Monday, July 23, 2007


"King Harold was killed during the Battle of Hastings."

It's amazing really! When did you last read about children belonging to our rulers being killed in war zones (by rulers I mean the likes of Blair, Bush or Howard)? When did you last read of any close relatives of our rulers being killed in war zones? I'll try again: when did you last hear of any children belonging to the likes of Murdoch or Packer or the progeny of multi-millionaires or billionaires suffering death in battles? Are you still scratching your head, wracking your brain? Stop right now! To my knowledge, there are NONE.

What about injuries then? What about those who return from the war zones, who are hideously burned, who have limbs missing, who are blind or are severely damaged psychologically. Do any of them have famous names? Can't think of any? Isn't that strange?

Since WW2, the ones who declare wars and the ones who profit from wars, curiously, seem to remain separated from the countless tragedies that war creates, tragedies that consume those who are sent to fight (sometimes called cannon fodder) and those unfortunates who are caught in the war zones themselves.

It was not always so. Once Kings bravely led their troops into battle. Now 'leaders' creep unannounced into somewhere safe in the war zone, stay a matter of a couple of hours, then leave as fast as their little legs (or rotor blades) can carry them for places thousands of miles away from the action!

Perhaps this grossly unfair, contemporary disconnect is why the likelihood of endless war will remain and 'heroes' like Bush, Blair and Howard, et al, cowards all, will remain safely at their desks and make rousing speeches while, in boardrooms, other cowards plan how to make billions of dollars from this war or that. In both cases, the carnage they create continues to involve others, and, of course, your kids and mine.

If politician's kids and the kids of war profiteers were forced to be involved in front line active duty right from a war's beginning, surely war would stop immediately!

Do you agree?


Playful Pete said...

Mmmmm,...the son of our Defence Chief Peter Cosgrove (at the time), the man who saw our forces off to Iraq, was sent there himself. And he was injured in an ambush as you may recall.

As for today's leaders, we have:

-Colin Powell, who lead forces in 1991 in Iraq as military Chief of Staff, and sent them to Iraq in 2003, was himself a combat veteran who risked his own hide in Vietnam, amongst other posts.

-Republican nominee for President, the current Senator John McCain, who has canvassed a strike against the Iranian nuclear reactors, was himself a fighter pilot in Vietnam who was captured by the totalitarians (Marxists) and subjected to brutal torture for years, including having every single bone in his body being broken.

But I'd agree, it would be better if more children of pollies were serving for sure. The problem is that we cannot force them to make a career choice.

Anonymous said...

Very true! It kind of reminds me of the growing number of doctors who refuse to immunise their own kids but pressure other parents to do it cus they are making money off it.
The double standard is everywhere!
We live in a very unjust world.

Daniel said...

If my memory serves me correctly, those Americans you mention served in war BEFORE they entered politics, Pete (as did Kerry). And I don't recall that Cosgrove has become a war-mongering politician yet.

Those in the armed forces do as they are told and some are following a militaristic family tradition. Nice try, Pete.

Neo, you talk of double standards. Could you explain to Pete what that means.

Playful Pete said...

Hang on, it's a hard ask to imagine the wrinkly old pollies to be able to run as fast as SAS, or even to serve in some bunker somewhere while still running their portfolio. It's unrealistic.

Hence my recollection of pollies who have served in war themselves, as satisfactory evidence that those who send military forces off, had been prepared to volunteer themselves. (John McCain VOLUNTEERED to be a combat officer, instead of a conscription lowly. And Colin Powell VOLUNTEERED to go on a 2nd tour in Vietnam).

And I'll add another. Former Deputy PM Tim Fischer, a former combat soldier in Vietnam, sent the Australian Army into the INTERFET mission in East Timor, where some soldiers were shot and injured (thankfully none killed).

MarcLord said...

Newly elected Senator from Virginia, Jim Webb, has a son on duty in Iraq. When he first met the Decider, he wore his son's army boots and insulted Bush right back.

But nobody in their right mind would go to Iraq as an American soldier now. That's why they're taking felons, the insane, and they're starting to outsource the job to Kenyans.

Daniel, I do not wish to blog-whore, but this last item about recruiting Kenyans is not yet known. My wife came across it because of her contacts on the ground there:

Daniel said...

Marc, if we, as bloggers, work together, we will be a far greater force for change.

Thanks for dropping by and giving us valuable input!