The theme this time is defense. And this time, along with the About the Corps “opportunity book,” it is a choice between folding speakers, a T-shirt, or a wristband instead of dog tags, a duffle bag, or a skullcap.
The Marine Corps recruiting literature that came in the mail to my son this time, thanks once again to the No Child Left Behind Act, contained no poster to show Marine Corps pride and no note from the Sergeant Major at the Marine Corps Recruiting Command, just a simple fold-out brochure. I wrote about the packet with the poster and the note in “The Few, the Proud, the High School Students.”
On the cover of the brochure is a picture of a child with the caption: “THE ONES YOU DEFEND.” When you open to the first page you see four Marines with rifles walking through a forest — no doubt in some foreign backwater that most Americans would have a hard time finding on a map — with the caption: “THE ONES WHO DEFEND YOU.” Page 2 contains two short paragraphs:
You choose to become a Marine to defend the people at home and the American way of life. As you earn this coveted title, you build an unbreakable bond with the men and women who earn it alongside of you. You learn that by protecting each other, you serve all of your families, friends and neighbors at home. You join a proud tradition of warriors who have defended our country this way for 234 years.
To find out how you can become part of the Corps, return the enclosed card. We’ll send you more information and your choice of Marine Corps folding speakers, T-shirt or wristband. Or learn more today: Call us a 1-800-MARINES and give code “BOND” or visit MARINES.COM/BOND.
The back page has pictures of the folding speakers, T-shirt, and wristband under a large headline that reads: “DEFEND THE PEOPLE YOU CARE ABOUT.”
Attached to the brochure (not enclosed) are two reply cards — one for the high school student that reads: “WILL YOU DEFEND THE ONES YOU LOVE?” and one for a friend that reads: “KNOW A FRIEND WHO WILL DEFEND YOU?” New to these reply cards is a question at the bottom: “How likely is it that you will be serving in the military in the next four years?” The choices are definitely, probably, probably not, and definitely not.
The theme of defense shows up on all four pages of the recruiting brochure plus the two reply cards. But how much of what the U.S. military does is actually related to defense? What do the following practices of the military have to do with the defense of the United States?
- Providing disaster relief in foreign countries
- Dispensing humanitarian aid in foreign countries
- Supplying peacekeepers in foreign countries
- Enforcing UN resolutions in foreign countries
- Nation building in foreign countries
- Spreading goodwill in foreign countries
- Launching preemptive strikes in foreign countries
- Fighting wars in foreign countries
- Establishing democracy in foreign countries
- Changing regimes in foreign countries
- Assassinating people in foreign countries
- Stationing troops in foreign countries
- Maintaining bases in foreign countries
- Containing communism in foreign countries
- Training armies in foreign countries
- Opening markets in foreign countries
- Enforcing no-fly zones in foreign countries
- Rebuilding infrastructure in foreign countries
- Reviving public services in foreign countries
- Promoting good governance in foreign countries
- Invading foreign countries
- Occupying foreign countries
- Unleashing civil unrest in foreign countries
All the while, of course, perpetuating the myth that the military is defending our freedoms.
The Department of Defense couldn’t even defend its own headquarters on September 11th. It was too busy occupying, defending, and building golf courses in other countries.
Most of the defense services that are actually provided today by the U.S. military are done in other countries. Although World War II ended in 1945, the United States still has tens of thousands of soldiers stationed in Germany, Italy, and Japan. I recently documented that the U.S. military has over 700 foreign military bases with troops stationed in 148 countries and 11 territories in every corner of the globe.
The U.S. military should be limited to defending the United States, securing U.S. borders, guarding U.S. shores, patrolling U.S. coasts, and enforcing no-fly zones over U.S. skies instead of defending, securing, guarding, patrolling, and enforcing in other countries. The U.S. military should be engaged exclusively in defending the United States, not defending other countries, and certainly not attacking, invading, or occupying them. Using the military for any other purpose than the actual defense of the United States perverts the purpose of the military.
The Marines may be looking for a few good high school students, but my son is not available. Is yours? Do you want your son to be a bomber pilot for Obama? Aside from the military’s lack of actually providing defense services, I have given other reasons for people not to join the military here, here, here, here, and here.
By the way, my son will not be sending in the reply card this time either — or getting the folding speakers, T-shirt, or wristband.