He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.
Toronto Star’s Bob Hepburn in his nomination (Dec 17) of “winners of 2008” nominated Canada’s ex-top general Rick Hillier. This only shows the inversion of values in our increasingly militarized culture. Now that Hiller has gone to his corporate reward on the lucrative lecture circuit and employment with TD Bank “to develop leadership training”, we can only lament his noxious presence on our culture.
Recall those awful TV ads for the Canadian forces.Replete with visuals of soldiers jumping out of planes and breaking down doors with the word “Fight” emblazoned everywhere. Those ads shown in prime time at Televised sporting events they are probably responsible for sad, undereducated kids signing up as cannon fodder and looking for “adventure”. All this nonsense on Hillier’s watch,turning a formerly respected Canadian forces into occupiers in Afghanistan, a pathetic sop to the USA for our refusal to engage in Iraq. We remember Hillier’s Bush-like warnings that the forces were going t rout out “scumbags” and “kill them.” The man has no understanding of Afghanistan’s history at all.
Closer to the truth was Horace Hinds’ letter to the Globe in early December.
Unlike Hillier, Hinds had actually been in a war (Korea) and then tossed his medals for “bravery “in the garbage.I am deeply dismayed that the role of Canada has been ratcheted up from peacekeeper to warrior….” He likens “politicians and military brass as boys playing in a sandbox without a care glorifying and glamorizing the war game.”
Like many Hinds regards Canada’s efforts in Afghanistan as fruitless.There is no reason for any of our soldiers to have been killed or maimed.”
War today is absolutely insane. Canada has traded in its deserved reputation as peacekeepers for “warriors”. Dwight Eisenhower who really saw war put it best:”I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.
Compare his wisdom with that of Hiller’s who now has his reward. He is a “winner”. How very sad.