[SPORK] Loving The Troops

Eugen Leitl eugen@leitl.org
Thu, 20 Mar 2003 19:10:58 +0100 (CET)

On Thu, 20 Mar 2003, kelley wrote:

> they start recruiting them in high school, at the age of fourteen. they
> can sign up with parental permission, though it's non-binding, before

Make it illegal. Children as soldiers is an earmark of totalitarian 
societies and 3rd world countries.

> they are eighteen. in poor schools, there's an ROTC for a lot of them.
> They were their ROTC uniforms every wednesday and have drills on the
> sportsfields.

Just like in Communist Russia or Nazi Germany.

> it's a federal law that the schools must share name, address, and home
> phone with recruiters. you can opt out, though, and remove your kids'
> names from their roster.

Why is this law allowed to exist?

> i've talked with a few kids who get sucked in by these recruiters. they
> make them all kinds of promises--of course, because they have a quota to
> fill. most of these kids are straight shooters. they're ambitious. they
> don't want to live the lives they are living. they want something more
> out of life.

Sure. If it'd take eating a queer fetus for Jesus to succeed in life 
they'd do it too. These poor lovable opportunists.
> as jeff points out, the service is billed as an answer. it is
> particularly attractive to kids who hate school and don't feel
> successful at it for whatever reason: boredom, crappy teachers,
> persistently told they are stupid and incapable, etc. so, even if it's
> conceivable to go on to community college while working a full-time job,
> they're not too sure they want yet more schooling. and who can blame

Poor lovable opportunists who hate learning. My heart so calls out to 

> them? schools are pretty crappy, especially _their_ schools which often
> get a fraction of the funding rec'd by schools in well-to-do school
> districts==where you hardly ever see recruiters.

Fix your school system. Also compare the ages of legally having sex, 
drink, vote, and become a soldier all over the world.

> the recuiters sell them a bill of goods about how they'll travel and see
> the world, about how they'll get training for a good job, about how
> they'll get bennies for college, etc. recruiters don't talk about
> killing. they don't talk about weapons. they don't talk about dying.
> they talk about seeing europe or asia, exotic islands, getting stationed
> in hawaii. and so forth.

All nice to know, but why are you telling me this?

> it is truly absurd to think these kids are signing up to kill and be
> killed. it doesn't much cross their mind in the beginning, thanks to the

I wasn't talking about what they think they're doing.
I was talking about what I think of them for what they're doing.

> concerted efforts of the recruiters and, of course, human nature: kids
> don't think about the potential for dying when they do some seriously
> stupid and dangerous things like driving drunk or downing a fifth in
> fifteen minutes, chug-a-lug!

Adopt a stupid kid, provide moral support to demonstrate that this
universe loves stupidity, and you can do whatever you want with full
impunity in regards to the consequences if only you are stupid enough..  
Makes a lot of sense, yes.

If you want true reasons for this troop love and support thing, have a 
look at evolutionary psychology.