Pope Francis/ Swiss Defense Minister

“Francis said he did not want the crowd to see him as a smiling ‘cordial manager of the Church who comes here and says to you “have courage.”‘ He added: ‘I don’t want this. I want this courage to come from inside me and push me to do everything I can as a pastor and a man.'” (ALJAZEERA) “Francis […] ended his improvised speech with a prayer asking God to ‘give us work and teach us to fight for work.’

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(On the assumption that you view standing armies as needed, and perhaps even if not, I think the Swiss Defense Minister here has it right about the draft –everyone should be in some way involved in the defense of the nation of which they are part– though it is probably more important to the social fabric of that nation than to the nation’s defense or to the individual’s development; and though, in the case of the United States, there’s been a disruption between the idea of The Military and the idea of mere Defense –would Iraq have happened if there had been a draft? That is, maybe universal membership in the army creates more peace than do pacifists):

“Abolishing military service would break the genuine link uniting the people and the army,” Defense Minister Ueli Maurer warned ahead of the vote, referring to the unifying force of compulsory military service in a country divided by language and widely varying incomes” (LA TIMES)


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