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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Noble Patriotism

Prince Harry

One can fault the British ( Canadian) Royal family for many things but not doing their duty to the Nation in time a war is not one of them. It is reported that Prince Harry, the third in line for the throne and recent graduate of Royal Military Academy Sandhurst will ship out with his unit to Iraq when they are called to go.

This fun loving wild child of the Royal family stands in the family tradition of serving the Nation in the military. It is a duty to lead by example. His grandfather Prince Philip distinquished himself in the Navy. His father Prince Charles was a pilot in the Air Force and the Navy and his uncle Prince Andrew was a helicopter pilot in the Falklands War with Argentina.

Most admirable ,of course, is that during the WWII, the British royal family all stayed in Britain and risked all with their countrymen. At the same time. Canada gave the Dutch Royal Family , and many British children, safe haven in Canada, an option open to the British Royals. They saw their duty otherwise and served at home, with the young princesses Elizabeth and Margaret helping out where they could to relieve the suffering. King George and Queen Elizabeth, (the beloved Queen Mom) stood firm as a symbol of national unity with there British resolve . The British noble class, not just the Royals, who once held sway over a vast empire have a long dutiful tradition of military service.

How this contrasts with the American "Noble class", who failed to step up to serve when the "Nation was in peril". The Bush administration is notorious for the number of those who avoided military service in the Vietnam War. None of their offspring answered the call this time in Iraq. It should be seen as a national disgrace that President Bush's two daughters did not immediately step up and serve, if not actually in the military in some way on the home front, perhaps, comforting the badly injured soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital.

The American tradition is to send the sons and daughters of the poor, immigrant and working class to fight and die for the Nation. In this war, we also see highly paid mercenaries carry the ball for the Nation, (perhaps, the future is privatized militaries. You can buy almost anything with enough money) . At the same time, the ruling elite does it duty (to wealth) by counting their money made from the exorbitant profits from the war made by the military industrial corporations.

I salute young Prince Harry. If he goes to Iraq he will no doubt distinquish himself. He will not go as window dressing behind the lines. He will command a unit of 11 men and 4 scimitar tanks. On the issue of Royal duty, I share my mother's life long devotion to the Royal family.

God Save the Queen! and baby faced Prince Harry. "Give 'em Hell, Harry!"


At 9:40 a.m., Blogger Peggy said...

Our "leaders" should follow the British example. How can someone send our troops into war and not ever been there himself? It should be madatory if you run for office a member of your family has to serve in the armed forces the length of your stay in office. If there is a war then they have to serve a tour there also.

At 11:15 a.m., Blogger Navigator said...

While I am definitely on board with you about the leadership and bravery shown by the British Royal Family, you should be a little careful about any blanket condemnation of the Bushes or the Bush Administration. Only Dubya and Cheney were properly pilloried for cowardice. George Bush senior was a Navy pilot who flew 58 combat missions in the Pacific theatre of the second world war and was shot down by the Japanese. Jeb Bush (the really bright one) enrolled in the draft but the Vietnam War ended before his number got called. Donald Rumsfeld was a Navy pilot for a 4 year hitch in the mid-1950s. Colin Powell was a life-long military man and a Vietnam war veteran.

I recall the scandals during the Vietnam war when the sons of the wealthy and the politically connected were able to get repeated deferments from the draft. It is disgraceful that such a thing could happen in a democracy. But, the history of conscript armies being composed of the lower classes is common. The Duke of Wellington once referred to the British army facing Napoleon as the "dregs of the earth enlisted for a drink."

Overall, I was a little surprised to see such jingoism coming from an avowed pacifist concerning a war of which you highly disapprove.

At 7:42 p.m., Blogger judie said...

Hard to believe the boy Prince is all grown up now. God Bless him and keep him safe.


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