Today we remember, and honour, our war veterans. Those willing to go to war on our behalf … willing to die on our behalf.
Such a day for ambivalence.
I do remember.
I do honour.
& also can’t help but wish that we could, & would, stop the bloody, infernal war machine.
War, you know, “It’s a racket,” and always has been.
According to this career soldier (Major General Smedley Butler, 1881-1940) who was in a position to know. Way back when…
I come at this from a couple of angles.
As the daughter of a World War II bomber pilot (now deceased) who helped bomb (among many other cities) the beautiful, incomparable German city of Dresden. He wasn’t a nice man or a good man, even before he went off to war, from all accounts, & I wouldn’t be here if he had either not existed, not married my Mom, or not survived the war & his time as a bomber pilot, & believe me, I’m grateful for my life (very much so!), but I can’t pretend I feel “good” about his actions & all the tragic deaths they caused.
I know that war is a racket, & always has been, that young men are used as cannon fodder (always have been), & that human beings have been waging war on ourselves & each other & on the earth for 1000s of years, & as an anti-nuclear activist, I know too the real purpose of nuclear energy is actually all about war, weapons, profit and greed
& it just all makes me feel very very very tired, frustrated and sad.
& I listened today at noon hour to Ontario Today, a very moving show in which a highly articulate former soldier (now a Councillor in Ottawa, I understand) spoke so very clearly & well about his experiences in the Canadian Forces
& it downright breaks my heart – the poignancy of this is simply impossible to describe
that it appears what most men “love” about war
is that it gives them purpose, & brings them into a brotherhood with their fellow soldiers.
& I can tell you that I too need to feel a sense of purpose
that I too experience the joy that arises from the solidarity of doing worthwhile work – work with a positive purpose – in the company of awesome friends & colleagues (colleagues who more often than not become friends)
but do we REALLY need to go to war to find or create meaning, purpose & solidarity?
Kill people &/or destroy the earth (in a 1001 ways) so that we can feel close to our fellows?
If you read much of this blog, you’ll see that I've long since “given up,” “written us off.”
I think – not just think but am fully 100% convinced, & have been for some years now – that our species is toast
I’m still railing against the damn machine.
& proud of my work
& heartbroken by our relentless endless mindless appalling shocking rape of this so-beautiful Earth home that is our only home.
& can’t help but wonder – will we not abandon our illusions & delusions & nonsensical notions and grow up
before we wipe ourselves off the face of the planet?
p.s. rhetorical question.
p.p.s. (several days later) I plum forgot to quote one of my very favourite quotations EVER. Here goes:
“Government is the Entertainment Division of the military-industrial complex.” – Frank Zappa *** Trust me -- there's a lot more to this quote than immediately meets the eye.
‘Quote of the day’ with this post: “Be joyful, though you have considered the facts.” – Wendell Berry (poet, farmer, writer, Christian, great thinker)