Ray Smith, an Army Vietnam War veteran who runs the JROTC program at Mission High School, said that he and other former soldiers believe that the military cannot abandon the mission in Iraq.
"Rumsfeld never should have been in charge, but now we can either run like cowards or we can stay until we get the job done," Smith said. "Even though it was a bad idea in the first place, we have to try to get back our credibility in the world ... all we can do is try."
The other issue troubling Smith was the strong possibility that the San Francisco school board will decide Tuesday to discontinue the JROTC program at Mission High and six other San Francisco high schools at the end of the school year.
A majority of board members say the benefits of the 90-year-old program are not worth the association with the U.S. military, an institution they consider discriminatory, homophobic and at odds with the mission of public education.
The only indictments missing from that litany are that the military is anti-multicultural and ignores the plight of endangered species. I guess teaching the concepts of duty, loyalty, honor, love of country, teamwork, personal responsibility, and self-respect is just outré and passé, as the French say.
As usual, James Taranto of Best of the Web Today has an acerbic comment:
When John Kerry suggested that U.S. servicemen were uneducated losers, he was not just speaking for himself.