Forum and demo against military recruiting

The following is an announcement I just got by e-mail. Let's make it clear we don't want Chapel Hill's sons and daughters deceived into sacrificing themselves for Bush's ignoble cause.


On Wednesday, November 15, 2006, Chapel Hill's first military recruitment station is scheduled to open. This Army recruiting facility is being built because the military is desperate for more young people to continue occupying Iraq and to wage new wars on people all around the world. Military recruiters will use any means necessary to recruit our young people--their deceptive practices are well-documented. Please join us for the following events as we send a clear message of opposition to the militarization of our community and this blatant attempt to pull even more of our young people into the war to kill and be killed.

Community Forum on New Army Recruiting Station
WHEN: November 12, 2pm
WHERE: UNC-Chapel Hill Student Union room 3411
WHAT: In light of the new Army recruiting station opening in Chapel Hill, various student and community organizations will be hosting a community forum to discuss the implications of this new station for our town. These different organizations will offer their perspective on the new recruiting station. UNC-Chapel Hill SDS, Feminist Students United, NC Choices, Raleigh F.I.S.T., and more will be present at the event. Come out to learn more about the new recruiting station, ask any questions you may have, and help prepare for the demonstration on November 15. There will be music, as well as free food and drink.

WHEN: November 15
WHERE: 3pm-March From McCorkle Place, Quad across from Post Office on Franklin St
4pm-Rally at the New Recruiting Station - 1502 E. Franklin St.
WHAT: Join students, youth, and community members as we stand up to the new Army recruiting station, the continued occupation of Iraq, and U.S. threats against other nations. We'll gather at McCorkle Place, the large quad on UNC-Chapel Hill's campus across from the Post Office on Franklin St, at 3pm and march down to the recruiting station at 1502 E. Franklin St. At 4pm, we'll begin a rally outside of the station, where members of the community will speak out against this new recruiting station, a blatant attempt to pull more youths and students into the U.S. war machine and the occupation of Iraq.



Thank you, Wayne.

USAF 1978-82. Airborne Russian Linguist. Helped end cold war.

You're welcome.


Stop-loss journalism.

Nice 18 month old article.

Interesting article here - army recruiters talking about the difficulty of meeting quotas when there are better economic opportunities, one recruiter who says he joined when he was young with no focus & no direction, the number of high school dropouts accepted has doubled, etc.

"that the military relies on the downtrodden and economically trapped..."

* Myth 1: Military recruits are less educated and have fewer work alternatives than other young Americans.

In fact, military recruits are far better educated than the general youth population, Carr (acting deputy undersecretary of defense for military personnel policy) said. More than 90 percent of recruits have a high school diploma, compared to about 75 percent of the U.S. youth population.

That's an important issue to the military, Carr said, because a traditional high school diploma is the single best indicator of a recruit's stick-to-it-ness and likelihood of successfully adjusting to military service. Recruits with a high school diploma have a 70 percent probability of completing a three-year enlistment versus a 50 percent chance for nongraduates.

The military has exceeded the 90-percent benchmark for recruits with high school diplomas every year since 1983, Carr noted.

* Myth 2: The military tends to attract people with lower aptitudes.

Recruits actually have much higher average aptitudes than the general youth population, Carr said. In fiscal 2005, 67 percent of recruits scored above the 60th percentile on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. The test is designed so that the average young person will score 50 percent, he explained.

But high achievement on the test isn't new, Carr said. Sixty percent of new enlistees have scored at or above the 50 percentile -- the military's benchmark for recruits -- every year since 1985.

* Myth 3: The military attracts a disproportionate number of poor or underprivileged youth.

In reality, military recruits mirror the U.S. population and are solidly middle class, Carr said. He cited a recent Heritage Foundation report that shows most recruits come from middle-class families, rather than poorer or wealthier ones. Patterns in recent years reinforce this trend, showing a slight dip in recruits from lower socioeconomic groups and a slight increase from upper-class groups, Carr said.

* Myth 4: A disproportionate number of recruits come from urban areas.

