Saturday, January 21, 2012


Neo-racism in the Southwest

Friday, July 09, 2010


Still Waiting, Still DREAMing

COMD: Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft

Friday, March 12, 2010


Racism and Privatization at UC San Diego

Counterpunch: Trouble in Paradise

Friday, July 24, 2009


Youth Activists Demand Military-Free Schools


Wednesday, July 22, 2009


How will the University of California survive?

La Prensa San Diego

Follow news and debates about the future of the University of California at Professor Chris Newfield's
"Remaking the University" blog.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Cesar y Martin: Marzo del '68

Rebelion. Fue (es?) un sueno la coalicion de afro-estadounidenses y latinos?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


A Piece of the American Dream

Paul Flores, "Brown Dreams"

UC San Diego alum Paul Flores tells the story of Latino green card soldiers and marines in Iraq.

Check out this report on recruiting in LA:

Sunday, August 10, 2008


NCLR in San Diego

Free beer and dog tags at the Latino Expo

Thursday, November 01, 2007


The Dilemma of Double Deportation

COMD: Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft

Versión en español:

Sunday, September 16, 2007


History Erased: Ken Burns, PBS, and World War II

On September 23, 2007, PBS will begin airing a fourteen hour documentary on World War II. The original version of the film, made by PBS houseboy Ken Burns, included not a single word or image about the participation of over 500,000 Latinos in the U.S. military during the war. After an outcry from numerous Latino organizations and individuals, PBS agreed to include interviews with two Latino veterans for a total of about twenty minutes. Reviewers have described the added material as being cursory and disconnected from the rest of the film. Obviously, twenty minutes is not enough but Burns arrogantly refuses to acknowledge his original mistake, the result of bad research and a blindness to the full panorama of the American experience.

For more background, here are three articles I wrote early in the controversy:

February 14, 2007

March 28, 2007

May 9, 2007

Watch a Spanish language op-ed on the Burns fiasco by Eduardo Quezada Escandon

Monday, August 27, 2007


The General Reports

Counterpunch: The General Reports

In the August 26 edition of the Washington Post, Shailagh Murray reported on Petraeus's current position as recounted by Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois) after her recent trip to Iraq. It appears that Petraeus may behave more like Westmoreland than I had anticipated:

"But the military presentations left her stunned. Schakowsky said she jotted down Petraeus's words in a small white notebook she had brought along to record her impressions. Her neat, looping handwriting filled page after page, and she flipped through to find the Petraeus section. " 'We will be in Iraq in some way for nine to 10 years,' " Schakowsky read carefully. She had added her own translation: "Keep the train running for a few months, and then stretch it out. Just enough progress to justify more time." "I felt that was a stretch and really part of a PR strategy -- just like the PR strategy that initially led up to the war in the first place," Schakowsky said. Petraeus, she said, "acknowledged that if the policymakers decide that we need to withdraw, that, you know, that's what he would have to do. But he felt that in order to win, we'd have to be there nine or 10 years."

"But it wasn't just Republicans who came away impressed after visiting Iraq. Rep. Brian Baird (D-Wash.) announced that he will no longer support a timetable for withdrawal, warning of a "potentially catastrophic effect" on the region. Schakowsky acknowledged that the military's presentation may have been effective. "If you took the briefings at their face value, without context, without bringing anything to it -- clearly they were trying to present that positive spin, and that's what [other lawmakers] took away from it." Schakowsky said she asked U.S. officials about the consequences of withdrawal, and she conceded that "they painted a very dire picture." She looked again through her notebook for a Petraeus quote. "He said: 'If you don't like the humanitarian crisis, the refugees and the internally displaced people, you can't draw down. If you are concerned about these people, the humanitarian crisis, you should be for our staying here.' "

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Pentagon's Push for DREAM Act Heats Up

COMD: Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft

In recent months, several Chicano organizations have spoken out against the military component of the DREAM Act:

Association of Raza Educators
Says NO the the Dream Act

In the past month, numerous non-profit organizations have been using university student “activists” to hold rallies and demonstrations in support of the National DREAM Act. The DREAM Act would allow SOME undocumented students to attain permanent resident status if they meet one of the following criteria:

· A degree from a two- or four-year institution of higher education, OR
· Good standing for at least two years at an institution of higher education while working toward a bachelor's degree or higher, OR

Since most of these student “activists” meet these requirements, they hope to gain their own legal status by getting this bill passed. Many of the proponents of this bill also emphasize the educational components of this bill, but are purposely ignoring the last and most important criteria: Military Service.

