Rael and the Raelian Movement just sent their support to Sally Ferrell, a woman in North Carolina, USA. In her local areas, Ms. Ferrell has been setting up many peace vigils and being a great peace activist in many arenas. More importantly, and it’s causing some noise now is that she has been banned from distributing pamphlets in High Schools which inform students that there are other options than joining the military. She does this in order to counter balance the military recruitment being done in these same schools. The school superintendent has stopped her – stating that it’s unpatriotic. US schools, by the way, usually open themselves to not only military recruiters, they even offer programs called ROTC which prepare young people for military service.
Over the last years, military recruiters have been in a fierce recruitment campaign in order to meet their quota of soldiers for Iraq and Afghanistan. At first, it was pretty easy because of the US government sponsored massive campaigns after 9-11 promoting the necessity for war. The fear tactics worked as they usually do and the US public supported the war. For a while, anyway. Now, however, public opinion has turned strongly against the war and the recruiters have been forced to turn to young, uneducated minds to get them to sign on the dotted line. What is too often missing, however, is the balance. Sally is providing that. The ACLU agreed and got involved and the school super agreed to let Sally into the schools, but only twice a semester. The ACLU is rightfully looking into further action.The poor fight the wars for the rich.
Not having a compulsory draft for all young men obviously puts the military in the position of trying to make military service look appealing to young people. Not to mention the fact that had Bush put the draft back into action, there would have been a fierce debate regarding women in the military. There would also have been more conscientious objectors which is not good for the war machine. The weak US economy has greatly added to the appeal of military service to young people. How sad to know that young people in the beginning of their lives are so desperate that they risk their lives for the paid education the military provides (with US tax dollars) – if they happen to live. How do we know this is true? Recruiters have a much higher success rate in poor areas. In fact, it’s been the same for thousands of years.
It’s important to also know that had the Bush administration put the draft back into place, the US population would never have supported the war in Iraq to begin with. Unfortunately, most people in the US failed to realize that and fell for Mr. Bush’s “I will protect you” rhetoric It was a terrible but successful ad campaign by the Bush Administration.
We feel what Sally Ferrell is doing is hugely important and more people should be doing it. Fortunately, thousands of people in the US have formed dozens of organizations who try to balance the very one-sided perspective recruiters show young minds. Sally is balancing out the pro-war propaganda and it looks like the ACLU might sue to protect her rights. We feel there is a good chance she can win and this is great because it will give others the courage to counterbalance the damage done by the US government when they tricked the US population into what was said to be a just and brief war. And the US is fertile ground for balance now since people there want the problems at home to be fixed as well as ending the $billion every month given to military budgets.
Lack of volunteers is also the reason for the Bush administration having to outsource much of this war to companies like Blackwater who do a lot of the dirty work there and are a great advantage to the Bush administration because these companies are private contractors and can do what they like – including ignoring human rights, the Geneva Convention etc.
If it is not clear by now, Raelians are not fans of patriotism. We understand that everyone is a citizen of the universe, not just a citizen of one small piece of land drawn with arbitrary borders on this little blue ball we call Earth. The notion that one country is superior, one race is superior is only supported by people who cannot feel the rest of the planet – the rest of the infinite universe. Having said this, however, for the school superintendent to ban Sally’s work on the basis of it being unpatriotic is interesting because if you’re familiar with the US, free speech is guaranteed by the Constitution. To ban Sally from her wonderful work is denying her the free speech she is guaranteed by the US Constitution and THAT is what’s unpatriotic. We only use their own term here to illustrate our point that patriotism is totally subjective and this is what politicians use to trick millions into supporting war. Raelians feel that our allegiance should be for every human being on Earth and with every being in the universe. Our home, Earth, is only one of an infinite number of civilizations scattered throughout the universe. We are one. :-)
Ricky Roehr, Leader of the North American Raelian Movement