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NNOMYnews 1051: October 17 2020: 2020 Elections + Antiwar Politics
As the U.S. Presidential Elections consume all the media and cultural oxygen in the last days of October 2020, the theme has emerged among the two viable party candidates of who is more anti-war. Likely this theme is a cover for the military keynesianism that constructs our economy for both mainstream parties to not explain why we prioritize the majority of discretionary tax funds for military appropriations and not more important civilian needs.
Additionally, this reality show election season distracts us from the hard economic conditions of declining opportunities that many youth are facing.
In this pandemic moment, the opportunities emerging for military recruitment efforts by the United States Department of Defense should not be ignored. The recruitment appeals to youth in the newly minted virtual recruitment outreach strategies being deployed by the Pentagon have a cost to the national psychological health of our youth. Eighty percent of young men in the United States are involved in militarized gaming, online and off, where recruitment appeals are now present on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitch.
One important opportunity available to us as counter-recruitment groups is to increase the breadth and consistency of our social media presentations and outreach on accurate Delayed Entry/ Future Soldier information as potential recruits change their minds and need reassurances and counseling on how to get out. It is an opportunity to save lives and an effective counter-recruitment practice in COVID-19 times when our entry to schools is limited or non-existent..
#counter-recruitment | #nnomypeace | #peacefulcareers | www.nnomy.org
Low lying virtual fruit for Covid Era Counter-recruiting
Gary Ghirardi / NNOMY - What began for the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth as an adjustment of our phone forwarding from an answering machine to a cell phone, revealed a bit of a surprise for our office this month of October 2020. What resulted were five phone calls within seven days of both young men and women seeking counseling on how to get out of the Delayed Entry program for military service that they had initially signed up for. All said that they had changed their minds; one for family issues being needed at home to help his mom during this difficult time of Covid. The other young men just did not want to go any longer with no explanation. Two young women, both more nervous than the men discussing such a decision with an unknown entity on the other end of a phone number they gathered from our website.
Covid and Militarism: Challenges and Controversies
Fabiola Cardozo / NNOMY / español - It’s widely recognized that the Covid-19 pandemic undoubtedly affects the economy and, as a result, also negatively affects healthcare, education, and culture. However, in the face of hard times like the ones we’ve experienced this year, national priorities are oriented through the policies implemented by political leaders.
A recent article by the Washington Post highlights how The Pentagon diverted taxpayer money originally meant for masks and cotton swabs to make jet engine parts and body armor.
Call for Submissions: 2020 Elections + Antiwar Politics
War Resisters' League - I'm excited to share with you the first call for submissions from War Resisters League's newest committee, the Editorial Committee. We are comprised of writers and organizers based across the Americas with ties to Black, Indigenous, MENA, Latin American, and white communities of resistance. Every month, we meet to discuss pressing issues facing our communities today and invite you to join with a call for submissions. Accepted pieces are published on our page War Resisters on Waging Nonviolence. This month, we discuss elections. Read more below:
Zara Bamford: What the Military Doesn’t Want You to Know About Video Games
Timothy Lee / The Chicago Maroon - A couple of weeks ago, I sat down with soon-to-be graduate Zara Bamford and interviewed her about her thesis paper for political science, “Do You Feel Like a Hero Yet: Military Methods of Dehumanization and Propaganda in Video Games.” Throughout the interview, we talked about questions pertaining to her topic, such as how common violence is found in video games, how the military utilizes video games for its own benefit, and where the state of violence in video games is currently heading. However, by having all these different subtopics about violence in video games, Bamford emphasized one big point: Violence in video games normalizes war and conflict for the people who play these games.
Bamford makes it explicitly clear that she does not believe that violent video games like Call of Duty or Battlefield make kids and teenagers commit acts of violence, like school shootings. Instead, she explained that “games do not necessarily get you to kill, but normalize war, normalize violence.” For Bamford, violence in video games is a psychological tool that acclimates average people to violence, and for the military, this serves as a perfect recruitment tool. Game series like Call of Duty, Battlefield, Medal of Honor, and other military-focused first-person shooters (FPS) have been used by the military not only as a means of recruiting skilled gamers, but also as a means of dehumanizing war.
41 Questions To Ask A Military Recruiter
Operation Military Kids - So you’re thinking about joining one of the branches of the Armed Forces, but you have absolutely no idea where to start. One of the first things anyone will tell you if you’re thinking about joining the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines is common sense advice: talk to a recruiter.
Recruiters know the ins and outs of their respective branches, and can answer literally any question you may have. However, what exactly should you ask them when you get there? You want to be sure you’re getting all the information you need to make an informed decision.
So whats missing here?
Trump and Biden want you to believe they’re more anti-war than they are
Alex Ward / Vox - For the first time in years, the foreign policy fight in the 2020 US presidential election isn’t about which candidate would best win wars, but rather which would most quickly end them.
It’s clear why Trump and Biden are fiercely competing on this issue. A survey by the Eurasia Group Foundation this month found supporters of both candidates prefer they maintain “a focus on the domestic needs and the health of American democracy, while avoiding unnecessary intervention beyond the borders of the United States.”
After decades of war with little to show for it, Americans of all political stripes appear tired of the deadly, bloody, and costly misadventures — and the leaders of both parties have taken notice.
Army Recruitment 2.0: Just Like War Except for the Killing and Dying is now 4.0
Michael Moore - A look back to 2009 when Philadelphia protesters including Veterans for Peace and clegy protested the use of first-person militarized video games for military recruitment. Eleven years later in 2020, this type of protest action is unheard of. Video game violence has been normalized and today, with the impact of COVID-a9 and social distancing, this type of recruitment has advanced to include army teams playing war games with 14 year olds in their homes in online gaming in platforms like Facebook and Twitch..
The Navy Paid a Marketing Firm $2 Million for Its Esports PR Disaster
Matthew Gault / Vice - This distinction between building brand awareness and active recruiting is at odds with most viewer’s perception of the Navy’s presence on Twitch. If recruitment isn’t the end goal of building brand awareness, then what is it? According to the work order between Young & Rubicam, it was to “develop a specific E-Gaming strategy that includes partnering and collaborating with entities involved in the E-Gaming industry, allowing for Navy branded content pushed to those who follow these sports. The messaging here will put the Navy brand on various aspects of the E-Gaming experience, vastly increasing awareness, and aligning the Navy to this industry.”