According to research on the education pipeline for Raza students, the vast majority will be forced to legalize by joining the US Armed Forces. We hope that these “activist” and non-profit organizations look past their self-interest and think carefully about the adverse effects the DREAM Act will have on the ENTIRE undocumented community and on poor peoples around the world.

Since Proposition 187 was introduced in the 1990’s, the Association of Raza Educators (A.R.E.) has organized and fought for the democratic and human rights of our Gente both inside and outside of the classroom. Here in Los Angeles, A.R.E. has been at the forefront of organizing students and community members to march and fight against racist legislation like H.R. 4437. In the past year, A.R.E. has also brought awareness to the injustice faced by undocumented students and have been proactive in our efforts to assist these students. This year alone we raised over $10,000.00 and awarded it in scholarships specifically for undocumented students.

A.R.E. supports the unconditional and full legalization for ALL our Gente; however, we do NOT support the DREAM ACT because it will do irreparable harm to our community by causing a de facto military draft for our undocumented youth.

ARE will not sell-out ALL Raza youth so that a FEW of us can get “legalized” and go to college!

The State badly miseducates our youth and the majority of our youth either gets pushed out of school or are ill prepared to go to college. According to National Stats for every Raza student who will attend a two or four year college, TWENTY will not. Under the Dream Act, this will leave the militarily as the only viable option for the majority of undocumented Raza youth.

We do not accept the stipulation of military service as a requirement for citizenship. Poor people of color (mostly Africans and Mexicans/Indigenous People) have built this county and have suffered years of discrimination and injustice, but for supporters of this bill, that is not enough they still wish to push us into their military to fight their wars. By failing to address the route of legalization through militarization, these “activist” groups are consciously and willfully supporting a bill that would force the majority of Raza youth to fight in Iraq and in future imperialist wars. As progressive Raza Educators, we firmly stand against the DREAM ACT for this reason.

A.R.E. has constantly stood against the militarization of our schools and youth for the purposes of fighting unjust imperialist wars of aggression against other poor people of color. There have been over 3,500 U.S. soldiers dead since the beginning of the war in Iraq, and tens of thousands injured.

With the passage of this bill, the U.S. will fill its ranks with immigrant and migrant soldiers, thereby relieving it’s own sons and daughters of danger while they put ours in harms way.

Moreover, the U.S. has already placed 6,000 U.S. Troops at the US/Mexican border. Will our Raza youth become US mercenary soldiers who will be forced to point the gun at their own family members when they patrol the border? Will we support the DREAM ACT that will force our youth to join the same imperialist military that invaded Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama and countless other Latin American Countries?

A.R.E. asks all our Gente to please look closely at the DREAM ACT and reconsider your support for a bill that will cause a de facto military draft for our youth.

· Yes to Full Legalization for all our Gente!
· Yes to Education for all of our Youth!
· No to the National Dream Act!
· No to the Militarization of our Youth!

Association of Raza Educators- LA

Monday, May 14, 2007


The "Poverty Draft"

The Poverty Draft, Sojourners Magazine/June 2007

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Gen. Petraeus's Field Manual, a Traveler's Guide to Big Muddy

Jorge Mariscal: Gen. Patraeus's Field Manual, a Traveler's Guide to Big Muddy

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Why Alberto Gonzales Should Resign

Version en espanol:

Monday, January 08, 2007


Growing the Military: Who Will Serve?

Jorge Mariscal: Growing the Military

Version en espanol:

Friday, November 10, 2006


What Veterans See

Jorge Mariscal: What Veterans See

Message received in response to this article:

"My girlfriend and I now recently have a TV in the kitchen. We're started watching the evening news again and after that's over on comes an hour of "entertainment news". So, now we know all there is to know about Anna Nicole Smith, a remarkably untalented woman with no known qualities to speak of.

Then, there's another woman we know little about cause she ain't on the news, a 27 year old from Salt Lake City Utah, who is deceased a while now from supposed suicide after she declined to participate in translating during torture interrogations (Army linguist)."

Bill (USAF, Da Nang, '72-'73)

Saturday, October 14, 2006


PowerPoint Racism: How Military Recruiters Pitch to Latinos

PowerPoint Racism

Versión en español:


In the November/December 2004 issue of DraftNOtices, I called attention to the "second stage" of the DREAM Act, that is, the routes by which the provisional (conditional) legal residency granted in the "first stage" may become permanent:

"Section 5 provides the ways through which conditional residents, after proving themselves worthy after six years, may become permanent residents. The ways are to earn a degree from an institution of higher education [community college] or to complete two years in a bachelor's or higher program, or to serve honorably in the military for at least two years.”

