Army for simple reasons.

"Benefits, man," Benjamin Vargas explained. "All I got is myself to take care of me."

He admits he is afraid of the possibility of war "a little bit," but not enough to keep him from enlisting, he said. "If I have to go, I have no choice, I go. You know what I'm saying?"

He trotted off to join his teammates, holding his white helmet, almost completely sold on the military, no hard sell needed, only the facts of life.

Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company

So... You Want to Go to War? - Introduction
Introduction by Jackie Patru
"Are you sure? You're willing to risk your life for. . . what? For whom? Your country needs you? To do what? To massacre innocent, defenseless people? Why? Is your country at risk? Or do you have your country confused with the corporation in Washington, D.C... the U.S. Government, Inc.? Are you willing to forfeit your life and possibly your soul in blind obedience to the government? Are you willing to become a human guinea pig to the Military/ Industrial/ Pharmaceutical complex? You will ... if you go to war.

Watch out for this school note: Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
It is a wide and deep river of paper, and in the currents it would be easy to miss the school notification required under Sec. 9528 of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Think of this notification as the dangerous undertow in the river of paper from your local schools. It is the one required under the "Armed Forces Recruiter Access to Students" section of the "No Child" law.

We have assembled the items below into two categories. Those that are now a part of human history, and those incidents that fathers, mothers, sons, daughers, brothers, and sisters are currently living. Our purpose is to compare the abuses of our men and women in uniform from the past, to the present day reality that nothing has changed.

Think long and hard about whether to send your children off to war. For whom, and what purpose, will you allow your children to spill their blood?

Throughout History

An unblinking look — in words and images — at the reality of warefare. From an excellent website called the Memory Hole.

U.S. Admits It Tested Nerve Gas on It's Sailors
The Guardian — "The US has admitted that it deliberately sprayed nerve gas on its sailors in the 1960s as part of a series of tests... The Pentagon started releasing the previously classified information... after being pushed by a Democrat congressman from California, Mike Thompson. [who said] "We now know that our military personnel were exposed to Sarin gas and VX nerve agent, which are both lethal, and other agents that are known carcinogens."

Hundreds Died of Cancer After DU Bombing
ABC News — "Cases of cancer have been reported among Italian, Belgian, French, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese soldiers who served a peacekeepers in Bosnia and Kosovo... Some of the victims had worn flak jackets made from shells with depleted uranium (DU), he told Reuters in an interview."

USS Liberty - Did Israel Commit One War Crime to Hide Another?
By James M. Ennes, Jr. - Survivor: "When the Liberty was attacked, Captain Joseph Tully in the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga received the ship's call for help and immediately sent jet aircraft to her assistance. Tully's jets were recalled almost immediately by orders from Washington. As a result, American jet fighter support was withheld for more than 90 minutes. By then the damage was done and 34 men were dead or dying."

Refusal To Investigate Israel's 1967 Attack on USS Liberty
Wisconsin state legislator, Marlin Schneider, was very naive when he agreed to sponsor a resolution calling for an investigation into the murder of U.S. sailors on orders of the Israeli government. He was sacked as assistant Democratic leader, removed from a leadership position and warned to: "beware of massive political contributions against me and even potential assassination."

Female Sergeant Dead From Anthrax Shot
Retired Air Force LTC Redmond Handy, who resigned his officer's commission rather than participate in what he calls a "terrible crime against our men and women in uniform," warned "there are others currently at risk because of this flawed vaccine. I'm afraid SGT Larson's death won't be the last," he told "When will the Pentagon end this madness?"

Korean "Police Action" - American Soldiers Betrayed
From our How Wars Are Made section
"The enemy then contacted and relayed these battle plans to their communist forces in the field. The enemy knew when to move from an area and when to attack our smaller fighting forces. They knew beforehand when we were coming and how many of us there were. They knew everything about us all the time – 24 hours a day!!!"

It continues today

Pentagon Eyes Mass Graves (for U.S. Soldiers)
From our Iraq section.
Denver Post:
"The bodies of U.S. soldiers killed by chemical or biological weapons in Iraq or future wars may be bulldozed into mass graves and burned to save the lives of surviving troops, under an option being considered by the Pentagon."

