18
Mai
2005

Stop Military Recruitment

Thanks to all of you who took the time to call your congress people about the Iraq supplemental bill. The amendments forbidding torture and funding for civilian victims made it into the final version of the legislation. While none of us can be pleased with the continued funding of this war, we did make our representatives take notice!

Last Wednesday, we made our second delivery of the Iraq Peace Petition in Washington, bringing the total to 50,000 who have signed our call to bring the troops home.

Our hand delivery of petitions to key senators was disrupted by the evacuation of the Capitol when a plane strayed into DC's restricted airspace. I was particularly struck by the conversations we overheard as a river of staffers and senators flowed out of the Hart Senate Office Building. Rumors that a plane was on the way towards Washington were interrupted by a construction worker who said, "You just gave $80 billion dollars to bomb Iraq, what do you expect?"

We can only hope that some of those who were evacuated will come to realize that terror from the air and living in fear will never bring lasting peace.

As you have probably heard, this Friday, May 20, the Army will suspend recruitment for one day. Recent scandals have shown how often military recruiters systematically mislead and lie to young people in order to meet their goals.

AFSC has long been at the forefront of the counter-recruitment movement and has helped hundreds of thousands of young men and women get the information they need to make an informed decision about enlistment. On Monday, Oskar Castro of our Youth and Militarism Program was part of a national news conference at the U.S. Capitol to call attention to this developing scandal.

On Friday, while army recruiters "stand down" for a day, AFSC offices across the country will be holding events to "Stand Up for Truth in Recruiting." Find events in your area at //ga3.org/ct/9pA7S5F1pRsZ/may20.

It is important that we do all that we can to make the most of this opening. Even with all of the money spent on recruiting commercials that make war look like a Nintendo game and promise endless opportunities, the truth about the military is getting out. If you work with young people, if you are a student, if you are involved in religious and civic groups, now is the time to make your voice heard.

AFSC has a variety of resources available at
//ga3.org/ct/97A7S5F1pRsK/youth/ that show how enlisting in the military rarely results in usable job skills or a large nest egg for college. Brochures such as "Do You Know Enough to Enlist," "What Are My Options," and "Conscientious Objection" can save a life or change a future.

Please speak out this Friday, next week, and in the weeks and months that will follow. Preventing enlistment prevents war.

For peace,
Peter Lems
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