Military Recruiters Face Competition

The Portland school board is set to adopt a rule to give “counter-recruiters” skeptical about the value of joining the military the same access to high school students that military recruiters enjoy under federal law.

Instead of standing out on the school sidewalk waving signs and offering fliers, anti-war activists will be able to staff recruiting tables and hand out pamphlets in the school career center or cafeteria, just like military recruiters in uniform.

It’s about time.

Combat or Rescue Mission?

I have read and heard the mission of the U.S. military helicopter that was recently shot down in Afghanistan described as a “rescue mission.” This makes it sound like the helicopter was rescuing hikers from off a mountain who had gotten lost. Make no mistake about it, the crew of the helicopter was on a mission to destroy life, not to save life. The Guardian gets it right.

And how convenient that the government says it has now killed the man responsible for shooting down the helicopter! The Taliban are denying that the “terrorist” responsible was actually killed. They are lying, you say, and can’t be trusted. I suspect that they don’t lie anymore than the U.S. government.

Our Crazy, Evil Government When It Comes to War

On February 17, President Obama signed into law S. 188. Introduced by Senator John McCain, this bill designates “the United States courthouse under construction at 98 West First Street, Yuma, Arizona, as the ‘John M. Roll United States Courthouse.'” It passed the House by a vote of 429-0 on February 9. It passed the Senate by unanimous consent on February 1.

Only in America does it take an act of Congress to name a building, but no congressional authorization whatsoever to go to war against a country that has not threatened the United States.

Worth It for Whom?

In his forthcoming new book, former war criminal secretary Donald Rumsfeld says that the war in Iraq has been worth the cost. If only we sent more troops to their death, says Rumsfeld, then it might have helped. Worth the cost for whom? Helped whom?

Was the debacle in Iraq worth it to the thousands of U.S. soldiers who died for a lie and in vain? Was it worth it to U.S. soldiers who suffer from mental and physical agony? Was it worth it to the families of dead American soldiers who still suffer from their loss? Was it worth it to the U.S. taxpayers? Was it worth it to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who would still be alive under Saddam Hussein? (yes, of course, Saddam was evil).

It might have been worth it to Bush so he could be a war president like FDR, Truman, Lincoln, and the rest. It might have been worth it to Rumsfeld so he could be famous and write this book. It might have worth it to military officers who moved up in the ranks and didn’t have to do any actual fighting. I don’t know who else would think the war was worth it.

The Hug Lady

Bette Rose Bowers is the Hug Lady. She greets incoming soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan in airports. And what does she tell them? Things like: God bless you, we are proud of you, you are appreciated, thank you. She talks about the joy of having a father see his baby for the very first time. She talks about children not having seen their father for many months. No mention of Iraqi or Afghan fathers seeing their children killed by U.S. bombs and bullets. No mention of Iraqi or Afghan children never seeing their father again. Should returning U.S. soldiers be greeted in airports? You be the judge.