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The Hidden Draft in Or Schools

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    The Hidden Draft in Our Schools A Case Study: Klein High Captain Eric H. May
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 4, 2006
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      The Hidden Draft in Our Schools
      A Case Study: Klein High
      Captain Eric H. May
      http://www.khou.com/news/local/stories/khou050510_mh_militaryrecruits.2602b7752.html



      Prologue on a Reckless Recruiting


      Last year the big scandal in the Houston-area recruiting racket was
      Sergeant Thomas Kelt, who threatened those he was recruiting with
      arrest if they didn't enlist into the Army, thereby giving a new
      meaning to "impressing potential recruits."
      http://www.khou.com/news/local/stories/khou050510_mh_militaryrecruits.2602b7752.html


      This year the scandal has come back with a vengeance, with reports
      that the same recruiter who coerced the clueless last year, far from
      being removed from recruiting, has been promoted -- to be in charge of
      other recruiters.
      http://uttm.com/stories/2005/05/10/eveningnews/printable694345.shtml

      Top generals are urging the Bush League to pull out of an
      ill-conceived war in Iraq, which has worn out equipment and burned out
      personnel to the point that we no longer have a viable back-up
      military force. Still, no argument seems able to sway the man who
      urged the Iraqi Resistance to "bring it on" three years ago, when he
      boasted of victory in the war we have clearly lost.

      Like gambling addicts, the inexperienced civilian leadership of the
      Armed Forces are resolved to chase each loss with more bets -- of
      other peoples' lives. In the rush to replace discouraged or
      debilitated GI's, they have lowered all standards in the last three
      years -- except the age limit, which is steadily rising -- for new
      enlistees. They have no apparent strategy in mind except making things
      so bad that there is no way out, and the only choice left is national
      conscription -- legislation for which is already drawn up, and draft
      boards for which are already manned.

      It's worth an anecdotal antiwar essay to figure out just how deeply
      our educators are involved in the de facto draft now being used --
      until the factual draft can take its place. Anyone looking for an
      example need go no further than the local high school, chances are,
      which is exactly what I did.

      Klein High, Spring, Texas -- an Overview

      It's never hard to find a recruiter at Klein High School. Every day
      at lunch the prowl the cafeteria like the Marine tandem in Michale
      Moore's Fahrenheit 911, buddying up to the marginal students who are
      their focus, giving noogies and bandying nicknames.

      Impressive to to the impressionable, they are approved and applauded
      by coaches and counselors, academics and administrators in a Texas
      school district where, even in '06, employees still proudly display "W
      '04" bumper stickers.

      Indeed, the whole campus has the air of a basic training reception
      center at times. A year ago the students were rounded up for a
      back-to-school pep-talk by an Army Ranger, exhorting them to join the
      front lines of the patriotic effort to subdue the Middle East by
      joining the infantry -- or all would be lost in the homeland.

      History teachers propound the virtues of nuking Iran in the
      classrooms. The Air Force major who runs the Junior ROTC department
      promises to kick ass on peacenik parents if they bitched about his
      Reich-wing approach to things, and launches tough-guy tirades about
      how protesters should be caged. An assistant principal -- a weekend
      warrior Air Force officer -- serves as the "vital administrative link"
      to the ROTC program, where military recruiters are even more common
      than in the school mess hall, a nice touch for a militarized school.

      All told, it's a perfect Bush League campus, no doubt about it, run by
      the middle-class Republicans who voted by a huge margin for Dubya the
      last two times he ran. Most are utterly in favor of The Global War on
      Terror -- and not at all put off by the emerging reality that when the
      Bush League named it "global war" they meant "world war." History
      calls them to save the homeland, they are programmed to believe, and
      they are eager to fight forward -- to the last drop of everyone else's
      blood. They are perfect clones of the cheerleader-in-chief, who used
      daddy's money and connections to wage his war, too -- from am
      undeployable country club Air Force Guard unit down the road a way in
      Ellington Field.

      Lest I be labeled one of the peacenik parents in need of "attitude
      adjustment" by a Klein High's ROTC-Nazi major, I should note that I
      served in three different decades with the Army, Army Reserve and
      National Guard, at ranks from buck private to buck sergeant. After I
      received my commission in 1983, I served in capacities from military
      intelligence officer to general staff officer. I've been in and out of
      cavalry and light infantry; opposing forces and public affairs.
      Making an art form of aggression and athleticism, I'm a tae kwon do
      instructor.

      Still, I don't like it when a whole school district lines up to
      impress the impressionable students -- into the Army and Marines, all
      the way to war.

      Introducing Myself to Klein High

      I moved my family to Klein Independent School District, appropriately,
      on April Fools Day, 2004, and before the month was out I was pulled
      into the local infowar. A former teacher-of-the-year myself, within a
      week of coming to the new neighborhood, I had dropped in on the main
      office at Klein High, where officials, impressed by my mainstream
      media credentials, introduced me up with the campus journalism
      teacher. She was a Lefty, I was told, but a team player just the same.

