Sgt. 1st Class Jeff Due, right, a U.S. Army recruiter, is surrounded by protesters at Seattle Central Community College, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2005, in Seattle. After about a 10-minute standoff during which protesters tore up U.S Army literature, the protesters were successful in getting Due and another recruiter to leave their table under escort by campus security officers. Several hundred students walked out of classes at several Seattle colleges and universities to protest the inauguration of President Bush.
[Via The Meadering Mind of a Seminarian]
This type of conduct is just revolting and just shows that many in the left has not learned anything from their despicable treatment of Vietnam vets. If you firmly believe that the Iraq War is wrong then make your arguments for the case and get involved in peaceful demonstrations. But to go after military recruiters as your protest against the war is just plain wrong. I spent some time as a military recruiter in Puyallup, Wa and I am familiar with anti-military sentiment in Washington state. I had the tires of my government vehicle slashed while I was inside a high school. Dealing with school officials and counselors was extremely difficult since many didn’t want you to be their on the campus in the first place. This manifested itself in stall tactics from receiving school rosters to scheduling time to meetings kids at the school. It was hard not to mistake the hostile glares we received while wearing our uniforms in the schools. Our recruiting station was in a small office building and the contract stipulated that we could not advertise the presence of the Army/Navy recruiting office on the main sign next to the road. The left is often bringing up the Vietnam comparison and they are exactly right in that again those who serve our country are being treated with disrespect.
My favorite story of military protest occurred while my ship was making a port visit in Vancouver, British Columbia. We had Green Peace protesting the presence of the U.S. Military. I was waiting in the liberty line to go ashore and we watched the Green Peace protesters in their rubber rafts trying to approach the ship. The seas were fairly rough and it tossed about their boat. I watched as first one protester got sea sick and start to vomit to seeing a chain reaction of vomiting Green Peacers. We were laughing and cheering this display on the ship. We had some teams with fire hoses ready to use them to repel them if they attempted to approach the ship. I think they needed us to fire off those hoses to clean them up.
If you firmly believe that the Iraq War is wrong then make your arguments for the case and get involved in peaceful demonstrations.
Or even better, make your case to the people and run in an election…and then if you win, great, and it you lose, take it like a man and stop whining.
Jeff, if I wanted to bother, it would be easy to list the faults and flaws in conservative protests as well. Most pro-lifers I know reject the extreme practices of those who injure or kill abortion providers or bomb clinics. While it is true that poor examples taint the perception of the whole, there are anti-war folks who are not boobs.
On the other hand, I know many conservatives who have denied support of the military by reducing benefits, stonewalling on health care issues, and generally indulge in flag waving with one hand while cutting off vets and soldiers at the knees with the other.
I think recruiters and PP clinics are fair game as protest targets, assuming that people are not harmed or threatened or ridiculed in any way.
If you say recruiters are a fair target then what you are saying is that military personell are a fair target for protest. The recruiter’s job is only to enlist people in the military. If you are against this end then you are against us having a military. So why do you think recruiters are fair game? I also think of your equating recruiters with PP as sick. Abortion is always intrisically wrong. Having a military is ordered to a proper defense of state and Christians are not pacifists.
Also this idea that military benefits have been reduced is a statistical con game envoked by the left. I follow the military closely and the only thing I see is a reduction in the rate of growth of benefits, not cuts in what was already there. Exactly what benefit has been cut? I go to the military hospital close to me and I know my health benefits have not been cut. In fact I have a much larger range of options now then were available through most of my active duty years (now also available to active duty.)
I think recruiters and PP clinics are fair game
Man, do you know how utterly obnoxious you sound?
“If you say recruiters are a fair target then what you are saying is that military personell are a fair target for protest.”
As long as protesters don’t interfere with a soldier carrying out his duty, then I do think military personnel can be protested. I have protested outside of military installations; I think that’s entirely appropriate.
“If you are against this end then you are against us having a military.”
Poor reasoning. I can also protest against government policy. That doesn’t make me an anarchist. Protesters can be specific in what they criticize publicly. If I walk in the March for Life, that doesn’t make me against women who abort children. I just disagree with their choice and would make a public statement against it or encouraging other options.
“I also think of your equating recruiters with PP as sick.”
Poor reasoning again. I think that those who protest against either or both have a right to do so.
“… Christians are not pacifists.”
That would be inaccurate. Most Christians are not pacifists.
I’m glad to hear your benefits are intact. I have military people in my family. I recall many of my relatives not having particularly kind things to say about government treatment of them during their service or after. Of course, they had some good things to say, but the grade isn’t 100%. Among my friends and acquaintances, Vietnam vets seem particularly bitter. At protesters, yes, but also a lack of government sympathy and support for their issues: Agent Orange, POW/MIA, two among many. And of course you can’t blame the anti-war movement for the fact of a few hundred thousand vets being homeless or in prison. Granted, addiction, mental illness, and other side-effects of war are often overcome, but many vets don’t have the support of their government in ways that would help them overcome the trauma of war.
