From Vietnam Veterans Against the War,

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War Really Is A Racket

By Michael J. Burke

One would naturally think that here in Atlanta, home of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and many other great voices of the Civil Rights Era, the anti-war movement would be one of the strongest in the nation. But it ain't so. Over the past decades, the city has concentrated its social justice power more on what happened during the past than on today. Today, MLK's children spend more time fighting over selling rights to their father's Bible and Nobel Prize. It's a sordid family affair.

Veterans of the Vietnam War era, like myself, agree that one of the greatest errors remains basically unaddressed—the stalking, abuse, and rape of our youth, which continues in our public school campuses (K-12). Kids are now being groomed for the killing fields younger than ever before in US history. Younger than in Nazi Germany! Long before pre-teenagers are even exposed to the seductive ways and wares of military recruiters, in their junior/senior high school years, they are being sucked into "playing games" that encourage them to blow the damned "rag-heads" off the rooftops. I've seen it, you've seen it, and we both know it is just a precursor, of course, for the more sophisticated virtual reality games that the Army and Marine recruiters will bring later to test their war skills.

Come on now, we all know it's true. The war industry is the largest, most powerful, and surely, the most profitable industry on the planet. So what can we do, with our own meager means, if in our own small way we want to put an end to war or at least throw a monkey wrench into the works? One good starting point might be to get your hands on a copy of War Is A Racket by Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC. He was twice awarded the Medal of Honor for the longest time the most decorated Marine in USMC history. It is a sensational 80-page look at the history of the modern day US war industry, with two dozen startling photos. In one part Butler summarizes the "steps that must be taken to smash the war racket." He writes, "we must permit the youth of the land who would bear arms to decide whether or not there should be war."

Next step? Get involved in a local counter-recruiting movement (CR) or start your own CR effort. It's really not difficult at all. Try to concentrate on one high school or middle school and play follow-the-leader with one or more of the many CR organizations that exist online. Simply use your favorite search engine and go for it. A word of caution. Don't be too ambitious. Go after one school at a time and once you have found a school overridden by recruiters, lock in and make it your primary target. Do not feel you must go it alone. Latch on to at least one other buddy and form a team and concentrate, concentrate, concentrate. Remember, the human brain is not fully developed until around 25 to 26 years of age. You can bet your ass the Pentagon remembers it and makes that fact a huge part of its marketing and recruiting strategy.

Michael Burke is a Vietnam combat veteran who served over ten years in the Army, with tours in Germany, Korea, and Vietnam. He is a co-founder of Safe Passage Network, which concerns itself with CR work in metro Atlanta counties. Burke is also a proud grandfather of six and enjoys spending time with his 4-year-old grandson who lives in Atlanta. You might want to visit to learn more about MG Butler.

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