Thursday, July 31, 2008

McKay Insults Soldiers; Generation

Peter McKay continues to embarrass himself and all Canadians. The Minister of National Defence took a swing at Canadian soldiers and an entire generation in responding to a question about the uptick in disciplinary actions in the military in recent years. Here's the quote from the CBC:

"young people today are not used to, quite frankly, some of the demands and the rigours and the discipline that is expected in the Canadian Forces." "Requiring young people to comply with strict military doctrine and discipline is a greater challenge today, quite frankly, than it was 10 or 15 or 25 years ago,"

Okay, I understand that McKay doesn't expect a lot of votes from people under thirty in the next election. I also understand that this comment will probably get a nod of the head from many older voters who are distressed at the behaviour of kids these days. However, I think it is important to remember that Mr. McKay is impugning the men and women who have volunteered to risk life and limb in defense of this country. They are our heroes not some young punks. Mr. McKay also apparently forgets the difficulty in keeping "with strict military doctrine and discipline" "15... years ago" in Somalia. Lapses in military discipline under combat stress is nothing new (Vietnam anyone?). To blame our soldiers upbringing for what has to be considered a predictable side effect of the stresses of combat is beyond low. The actions of a few a bad apples should never be used to denigrate the entirety of our armed service. The vast majority of Canadian soldiers today are serving their country with honour as they did in Somalia fifteen years ago. Mr. McKay owes our brave young men and women at very least an apology if not his resignation. I guess this kind of comment is predictable... it's a lot harder, quite frankly, to get competent cabinet ministers than it was 10, 15 or 25 years ago.

3 comments:

Joseph said...

Excellent Post. As someone now in the age group Peter considers to be made of the "right stuff" and as someone who served in the military, I think I'm entitled to say he's full of crap.

Youth today are quite capable of military discipline and taking on causes greater than themselves.

Unfortunately the missions being given to them by the supposedly "older and wiser" leaders aren't worthy of their fine efforts.

God, he should take a look in the mirror and think about what he's going to say before he spews such bull in public.

Anonymous said...

You are misrepresenting him.

From the article:
"MacKay said the fact that anada's military is involved in a major combat operation means there is greater stress and a need for greater discipline, resulting in a whole range of disciplinary measures being brought to bear.""

Oh and many of the charges are very minor in nature:
""Yes, there are serious charges, but there are charges pending such as sleeping in, leaving a post early, not having your uniform properly attired," MacKay said."

I guess I should establish my cred, I am mere months away from my CD, and I agree with his comments on the discipline. They don't apply to everyone, but they apply to some of them. And I am not much older then 30 either.

Michael said...

Ah yes, lessons on discipline from a Member of Parliament who called his former girlfriend the Opposition Party's "dog" during a debate in the House of Commons. Clearly a role model for "young people today".

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