Since that time, conservative intellectuals calling for the use of immigrants and non-citizens to fill military manpower needs have made the connection between the DREAM Act and military service explicit. See, for example, Max Boot's proposal from 2005:

In his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on July 10, 2006, Under Secretary of Defense David Chu made the connection even plainer: "According to an April 2006 study from the National Immigration Law Center, there are an estimated 50,000 to 65,000 undocumented alien young adults who entered the U.S. at an early age and graduate from high school each year, many of whom are bright, energetic and potentially interested in military service...Provisions of S. 2611, such as the DREAM Act, would provide these young people the opportunity of serving the United States in uniform."

Although the educational component of the DREAM Act deserves our support, we should be concerned about the covert military component. As I wrote in my 2004 article: “How will we react if in five or ten years the vast majority of undocumented youth, trapped by limited life chances and seduced by the promise of legal residency, has been tracked into military service instead of higher education? If dominant institutions in the United States believe “emotional” Latinos are out of step with “America’s system of education” (see article above), what is to prevent the tracking of Latino youth away from college and into the armed forces?

Friday, June 30, 2006


Mexican-Americans, Iraq and the Politics of Immigrant Bashing

Mexican-Americans, Iraq and the Politics of Immigrant Bashing

Friday, March 31, 2006


The 'sleeping giant' awakens (again)

The 'sleeping giant' awakens (again) | The San Diego Union-Tribune

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Interview on Military Recruitment of Latino/as (in Spanish)

Insumissia - Jorge Mariscal habla sobre el reclutamiento de latinoamericanos en el ej�rcito de Estados Unidos

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Bush's War Viewed from the South

Jorge Mariscal: Bush's War Viewed from the South

Version en espanol:">

On the issue of women in the military, I received the following message from a woman vet in rural Texas:

"I was in the USMC 4 yrs after high school '79 - '83 during peacetime.  I could relate to your article about Puerto Rican/Latino servicewomen's reasons for enlisting because I was an orphan, poor, and my options upon graduation were limited. Things are monumentally more dangerous now than when I served.  The one thing that has not changed is the harassment issue."

On the plight of women soldiers in Iraq, see:">

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Military Recruiters: Counselors or Salesmen?

Friday, June 24, 2005


The Paradox of Mexican Americans at War

Jorge Mariscal: The Paradox of Mexican Americans at War

Version en espanol:

After this article appeared in the Austin American-Statesman newspaper, I received several messages from Chicano/Mexican American veterans. Here are two examples:

"Today I was lucky enough to have read your article "Does America only need Latinos during wartime". I agree with everything you wrote about Latinos in America. I too have experienced the ugly side of discrimination in Texas. I am 64 years old, so I was a teenager in the 50's. The term "wetback" was widely used during that time. I was refused entry to a river in New Braunfels, Texas because according to the clerk there were people swimming in the river that did not like Mexicans... I enlisted in the US Navy in 1960. I was hoping that things were different now. Your article opened my eyes. You are so right in the things that are going on. I really enjoyed your column. I'll keep my eyes opened for your next article."

"Thank you for your remarkable editorial published in today's Austin American-Statesman. I have many comrades among the Hispanic veterans of Texas. Brave and honorable to a man and woman. Many have led seriously damaged lives because of their service, particularly those who served with us in America's War in Viet Nam. I know they too will applaud your words."

Friday, May 27, 2005


Why the military enlistment contract is not a contract

CounterPunch: "America's Best Political Newsletter"

Friday, April 15, 2005


Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales, the Passing of a Legend

Jorge Mariscal: Rodolfo Gonzales, the Passing of a Legend

Monday, March 14, 2005


Uncle Sam Goes to College

COMD: Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft

The movement to resist the militarization of college campuses continued to grow during the month of March. At the City College of New York (CCNY), security guards roughed up students who were protesting the presence of military recruiters and then charged the students with assault. Full story:,0,2925018.column?coll=ny-news-columnists

Amy Goodman interview with CCNY students, one of whom is a former Marine recruiter:

One student wrote: "Getting the military out of our schools and replacing them with real educational opportunities is our generation’s fight. No one will do it for us. We owe it to ourselves, the Iraqis, and the American soldiers dying for a lie."

