Sunday, April 30, 2006

"And history bears the scars of our civil wars"

I've decided that to still be a supporter of the egregious Iraq civil war is not dissimilar to being an alcoholic: admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. Sure, the pundits and the politicians that supported it have to continue their support, otherwise they'd be drowned under the weight of their lies and mistakes. This doesn't, however, account for the attitudes of some of the ordinary people I know, people that still cling to their faith.

The first Australian soldier died in Iraq recently. It must be terrible for his young family, as it has been for the families of the numerous American soldiers and Iraqi civilians that have died during this monstrous affair. Let's hope that, amidst government obfuscation about the cause of his death and the sending of the wrong body to his family, this country now wakes up.

There should be no other enemy in this day and age but war itself.

The ape kills the ape
Penis and bomb - the lines blur
It never ceases


audrey said...

A man recently wrote a letter to The Australian commending an Anzac Day speech he'd heard that was delivered by a schoolgirl, not the normal politician type. The schoolgirl said that Lest We Forget should not be about remembering and honouring the fallen soldiers and by proxy glorifying war and patriotism. She said we should really be recognising the fallen soldiers who've died as a result of government lies.

Anyway, the next day Random Fuckwit writes in to condemn the schoolgirl and the original letter writer, I guess for daring to suggest that Anzac Day be about anything other than feeling animosity towards the Japanese and the Turks. He said that the letter brought to mind the old adage that 'children should be seen and not heard'.

He is one thing that is wrong with this country, and that is a compulsion to exert blind patriotism in the face of all opposing evidence.

nailpolishblues said...

Not all soldiers have died because of government lies. Some wars, alas, have been hideously inevitable owing to decades if not centuries of state's competing/interacting.
More to the point, many of those who have died have done so as believers - to say that they've died pointlessly, despite one's belief in the necessity [or lack thereof] of the military action, is to negate what they have died for.
I do not recognise Anzac Day to sanction war, I do so to acknowledge the soldiers I have known and the ones they knew who died. And to acknowledge what they have lived through - there are many things that are worse than dying. Maybe I'm weird but I've always thought that my attitude was the prevalent one.

[PS - a little drunk so sorry if I'm not making too much sense.]

Don Quixote said...

It is interesting because I was thinking about the whole Anzac issue the other day as well. I'm inclined to believe that in some ways you're both correct.

I don't think that there is any shame in feeling thankful that a soldier felt an imperative to risk his life on our behalf. However I think that some aspects of our Anzac day organization go a little too close to, as Audrey puts it, "feeling animosity towards the Japanese and the Turks." I also think that it in some way celebrates war.

The other thing to remember is that although the landing at Gallipoli was not a government lie per-se, it was a monumental miscalculation by the military leaders - one that lead to many unnecessary deaths. That aspect is not covered enough in our history books.

The last thing I think on this issue is that you have to be careful accepting war - any war - as inevitable. To accept war as inevitable, even if history shows that it was so, is to accept that war in the future is inevitable. It seems to me that acceptance of such inevitability will ultimately give license to those who would start war in the future. And a future war of the magnitude of WW1 or WW2 would mean, in my opinion, the end of life on earth.