|Two questions.||1. Cui bono? Who profits? It's an evergreen question.|
2. Do you know who's talking to your children about their future?
There's a concerted effort to convince young people to leave home, shave their hair, take a vow, and embark upon a new lifestyle of hardship, struggle, and not much money. They offer welcome and acceptance into a positive, cohesive culture pursuing a noble calling.
Adults are perfectly free to sign up, but I question the propriety of seducing 17, 18, 19 year-olds (somewhere between adolescence and maturity, not old enough for a car loan) into a new lifestyle. When Scientology or Hare Krishna does it, we call it a cult.
When military recruiters target these youngsters, society doesn't seem to object. Not just a job; it's an adventure.™ Aim high.™ Be all you can be.™ A few good men.™
- I support the concept of the volunteer army.
- I respect those who serve tremendously.
- I don't have a problem with the military; it was very, very good for me.
- I do support conscription - if everybody's child was at risk, we'd be less flippant about foreign misadventures.
It starts in school. No other institution gets the access to our children that the military gets - databases of names and contact info, assemblies and career days, all without the parents' knowledge. The school can't give the kid an aspirin without parental consent, but they give the recruiters full information and access without parental knowledge.
The kids are promised acceptance, membership, identity, tradition, college money, and they're going to work with way-cool technology. They can get away from their shit part-time job, their family and step-parents, etc. Recruiters are selling youngsters their own dreams, using sophisticated psychology, persuasion, and marketing to induce them to sign away four to six years.
The military has a lot of way-cool stuff. Fighter jets, sniper rifles, night vision, radios and laptops. It's powerfully attractive to an 18-year old working an entry-level job and used to playing shooter games.
There is no sexier recruiting tool than the military airshow, and in regions that produce a lot of recruits the military spares no expense. Fighter jets, attack helicopters, parachutes, humvees, virtual reality - for an 18-year old it's crack cocaine, instant acceptance into the big leagues, just sign here. For the military, it's an investment that works.
Why does the military sponsor airshows? Who benefits?
Who's talking to your children about their future - on Facebook, the web, at school?