hendelar

sometimes you just gotta' row

11-11-11-11

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While slipping and sliding in the guts and blood of war, John McRae penned what has become a symbol exploited as effectively as the image of a flies-in-the-eyes starving child. McRae actually discarded the Flanders Field piece and only because a colleague retrieved the balled-up sheet of paper from the trash was it published.

Money is that unequivocal root of fear and greed; shit, really. It certainly doesn’t jive with the notion of honour and dying for a just cause. Of course the purpose and objective of all this alleged honour remains as vague now as it ever was…there was that one “because they have weapons of mass destruction” attempt but it turned out to be more of a baboon-with-a-machine-gun moment than any facsimile to enlightenment or even truth, for that matter.

Around the world tasteless depictions of a poppy are pinned into service in exchange for a donation of money so that we can remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for…our freedom. Huh?

World politics; is there a bigger crock? A country, or better still, a league of countries, antagonizes another country until they bite. After a suitable consultation with, and the endorsement of, other countries (see league of countries), the biter is bombed into oblivion. Large, no really large, loans are “made available” to the bombed biter so its country can be rebuilt. It’s okay if the country is devoid of resources for the rebuilding because the countries funding the loans have all the necessary resources available. Yes, we’ll figure out justification to bomb the life out your country, loan you money at competitive interest rates to fix the damage we caused so you can pay that money to us for the rebuilding.

As a moneymaker, this process fires on all cylinders. We fuel the military-industrial complex by going to war and buying all those cool bullets and bombs, we make a few percentage points on the re-build loans and bring the capital back into the other side of our ledger by selling the services to fix what we broke.

But wait, what about the mess of broken people we send to drop those bombs and shoot the bullets? Some of them die and leave gaping holes of pain and fiscal stress for their families. Many of them kill and the resulting anguish haunts them like the sound of a helicopter in the nighttime, for the remainder of their life. Others are unable to kill and the anguish of cowardice haunts them like experiencing the explosive death of a friend, for the remainder of their life. Yes, and what about the respective families who suffer along with them. Then there’s the matter of the populations and the subsequent generations who’ve been the targets of the bombing.

An estimated two percent of those engaged in warfare are diagnosable sociopaths. The rest, to varying degrees, are broken by the experience. Is there an atrocity more absurd?

At the very least, people who have been scarred as victims by believing bullshit about the nobility of armed “conflict” deserve to be looked after with dignity and respect. If their loyalty is too expensive to reward with support it’s a clear indication we can’t afford the war to begin with.

If government followed an honest approach, the war spin flandered about would be accompanied by appropriate caveats in the way tobacco companies in Canada are required to include informative pictures of cancerous lungs on cigarette packages.

Instead, our elected officials offer a condescending pat on the head and mutter about courage and sacrifice for causes nobody can explain or justify and, which the every ready grubby hands of popular media exploit for profit.

Yet this approach remains so effective that rather than screaming for change we pass a cardboard box around a donut shop once a year and, when the call comes, we offer up our children, again and again and again.

It is time to discard this story.

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