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Anti-War On The Left Coast: Berkeley vs. Military Recruiters

Saturday, February 09, 2008

The California city of Berkeley has been giving military recruiters a hard time, as CNN reports:

City Council approved a measure last week urging the Marine recruiters to leave their downtown office.

“If recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders,” the item says.

It goes on to say the council applauds residents and organizations that “volunteer to impede, passively or actively, by nonviolent means, the work of any military recruiting office located in the City of Berkeley.”

How about that?

And do you want to know why?

Berkeley’s declaration, which was introduced by the city’s Peace and Justice Commission, accuses the United States of having a history of “launching illegal, immoral and unprovoked wars of aggression and the Bush administration launched the most recent of those wars in Iraq and is threatening the possibility of war in Iran.”

It adds, “Military recruiters are salespeople known to lie to and seduce minors and young adults into contracting themselves into military service with false promises regarding jobs, job training, education and other benefits.

In the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, you have to be pretty damned Brave to act as if you’re Free enough to do something like this, and the chickenhawks in congress are having none of it.

In Washington, a group of Republican lawmakers have introduced the Semper Fi Act of 2008 — named after the Marine motto — to rescind more than $2 million of funds for Berkeley and transfer it to the Marine Corps.

“Like most Americans, I really get disturbed when taxpayer money goes to institutions which proceed to take votes, make policy or make statements that really denigrate the military,” said Sen. David Vitter, R-Louisiana, a co-sponsor of the bill.

He told CNN he believes the bill will pass. “I think it’s going to have significant support.”

The bill’s co-sponsor, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, said in a written statement, “Berkeley needs to learn that their actions have consequences.”

Consequences. As if the actions of the American military haven’t had any serious consequences. As if cutting off funds — taxes paid by the working people of the country, money headed back to some of those same people — is an appropriate reaction when people express their beliefs; as if they are not entitled to those beliefs; as if they are not entitled to express them.

Really Disturbed. As if nobody gets disturbed when hundreds of thousands of times more taxpayer money goes to hired killers who roam the world on behalf of … oh, why bother? They’re fighting for our freedom, remember?

… in their imagination!

The reaction of the GOP lawmakers is telling; it says that in their opinion, the function of American cities is to deliver their young people into the maw of the great beast; to offer them up for murder and sacrifice; to swallow every bit of heinous propaganda whole; to be subservient to Empire; and to enjoy it.

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