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Army Shuns Officer Recruiting in Northeast, Shutting Dozens of ROTC Centers in  Blue State America

The US military has moved reserve officer training corps (ROTC) out of big cities and the northeast part of the US-- to the south and midwest.

No wonder troops are so conservative. The army doesn't try very hard to recruit leaders from blue states.  

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An article  published in the Wall Street Journal and Military.com, reports,

"In the past few decades, the Army has pulled its officer training and recruiting programs out of the Northeast and big, ethnically diverse urban centers, choosing to concentrate on campuses in the South and Midwest.

There is no Army ROTC program in the Detroit area, with its large middle-class Muslim population, and only one in Miami and Chicago. In New York City, which produced more than 500 military officers a year in the 1950s and early 1960s, the two remaining ROTC programs last year yielded 34 Army officers."

Ever the "call me paranoid" type, and having read Sinclair Lewis' classic book, IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE, this makes me wonder. It makes me fear that the leaders of the military, already proven, in my eyes, terribly incompetent, are building an army of red state volunteers, right wing, imbalanced, who see places like New York City as strange, foreign lands, where there are many people who look like the enemy. Consider this example, reported in the article.
Master Sgt. Darrel Jolley got his papers sending him to teach at St. John's University while he was in Iraq. The official Army order listed his assignment as "Jamaica, Queens." "I thought I was going to the island of Jamaica," he says. When he found out he was going to New York, the 43-year-old sergeant says he tried to get out of the assignment. He failed.

Driving through Brooklyn and Queens Sgt. Jolley said he was initially taken aback by the clamor and the large number of people who looked as if they recently arrived from the Middle East. "There were times when I felt like I was back in Iraq. There were people dressed in those man-dresses that they wear in Iraq. The women had veils. I know I shouldn't say this, but it made me want to look for IEDs," he says, referring to improvised explosive devices.

When I get really paranoid, and I look at how the Pentagon enabled Bush to deceive and  defraud the US into the Iraq war, when I see how the military is happily helping Bush and company destroy constitutional freedoms, like right to a trial, habeus corpus and privacy... I wonder what advantage there might be to have an army intentionally recruited from the most conservative states. It's not healthy. It counters the American way of diversity. When I'm really paranoid, I think that, like the book, Can't Happen Here, an army of handpicked conservatives from conservative territories would be much easier to manage, much easier to command to get to do things that you and I might find intolerable.

I add to this the recent change in the law eroding Posse Comitatus restrictions in the US and it adds up to some more evidence that the US could be tottering on the brink of totalitarianism. These are just pieces, parts of a big puzzle. But I think it's important to talk about these. I wonder if the German people talked about the ominous developments that happened in Germany before it metamorphosized into a thing of horror.

Getting the most paranoid-- what about internment camps? It would be far easier to get a homogenous red state officer corps that sees liberals as traitors and threats to the nation, as right wing radio casts them, to follow orders to arrest and imprison Americans. It would be far easier for red state right wingers to arrest and take dissidents and activists who engage in civil disobedience into custody. This is scary stuff.

I'm not saying it's going to happen tomorrow or next week. But if you were aiming to produce, over years, a situation that would support such a totalitarian vision, this might be a likely step-- change the composition of the military leadership. Control it so it is less likely to challenge actions, particularly actions done in areas where there would be the most resistance. I know. Call me paranoid.

The military argues that it is more cost effective to recruit in the south and midwest. Yet, the article reports that one effective recruiter was able to drastically increase the participation in New York programs. Having a military is a necessary evil. If we're going to have one, it should include leaders from all parts of the country, geographically and demographically. Failing to make this happen brings us one more step further on that dangerous path away from national unity. Congress should hold hearings on this and pass laws requiring officer training to be developed in all regions of the US. Anything less is bad for America.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to http://www.opednews.com on Fri Feb 23, 2007 at 04:59 PM PST.

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