Commentary  We aren’t idiots

Re: “Military recruitment has no place on campus” | Editorial | January 20

To the writers of last Thursday’s editorial on military recruitment on campus:

I just want to congratulate you on the wisdom and helpfulness of your editorial. It changed my opinion of the military completely, and I shall be forever in your gratitude.

It’s very difficult to have lived all one’s life as a hermit in a small, modestly-furnished cave in the Alpine foothills; I was so ignorant about the world I thought the military were nice men who simply marched into foreign countries to distribute free chocolate. But you enlightened me, and I have absolutely no doubt that scores of my fellow students lived lives of similar isolation, in caves in their own parts of the world, and were equally unworldly until they read your wise editorial. When those wicked military people said they were good, we simply took them at face value. We really did. It sounds incredible, I know, but we were just so naive, my fellow hermits and I.

I hope you’ll forgive me the satire. We English are suckled from so young an age on satirical magazines that we sometimes forget we don’t always come across as light-hearted, especially in cold print. So rest assured, I love you really.

Nevertheless, the point stands, and when you deplore the Canadian military for selling themselves as a “competitive career opportunity with travel benefits,” you forget that that’s actually, um, true. Growing up an expatriate, I went to a school for expats, and had much contact with the children of soldiers posted abroad. They loved living in Europe. And the high salary isn’t there as some cunning subterfuge; the military knows people are hesitant to work for it, and has to attract them somehow. In short: we’re not idiots. Well, my hermit friends and I are, but I meant apart from us.

Sam Baker

U1 Joint Honours Mathematics and Economics