So Let’s Talk War here on Wednesday


anything you can doDo you ever get the feeling that the world’s political and religious leaders are engaged in a continual game of ‘Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better’?  It feels that way to me and when I look back through history at the trail of blood and pain spilled in the name of who has the best god I get so very angry.  There was a time when religion was used deliberately by governments as a mean of subduing the local populations of countries they invaded.

This was and is a practice going back to the days of the Roman Empire right through to the British colonization of much of the world and now today as we see our leaders whip a frenzy of fear, fan the flames of fanaticism on all sides of the debate and prepare to reap the financial rewards that war brings to countries in flux.  Or at least those countries whose own soil won’t be stained with the blood of combatants and civilians alike.

religion-politics-god-weapon-e1340674277202The concept behind using religion as a weapon is actually quite simple, destroy a peoples beliefs, undermine their societal structures, demonize those who stand firm and what are you left with?  A country of people lacking a power structure or any unifying belief system other than the ones you allow them.  Europe was a perfect example of this, particularly Briton, Wales and Ireland [as they are now known].

As a matriarchal society based on the religious teachings of the goddess they posed a great threat and as such were more brutally dealt with than most other occupied lands.  The priest were sent with the troops, and no doubt these religious men believed that they were spreading what they believed to be the ‘true word of god’ but the military commanders knew they were also weapons.

druid-patrickPriests sent with plague filled blankets, here in Australia, the US and throughout Africa and India.  Where they couldn’t convert they’d kill.  The most brutal decimation but oddly least well known was in Ireland.  Bishop Patricus [who later became St Patrick] slaughtered all the Druids he could find, burnt the priestesses and cut down the groves.  For this act of ethnic cleansing he was made a saint and the story is told of how he drove the snakes from Ireland.

The snakes he drove out were the ones tattooed on the arms of the Druids, symbols of wisdom, learning and devotion to their people and their land and since they would not accept the new teachings and raised the common folk against the Romans the military commanders gave Patricus soldiers to hunt down and destroy these ‘dissidents or malcontents’.

But all these things happened so long ago, surely times are different and we would not use religion and people as games pieces in a war that isn’t necessary – would we?  I’m not so sure and I think that there are a number of Syrian parents wondering the same thing today after a number of children die from contaminated Measles vaccines.  Both parties in the civil war point the finger at each other and others place the blame on outside forces seeking to bolster outrage and reinforce the decision of the US to interfere ‘yet again‘ in the business of another country.

Where was the US then.

Where was the US then.

What right does the West have to decide who must be punished and when, if Australia and the US didn’t interfere when those young girls from Nigeria were kidnapped and held hostage why would they choose to interfere here and now.  Is it just timing, does Syria have something they want whereas those girls came from nowhere special or important enough for the US to do more than murmur ‘how outrageous and moving right along‘.

If we are sending people to war because a country is committing crimes against humanity just when does the US plan to hit Australia, after all we have just recently been found guilty of over 150 crimes against humanity by the UN council in regards the the detention of asylum seekers.

No photo shop necessary - life just sometimes provides the perfect image

No photo shop necessary – life just sometimes provides the perfect image

What right, what possible justification can Tony Abbott have to declare that we are in danger of terrorist attack when the most damage being done to this country is by his government and those who paved the way for his election in the hopes of feathering their own mining nests.  Coal and Iron Ore is always useful during war I understand, not so much solar or wind energy.

Since there is a massive drop in the price of ore and coal exportation is being squeezed yet again with the loss of much of China’s market it does seem that from a business perspective finding other third world countries you can force to buy your products seems to be ideal.  You just have to get rid of those who would prefer to run their own government.

pickmeI am not naive, there are times when it is not only necessary but right to go to war, when those who cannot defend themselves need someone to stand for them.  But I question the validity of this action here and now and I question even more so our involvement in it.  I am also deeply disappointed by the oppositions stance on this matter.  During Vietnam Labor stood strong against the Conservatives and in the end they were proved right.

