NNOMY

Youth camps shape new generations with patriotism, pushups and prayer

Will Carless - Photographs by Sarah Blesener | Reveal

 

Students in the Young Marines program in Hanover, Pa., attend a ball at a Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in October 2017. They wear their finest dresses and suits. Their eyes fix on a large American flag as the national anthem falls from their lips.Credit: Sarah Blesener for Reveal

In rural central Florida, a group of children sit on a jetty, their reflections dappled in water the color of iced tea. It is quiet. Stifling, peaceful. The children pray over the breakfast they’re about to eat and ask for blessings for those whose hands prepared it. And they ask for safety during their upcoming weapons training, during which they will learn how to disarm a knife-wielding attacker, load a rifle and properly handle a handgun.

Difficulties Limiting Recruiters in Santa Barbara Schools—Even with a policy!

The military has an enormous budget for recruiting and pressuring school districts that limit recruiter visits….Vigilance is necessary. During the school year 2017-18 Truth in Recruitment (TIR) leadership and staff met with Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) school board members Ismael Ulloa, Wendi Sims-Mooten and Jackie Reid as well as Assistant Superintendent Shawn Carey on four separate occasions. We discussed implementation of the Exhibit 5125.1 Recruiting Activities in the Santa Barbara Unified School District and the continued problem of policy violations.

Rethinking School Safety in the Age of Empire: Militarization, Mental Health, and State Violence

Laura Jordan Jaffee - Syracuse University

In June 2016, Congressional Democrats held a sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives in an alleged effort to curb gun violence. While the move was largely commended by corporate media—even celebrated as a "civics lesson" for American schoolchildren in The Atlantic—,the legislation being fought for would have expanded the use of a notoriously inaccurate, racist and anti-Muslim "anti-terror" watchlist and done little to reduce violence (Richmond, 2016). This continues a long history of "gun control" policy in the U.S. that disproportionately incarcerates Black, Brown, and mentally disabled Americans by writing them as threats to safety and national security (Crenshaw, Ocen, & Nanda, 2015; Jilani, 2016; Coaston, 2016). 1 Responses to school shootings that uphold "gun control" as the panacea for reducing gun-related deaths subscribe to a liberal, non-violence framework that elides state violence and the structural conditions that engender individual acts of violence. 2

Calls for stricter gun control and mental health screening often come on the heels of school shootings, or they are justified by invoking national memories of these events. Such legislation is put forth as a necessary means of protecting the nation's (white) children through policies that criminalize people of color and psychiatrically disabled people, neglect state-sanctioned racist, gendered, and imperialist violence in schools, and reinforce ableist myths about who is "dangerous" (Crenshaw, Ocen, & Nanda, 2015). This paper asks how myopic conceptions of school safety circumscribe the imagined/imaginable solutions for fostering safe schools. I argue that a narrow notion of school safety derives from a narrow, ableist conception of school violence that pathologizes individuals who act violently and conceals state violence—particularly as it pertains to the production of empire—that manifests in schools. The very development and production of guns capable of such mass destruction—which liberal legislation seeks to restrict from the hands of Black, Brown, and disabled peoples—is a product of the endless war economy created by imperialist wars requisite for capital. 3

The militarization of prayer in America: White and Native American spiritual warfare

