BRING ON THE BARBARIANS!
By Elaine Meinel Supkis
When the Roman empire rotted, they would talk patriotic and parade about, pretending to still be warriors, while hiring outsiders and barbarians to be the real fighters.
So it is in America.
From the Washington Post:
By jogging at sunset on the white sands of a palm-fringed beach here, 17-year-old Audrey O. Bricia is doing more than toning up for her next try in this island's Miss Philippines contest. She is getting in shape for United States Army boot camp.Yes, the money is a great lure. And if you survive, you might be able to become a citizen. The Romans used both lures, too. The key was to get them to patrol distant borders such as Hadrian's Wall in Scotland or the Teutoberg Forest or the Black Sea. If the barbarian legionaries survived, they could move to Rome and the did. Eventually, they took over even the Emperor's throne as well as everything and Rome collapsed.
Everett Kennedy Brown/European Pressphoto Agency, for The New York Times
Audrey O. Bricia, 17, in the Northern Marianas, sees the Army as a way to nursing school.
To gain an edge on the competition for enlistment, she reserved a seat two days in advance to take Army's aptitude test on a recent Saturday morning here. Safely ensconced in her seat, she watched an Army recruiter turn away 10 latecomers, all new high school graduates.
"I am scared about Iraq, but I am going to have to give something in return for those benefits I want," said Ms. Bricia, a daughter of Filipino immigrants whose ambition is to attend nursing school in California.
From Pago Pago in American Samoa to Yap in Micronesia, 4,000 miles to the west, Army recruiters are scouring the Pacific, looking for high school graduates to enlist at a time when the Iraq war is turning off many candidates in the States.
The Army has found fertile ground in the poverty pockets of the Pacific. The per capita income is $8,000 in American Samoa, $12,500 in the Northern Marianas and $21,000 in Guam, all United States territories. In the Marshalls and Micronesia, former trust territories, per capita incomes are about $2,000.
From the Washington Post:
Thirty-two thousand Boy Scouts and thousands of visitors cheered wildly and brandished U.S. flags as President Bush appeared Sunday at the National Scout Jamboree, bringing a buoyant end to the turbulent first week of a camp-out that began in tragedy.So, being hit by lightning, heat stroke, heart attacks and electrocution while setting up dining tents is a selfless cause. This melding of war talk with goofing around, camping, is funny considering that virtually no American youth are lining up to die in Iraq for Bush. Like in the Vietnam war, they are content to wave flags and shout aggressive slogans and pat themselves on the back and think, "My gadding about here, goofing around in the sun, laughing and eating, is making America strong!"
In a brief speech to a sea of excited khaki- and olive-clad boys spread over a vast field at the Army base here, Bush urged the Scouts to continue serving their country and offered his condolences to the families of four Alaska Scout leaders electrocuted last Monday while setting up a dining tent.
President Bush, greeting Boy Scouts onstage, praised the group for leading "America's armies of compassion." (By Rich Lipski -- The Washington Post)
"The men you lost were models of citizenship, leaders who stepped forward to serve a good and selfless cause," he said.
"You Scouts honor them by living up to the ideals of the Scouting they served," the president added.
And so it goes. You can bet, when these fine, "patriotic" boys are at the age to have their arms and legs blown off, they will find "compassionate" things to do like play violent video games rather than go to war. They will happily sit at home and let the barbarians and aliens fight for them.
After the cheers and chants of "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!" died down, Bush praised the Scouts for their community service, singling out troops from Louisiana who collected five tons of food for food banks and Scouts from Nebraska who made flags for soldiers in Iraq.See? Bush and the paramilitary Boy Scouts did it again! They are proud of making fucking flags! This is the "war support" they want to cheer wildly. They stay at home and manufacture flags and aliens from thousands of miles away die thousands of miles away, fighting for them.
Louisiana: a terrible state that provides virtually no services for the poor. A terrible place that the poor flee. I know what food collection is all about: people cleaning out the trash at home. Having volunteered to sort this garbage, I assure you, the poor are not grateful at all for what they get since it is often all out of date or really nasty stuff people buy but then hesitate to eat so they get rid of it.
In the food banks, much of this stuff is either discarded or sits on shelves for a long time. One of the things I used to do was take home the weirder stuff because I like odd things.
But the food collection game is a hoax. Foodstamps are much better which is why the right wingers especially in the South have worked hard to eliminate food stamps.
Anyway, wave that flag and scream, "USA, USA!" The barbarians are at the Gates.