Friday, November 6, 2009

Time for religious profiling in military service

Did a lack of religious profiling lead to the Fort Hood disaster?

In World War Two, the United States and Canada transported citizens of Japanese ancestry inland and kept them in camps until the war was over. This was done for several reasons.

The first was that the North American Japanese were a small, visible minority, so it was easy to do, without serious political consequences. The second was that the vast majority lived on the west coast where our forces were facing the Imperial might of Japan. The third reason was that it was impossible for the authorities to be able to determine whether these people would identify with their North American homeland or with their racial ancestry and, if the latter, would they actively attempt to sabotage our war efforts.

We will never know the answer to that conundrum because we never gave them an opportunity to show us.

After the war, when multi-culturalist politics became de rigueur and political correctness infected our English usage rules, we apologized to these people for the horrible racist manner in which we treated them. Ever since then we have gone out of our way to make sure we do not repeat our racist policies, even if those policies may have protected us.

In the usual clarity of the view through the rear-view mirror we now see the signs that Major Hasan, life-long Muslim, had openly expressed deep misgivings about the U.S. military invading the homelands of Muslims and killing them.

Had the authorities had been rigorous about religious profiling of possible military risks this man might have merited a different assignment or a mustering out.

In the Cold War, it would have been unthinkable to put an avowed communist on the front lines of the military. Why would the army propose to send a Muslim to a theatre of war in which Muslims are being killed by non-Muslims and expect him to do his duty?

I will bet, starting today, the U.S. military will begin investigating every serving member who follows the teachings of Mohammed, PC and MC be damned, and that recruitment officers will be given a new set of instructions to weed out potential religious problems.

The following are the current posted grounds for ineligibility for U.S. military service. Religious affiliation is not referenced even though the United States has been fighting in Muslim countries for 8 years, but sexual perversion (whatever that means) will definitely show you to the door.

US Military Enlistment Standards

In general, the following additional conditions will render one ineligible for enlistment, and waivers will not normally be granted:

1. Intoxicated or under influence of alcohol or drugs at time of application, or at any stage of processing for enlistment.
2. Having history of psychotic disorders or state of insanity.
3. Questionable moral character.
4. Alcoholism.
5. Drug dependence.
6. Sexual perversion.
7. History of antisocial behavior.
8. History of frequent or chronic venereal disease.
9. Previously separated for unfitness, unsuitability, unsatisfactory performance, misconduct or bar to reenlistment, with 18 or more years of active Federal service completed.
10. Military retirees (can be waived in some cases).
11. Persons unable to present written evidence (official documents) of prior service claimed, until such service has been verified.
12. Persons whose enlistment are not clearly consistent with interests of national security.
13. Last discharged or separated from a component of a U.S. Armed Force, with an other than honorable or general administrative discharge.
14. Criminal or juvenile court charges filed or pending against them by civil authorities.
15. Persons under civil restraint, such as confinement, parole, or probation.
16. Subject of initial civil court conviction or adverse disposition for more than one felony offense.
17. Civil conviction of a felony with any one of the following:
a. Three or more offenses (convictions or other adverse dispositions) other than traffic.
b. Applicants with juvenile felony offenses who have had no offenses within 5 years of application for enlistment may be considered for a waiver in meritorious cases.
18. Subject of initial civil court conviction or other adverse dispositions for sale, distribution, or trafficking (including "Intent To:) of cannabis (marijuana), or any other controlled substance.
19. Prior Service with an RE-Code of "4." (Note: The Army will sometimes waive a re-enlistment eligibility code of "4," when that code was issued by another service, and the individual's discharge characterization is "uncharacterized," or "honorable."
20. Persons with a Bad Conduct or Dishonorable punitive (court-martial) discharge.
21. Persons with prior service last discharged from any component of the Armed Forces for drug or alcohol abuse, or as rehab failure during their last period of service.
22. Three or more convictions or other adverse dispositions for driving while intoxicated, drugged, or impaired in the 5 years preceding application for enlistment.
23. Confirmed positive drug test at MEPS. (Note: The Navy, Marine Corps, and Army may waive this, after a waiting period. The Coast Guard and Air Force never waive this).
24. Persons with convictions or other adverse dispositions for 5 or more misdemeanors preceding application for enlistment.
25. Alien without lawful admittance or legal residence in the United States.
26. Permanently retired by reason of physical disability.
27. Individuals receiving disability compensation from the VA (may be waived in some cases, as long as the member agrees to give up the disability compensation).
28. Officers removed from active or inactive service by reason of having attained maximum age or service.
29. Discharged by reason of conscientious objection.

For comparison, here is a discussion of the Indian army recruitment practices on the Super Hindu website.

About the Muslim under-representation in the Indian army, the reasons are three. One was Partition. Before Independence, Muslims were around 25 per cent of the Indian army and 25 per cent of undivided India. But when India broke up and Muslim soldiers were asked to choose between India and Pakistan, they joined Pakistan en masse. So Muslim numbers in the Indian army dropped so drastically that they were only 2 per cent in 1953, according to India’s then minister of state for defence. Jawaharlal Nehru himself expressed concern that “hardly any Muslims” were left in the army. And Muslim numbers never really picked up in the last 60 years for a well-known reason.

India’s military establishment hesitates to hire Muslims as soldiers because it suspects Muslim loyalty to India. This discrimination is a natural outcome of India and Pakistan’s bitter hostility over 60 years. In similar situations, the same thing happens all over the world. The Israeli army doesn’t trust its Arab soldiers in jobs related to defence security. The Buddhist Sinhalese army under-recruits its Hindu Tamils lest their sympathies lie with the Tamil Tigers. After 9/11, US army recruiters would probably screen a Muslim American volunteer more thoroughly than a Christian American. Thanks to our four wars with Pakistan, the same anti-Muslim animus works here in army recruitment.

Proof of it lies in an enormous mass of documentary and other evidence which expresses distrust of Muslims. Otherwise, why does India have separate regiments for the Sikhs, Jats, Dogras, Garhwalis, Kumaonis, Mahars, the Nagas, even the Gurkhas, but not a single Muslim regiment? This is tragic but it’s a truth which shouldn’t be suppressed. It should be acknowledged and dealt with.

Events have consequences. Muslim under-recruitment in the Indian army is a consequence of Partition. India and Pakistan’s hostility is seen in both countries in Hindu versus Muslim terms. So it’s natural for India’s Hindu army establishment to distrust a Muslim who wants to join as a soldier.

This prejudice itself discourages qualified Muslim youths from applying, which drives down Muslim numbers even more. Another reason for Muslim under-recruitment is the relatively poor education of Muslims. When they try to enlist as soldiers, they are simply out-competed by better-educated Sikh, Hindu, and Christian youths. So Muslim leaders are quite right that Muslim under-recruitment in the army deprives the community of a good, life-long source of employment. It’s a sad situation not so easy to correct.

The author of this piece clearly has a better opinion of the sagacity of American military recruiters than the available evidence would support.

1 comment:

Gargamel said...

specially like ur camp idea.
did u know that the brittish used those to incarcerate boers in the boer war? no? well the israeli still have them, the us entertains them throughout the world from abu guhreib to guantanamo. but u see the main reason to think badly of these camps, is the name. those are called concentration camps.
and the germans, (those evil suckerz) perverted this oh so good idea and killed some million "undesirables". maybe u'll think again? no? didn't think so. shalom