The Soldier Does What He is Told To Do


I have seen this piece of nonsense online many times most recently in a comment on CTV’s website and from a Pacifists point of view it is highly annoying.

The Soldier

* It’s the soldier, not the reporter, who gives you the freedom of the press.

* It’s the soldier, not the poet, who gives you the freedom of speech.

* It’s the soldier, not the campus organizer, who allows you to demonstrate.

* It’s the soldier who salutes the flag, serves the flag, whose coffin is draped with the flag that allows the protester to burn the flag!!!

This is the truth

* It’s not the soldier, but the people and the reporters, who give you the freedom of the press.

The soldier only protects what the government elected by the people allows, in many nations the soldier arrests the writer and closes the newspaper.  If the reporter had not written of the killings at Kent State, who would have been outraged?

* It’s not the soldier, but the poet, who gives you the freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech is often the first thing to go when martial law is brought in and enforced by the soldier. There are not many poets out there shooting soldiers. That said John Quincy Adams authored the posthumously published book, “Poems of Religion and Society” and Jimmy Carter wrote the modern bestseller, “Always a Reckoning and Other Poems.”Senegal’s former President Leopold Senghor was as celebrated for his lyric poetry as he was honoured for his steadfast statesmanship. etc… And I think these gentlemen are more responsible for the gift of free speech then the man with the gun. Many poets are disidents , most disident soldiers are shot.

* It’s not the soldier, but the campus organizer, who allows you to demonstrate.

Who else is going to stop a political protest but a soldier? Lest we forget Kent State. I have never heard of a soldier being shot by campus organizer?

* It’s the soldier who salutes the flag, serves the flag, whose coffin is draped with the flag but not the one that allows the protester to burn the flag!!!

If the Law does not allow flag burning and the defense of the flag falls to the military then who gets shot by whom? If insurgents in Iraq Burn the American flag what is the soldier going to do? And don’t insult my inteligence by saying he would sit back and watch it burn.

Just because something sounds good and patriotic does not make it any less a semi truthful piece of nonsense.

Even if you defend this doggerel as true from the point that the soldier protects freedoms in the West more often than not, it is the Kent state shootings that prove that soldiers are only machines of the state and if the state is evil the poor soldier goes from being defender of rights to pawn of the state and God help us all.

I respect the soldier but he/she is only a hero when he is defending the truth. The most respectable soldier in an unjust war is the deserter.
 

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6 thoughts on “The Soldier Does What He is Told To Do

  1. If you think that people like you guarantee the freedom of speech and not the military protecting you from tyranny, you are beyond repair. People like you provide the community with nothing besides complaints. Thanks for pointing out all of the nations problems, yet provide no help or answers.
    I know you are probably being defensive, but try and imagine if this nation didn’t have the military. How long would our rights last? Don’t get back to me with your answer, just think about that next time you bring up Kent State (which you weren’t even born at the time).

  2. I’m not saying abolish the military. I am saying in a point by point way that this poem is a bit of dogrel that makes a bunch of stupid claims that aren’t true. And as for not being born at the time of Kent state sorry but your wrong I was 8 years old and I clearly remember the fall out which went on for years after. That said, As a history Major I find it offensive that people seem to think that because they were alive during a given time they have some sort of license as authority on the period. So I was alive during the period and I studied it in unversity what qualifications do you have on the event Mr St. Cyr?

  3. Let’s take what you said point by point.
    “It’s not the soldier, but the people and the reporters, who give you the freedom of the press.”
    How do you think that freedom of the press was won? Do you think rights are guaranteed by reporters? Are reporters the ones you relied on when we were attacked on 9/11? Soldiers are people. Or did you forget that?

    “Many poets are disidents , most disident soldiers are shot.” I am not even sure where to begin with this sentence. So, you would have me believe that poets have guaranteed the freedom of speech? If another country were to attack our way of life, you would turn to a poet? A dissident? Come on! It’s easy to complain about things, it’s another to actually do something about it.

    “Who else is going to stop a political protest but a soldier? Lest we forget Kent State. I have never heard of a soldier being shot by campus organizer?” This sentence’s logic is child-like. Not going to even respond to it.

