IT'S MILITARY RECRUITING "OPEN SEASON" ON OUR YOUTH. I discovered from my friends at the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, whom I visited with today, that Heather's comment (see her comment below) is true. It's military recruiting open season on young people in our high schools and colleges. I talked with one dad who has a freshman son in college. By his senior year of high school he was receiving high-pressured military recruiting material weekly. Where did they get his address? You got it: from his high school administrators.
CIVIL LIBERTIES AT RISK. Of course high school administrators say their hands are tied. They "have to" do what the military demands. But the high school assistant principal I talked to had no idea from what department or person the personal information about my son got into the hands of the National Guard recruiter. Privacy of information and civil liberties are out the window. Prepare to grapple with it.
WHERE ARE WE HEADED? I suppose all of this is not an issue if you think aggressive military recruitment in high schools is a good thing. I don't think it's a good thing. I think it's a really bad thing. I think it unduly and unfairly preys upon vulnerable and impressionable young people. I also think the entire militarization of civil society is a bad thing. Calling our youth to the military as the highest expression of patriotism will come back to bite us as a democratic society.
MY PREDICTION: THE DRAFT WITHIN 12 MONTHS. The military is desperate for recruits. Their recruiting quotas are down. Many who are enlisted do not believe the Bush Administration's spin on the necessity and value of the Iraq War. The appeals to patriotism will increase. The pressure will heighten. And even though Mr. Bush said during his election campaign that there will be no draft, he has also said that will do whatever he wants to do if he thinks it's the right thing to do. And he has demonstrated that he exercises this will quite readily. My prediction as the War in Iraq continues: by this time next year, the draft will be in place.