Article Overview
Article Overview:   Veterans For Peace claim the U.S. military is recruiting young people at schools by glorifying war.  They tell the children war is evil and to not be seduced by military recruiters that it is glorious.    I question the sanity of the VFP's mission.   Who would glorify war and remain in their right mind?   Or, are the VFP members Beasts of Terror, trying to stop future Sentinels of Vigilance from defending the Rights of Freedom?   Take a look and decide what you think?


Tuesday--September 16, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 734
Defending The Sentinels of "War Vigilance"
Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Sep 15, 2003-- There're a couple of guys in St. Louis who are eager to break the Sword of Vigilance and smash the Shield of Vigilance.

Frank Corcoran( left) and John Grant (right) are members of Veterans for Peace a group that counterbalances the gung-ho message of military recruiters

     These military veterans go to schools to thwart military recruiters who, they claim, are trying to glorify war and seduce young people into the art of "killing."
      On the surface, many might think this is a noble effort.   Anti-military and anti-war advocates wave their flags and cheer on this duo of Anti-War Vigilantes whose mission is to paint the face of war as evil and to deface it as unpatriotic.
      They are members of a group called Veterans For Peace (VFP), founded by a WWII and Vietnam Vet in the mid-1980's.   There are some 3,300 members throughout the nation.
      Two of the VFP members were recently highlighted in an article in the Christian Science Monitor titled:  Telling kids to say 'no' to war.
      John Grant and Frank Corcoran, the two VFP members spotlighted in the CS Monitor story, are both Vietnam vets. 
       The question they pose isn't at issue.
       War is ugly, wasteful, horrible.   The greatest general will avow to that.   It doesn't take a brain scientist to argue that war's brutality is an excruciation no human being should ever have to experience, for it is the ultimate battlefield of Terrorism.

Bullets, bombs, mines have no conscience

       Bullets, bombs, mines have no conscience.   They can tear into the flesh of an innocent child or civilian without an ounce of compunction.   The blood of war can drown a person's sense of respect for human life, turning his or her soul into scarred leather, unable to feel empathy or sense sadness for the price of such feelings can mean death.
       I believe the two VFP Soldiers of Anti-War Messages have created a giant leap between joining the military and going to war.
       Their point-of-view is that military recruiters are at schools glorifying war and seducing the young, innocent to look at war as a duty, and to consider the killing and destruction of other human beings as a citizen's responsibility.
        I guess I'm jaded.
        I have never seen the military, at least the U.S. military, as a tool to kill young people.    I've not seen it as a group of Hitler's Youth, conscripted to march into the front lines and die for the fatherland.
        The military, to me, is about learning how to be a Sentinel of Vigilance.
        It has been and always will be, a place where a young man or woman learns how to protect his or her nation from the Beast of Terror who, as exampled on Nine Eleven, will sneak up when least expected and rape, pillage and plunder the land as long as he can get away with it.
        I don't see the military in any different light than I do joining the police force, or becoming a fire fighter, or a paramedic.
         Every society must have those who protect the Children's Children's Children's rights from harm.   A strong military is not about killing and war, but avoiding killing and war.
         Critics of Iraq tout that some 157 Americans have been killed since the official end of the major combat during the elimination of Saddam Hussein's regime.    They forget to mention how many Iraqi lives have been saved by America's liberation of the country.   How many citizens haven't been tortured, hanged, shot or shoveled into dank, dungy prisons over the past 23 years when Saddam ruled with tyranny and oppression?      

Critics of war don't like to look at the reasons why war happens

        Critics of war don't like to look at the reasons why war happens.   That might justify the willingness of a person to give his or her life for others.   It might impede the highest possible order of human nature--the sacrifice of one's life for the lives of others.
          Enlisting in the military, like joining the fire or police department, involves the risk of life and limb.   Nearly 400 firefighters, police and EMS personnel who died in the World Trade Center attack on Nine Eleven, over twice as many as have died in Iraq since the end of major combat in March, assumed the "Right of Sacrifice" when they took on the job.
          They did not join to wage war.  They joined to protect society.
          That's the great gap in VFP position.