Full story:

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


On Fernando Suarez del Solar

HispanicVista Columnists

Peace activist Fernando Suarez del Solar was attacked by GOP/Hispanic columnist Raoul Lowery Contreras in last week's edition of HispanicVista. The intensity of the reaction from Suarez supporters suggests that hacks like Contreras can no longer slander with impunity (see letters to the editor and counterpoint by Dorinda Moreno). However, notice that in this week's edition in which my counterpoint article appears Contreras continues to attack Suarez in the most personalized and unprofessional way. Apparently without anything better to do, Contreras rewrote his attack for the North County Times of San Diego. See my response at:

Friday, January 28, 2005


Protests Move to Recruitment Offices

Update on actions in Puerto Rico:

Saludos desde Mayaguez Puerto Rico,

Last Wednesday and Thursday (January 26 and 27) there was a very successful anti military recruitment conference here at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez campus. More than 500 students participated at one point or another.

The anti military movement here in Mayaguez is very ample. It includes both professors and students at the university and town people During the years of the first stage of the Vieques struggle we picketed a small shopping center near the univeristy where all the military recruters have their offices every Friday at noon. For the past year we have picketed the same offices once a month.

Murals were painted both in the University by students and in front of the university by town people condemning military recruitment. Posters have been put up not only in Mayaguez but throughout Puerto Rico which say "US Army : A Useless Way to Die."

Last school year here in Mayaguez, the Army ROTC had a total of 125 students.. This school year it has gone down to 75. Air Force ROTC had about 75 participants last year this year it has 40.

The conference at the university is serving as the kickoff point a stepped up anti military campaign. We are conscious that Puerto Rican universities serve as one of the greatest sources for Hispanic military officers because of the ROTC programs. Slowly but surely we are using peaceful means to convince students that this is not a good choice.

Mayaguezanos con Vieques

Maria M. Ramirez

Thursday, January 13, 2005


Which Way for Latinos?: Dr. Galarza v. Alberto Gonzales

Jorge Mariscal: Dr. Galarza v. Alberto Gonzales

Version en espanol:

The category "Hispanic" has become common currency to such a degree that my attempt in this article to redefine it in negative terms was lost on some readers who read my piece as actually supporting the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales. The issue was complicated further in the Spanish translation in which "Hispanic" became "hispano," a generic term used by many recent immigrants and one that does not connote the (a)political attitudes I ascribed to "Hispanic."

In my opinion, Gonzales should not have been confirmed. His ascension to the position of Attorney General further demonstrates how the Bush administration has perfected the practice of using token minorities to further a reactionary agenda. Any race or ethnicity-based political agenda will have to confront this development for decades to come.

For Mexican Americans, even those who find reasons to be proud of Gonzales and Lt. General Sanchez, there is the inescapable irony that both men acted as links in the chain of command that led to the torture and abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Guantanamo. Both were "simply" following orders but both were guilty of grave ethical lapses and the betrayal of their professional (legal and military) codes of conduct.

Friday, December 31, 2004


Entrevista con Contralinea (Mexico); Interview in Spanish

Revista Contral�nea | L�NEA GLOBAL | Jorge Mariscal, veterano de Vietnam


In the Year 2053

LatinoLA - Forum - Your opinions and commentaries

Version en espanol:

On the long-term effects of the Iraq war on the young men and women who serve, watch the following video movie:

Monday, December 27, 2004


A Mexican American General in the Service of Empire

The Black Commentator - A Mexican American General in the Service of Empire - Issue 98

Version en espanol:

After publishing this article on Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez, I received an e-mail message from one of his daughters. She felt that my article unfairly criticized a man I did not know, and she suggested that in the future her father would be exonerated from any responsibility for the torture scandals in Iraq. I have attached my reply below.

Since this exchange in July of 2004, additional revelations about the widespread use of torture by U.S forces confirm my belief that Lt. General Sanchez was following orders issued by the highest levels of the Pentagon (Rumsfeld) and further complicated by Alberto Gonzales' dismissal of the Geneva Conventions and related executive orders signed by Mr. Bush. See the document proving Sanchez's involvement at:,,1222301,00.html

