Cobblestone, a literary magazine targeted towards kids 9 -14, in its latest issue, is devoted to military recruiting.
Parents and teachers are complaining that the latest issue of a popular magazine for preteens amounts to little more than an early recruitment pitch for the Army.
Cobblestone magazine, which is put out by Carus Publishing in Peterborough, is aimed at children ages 9-14 and is distributed nationwide to schools and libraries. Its latest issue features a cover photo of a soldier in Iraq clutching a machine gun and articles on what it‘s like to go through boot camp, a rundown of the Army‘s "awesome arsenal" and a detailed description of Army career opportunities.
One of the teaching guides — written by Mary Lawson, a teacher in Saint Cloud., Fla. — suggests having students write essays pretending they are going to join the Army: "Have them decide which career they feel they would qualify for and write a paper to persuade a recruiter why that should be the career."
The dozen or so similar complaints come at a time when the military, struggling to meet recruitment goals, has become more aggressive in trying to attract young people. But Cobblestone‘s editors insist the idea for the special issue was theirs alone, though they received permission to use Army photos.
It is interesting how militarism is engrained in our society to the extent that young children and preteens are being encouraged to envision themselves as killers for the government. Of course, the sell is softer, that a career in the military allows one to further their education, serve their country, see the world, etc. The real purpose of the military though is to kill and to enforce the policies of the government. The fact that the last wars which the United States has been involved in such as Viet Nam and Iraq have been declared "unjust" and "immoral" by the Popes of the time and most other religious bodies should not go unnoticed. Whether people in the military are called upon to engage in honorable and just activity or immoral and unjust activity is not under the immediate control of the soldier but rather their commander and the Commander-in chief.
It seems increasingly clear that the current war in Iraq is unjust, entered into on fraudulent premises, and seen by the rest of the world as besought with "war crimes". The fact that the United States has not signed the treaty to participate in the International Criminal Court for fear that it would be prosecuted speaks volumes to the integrity of the United States in its conduct and willingness to be held accountable for its actions by the rest of the world governments.
Glorifying military service to children might be considered child abuse.
I hope that all parents throughout the world would take the pledge, "I will not raise my child to kill your child."
Shame on Cobblestone Magazine and the Carus Publishing Company
Link: Preteen mag accused of military pitching.