Hitler is Told that Political World has won Best Political Blog at Irish Blog Awards
November 4, 2012
Patriotism and the Armed Forces – A School for Scoundrels
September 17, 2010
‘Its a peculiar thing patriotism as it needs explaining to the troops. A young lad from Newcastle might have zero interest in the royal family for example or may even be dismissive of them as privileged but after a few years as a squaddie the blending of symbols such as protection of one’s family, duty to defend way of life, flag and other symbols of nationhood get blurred together into one sense of duty – a kind of obedience formula.
Very few soldiers end up as political radicals. It’s very true that an appeal to patriotism is the last refuge of the political scoundrel (George Bush in his flying jacket on the deck of an aircraft carrier when the records show he did everything possible to get a cushy number in the Air National Guard and couldn’t even be bothered to turn up for Vietnam).
Joe Kennedy ensured that John F quickly got a purple heart and Medal of Honour based on some hokey story about his motor patrol boat being torpedoed by a Japanese sub while on coastal water duty where there never were any jap subs – but Joe knew that John F needed to have a ‘good’ war record to seek political office after the war so the fable was invented of John F (crippled back n’all) swimming back to the US with his crew between his teeth etc.
Patriotism never means much to the ordinary recruit unless and until they are shown how to apply it by sergeants and officers.
Patriotism never stopped a juvenile delinquent from knocking over a post office but that same juvenile delinquent after indoctrination in the army would go wild at the idea of the enemy knocking over his local post office.
Its an enabler for old men to get young men to make sacrifices they wouldn’t ordinarily be mad enough to make …
In Ireland growing up I was always suspicious of the pub wailers … the old boys and middle-aged men singing songs about dying for their country. I was right about that because its being destroyed now by gombeens and the old and middle aged men seem confused because they aren’t wearing black and tan uniforms. I’m not so sure they’d resist even if they WERE wearing black and tan uniforms.
I suppose Patriotism needs to be described in black and white for every new generation and the enemy of your country identified anew … uncomfortably this falls to people such as politicians who have an entirely different agenda and are never found in the front line in any war.’
Captain Con O’Sullivan 16.9.2010