Duty is the allure that attracts people to military service

         Accusing the American military of glorifying war to recruit young people is similar to suggesting you recruit firefighters and police by showing them pictures of mangled, twisted bodies of their comrades in the aftermath of Nine Eleven.
          It makes no sense.   
          Duty not blood-and-guts is the allure that attracts people to military service, just as it does to someone who seeks to join the police or fire department, or, in a more subtle way, drives someone to become a school teacher.
          School teachers receive little glory and little pay for their service in defense of the Beast of Ignorance.   They fight daily a battle against children's Fear, Intimidation and the nagging power of Complacency, often fostered by their parents' lack of interest in their education, or lack of support of the children's emotional well being.
          Duty drives a school teacher to spend countless, frustrating hours with her Sword and Shield of Vigilance held high, hoping to drive the Beast of Educational Terror away from the children so their minds might be given life.
          Military recruiters speak about Country, Flag, Honor, Duty.   They reinforce the responsibility of Citizenship, which, I believe, includes volunteering to defend one's country.
          America is unique in the world because it historically has traveled to foreign lands and willingly, sometimes unilaterally, offered its citizens lives to secure the freedom of those enslaved by Terrorists of many shapes and sizes.
          History's pages unfold the truth of the U.S. military.  Nowhere in those pages can one find that America conquers nations, enslaves them, rules them as most all other empires have done over the millennia of human bloodshed in search of a world at peace.
          If America were the blood-thirsty, kill-for-glory nation the VFP would like the school children to believe, the recruiters would be offering the potential soldiers booty from each and every land they fought in.    In past days, conquering armies gave soldiers land, gold and other tribute as their reward. 
          That might make sense today if one were to glorify war as the reason to join the military.   War would mean booty, and booty would mean riches, and risking one's life for booty or tribute might make sense.

To tell someone not to joining the military because war is hell is like showing new firefighting recruits videos of firefighters in pain and anguish as they battle fires

        But, despite the best efforts of the VFP, I can hardly imagine their Voices ring with any veracity to reach those upon whom they preach.    To tell a person not to join the military because war is hell, or ugly, or wrong, or evil is about as mature as an ant climbing up an elephant's ass in hopes of stinging him so the elephant will move away from the ant pile.
          It's like the firefighters recruiting new members by showing them the videos of firefighters screaming in pain and anguish as the World Trade Center collapsed on them, or the police department showing films of cops being shot and lying in pools of blood on dirty, lonely streets.
          Hello, Veterans For Peace?
          Have you read War and Peace?
          If there is anyone who abhors war, it's me.  I've seen its horror, participated in its horror, and written about its horror.  I wake up at night with the images of war's horror glued to the back of my eyeballs--faces of innocent people bloating in the hot sun, eyes of dying souls piercing into mine--and attest to anyone that war has no glory.
         But, defending the Right of Freedom and offering one's life to protect the future rights of others--that is glorious.

I personally watched freedom's sees sprout in the first democratic election in Vietnam

         I witnessed the first democratic election in Vietnam when thousands of villagers came out of the jungles despite V.C. threats to kill them if they did, to cast their free vote for the first time in their lives.   I watched freedom's seeds sprout that day.
         The night before two guys next to me were blown to pieces.  I held them in my arms.   Their blood is still part of my skin, has sucked down into the pores of my body and become as much of me as the air I breathe.    I know they died for others.  I know they gave their lives that day so that some day the people of Vietnam might return to a free and democratic ballot box, and cast another vote without being threatened with death if they did.
         Their deaths were glorious, not because of war, but because of what they fought for, and were willing to die for.    They died for others' right to freedom.
         I doubt if the Veterans For Peace extol the virtues of military service as performing the function of a Sentinel of Vigilance, one who protects the future by willingly offering his or her life today.
         Instead, I'm sure they present the military as a Beast of Terror, cold and ruthlessly looking for young bodies to feed to the demons of war, to suck their blood and chew on their appendages for snacks.

It saddens me that combat veterans see with the Eye of the Beast

        I find it sad that combat veterans like these two gentlemen noted in the CS Monitor see with only one eye, the Eye of the Beast, and seek to get the youth to blind the Eye of Vigilance, the eye that sees the glory of one's duty to protect his or her nation and other nations from the Beast of Terror.
         I cannot salute their efforts to cheat the youth of their right to serve their country, and the nations of the world.
         America does not recruit youth today to fight evil wars.
         Today, more than ever, I believe, America recruits Sentinels of Vigilance...young people willing to face the Beast of Terror with pride and dignity, and, if necessary, give their lives so Courage, Conviction and Right Actions for the Children's Children's Children will survive long afterwards.
          War is surely hell, but Vigilance isn't.  
          Vigilance is the key to avoiding war, and those youth who realize that and offer their lives in defense of others are true Sentinels of Vigilance.
          That's why I seek to recruit everyone as a Sentinel of Vigilance.
           Without them, the Beast of Terror will turn the world into a playground of war, and all the evil will issue from the Beast's belly.
          But, our Sentinels of Vigilance are smarter than the Beast.   And, hopefully, they will remain that way.

Sep 15--"To Kill Or Not Kill Yasir Arafat, That Is The Question!"

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