Friday, 11 November 2011

11-11-11 The Old Lie

Guest post by Cosmetic Brain Surgery:
I always thought a war was for the courageous heroes to fight,
To take up arms for country, to fight on the side of God and Right,
To win the bloody battle to proclaim victory is at hand,
To never surrender this soil so sacred is this land.
But I always knew a war was fought by reluctant heroes of chance,
Sent by fearless men of words using pen instead of lance,
Told by these men of power, ignorant to the pain,
That we must beat the bastards now and kill ‘till all are slain,
That we must hate our fellow man for his race, colour and creed,
Because hate is what we want and hate is what we need,
And so with God upon our side, death we shall not dread,
Until we have built Jerusalem from the corpses of their dead.

Between Nations, Copyright © Craig Mitchell 1994

When the White Poppy was launched in 1933, after being proposed in 1926, it was started with these words: 
A Pledge to Peace that war must not happen again.
These were people who lived in the dark shadow of the great war, "it is perhaps best remembered for the staggering loss of human life. In the decade following the Great War many had the firm conviction that it should be "the war to end all wars." War is not inevitable, yet we are told it is the only way. As I write this politicians, still "hide themselves away, They only started the war, Why should they go out to fight? They leave that role to the poor." Still the drums of war deafen the voices of peace and we find yet more reasons to hate each other. That in the lead up to a day of remembrance these princes of eternal darkness are allowed to desecrate the memories of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice is indicative of the corruption at the heart of humanity: 
Original poster for Poppies.

a growing number of people have been concerned about the poppy's association with military power and the justification of war. Some people have wondered why, with a state welfare system, the services of the British Legion (slogan: 'Honour the dead, care for the living') are still needed; some say it's disgraceful that they were ever needed at all - though the many suffering people who have depended on help from the British Legion are profoundly grateful...But the question lingers: if the dead are said to have 'sacrificed' their lives, then why weren't the living, who came out of the same danger, being suitably honoured and cared for by the state that sent them into it? The language of Remembrance, in the light of that, looks more like propaganda than passion. [White Poppies are for Peace not War]
We have to care for the living first, not create more dead. As long as we let politicians lead the way we are doomed to fight on and we will  keep paying to bring our children home in pieces. Those that live are broken spiritually and physically. This is human sacrifice to the war machine. 

Whether you wear a white or a red poppy and if just for today in your two minutes of reflection, remember those who have fallen and hope that our children do not continue to fall with them:
If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin,
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
Bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, --
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
[It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country]
From Dulce et Decorum est Wilfred Owen 1917
All images from 

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