Saturday, April 25, 2009

Joining the Army

1. King Leonidas, of the Spartans, in full warrior mode
2. Mosley – the British Nazi leader, barracking for Hitler and “Peace”… or slavery and brutality under a fascist regime.
3. Ayaan Hirsi Ali
4. The Boating party – Renoir. If we want this kind of peace and insouciance, we need to fight wars from time to time to protect just that.
5. The great Massoud – leader of the Northern Alliance against the Russians, then the Taliban. Assassinated just after sept 11 by Al-Quaeda men posing as journalists.
6. –
7. Joan of Arc

“We believed without proof that peace was the natural state and the substance of the universe, that war was only a temporary agitation on its surface. Today, we recognize our error: the end of war was merely the end of this war.”

- Jean Paul Sartre, commenting on WWII.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

- Inaugural Address by John F. Kennedy - January 20th 1961

“War is horrible, but slavery is worse.” -Churchill

"We sleep peaceably in our beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on our behalf." (George Orwell)

I have joined the Army, Infantry corps. In a few days, I start the Army recruit course.

After my epiphany when I almost died with a ruptured appendix (see Jan 08), I realized I had to use my potential in a fuller way. And then I found out that I was not too old to Join the Defence forces.
Many of the skills (navigation, camping, carrying a big pack…) I got from being an outdoor instructor can be crossed over into the infantry. And I was motivated to be part of the force that was tackling terrorism worldwide. So I applied.

I applied in Jan 08, and got final confirmation in Jan 09, after a battery of tests – IQ, Psych, medical… and big delays in getting paperwork for my former Army reserve service. Then I had to wait for the next Rifleman recruit course.

I am no spring chicken, but am fit for my age. During the waiting time, I increased my cross-country running frequency and performed series of pushups afterwards, with a clear goal motivating me to push myself. I had a special black diary in which I noted what I did sport-wise. Eg
Run uphill. Pushups: 10,20,20
I would run from 30 minutes to 1 hour – more would have been overtraining.
And at falls creek, I decided to see what I was capable of and ran 15km with a small backpack at 1700m.

I continued working as an outdoor instructor, getting increasingly professional . I found the cross-country running helped me be a better and happier instructor – I had more stamina, and more reserves in what is quite a draining job.

Missions in East Timor and humanitarian relief (eg Bandah Aceh after the Tsunami) etc would be good to take part in. The defence force is actually the most efficient and equipped humanitarian organization, as was demonstrated after the tsunami, much to the jealousy of some NGOs.
It remains to be seen if I do get posted overseas, but even if I stay in Oz, I will at least be a cog in the machine.

I have met a few serving members, and was impressed by their humanity and strength. I am looking forwards to serving whith such people.

I know I will sometimes chaff under restrictions, and no organization is perfect.

As others have remarked, contrary to some stereotypes, defence force personnel are amongst the most selfless and compassionate people there are.
Now, I don’t mean “compassion” for mass murderers, or sentimental /Marxist compassion for terrorism as being “the revolt of the oppressed”. The latter is merely the projection of rich country left-wing beliefs onto people who act out of religious hatred and a desire for global radical Islamic domination. - As it is clear from the speeches of their radical preachers ( to cite one example, the London preacher who wanted the death penalty for homosexuality, and the imposition of Islamic law in the UK). Or to cite a terrorist after a French tanker was bombed in the Gulf:

We would have preferred a US ship, but that’s ok, they are all infidels anyway.

No, I mean real compassion – active compassion that entails actually doing something at some cost to oneself, such as rescuing someone from a burning house (or from a mountain in the French Alps, as I have done) or tending to an injured enemy. And which sometimes means putting one’s life at risk.

I have Compassion for the Afghans, who are tired of war and now are attacked and tortured by the Taliban. Compassion for the moderate muslims and others worldwide from Malaysia to Holland to the UK, who are intimidated and killed by the radical branch of Islam, which is a thuggish mafia, worse again than Hitler, and sharing many of his hatreds: Jews, Capitalism, Modernity, the Open society, America.

