Monday, October 26, 2009

Anzac Day and war...

ANZAC Day and war...

Wednesday, 30. April 2008, 03:00:35
Hello all, todays post is about the tradgey of war.

Um, I don't know if you guys know about ANZAC day? It's a public holiday on the 26th of April (one of two held yearly to commemorate those who've fought or lost thier lives in the millitary...the other being Rememberance day held on 11th November "On the eleventh day at the eleventh hour, we shall remember them, Lest We Forget."). Anyway, a little off topic there for a sec, I was going to say that due to having just celebrated ANZAC day we're being bombarded with jingoistic war movies. Glorifying this and that battle (oh and "today was the day the light horse fought at Beersheba, Israel...and if it wasn't for them then we may not have the state of israel as we know it" or so the news informed me). Traditionally the ANZAC's are sent in as cannon fodder, by whomever is directing the current war. Gallipoli, Turkey, and the charge of the lightbrigade being the two most famous cannon fodder battles of the first world war...I mean who else would charge up a cliff under heavy fire (because the british commanders had read the map wrong), or ride out on horses over a desert ill supplied, with rifles and just enough bullets to make it over the distance to meet a line of well armed and supplied troops and tanks. *sigh* Three of my great grandfathers brothers fought at Beersheba, the twins made it home...although they couldn't bring thier horses home with them, which is a shame as the boys who signed up for the lightbrigade supplied thier own trusty mounts from you can imagine the sorrow over having to part with thier best mates. Most of them chose to shoot thier mounts rather than leave them in Egypt...just so thier mates wouldn't have to be worked to death by poverty strician Egyptians who couldn't afford to feed them properly. Everything I've ever heard about war has been the tradgic waste and loss of peoples lives. It tires me, just thinking about all those lives, and how many more will be lost in the name of one thing or another. *sigh*

The Band Played Waltzing Matilda Eric Bogle

When I was a young man I carried my pack
I lived the free life of a rover
From the Murrays green basin to the dusty outback
I waltzed my Matilda all over
Then in nineteen fifteen my country said Son
It's time to stop rambling 'cause there's work to be done
So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun
And they sent me away to the war
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we sailed away from the quay
And amidst all the tears and the shouts and the cheers
We sailed off to Gallipoli.

How well I remember that terrible day
How the blood stained the sand and the water
And how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter
Johnny Turk he was ready, he primed himself well
He chased us with bullets, he rained us with shells
And in five minutes flat he'd blown us all to hell
Nearly blew us right back to Australia.
But the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we stopped to bury our slain
We buried ours and the Turks buried theirs
Then we started all over again

Now those that were left, well we tried to survive
In a mad world of blood, death and fire
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
But around me the corpses piled higher
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over tit
And when I woke up in my hospital bed
And saw what it had done, I wished I was dead
Never knew there were worse things than dying
For no more I'll go waltzing Matilda
All around the green bush far and near
For to hump tent and pegs, a man needs two legs
No more waltzing Matilda for me

So they collected the cripples, the wounded, the maimed
And they shipped us back home to Australia
The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla
And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay
I looked at the place where my legs used to be
And thank Christ there was nobody waiting for me
To grieve and to mourn and to pity
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As they carried us down the gangway
But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared
Then turned all their faces away

And now every April I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me
And I watch my old comrades, how proudly they march
Reliving old dreams of past glory
And the old men march slowly, all bent, stiff and sore
The forgotten heroes from a forgotten war
And the young people ask, "What are they marching for?"
And I ask myself the same question
And the band plays Waltzing Matilda
And the old men answer to the call
But year after year their numbers get fewer
Some day no one will march there at all

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
Who'll go a waltzing Matilda with me
And their ghosts may be heard as you pass the Billabong
Who'll go a waltzing Matilda with me?

So I march against war...I feel so small in the face of it all. Do you think there will be an end to it all? There are at least two more countries this week who are near developing thier own nukes. Oh and here I am living in the world with the richest uranium deposits in the world...who do you think uses what we dig up? It's certainly not us, with our paltry 2(?) reactors which are used for science. Oh and don't get me started on nuclear waste...I mean seriously a half life of 10,000 years, and poloticians expect me to be happy about the fossil fuel we save by producing it??? BTW in case you don't know what a half life is, it's : the time taken for something to decrease by half, in particular the radioactivity of an isotope. So it's as if you put something 100g in a reactor today it'll still be radioactive in 70,000 years (although you'll have less than one 0.75g of radioactive material). To me that's not acceptable. I'm sure that we'll have wiped ourselves of the planet by then, but the next species to dominate will still have to be dealing with a radioactive wasteland...and who's going to make sure that all those dumps remain sealed??? How often do we have government changes, religious uprisings, and other general social upheavals, that may possibly interfere with the payment of the waste safekeepers? In the last 200 years there have been three times when the culture has changed so dramatically that the safe guarding of nuclear waste could possibly have been suspended (if we'd had nuclear waste back then)...they were the white settlement of Australia, and the two world wars. All it would take, would be for a generation of people not to be taught how dangerous nuclear waste is, for us all to be dying of cancers, or other radiation sicknesses. A forty year period of uneducation...and we all die. There are 1750 chances of that happening during the radioactive lifetime of 100g of waste being produced...or 3250 chances if you've produced a kilo of many kilos do we produce world wide on a daily basis??? See I told you not to get me started on nuclear waste!

Gang warfare is on the rise, and so far this week we've had at least three murders that I know of. What are we doing wrong as a society? Is it any surprise that so many religion are based peace, love, and understanding of others??? Yet so many people are rudderless as they sail through life. They turned thier backs on organised religion, replacing it with capitalism and greed. The world is losing it's integrity by the bucket load, rather than looking within and treating others as they wish to be treated. Empathy is missing at the grass roots level. People are growing up bitter and twisted, perpetuating the cycle. I try to spread my message of understanding, and make such a tiny difference *sigh*


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