The War Not At Home
It’s odd–no, disturbing–that the United States can be involved in two wars, and so few Americans are touched by it. How can this be healthy for a democratic society?
My Isthmus column from almost three years ago (featured the other day at the alternative newspaper site) makes the case for a draft and national service. The headline– “Madison’s military problem: It isn’t Army recruiting, but our attitude towards serving”–sums up my concerns .
The column begins:
Monday, Nov. 5, [2007,] wasn’t a good day for the U.S. military in Madison.
Over at the Doyle administration building, anti-war activists were lobbying the Madison school board to remove Army recruitment signs from high school sports stadiums.
Critics say the ads mislead impressionable young people and support unconscionable war-making. I have a problem with that.
I’m at a loss to understand how a sign asking, “Are you Army strong?” and giving a recruiter’s phone number represents a threat to young people. On a list of the top 2,000 baleful media images thrust before kids — have you seen the American Apparel ads pitched to teenage girls? — this ranks maybe 1,834th.
Over at East High, meanwhile, the military’s estrangement from the good people of Madison was in even starker relief.
Roughly 70 parents and students turned out for a “junior night” look at post-graduation prospects for college, technical school, and yes, the military. Not one participant stopped by the military recruitment table, Sgt. Frederick Hutchison of the Marines and Machinist Mate Michael Pflanzer of the Navy told me….
For more, go here.