In resolutions passed January 29, 2008, the City Council of Berkeley, California has declared that United States Marine Corps recruiters are "uninvited and unwelcome intruders" within city limits and applauds those who choose to "impede" the Marines in their recruiting mission. The justification presented by the Council for these obnoxious and misdirected resolutions is that the council objects to the Marines' role in Iraq, the laws forbidding open homosexuals from serving in the armed forces, and with the entirety of American history on the grounds that the United States has allegedly launched a series of "illegal, immoral and unprovoked wars of aggression."
Article I, Section VII of the Federal Constitution empowers the Congress with the responsibility to raise and support armies, while Article II, Section II empowers the President with the role of Commander-in-Chief. In contrast to these decision-makers, the role of the members of the Marine Corps is to prepare for and wage war as authorized by the Constitutional process. Unlike the President, the Congress, or the Berkeley City Council, the Marines are not a policy-making body.
For the Berkeley City Council to blame the Marines for the laws passed by Congress, or to condemn them because their members fight in a war that some choose to oppose is a grave miscarriage of justice. It implies that the Marines can choose which laws that they follow, or which wars that they fight in. It implies that the Marines are not beholden to the very Constitution that they swore to defend.
Furthermore, the Berkeley City Council's desire to prevent the Marines from speaking to young people about their mission within Berkeley's city limits while simultaneously giving anti-Marine protestors preferential treatment implies that the City Council is comfortable with its youth receiving information from only one side of the debate. This position insults both the Marines, many of whom are veterans of the current war and are able to provide a perspective interested people should be free to hear, and Berkeley's youth, who apparently are judged by the City Council to be too incompetent to form their own intelligent opinion about the armed forces and the responsibilities and risks that go with military service.
As a Marine veteran, I would like to voice my steadfast opposition to the Berkeley City Council's despicable actions. In protest, I simply refuse to conduct any business within Berkeley city limits, or patronize any company that has its headquarters within Berkeley. Furthermore, I call upon other veterans to join with me and demand that the U.S. Congress and the California State Legislature to suspend all federal and state payments that go to support any activity conducted by the Berkeley City Council until such time as the Council chooses to rescind its anti-Marine resolutions.
The Berkeley City Council has taken a position that puts them outside the constitutional union. They have targeted the innocent and have actively worked to keep their citizens ignorant of viewpoints that they have every right to hear. Until such time as the citizens of Berkeley elect to restrain their local leaders to their proper role, I simply choose not to deal with them or support their lives in any way.