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War: The Ultimate Hypocrisy.

Updated on May 12, 2010

If a life doesn't count, what can?

The Cenotaph.  A monument to monumental stupidity. photo
The Cenotaph. A monument to monumental stupidity. photo
I wonder if they would have said it is all worth it. photo
I wonder if they would have said it is all worth it. photo
Palesting, a poor, hopeless nation razed to the ground by Israeli weapons. photo
Palesting, a poor, hopeless nation razed to the ground by Israeli weapons. photo

This drain on the best and bravest should STOP!

Dead in just two wars.

The casualty figures from our two so called “world wars,” are absolutely staggering when you reflect that each one took a mainly young life and affected many more from the immediate family.

WW2 Get ready for this statistic. SIXTY MILLION people lost their lives, both military and civilian, as a direct result of the conflict and associated famine and disease. (The actual estimates are from between 62 to 78 million killed...I still can't get my head round that figure, can you?).

The so called “Great War,” WW1” took another THIRTY-SEVEN MILLION. These figures are impossible to believe, yet they might well be greater if better counting methods had been possible.

Then we have the Korean War,, Vietnam, and all the other conflicts which would add up to some millions more.

The number of politicians killed or injured while in office and master-minding this slaughter has been too small to record.

"I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.

In winter trenches, cowed and glum
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go"

By Sassoon, Ist WW..

Has anyone else been absolutely disgusted by all the hypocrisy surrounding the memorial services this week? What is the matter with us that we can allow young men and women with their whole lives ahead of them to be destroyed or torn apart like this? Their lives thrown away so cheaply and for what? For the aggrandisement of the establishment generals and for the benefit of politicians desperately sacrificing the best of our youth just to get votes, or to satisfy those who benefit commercially, the arms manufacturers, the petroleum industry and all the rest?

One minutes silence; two minutes, the throng stands around the cenotaph gazing mournfully at nothing: what crap, we should have ten minutes screaming against this stupidity that causes us to fight unwinnable, unnecessary wars - always against weaker opponents so the slaughter can be manageable and the public can be persuaded to allow it to continue.

We have nothing in this whole wide, compassionless universe except this brief dance we call life. There is no god, no heaven, no life after death. These are all soporifics to ease the pain of our passing.

And the reasons offered to the gullible: it will keep terrorists out of Britain, out of the USA; we are helping this country, that country to achieve democracy. Ha! Where do you see it in after the conflicts since the last world war? Vietnam, Korea (fighting again), Iraq, Cyprus, and all the rest. They carry on as before in the main and all the blood spilled on the foreign soil was for nothing, both ours and the “enemy.” Even the small gains we point to cannot justify the slaughter to achieve them.

Our armed services should be for one thing only, to guard the safety of our people at home and our borders and to help an oppressed ally: that‘s all..

It would be different if we could win, whatever that can be perceived as meaning! If we could show that we had left lasting peace, a lasting infrastructure to help these poor people we constantly attack in the name of “preventing terrorism,” or “their disregard of human rights” - spelled by many as OIL. Instead, we decimate their populations, helping elect puppets who agree with our policies, meanwhile enriching themselves and their families. Just look at Palestine after the last conflict with Israel. Whole blocks razed to the ground, thousands of men, women and children blown to pieces, nothing solved, nothing settled, the country practically destroyed. Iran is busy rearming Palestine and the Israelis wait, fingers on the trigger, for the next pyrotechnic display. Iran busily constructs nuclear bombs and rockets to deliver warheads. America, ready as always, with its huge army, navy and air-force, ready to pitch in on the side of the Israelis and allowing them meanwhile to talk tough and smirk at their foes. How many will die next time?

How wise the countries who keep out of wars unless they threaten their sovereignty: Mexico, Switzerland, Scandinavia, all the countries who did learn their lesson like Spain, hastily withdrawing from the allied effort after terrorists attacks on Spanish soil 3 years ago. And now, Canada has decided she has better things to do with her young warriors, Better by far not to be a “world power,” and to perceive our way to be the only way.

But Britain, apparently, never learns from bitter experience: the millions lost in the two world wars were perhaps justifiable to some extent, but all the attrition since has surely not been so.

