When I was growing up in the 1960s and the 1970s the military was looked down on. I went from high school to college, to my early adult life and the military was "NOT COOL." Peace and non-violence was the in thing. Few people I knew joined the military and most of my friends had no interest.
Today is different. I recently read this article in The Wichita Eagle, called "Deaf teacher's quest for armed service inspires students." It seems deaf young people, as with a lot of young women, are demanding they be allowed to serve in the military, equaly.
And recent articles have proved that young people today think the military is the place to be...or at least admire. According to Pew Reaserch Center, Most young people today FAVOR going to war in
Iraq to stop ISIS
For example; just 39% of those ages 65 and over felt
it was right to go to war, while 50% said it was wrong. About 69% of those
under age 30 are in favor of taking military action in Iraq. So no
longer is it trendy to opose war. This is real odd considering this same
milenial class of young people are supporting Bernie Sanders for president and
are not afraid of the word "socialism." They seem farther to the left
and yet they are staunch supporters of US imperialism.
"In The Wichita Eagle article I found some of the opinions rather desturbing. For example; "They're not taking us seriously," said Cadet Jennida Willoughby, 16, through a sign-language interpreter. "We're going to keep fighting back....."
an accomplished scuba diver, dreams of becoming a Navy SEAL." Willoughby
My father once told me that Green Barettes and such outfits as the SEALs often take in people who are not really fit for civilian life, or civilized life. "They are dangerous people" he said. And these dangerous people are tought to destroy human life in the most stealthy and efficient way. So why would anyone want to be such a dangerous war lord. Such people literally seem scary to me.
There are other differences today. Young people today have much more faith in the United Nations as an international body of good influence. They seem to trust international movements and institutions. They also favor a more cooperative approach to foreign policy.
Although the seem to love the military there are some serioius contridictions. One important thing to notice is that they are less concerned about the
maintaining its superpower status. This is both surprising and ads some hope
for the future. The US
today is a bully power. While we hear our elected leaders and their supportive pundits
talk about a nation that honors diversity, in foreign affairs the US is a major
enforcer of a uniform world order that allows anything except diversity. No one
is allowed to follow an ideology that does not endorse the so-called "free
market." It is true this country seems at odds with fundamentalist Islam,
but the underlying problem is always a threat to the US , its access to resources, such
as oil, and the right or ability to trade and foster a free market atmosphere.
Those, such as Maoist, or even modest anarchist style collectivism as is practiced by
the Kurdish PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), can not be tolerated at all. US
such terroristic tactics as drone assassinations, Air strikes using high tech
gadgetry far beyond other nations and the imprisonment of prisoners of war in where the inmates are denied any
form of due process. Guantanamo Bay
Other points the Pew Research Center made include young people being more concerned about “Helping improve the living standards in developing nations,” about 10 percent more so than their elders. This is important because many
conflicts are happening because
of an inequity between the undeveloped nations that lag so far behind in needed
development and the arrogance of the most economically developed country in the
world refusing to share their wealth. US
And the young prefer diplomacy over military strength. So it seems they have some sense that imperialism is a bad choice, but they don't always recognize it in its many forms and ways to avoid it. Other observations of the Pew Research Center article:
"The youngest Americans generally prefer effective diplomacy over military strength as the best way to foster peace – but are not notably opposed to using military force in specific circumstances. Who, then, are the hawks and who are the doves? And if the young support international engagement only when problems at home have been addressed first, but want to work with allies through international institutions, while older generations see global affairs as more important but see America’s interests taking priority over international cooperation, who are the isolationists and who are the internationalists?"
So on one hand I have problems with the pro-military slant of young people and those who want to be a part of it. Young people oppose
ISIS and they seem to feel there
is no reason not to "kick the bad guys ass." But they
do posses a sense that this country needs to treat the rest of the world more
fairly. And they seem to realize we are better off if we share some of our
resources. So maybe there is some hope for the next generation if some of us
can clear up the confusions.
Pix by www.yojoe.com.