Conflict seems to be a situation that humanity has a hard time avoiding. Jesus said there would be wars and rumours of wars, and that is manifested again and again even in our “enlightened” modern era. What we have tried to do is negotiate resolutions to those conflicts and where necessary “help the process along.” I have friends that have been part of that process (whether for good or for bad) as “Peacekeepers.” They served in Beirut and in Bosnia respectively, and it seems the experience has left more of a mark on them, than they let on those lands.
There have been successes I am sure, but it is the struggles (if not failures) that capture our attention. Below are links to the trailers for three films in which the story of the “Peacekeepers” is given. While they may not be totally accurate in historical terms, they do give an insight.
The first is about the 1961 UN intervention in the Congo, which involved Irish (and other) UN troops.
The United Nations again intervened in the civil war and ethnic cleansing that followed the collapse of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. It gives a representation of the trials of British UN Peacekeepers in that intervention.
The UN and later the US in support of the UN entered Somalia at approximately the same time as the events in Bosnia. Black Hawk Down tells some of that story.
Hopefully there will come a day when we don’t need military intervention to find “peace.”
The military are masters of nomenclature. You do have to understand their unique world-view, however. Back in the ‘80s, our canned rations were replaced by MREs. In typical straight forward military-speak that was the acronym for “Meal Ready to Eat.” It was an accurate description I guess if what you mean by “ready to eat” is that it still requires the rehydration of various freeze-dried components such as shredded potato breakfast patties, also known as Styrofoam.
“Okay Marines, liberty is scheduled to commence at 1100. Unless this field day is finished, not a single one of you wastes of space is setting foot out of this barracks,” the sergeant snapped, before turning on his heel and heading back to his office.
“You heard him,” Corporal Chin said to his squad. “Meissner and Reece empty those shit cans. White and Cortez get this deck swabbed. Doc, you and Smitty get the head swabbed.”
The head was a daunting proposition, but Hospitalman Davis used Navy ingenuity, finishing on time by overflowing the toilets to speed the mopping.
British NCOs WW1, Image – A family photo from Padre’s Ramblings
It is Armed Forces Day in the UK. It is marked annually at the end of June to commemorate the service of men and women of the British Armed Forces. It is similar to the American Veterans’ Day, though it is more recent, having been created in 2006 (as compared to the US’ celebration which dates to the 1950s). Although an official event, it is not a public holiday in the UK.
“Second Platoon, reporting as ordered,” Staff Sergeant Romero said in a clear voice.
“Excellent,” responded the civilian efficiency consultant, turning his back momentarily to pick up a large stack of fill in the blanks questionnaires. “I have a PowerPoint presentation to explain these for you, and then . . . ”
He turned back around to find the marquee tent empty.
“That’s odd,” he mused out loud, “third time this week.”