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San Francisco State University Students Confront Military Recruiters on Campus
by Katrina Yeaw (kyeaw [at] sfsu.edu)
Friday Mar 4th, 2005 2:37 PM
On Wednesday, March 9th, the Army Corps of Engineers and the US Navy are coming to San Francisco State University in the hopes of recruiting students to become cannon fodder for the US occupation effort. Student activists with the Campus Anti-War Network (CAN) have a different plan: they have organized a protest to block the recruiters and kick them off their campus.
March 9 2005
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Ave, San Franicsco
Malcolm X Plaza
11 AM

San Francisco, CA: After voting to bring the troops home with Prop N last November, San Francisco is reeling with activity aimed at keeping military recruiters out of area schools.

On February 26th, a new group called "College not Combat" formed in San Francisco, drawing in 100 people to its first meeting, including several Vietnam and Iraq war vets, parents, teachers, and 35 students rom 7 colleges and at least 2 high schools. A counter-recruitment meeting in Oakland drew 100 people the following day. There are plans to picket the main recruiting center in San Francisco on March 15th, as well as a special "get the military out of our schools" contingent within the March 19th anti-occupation march. Last week, activists at UC Berkeley picketed Marine recruiters on their campus.

On Wednesday, March 9th, the Army Corps of Engineers and the US Navy are coming to San Francisco State University in the hopes of recruiting students to become cannon fodder for the US occupation effort. Student activists with the Campus Anti-War Network (CAN) have a different plan: they have organized a protest to block the recruiters and kick them off their campus.

Hundreds of students at low-income colleges and high schools nationwide have participated in protests like this one, and have successfully forced military recruiters to pack up and leave their campuses.

"Now it's our turn here at SF State to tell the anti-gay military that they're not welcome on our campus," says Katrina Yeaw, organizer for CAN's chapter at SF State, Students Against War. "Students come here for an education, not to be pressured into signing on the dotted line after being told a bunch of lies by some military recruiter".




Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Fellow Traveler
Friday Mar 4th, 2005 3:36 PM
I'm glad to see this announced in advance on Indybay. A similar protest, that you can read about on the anti-war page, at UC Berkeley would have been much bigger if there had been more outreach done beforehand.

Solidarity from Berkeley!
by pidpit
Thursday Mar 10th, 2005 7:47 AM
So much for tolerance! So much for free speech on the recruiters part.
No recruiter is forcing you to sign *anything* on a dotted line.
I hope the federal government pulls funding out of your school.

Anti-war protestors are nothing but a bunch of hippie-sign toting idiots.
by www.gatorgop.com
Thursday Mar 10th, 2005 8:41 AM
Oh no, oh no, watch out for that evil recruiter who's going to send you to Iraq. Watch as he holds a gun to your head as you sign 15+ papers, go through various medical screenings, pass physical ability standards, swear in your oath, and then sign your final contract.

Such ignorance from the myrmidons.

Bottom line is this: you have a choice to join or not. Most lefties are always talking about freedom of choice, but I guess that doesn't apply to joining the armed forces. Afterall, isn't 'choice' related to individual freedom and personal responsibility? Oh wait, a lot of those protestors lack the latter, how soon I forget. It's always someone else's fault, never their's, right?

It would be freakin awesome if the federal government pulled funding to SFSU, maybe then everyone will have a reality check. You people disrupted the whole career center -- there were people who actually wanted to be there to benefit from the event. Thanks for ruining it.
by f4f
Thursday Mar 10th, 2005 11:45 AM
"Most lefties are always talking about freedom of choice..."

Don't know what "lefties" you are hanging around but the ones I know are all about making choices for you, not allowing you to think for yourself, let alone make your own choices. Liberals are different but the left--communists, anarchists, etc.--think they have all the answers and if you dare to disagree with them you are a fascist, Nazi, imperialist, etc. etc. etc.
by aaron
Thursday Mar 10th, 2005 4:25 PM
If you want to go join the imperial armed services and get killed or maimed for corporate america, nobody's stopping you.

The point of anti-recruitment activities is to make it as difficult as possible for the the military's paid hacks to peddle their lies and gain cannon-fodder for the war machine.




by AF Guy
Friday Mar 11th, 2005 11:15 AM
You all are nothing but a bunch of rich kids running around with nothing else to do but spend your parents money. All of you need to get a life. If you don't love this country then you should get the hell out. No one is forcing you to join the military. Who do you think you are trying to kick military recruiters out of your school. There are probably more people at your school who want to join the military then you have members in your stupid protest group. Go to class or get a job.
by Todd Boyle
Saturday Mar 12th, 2005 7:10 PM

Lies and Omissions by Recruiters

Wherever military recruiters are communicating with teenagers, there is a need for "truth in recruiting".   Truth is the remedy for Untruths.

Untruths include misrepresentations of facts and omissions of facts that affect the teenager's decision to enlist in the military.  We are concerned about omissions or misrepresentations that have a material effect, a persuasive effect or preemptive effect on the recruit's decision.

The word "lie" implies intent.  It is not impossible to prove intent.  Juries and judges make such determinations every day, in civil and criminal cases.  But proving recruiters' intent is very costly and unpleasant, and depends on circumstances in each particular case.  Recruiters' intent is anyways, irrelevant.  So, nobody ever does this.