Inner cities are actually the most underrepresented area among new recruits, Carr said. Both suburban and rural areas are overrepresented, he said.

* Myth 5: The military isn't geographically representative of America.

The southern part of the United States generates the most recruits, 41 percent, but also has the biggest youth population to draw from, 36 percent, Carr said. Twenty-four percent of recruits come from north-central regions, which have 23 percent of the youth population. The west, with 24 percent of the nation's youth, contributes 21 percent of the new enlistees. And the northeast, with 18 percent of the youth population, provides 14 percent of new recruits.

This is not that complicated - despite the flurry of red herrings.

The recruiting center has a nominal right to open up. We have a right to point out that it serves a corrupt system, that it is documented that recruiters have lied in order to entrap recruits, that the military relies on the downtrodden and economically trapped, that the U.S. military has caused way more problems than it has solved over the last 60 years, that the U.S. military has killed more people than any other military in the last 60 years, that mental illness is common among veterans and the ripple effect is damaging to our society, that kids should not be fed a myth of freedom and U.S. superiority in order to send them off to fight & maybe die or be wounded for the greed of war profiteers and corporate energy magnates, that we have the courage to imagine a world without war.

Paul, the answer seems to be related to the question asked, as happens with polls.

Most Americans (69%) respond that if the Iraqi governement were to tell the US to withdraw ALL of its forces within six months, the US should withdraw (
If the Iraqi government were truely representative of the Iraqi people then they would have asked for the U.S. troops to withdraw as most Iraqis want us out.

Unfortunately, in this poll immediate withdrawal is not presented as an option for respondents to give.

Ultimately, all this debate about the timing of our withdrawal is silly considering that the President has already said that a timetable is not an option. Or is he bluffing and playing a hard bargain by continuing with an extreme offer? ... might we not learn from this approach and ask for our troops to leave yesterday?

Sincerely, as long as Bush and Cheyneys are still in power I do not believe that any withdrawal will happen (Congress will not withold funds for the war ... this is waaaay extreme! ... after all the reason for the Iraq war is 'detterence') . Possibly we will withdraw in two years from now, if and when we get an anti-war President, ... only 29% of Iraqis are for this option. oooops I messed up again, I meant 2 years from now + 1 year or six months as the withdrawal will have to be by one of those timetables otherwise Iraq may descend into Chaos!

By your standard Ruby, there are a hell of a lot of things that need to be closed down in Chapel Hill and Carrboro! Sure, as I said before, we hear about the bad apples and they are dealt with. What do you think the rate per thousand is? As one who seems to hold the MSM suspect, you might not want to believe everything you read there, or on the Internet either!

Thank you, Fred, for pointing out this eloquent article. I may be too close to the issue to be able to write as effectively as this mother has.

I hope folks would look deep inside themselves and re-evaluate what they should mean when they say they support the troops. As one who will surely return to combat at least one more time (and I beg it will be no more than that in my life), I would like to hear people voice their respect for the young soldiers I lead. They are brave and honorable beyond words. Most of them did not join just for the college money or the benefits. Most of them joined because they understand the truth in what Martin Luther King, Jr. said: "If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live."

These soldiers believe in their country, even when they lose faith in their commander-in-chief, even when their country's politics let them down. That makes them patriots, not dupes. Making soldiers out to be victims is a conceptual trick, an end run in order to criticize the politics of war.

Daniel, if I thought recruiters were completely honest and followed the law, then I would agree with you are saying. Internationalist doesn't trick people into coming into their store by saying it's something it's not, or by misleading their potential customers.

The examples of military recruiters doing this are overwhelming. As I said before: I'm not opposed to people voluntarily joining the military, but I am very much opposed to the tactics of manipulation and deception used by many recruiters today to trick young people in to joining.

It's the immorality and illegality of the recruiting techniques that I protest.

Here's an article by a Mother that touches on many of the issues raised in this thread.

Actually Tamara, polls are showing that a majority of Americans do NOT favor an immediate withdrawal.

Most favor a year timetable.

