Sunday, April 16, 2006

Message to The Left: The Military Recruiter is Not Your Enemy

Attention Anti-War Leftists:

Here are some positive suggestions on how to encourage more real Americans to agree with you:

1. Please don't think of individual military recruiters as The Enemy. Every enlisted servicemember is a real American trying to do a job. The same goes for junior officers, in some respects all the way up to Lieutenant Colonel (O-5). They don't set policy; they carry it out.

2. If you can, please consider focusing your attention on political leadership. You may wish to consider your Senators' State Offices, Congressional District Office, State Legislators' District Offices, City Hall, etc., because elected officials (in theory) tend to listen to the concerns of their constituents.

3. If you choose to focus your protest against the war on the military recruiting office (which, in your community, may be the only possible location), please go inside to say hello first, just so they know it's nothing personal.

4. Picketing, passing out leaflets, even a bit of (pre-arranged, choreographed) political theater are all great ways of making your point. But attempting to block access just makes you, and your cause, look bad. It doesn't help at all.

5. All of these apply on college campuses, with one bonus: College Republicans and other counter-protesters. If you really want to be patriotic, why not encourage all of those healthy heterosexual men and women who support military recruiters (and the war) to Be A Man! Enlist! themselves? After all, the College Republicans want the military recruiters on campus; why don't they make their visit worthwhile?

Thank you for participating in civil society in our great country.


At 17 April, 2006 19:38, Blogger Mr. Ed said...

Karl - thanks for saying this.

In this country, all military policy is because of civilian control, as it should be.

David Rossie of the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin had a column once where he said words to the effect of "I can never understand why anybody protests either the military or the police when in the vast majority of the cases they're not the ones setting the policy, it's our lawmakers who are." It's not an exact quote, and Mr. Rossie said it much better than me, but you get the idea.

Also, I heard I think it was Jay Leno talking about coming back from a tour abroad for the troops and he made a comment to the effect of "Ever see those civil war pictures of the troops, and you see their faces realize they're just regular guys who happen to be fighting the war? I saw the same thing when I was looking out on the faces of those troops." Again, another quote that isn't exact Mr. Leno but I believe I got the gist of it correct.

At 18 April, 2006 02:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, this is fucking funny.

At 21 April, 2006 06:59, Blogger QuestRepublic said...

A "Tip of the Hat" to KARL and MR. ED for thoughtful comments.

Blocking access to recruiting stations and other harassment are anti-free speech and anti-American.

As a former recruiter, I appreciate what a difficult job these folks are now in. Unfortunately, with the current pressure to produce recruits, one of the results is that young men and women often go into service for the wrong reasons.

My personal experience is that the military roles portrayed by recruiters are often "sugar-coated" and made to look too much like an idealized version of civilian life. Unreasonable sales tactics about getting college credits while on active duty and how useful your military skills will be later in civilian life add up to a misrepresentation of the military. These tactics ARE the responsibility of the recruiters. Such tactics are being protested by Americans, as well they should be.

At 22 April, 2006 07:56, Blogger Karl said...


Thank you for your comments.

In my humble opinion, pre-arranged, choreographed political theater is not harassment.

It's in the interests of all parties (the recruiting station, the protestors and local authorities, i.e., police) to cooperate so that all can make their point and get it over with.

This includes scheduling political theater by appointment, etc. This most certainly does not include blocking access, etc., unless that's part of pre-arranged political theater as described above.

Basic picketing and leafleting is free speech, but it's always polite for a representative of the group to go inside and say hello.


Post a Comment

<< Home