Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Dereliction of duty

I admit to having been remiss in my blogging of late. I could blame it on the great golfing weather, or the fact that I’ve been busy configuring a new computer, but the truth is that nothing has really got my juices flowing until this news item from today’s Ottawa Citizen.

“A Canadian soldier who refused to leave his bed during an insurgent attack on a Canadian base in Afghanistan has received a 21-day sentence and harsh criticism from a military judge.”

Apparently said “soldier” decided that, during a rocket attack on the base at Kandahar last year, he was best able to serve his country and fellow soldiers by staying in bed rather than reporting to his assigned place of duty. He further compounded the severity of his offence by trying to convince another soldier to do the same.

Cpl. Paul Patrick Billard, a 13-year veteran who was due for promotion to Sergeant, has said he is going to appeal the judgement.

Appeal his sentence? He’s lucky he wasn’t slapped in the stockade for a couple of months and then dishonourably discharged. Regardless of your views on the war itself, Afghanistan is a theatre of operations where his fellow Canadians are fighting and dying, and anyone who would let the team down like he did deserves to receive the full force of military justice.

Sometimes we’re just too nice.

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