I think what's the most surprising is that Chapel Hill would be so reactionary, so close minded. Let the recruiting station open...if their mission is as false as critics say, then it will fail.

If you don't approve of drinking do you protest outside of the ABC store? (Granted, the salesman isn't aggressively recruiting drinkers)

But we have the Internationalist's open to the same peope who might wander into the recruiters' office...the information is out there.

If you disagree with the Military itself, isn't the Pentagon the appropriate target? They at least have the office chairs, telephones, people.


James writes," Fred, I'm no historian, but from all I can tell about the conduct of American warfare, exactly THREE wars had anything to do with preserving our liberties."

James, I can't believe that you are now rejecting deterrence, especially during the Cold War, as an operative concept.

‘I sincerely ask that all of you to remember just why you are able to do this.'

This seems to imply that those of us who plan to resist army recruitment within our community seek to use our right to free speech to inhibit army recruitment officers from exercising their own. Or perhaps you meant that we are allowed our little protests because we have an active military which defends the US and therefore protects our civil liberties?

Regardless, I am not debating the right of the recruiting station to exist and function in Chapel Hill. I am questioning the NEED for a new recruitment station in Chapel Hill.

We have one of the largest functional armies in the world. Why do we need a larger one? Recruitment is expanding to increase troop numbers to sustain the Iraq war.
As other contributors to this thread have already reminded us, it is important to remember that deceptive recruiting practices are well documented. Most kids who sign up think they're getting a free college education out of the deal. Less than a third do. What they do get however, is tour after tour of active duty in Iraq where they are forced to make excruciating decisions under immense amounts of pressure.

Approximately 3,000 service people and between 350 and 900 THOUSAND Iraqi civilians have lost their lives as a result of this war. And as Sammy pointed out- the majority of both Americans and Iraqis want us out of Iraq now.

But we get a new recruiting station in Chapel Hill?

I am raising my voice in support of the youth of my community (UNC undergrads and East Chapel Hill high school students) who oppose WHY the recruiting center is opening and HOW recruiters meet their quotas. I am raising my voice for the youth who do have access to the same sorts of privileges that I do. I am not however, opposing the right of a recruitment center to exist within the borders of Chapel Hill.

Fred, I'm no historian, but from all I can tell about the conduct of American warfare, exactly THREE wars had anything to do with preserving our liberties. The American Revolution, the War Between the States, and World War II. Maybe throw in WWI if you want to stretch the point.

Haven't the other wars been imperial adventures designed to reward war profiteers, achieve economic advantage, and project control into other regions? Did Vietnam have anything to do with American freedom? Korea? Iraq?

While others might be saying there's no room for war, ever, I'm not in that camp. But I think there havemore misuses of US military might than legitimate ones.

Make that "have been more" ... Sorry.

(Preview please?)

According to my understanding of democracy, the right to speak up is as important as what is spoken. Any force that tries to squash the freedom of speech or intimidate others from being willing to speak up should be opposed.

No, Will, the 1st Amendment protects us from our government - "Congress shall make no law..." Remember the essence of the debate over the Bill of Rights, why prohibit the government from doing something that the Constitution doesn't give them the right to do in the first place.

I think you really know what keeps us able to continue to live under our Constitution, in spite of all of those people throughout our history - foreign and domestic - who tried to make it otherwise. Why's it so hard to admit?

Yeah, Fred's right, don't forget it' s the 1st Amendment protecting your "right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

I'm impressed with your commitment, Tamara, and all of the people who will march all of the way from UNC to Franklin and Estes to express themselves. I sincerely ask that all of you to remember just why you are able to do this.

To the smart pargmatists, from a dumb idealist:

If the statistic about about 70% of the Iraqi citizenry wanting us to leave doesn't register then perhaps the statistic of 61% of Iraqis approving of attacks on U.S. forces does (

The iraqis are apparently becoming more desperate to see us leave and one of their methods (are there any others left?) that seems to grow in popularity, there, is violence.