Bill Shorten needs to find his backbone or at least borrow one and draw the line.  This bi-partisan support for the PM is based more on Shortens’ desire not to upset anyone which seems to be the whole basis of his role as leader.  If he is not up to the job they need to find someone who is and fast because it doesn’t make Australia look strong and united it makes our opposition look weak and scared and led by a fool desperately hoping to be picked for the team.

The conflicting information being given by this government makes it almost impossible to determine if there is a real threat and then again if there is such unrest in Syria and if it is so very dangerous then why has Scott Morrison been sending back political asylum seekers fleeing the current unrest.  He claims to have made the determination to do so based on the information provided by ASIO, this is the same body that advised the PM to increase the terror alert and to consider sending forces in to back the US due the extreme level of unrest.

brain crashI’ve got to say the mental gymnastics around that thinking has me cocking my head like a Labrador and just going Huh!!  No matter how many times I run that combination of information through my mind I cannot make it compute and I’m reluctant to do it too often as I have the feeling that combined with the ridiculous rhetoric about our terror level my brain may just crash and demand a reset.

Thinking about this and the useless wars we have fought in the past Redgum’s song I Was Only 19, comes to mind and is, I think the perfect way to finish this piece because at the end of the day it is young men and women who will die to prop up the political careers of those not worthy of office.

 

22 thoughts on “So Let’s Talk War here on Wednesday

  1. Hey Jenni. Ineresting post. I know that war has often been used to adance the best interests of a small group. Ny question is, when we do not have the information necessary to decide – and we are being denied that info – then how do we decide if a war is necessary or not? Here in Canada there is a suspicious lack of info, even the media is being quiet. I saw one small statement from our Prime Minister that members of our Air Force are participating in a multi-nation air offensive aganst ISIS. That’s it. But I gotta tell you Jenni, all other facts aside, those videos and stories coming out of that area where literally hundreds at a time are being beheaded are unsettling.Should we allow that to continue to happen? And if so, for how long? Personally I would like more info on why we are doing what we are, however, I can understand that too much info could endanger our troops (i/.e where the planes are being based, the timetable of the bombing, etc.). The only information we are likely to get wil be after the fact. That makes me nervous but I do not know how to change it.

    The apparent dependency of this whole operation on the ground troops from Kurdistan and other Arab countries – many of which are barely hanging onto control – seems like a bad idea. I really do not think this is an effective ground plan. The second issue I have is that bombers are only effective against fixed assets – military bases, ammunition dumps, supply trains, airfields, power plants,etc. None of which are typical of rebels. They are typically organized in small groups or cells, that work on the fly. They appear, create devastaion, and disappear. And they look and sound just like the locals with no way to know who is a rebel and who is a bystander.

    Anywa, I’m not sure this war is wrong – ISIS is doing evil things – but I am equally not sure that this plan is without poltical reasons or that it will be effective. Oh, most of the info above I got from American media – not Canadian..

    Anway I do agree with youJenni that so much war and devastation has, in the past, been wrong and used to advance the political ends of a few. I do not know if that is the case here. And for sure no one is going to tell me, so I guess all I can do is go along for the ride (with the story we’re given) and hope for the best.

    Great Post and I hope you’re wrong (but I wouldn’t bet on it).

    Liked by 1 person

    • How much of that organisation comes from training provided by the US at time when these people were useful and how much of the horror stories are real or are they going to prove as elusive as the Weapons of Mass Destruction. There is NO DOUBT that horrible things are being done and that the country is warring with itself to see who comes out on top but why is it necessary for the US to send troops. Not aid workers, peace keepers, foods, medicines etc no your country, mine and the US are going to send armed forces in with the intent to ‘hunt down and destroy’ the enemy – whoever that turns out to be. The same stories are were spread about Vietnam and Korea and look how well that turned out and look how wrong we were. Are we being asked for help? Is the UN stepping in and demanding world action? This will be a mess but the ones who’s should bear the cost of it will be well out of the line of danger.

