Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Ok, gimme a break...

This is why my criticism of Bush and his military escapades does not automatically render me a friend of "lefties"

Basically, it appears (and for some time now) the United States Marine Corps sponsors a program for youth called the Young Marines, and some lefties have caught wind of this and are making a stink - comparing it to things as unsavoury as Hitler Youth, and concocting any number of conspiracy theories about it's intent.

Sorry folks, but sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Many countries with armed forces, including one as small and relatively peacable as the Canadian Armed Forces, have cadet corps for youth. They are basically like "Scouts", just not as dorky. When I was twelve, I joined the Royal Canadian Air Cadets (which I'm inclined to believe is actually more martially oriented than this American "Young Marines" thing), and have nothing but good things to say about the experience. My only regret is that I didn't stick with it, as I would have been able to get a free pilots licence out of the experience.

Among the criticisms you'll find listed about these "Young Marines" is that they (gasp) teach children to obey their elders and (double gasp) attend Church! The horrors! To think that anyone associates morality and civic virtue with basic piety - because goodness knows how obviously superior state enshrined atheism has shown itself to be.

7 Comments:

Blogger Aristibule said...

The Liberals might be shocked to find out that the Boy Scouts 'Explorers' have had a 'Marine Corps' option for decades. In fact, most branches have something like that (Civil Air Patrol cadets, JROTC programs,etc.) Enough that the Soviet Union in its Soviet Encyclopedia considered the Boy Scouts an 'armed' paramilitary youth organisation like - guess what - the Hitler Youth! (After all, Boy Scouts - at least in times past - practiced rimfire rifle marksmanship, archery, even single-stick and quarterstaff.) I was a 'Royal Ranger' - wish I had been a Boy Scout. I hope to have my son be one, as we do have Orthodox Boy Scouts. Civil Air Patrol even seems a viable option. Now with Young Marines, we might have a better option: the USMC has long had a reputation of being more 'Christian friendly' than any other service, and much more supportive of traditional American culture.

5:49 a.m.  
Blogger The young fogey said...

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6:03 p.m.  
Blogger The young fogey said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:11 p.m.  
Blogger The young fogey said...

I was just thinking about the Young Marines for some reason when I read your latest (welcome back). I'm for peace but not a pacifist and thus see a place for such programmes. A little military-style discipline in slum schools can be a constructive alternative to street gangs. (At least one state school in the US is military with Army JROTC for that reason - fine.)

I know that the original British Boy Scouts had a more military edge to them: an older acquaintance of mine once said he learnt how to kill a man when he was a Scout.

The Marines are known in the States as one of the most brainwashing and profane (drinking, screwing, etc.) parts of the military, part of their tough-guy image. To call them or any of the services 'Christian-friendly' is dishonest. (The US Air Force Academy recently had a scandal involving proselytising cadets for evangelical Protestantism but that doesn't recommend them to you or me.)

At least the British Boy Scouts in the past were honest about what the military is trained to do (only when absolutely necessary, one hopes): kill people. Perusing the Young Marines website there is not one hint about what actual Marines do.

Again, there is a place for the military, and there are men and women who serve in it with honour, but lots of veterans can tell you: underneath the spit-shined, yes-sir fa├žade, military culture is rotten to the core with lots of alcoholism, drugs, venereal disease and broken marriages and families.

(One of my sources on that is a friend who was a destroyer sailor in the Pacific, based in the Philippines, during the Vietnam War.)

Presenting it to children as though it were like the American Boy Scouts is just a damned lie.

6:17 p.m.  
Blogger Aristibule said...

I know the Northeast is anti-military, but this is ridiculous:

"The Marines are known in the States as one of the most brainwashing and profane (drinking, screwing, etc.) parts of the military, part of their tough-guy image. To call them or any of the services 'Christian-friendly' is dishonest. "

The USMC is *not* known in the States this way. In fact, in most of the REAL USA (the South, West, Midwest) - the USMC is known as a more traditional branch. They definitely are not 'more profane' - the Army and Navy have them beat on those reps. One knows they aren't going to get mocked for Christianity in the USMC as well (you will in the Army). The USMC is well known, even by US Army soldiers like myself, as being an organization that still practices higher standards.

And, we aren't talking 'British Boy Scouts' - the Boy Scouts of America *still* have a military edge, which the Soviets recognized. The Young Marines are not an attempt to 'soft sell' warmongering either. So much wrong with that last post..... it comes across as simply more ignorance and bigotry.

11:32 p.m.  
Blogger The young fogey said...

Read Goodbye Darkness by William Manchester for a glimpse of the old Corps.

4:39 p.m.  
Blogger Aristibule said...

Don't need to - I was raised as a scion of the 'old Corps': a veteran of the 3rd Marine Div from San Diego straight through to 'Olympic'. 8 generations of Adams men in American military service, 7 seeing combat, all serving in war - all survivors. None so dishonorable to be smeared as 'profane'.

11:27 p.m.  

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