The seduction of a soldier as a young man
I have never had much truck nor trade with peace nicks. I find them to be morally superficial, frequently loose with the facts and habitually blind to the interests and threats facing Western civilization. Their most egregious failing in my view is their ugly habit of asserting a moral equivalence between our Western values and those of our mortal enemies. Scratch that last thought. That is too generous. In practice, peace nicks almost inevitably grant our enemies the benefit of the doubt, while giving short shrift to those charged with defending our society.
Valley woman, whose son is in Afghanistan, complains of ‘brainwashing’
To begin with, let me establish my credentials respecting the Canadian Cadet organization and Scouts Canada programs. A long time ago, I was myself a cadet, attaining the top rank of Warrant Officer First Class in a squadron of approximately 120 cadets. I was also a cub and a scout. Later in life I was a commissioned officer in the Canadian Forces during part of which I supervised 54 air cadet squadrons in central Ontario. Afterwards I spent some years as a training officer and a commanding officer of an air cadet squadron.
Currently, I'm a director of the Air Cadet League of Canada (Ontario provincial Committee). My eldest son is an air cadet and was a cub and a scout. This year I stepped down as a Group Commissioner with Scouts Canada and my youngest son is a cub scout. You might say I know whereof I write. You would be correct.
Ms Hill-Lehr, from her comments in the media, is an ideological horse's ass and she is obviously ignorant about the cadet program. From personal experience, I can attest that it offers some of the finest leadership and citizenship training available in any youth program anywhere in the world. In addition, cadets put in far more hours of public service than does the average peace activist in this country. Cadets in the squadron I am affiliated with spend time planting trees, cleaning up parks and ravines, visiting nursing homes, serving dinners at the local seniors centre and assisting city council in hosting numerous public events.
Aside from that, the program does not develop followers; it develops leaders who think for themselves. This is not surprising. It is run by reserve officers of the Canadian Forces and the Canadian Forces is not in the business of brainwashing anyone, in the manner of say - leftist peace activists. The demands of the modern battlefield precludes brainwashing as an effective training modality. Followers do not generally do well in the complex environment of the modern battlefield.
Of course, the vast majority of the Canadian sea, army and air cadets do not join the Canadian Forces. They are not required to perform military service, though those that do enlist normally do well. Some do very well. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who was an air cadet, springs to mind.
Think about that. It is simply not credible (see my opening comments about "frequently loose with the facts"). I suspect her 23 year old son was a cadet before he enlisted in the reserves and volunteered for service in Afghanistan. Her problem is not really that the cadet program develops followers that cannot think for themselves. It is that they do. Her 23 year old son is a man - a man who made a choice to serve where he is in harm's way in the Canadian military - a decision that is anathema to the ideological group-think pap of a peace movement activist.
According to Canada.com,
I'd be surprised if her son Master Corporal is ashamed of the Canadian flag he wears on the shoulder of his combat uniform. But then he's a soldier - a Canadian soldier. The soldiers I know - and I've been honoured to know many - are able to reason simple things through and it is self-evident to anyone who thinks about it that whatever we are up to in Afghanistan, the destruction of the country is not what we are there for.
In Halifax, Andria Hill-Lehr said: "Right now I am ashamed of wearing a Canadian flag on my back."
The Wolfville, N.S. mother of a 22-year-old soldier leaving for Afghanistan in November was one of about 200 people who gathered in the Nova Scotia capital to protest Canada's participation in NATO-lePublishd operations in Afghanistan.
She took part in the rally because she said Canada's role should be as peacekeepers and nation builders but not a combative one.
"What we are doing is wrong in Afghanistan E destroying the country and promoting the U.S. imperialist agenda E," said Hill-Lehr.
She does support her son's decision but worries his spirit will be changed forever.
I wonder whether M/Cpl is ashamed of anyone.