    So, please tell me, do you truly believe in your heart that poets, demonstrators, and dissidents are the ones you would turn to if another country was trying to take away your freedoms? Countries that hate us and our way of life are staying away because poets, demonstrators, and dissidents will take action?

  4. Simple logic – ideas precede actions and soldiers as you know are not hired to think but do what is needed. Nothing wrong with that but lets not turn them into philosophers.

    The logic is simple and yes child like (I realise you were attempting to be insulting but I will ignore it) Soldiers shot protesters that were unarmed they were taking away the right to demonstrate (not the soldiers fault, but nonetheless true) A soldier only guarantees freedoms that were created often by politicians and most often philosophers like Thomas Hobbes or Benjamin Franklin.

    Your logic in the last phrase is diversionary I never said that poets demonstrators or dissidents take action against [your] enemies.

    As I pointed out they are the source of our ideas of freedom and human rights.

    In looking for freedoms and human rights I look to thinkers first.

    Back to your insult – my argument in regards to Kent State is less childish than the whole source of this the poem I criticized. It was a piece of childish drivel and remains that way.

  5. Sorry Norm my first response was polemic and did not do justice to your points

    Let’s take what you said point by point.

    “How do you think that freedom of the press was won?”

    Freedom of the press is a concept created by politicians, wars are most often fought over land or for economic reasons, concepts such as freedom of the press are fought for in congress or parliament.

    “Do you think rights are guaranteed by reporters? “Are reporters the ones you relied on when we were attacked on 9/11?”

    No but firefighters and police were more useful as I recall. no one shot down a plane, and soldiers haven’t had much luck finding Bin Laden.

    “Soldiers are people. Or did you forget that?”

    But they lack the ability to respond with conscience or independent thought as a soldier if you question an order you aren’t much of a soldier.

    “Many poets are disidents , most disident soldiers are shot.” I am not even sure where to begin with this sentence. So, you would have me believe that poets have guaranteed the freedom of speech?

    You weren’t sure were to begin with the sentence because the sentence is entirely true a soldier that dissents is guilty of treason and in many nations treason in a time of war is punishable by firing squad.

    Name a soldier that was responsible for the idea of freedom of speech? specifically one who wrote on the topic as a soldier. They protect the nation and if the nation defines free speech as a right they protect it, they did not give us free speech writers philosophers and yes even some poets did advocate free speech.

    “If another country were to attack our way of life, you would turn to a poet? A dissident? Come on! It’s easy to complain about things, it’s another to actually do something about it.”

    Yes a soldier is the one to defend the nation I did not say he wasn’t, but yes I would turn to a poet or a philosopher if I wanted a good base to my country as your nation did with Benjamin Franklin. If we relied on soldiers to act in creating a nation we would live in Burma, and as you can see that isn’t much of a place but it is entirely run by soldiers.

    “Who else is going to stop a political protest but a soldier? Lest we forget Kent State. I have never heard of a soldier being shot by campus organizer?” This sentence’s logic is child-like. Not going to even respond to it.”

    You didn’t respond because the first defense of an inferior argument is to lay claim to a higher ground with out defending the position this is just ignorance, also not worthy of a response but see my point in my last comment.

    “So, please tell me, do you truly believe in your heart that poets, demonstrators, and dissidents are the ones you would turn to if another country was trying to take away your freedoms? Countries that hate us and our way of life are staying away because poets, demonstrators, and dissidents will take action?”

    See my last comment you twisted the argument I never claimed that soldiers do not protect freedoms but they also protect abuse they do a job they are heros when they support the right and enemies when they support the wrong.

    Soldiers don’t give you freedom, they prevent people from taking it away, but only if the nation that pays them is in the right.

  6. One last point , you said “do you truly believe in your heart that poets, demonstrators, and dissidents are the ones you would turn to if another country was trying to take away your freedoms?” First of all Canada (where I live)has never had that problem the last country to try an invade us was the USA, without much luck, but I won’t get into the never ending debate over who won the war of 1812.
    secondly I don’t believe with my heart I use my head and logic. The problem with the poem is it was written from the heart and not from the head which is why it was lacking and that is my whole point.

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