For many of us, in Chapel Hill/Carrboro and other parts of the country, who want to see this war end sooner than later there are many methods at our disposal. One method is similar to that used by the Iraqis with the very significant exception that instead of decreasing the military through violence we believe in decreasing the military by preventing (through the information that may be generated by a sincere portrayal of the protest by real journalists) people from getting sent to get killed (and to kill) for a false cause. We do care for the PEOPLE in the military, and we might care for the military institution the day that there really is the need for one: the day an occupying force is killing, torturing, maiming, destroying and pillaging Chapel Hill and Carrboro and non-violent resistance is ineffective because the people who are supposed to get outraged by the excessive violence upon the victims ARE NOT S-E-E-I-N-G what is happening.

Another method is to pressure our Representative to Congress so that when he gets to the 'bi-partisan' or 'partisan' compromise table he knows what is right and that his constituency backs him up on this feeling ... ('feeling' ... I know ... that sounds so unpragmatic! ... and dumb!).

Paul, how is this one?:

We are born Ideal.
We grow too soon old (pragmatic).
and too late smart (dead?)

'Is the protest march still on for tomorrow, given that the contractors may not have the building ready to open?'

It is indeed. I am glad to see that this action has spurred such a lively and prolonged debate at OP. I would now urge all of you who oppose this attempt to further entrench the military culture within our community to provide more young people to kill and be killed in Iraq to attend the action today in solidarity with the youth in our community.


WHEN: November 15
WHERE: 3pm-March From McCorkle Place, Quad across from Post Office on Franklin St
4pm-Rally at the New Recruiting Station - 1502 E. Franklin St.
WHAT: Join students, youth, and community members as we stand up to the new Army recruiting station, the continued occupation of Iraq, and U.S. threats against other nations. We'll gather at McCorkle Place, the large quad on UNC-Chapel Hill's campus across from the Post Office on Franklin St, at 3pm and march down to the recruiting station at 1502 E. Franklin St. At 4pm, we'll begin a rally outside of the station, where members of the community will speak out against this new recruiting station, a blatant attempt to pull more youths and students into the U.S. war machine and the occupation of Iraq. For more information contact Ben at

Is the protest march still on for tomorrow, given that the contractors may not have the building ready to open?

Linked bellow is a YouTube video of part of last Sunday's Simpsons episode about Army Recruitment.

In this scene at Barts school auditorium Army recruiters are showing MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS a video about how cool the Army is. Their goal is to obtain pre-enlistments. The announcer at the end of the video says The Army. Its everything you like.

A recruiter thanks SGT. principal Skinner for letting them show the video. He replies "Anything for my Army". "How about reenlisting?" says the recruiter. "Bite me" quips Skinner.


Did you sign up yet?

I'm sorry. I still don't see what the war in Iraq has to do with protesting a recruiting station. I was under the impression OC folks were anti-war, not anti-military.

And as someone currently an ex pat in London for a few more months, it occurs to me that the saying should be "...if you can read this in American, thank a soldier." English is pretty different in writing and the only language we'd realistically be stuck with without soldiers!

Fareed Zakaria of Newsweek always has interesting things to say about our Mideast policy. This article is particularly good:

When you've got 70% of the Iraqi citizenry wanting the U.S. to leave, at some point you have to consider democracy as a concept worth backing.

But I guess our leadership has advanced in years and wisdom and now is focused on the practical (why does the "practical" always look astoundingly like the status quo?) and not some crazy youthful ideal like democracy.

In the case of Iraq, I think "you broke it, you fix it" is less appropriate than "you broke it, put it down and back away slowly, with your hands in the air."

Terri, I would love to see this war end yesterday. I would love for the utmost selfish reasons to bring every one of our men and women serving over there home, yesterday. I'm not sure but I suspect that there are not many here other than me who has a child who has already been and is scheduled to return this spring.

Bringing them home is just not as simple as it sounds at a rally. There's not one person associated with a recruiting office that can make the war end or bring the troops home. Somebody from Chapel Hill not being able to get information in Chapel Hill will not change the policy either. And believe what you want but of the millions who have joined the Volunteer Army, some few did in fact have a recruiter mislead and even lie to them. Some few. When discovered, they are dealt with, but please show me the profession that doesn't also have some outliers.

