A finnish army officer by the rank of “yliluutnantti” a senior lieutenant or such of the Carelian Brigade is under investigation, because he had supposedly made a speech about the president of our nation to army conscripts at a shooting practice. What he alledgedly said was that the president is a woman, a communist and a part of an organisation that supports homosexuals, and therefore she should not be the supreme commander of the finnish armed forces.

Everybody should have a freedom of opinion and speech. However, it was offencive towards women, socialists and homosexuals serving in the finnish army to make such a statement. It seems obvious that the officer in question has problems with democracy, since after all he was reffering to the democratically appointed president and his own supreme commander. It also seems he may have forgotten his soldiers wov that specifically states that a soldier of finnish armed forces is committed to protect the Finnish state, and the rule of its democratically elected government.

It does not require an officer of this rank to be wery smart. An officer basicly needs just some cunning in his chosen trade of killing people. An officer training the conscripts does not require to be a politician. All it requires of him is to stay out of politics while on duty. This is a commonly accepted matter in a country like ours, that is not run by the military.

I never heard anything as stoopid as this while serving. It does not matter what the personal opinions of an officer are, but if a man who is responsible for the safety of so many others, while organising a shooting practice, has such a bad judgement on what might have a terminal effect on his own career, is he showing capability to have enough of presense of mind on safety of others?

Such opinions surely have been among the officer staff since the civil war, but to “come out of the closet” so to speak, while on duty, would be rather sad. Why would that officer make such a speech? Had he allready lost his career and cared no more? Did he think he could have an influence on the conscripts? Was he just simply using his position to hurt some women, communist or homosexual conscripts at the training? Or was he so simple he thought he was talking to the like minded? Surely there are those among the conscripts also, but to think that none of them would be a socialist, a homosexual, a woman or that none of the conscripts would feel his comment would not insult the democracy of our nation, would be just too naive from any adult.

Was it the professional opinion of the officer in question, that a woman, a communist or a civil rights worker are not qualified leaders? Well, as I said he is entiteled in his opinion, but it really shows lack of judgement and knowledge of history in a tragic way. Propably his opinion on communist leadership was shared by some of the high ranking finnish army officers, when they joined the nazi army in operation Barbarossa. I wonder did they really think so after the finnish forces surrendered to the Soviet army and had to turn their arms agains the former german allies? Maybe there were a lot of Spanish commanders who thought that Queen Elisabeth was only a woman. I wonder what they thought after the defeat of the “invincible armada”? And yes, Marthin Luther King, Gandhi and Jesus were just civil rights workers.

Is the publicity this event has had a president event? Is this revealing a growing attitude of arrogance among conservative men? Or is this something that has happened a lot before, but was revealed only now, that the conscripts are from a more independent generation then ones before them? Or is it just an outcry of “the last of the mohicans”?

In Finland president is also automatically the supreme commander of finnish armed forces. This is known to all finnish voters. Our president Tarja Halonen did work in an organisation for the equal rights of the sexual minorities. She even became the president of that organisation before she was elected president of Finland. President Halonen is a member of the Social Democratic party, so not a communist to be exact. And yes, she is a woman. None of these were news to the finns before we elected her as our nations president, not the first time nor the second. Her second term in office is wery nearly over, and she can not be elected a third time. This is the law. So, once again, the question arises, what could the said officer have expect to accomplish? Not to torpedo her re-election, obviously, by influencing the conscripts. What then? What he did accomplish was a lot of commotion at the unit, I expect, his leadership questioned, his own career in trifle and symphaty votes for the Social Democratic party in the next elections. Is he happy now?

It would be easy to judge a man by his alledged words. He has not committed any crimes, as such, even if the accusations hold true. If they are proven true, he has only shamed himself. I think it is a punishment hard enough for stupidity. Question is only about wether his superiors see him fit for service. The generations of coscripts change, but a bad reputation of a man remains and a senior lieutenant with such infamy, has suffered a major loss of dignity and authority. In finnish army the authority of officers is based on their neutrality and official donduct. On the fact that they stand to protect the whole nation, not only heterosexual conservative men or any other minority for that matter. You really can not run an army of conscripted volunteers only by shouting at them. They will have to find the action and training logical and constructive. To have purpose. All armies need their officers to command certain amount of authority. Does this officer enjoy that authority any more? It remains to be seen…

The Army commanders have not commented the issue other than to say they have had an investigation on about it even before it came public and give no comments before it is finished. I for one, am looking forward to hear their comments when the inquery is finished.

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