Estimada Ms. Sanchez: Thank you for your thoughtful note regarding my article. You have defended your father well as I hope my daughter would do in the same circumstance. My article was not intended as a personal attack on Lt. Gen. Sanchez. On one level, I admire him for having been able to rise to such prominence. I am quite sure he has overcome a great many obstacles both in the military and in civilian life. My concern as a veteran and an educator is that the military's inculcation of "following orders" no matter what robs too many of our gente of their humanity. We can try to disguise what we are doing by claiming to be exporting "democracy" or "defending our freedom." But too often the politicians put our soldiers in situations where they should not be, indeed where they may be forced to commit terrible acts that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. I have seen this happen in Vietnam and I see it now with the Mexican families that have lost their sons and daughters (physically and psychologically) to an unecessary war in Iraq. The idea that we Latinos/Mexicanos are "warriors" by nature drives too many of our young men into gangs or into the military. This can only rob our community of the young people whose talents we will desparately need in the future. Enjoy your father now that he has left the war zone. I wish you and your family all the best. Desde California recibe un saludo cordial, Jorge Mariscal

UPDATE: Lt. General Sanchez quietly retired on November 1, 2006.


No Where Else to Go: Latino Youth and the Poverty Draft

Political Affairs Magazine - No Where Else to Go: Latino Youth and the Poverty Draft (print edition)

Related stories and audio:


Cesar Chavez Day in a time of nativism

People's Weekly World Newspaper Online - C�sar Ch�vez Day in a time of nativism


The Kerry Conundrum

COMD: Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft


Bush and the Return of Manifest Destiny

Jorge Mariscal: Bush and the Return of Manifest Destiny


Perils of the Bootstrap

Jorge Mariscal: Perils of the Bootstrap


Chicanos and Chicanas say: "No a la Guerra"

Jorge Mariscal: "No a la Guerra"


The Militarization of US Culture

Jorge Mariscal: The Militarization of US Culture

Version en espanol:


Jimmy Mack, When Are You Coming Back?

Jorge Mariscal: Johnny Mack, When Are You Coming Back?


The Far Right and Anti-Mexican Racism

Jorge Mariscal: The Far Right and Anti-Mexican Racism


What has George W. Bush done for the Latino community?

Commentary: What has George W. Bush done for the Latino community?


Profile of Fernando Suarez del Solar

LatinoLA - People - La Gente de LatinoLA

Version en espanol:





Las Adelitas 2003: Mexican-American Women in Iraq

Jorge Mariscal: Las Adelitas 2003, Mexican-American Women in Iraq

In the first two years of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, thirty five women serving in the U.S. military lost their lives. Approximately nine of those women were Latinas which means that Latina women died at a rate almost double the percentage of Latinos in the military (approximately 11%-12%).


Kerry's Hawkish Pose Gets Him Into Trouble

Pacific News Service > News > Kerry's Hawkish Pose Gets Him Into Trouble


The New 'New South', Sojourners Magazine/August 2004

The New 'New South', Sojourners Magazine/August 2004


The DREAM Act and Military Recruitment

COMD: Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft

This article supported the idea of permanent legal residency for undocumented students who complete two years of college but also called attention to the military service component of the DREAM Act. Advocates of the DREAM Act have tended to ignore the "second stage" of the Act, that is, the routes by which the provisional(conditional) legal residency granted in the "first stage" may become permanent.

The following is a recent description of the revised second stage (with the elimination of the community service option):

"Section 5 provides the ways through which conditional residents, after proving themselves worthy after six years, may become permanent residents. The ways are to earn a degree from an institution of higher education [community college] or to complete two years in a bachelor's or higher program, or to serve honorably in the military for at least two years. The option of performing community service was eliminated by the Grassley-Feinstein Amendment."

The article also argued that the outlook for Latino/as in terms of educational opportunity is not promising. This is not due to any lack of academic potential or desire on the part of immigrants but is the result of worsening structural problems.

According to the California Department of Finance, for example, nearly two million qualified students will be turned away from community colleges and universities between 2004 and 2013 if funding for higher education in the state is not increased. In October of 2003, the Grassley-Feinstein Amendment created a new section of the DREAM
Act (Section 12) that stipulates:
"A DREAM Act beneficiary... shall not be eligible for disbursement of funds, such as Pell Grants or other grants or scholarships, which do not require repayment."

The breakdown of the K-12 system, tracking, rising college tuition costs, overcrowded campuses, shrinking amounts of scholarship monies, and the fact that persistence and transfer rates for Latino/as in community colleges are extremely low could create a situation in which military service would become the most viable option for people seeking permanent legal residency.