      We met and chatted as we stood in the hallway during her morning
      off-period. I gave her copies of my Houston Chronicle op-ed war
      analyses predicting an unwinnable quicksand war in Iraq. The first of
      these came from the summer of 1992 (less than a year after the end of
      Desert Storm), and earned me praise for support of President Bush
      (41); the last of them came from the summer of 2003 (less than a year
      after the beginning of Iraqi Freedom), and got me blackballed from the
      mainstream media for lack of support of President Bush (43).

      I had only published five war analyses/predictions in my long career
      with the Chronicle, I explained, each of them lambasted at the time as
      too radical. Time, though, had borne me out. Four of the five had
      already been proved true, and the last (a prediction of a
      petrochemical terror attack in the Houston area) was being rehearsed
      at the time by the FBI, one of the agencies with whom I was in contact
      as an expert, along with a slew of lesser-known police entities. All
      five are published in a cyber-collection as "Published Essays by
      Captain May" at http://www.geocities.com/onlythecaptain/pub.htm

      She was pleased to find a thinking officer who was also a former
      teacher, she told me, and would eagerly read the op-eds. As we spoke
      I noticed that, while all the students were in their classrooms, all
      the teenagers were not. Freshly-minted soldiers, pimple-faced in new
      uniforms, just returned form Basic Training, were roving about,
      walking billboards for the Army. She grimaced along with me, and said
      she needed to return to teaching classes. As I turned to leave she
      urged me to consider getting back into the classroom myself, since
      enthusiastic critics of the war were few and far between.

      The Conscription of Chris Black

      A week later, as I waited to order at the local coffee shop, a young
      man approached me anxiously and asked me if I'd been in the Army.
      Given my shaved head and military bearing -- products of decades of
      soldiering -- I'd heard the question a zillion times, and told him
      yes. Chris Black was a Klein High student cutting morning classes to
      be with his girlfriend, who sat anxiously waiting for him at a nearby
      table, and he told me that he was about to go to the Army, too.

      I joined the pair, and found that Chris was oblivious to what he was
      getting into -- and showed it with his replies to every question I
      asked him. He didn't know what it meant when I asked him what his
      specialty would be -- until I assumed the worst and asked if it would
      be infantry, to which he nodded yes. I asked him if he had heard of
      Fallujah, the then-new battle beginning in the Sunni Triangle of
      Death, where GI's were engaged in heavy action. He shook his head no,
      but replied that his Army recruiter had assured him that the only
      folks fighting in Iraq now and for the future were the Marines, so
      he'd be safe. He didn't want to get shot at.

      Something in my looks, shifting from amazement at his misinformation
      to anxiety for his choices, caught on with the two teens, his
      girlfriend first. She never let go of his hand, which she held between
      the two of hers, clutching it tightly as if she could thereby hold him
      back from the quicksand war to which he was being led.

      Despairing of any reassurance from me, he stated his motives for
      enlisting: a single-parent home with family debts, and no money for
      college. The Army promised to solve these problems, and to cause no
      new ones.

      He didn't know whether he had actually enlisted yet (a bit of
      vagueness in keeping with the rest of the misinformation his recruiter
      had fed him), and I urged him to find out, and to reconsider the whole
      thing if he didn't want to fight in a war. I explained to him, in old
      soldier style, that what he had heard from his recruiter was a case of
      mind over matter. Any story to get him into service was fine, since
      they didn't mind -- and he didn't matter.

      With that grim bon mot, I walked across the street to Klein High, from
      which he would be graduating the next month, into the office, and
      asked the same receptionist I'd met a week before for a pass to see
      the journalism teacher. Since his girlfriend was one of her
      journalism students, I figured she'd know Chris, and could make sure
      that he had serious advice on his predicament.

      An Administrative Ambush -- and a Police Posse

      The same receptionist who had happily pointed me to the journalism
      teacher a week before didn't smile this time as she asked me to have a
      seat and picked up the phone. Two minutes later I didn't have a pass
      in my hand, I had a posse of three administrators and three campus
      cops. In the Republican Reich, dissenters -- even expert dissenters
      like me -- were political enemies, and I was treated like one. The
      "team player" Lefty journalism teacher who had begged me to teach
      again had denounced me after she read my work.

      Principal Patrick Huff ("Huff-n-Puff" to campus wags) was flush with
      indignation as he stood behind his police team and exclaimed that he
      didn't want to be mixed up in any politics, and only became redder
      when I told him that the recruiters were using his school to con kids
      like Chris Black into enlistments. The cops held back, one noting
      aloud that I was a martial arts expert, hand on gun, threatening to
      write me a criminal trespass citation. I requested that he do so, as
      I would use it in my story, then he demurred, simply asking if I'd
      leave the campus or not. I left under escort, police hands on me,
      though thankfully not in handcuffs.

