Monday, November 11, 2013

Remembrance Day

Ex PM Keating either has a way with words or a good speech writer. On this eleventh hour of the eleventh day of eleventh month we remember the fallen and the participants in war. War is often a failure of negotiations. I am a great one for negotiation but not one who thinks much of war.

Keating described World War I as "devoid of any virtue". He wasn't wrong. As soon as our Aussie soldiers jumped up out of the trenches in Europe, they were gunned down. Your turn to jump out of the muddy trench and die. Excuse my reluctance.

Their reluctance to be immediately shot dead was only delaying the inevitable.  Their own team, that is the Australian Army shot them anyway, as they were considered deserters if they did not jump out of the trench to go to an immediate death.

It was not unusual for a sixteen year old to falsify his age to be in the army.

A sixteen year old boy, in the muddy trenches of the battleground in Europe, cold, shit scared that he was going to over the trench to be immediately shot, and then later being shot dead for desertion by people from his own country because he was a quivering wreck surrounded by the bodies of his mates who followed orders.

I just thank someone that the youf now is way to worldy and smart than to sign up for some foreign battle.


11 comments:

  1. It isn't just the armed services that conscript young men, whether or not the lads believe in a particular war. When the government had to go to the people in WW1 with a plebiscite regarding conscription, the vote just failed the first time and succeeded the second time.

    Why did ordinary citizens approve conscription in WW1, knowing it would be their sons and brothers who would be killed?

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    1. Hels, patriotism towards the mother country? Very different times and their knowledge of the world was poor.

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  2. Hels - doing genealogical research and reading many many Deaths On Active Service notices in the digitised old newspapers at nla.Trove shows that families thought a duty was to be done. That it was the 'right thing'.
    No no way I would die defending Joe Hockey's idea of nationhood, or for the future of all the hideous little vandalising bogans on the streets.

    Indonesia will probably declare war on us any minute over the boats relay our govt would rather have than embrace people who are running from shar1a life.

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    1. Ann, yes certainly seen as 'your duty'.

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    2. Ann

      I agree that the idea of duty must have been powerful. But how could parents vote for the certain massacre or maiming of their own boys? I would have done anything I could, legal or illegal, to have kept my brothers and sons away from an immoral war.

      That said, if men do not agree to go off to war, they cannot cash in on the absence of other men. They should have to do community service at army pay rates for the four years.

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  3. I agree with your description of war as a failure of negotiations. I have never thought of it that way.

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    1. Keith, and with such huge consequences.

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  4. Yes, the first world war was particularly devoid of any merit. As well as the sense of duty, there was undeniably a portion who went believing it would be 'a bit of a lark'.

    I agree with Hels. Some community service would be a good thing to ask.

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    1. FC, and perhaps quite good pay compared to manual and farm work.

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  5. I believe that war is a failure of negotiations, but also a decision of greed to the reaping. I am new to your blog and am first time viewer. I have read through a few posts and like your space. I shall return. Have a wonderful day from Atlantic Canada :)

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    1. Thanks SK. You are most kind.

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