Sunday, April 26, 2015

Anzac Day

I do not like war. I hate the terrible death and suffering. I also dislike the political propaganda that tries to turn something dreadful and awful into something to be celebrated. I particularly dislike the way that the media try to make war appear to be noble and good.

Yesterday was ANZAC day. 25 April 1915 was the first day of the Gallipoli campaign at the beginning of the First World War. I dislike the way that this day been captured by the military, and has changed from a day of grieving for lost family and friends into a celebration of the glories of war. Truth suffers in the process. Nothing is said about the folly of war. The disasters and evils that always accompany it are masqueraded as heroism and sacrifice.

Most wars are stupid, but the first World War was particularly stupid. It started when an Austrian archduke was shot by a Serbian in Sarajevo. Most Europeans could not tell an archduke from an archdeacon and no one cared about the Serbs or Sarajevo, but their political leaders decided they would have a jolly good old war anyway.

The politicians and kings started a stupid war and millions of ordinary young men paid full price for it. When the war finally ground to a halt five years later, nothing had been achieved, but 20 million people had died and another 20 million carried serious injuries.

The politicians and leaders never apologized for their mistake. Instead they turned the dead and injured into heroes. This distracted attention from their stupid decisions and made people feel better about an event that was really a terrible disaster. Calling the soldiers heroes makes it seem that what they had done was worthwhile.

The Gallipoli campaign was one of those stupid battles thought up by a politician in London that was never going to work in practice. The Australian and New Zealand troops ended up on stuck on a narrow beach in Turkey. The Turkish soldiers at the top of the cliffs were armed with machine guns and fighting to defend their homes and families. They were defending their own country, so they were never going to lose.

Several months later, the Australian and New Zealand troops withdrew having achieved nothing for a terrible price. One hundred thousand people were dead and another two hundred thousand were injured. The most embarrassing aspect of the fiasco was that white Christian people were supposed to be superior to the Turkish Moslems.


Strefanasha said...

Well said. I am glad that there are some Christians out there with the sense to see through the nonsense.

Indeed it is not only nonsense but blasphemy to liken being killed in a drunken bar room brawl between emperors, which IMO was what WWI was, it is blasphemy to liken it to the sacrifice of Christ

Bella said...

We live in Australia and echo your sentiments. My grandfather was at Gallipoli in the British army, my father was at the D day landings as a commando and was injured badly int he shoulder. He never talked about it. Ever. He lived his life with the knowledge of that trauma and kept his 'stiff upper lip' as a true Englishman.

The amount of times as a kid I asked him to come with me to the Anzac Day parade which I had to attend as a girl guide or brownie and he flat out refused. I now understand why he did that. And respect him for not conforming to the utter rubbish of glorifying war and in fact worshipping our ancestors, albeit in a more sophisticated manner.

In Australia at least, this day has become an idol and the younger generations are being taught how to worship it with their whole hearts.

We are one family who refuse to bow down to it.

Ron McK said...

It is idolotry.