Girl Scouts Defend the US Homeland!
In a bold combination of good old American ingenuity and patriotism, the USA has launched a campaign that will both protect the Homeland and provide fodder for comedians around the world.
What is this ingenious program, you ask?
Enlisting the Girl Scouts to help fight terrorism!
Believe it or not, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is organizing Girl Scouts throughout the USA to “combat hurricanes, pandemics, terror attacks and other disasters.”
This campaign is part of a government effort to make Americans better able to cope with natural and man-made disasters.
As DHS head Janet Napolitano explained, “As a former Girl Scout, I know the ‘Be Prepared’ motto well, and I look forward to working with the Girl Scouts to spread the preparedness message to all of our nation’s citizens.”
One longs for the good old days when the Girl Scouts were better known for hawking their overpriced but tasty cookies.
In conjunction with Girls Scouts USA, Homeland Security has even designed a new “preparedness badge” that girls can earn while defending the American Fatherland.
It will probably resemble some of current badges worn by Girls Scouts like in the picture below:
What patriotic American girl wouldn’t be proud to rock a kewl new Preparedness Patch?
The Preparedness Patch program itself was developed jointly by the Girls Scouts Council of Washington DC and FEMA (yes, the same FEMA that performed so admirably during Hurricane Katrina). The Council’s website describes some of the important skills that Girl Scouts are required to master like being able to:
As documented on the DHS and Girl Scouts USA websites, this is part of a greater institutional alliance between the US Government’s Citizen Corps program and the Girl Scouts “to advance community preparedness nationwide.” Indeed, there is even a formal statement of affiliation between Homeland Security and Girl Scouts USA.
Ultimately, you have to ask what is the significance of this development and what is it really about?
Why would the Department of Homeland Security be working with the Girl Scouts USA in the first place?
Isn’t the very idea of this collaboration strange? It would be analogous to the Central Intelligence Agency establishing a program with the Cub Scouts!
As I see it, this partnership between Homeland Security and the Girl Scouts is reflective of the broader militarization of American society.
This militarization is often couched behind the idea of national service, which involves not only things like Americorps or Teach for America but also the possible mobilization of the populace for war crises.
There have even been suggestions that the recent Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education Act (or GIVE Act) is a step towards instituting a mandatory national service requirement with decidedly militaristic overtones:
The GIVE Act views military-style regimentation as a model for the nation. Its National Civil Community Corps would seek to “combine the best practices of civilian service with the best aspects of military service.” This reminds some critics of Obama’s declaration last July: “We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that is just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded as the military.”
This is the larger political context from which the Girl Scout Preparedness program emerges.
All we need now is an Obama Youth Brigade.