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Archive for the category “WW1”

Red Poppy Remembrance Scam

7f7b62a06ac86f36924fd6fccd32ad38 Here we go again ‘wear your poppy with pride, remember, lest we forget’ and other such jingoistic entreaties. Out trot the masses to chuck a few coins in a tin, pin on the poppy replica and walk away thinking ‘I’ve done my bit’ when actually they are just another sheep running with the flock. The Remembrance Sunday do in London will be carried out with all solemnity and pageantry choreographed to perfection as it is every year and few will notice that it represents in microcosm the conducts of the wars they pretend to remember. The massed ranks of military personnel, past and present (& don’t miss the Chelsea Pensioners,”Arh bless ’em” brought in for a bit of colour and to tug at the patriotic heartstrings) who will stand for hours, perform their attentions and marching on cue whether they are freezing cold or soaking wet before finally getting get a mug of hot tea and making their journey back in the following hours. Meanwhile the royals, the politicians, the military top brass will arrive just in time to perform their wreath laying with sad solemn faces before walking stiffly away to their clubs, offices, pubs, for a double Scotch and a warm up to discuss the Sunday papers or, in the case of the royals to wave briefly at the adoring crowds from a balcony at Buckingham Palace.

So it is with all wars, rich men sending young men out to die protecting their wealth.

If we’re going to remember let us remember what we know from history, not the myth of our lads going bravely over the top for king and country but that the choice they had was go over when the whistle blew to take a chance on survival or the certainty that if they didn’t obey their own officers would shoot them there and then or have them taken away for a perfunctory court martial and shot at dawn by their mates who, if they didn’t, would be shot themselves. I would argue the really brave ones were those said they will not kill, the conscientious objectors, who suffered terribly for their stand. Let us recall too that the UK, France and the USA following the end of WW1 stole the resources of Germany, the iron, steel and coal leaving the German people destitute and starving that soon paved the way for the rise of Hitler, Nazism and WW2.

Coming more up to date let us remember the war against Iraq to seize back control of the oil fields to feed the greed of the richest in the West. Let us remember the war in Afghanistan yet another war for greed and a natural gas pipeline running from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan and so bypassing Russia.  Can’t have a pipeline that the Taliban would be likely to blow up!

Let us also be aware that we are one of the evil nations of the World that supply weapons for others to kill millions just for the rich man’s profit.

Whenever there is a war there is no problem finding Billions of Pounds to fight it, there is no problem finding Billions to prepare for the next war, because there always is one, war is profitable, so there should be no problem in finding the money to care for those who are damaged in fighting those wars. The only problem is that the rich men, the faceless corporations who benefit, want the people to fight for them, to die for them on the cheap.

I remember but I don’t wear that damned poppy.

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Amazement!

You would think by my time of life it would take a lot to surprise me and it does but I am genuinely shocked how blind to truth many of you are out there.

The government is spending at least £50 Million on WW1 remembrance events not to mention local costs and of course various royals trundled around to make fine speeches prepared for them to deliver in praise of millions of soldiers sailors and airmen who died in those terrible four years. Not one of those men is still alive so why is this enormous energy being spent on publicity, media connivance and money that would be better spent on feeding our hungry who are forced into Food Banks?

So what is going on? Well let’s start with what it’s not, just briefly. If it was about remembering the dead, then we should be reminded of the terrified men ordered over the top knowing the insanity of the orders and that  they would be facing machine gun crossfire resulting in either death or if ‘lucky’ serious injury resulting in being sent back to England. Knowing too that too question the madness or to refuse the order even if suffering from what we now know to be Post Traumatic Stress Disorder would mean being shot on the spot by their own officers. We should be reminded also of the incredible bravery of conscientious objectors who through religious or moral reasons refused to fight and were also shot by firing squad or served long terms in prison with the worst of conditions. We should also be reminded that some CO’s died working in coal mines and also in particular, those who joined the Friends Ambulance Brigade (mostly Quakers) who served on the front lines collecting the injured under intense fire very many of whom were themselves killed. It’s not either, about learning the lessons of history because clearly we haven’t, repeating the same mistakes over and over again, in WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Egypt, Falklands, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya …….

So what is it about? It’s about conditioning your minds, mild brain washing if you like, into nationalism, patriotism and an acceptance of waging war yet again if required. It’s about the royals and senior figures strutting the stage of history, making themselves look good bedecked in medals and rank that they have not earned but been given by their peers. It’s about politicians who have never been in the thick end of war spouting about the bravery of others long since dead about who’s lives they know nothing and care less. It’s about linking the past to the present and glorifying our vast war machine and gaining your acceptance for the massive expenditure that you have to pay for. When they spend £200 Billion on nuclear weapons that they can never use you will hardly murmur, or tens of Billions on aircraft carriers which by their very nature mean they are preparing for wars far away already, you won’t bat an eyelid. When hundreds of our soldiers die in Iraq or elsewhere and thousands lose limbs for the City of London you raise money for artificial limbs but you don’t ask why, you don’t say stop. Two million people marched before the Iraq war to say NO and they fear that next time there may be 10 million, 20 million, marching and demanding an end to war and the capitalist war mongers and arms salesmen will not add to their fortunes if we say no more. Capitalism not just thrives on war it depends on war. Fear of war allows acceptance of expenditure on the military and remembrance keeps that bit of fear in the mind, linking the past to the now.

 

Finally, they will not be remembering or reminding us of the mutinies and the strikes in the military towards the end of the 1914-18 war nor will they point out how many were shot and crushed as the uprising took hold and were put down by the government. So when you see ceremonies, hear some politician praise those poor sods in the mud with the stench of death all about, or see heroic films just ask yourself what is behind it? What thoughts are they trying to put into your mind? 

 

Remembrance & Imagining

The hype over the 1st World War really gets under way today being the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the slaughter. We are urged to imagine all kinds of things but let’s imagine something else, let’s imagine all those men, on all sides, were properly informed. Let’s imagine they knew it was all about the vanity and power grabbing of a few royals and aristocrats along with wealthy bankers. Let’s imagine all those millions said NO we will not fight!

War will cease when men (& now women) refuse to fight. Let’s imagine that.

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