Back in December 2022, I wrote about this subject in an article entitled « Vaccination or the door ». This headline was taken from a military union newspaper. Despite the setback to vaccination, Defence persisted and signed up to a disguised vaccination obligation, on pain of « scrapping » recalcitrant servicemen. Worse still, the latter, considering vaccination to be voluntary, did not agree to cover any side-effects associated with the injections.
9 months later, nothing has changed. I could simply go back to this article, which, with its evidence, allowed us to judge the approach as simply shameful and dangerous. As reasoned citizens, we have gone through a state of astonishment, amazement, doubt, dismay and resignation. Wait for the rest.
An internal Defense memo (see below), dated September 2023, informs the entire military corps as follows: » Vaccination is a highly effective and safe preventive measure. The efficacy of vaccines against the severe effects of the Omicron variant remains high. It offers high, continuous protection against death, intensive care admissions and general hospitalization (ref. 1). Basic vaccination followed by at least one booster ensures good basic immunity. The operational nature of defense requires a good level of basic immunity for its soldiers. Vaccination now means we don’t have to quarantine, isolate, test frequently or restrict travel. »
Here we are. A series of objective, nuanced information, enabling the informed consent of military personnel — more sarcasm you may say. Knowing that in France, Professor Christian Perronne and others are taking legal action against the acting Minister of Health for misleading statements denying the vaccine’s side effects, it would be appropriate for this courage to be emulated here. Wait, the technocratic trap is closing for our military: » Basic vaccination (e.g. one Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two Astra Zeneca, Moderna or Pfizer vaccines) followed by at least one booster (first booster, 2022 fall booster or 2023 booster) is a prerequisite for maintaining Med ops category A or W and therefore de facto for all Ops worldwide as well as all Ex and non-Bel courses. However, exceptions to the COVID-19 vaccination will be authorized on an individual basis for all Ex and courses in Europe or North America, for statutory exercises for candidates in training, and for military personnel who are in good standing as regards basic vaccination, but are awaiting a booster (cf. par. 3). »
In short, all military personnel due to be deployed must have their vaccination schedule, including the booster, in order. Now I can smell a mixture of irritation and determination! You’ll tell me that a soldier obeys. Yes, the soldier obeys within the framework of his duty, in soul and conscience. He obeys in accordance with his training, like a part of a complex cog, enabling an army to function. He has been briefed and trained to face the unknown, fear, danger, death, but has he been trained against betrayal and cowardice? You might say that a soldier afraid of an injection has no place at the front?
My answer is that I’m naive enough to think that a soldier risks his life for an ideal. We certainly don’t all have the same, but the sense of common interest is paramount. I see neither ideals nor a sense of common interest in this disguised obligation and the risks it entails. A soldier who has no confidence in his superiors mutinies, rightly or wrongly. As already written, an army without confidence is nothing. It’s still shocking that men and women with no risk of complications from Covid-19 should run the risk of serious side effects , and all for nothing. I understand « nothing » as a materialization of nothingness, which returns to the etymological meaning of the term. You risk nothing! It’s nothing! You don’t have to worry about a thing!
Ladies and gentlemen, if you continue to treat our military as a variable, as a whole that is nothing, you’ll get your comeuppance in return, which will boil down to: nothing. Height, Ladies and Gentlemen, height, to the point of wondering whether the hindsight required for command has become a dirty word. One has to wonder whether it’s a coincidence that a staff has been custom-designed by a consultancy identical to those that have steered Belgium’s vaccination policy. It makes you wonder whether the management of an army, a sovereign function of a state, would be on the same level as the others, i.e. prey to culpable amateurism. One wonders whether the doctrine « it’s not me, it’s the other » has become an adage.
Ladies and gentlemen of the armed forces, you are not alone. Make your voice heard, your unions are there, and if they’re not, citizens will be there for you. It’s no longer a time for waiting and watching, but for action. Question your elected representatives, your superiors, take legal action, talk amongst yourselves, debate, but above all don’t give up. We can’t afford to be indifferent either: we have to stick together. I’ll end with a quote that makes perfect sense to me, and which should guide everyone’s actions.
Martin Niemöller 2 :
« When the Nazis came for the Communists, I didn’t say anything because I wasn’t a Communist.
When they locked up the Social Democrats, I didn’t say anything, because I wasn’t a Social Democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists, I didn’t say anything, I wasn’t a trade unionist.
When they came for me, there was no one left to protest. »
Whether you’re first or last on the list, don’t look away. Let’s stick together. Indifference kills.