Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) Test
It's that time of year again...when public schools, required by law to offer students 2 career aptitude tests, are lured by the Pentagon to offer their free Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. The problem is that this test is actually part of the entrance exam to get into the military, and is geared to tell you only what military jobs you would be best suited for. Oh, and in the process of taking the test they also collect all of your contact information, so that even if you 'opted-out' of giving your information to recruiters at the beginning of the year, they have it now. Well, no matter what your anyone says, you don't have to take the ASVAB. Read this story on what high schoolers in Georgia did 2 weeks ago to organize against the ASVAB. Take action at your school when they try to offer the ASVAB!
A rough week for the Bush Administration
This week John Bolton, US Ambassador to the UN, appointed initially by the president during a congressional recess, was forced to step down because the current Congress has repeatedly refused to confirm the undiplomatic and overly aggressive man to the position.
During the confirmation hearings for the new Secretary of Defense the White House encountered a very different problem: Robert Gates acknowledged that we aren't 'winning' in Iraq. You can read some of what he said about Iraq here, but it seems he will be taking a very different approach to Iraq than Rumsfeld.
Then, yesterday, the bipartisan Iraq Study Group released its findings from 9 months of study. The report, while bleak on the situation in Iraq, does not offer the radical change in policy needed to stop the violence. One of the key recommendations made by the Iraq Study Group, to involve Iran and Syria in talks to help stabilize Iraq, has already been ruled out by Bush.
The rest of the report is really too little too late, its seems as if Group wanted to gently break the news to George Bush that we are not winning in Iraq and the same tactics will not change the outcome; though they prescribe exactly that. The report is a bipartisan compromise, which relies on the political will to enact it, but this compromise can't undo what has been done and has little sense of urgency when it comes to the cost of human lives that are lost each day because of this war. It recommends a gradual withdraw of U.S. troops as the Iraqis 'stand up,' which our presence actually prevents, with no solid timelines or practical goals; basically it means 'stay the course' until we get it right. You can read some reactions from different parts of the peace movement here. What we really need inow s radically different action to end this war - withdraw U.S. troops, stop undermining the Iraqi Government and allow the Iraqi people to rebuild their country and create peace. We can't force peace in Iraq, but we can stop being the catalyst for violence.
Have you moved?
As young people, especially as college students, we move around A LOT. At the start of next semester we'll be mailing out new resources and stories from organizers around the country. We want to get info into the hands of as many people as possible, but real mail isn't cheap (we do accept donations) and we don't want to send it out to old addresses. So if you want goodies from us you need to update your contact info and mailing address here. Don't worry, we won't sell your info to the Pentagon! You can also send us an email at SPAN@Peace-Action.org to let us know if you want extra copies to share with your group.
The network wants to hear what you've been doing! If you've got interesting and awesome stories of things happening at your school or community, or stories of 'we tried this, and it turned out to be awesomely bad' to warn others, send them to us (SPAN@Peace-Action.org)! Include pictures if you've got them! Some of them we'll put in the organizing packets we send out and others we'll post on the website.
Good luck organizing!
Student Peace Action Network Organizer