In sum, lots of people don’t support the military, and their reasons may be ideological or economic. But many anti-war people indeed support soldiers and appreciate the sacrifice they make for what they believe in. I certainly count myself among them. But I’m also a pacifist, and my earnest prayer is for hostilities to end and these men and women brought back home to family and country–where they belong most of all.
And what is the point of protesting the recruiters? They are not setting policy. Protesting them will have zero effects other than harrasment. The government sets the policy for the military and so protests should be directed towards political action. Making the job of a recruiter more difficult and preventing them from doing their job is purely an anti-military tactic. And you said military personnel are fair game, again why protest against individuals that are not setting policy. If you were against the policy of a corporation you wouldn’t protest and harass an employee who had nothing to do with that policy.
The point of protesting is not necessarily to change things at the point of protest. One might say that protesting abortion clinics is fruitless: PP volunteers escort women to the doors, the industry churns on financially because enough women are willing to undergo the procedure. If I were inclined to “protest” a military recruiter, I might, with proper permission of the authorities, set up a table displaying photos of war, provide statistics on the quality of life of soldiers, offer brochures of alternatives, such as being a lay volunteer, religious life opportunities, or being a missioner. I wouldn’t have to harass the poor recruiter to distraction, and I might take him or her out to lunch to discuss pacifism, discipline, or some other pertinent topic.
” … why protest against individuals that are not setting policy.”
One reason would be that like those who protest at abortion clinics, there is always the possibility of encouraging a client/recruit of the alternatives.
“If you were against the policy of a corporation you wouldn’t protest and harass an employee who had nothing to do with that policy.”
Harass? No. But a reasonable and peaceful protest is not out of bounds.
So you say you protest a recruiter to show a potential recruit altenatives. So for you what is so bad about joining the military that alternatives must be shown?
When you protest an abortion clinic it directly affects women trying to get an abortion and sometimes they choose not to. This makes sense since you are protesting at the level that decisions get made. In these cases also employees of abortion clinics will also repent of their actions, again since the protests are at the appropriate level.
To protest a recruiter is to say that joining the military is not a moral act and it should be protested to keep people from joining it. Exactly just what is you opinion about the military and people joining it?
Actually, I didn’t say I would protest a military recruiter. I said it is a viable and fair protest, assuming the protest is peaceable and respectful.
You asked, “So for you what is so bad about joining the military that alternatives must be shown?”
Joining a military implies the actuality, or at least the potential of going to war.
You said, “When you protest an abortion clinic it directly affects women trying to get an abortion and sometimes they choose not to.”
I agree. Protesting a recruiter or recruiting station might also affect people who consider signing up for a military stint.
“To protest a recruiter is to say that joining the military is not a moral act and it should be protested to keep people from joining it.”
Here’s where your logic fails, and also where the exact correlation between a recruiter and a PP clinic also fails. A person can make a mistake, but it might not be a moral failing. Your average teen didn’t determine the administration’s Iraq policy — no moral problem there. Some teens benefit from the experience of discipline and order in the military — no denying that, and again: no moral problem. Participating in an unjust war: that could be a problem. If a protester convinces people the war is unjust, a conclusion some soldiers reach once they are in the military, then potential recruits have the information necessary to make a fully informed choice.
“Exactly just what is you opinion about the military and people joining it?”
My opinion is that military service is a good thing for some people, and not good for others. I think the Bush Administration has asked the military to serve in an immoral war and if anyone wants to protest against this in a peaceful and respectful way, they should be free to do so.
What was the real purpose of that last question?
I live in a military town, where we fully expect at least one senior a year to head for the Air Force Academy, and maybe ten or twenty seniors to head out for the various services. Maybe thirty others planned to join up after college — they often went ROTC; and hundreds were always considering it. The recruiters always came to our high school; we wanted them there.
A couple years back, a couple of highschoolers took it into their heads to “protest” by throwing away all the recruitment material before anybody else could get theirs, and ripping and destroying the recruiters’ display (paid for by taxpayer money). A couple more highschoolers decided to exercise their free speech by pounding the thieving jerks.
As a result of the hoohah, no recruiters are allowed to come to the high school they’ve been visiting since it was built. Which is somewhat of a hardship in a suburb where not all highschoolers have cars and can go visit the recruiters easily on their own. But obviously, the rights of a couple officious kids — rich kids who didn’t need money for college, btw — should be allowed to ruin all the other kids’ lives and careers. Obviously.
The problem, Jeff, with militant leftists learning the sort of lesson you wish for them to learn is this: the moment they learn it, they cease to be militant leftists.
Maureen, are the “officious rich kids” you refer to the school administration?