Friday, April 2, 2010

An open letter to the "Regina 15".

I write to you as a concerned progressive, and as someone who shares many of your worries about glorification of militaristic conquest and imperialism. However, I think that by tying those issues to a scholarship programme for the children of fallen soldiers, you've counter-productively breathed life into the pro-imperialism movement's favorite strawman.

Time and time again, opponents to war or military conquest are accused of "hating the troops". In response, many of us have had to repeatedly point out the disingenuousness of conflating opposition to the mission (a decision made by elected representatives) and opposition to the men and women who serve in our military. Your opposition to this scholarship programme in question seems to make that very same mistake in terms of scope and inclusion. Recognizing the need that exists within a particular demographic and responding to that need of those people is not the same as "glorifying" any decision made by our government on where and how to send our military. It is not inconsistent in the least to be vehemently opposed to a particular mission while at the same time, recognize the sacrifices that many make as part of their service to our country.

Please find a more appropriate venue through which to direct your opposition to the decisions made by civilian leaders on how our military is to be used. The collateral damage from your misguided efforts is counterproductive to a truly progressive opposition to military conquest and imperialism. I invite you (and others who may read this) to join me in holding the people responsible for the misuse of the Canadian military responsible for their actions and delineating opposition to that misuse from opposition to the men and women who serve in our armed forces.

-Audrey II,


pogge said...

In case you haven't seen it: Project Hero redundant, says former soldier.

Quoting from the article:

"... the dependents of fallen soldiers already have post-secondary education paid under the Children of Deceased Veterans Education Assistance Act.

"The Act was created in 1953 to provide the opportunity for dependents of both fallen and disabled soldiers to get a post-secondary education."

Audrey II said...

And, if accurate, I think that's a perfectly legitimate criticism to raise.

But let's not pretend for one moment that it's the same criticism as the one voiced in original letter.

Oemissions said...

I rather agree with you.
Soldiers are hallowed.
Our soldiers, that is..

Audrey II said...

I don't think I was making the case that soldiers (or more narrowly, our soldiers) are hallowed.

My point was that our soldiers are not the missions that our political leadership sends them on. It's a bad argument when neo-cons conflate the two, and it's still a bad argument when those who oppose imperialism do the same.

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