Although paradoxically enough, Islamic radicals use the Internet, email, You-tube to diffuse their messages of bile and hate… all of which are very modern and invented in… the great Satan USA, with the help of freely available credit and capital. Can you imagine a start-up company inventing You-tube in a stifling medieval Islamic dictatorship like Afghanistan under the Taliban ? Neither can I. They use to even beat people up for listening to music.

If I make it through the training in one piece, my aim is to be as close to the point of the sword as possible. My sword will flash and the heads will roll. I will let them know there is still life left in western civilization. And they will feel my “rage divine”.

On the Nature and Danger of Terrorism:

Consider an editorial published in a Lebanese paper on August 20, 2003, the day after a bomb-laden cement truck destroyed the United Nations’ center of operations in Baghdad:

“Yesterday’s operation against the Baghdad headquarters of the United Nations exemplifies this mentality of destruction. Expel all mediators. Banish every international organization. Let things collapse. Let electricity and water be cut off, and the pumping of oil cease. Let theft prevail. Let universities and schools close. Let businesses fail. Let civic life cease. And at the end of the day the occupation will fail. ‘No!’ protests Joseph Samara, ‘at the end of the road, there will be a catastrophe
for Iraq. . . . The attack against the United Nations’ headquarters in Baghdad belongs to another world: it is a form of nihilism, of absurdity, and of chaos hiding behind fallacious slogans, which proves the convergence among those responsible for this action, their intellectual limitation and their criminal behavior.’ ”

Andre Glucksman (french intellectual) on the new warfare:

We have entered another world. The threat of a new Ground Zero, small or great, advances behind a mask. The human bomb claims the power to strike anywhere, by any means, at any time, spreading his nocturnal threat over the globe, invisible and thus unpredictable, clandestine and thus untraceable. The terrorist without borders makes us think about him always, everywhere. Without an accidental delay on the tracks—just a few minutes—the pulverization of two trains in Madrid, at the Atocha station, would have claimed 10,000 victims, three times more than in Manhattan. Then there was London. Whose turn is next? Each of us waits for the next explosion.

The business of terrorists, after all, is to terrorize—so said Lenin, an uncontested master in the field. The ultimate refinement lies in the inversion of responsibility. Operating instructions: I take hostages, I cut off their heads, I show them on video; those who beg for mercy must address themselves to their governments, who alone are to blame for my crimes: my hubris is their problem. The less the terrorist’s restraint, the more he causes fear and the sooner you will yield in tears, or so he believes.

Recall the cries of hostage Nick Berg, agonizing as his torturers persisted laboriously over his bent body. “You know, when we behead someone, we enjoy it,” one of them informs us. “We did not kidnap to frighten those we hold,” another corrects him, “but to put pressure on the countries that help or might help the Americans. . . . It is not a good thing to decapitate, but it is a method that works. In a fight, Americans tremble. . . . Besides, I tried to negotiate an exchange of prisoners for Nick Berg. It was the Americans who refused. They are the ones truly responsible for his death.” Terrorist hubris bases its arguments on uncontrollable drives: I can’t help myself—give up! A similar strategy shows up on playgrounds: Stop me or I’ll do something terrible! The terrorist refines this rationale; he draws out his pleasure, prolongs death, cuts the throat slowly, goes beyond physical torture.

To resurrect the dead, if only by video, in order to execute them a second time: this compulsion prolongs war infinitely from the other side of life. It is pure hatred. A traditional war, however savage, comes to an end. Terrorist war, given over to limitless fury, knows no cease-fire. For the demonstration of force it substitutes the demonstration of hatred, which, nourished by its own atrocities, becomes inextinguishable.

The fight to avoid the Somalization of the planet is just beginning, and it will probably dominate the twenty-first century. If they resist the sirens of isolationism, Americans will learn from their mistakes. Europe will either resolve to help them or abandon itself to the care of the petro-czar Vladimir Putin, who stands ready to police the old continent, while preaching antiterrorist terrorism, with his devastation of Chechnya as a case in point. The borderless challenge of emancipated warriors allows us little leisure for procrastination .


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