This last week in parliament has been pretty awful and, by coincidence, while the MPs were playing with helmets etc, I was helping some students prepare for AQA GCSEs which, among other things, involve developing opinions about The Charge of the Light Brigade. It’s not far off 200 years ago now, but — well, the sentiment is bang up to date…
From the Wikipedia description of the event – “The reputation of the British cavalry was significantly enhanced as a result of the charge, though the same cannot be said for their commanders.”
The famous poem amplifies the honour, glory and tragedy of obedience and loyalty, of charging to meet death without a moment’s doubt. That mood, and those ideas, stick in politicians’ minds down the years and gives them reason to get passionate about the next battle, and the next, on and on to our final destruction.
One thing has changed
In fact, thanks to war going global, it’s even easier for them these days because they can make bad decisions about war without the slightest fear that it might be their own friends and relations who get killed.
I wonder what proportion of us have worked out by now that there’s only one “war to end all wars”, and that will be the one that kills off the very last of us.
Where are the voices for peace?
What was so horrible and weird, about those lefties they kicked out? Yes, they were less than polite some of them, they might even have been wrong about some things but were they really the baddest of bad guys? Even if you disagree with them, wouldn’t we be better with a bit of real opposition in there, coming up with the “yes but”s, before the dying starts?
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One response to “Has anything changed?”
Following the judgements at Nuremburg in 1945 and the hanging of those found guilty of conducting a war of aggression, a military conflict waged without the justification of self-defence, the war in Vietnam set the western agenda for wars of aggression ever since. America went so far as to send the Ohio National Guard on to Kent State University campus where they opened fire on students protesting the Vietnam war and the rampant use of chemical weapons, killing four and wounding nine other unarmed students on home territory. I was a hippy at the time and Vietnam was my unforgettable wake up call.
Unsurprisingly, the western media is entirely silent in the face of the supreme international crime.
You mentioned the one thing that’s changed, which is the greatest indictment against those, like Bush and Blair, who commit their crimes in far away places (whilst falsely claiming self defence).
Such wars are the exclusive domain of governments, ordinary people do not start wars lacking the means and the power. Ordinary people (some, not all) are the voices of reason and drive the desire for peace, whilst governments glorify war constantly and promote the madness of patriotism, based on military might.
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