Chelsea Green Publishing

Chelsea Green Blog

Another HuffPost piece by Peter Laufer

The Citizenship Draft President Bush showed up for a photo-op at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington the other day where he’d come to witness the naturalization ceremony for three U.S. soldiers wounded in Iraq. The three were injured in bomb explosions so their active duty status made them eligible for citizenship. The president looked on sanctimoniously as the wounded trio – two from Mexico, one from the Dominican Republic – became Americans. Fair enough, and good for them. If they’re going to work for the American military, they ought to enjoy the benefits of American citizenship. Here’s the history: After the September 11th attacks, President Bush signed an executive order creating a fast-track for citizenship for foreigners who joined the U.S. Armed Forces and served on active duty. Non citizens swell the military ranks these days by more than 33,000 troops and military recruiters actively seek foreigners for the services, trolling especially for Mexicans while giving away t-shirts emblazoned with the legend: “Yo Soy el Army” and showing off customized Hum-Vees. With the army struggling to meet recruitment quotas, citizenship is offered as an enticement – an enticement that can kick in if the soldier sees active duty. There is another Bush policy for U.S. citizenship that does not even require the foreigner submit an application. The president signed an executive order in 2002 making anyone who joins the U.S. military and who is killed in combat eligible for immediate posthumous citizenship. “Hi, mom! I’m a dead American now!” So in addition to the poverty draft and the stop-loss draft, it is probably appropriate to add the citizenship draft to the list that suggests the all-volunteer army isn’t so volunteer. While researching my book Mission Rejected, a collection of profiles of U.S. soldiers who oppose the Iraq War, I spent time with veterans of the war so thoroughly disgusted with U.S. policy that they prefer to discard their U.S. citizenship rather than continue to follow orders to fight in Iraq. An example is Ivan Brobeck, a Marine who served as an infantryman in Iraq and deserted from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina rather than redeploy to the war zone. When we met in Toronto, where he now lives while seeking refugee status in Canada, we talked about his changing identity. “What are you now?” I asked him. “Are you a Canadian?” “Not really anything,” was Ivan’s response. “Yeah, I’m not really anything. I’m American, but I’m half El Salvadorian. My mom immigrated to America when she was 20. She came here when she didn’t even speak English. And my dad is half Irish-Italian.” “So in your heart,” I asked him, “what are you now?” “In my heart? In my heart I’m not American.” He paused and added a definitive, “No.” “What are you?” I asked again. “I don’t know. Something else.” “To be determined?” “Yeah, definitely. Definitely not American. If it means I have to conform to what they stand for,” he said about the Bush Administration, “I’m not American because America has lost touch with what they were. The Founding Fathers would definitely be pissed off if they found out what America’s become.” The value of U.S. citizenship: one more casualty of Bush’s war.


Why Modern Wheat Is Making Us Sick

Why is modern wheat making us sick?  That’s the question posed by author Eli Rogosa in her new book Restoring Heritage Grains.Wheat is the most widely grown crop on our planet, yet industrial breeders have transformed this ancient staff of life into a commodity of yield and profit—witness the increase in gluten intolerance and ‘wheat […] Read More

A Dictionary to Survive the Future

When British economist David Fleming died unexpectedly in 2010, he left behind his great unpublished work, a masterpiece more than thirty years in the making—an intellectually evocative and inspiring dictionary, Lean Logic: A Dictionary for the Future and How to Survive It. In it, Fleming examined the consequences of an economy that destroys the very foundations—ecological, […] Read More

Michael Ableman’s 15-Point Urban Food Manifesto

What if farms and food production were integrated into every aspect of urban living—from special assessments to create new farms and food businesses to teaching people how to grow fruits and vegetables so farmers can focus on staple crops.That’s the crux of Michael Ableman’s Urban Food Manifesto, which has been ten years in the making […] Read More

Q&A with Michael Ableman: How Urban Farming Can Improve Society

Street Farm is the inspirational account of residents in the notorious Low Track in Vancouver, British Columbia who joined together to create an urban farm as a means of addressing the chronic problems in their neighborhood.Street Farm is a story of recovery, of land and food, of people, and of the power of farming and nourishing […] Read More

Overshoot, Collapse, and Creating a Better Future

In 2016, Earth Overshoot Day happened on August 8—the day when we’ve exhausted the planet’s resources for the year, and are essentially borrowing from future years to maintain our existence today.Perhaps you celebrated this day with a counter-solution: a vegetarian meal, telecommuted, or turned off the air conditioning. There’s a lot more you could be […] Read More
Follow us
Get every new post delivered to your inbox
Join millions of other followers
Powered By WPFruits.com