Disgraced Afghanistan commander handled respectfully, says top soldier
The Canadian Press, 06/02/2010
OTTAWA – Canada’s top general predicts the firing of the country’s ground commander in Afghanistan will reinforce the morale of soldiers in Kandahar, rather than detract from it.

Gen. Walter Natynczyk, the chief of Defence staff, said Wednesday the sacking of Brig.-Gen. Dan Menard over an alleged tryst with a subordinate demonstrated that everyone in the military is held to the same high standard.

Menard, who commanded nearly 3,000 Canadian troops and thousands of American soldiers, was relieved last weekend and sent home in disgrace after he was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a female soldier.

The Canadian military prohibits intimate contact when soldiers are deployed, even between married couples.

Natynczyk dismissed recent public criticism that suggested Menard was publicly humiliated and should have been placed on leave while the allegation was investigated.

He said Menard was handled in a “respectful” manner.

But retired colonel Michel Drapeau says Canada has one of the strictest non-fraternization policies of any western military and the system is too rigid.

I read this article on the way into work today and I couldn’t help but be appalled by it. Firstly the overstating euphemism ‘fraternization’ which I guess is a more polite way of saying sex but is more broad, seems a bit ‘rigid’ and ‘old school’ as stated in the last line of the article.

Politics aside, and personal interpretation included; I’m pretty anti-sex, and even such things can be repulsive. However, I do understand that the 99.999% of the population that isn’t asexual has the (what I describe as) carnal need for ‘intimacy.’ This need, without being ‘fulfilled’ could result in very depressive situations and awkwardness in a general sense.

Personal beliefs aside, I do believe that people, especially those in the military and on long missions, deserve some sort of respect of their rights. Having said that, I don’t condone the ‘fraternization’ of officers in authority (who exercise this authority in the situation), however with two consenting adults make a decision to be intimate, it’s not rape, it’s not coercion, and what business is it of ours?

It’s no wonder that army people come back to Canada and end up raping people left-right-and-centre; it’s because they didn’t get any while they were away.