Berkeley’s latest stunt

Did you hear about how Berkeley, CA, is trying to get the Marine recruiting office kicked out of downtown?

Here’s the New York Times article about it.

And, for the curious (like me), here’s the text of the resolution (PDF).

My thoughts:

Well, folks know what I think of the war in Iraq. That said, this mostly makes me laugh. A lot. Here’s some of the language from the resolution of the Peace and Justice Commission of the City of Berkeley:

WHEREAS, the United States has 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; and

WHEREAS, the United States armed forces, including the Marine Corps, explicitly refuse to hire openly non-heterosexual individuals, and will discharge an individual in their employ “who engages in, attempts to engage in, has a propensity to engage in, or intends to engage in homosexual acts”[.]

In other words, “The Marines are bad people because they are murdering people! And they won’t hire homosexuals!” Because, like, those are moral equivalents or something.

But wait! There’s more!

WHEREAS, the people of Berkeley should want the Marine Corps present near Berkeley High School, Berkeley City College, and University of California no more than they would want other violent influences downtown.

That’s right! Clean up downtown! Get rid of those gang members and drug dealers and Marines!

Now, to be fair, there is this:

WHEREAS, military recruiters are sales people 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; and

WHEREAS, many enlisted persons never see the benefits they are promised and find out they are not eligible for the educational benefits due to loopholes and they did not receive the training promised or it did not qualify them for jobs outside the military[.]

I am concerned about how military recruitment is done. I’ve seen the ads, and I’m familiar with some of the spiel. “It’s a good job! Serve for just a few years, proving your manliness to yourself and your community, and then you will be cared for by the U.S. government for the rest of your life.” I mean, check out this recruitment video, which I discovered doing about 30 seconds of research on YouTube and am assuming is legit. Doesn’t that look like something you’d want to be part of?

So, yeah, I’m concerned. And the lying? Well, I’ll simply offer this video: Military Recruitment Abuses Uncovered. We may have a problem.

But Berkeley probably isn’t helping anything with this stunt.


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