Untruths

The most important and crucial untruths are abstract. These untruths arise out of ideology.  These untruths are rejected by the world's spiritual leaders and philosophers, and are promoted by politicians, businessmen and other pragmatists. Pragmatists include nationalists for whom, goals such as national defense justify any means.

These are examples of the higher-level, fundamental untruths. These are lies inherent in militarism itself.

 - that the nation is your supreme unit of affiliation (above your family, or humanity, or your community)
 - that the inhabitants of other nations are subhuman and their well-being matters less than American well-being.
 - that being a member of the Army or Marines is intrinsically noble and honorable
 - that surrendering unconditional obedience to a commander, or a president, is a virtue
 - that fighting wars, once declared by the nation's rulers, is patriotic, manly and admirable
 - that nonviolent alternatives to war are ineffective (actually they are the ONLY effective solution)
 - that it is treason, to oppose wars or fail to "support the troops" after a President has caused a war

There are also very fundamental, high level omissions by recruiters:

 - any accurate representation of war and combat - what it's really like.
 - any accurate historical representation of past U.S. wars, their fundamental causes in political economy, and the precipitating events that started them were usually lies: The Maine, Gulf of Tonkin, WMDs in Iraq, etc.)
 - any accurate report on the devastated lives of disabled American veterans, families of the dead service members, etc.
 - any accurate report on the 10-to-1 civilian casualty rate, and suffering of civilian populations, in foreign countries.
 - any accurate report on nonviolent ways that international conflicts are usually avoided. and SHOULD be avoided. e.g. international law.

Teenagers also need to understand the truth about the context.  Recruiters may be the first people they have ever met in institutional roles, in the school, wearing uniforms, who do not have students' best interest as their first priority.  The military command including 15,000 highly trained recruiters, have an institutional goal and intention to obtain recruits, to fight wars.   The interests of recruits, and the goal of objectivity or balance is secondary or entirely absent.

 - the military targets teenagers almost exclusively, why? because they are vulnerable and flexible to manipulate. Teenagers are the only segment that responds to the level of indoctrination, intimidation, and regimentation of boot camp.
 - the military hires professional marketing firms at 7 and 8 figure contracts, annually, for marketing strategies and tactics aimed at teens.
 - the military spends $4 billion on advertising and recruiting, the content of which is self-evident and one-sided.
 - the military trains recruiters intensely on a full range of marketing and sales and closing techniques.
 - recruiters become expert, year after year. 4 million young teens coming of age 18 every year are no match for the hard selling skills of recruiters.
 - teenagers have not fully developed maturity in judgment.  They underestimate their own vulnerability, and imagine themselves as superhuman.
 - every recruiters' brochure contains evidence of subliminal, emotional and psychological appeals to the young.
 - see also recruiters' presence in high-risk, "test of manhood" activities such as professional sports, NASCAR, rodeo and bull riding, video games, etc.
 - search Google for "propensity to enlist" to see National Academy of Sciences and other university and corporate marketing thinktanks

Then there are middle-level, conceptual lies,

 - that enlistment is a good way to further your education,
 - that enlistment is a good way to advance your economic position,
 - that enlistment is a good way to get better healthcare or other benefits,
 - that enlistment makes people respect you in the community, more than other careers, etc.

Then, finally there are the kinds of specific provable lies or misbehavior that can be debated in a court or hearing:

- examples like the FOX "GI Lies" segment (recruiters intimidating and lying to high school kids, about the DEP and other material facts.)
- examples to which most veterans can attest, not getting the military specialty they were lead to believe they would get, by recruiters,
- examples of omissions of very crucial facts such as the waiver of civil rights in the UCMJ.

All of these things are hard to document without gathering evidence, such as wiring a student with microphones.  Trying to prosecute recruiters or catch them in a provable misstatement, and prove intent to lie, is ineffective since they have infinite financial and legal resources. While parents or citizens spend years to establish one case of over-promised pay or benefits or explicit untruth in some closed courtroom, 4,000,000 teenagers are turning 18 every year, with nobody questioning the more fundamental, high-level lies of militarism in America, and the millions of deaths we have inflicted since WW2 by our bombing and invasions of third world nations that did nothing to hurt or threaten America.

Becoming a soldier is not intrinsically noble, manly, and honorable.

Those who are angered by that statement are engaging in defense mechanisms, to cover up the awful facts that they realize are true.  When the human mind encounters something it does not want to admit, we experience cognitive dissonance. There is a well-known mental pattern.  The healthy mind and personality heals itself, adjusts and adapts to these challenges and forms protective rationalizations.  Highly advanced minds will reconcile two opposing facts into a higher synthesis. Ordinary minds who cannot hoist in both facts, cannot fit them onboard, throw one of the facts overboard.  Neither the pro-militarist nor the counter-recruitment activist should be unduly concerned by outbursts or angry behaviors by jingoist parents and teachers, as they confront these awful truths that we have been fed within a whole fabric of lies since our own childhoods. .

People want and need real things like food, shelter etc.   The way humanity produces these things is by cooperation.  Other than a few psychopathic rulers, and criminals, humanity is fairly satisfied to work for these things.  War is murder and it is always harmful.  The U.S. is the only country in the world who still practices war on a widespread, recurring, global basis. There is no self defense justification for U.S. invasions.   Domino theory, war on terror, war on communism are all delusional lies.

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