(Article changed on February 15, 2014 at 16:50)
(Article changed on February 15, 2014 at 16:44)
It's clear to me now that most of our soldiers are not qualified to serve. The reason they are not is not their fault. They simply were not properly trained to do their jobs. In fact they don't really understand fully what their job is. Again, for most of them, that's not really their fault.
Before you can be inducted into the military an inductee must take an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution from all its enemies, foreign or domestic. An oath is a solemn promise, a pledge to keep one's word of honor. It's an oath to serve with honor.
It is not honorable to take an oath but not take it seriously. It's not honorable to take an oath when you don't understand what you're promising to do. Now most persons in uniform probably believe they do understand what taking that solemn oath means. The problem is, I don't think they do. That's why I say you can't blame them for not understanding something that no one who was truly qualified ever took the time to explain it to them.
Probably most never even read the Constitution let alone paid enough attention, or asked enough questions, to properly understand what they and every citizen should know about it. If they never read the Constitution, how can they promise on their word of honor that they will preserve and protect it? They can't. It wasn't honorable to have them go through an exercise they didn't understand.
An institution that would require those who serve it to take an oath has an obligation to make sure that those who take that oath understand what it means and what is required of them. If they don't, there's no integrity to the entire enterprise. And it's very clear to me now that most of our people in service have not been properly prepared to do their job. Most are prepared to fight, but they are not always prepared to know who, when, or how not to fight.
The first obligation of a soldier is to keep his or her oath of office, which is the promise to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution. That's the only part of their job for which they pledged their sacred honor... that's what makes it the most important part of their job.
Having said all that, the truth is that most citizens are also unprepared to keep their pledge of allegiance. If most citizens were prepared to do that, those in uniform, or other government service, would not have to be in the position of having to choose whether to obey or disobey so many illegal orders being issued. Our schools failed to teach us what was important... like freedom for example... so most of us never learned how to protect our rights and freedoms from those who might, out of ignorance or lack of wisdom, be inclined to take them away from us. One of these days our soldiers' lack of education (and our lack of education) might be very important... if you believe our rights and freedoms are important. Maybe it's not too late to learn... if you want your word of honor to mean something.
Before I end this commentary let me say one more thing. Some people in high places think it's okay to ignore the Constitution whenever they think honoring it would be taking a national-security risk... which is to say, honoring the Constitution might put us in harm's way. I don't think our national security is at risk because of our respect for the rule of law, but even if it were, the question of national security is totally irrelevant.
Some of our Founding Fathers and hundreds of thousands of soldiers pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor in order to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution (and died doing so); which is to say, they died... making sure that there would be no exceptions made to the Supreme Law of the Land even when it means taking a risk to do so. Our Founding Fathers knew (and they were right) that degrading the Constitution would be much more likely to cost us all our rights and our freedoms, than whatever anyone else might do or try to do to us. If we trade away our rights and freedoms in order to be so safe that we've lost our country and what it stands for... then the Great Experiment is finished, and with it our chance for real happiness.