Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Our cannon fodd... er, distinguished superhero soldiers are "plenty smart"

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Since hearing about John Kerry's cringeworthy "stuck in Iraq" goof I've been Googling away to discover if there is any truth behind the accusation he didn't make. I have to confess I've always believed in the 'stupid grunt' stereotype, but according to some credible studies I'm dead wrong.

I can't possibly imagine how I arrived at this conclusion. These people are perfectly content to be herded into the world's toilet to fight a farcically unwinnable war for no logical reason, under the auspices of an incompetent leadership (who at least have the common sense to never have served in the military themselves) for a salary they could earn flipping burgers in the comfort of their own home town. It should have been clear to me from the start that what we're dealing with here are no less than Einsteins-in-the-making!

Except when you see a group of soldiers holding up a "hilariously misspelled" sign supposedly as evidence that Kerry is clueless about the intelligence of the infantry serving in Iraq, you have to wonder. You'd have to be pretty dim to swallow the GOP-spin that Kerry - at the 11th hour of the midterms - would deliberately set out to alienate the swathes of the American populace who are either serving in the armed forces, are related to someone who is, or who pretend to support the troops while secretly thinking they're idiots for throwing their lives away on a wild goose chase they don't fully understand.

Another myth, I'm told, is that people don't join the army because they quite like the perk of being given free reign to bully and murder foreign baddies, civilians or whoever happens to be available at the time. I expect IT technicians don't choose to work in the IT industry because they like working with computers either. I'm wrong about a lot of things.



Sometimes the best way to find out why people do things is to ask them :D

Sometimes i think you're a genius in a teacup.


I don't quite know whether I should be flattered or insulted by that. :|

I'm sure most soldiers would tell you they signed up for the camaraderie and to travel the globe. Plenty even believe it's their patriotic duty to serve the motherland.

It still doesn't wash with me. Soldiers are trained to wage war (or keep the peace if you prefer) so inevitably they end up at the helm of barbaric confrontations. If this sort of thing doesn't light your fire then the armed services isn't the career for you.

We're so desensitised to violence these days you really have to take time out and step back to appreciate what is expected of the military. We toss around phrases like 'collateral damage' and 'casualties of war' as though they involve something less significant than maiming, permanent psychological trauma or the agonising termination of life.

No doubt other recruits are too shortsighted to consider all the implications, buy into the glory and only realise they've been hoodwinked when it's too late.

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