Gang Members in the Military Ranks
I read the following via The Peace Train:
"And do you think these gang bangers and petty criminals make good soldiers? These are the Abu Ghraib, Haditha and rape and murder soldiers you read about. And there are THOUSANDS of them in Iraq and Afghanistan, not the one or two bad apples as some try to excuse. So many in fact the military has a problem with soldiers kicking down doors in raids and walking off with Iraqi's personal property and money."
-Street gang members in the military might be a problem, certainly, but not necessarily as it seems-
1. It is a small faction of the military… recruited knowingly by the military.
2. It is not, in my opinion, the reason for Abu or Haditha or rape or murder in Iraq perpetrated by certain troops. It may well be used in the near future as the excuse, but it is, in my opinion, certainly not the reason.
Then I read this on Aftermath News:
" A ghost army of gangbangers presents a terrifying challenge for the military. It is “setting the stage for a disaster,” says one longtime military advisor. Lax enlistment standards have inadvertently allowed known members of the Crips, Bloods, Latin Kings, and various white supremacist groups to join the military. With the unintended help of the U.S. Army, the Gangster Disciples are extending their reach worldwide."
-I believe these gangs in the ranks of the military are the result of a much bigger problem-
1. Using the phrasing “lax enlistment standards” and “the unintended help” merely washes over the truth of the matter. Why is the army lax and finding themselves with known gang members in the ranks? That is the question and the main dilemma, not the gang members themselves, although they do pose a legitimate problem to be dealt with.
2. Even the mention of “white supremecists” in the US military could easily be classified as an oxymoron.
-The following, from the Dissident Voice, demonstrates my feelings on this subject-
Legitimate governments exist to protect the rights of citizens, and to punish those who violate the rights of others. Where there is no concern for human rights, the concern is to protect the state and the privileges of those in power. Power is the all-important motive, force is the means, and the result is -- gangs.
Again, according to the New York Times, “One captain nicknamed members of the Third Platoon ‘the Testosterone Gang.’ Several were devout bodybuilders. Upon arriving in Afghanistan, a group of the soldiers decorated their tent with a Confederate flag . . .”
The gang mentality is even more explicit in Iraq, according to a story in last week’s Boston Globe. The soldier in charge of a squad in Mosul told the reporter: “If you look on the walls here, you can see all this graffiti. We’ve really taken to the streets here kind of like a gang unit would in, say, LA. It’s a giant gang war, and we’ve got the biggest gang, so every time we see graffiti, we mark it out, we tag it with ‘US Forces,’ and we say, ‘Hey look, this is our block.’”
The US as the world’s biggest gang -- that’s pretty much what Bush & Co. say about themselves. A senior advisor to George Bush told journalist Ron Suskind (off the record) in late 2004: “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too . . . We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
FOR ALL WE KNOW
Someone may be a Crip, a Blood, or a Latin King,
Someone may be a White-Aryan reigning supreme,
Or a normal Joe with too much time on their hands,
Truth be told it matters not to the broiling, bloody sand!
Armies might be weak, retreat could be most mighty,
Tanks and guns be butterflies and flowers oh so toxic.
Presidents and statesmen could be snowmen and/or goblins,
The police, a vat of syrup poured over our waiting sins!
Girls and boys may be robots sewing shirts for adults to wear,
Old men and women could be prowling lions in despair.
Horses, demons- Cattle, frogs- and cats, grand opera stars,
Or the love of man may well be lost for all we know of war...
© 2007 mrp/thepoetryman