All the thousands of families left with a loss and sadness that will last all their living memory. I remember my own family legend of my uncle, Robert Mercer, killed in a Spitfire in the last real war and my grandmother, his mother, waiting, waiting, year after year for his return, for the sight of that jaunty, familiar figure of her beloved son striding up the garden path in Broadstairs after surviving for another day. Then the brief telegram.” The writer regrets….” Her broken heart and asthma took years off her life.

All the measly-mouthed clerics, hands held aloft in church and cathedral throughout the land this week. Their chance to be on centre stage and the best of them, deluded, the charlatans among them not even listening to their own chants. We sing hymns, parrot meaningless prayers…“Our father, which art in heaven…“ if there was anyone listening, do you thing he, a supreme being, would allow this senseless slaughter?

I suppose these trite words in a mere hub article are just bootless cries to the same empty heavens. Perhaps, like all else, our stupidity and violence is genetic and can be blamed somehow on evolution and survival of the species. But…what other life-form engages in battles against the same species thousands of miles away because it might be threatened, somehow, some way, in the future? None. They are better designed where it counts, in their DNA, or far more intelligent than benighted Man

Squire nagged and bullied till I went to fight,
(Under Lord Derby's scheme). I died in hell -
(They called it Passchendaele). My wound was slight,
And I was hobbling back; and then a shell
Burst slick upon the duck-boards; so I fell
Into the bottomless mud, and lost the light.

At sermon-time, while Squire is in his pew,
He gives my gilded name a thoughtful stare;
For, though low down upon the list, I'm there;
"In proud and glorious memory" ... that's my due.
Two bleeding years I fought in France, for Squire:
I suffered anguish that he's never guessed.
Once I came home on leave: and then went west ...
What greater glory could a man desire?


Notes: Siegfried Sassoon. Although a protester against war and the establishment all of his life, Sassoon was actually a decorated WW1 hero, receiving the Military Cross and being made a CBE. His gong was for conspicuous gallantry under fire and for capturing a German trench. He was a marvellous poet, both during and after the war until his death in 1967 at the age of 80. Sassoon, a very complex man, is perhaps best described as bi-sexual: although he had many homosexual liaisons, he eventually married and had a child.

He is buried in Mells, Somerset.



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    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 4 years ago from North Texas

      Whomever declares a war should lead the charge on the front lines just as the king used to do in the good 'ol days. Maybe they would reconsider negotiation if they had to do that.

      Nothing like having a war in order to create peace.

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 8 years ago from UK and Mexico

      "When from a body there steals life's heat,

      Why all the clamour to carry the meat?"

      These are lines from another poem of mine. If we would only honour these men while they are alive with proper equipment and decent salaries. But if politicians couldn't get 'em cheap, there's be no wars! Words, words, maybe we're all mad! Good to hear from you again sweetie R x

    • Amanda Severn profile image

      Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

      GOOD-MORNING; good-morning!’ the General said

      When we met him last week on our way to the line.

      Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of ’em dead,

      And we’re cursing his staff for incompetent swine.

      ‘He’s a cheery old card,’ grunted Harry to Jack 5

      As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack.

      . . . .

      But he did for them both by his plan of attack.

      Another Sasson classic, and one my husband's fond of quoting. Oh, the futility of war. It's not just you Bob. Everyone's feeling it. I've never seen so many turn out to our local memorial service as I did this week. And yes, of course they're honouring the dead of all wars, but most folks have their thoughts with those young people who are fighting and dying right now, and all for what?

    • profile image

      diogenes 8 years ago

      They could refuse, but they would never get a consensus and the ones that began it would be jailed for a long time.

      Thanks for your interest. Bob

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      NEVER A TRUER WORD SPOKEN. You deserve a medal for that. I agree with every word you wrote. Unfortunately, the ones deciding on war are never there. They wouldn't ever again. Although born in the 40 and didn't understand the fear and danger sitting in a cellar, hearing the bombers approaching and the dull thud of the bombs falling and coming closer to you.

      We always think the children don't take it in. Many, many years later it did surface and even I had a surprise. Every time they bring on the news about bombers approaching and bombs being dropped I think of these poor people, no matter who they are, and my heart goes out to them. I have to switch it off because I can't bear it.

      Why don't soldiers refuse to go. They can if they stick together. As you say they should protect the borders. Lets face it is the number of people who have the power and not the one, two or three who decide and sit back in the luxury. People in the street don't realize that they have the power.


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