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_Anton

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Aihe suljetaan.. (toivottovasti)Keskiviikko 12.09.2007 18:15

Intti on nyt ohi, valtava määrä kokemuksia kummittelee aivoissa. Yleensä kummituksista selviää puhumalla muille, mutta intti-jutut ovat sosiaalinen itsemurha joten ainoksi tavaksi manata ne pois on kirjoittaa. Aihe vaan on niin laaja etten ole saanut päässäni mitään mielekästä tekstin aihetta aikaiseksi. Kunnes maltalainen kaveri/kolleega Varsovan lukiolaisten model-EU-parlamentista otti minuun yhteyttä. Hän on nykyään Valetan yliopiston lehden päätoimittaja ja teki juttua pakollisesta armeija-palvelusta. Hän pyysi minulta haastattelua aiheseen liittyen. Ilmeisesti Maltalla on perustettu Fasistinen puolue (vastavetona laajalle laittomalle maahanmuutolle Afrikasta) joka on saanut jonkin verran kannatusta. Samainen puolue on ehdottanut pakollista kahden vuoden asepalvelusta kaikille, naisille ja miehille. Melko edistyksellisestä tasa-arvonäkemystä, eikö? Tällä on ilmeisesti tarkoitus opettaa nuorisolle tapoja ja kuria.

Olin innoissani, sain prosessoida traumoja konkreetisten kysymysten kautta, kertoa kaukaisen maan kansalaisille karun totuuden. Englanninkielinen itseilmaisuni ei nyt ole kauheaan vahvaa ja jouduin yksinkertaistamaan ja hiukan vääristämään joitain faktoja, asiaan perehtyneet ihmiset antakoot minulle anteeksi. Mutta, tässä se haastattelu tulee. Bad spirits, be gone!

1. If it wasn’t obligatory to serve time in the army in Finland do you think you would have ever served any time in the army?

Well, i have a imigrant backround so i felt that going to the finnish army was the thing i had to do to prove that im a good and trustworthy citizen. Most of fins feel that defending their country is important and it is socialy encouraged to go through military service. But half an year or even an year away for your family, girlfriend and job/school for extremly small payment (you can hardly buy cigaretts) isnt really tempting option. And military service is mentally and fysically very tough, so with out an immediate threat towards home country i think that not that many young men would join army.

2. What does this service in the army include and for how long is it?

Service time in finnish army is 180, 270 or 362 days and ithe lenght of your service is desided during first two months of service. Most of recruits end up serving 180 days. Some are chosen to serve 270 days as medics, apc-drivers and other specialists. 20% of best recruits end up to be trained as squad or platoon leaders and they have to be the whole year in army. I apllied to get into the special forces and was selected. First nine months we were trained to be an elite mechanized infatry company. I was trained to be a fire-control squad leader and my job was to locate targets for artillery. Last three months of our training we were trained to be peacekeepers. We had veteran officers wich had serviced in operations in Kosova, Libanon and Afganistan teaching us how do that how to perform an housesearch or a carsearch how to aproach a village leader and so on. I was trained to be a squad medic in a peacekeeping missions.

3. Is it obligatory or are there ways how to avoid serving in the army?

Military service is compulsory for male citizens of Finland aged 18 and up. Men with chronic disease such as epilepsia or mental disability are execussed from service as well as some religious groups such as "jehovas witness". Men who consider military service to be against their moral beliefs don't have to go to army, but they have to go through a "civil service" meaning working 8 hours a day during 13 months for an non profit organization like church, kindergarden or library. 90% of males over 18 go to army and 85% finnish they service. So it's hard to avoid the service. But it's really easy to pretend to be really stupid and weak so that the army only wants to keep you for a 6 months. Women can join army if they want, 200 women go through military service each year (compared to 25000 men).

4. What is the biggest advantage of serving in the army?

We'll, there are few: 1) Pushing yourself to the limit and finding where you're boundaries are: walking a 45km march with 35kg of equipment to carry in 1 meter of snow and temperature of -15c' with only one cholate bar for energy is just not something you would try to do in youre sparetime. 2) Getting leadership experience. When leading a squad in a war-like condition during practise i had to shout, threat and force people to do things. Those are important lesson for in case you end up in a director/manager role in you career, lessons you cant learn from conflict-dodging univercity world. 3) When you go through purgatory, you really learn to appreciate youre regular life. 4) Army is the ultimate icebreaker: if you want to have small talk with a man you are got to know, just go with army-subject, you'll be best friends in a few minutes.

5. What is the biggest disadvantage of serving in the army?

There are few too. I've lost a whole year of my life from my life to the army. I didn't have time to see my all of my friends because i only had 5 days of vacation a month. Finacial loses were big. Because i only earned 3,5euros a day i lost around 1000euros during a year of my own savings to keep up my lifestyle during my vacations. But first of all the army is really hard mentally, the discipline is just not my thing. I was really unhappy and depressed most of the time. As i said it's a purgatory: a hell, but you know it will end.

6. Would you advise countries like Malta which do not have such an obligation to introduce such an idea?

If you have an iminent threat to you're country's security and independence, then compulsory army could be a good choise, in an modern warfare era for sucha a small country as Malta small but well armed proffesional army is more effictive. All the other reasins for having an army are bullshit. In Finland the majority of drugcrimes, violence, caraccidendts and suicides are done by males aged between 15 and 27, vast majority of them those who went through the army. Women don't go to army and they're not involved in crimes either. So ask yourrself: if you have a problem with youth-crime do you really want those troubled youngsters to learn how to use guns and work in a hierarchical system? Is it really worth it to take youre promising youngsters to the army making them lose valuable time from their education and career?

7. If your country was in a war such as for example Afghanistan or Iraq would you be against having to go to one of these countries?

Well, at this moment I'm under contract to go to peacekeeping mission if the finnish army needs to use their peacekeeping reserve. So if finnish goverment desides to expand their partisipation in UN:s ISAF mission in Afganistan, then I'm in. I think fighting for humanrights and justice in this land is justified and important, important enough to risk you're life for. I wouldn't go to Iraq because the situation there is just too messy, you don't know who is fighting for what. So basicly i would go probably anywhare to operation accepted by UN or EU. It would be great to Darfur as a peacekeeper.

8. Has the army changed you as a person in any way?

My friends say that the army changed me in a negative way. They say that I don't take criticism a well as I used to, that I'm more lazy than i used to be, that i drink much more than i used to and that I have become a bit aggresive too. I agree with them completely, but I'm getting over it. All off my friends who been in the army say that it really brings the worst of you out. I don't know how the army service is going to influate me in a long run, but so far a effect on personality has been negative.

9. Recently in the United Kingdom the leader of the Conservatives David Cameron said that he wanted to introduce in England the idea of community service where each youth would be obliged to spend an amount of time doing community service. He said that this was instead of introducing military service. Do you agree with such an idea?

I don't know the details but in my opinion only good reason for an military service is a need to defend a country from a military threat and UK will get along just fine without a compulsory army. They have NATO's and the nuclear weapons. Forcing people to work for some kind of educational/discipline reason will always lead to a failure and huge humanresource losses. So im definetly against both, community service and military service.

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