Saturday, February 17, 2018

JROTC, Military Indoctrination and the Training of Mass Killers

By Pat Elder, World Beyond War
Nikolas Cruz, the south Florida shooter, was enrolled in the Army’s Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) program as a 9th grader at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The Army taught Cruz to shoot lethal weapons at a very young and impressionable age.
Few in America have connected the dots between military indoctrination and firearms instruction on the one hand, and the propensity for training mass killers, whether their crimes are committed as enlisted soldiers in atrocities overseas or in American high schools.
Let’s examine the JROTC program and the militarization of Florida’s schools as a contributing factor to the Parkland massacre. When Cruz was apprehended he was wearing his JROTC polo shirt, sending a message to the world of his affiliation with the military program.
Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School practice in the school’s firing range.
There are 1,600 American high schools that enroll students in military-run marksmanship programs, teaching children as young as 13 to shoot lethal weapons. It’s probably not the wisest public policy. The kids shoot .177 caliber lead pellets at 600 feet per second using CO2 propelled rifles. The Daisy Avanti 887, a cousin of Ralphie’s Red Ryder BB gun, is classified as a lethal weapon by the Army. Florida, along with a dozen other states, specifically prohibits carrying pellet guns into high schools, although the prohibition does not extend to the military. Pellet rifles are extremely dangerous and some are powerful enough to kill a boar.
Good guns and bad guns?
It must be confusing to the 13-year-old mind. Broward County Schools has a strict anti-gun policy in place. The school system classifies pellet rifles as a “Class A” weapons, along with a variety of rifles, hand guns, and shotguns.
The use of lead projectiles in the nation’s high schools also threatens public health by spewing minute lead articulate matter into the air and on the floor at the muzzle end of the gun and at the target backstops. Children track the deadly particulates throughout the building. There is a linkage between firing pellet rifles indoors and elevated blood lead levels among participants.
JROTC programs in Florida and elsewhere were once plagued by low enrollment numbers which threatened to shut down the program. The military responded with a robust lobbying effort directed at states, aiming to allow students to satisfy normal, for-credit course requirements by taking the JROTC elective. Florida is most friendly to the military in this regard. The state allows students enrolled in JROTC to satisfy the curricular requirements of physical education, biology, physical science, art, and life management. JROTC is regarded as an Advanced Placement course. Students earn 6 Quality Points toward their weighted GPA.
Many of these courses are taught by retired enlisted soldiers with no teaching credentials and little or no college education. Meanwhile, Broward schools require teachers to hold teacher certification and most must have a Master’s degree after a certain period of time.
JROTC programs in US schools are run by the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. The school shooting programs are regulated by the Civilian Marksmanship Program, (CMP). The program was set up by Congress after the Spanish-American War to ensure that large numbers of Americans knew how shoot guns in the event of a war. The CMP is now a private entity with $160 million in assets. It sells discarded military rifles, pistols, and ammunition to the American public at the behest of Congress. The CMP downplays the health and safety concerns of the robust shooting program.
Each branch has its own curriculum and textbooks that teach a dangerous and reactionary version of American history. The US bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki to save a million American lives. The North Vietnamese fired on an innocent American warship in the Gulf of Tonkin. History is taught as a kind of American Fait Accompli. American exceptionalism and the use of force as an instrument of foreign policy are enshrined values, next to accepting one’s place in the chain of command. The civics textbook has a unit entitled, “You the People” rather than “We the People.” Schools exercise no curricular oversight. School districts across the country are allowing this intellectual straightjacket of a program to substitute for the arts. In addition, Broward’s schools host several dozen other military programs that work with the recruiting command to provide leads for recruiters. The military has also infiltrated the social media networks of high school children.
JROTC members frequently wear their uniforms to school and receive praise from their classmates, like the American reflex to support our troops. The Stoneman Douglas High School Marksmanship Program will be advancing to the Florida State championships this spring. Marksman 1st Lieutenant Diaz took first place in the standing rifle event during the last regional competition! It’s a big deal.
Children participate in shooting programs at tournaments hosted by the CMP and supported by the NRA.
The JROTC program is highly respected at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. All proceeds from the sale of the school’s branded products at the school’s “company store” help fund the JROTC battalion. Revenues from pizza sales also finance the JROTC program. The Stoneman High JROTC Military Ball will be held on April 21st this year at the Marriot Heron Bay. Nikolas Cruz won’t be there.
Nikolas Cruz is apprehended wearing his Stoneman HS JROTC polo shirt.
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David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of and campaign coordinator for Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at and He hosts Talk Nation Radio.He is a 2015, 2016, 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.
Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.
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Friday, February 16, 2018

Some Tweets from Sarah Abdallah

Some Tweets from Sarah Abdallah:

  •   Retweeted
    Think of the grandiosity with which politicians have pronounced on the scourge of "Russian interference" for the past 1.5 years, and now think of the evidence produced today that is supposed to vindicate their pronouncements: a handful of Twitter trolls
  • Beyond rich coming from a man whose multi-billion-dollar-funded Open Society Foundation engages in deceit and manipulation against governments Soros doesn’t like as a matter of policy.
  • A little less time on the “Russia collusion” hysteria and a little more time on ACTUAL threats, eh FBI?
  •   Retweeted
    EXCLUSIVE--Rand Paul: Is Our Military Budget too Small, or Is Our Mission too Large? | Breitbart
  •   Retweeted
    This maniac is attempting to blame the latest high school shooting in America on Russia. This lunacy has reached epic proportions...
  • Your boss Obama selling over $100 billion in weapons of war to Saudi Arabia, world’s top funder of terrorism, was perfectly cool though, wasn’t it? 🙄
  •   Retweeted
    Wow the ever-crafty Russian botnet made terms like "NRA," "shooting," and "Florida" trend on social media, these guys keep getting more and more clever
  • You didn’t mind giving billions of dollars worth of guns and other weapons of war to jihadists terrorizing innocent people in Libya and Syria, did you though?
  • Yes, because nothing says “admirable” like interfering in sovereign states’ business and destabilizing one country after another under the guise of promoting “human rights”. 🙄
  •   Retweeted
    As a reaction to the Parkland school shooting, this is Louise-Mensch level insanity, funded by David Brock. If your reaction to a horrific school shooting is to start screaming about Putin, there's something really wrong with you internally.
  • When France directly intervened in Libya’s affairs based on fabrications, it destroyed an entire nation and helped bring to power jihadists who are now selling black Africans in open slave markets. Just stay the hell out of Syria. 👏
  • If it was Putin spending this kind of cash instead of George Soros, shrieks of “interference” and “destabilization” would be heard from the rooftops of every major mainstream media outlet.
  •   Retweeted
    “The very word 'secrecy' is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.” — John F. Kennedy
  •   Retweeted
    Russian MoD: Al-Nusra, White Helmets Preparing Provocation With Chemical Weapons
  •   Retweeted
    The Russian Threat is now, far and away, the leading tool used to argue for more military spending, government powers, and internet control. Yet over and over, claims about it prove to be false.
  • “If we’re going to rejuvenate a Cold War, or submit to greater military spending & government powers in the name of stopping alleged Russian aggression, we should at least ensure that the information on which those campaigns succeed are grounded in fact.”
  • US Finally Admits “No Evidence” Assad Used Sarin Gas.
  •   Retweeted
    U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis comments on poison gas use in Syria with full context. Summary: U.S. government has no evidence of new gas attacks by the Syrian government although people in the area make allegations.