Conservative intellectuals calling for the use of immigrants and non-citizens to fill military manpower needs have already made the connection between the DREAM Act and military service. See, for example, Max Boot's proposal from 2005:

In his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on July 10, 2006, Under Secretary of Defense David Chu made the connection even plainer: "According to an April 2006 study from the National Immigration Law Center, there are an estimated 50,000 to 65,000 undocumented alien young adults who entered the U.S. at an early age and graduate from high school each year, many of whom are bright, energetic and potentially interested in military service...Provisions of S. 2611, such as the DREAM Act, would provide these young people the opportunity of serving the United States in uniform."

A shorter version of my article published by the Pacific News Service elicited a number of responses from undocumented students who expressed a willingness to serve in the military (see below). These responses tell us a great deal about the ways in which traditional patriotism and neo-assimilationism are affecting immigrant families. A more properly "Chicano/a" or critical understanding of the role of the U.S. military at home and in the world appears to be increasingly marginalized.

On my university campus, for example, military recruiters are regularly featured at conferences for Latino/a high school students (e.g., the "Adelante Latino" conference). Ironically these meetings, sponsored by Hispanic fraternities and sororities as well as local school districts with high numbers of Latino/a students, claim to promote education but wind up exposing hundred of young children to the military's sales pitch.


Cruz, Jose on Oct 09, 2004 17:11:50, said:
I was brought to America when I was 12,I am 21 now and I am only going to college because the in the state of Illinois I pay in-state tuition even being ILLEGAL. I am a 3.80 gpa student better than 90% of all national students .
I would serve the military if I was given an opportunity to so so and DIE for America if necessary. Shouldn't I be able to be legal?
Additional comments:


Military Targets Latinos

War Times

Correction: In March of 2003, the Pew Hispanic Center published its report "Hispanics in the military." On page 5, analysts at Pew misread a chart on representation in military occupations by ethnicity and asserted that in 2001 Latinos made up 17.74% of the combat arms occupations. The original report can be accessed at the following link:

This error was reproduced widely (including in the above article). In reality, the figure showed that of all the Latinos in the military 17.74% were in combat arms occupations.

The above article also stated: "In the Army, Latinos and Latinas occupied 24.7 percent of such conscripts and in the Marine Corps, 19.7 percent." In reality, 24.7% of all Latinos in the Army and 19.7% of all Latinos in the Marine Corps were in combat positions.

According to the DoD's "Population Representation in the Military Services" for 2002, 18% of all Latinos were in combat occupations ("Infantry, Gun Crews, and Seamanship Specialists) compared to 18.5% of all whites and 11.7% of all African Americans. The highest percentage of Latinos--19.4%--was found in "Electrical/Mechanical Equpment Repairers" with 17.7% as "Functional Support and Administration." Among all Latino/as in the Selected Reserves, 16.6% were found in combat occupations.

Using 2002 numbers, therefore, there seems to be no evidence that Latinos and Latinas were overrepresented in combat positions with the possible exception of the Marine Corps where the percentage of Latinos in combat jobs exceeded the percentage of Latino/as in the general population. It will be important to review 2003 and 2004 numbers as soon as they are available so that we can understand the composition of U.S. forces in Iraq.


Counter-Recruiting the 'Hispanic Market'

COMD: Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft

Military recruiters often dismiss claims that they target specific minority groups on the basis of race or ethnicity. While this may be true in principle, it is also true that targeting is done on the basis of class and the degree to which young people have or do not have a wide range of economic and educational opportunities. Given long-standing structures in U.S. society, the "class-bias" in recruiting produces "racial" consequences although the group that continues to pay a high cost in Iraq (as in Vietnam) is the "white" working or lower middle class.

Although African Americans have been overrepresented in the military since the late 1970s, their numbers have declined steadily since 2000. This would suggest that in the case of Black youth a political analysis of how the U.S. military is being used trumps economic necessity (a lesson that the Latino community may or may not learn).

On the declining numbers of Blacks in the military, see:

The article at the link below tells us something about the lack of options for rural working class youth in Colorado, many of whom are Mexican American:

pull quote: "What we're hearing from people is that some of (the enthusiasm for the military) is they're just more patriotic out there," said Cushing. "But you have to ask what do these rural kids have in common with inner-city blacks and Hispanics? . . . limited opportunities.",1299,DRMN_21_3543136,00.html


Open Letter to Raza Veterans in support of John Kerry

LatinoLA - Forum - Your opinions and commentaries


"They Died Trying to Become Students"

Jorge Mariscal: "They Died Trying to Become Students"

Version en espanol:

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