Friday, June 03, 2005

Army Trolling for Fresh Meat

Did you know that a little-noticed clause in the "No Child Left Behind" education act requires schools to turn over students' home phone numbers and addresses to Army recruiters ... unless parents explicitly opt out? Say it again, so it sinks in: "No Child Left Behind" mandates that school districts can receive federal funds only if they grant military recruiters "the same access to secondary school students" as is provided to colleges and employers.

Looks like El Presidente needs cannon fodder about as much as he does an educated electorate.

And parents, according to this a.m.'s NYTimes, are pushing back -- hard.

"In an interview last month, Maj. Gen. Michael D. Rochelle, commander of Army recruiting, said parental resistance could put the all-volunteer force in jeopardy. When parents and other influential adults dissuade young people from enlisting, he said, 'it begs the question of what our national staying power might be for what certainly appears to be a long fight.' "

Gosh. You mean, General, that American parents are actually looking at the cost-benefit analysis of this unnecessary war? How ... American of them!

But Army recruiters, under tremendous pressure to fill dwindling ranks of an all-volunteer force, are staging at high schools what one parent described as a "well-organized propaganda machine" ... big shiny Humvees, flashy equipment, huge promises of "career" advancement and special training, and plenty of doughnuts. On a sugar buzz, what does a teenaged boy know about reality?

Is this stuff going on at Watauga High School? Rural areas and high-unemployment sections of the Rust Belt have become prime hunting grounds for the recruiters.

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