Ben Joravsky does a thorough job of assessing the flap over inserting a naval academy into Senn High School, treated as a matter of local involvement (or lack thereof) and of triage of educational resources among various stakeholders ("School for Sale," October 15). Five years ago this might have been state-of-the-art analysis, although even then the question of whether military-based training is necessary or optimal to import "structure" into students' lives--particularly low-income students of color--would have been a vexed one worthy of debate. But the intellectual battle now begs to be joined on a new front: what do the current Iraqi "mission unaccomplished" and its likely sequelae mean for kids' very lives, and particularly the premature end of many of those lives? Georgie Anne Geyer predicts in the Tribune that a second Bush administration may see the U.S. teaming up with Israel to take out Iran and Syria. We may be slouching toward a period of "endless war" to remake the Middle East, or to guarantee Republican dominion over domestic politics, or to hasten the apocalypse, or whatever. This would mean that increased premilitary training will likely funnel students (again, probably with a disparate impact on racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines) into the military-industrial pipeline. Shouldn't we be talking about the policy implications of trading the risks of shooting galleries on the south and west sides with the far worse risks of those in the Middle East and South Asia?
Andrew S. Mine