Disclaimer: Content on the YP4 blog does not necessarily reflect the views of Young People For or People For the American Way Foundation. The views, ideas, statements or claims posted on this site by members of the public cannot in any way be attributed to either Young People For or People For the American Way Foundation.
Earlier this semester, a few guys got together to form a university recognized organization now known as the GW Veterans. This year we have been featured in several articles, the most recent is immediately below (Veterans Day) and our previous event Ask a Veteran's Forum was featured on MTV, CNN, and the Pentagon Channel. I share with you these articles to keep you posted on our progr
Take your pick: prison or war.
That's what some army recruiters are telling high school students in Houston, Texas to scare teenagers into joining the army.
On July 29th, 2008, a local CBS affiliate in Houston broke this story about illegal army recruitment tactics and a shady new strategy called the "Delayed Entry Program." As part of a $5 billion recruitment budget for 2008--that's right, $5 billion—Army recruiters ask high school students to sign a non-binding contract that says they intend to enlist in the army upon graduation.
The In Their Boots series Calvin mentioned last week continues tonight with a live webcast at 7pm EST.
Tonight at 7pm EST, Brave New Foundation is launching In Their Boots, a weekly 30 minute live webcast that will profile the challenges American service members and
their families face once they return home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is an innovative and provactive way to chronicle the experiences of returning vets, even after they have arrived back from service.
John Edwards wrote a letter to the New York Times recently to bring up a number that doesn't get brought up nearly often enough: the complete tally of U.S. soldiers wounded in Iraq.
When you begin to recognize your personal ability and resolve to make a difference incredible things happen. There is no doubt in my mind that whether you are a budding activist, a student beginning to learn more than you thought, a traveler meeting harsh new realities, or a weathered volunteer (worker - maybe you get paid to do this) in the progressive movement - your ability to truly impact the course of history is locked in this self-actualization of the power you hold, which is your ability to influence someone else's life. Influencing just one person is important, but that one person is part of a larger global community and they can then influence another person, and the chain will continue. Power is most often alluded to fall into the hands of the politically and economicly wealthy, those who exploit, manipulate, and profit from others, those who sit in the plush offices and government buildings. This I say is not fact. However, one may argue, these people do hold the power - they do make the decisions and they do shape our lives. While this remains a fair argument there still remains nothing more powerful than a person with a passion. No official, no government, no financial powerhouse, no one can stop that person from influencing others except by way of death. So I say give me passion, give me freedom, give me liberty or give me death (paraphrase: Patrick Henry).
For any of you who may have lost count of some of the statistics involving our current war in Iraq, I humbly offer them to you.
1. Cost of War in $$: over $499 Billion and counting
2. Cost of war in American lives: 3973; since "Mission Accomplished": 3834
3. Cost of war in Iraqi lives: estimates over 1,150,000 deaths
4. Cost of war in wounded American soldiers: estimated at over 60,000, with countless others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses as a result of having been exposed to such dire circumstances.
5. Cost of war in Iraqi refugees: over 4 million.
Two recent reports reminds us that not all of the war-related deaths are happening overseas.
The Washington Post reports that the number of soldier suicides is at an all-time high since the Army started keeping records in 1980. In 2006, 121 soldiers took their own lives - nearly 20% more than in 2006 -- and the number of attempted suicides or self-inflected injuries increased sixfold (from 250 in 2002 to 2,100 in 2007).
In most progressive and leftist circles, the cause of the war in Iraq is correctly attributed to the Bush administration's desire for oil, power, and oil money. However, these explanations are only partial. A complete understanding of the causes of the Iraq war requires an understanding of how the military industrial complex operates in the US. Once this is achieved, it becomes apparent that the current organization of the US economy requires war to prevent recession, and that the struggle to end the war has the potential to reorganize the very structures that shape life in and out of the US.
An interesting topic that I came to by way of my African Studies professor. In a meeting of the Michigan Action Network on Africa (MANA), he was listing off a number of woes for Africa and among that list was a quick comment about many South Africans working in the controversial security firm Blackwater USA. I could hardly believe it. Could the US security firms really be recruiting from South Africa? I then caught an article in glancing and noticed that foreign diplomats believed that the best security personnel were the South Africans. I had to look into it further. While I could not find the article again I have found a few others that were just as helpful in my knowledge search.