Talk of War No Deterrent for Some Looking to Military
NY Times — "Mr. Moran's former school friends also had something else to say in light of the military buildup in the Middle East: They said, "'Oh yeah, you're going to go die over there,' " he recalled. "But I was going to die over here, too, So it doesn't really matter. As a teenager, it's more of a risk to be in the streets."

"U.S. Undergoes Rapid Military Expansion" - Who Will Protect America?
USA Today — "The United States is rapidly increasing its military ties with nations large and small, thanks to the war on terrorism. . . "Overall, the American military global presence is more pervasive today than at any point in American history,": John Pike, military analyst in Washington. . . A recent Pentagon paper identifies vital American security interests in almost every part of the globe, with the notable exception of Africa.

Soldier Sues Military Over Extended Service Order
"This lawsuit seeks to stop the forced retention of men and women who have fulfilled their service obligations. When their period of enlistment ends, they should be entitled to return to their families", said attorney Michael Sorgen. The "stop loss'' order means soldiers who otherwise could leave when their commitments expire will be compelled to remain until the end of a year-long overseas deployment and up to another 90 days after returning to their home base.

Maimed in Iraq, then mistreated, neglected, and hidden in America
Go ahead, guys and gals, sign up! Join the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, or Air Force. Join the National Guard so you can be sent to Europe to disarm the Bosnians. Become an Iraqi 'Liberator', so you can kill and die for the New World Order.

Unfit Soldiers Returned to War
Guardian, UK
"A stretched Pentagon is sending unfit soldiers back to Iraq long before they are ready to serve again. Soldiers went to war with chronic illnesses such as coronary disease, mental illness, arthritis, diabetes and the nervous condition, Tourette's syndrome, or after undergoing recent surgery."

Soldier Suicides in Iraq Increase
Associated Press
"A U.S. commander warned troops Thursday to watch their friends because suicides are on the rise."

Army to Recall Former Military Members
From our Iraq section
"The Army is preparing to notify about 5,600 retired and discharged soldiers who are not members of the National Guard or Reserve that they will be involuntarily recalled to active duty for possible service in Iraq or Afghanistan...."

US Army forces 50,000 soldiers into extended duty
The U.S. Army has forced about 50,000 soldiers to continue serving after their voluntary stints ended under a policy called "stop-loss," but while some dispute its fairness, court challenges have fallen flat. ...With yearlong tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, some soldiers can be forced to stay in the Army an extra 18 months.

Thousands of US troops evacuated from Iraq for unexplained medical reasons
From our Iraq section
September 2003

"At no point in the last six months have the American people been told that for every soldier who has been killed in Iraq, at least another 15 have fallen so ill that they had to be flown back to the United States."

Iraq War Vets Struggle to Adjust to Lost Limbs, Flashbacks
"Unlike the young draftees of earlier wars, many of these men and women are older, with families. For them, this morphing from a fighting machine ducking bullets into a mommy or daddy packing school lunches presents a special challenge. This time the government tapped the National Guard and the Reserve to augment regular forces. Some returnees-proportionately many more than in Vietnam-have left limbs and slices of sanity on an urban battlefield as strange as the Iraq war itself."

Depleted Uranium: Dirty Bombs, Dirty Missiles, Dirty Bullets
"...eight out of 20 men who served in one unit in 2003 U.S. in Iraq now have malignancies. ... 40% of the soldiers in that unit have developed malignancies in just 16 months. targets the DNA. Marion Fulk, a nuclear physical chemist retired from the Livermore Nuclear Weapons Lab and formerly involved with the Manhattan Project, interprets the new and rapid malignancies in soldiers from the 2003 war as 'spectacular ... and a matter of concern'."

Google Video: Veteran Who Served in Iraq Tells of U.S. Atrocities
Jesse McBeth is with a group called Iraq Vets Against the War. In this video, he tells of the horrors being committed against the Iraqi people. Jesse says the people being called "insurgents" and "the enemy" in Iraq are only trying to protect their families against the invaders.

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