US Marines pioneer children’s rights

A visionary source extrapolating from The New York Times:

The Marines were the service most opposed to ending the “don’t ask, don’t tell your age” policy, but they were the only one of five invited branches of the military to turn up with their recruiting table and chin-up bar at the center Tuesday morning. Although Marines pride themselves on being the most testosterone-fueled of the services, they also ferociously promote their view of themselves as the best. With the law now expected to change, the Marines appear determined to prove that they will be better than the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard in recruiting children and minors as service members. Still, judging by the traffic at the children’s rights center on Tuesday, there will not be an immediate flood of underage Marine applicants.

Given that 35% of children of divorce have no contact with non-custodial parent, meaning with their father, the expected law guaranteeing  a child’s right to join the service would be a major opportunity to provide them an abundance of male role-models as well as an opportunity to get to know the principles of authority and hierarchy in a setting of robust discipline and clear-cut tasks and chores to fulfil.

Single mothers and disciplinarily challenged parents could be relieved of the stigma of failing to educate their children to stick to social responsibility and consideration for the needs of others. School teachers would win a chance to apply their efforts to teaching children who actually can sit still and concentrate on the subjects being taught instead of fighting against anarchy and calling the police to handcuff disruptive pupils.

Most important seems the ending of ageism and the realization of true diversity in the military, a goal which cannot be reached as long as equal opportunity for minors is not addressed.

In the light of the recent admission of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transsexed adult applicants there has, of course, to be taken a non-discriminatory approach to make sure that gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transsexed children are not left behind.

Some serious debate is still missing about ending the discrimination against the disabled, or rather, the applicants with special needs, which should include special needs minors right from the onset. There is no way to deny the paramount urgency of true equality for the armed forces:

As current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen said a few years ago, “Diversity is a strategic imperative for the security of our nation.”

Another subject requiring wide-spread debate is the issue of combat roles for minors. Given that many 14 year olds are physically at least as strong and enduring as adult women, it would constitute an unjustifiable discrimination on the grounds of age, should they be prevented the chance to participate in the most adventurous areas of fighting for their country, liberty and democracy. And as in the case of women, there are no rational arguments against joining combat teams, only backwardish sorry asses who suffer from small penis syndrome cannot get over their prejudice.

Finally, as the most convincing argument for letting women serve in combat roles is the fact that several countries have changed their policies and do stand by equal opportunity (e.g. Canada, New Zealand, Israel), the same applies to minors.

An estimated total of up to 300,000 children are in military service, including a significant proportion of girls.

For example:

Children were actively involved in armed conflict in government forces or non-state armed groups in 19 countries or territories between April 2004 and October 2007. These were: Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, the DRC, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand and Uganda.

The US armed forces could at least take on the leadership role for the western countries, whereby Israel’s example could serve as inspiration for the implementation of equal opportunity for all.


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