STERLING, Va. — Imam Mohamed Magid tries to stay in regular contact with the teenager who came to him a few months ago, at his family’s urging, to discuss how he was being wooed by online recruiters working for the Islamic State, the extremist group in Syria and Iraq.
The military in the United States portrays itself as endowed with the highest virtues—honor, duty, self-sacrifice, courage and patriotism. Politicians, entertainers, sports stars, the media, clerics and academics slavishly bow before the military machine, ignoring its colossal pillaging of state resources, the egregious war crimes it has normalized across the globe, its abject service not to democracy or freedom but corporate profit, and the blind, mind-numbing obedience it inculcates among its members. A lone soldier or Marine who rises up inside the system to denounce the hypermasculinity that glorifies violence and war, who exposes the false morality of the military, who refuses to kill in the service of imperial power, unmasks the military for what it is. And he or she, as Chelsea Manning has learned, swiftly pays a very, very heavy price.
The US Military influences higher education through a variety of mechanisms
The US military regards colleges as a crucial component of their defence strategy, and has developed a well-resourced and sophisticated position of influence within the US higher education system. Campuses have become an extension of the US military complex and key sties for recruitment, training, and military research.
Student Militias - The Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC)
Founded in 1916, the ROTC exists in over 1,000 US colleges, and provides military training to students, with the aim of producing the next generation of armed forces officers. ROTC Students are provided with a scholarship to college, on the condition that they complete four years of active military service once they graduate. ROTC graduates also serve an additional four years in the reserves after their active service.
"Very glad to learn about this outstanding initiative, and I wish you the greatest – well-deserved – success." Noam Chomsky
"Regarding any input I have about your work to demilitarize public education in Chicago, it has my wholehearted support. We should be teaching our children how to resolve conflicts in a peaceful and constructive way." Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
In the spring of 2014, I went to observe a career day at Santa Barbara High School, where my son is enrolled. There were a variety of organizations with representatives and literature tables. The Marines and the Navy recruiters were also there. They were soliciting student contact information.
A former Shreveporter who left a troubled family here to serve as a combat medic in Iraq, and who later served as a new doctor combating Ebola in west Africa, will speak in his home town later this week and sign copies of his new book.
"My mom was in prison most of my life, and my sister did time," says Antonio Webb, 32, who now is in his residency as an orthopedic surgeon in San Antonio, Texas. He grew up in the Allendale, Queensborough and Meadows neighborhood off Jewella Avenue.
"My dad did the best he could as a single parent to keep us isolated from what was going on. I was lucky in that I left Shreveport at an early age, 17, after I graduated from high school. If I'd have stayed in Shreveport there would have been a different outcome."
Project YANO is a California based nonprofit community organization that provides young people with an alternative point of view about military enlistment. Many of the organisation's members are armed forces veterans who believe that high school students are getting a distorted picture of the military and war from recruiting ads and marketing.
Through articles, images, survey data and interviews, Sowing Seeds: The Militarisation of Youth and How to Counter It documents the seeds of war that are planted in the minds of young people in many different countries. However, it also explores the seeds of resistance to this militarisation that are being sown resiliently and creatively by numerous people. READ MORE