My Life - Part One.
Monday, February 14, 2005 11:45:22 PM
What with the world situation, and Canada's being a Member of NATO, I saw it as my duty to join the Canadian Armed Forces in some capacity. The latter had two special programs for guys (and it really was all guys back then) attending university. One was called the CRTC (Canadian Reserves Training Corp) whose job was to train cadets to be Citizen Soldiers in the Reserves, and the ROTP (Regular Officer Training Corps) whose purpose is obvious. I had never thought of a military career, so opted for the CRTC, in the Signals Corps. That is a wonderful old name for what is likely now called the Communications Corps or something new-fangled. I should perhaps point point out that at that time, the Canadian Armed Forces were 100% in the British Tradition, with the same names for units, ranks, etc. Not for us the 82nd Battalion, or something like that! We left such unimaginitive terms to the Yanks and the Soviets! No! We had the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, the Lord Strathcona's Horse, the 4th Regiment of the Royal Canadian Artillery, and so on. These were glorious units with a glorious history made in the Boer Wars, WW1, WW2 and Korea! These were names to die for!
When I had completed the First Year of University, just, away we went to the Royal Canadian School of Signals in Kingston, Ontario. This medium sized city is located where Lake Ontario drains into the mighty St Laurence River. We new Cadets were given our basic equipment on the first day, including a side arm, and, after breakfast on the second day, went to our first lecture. The subject was "The Principles of War." There were (are) 10 of them, including such things as Maintenance of Moral, and, listen up America, Secrecy! As the lesson ended, the instructor, a Major, said to us, "There's an unwritten eleventh Principle of War! Never invade Mother Russia!"
I later found out that the Brits and the Canadians ran the entire Western Alliance Intelligence Operation in WW2. They didn't even allow the Yanks to enter the Inner Sanctums! Why? They were afraid that the Yanks would blab! In fact, the Head Honcho of Western Intelligence was a Canadian named (Sir) William Stevenson. Just like M in the James Bond books and films, he was known simply as X, and his identity was made public only several years after the war. When one becomes aware of the true nature of Intelligence Operations, it becomes clear that those who patter that "Military Intelligence is an Oxymoron!" know not of what they speak. Of course, I'm referring to the crack Intelligence Services such as MI6 (UK), CIC (Canadian Intelligence Corps), KGB, etc. I'm not referring to some idiot Warmongering General in the Pentagon! Or the bumbling amateurs of the CIA! What might be more to the point is "Political Intelligence is an Oxymoron!"
One thing I learned during my time in the Military, is that most soldiers are Peaceniks! (Here I'm using the word "soldier" to apply to all men and women in Uniform, regardless of Service.) That the ones who have experienced the Horrors of War would be is almost obvious, but even those who never have, learn in their training how to do it, so have a preview of the Horrors of War that is denied to civilians. The Warmongering Generals mentioned above are the exception, and are all likely some sort of mentally defective Dr Strangelove! And look at the Jerks in Washinton now who are the Captain Americas! GWB, certified AWOL from the non-combattant Air National Guards (unless the Veitnamese had tried to bomb America with model airplanes driven by rubber bands!) and Dick "other priorities" Cheney! These lads have great big yellow stripes painted right up their backs, but they will gladly order young Americans to die, and slaughter hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians! And then there's Rummy, the lad who organized the delivery of 38 tons of Chemical Warheads to Good Buddy Saddam who was fighting America's war against Iran on her behalf! But I diverge!