The Incalculable Hope & Joy of Not-War

In my previous post, I talked about the possibility of glory in war. I alluded to this being an inherent reality of human nature. At sometime, I’ll have to delve into the concept of the warrior ethos in more detail. But that’s for another time. War can be glorious, yes, at least in parts. But […]

The Glories of War

Remembrance Day: the time of year when we argue about honouring the service of our nation’s soldiers. I’ve written about this before. I figure I’ll write about it every year until I’m gone. In any case – although I tried mightily hard to avoid doing so – here’s this year’s two cents. It isn’t really […]

The Court Martial of Capt Semrau, Part V: Sentences

Word today of Robert Semrau’s much-delayed sentence: reduction in rank (to Second Lieutenant) and dismissal from the Canadian Forces (but not dismissal with disgrace). Semrau has thirty days to appeal, but my guess is he won’t. This sentence is remarkable considering that only a few months ago there was plenty of speculation that Semrau might […]

The Legacy of the Second World War

Tonight my Military History Book Club will be discussing John Lukacs’s The Legacy of the Second World War. I had not previously been acquainted with John Lukacs, so I was surprised by the manner in which this book was written. The narrative is flowing and readable, but rather loosely structured. His argument is quite nuanced […]

The Court Martial of Capt Semrau, Part IV: Shoes

In a recent article in the Life section of the National Post, Cristina Alarcon, a pharmacist, ostensibly attempts to wear the shoes of Captain Semrau on that dusty battlefield in Afghanistan. I take the opportunity to suggest that the author is slipshod and should try again: Greetings Ms. Alarcon, I read your thoughtful attempt to […]

The Court Martial of Capt Semrau, Part III: Memories

Back in 1998, I was called as a witness in a military Summary Trial. I had spent the summer as an instructor teaching Basic Training in Dundurn, Saskatchewan. Basic Training is only slightly less exhausting for the instructors than for the students. Even though I was young and at my peak physical condition, an understrength […]

The Lumpless Deserters

I’ve discussed the proposed amnesty for “war resisters” before, but the issue continues to drag on: A federal court has sent Jeremy Hinzman’s immigration application back for reconsideration. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s a bit disheartening to hear that our immigration system works so slowly. Back in 2004, Hinzman was the first of a trickle […]