Saturday, June 27, 2009

Armed forces day?

What the hell is wrong with this country? Armed forces day? Isn't that the sort of thing we used to look down on when the Commie countries used to get up to this sort of thing?

The Lord Mayor of Cardiff said; "Cardiff's Armed Forces Day events will contribute to a wider understanding of the Armed Forces community, and of the crucial role that it plays in our national life, and of the remarkable men and women, both current and serving and veteran, who are at it's heart,"

A wider understanding of the armed forces community? Does that mean they'll be public displays of beastings, or just lots of machines going up and down with added marching and horses?

Apparently this is the rebranding of Veterans Day which wasn't a good enough propaganda tool for the wars we're fighting at the moment.

New Labour want to establish this Marching Up and Down Day because they'd prefer us to simply be in awe of their military might without worrying about the morality of the actual deeds that the actual soldiers commit. However, it seems to me, if we start celebrating the soldiers of today we give the public blessing to their adventures and, frankly, that wont wash.


Jim Jay said...

See also

Unarmed Forces Day

proud_vet said...

Dear Sir,

When I read your blog I felt very dissapointed.

Did you actually serve in the Armed Forces yourself?

Do you actually know someone in the Armed Forces?

The Armed Forces Day (Veterans Day as was) is not a political propaganda tool - it is a public expression of thanks from a nation to those members of our society that are prepared to serve thier country.

I took part in a parade and celebratory events in my local city yesterday as a proud veteran.

May I say that it was the first time that I had been cheered and clapped as I marched through the streets. I had participated in many of this type of Parade whilst serving and we never had that type of response. It made me very proud and yet humbled at the same time.

If you have a political axe to grind, please grind it with the politicians - please do not attack the men, women and families of our armed forces. They are doing a job that the majority of the population has no desire or courage to do.

When armed forces are sent to an area of conflict they are done so at the bidding of the Government who, as we live in a democracy (at least it was still a democracy the last time I looked) is elected by the people - if you do not like thier policy vote them out - that is your right and a freedom that has been brought by the lives of many Servicemen/Women over the past century.

Jim Jay said...

I'm afraid we're going to have to agree to disagree.

I've never been a member of the armed forces as I didn't want to bomb or shoot people.

I'm for the abolition of the armed forces, not their celebration, which inevitably leads to a celebration of the work they do and is therefore a backdoor endorsement of foreign policy. It is unavoidable.

I have every respect for those soldiers who refused to fight in the Iraq war, for example, and went to jail for it. I don't respect those who took part in that war saying 'I was obeying orders'.

Where we do agree is that the main beef is with the politicians who are, incidentally, the people who invented this new day.

Andrew Bartlett said...

I love that bullshit argument - "whatever you think of the missions that 'our lads' are sent on, you should support the troops - they're ever so brave".

If clapping and cheering on 'Armed Forces Day' has nothing to do with supporting what those troops are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan, if we should support the troops no matter what mission they are sent on, then why not support all armies? All those young men and women are in the same situation, they don't choose the wars they fight, the atrocities they inevitably commit? Why not, next Armed Forces Day, celebrate the Burmese army, the Colobian army, the Chinese Red Army? If it isn't about supporting what these men and women do, just their courage, our admiration should be universal.

Given that our admiration isn't ever going to be universal on 'Armed Forces Day', forgive me if I don't cheer and clap in the particular support of a couple of neo-imperial wars.

Green Gordon said...

Jim, are you against a defensive armed forces?

Jim Jay said...

Personally no, I'm not against that - although I admire places like Greenland that have taken the bold step of abolishing armed forces altogether.

Mind you I'm not opposed to taxi drivers but don't call for them to have nationally approved parades.

Green Gordon said...

Ah, but you didn't call for their abolition...