Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I do not at all think military service per se something which is honourable.

No, of course it isn't. But it's a tribal phenomenon - war provides an opportunity for cowards and wannabes to sit at home and feel brave and fearless.

Also - it's an easy way to make profits.

Military honour is a fine principle and a non-existent reality. Military schools everywhere make a big deal of overt honour codes, but it's not unusual to find schools with a wretched record of cheating, bullying, sexual harrassment and rape.

The reality is that men - and it's usually men - who are conscripted and sent off to war are disposable drones. They're useful for PR and a narcisstic image boost for those who start wars, but the people who start wars have no genuine respect for that beyond that.

It wasn't the DFHs who spat at returning troops after Vietnam - then as now, it's the Republicans who wrap themselves in the flag, salute, and treat the people they've sent off to die like shit when they return.

War is just organised thuggery for profit, for happy-clappy and vapid prestige, or a search for the votes of fat, complacent and stupid people who want to feel like heroes but wouldn't dream of putting themselves in harm's way.

The social corrosion created by militarism is far more dangerous and destructive than that created by drugs or alcohol.

Real heroic service abroad would be peace-keeping, sanitation, water management, teaching, and the rooting out of political corruption.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Sep 5th, 2008 at 08:21:54 PM EST

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