I am not a believer in the military-industrial complex–lets add another reason why:
The New York Times today reports:
A decade after the Pentagon declared a zero-tolerance policy for racist hate groups, recruiting shortfalls caused by the war in Iraq have allowed “large numbers of neo-Nazis and skinhead extremists” to infiltrate the military, according to a watchdog organization.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks racist and right-wing militia groups, estimated that the numbers could run into the thousands, citing interviews with Defense Department investigators and reports and postings on racist Web sites and magazines.
More from SPLC’s site:
“Because hate group membership and extremist activity are antithetical to the values and mission of our armed forces, we urge you to adopt a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to white supremacy in the military and to take all necessary steps to ensure that the policy is rigorously enforced,” Cohen wrote in a letter to Rumsfeld.
I wish I could say I was surprised, and I also wish I could agree with Cohen in saying that hate groups aren’t apart of the mission of the armed forces, but who are we kidding? I realize Cohen can’t say this–especially in a letter to Rumsfeld because that’s far from strategic–but I have to say that the very mission in many ways of the armed forces is just that of extremist activity and hate. We are talking about training people for war–that is not a loving activity.
That, though, doesn’t mean I don’t agree with the urgency of SLPC’s call and report, and the need for this to be seriously looked at and engaged with. Reading the first few lines of the full story demonstrates the seriousness and gravity of this issue:
Before the U.S. military made Matt Buschbacher a Navy SEAL, he made himself a soldier of the Fourth Reich.
Before Forrest Fogarty attended Military Police counter-insurgency training school, he attended Nazi skinhead festivals as lead singer for the hate rock band Attack.
And before Army engineer Jon Fain joined the invasion of Iraq to fight the War on Terror, the neo-Nazi National Alliance member fantasized about fighting a war on Jews.
“Ever since my youth — when I watched WWII footage and saw how well-disciplined and sharply dressed the German forces were — I have wanted to be a soldier,” Fain said in a Winter 2004 interview with the National Alliance magazine Resistance. “Joining the American military was as close as I could get.”