|The Future of Freedom Foundation|
So, what does Boot suggest? In a June 16, 2005, L.A. Times op-ed entitled Defend America, Become American, he says that the military should recruit foreigners to do the fighting, dying, and killing in exchange for U.S. citizenship. Yes, you read that right he didnt say simply recruit immigrants living in the United States he said the U.S. military should recruit foreigners living anywhere in the world and make them American citizens in return. Presumably Boot feels that this would not dilute the high quality of the all-volunteer force. He even uses the French (!) Foreign Legion as his model.
Anticipating the adverse reaction that he knows will come from many in the anti-immigrant (and anti-French) crowd, Boot says, There is no better way to build [a cultural bond to America] than through military training and discipline. Drill sergeants have been forging cohesive units out of disparate elements since the days of the Roman legions.
So, how about that? According to Boot, culture and militarism now go hand in hand, just as they did in the Roman Empire (or, for that matter, in the Soviet and British empires as well). Boot camp, humiliation, right-face and left-face, cadence songs, saluting, obeying orders, spit-shining, and yes sir and no sir. Now, thats what the culture of a free country is all about, according to neoconservative icon Max Boot.
Ive got another solution that perhaps Boot hasnt considered: Rather than doling out advice on how the U.S. government should run the occupation of a country that never attacked the United States and that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, and rather than coming up with bizarre solutions to the U.S. governments recruiting woes, why doesnt Boot himself volunteer for the army, just as NFL football star Pat Tillman did after the 9/11 attacks?
That is, if Boot honestly believes that the security of the nation (or the government) is at stake or if he feels that democracy in Iraq is important, why is he wasting his time coming up with far-fetched plans to fill the militarys ranks? Why doesnt he instead go down to his recruiters office and simply sign up and volunteer for service in Iraq? Wouldnt that be the patriotic thing to do? Doesnt genuine leadership entail his doing what he is asking others to do? Just as its easier to be good with other peoples money, isnt it easier to be courageous with other peoples lives?
Or does Boot feel that only the poor, uneducated people of Latin America, Africa, and Asia (or the United States), and not the elite, well-to-do, intellectuals of America should be put in the position of fighting, dying, and killing for the U.S. governments military adventures overseas?
reflection of the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the neoconservative
vision for our nation than Boots military-recruitment plan? Not
only have these people destroyed Iraq, unless theyre stopped their
pro-militarism and pro-empire vision will ultimately destroy our nation
Samuel Bostaph is head of the economics department at the University of Dallas and an academic advisor to The Future of Freedom Foundation
Anthony Gregory is a policy advisor at The Future of Freedom Foundation
James Bovard is author of The Bush Betrayal and serves as a policy advisor for The Future of Freedom Foundation
Benedict LaRosa is a historian and writer and serves as a policy advisor to The Future of Freedom Foundation
Bart Frazier is program director at The Future of Freedom Foundation.
Sheldon Richman is senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation in Fairfax, Va., author of Tethered Citizens: Time to Repeal the Welfare State, and editor of The Freeman magazine.
Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. Send him email.