When's the protest scheduled to demand that all of our children receive an education and the necessary support that would allow them to join the military is they so desired?

Yes, Terri, 25 years ago, I'd have been on Sammy's side, I suppose (I'm 49).

As the old Dutch saying goes, "we grow too so old and too late smart."

Sorry, that's supposed to be "we grow too soon old and too late smart.

"When's the protest scheduled to demand that all of our children receive an education and the necessary support that would allow them to join the military is they so desired?"

With you 100% on this Fred. I also agree about the recruiting station. But I look back and know that I would have been closely aligned with Sammy's position in my younger days.

Today--I'm not sure I believe a complete pull out is a good thing. We've made a mess of someone's country--can we really just walk away? Don't we owe the Iraqi people more than a "change in policy?" I don't know that having troops on the ground is the best way to change course, but I'm pretty sure that simply bringing them home right away is going to cause more problems for the people who are left to figure out how to continue living there. We should never have been in this position, but those are the cards we've got in our hand right now. And how we play them will say a lot about our compassion as a nation.

What did Powell say, "If you break it, you own it." Nobody listened.

George Will reported this morning what Chaney said after the first Gulf War:

Shortly after the war, the then secretary of defense, Dick Cheney, said why arguments for "going to Baghdad" had been "fallacious."

"Once you've got Baghdad, it's not clear what you do with it," he told The New York Times. "It's not clear what kind of government you would put in place of the one that's currently there now. Is it going to be a Shia regime, a Sunni regime or a Kurdish regime? Or one that tilts toward the Baathists, or one that tilts toward the Islamic fundamentalists? How much credibility is that government going to have if it's set up by the United States military when it's there? How long does the United States military have to stay to protect the people that sign on for that government, and what happens to it once we leave?"

Good questions, the answers to which we now know.

Sammy, Price had two opponents in the primary, one running from the left, one from the right. He got 90% of the vote overall, 87% in Orange Co.

Voters who wanted to "send a message" to Price had an opportunity to do so yet only 10% did.

Paul and Fred,

There is a distinct possibility this is a generational issue. I remember the family fights at my house during Viet Nam. My father would have liked to completely disown me for what he considered 'unpatriotic' beliefs and behavior. During the Gulf War my mother stopped speaking to me. What I saw in both cases was the mess their generation was making for my peers and I to clean up. Sammy's arguments are sounding very familiar to me. Looking back, I find that I've become much more pragmatic as I've aged.

Fred, the OCDP County Executive Committee has not endorsed this, as far as I know we were not asked to.

Sammy, is OCDP a sponsor of tomorrow's protest?

Sammy, there is nothing wrong with sending Price the resoiutions we passed this spring, although I suspect he has already seen them. I think he knows where a majority, although not a vast majority, of OC party activists stands and he knows it is for immediate withdrawal, which again I would personally support, but I'm not David Price.

I would like to see Price advocate immediate withdrawal and maybe he will in the caucus, I don't know. But that won't carry the day, but I think a firm timetable will and I think Price would support that.

And again consider that in addition to a timetable, we need an interim plan, a pledge for no permanent bases (which I am almost certain Price supports) and economic aid to Iraq (which I would guess he would support too).


I am surprised at your insensitivity to what the local Democrats want especially considering that you served an integral part in the compilation of the Resolutions that the county precinct Democrats passed and presented at a county level. Also remember that Price was elected by default (or inaction), as me and many others who disagree with a significant amount of his votes, didn't get our act together to back someone who may truely represnt us to the Congress and not the Congress to us. I will take responsibility for this lack of action. And I believe that I am not alone (as evidenced by the OCDP resolutions that passed and the many OCDP forums where David Price has been heckeled) both in feeling unrepresented and responsible for not being represented.

Having said that ...

Now is the time to work on the very local level, the precinct level, to assure that the resolutions that we have passed and that have been taken up by the county are honored and acted upon. Now is the time to make these resolutions mean more than the annual ritual that they have now been for far too long. Now is the time to make belongiong to our local Democratic Parties mean something.