      In infowar as in any kind of war, you have to be able to look forward,
      and half the secret of that trick is not looking back. For two years
      I've tried to avoid thinking about Chris Black. For better or worse
      -- almost certainly for worse -- he has stumbled into mind-over-matter
      reality. The worst part of thinking of Chris, though, is that it
      makes me think of Wendy, his girlfriend, clutching his hand between
      her two shaking hands, looking at me in the coffee shop as if I could
      bring him back before he went to war. I tried hard, but I couldn't.

      God knows how much depleted uranium -- the Agent Orange of this new
      Vietnam -- he has sucked up, how many bullets he has heard whistle, or
      how many corpses he has seen and smelled. All of this has likely
      happened in some degree, in the name of a war that was supposed to be
      about disarming Saddam of WMD's (which weren't there); then about
      bringing democracy to Iraq (while we kill tens of thousands); then
      about stabilizing a nation on the way to civil war (thanks to our
      invasion). All of this for a war that's really about about US oil
      ambitions and Israeli geopolitical problems -- as those, like me, who
      called it that were treated as traitors.

      A Principled Teacher vs. an Unscrupulous Principal

      While the American education system hunkers down until the coast is
      clear to ask questions -- any questions -- about a quicksand war that
      is sucking up its students, there are still individual educators who
      have taken a brave stand. One such was a Klein English teacher whose
      son, an Iraq War vet, had brought back enough reality to make willful
      ignorance impossible for her, and whose husband, a Vietnam veteran,
      supplied enough historic perspective to make it impossible for her to
      ignore the historic mistake of this war. She was exactly the kind of
      enemy of orthodoxy that the Principal Huffs of the Klein school
      district try to suppress, the kind whose concerns for her students
      outweigh her concern for her career.

      After the last national elections, her students were having a lively
      discussion about just when US forces would achieve the victory
      proclaimed in 2003 -- and promised every year since. Her answer to
      them was stark:

      "You haven't listened to what they've been saying out of the White
      House. They are telling you that it's a generational war, and that
      means your generation is next. When the soldiers fighting now are used
      up, they'll need new soldiers, and that means you. If you want to know
      what this war is really all about, ask me, my son or my husband -- or
      read Captain May's report on it."

      She went to the blackboard and wrote down the link address to what I
      wrote about the Battle of Baghdad Cover-Up (BOBCUP), which is what
      happened when military/media propaganda replaced the real blood and
      guts of the action that took the Iraqi capital in 2003 -- while
      clueless citizens thought that Private Jessica Lynch was the real
      story: www.geocities.com/onlythecaptain/

      "I'll probably get in trouble for writing this down," she said as she
      wrote, "but you can't say I didn't warn you."

      A Practical Postscript

      It's up to parents and teachers to agitate for schools that teach
      critical thinking and the Constitution, not a follow-the-leader
      mindset that supports a military-industrial con-job. The place to
      start, in my mind, is with the idea that reality has been
      systematically withheld from the public since 911, the better to lead
      the public to a war that was a cherished dream of Bush League Neocons
      long before 911 ever happened. With two-thirds of the American People
      loathing the current president, and fully a third suspecting that the
      911 matter was either set up or allowed to happen to bring us into
      what is now being called World War Three by conservative commentators,
      the winds are finally shifting back toward national sanity.

      Military recruiters should be kept out of our school by school boards,
      not invited in. If full-grown men with impressive uniforms and
      glittering medals were to come into our lunch halls, class rooms,
      auditoriums and functions to try to hustle our daughters into bed,
      we'd call for cops. Yet we invite the same alluring figures to come
      and try to hustle our sons -- and daughters -- into war, and call
      ourselves patriots.

      Principled school officials should tell students -- and their parents
      -- that they can "opt out" of being contacted by recruiters, who
      nowadays have access to school district student records, thanks to the
      "No Child Left Behind" rules that relaxed protections our youngsters
      used to enjoy against being categorized and targeted for recruiter
      contact.

      That most parents don't even know about the "Opt Out" clause is a
      testament to how complicit our school administrators are in the de
      facto draft scam.

      In the current context, the well-off folks of Klein, few of whom ever
      wore a military uniform, are happy to vicariously express their
      willingness to die for their country -- through less fortunate folks'
      kids. It's the ones without college funds and summer camps who form
      the "target rich environment" among whom recruiters find their
      recruits. It's all a case of mind over matter.


      Captain Eric H. May, MI/PAO, USA
      CO, Ghost Troop, 3/7 Cybercav+

      Mission of Conscience / Patriots in Action


      Captain May announced a mission of conscience and formed Ghost Troop
      after the Battle of Baghdad cover-up, filing Inspector General
      complaints with the Dept. of the Army and subordinate commands
      involved in the cover-up. For more about this unique unit of active
      and former soldiers, journalists and activists, refer to the story
      published about them by this week's Lone Star Iconoclast:

      http://www.lonestaricon.com/absolutenm/anmviewer.asp?a=402

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