Elizabeth McAlister - Journal of Religious and Political Practice

This essay extends the literature on the militarization of everyday life to argue that contemporary military metaphors and practices have become a generative force animating the sphere of Christian prayer. The wars of the twentieth century and the corresponding process of militarization have affected almost every aspect of social life all around the globe, and prayer is no exception. In the United States, “the capillaries of militarization have fed and molded social institutions seemingly little connected to battle” (Lutz 2002 Lutz, Catherine. 2002. “Making War at Home in the United States: Militarization and the Current Crisis.” American Anthropologist, 104(3): 72335.[Crossref], [Web of Science ®][Google Scholar]: 724). Of course the Bible is full of violent battles and scenes of war, and religious actors have drawn on these images in countless periods throughout history (Niditch 1995 Niditch, Susan. 1995. War in the Hebrew Bible: A Study in the Ethics of Violence. New York: Oxford University Press. [Google Scholar]: 4). Today’s Christian militarization is simply the latest iteration in a long partnership between Christian missions and military expeditions, tropes, values, and logics. Yet in the twentieth century the militarization of daily life in the United States reached new heights and has expanded into new sectors, including research, technology, border patrol, immigration, humanitarianism, education, leisure, aesthetics, and fashion. It is time to examine how militarism has come to be part of the prayer practices of millions of Christians, especially in the charismatic networks that are on the rise across the globe.

This means examining side by side two spheres that are rarely considered together. In popular opinion, prayer is considered personal, holy, moral, beneficent, submissive, and even sacrificial. Militarism, on the other hand, is about dominating through force, and it is collective, violent, and combative, a top-down affair of highly disciplined and aggressive troops and their weaponry, funded and controlled by nation-states. Yet my research shows that prayer has become increasingly militarized during the last several decades.

Soapbox Supports Demilitarization and the Prison (SLAVE) Labor Strike | Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox | NNOMY, Gary Ghirardi | Sept 03 2018

CLick Link Below to play file on Archive.org
 
This week on the Soapbox Cindy chats with Gary Ghirardi from National Network Opposing Militarization of Youth

The Pentagon Looks to Videogames for the Future of War

Nicholas Thomson -

The first real computer, the ENIAC, was built in 1946. The first computer war game appeared two years later. It was built by the Army Operations Research Office, and it was as rudimentary as you might think. Since then, the relationship between the military and world of games has gotten endlessly deeper. Veterans help develop popular games, and popular games help veterans recover. The US military uses games to recruit, and critics complain that modern war’s cruelty comes because it too closely resembles videogames. In 1997, this magazine ran a cover story about Marines modifying the game Doom for training purposes. This past month, news came of soldiers training with a system called Tactical Augmented Reality.

What if the relationship could be still deeper, though? What if, for example, the best game developers produced tools for the Pentagon? And then what if those tools ended up back in games? What if, instead of videogames copying war, war copied videogames—and the two things became, in a certain way, the same?

The idea comes from Will Roper, a Rhodes scholar in his late 30s with a PhD in mathematics. Roper runs the Defense Department’s secretive Strategic Capabilities Office; his job is to study where war is headed, and to develop the technological tools that help the United States win there. The military services think about today; DARPA thinks about the distant future; Roper thinks about tomorrow.

Playing War: How the Military Uses Video Games

A new book unfolds how the “military-entertainment complex” entices soldiers to war and treats them when they return

 

Hamza Shaban -

According to popular discourse, video games are either the divine instrument of education’s future or the software of Satan himself, provoking young men to carry out all-too-real rampages. Much like discussions surrounding the Internet, debates on video games carry the vague, scattershot chatter that says too much about the medium (e.g. do video games cause violence?) without saying much at all about the particulars of games or gaming conventions (e.g. how can death be given more weight in first person shooters?).

As Atlantic contributor Ian Bogost argues in his book, How to Do Things with Video Games, we’ve assigned value to games as if they all contain the same logic and agenda. We assume, unfairly, that the entire medium of video games shares inherent properties more important and defining than all the different ways games are applied and played. The way out of this constrained conversation is to bore down into specifics, to tease out various technologies, and to un-generalize the medium. We get such an examination in War Play, Corey Mead’s important new study on the U.S. military’s official deployment of video games.

A professor of English at Baruch College CUNY, Mead has written a history, a book most interested in the machinations of military game development. But War Play, too, lays a solid foundation from which to launch more critical investigations—into soldier’s lives, into computerized combat, and into the most dynamic medium of our time. 

Subcategories

The NNOMY Opinion section is a new feature of our articles section. Writing on youth demilitarization issues is quite rare but we have discovered the beginning articles and notes being offered on this subject so we have decided to present them under an opinion category.  The articles presented do not necessarily reflect the views of the NNOMY Steering Committee.

