Friday, 23 October 2015

Regarding Canadian 'Vets for Conservatives' seeking 'moral clarity'

Regarding Canadian 'Vets for Conservatives'

Retired, I ran into an old (Canadian) army acquaintance, a retired full Colonel, a former infantry Commanding Officer that I originally met as a young 2nd Lt when he first was posted to the battalion. This guy became known for his professionalism, hard driving leadership style. I watched as we deployed to Croatia (The Former Yugoslavia), he,  as a Company Commander, and then to Afghanistan as Battle Group Commander. One tough nut... the kind of leader that could drag you willingly into and back from hell, with a smile on his and your face...

Now, 30 years after I first met this gentleman, we are discussing Afghan insurgent tactics, and the subject of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) comes up. The Colonel, offered up his opinion that,

 "anyone afflicted with PTSD didn't measure
  up on the battlefield....that they had some 
situation where they failed to 'man up' and 
now were feeling guilty of thier personal 
shortcomings as a man and as a solider"

He essentially nailed it on the head; it is generally the situation that PTSD is a real or perceived shortcoming and/or inadequacy that results in mental anguish/dreams/nightmares etc... It can and often is simply experiencing situations where one has no power to do anything in a given situation;

  • unable to stop long enough [whilst on a mission with other priorities] to personally care for injured civilians, feed the starving.
  • unable to convert one's training and experience into battlefield confidence.
  • unable to save the life of a mortally wounded comrade in arms...
As a soldier who has dealt with a thankfully very minor case of PTSD, and known troops that are literally mentally and physically incapacitated because of it, I was astonished to here this coming from a former infantry Commanding Officer....

He nailed it in defining the general causation, but his enunciation was not simply explanatory, it was condemning.  They, were weak, pathetic, to be despised  in that they didn't have the balls, the cahonaas, to man up and get on with the profession of soldiering.

The level of ignorance was astounding...

So, you can imagine the instant thoughts that ran through my mind upon hearing recently, words being tossed out recently, in the middle of a federal election, by a Facebook Group called 'Veterans for the Conservative Party'....words challenging the 'courage' and 'moral clarity' of those present retired Canadian vets who started up 'Veterans against the Conservative Party'. 

Granted, they [the latter] are not terribly organized. Some of the lads have become a tad worse for wear, becoming of 'wide girth', Few of them seem to have forgotten how to 'form' a beret and seem to think that speaking on national television in a T-Shirt, is ok.

But god dam it, these veterans have suffer from horrendous physical, emotional and mental injury. The fact that the Canadian Medical Corps had completely institutionally forgotten how to deal with 'shell-shock' (another story), only partially explains why they had to come up with a new name for it...PTSD.

So, when I read and hear 'Veterans for the Conservative Party' spouting off about challenging the 'courage' and 'moral clarity' of these veterans, the words of the Colonel, immediately sprang forth...

When challenged, the 'Veterans for the Conservative Party' denied to media that 'courage' and 'moral clarity' were not 'code' for something else, I thought to myself, that's exactly, what it is, code for cowardice, code for moral confusion, code for weakness, code for having failed on the battlefield, code for PTSD.

It's the Colonel, it's the 'Sgt Rocks' who can deploy repeatedly & endlessly, slaying jihadi dragons without mercy, feeling, doubt or remorse. And how dare anyone fail them, by not being able in body or spirit, to be there 'watching their six'. How dare they.

Even more than the TheoCons betrayal of injured vets, were these same despicable "Vets for Conservatives', retired and serving soldiers that effectively turned their backs on their 'weak willied' fellow brothers [and sisters] in arms, who are branded failures, lacking courage and moral clarity.

A huge disappointment, listening to these same Vets 4 TheoCons current and former soldiers spouting off, about how the system is just fine.

I personally have had great experiences with VAC however comma, there are injured troops [in mind and body] that have and continue to fall thru the cracks as a direct result of 'the system'.

 I have a vague sensation, that comments questioning the 'courage' and 'moral clarity' of injured vets, is in fact 'code' for doubting those afflicted with PTSD...

But the 'Vets for Conservatives'
don't have the 'courage' 
to come right out and say it...

In the same way Stephen Harper and his ilk, used code words to rally the ill-informed, the  evangelically distracted, the dung kickers. Those claiming a moral high ground in a similar fashion, knocking down courage and moral clarity of the disadvantaged, of those who would have the audacity to actually use employment insurance, of those who may temporarily need the services of a food bank. Those not strong enough to stand up on their own two feet, to man up...

One can see a striking condescending similarity between The Colonel, 'Vets for Cons' and hard hard right TheoCons.

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