Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Ridiculing the Military

Interesting Op-Ed piece on the Liberals' attitudes towards the military.... Op-Ed piece


I am reminded of something that the SF author Poul Anderson once wrote (and I will be damned if I can find a reference to the essay online, so I have to paraphrase). Essentially, he remarked that the military draft was a good idea, because what you have now is a military made up of volunteers. Those people who, by their own choice, want to be in the military. These people have loyalty to their country as they see it, and to their immediate leader. They don't have loyalty to the vague concept of society, nor to the politicians.

Now, we have a situation in which being in the military is no longer an avenue for respect that it once was. The military has become a bottom-feeder of society. When the erstwhile Prime Minister and his anti-Harper commercials show Canadian soldiers jumping off an APC with rifles ready, the voice over uses the word "warmonger". Now, when you have a military of volunteers, arm them, and train them to use these weapons...essentially teach them to be trained killers...., it's not a bright idea to ridicule them. If history has taught us anything, it's that turning your military into a laughingstock is a sure way to bring about the end of your society (read up on the fall of the Roman Empire for quite possibly the most glaring example).

What would happen if the military said "No" to more cuts? What would happen if the military demanded more money? We have put weapons of destruction (not so much "mass" destruction, this being the poorly funded Canadian military after all) into the hands of people who quite probably have no reluctance to using them. How far can we push them before they push back?