General David Petraeus' rocky first days as a lecturer at the City University of New York Though the United States of America shares with other nations in a history of modern state militarism, the past 65 years following its consolidation as a world military power after World War II, has seen a shift away from previous democratic characterizations of the state.  The last thirty years, with the rise of the neo-conservative Reagan and Bush administrations (2), began the abandonment of moral justifications for democracy building replaced by  bellicose proclamations of the need and right to move towards a national project of global security by preemptive military force .

In the process of global military expansion, the US population has been subjected to an internal re-education to accept the role of the U.S. as consolidating its hegemonic rule internationally in the interest of liberal ideals of wealth creation and protectionism.

The average citizen has slowly come to terms with a stealthly increasing campaign of militarization domestically in media offerings; from television, movies and scripted news networks to reinforce the inevitability of a re-configured society as security state. The effect has begun a transformation of how, as citizens, we undertand our roles and viability as workers and families in relation to this security state. This new order has brought with it a shrinking public common and an increasing privatization of publicly held infrustructure; libraries, health clinics, schools and the expectation of diminished social benefits for the poor and middle-class. The national borders are being militarized as are our domestic police forces in the name of Homeland Security but largely in the interest of business. The rate and expansion of research and development for security industries and the government agencies that fund them, now represent the major growth sector of the U.S.economy. Additionally, as the U.S. economy continually shifts from productive capital to financial capital as the engine of growth for wealth creation and development, the corporate culture has seen its fortunes rise politically and its power over the public sector grow relatively unchallenged by a confused citizenry who are watching their social security and jobs diminishing.

How increasing cultural militarization effects our common future will likely manifest in increased public dissatisfaction with political leadership and economic strictures. Social movements within the peace community, like NNOMY, will need to expand their role of addressing the dangers of  militarists predating youth for military recruitment in school to giving more visibility to the additional dangers of the role of an influential militarized media, violent entertainment and play offerings effecting our youth in formation and a general increase and influence of the military complex in all aspects of our lives. We are confronted with a demand for a greater awareness of the inter-relationships of militarism in the entire landscape of domestic U.S. society.  Where once we could ignore the impacts of U.S. military adventurisms abroad, we are now faced with the transformation of our domestic comfort zone with the impacts of militarism in our day to day lives.

How this warning can be imparted in a meaningful way by a movement seeking to continue with the stated goals of counter-recruitment and public policy activism, and not loose itself in the process, will be the test for those activists, past and future, who take up the call to protect our youth from the cultural violence of militarism.

The "militarization of US culture" category will be an archive of editorials and articles about the increasing dangers we face as a people from those who are invested in the business of war. This page will serve as a resource for the NNOMY community of activists and the movement they represent moving into the future. The arguments presented in this archive will offer important realizations for those who are receptive to NNOMY's message of protecting our youth, and thus our entire society, of the abuses militarism plays upon our hopes for a sustainable and truly democratic society.

NNOMY

 

The Resources section covers the following topics:

News reports from the groups associated to the NNOMY Network including Social Media.

Reports from counter-recruitment groups and activists from the field. Includes information about action reports at recruiting centers and career fairs, school tabling, and actions in relation to school boards and state legislatures.

David SwansonDavid Swanson is the author of the new book, Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union, by Seven Stories Press and of the introduction to The 35 Articles of Impeachment and the Case for Prosecuting George W. Bush by Dennis Kucinich. In addition to cofounding AfterDowningStreet.org, he is the Washington director of Democrats.com and sits on the boards of a number of progressive organizations in Washington, DC.


Charlottesville Right Now: 11-10-11 David Swanson
David Swanson joins Coy to discuss Occupy Charlottesville, protesting Dick Cheney's visit to the University of Virginia, and his new book. -  Listen

Jorge MariscalJorge Mariscal is the grandson of Mexican immigrants and the son of a U.S. Marine who fought in World War II. He served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and currently teaches at the University of California, San Diego.

