Thursday, December 13, 2012

Why Do We Need The Military?

Another year is coming to its end and all those who believe there's another day to live after the Maya calender might think about what to wish for the next year. World peace is surely ranked somewhere at the top of the wishing list. There are however different opinions on how to achieve that goal. Probably not too many would immediately think about the military, since war has little to do with peace. Does it?

I invite everyone to view the following video. Lieutenant General Peter van Uhm, army commander of the Netherlands, explained during a 2011 TEDex talk (in English) why armed forces are needed to support peace and stability. His talk also reminds everyone, also the pacifist who can speak, enjoy education and travel freely without fear, to respect and support those who risk their life for freedom.

You might think it's easy for a General to speak fancy words about sacrifice and the price to pay for freedom. Well, he knows exactly what he's talking about. Three years before this talk, First Lieutenant Dennis van Uhm, his 23 years old son, was killed in Afghanistan.


The biggest opponent of war is the soldier, for he knows what war can cause. I'm convinced that LTG Peter van Uhm represents that category of soldiers and veterans.

I would like to share with you another video, from Vukovar in the 1990s. Once a beautiful historical city in Former Yugoslavia and now part of Croatia, this city is no more than 1200 kilometers away from Belgium, my peaceful country in Europe. Back then, we were stationed in Vukovar, to keep Serbs and Croats apart. I can assure you that everyone, who has witnessed at first hand what war can do, becomes an advocate of peace.

Let's hope for the best in 2013!


1 comment:

P/K said...

Ja, het klinkt paradoxaal, maar inderdaad, militairen zijn degenen die van een oorlog het meeste te vrezen hebben. Het is daarom jammer dat velen de krijgsmacht nog vaak als louter krijgszuchtig zien..

Ik wens je nog een heel goed en vredig nieuw jaar!