Do 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.
The 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.
Priests 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.
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.
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.
I 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.
I’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.