Matt GuynnMatt Guynn plays the dual role of program director and coordinator for congregational organizing for On Earth Peace, building peace and nonviolence leadership within the 1000+ congregations of the Church of the Brethren across the United States and Puerto Rico. He previously served a co-coordinator of training for Christian Peacemaker Teams, serving as an unarmed accompanier with political refugees in Chiapas, Mexico, and offering or supporting trainings in the US and Mexico.

Rick JahnkowRick Jahnkow works for two San Diego-based anti-militarist organizations, the Project on Youth and Non-Military Opportunities and the Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft. He can be reached at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pat ElderPat Elder was a co-founder of the DC Antiwar Network (DAWN) and a member of the Steering Committee of the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth, (NNOMY).  Pat is currently involved in counter-recruitment projects in a dozen jurisdictions in the DC metropolitan area.  Pat’s work has prominently appeared in NSA documents tracking domestic peace groups.

 

Documents:

audio Pat Elder - National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth

NNOMY periodically participates in or organizes events(e.i. conferences, rallies) with other organizations.

The Counter-recruitment Essentials section of the NNOMY web site covers the issues and actions spanning this type of activism. Bridging the difficult chasms between religious, veteran, educator, student, and community based activism is no small task. In this section you will find information on how to engage in CR activism in your school and community with the support of the knowledge of others who have been working to inform youth considering enlisting in the military. You will also find resources for those already in the military that are looking for some guidance on how to actively resist injustices  as a soldier or how to choose a path as a conscientious objector.

John Judge was a co-founder of the Committee for High School Options and Information on Careers, Education and Self-Improvement (CHOICES) in Washington DC, an organization engaged since 1985 in countering military recruitment in DC area high schools and educating young people about their options with regard to the military. Beginning with the war in Viet Nam, Judge was a life-long anti-war activist and tireless supporter of active-duty soldiers and veterans.

 

"It is our view that military enlistment puts youth, especially African American youth, at special risk, not only for combat duty, injury and fatality, but for military discipline and less than honorable discharge, which can ruin their chances for employment once they get out. There are other options available to them."


In the 1970's the Selective Service System and the paper draft became unworkable, requiring four induction orders to get one report. Boards  were under siege by anti-war and anti-draft forces, resistance of many kinds was rampant. The lottery system failed to dampen the dissent, since people who knew they were going to be drafted ahead of time became all the more active. Local draft board members quit in such numbers that even I was approached, as a knowledgeable draft counselor to join the board. I refused on the grounds that I could never vote anyone 1-A or eligible to go since I opposed conscription and the war.

At this point the Pentagon decided to replace the paper draft with a poverty draft, based on economic incentive and coercion. It has been working since then to draw in between 200-400,000 enlisted members annually. Soon after, they began to recruit larger numbers of women to "do the jobs men don't want to". Currently recruitment quotas are falling short, especially in Black communities, and reluctant parents are seen as part of the problem. The hidden problem is retention, since the military would have quadrupled by this time at that rate of enlistment, but the percentage who never finish their first time of enlistment drop out at a staggering rate.

I began bringing veterans of the Vietnam War into high schools in Dayton, Ohio in the late 1960s, and have continued since then to expose young people to the realities of military life, the recruiters' false claims and the risks in combat or out. I did it first through Vietnam Veterans Against the War/Winter Soldier Organization, then Dayton Draft & Military Counseling, and since 1985 in DC through C.H.O.I.C.E.S.

The key is to address the broader issues of militarization of the schools and privacy rights for students in community forums and at meetings of the school board and city council. Good counter-recruitment also provides alternatives in the civilian sector to help the poor and people of color, who are the first targets of the poverty draft, to find ways to break into the job market, go to a trade school, join an apprenticeship program, get job skills and placement help, and find money for college without enlisting in the military.

John Judge -- counselor, C.H.O.I.C.E.S.
 
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