      Like

      • That’s all true Jenni. And there are no answers for us, at least. One thing is universally true – civil wars are the most destructive, horrendous wars in the world. And outside influences seldom, if ever help. More Americans were killed or injured in their civil war than in all of WWI and WWII combined. And if you’ve ever visited the US, you will know that a lot of theanimosity between the sides is still there and that was generations ago. We’ll see but it looks like a lost, if well intended, cause to me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I just don’t want Australia anywhere near it to be honest as I think it’s going to be a huge mess. On top of that there are some serious issues here at home that our PM is avoiding using the distraction of the ‘terror threat’ etc.

        Like

      • I completely understand – he is using this to cover up his terrible internal decisions. No doubt the truth – every sucky politician does the same thing trying to distract the voters from their record.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Is it really too late. | willowdot21

  3. Sorry Jenni, but you started this and this will be a long one. Grab a coffee before you read. If you can be bothered.
    I’m no historian but when you look at the rise of the nation state and the sanctity of domestic affairs (initially the right of a sovereign to chose which religion to follow) that came out of the Westphalian peace in 1648 you can see the car crash that is today’s mucked up world coming. First it is Europe reinventing diplomacy to stop wars, getting into bed with each other to stop one top dog taking over everyone else – on the pretext of the sanctity of the nation state. Then America’s rise alongside its isolationism (based on the self same principle) which almost blew apart in two world wars, both of which ended with an attempt to impose a supranational policing to ensure the nation state continued safely (League f Nations followed by the United nations). Which inevitably distilled into the cold war and the terror of mutually assured destruction (which of course is different from the war on terror though I’m not exactly sure how). This ends with one of the two behemoths collapsing leaving only one in charge. Of course that one is the ultimate good guy and its only policy was universal peace and contentment. There was noting self serving about its politics. No, it’s support for the Taleban had nothing to do with bloodying the Soviets nose. The weapons that went to Saddam wasn’t because he too hated the Theocracy in Iran. Its tolerance of the most misogynistic regime in he world, Saudi had nothing to do with the position of the home of the 5th Fleet; or the egregious amounts of oil (if you are looking for proof that there is no benign God, look no further than where He decided to dump the largest gas and oil reserves in the world). No America and its quisling allies always looked to be a force for good. It was right they stood aside while Hutu tore into Tutsi in Rwanda; there was nothing wrong with the behaviour of despots in Liberia or the Congo or Zimbabwe (possibly because the victims looked kind of black) or North Korea (because the victims are a bit yellowy and the bad guys have a nasty weapon); if there had been, the US coalition for the good would have intervened, right? Perhaps they nearly got it right when they saved Kuwait (though saving it for what – more misogyny?) and Kosovo (but after the deaths began to include significant Christians as well as Muslims). But then its 9/11 and the gloves are off. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen – the number of countries whose borders are not sacrosanct mounts – whether directly or via drone attacks. But this is because the Good guys are the ones shooting so it must be ok. Support for Israel is unequivocal – they’re a good guy because there are a lot of good guys who support the US. The Arab spring and of course anyone challenging a Bad Guy – ie someone who the Good guys say is bad – must be good so lets help them with bombs and guns and troops. And eventually it’s Syria and even the Good guys aren’t sure who the other good guys are any more. They’re all bad guys. And the really bad guys have been masquerading as good guys. And they don’t care about national boundaries or rules of engagement or the Geneva convention. Even if their twisted view of their religion didn’t given them their philosophy they just had to look at water boarding and extraordinary rendition and Guantanamo to realise that that is just so old school. So when they act in the most appalling and despicable way and the West wrings its hands, who really do we blame for the break down of the international consensus but those who happily played fast and loose with it when it served their purposes? And because those in charge know they fucked up, it’s ‘lets scare the shit out of our population with The War on Terror and heightened security threats and telling everyone the enemy is within and is so appalling and clever that the rues of habeus corpus and the right to a fair trial are making it impossible to keep you save (even though they worked well enough during the last 250 years or so) so we need to erode them, while telling the rest of the world that democracy – our democracy and human rights – our human rights – are so good that everyone else must abide by them even if we cannot because it’s all become so murky and difficult out there. Do they not see? Are they so blind? If religion is the opiate of the masses then the War on Terror is its new legal high cousin.
    Hmm, now where did that come from?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh I do like that new legal called high – The War on Terror. They lie, they cheat and then have the audacity to sit in judgement on the rest of the world.

