|Just a little prick with a needle|
Australian Defense Force Chief Peter (I-can-visit-kindergartens) Cosgrove
has been embarrassed by revelations that Australian military personnel on their
way to the Gulf have refused Anthrax vaccinations, and hence have been sent home.
The sensitive-new-age Defense Chief hasn't wanted to force personnel to have
injections, and has instead tried to get them to sign consent forms -
presumably trying to avoid the inevitable outbreak of 'bad-back' claims against
the defense department after the war.
Of course many military personnel didn't actually join the defense force
(ADF) to go to war - they just
signed up for the uniform, the free education, and the chance to get drilled by
their shout-at Sergents. So they are looking for the easiest ticket home. Peter
(this-isn't-in-the-military-manual) Cosgrove is not sure how to cope.
Peter, the answer lies in basic contract principles. These people have signed a
contract enabling the ADF to send them to the gulf, but not to force them to
receive anthrax shots. The solution? Don't give them anthrax shots and send
them anyway. How many personnel are going to stick to their guns and go into
Iraq without an anthrax shot?
Then all they need is a few photos of cutaneous Anthrax victims (yes, those are the
ones with their flesh eaten away), and subtle suggestions that inoculated
Anthrax-infected personnel would be given lower medical priority than
non-self-inflicted cases (like shrapnel wounds). There would be blood on the
floor as they fought each other for the vaccine once they realized that
belligerence were not a ticket home.
But Peter (we-all-have-consciences) Cosgrove will doubtless visit a few
orphanages, ring his hands together, and approach the issue with gentleness
and calm - "Now, now, soldier - just a little prick with a needle".
"Yes Peter, but what are you going to do with it?"