Friday, June 23, 2006

Reluctant patriot

After days of anxiety the dreaded day has finally arrived. As a 27 year old male citizen of Serbia, I no longer have any legal means to avoid army duty and today I handed in my request for civilian service. As of September I will spend nine months in the service of “the fatherland”.
Apart from my absolute lack of confidence in problem-solving capabilities of armed conflict and the belief that a conscript army is complete nonsense, I have more specific reservations about my “duty” to the state. On a practical note, I wouldn’t want to spend 6 months in unsanitary conditions, being cold and hungry and in danger of getting killed if I accidentally stumble onto a hiding place of runaway war crimes suspects. I don’t believe in either the capability or the good will of the army to entrust them with my well being. Most importantly, I don’t think I owe anything to a country which has, with active participation of this very army, systematically undermined any prospect of normal living, forcing me, and everyone else, to undergo isolation, uncertainty and even bombs. Yes, some things have changed, but I think I had enough. Even civil service is too much, but unfortunately unavoidable. Who knows, maybe I will get to do something useful for the community, but the army hasn’t for a second considered how those of us who work and support ourselves are to survive all that time without pay. Fortunately, people I work for are flexible and I think I’ll manage somehow. In august I’ll know where I’m assigned and what my duties will be. This whole business is an upsetting waste of time and energy, but it’s out of my hands so I’ll just try and go with the flow.

1 comment:

Bg anon said...

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