      The US uses countries and their peoples as games pieces to better their own interests and it is not enough that they take advantage they make them say thank you for the privilege of the US re-organising their country.

      If thanks aren’t made or heaven forbid the changes resisted then we all know what happens next the War on Terror gets a new combatant and TV’s around the world are flooded with atrocities done by those ungrateful to the US.

      The UK waver between joining in and hiding out but never standing up and as for Australia we end up looking like the nerdy kid scuttling after the popular ones at school desperate to be noticed and taking care of the shit detail in the hopes it makes us one of the ‘big kids’.

      But you know that’s just my opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for the support – and I’m glad that you find what I write about worthwhile. I’d keep writing anyway but it is good to hear that other people appreciate the work. Thank you again. Jenni x

      Like

  4. Ms. Jenni, this was a very interesting read. I literally sat here contemplating your opinions and the facts provided for a several minutes. Such a scary place to be a part of, makes me really, REALLY wonder what is the point of this? Will there ever be a better way? HAS there been a better way on Earth before?

    Not here to bring down your day, again, a very informative and passionate article.

    -M.J.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No it is a rather scary place to be when our leaders try to distract us from their own lack by creating a firestorm of fear and hatred that they can ride to the next election on.

      Like

  5. Not sure how I should comment – religions when they are fresh and somewhat immature will inevitably fall to fanaticism for a while and men with power will always exploit them. I am an atheist and I simply cannot understand how people fall for the unprovable, the insubstantial and the idolatrous concept of a superior being, other than by reason of fear.

    I guess we in our position at the summit of the food chain need some mechanisms for population control and war is first among these. Is that why we are one of the few animals willing to actually kill each other in a fight?

    Like

    • Religion is just another mask used to describe difference and instill uncertainty. Instead of being something that people can find comfort in, in whatever brand they choose it has become something to fight about. Race, language, religion all of these things that should unite us in our diversity and balance the world – these things are all used as weapons to divide and to be showcased as excuses when one group takes what another has by force. Humanity – if we can indeed still call ourselves humane – needs to stop grabbing at everything around us for just one second and stop and see what we are doing not just to each other but the world that we live in.

      Liked by 1 person

      • World peace – yes, infinitely desirable, but if ever we were to achieve it we would , as a species, breed like rabbits and infest in a similar way (if, indeed, that is not already our state). We would still need some control mechanism, and the answers might not always be much more palatable than war.

        Liked by 1 person

      • We’re a sentient species and as such are aware of our actions, the good and the bad. Because of that we come up with ways to justify difficult decisions. The wolf doesn’t feel bad about killing to drive others out of their territory or to feed but humans need a reason so they can sleep at night when they are faced with killing their own kind. While other mechanisms of population control may well be unpalatable I think it is better than lying to ourselves as to the nature of of our decisions to kill.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Might I suggest you look at the problems from a slightly different perspective? Not because your current perspective is wrong, but because it is not the only one.

    Here are some new assumptions I suggest you make as you re-appraise your article:
    1. Whenever a weak group with valuable assets comes into contact with a strong group, it is doomed.
    2. The moral sphere and the political sphere overlap very little, if at all.
    3. To put morality above the pursuit of power is to, over time, transform yourself into the weak group mentioned in assumption 1.
    4. A strong group defeated will be treated much better than a weak group destroyed. It thus follows that avoiding weakness is the IDEAL pursuit of any nation.

    Whether or not you accept these assumptions, I believe explaining the one upsmanship and moral outrages becomes much easier with them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t deny that what you say has a point however I am tired of the fact that history has shown over and over again what happens once you walk down this path. We’re a sentient species we should be capable of learning from the past rather than re treading a road already littered with the dead and damaged.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s