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War Inc. – Pentagon sucks in American youth

Published time: August 11, 2011 22:00
Edited time: August 12, 2011 09:38

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As the US economy remains on a consistent downward spiral, one thing the government is never shy to invest endless cash in is the Pentagon.

Which – on its end – is pumping millions of dollars into luring in the young population of America into enrolling into the military. RT looks at some of those mesmerizing techniques, and what kind of effect they have had on those fit to serve.

A hunt for American youth to hunt down the next American enemy. War incorporated – a robust business machine – is operating at full capacity in the US. From televised ads, to Hollywood blockbusters, to video games, to American presidents dubbing soldiers the real Patriots. The image of the American warrior is portrayed as that of the invincible hero.

Times Square in New York is one of the number one entertainment spots in the Big Apple. It lures in millions from around the world and across the US. Apart from flashy lights and billboards there is a recruitment centre – one of hundreds just in New York.

The mesmerizing techniques luring young Americans into serving are more sophisticated than ever before.

“Sponsoring video games tournaments, paintball tournaments and going up to these young kids and say ‘Hey, the US military needs you, we see your skills at this video game,’ and of course to a 15, or 16 or 17 year old, this is something that’s very enticing,” said Iraq war veteran Michael Prysner.

“It’s a cruel and deceptive type of recruitment. They want to use all the hippest tools they have to make being in the military as cool as possible,” said media critic and filmmaker Danny Schechter.

Now a cinematographer, Edward Pages dedicated 10 years to being a US soldier. He thought it was the honorable thing to do.

“If they presented war for what it was nobody would join,” said Edward.

But they do join- having played one computer game, and seen one war movie too many.

“There are no second chances in real life. You can re-set a game, you can re-start a movie, there are no second chances when you are actually out there and your life is at risk for something that most of these young men have no idea really the true reasons why they are even out there,” Edward explained.

By the time some of these reasons are realized, it is often too late.

“To expand the military influence and domination in these regions of the world that are currently off limits to US imperialism.” Michael Prysner named one.

“The problem is a lot of these kids don’t know – once they get in, it’s hard to get out,” said Danny Schechter.

For some – the way out is suicide. A military report says 80 percent of soldiers in Afghanistan have seen a friend killed or injured, the gore of war quickly replacing its promised glory.

However, nothing stops the military propaganda campaign.

“They’re spending hundreds of millions of dollars every year on recruiting groups and recruiting people, glorifying war, glorifying the killing of people whether it’s necessary or not," said war veteran Jake Diliberto from Washington DC.

A dire economy at home also comes in handy for the Pentagon.

“There is a joke in the military that the best recruiter is an economic downturn,” said economist Richard Wolff. And that recruiter is raging on.“What happened after 2008 that solved their problem was the desperation of millions of Americans. We had an economic crisis, we’ve had unemployment zoom up,” explained Wolff.

But no matter the times, the power of the Pentagon seems eternal.

“American Presidents do not become leaders by challenging national security, nor the military industrial complex. They just don’t do it,” said poet and philosopher Phil Rockstroh.

Meaning luring in more young Americans into more wars, with no happy ending or game over in sight.

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