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The Red of War November 11, 2008

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Uncategorized.
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Being that it is November 11th, I have found myself thinking today about the terrible prospect that is war.

Now, those of you who know me well will likely have heard my rants regarding the military and violence on numerous occasions. I have been known to be extraordinarily vocal and unsympathetic to the plight of voluntary members of the armed forces, and also incredibly passionate both for the poor unwilling slaughtered upon conscription, and proud of the braveness of conscientious objectors.

Today is a day for remembering those who gave their lives in horrible situations – who died deep in the mud of the trenches, or separated limb by limb by firearms and shells. It is a situation I can barely imagine, let alone empathise with. A situation so far removed from the comforts of modern life that it is unrecognisable, to me at least.

I respect the work of those who did die – after all, Britain may not exist were it not for them. However, the concept of war I have very little sympathy with.

I hate the violence of it. I hate the establishment of boundaries, rules, a good side and bad side. I hate the death of innocents, the destruction of communities. I accept that sometimes the bloodshed and inevitable pain seems to have a purpose – for the greater good. I cannot, however, accept that the majority of wars could not be avoided.

I am aware that what I am saying here is likely to raise some hackles – indeed, therein lays my intention – to provoke responses, to get people thinking and feeling.

Personally, I have very little remorse for those who have lost their lives through voluntary service in the armed forces. I would endure personal remorse, should someone I know dies. However, I tend to regard death within the armed forces as a job hazard – if you aren’t willing to die, then it is simple – do not join. If you aren’t aware of the possibility of maiming etc, then you are not fit to be a soldier. Plus, the violent side is always ignored – a majority of those killed in war have themselves killed people – and often people who are another cultures version of our soldiers.

Legalised killing still sends my hackles sky high – even if you are allowed to do it, I deeply dislike the prospect of taking life – don’t even get me started on the death penalty.

So, I hope that this has been interesting. You may not agree – you probably don’t. I am very much aware that my views are just that – my views and mine alone.

Let me know what you think!

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Comments»

1. nectarfizz - November 11, 2008

Hugs love.

2. gildedfolly - November 11, 2008

I hate the violence of war too. But I admire anyone who is willing to put themselves quite literally in the firing line for their beliefs. I do not have the strength of conviction to do any such thing.

I also greatly admire the courage of those who were conscripted into the First and Second World Wars with so little choice. To choose between a living hell as an objector or a living hell at war is not really a choice at all – I think to face the battlefields in the vain hope that it will affect the future happiness of one’s country and therefore ultimately one’s family is a valid choice. My personal opinion is that it is the braver choice – but on that point we’ll have to agree to disagree.

If one reads around the subject a little one finds the comradeship between all nationalities to be inspiring. So many of these soldiers had no desire to cause harm to another. Alongside the warming and infamous tales of Christmas Day football matches and carol services in no-man’s land are the lesser-known agreements between all that they would not shoot higher than the legs unless they percieved their lives to be in very real danger. This accounts for the higher number of injured than dead.

Of course, today is extra special as it commemorates the 90th anniversay of the end of WW1 – which alone accounts for the death of 20 million people, half of whom were civilians. It was the war to end all wars. Except it didn’t. If we won’t learn from those numbers, I don’t think we ever will.

xx


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