Please, everyone download the resolutions at
and contact your precinct chair ( if you have trouble figuring this out, please contact me at and let them know that you want them to represent you at the next OCDP Executive Committee that will meet at the Homestead Community Center, Homestead Road, from 7:30 -9:30 pm. Tuesday, December 5th. by expressing your desire for these resolutions to be acted upon. Remember, the County Party and the Precinct Parties (the County Party's bosses) are grassroots parties and they are only as good as WE make them. Spread the word!!

Here are some interesting poll numbers from Scott Rasmussen (, whose polls are pretty accurate, I think.

Given the options of immediate withdrawal, a year's timetable or to "stay until the mission is completed" 28% chose the first option, 26% the second and 32% the last.

Among Dems, the numbers were 41/33/11. Among independents, it was 28/24/28.

So that is a majority (54%) that want us out in a year, including a strong majority (74%) of Dems and a majority (52%) of independents.

I should clarify that I agree personally that impeachment should not be pursed, as my last comment may have implied.

I will probably not agree personally to a likely Iraq compromise, but again, I don't think immediate withdrawal is polically possible and that we could get a firm timetable and plan for withdrawal by the end of next year.

Ruby, you are perfectally correct, my personal view is no more or less valid than Sammys. But I did not post my personal view above, which is immediate withdrawal with the safety and security of our troops being our only consideration.

But my personal view would not carry the day in the Democratic caucus of either House much less in the bodies themselves.

I advanced what I believe is a politically possible compromise.

And accountability, yes. Have hearings on war profiteering, do very active oversight in all areas of government, ask tough hard quesitions, do all those things the GOP didn't, but impeachment is a dead letter, again not my opinion, but Pelosi's and while her personal view may not be any more "valid" than mine or Sammy's, it's much more likely to prevail!

Ruby, let's agree that we all want more accountability, but let's be realistic and also agree that nothing much is going to happen in the rest of the 109th Congress. When the 110th convenes and the Democrats take power, then we will see what they can do with it.

Paul, you (and your perspective) don't own the party any more than Sammy does. I voted for Price too, does that make me a Democrat?

Personally I don't know if it's impeachment or what, but the Dems in Congress do have mandate for more accountability. If they don't bring it, they will have a dissapointed nation on their hands in '08.

No Sammy, you and your fellow protestors are NOT "the Democrats;" here in OC, "the Democrats" are the 26000+ voters who voted for David Price and most of whom are willing to give the Democrats a chance to come up with a plan that they all can agree with, or at least that a vast majority can agree with.

Bush is not going to be impeached, by the time the Democrats gathered enough evidence and held hearings, his term would be over anyway and we will have again torn the country apart over another impeachment and accomplished what?

And if Democrats started impeachment proceedings, do you think Bush will be in ANY mood at all to compromise on Iraq?

And if Bush were impeached, would President Cheney be a welcome thing? Geez, I'd rather have Bush!

We have too many pressing issues to worry about and impeachment is a dead letter, so say Pelosi and Conyers. I trust them and I think most Democrats do.

If we forget about impeachment and get out of Iraq by the end of next year, neither will be an issue for the 2008 campaign and the candidates can debate our future foreign policy without these very divisive distractions.

I think most Democrats, although favoring immediate withdrawal, would accept a plan calling for withdrawal beginning in 90 days with full withdrawal of ground troops by the end of 2007 (we'll probably have to agree to leave some advisors and trainers for their military and police). No permanent bases and major economic aid for the reconstruction of Iraq should be part of this plan too.

Yep. What Sammy said! :) Very eloquent man. Nice to have a list out there reminding us what Bush and company have done.

Side note: I saw a Nixon TV commercial the other day. It alluded to ending the war in Vietnam. Evidently the age to vote had just been dropped to 18. Nothing like a vastly unpopular war to get the vote. I think this time we're going to hold the people we elected to the letter of our demands. End the war in Iraq now!

Thanks for putting it in the proper perspective, Sammy.



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