War, the endless curse on any prospect of us being regarded as an advanced species.
Decade after decade shows no sign at all of us being able to exist without wanting to inflict the worst horrors imaginable on somebody.
Even as a kid at primary school I used to be put off by seeing pictures in books of The Crusades, reading about Cromwell, seeing accounts of the world wars. One of the most powerful sets of images that affected my young and impressionable mind concerned Sunday Bloody Sunday. I can still see those grainy black and white television pictures now, even after all these years. Obviously my young mind did not decipher the political reasoning, I just remember soldiers and guns and bodies. Maybe the impact was intensified by the fact that that battle ground was so very geographically close to my Warrington home. The conditioning of me to accept war as an everyday event started very early on in my ordinary life.
Throughout my life there has always been a war raging somewhere, Vietnam, Kosovo, Argentina, The Gaza Strip, Ireland, on and on and on. Today is no different.
I have to wonder how many kids have grown up just like me, exposed continually to all this mayhem, difference now being that it spills out of flat screen plasma screens every fifteen minutes which all adds up to their being no hiding place for all those young and impressionable minds. What will a kid who is nine years old today be reading of? What will a kid who is nine years old in twenty seven years time be reading of?
That future kid will likely read of the worsening state of the air due to the nuclear explosions of yesteryear, the deepening tensions in the usual areas out East, the arresting of those who spoke out against the dictators, along with the vast profits being raked in by those who trade in war equipment. They will hear about the super new bombs that kill people but do not flatten buildings, or drop chemicals which prevent the bombed from reproducing for generations to come. Defence spending among the super powers will likely be at astronomical heights, as their societies tolerate record poverty levels and the associated ills.
What will the future kid make of it all?
War, what exactly is it supposed to be good for? It would, sadly, need a view through very tinted glasses to assume that the day will arrive when we can look around, smile, and celebrate a conflict free globe. This thought occurs to me every year as I stand at the Cenotaph and my mind wanders through the unknown stories of all those millions and millions of war dead, and what they did or did not achieve. It is not a comforting thought to think that there will, inevitably, be millions and millions of others.
Why can wars never become a thing to look back upon, and not a thing to be depressed by every single day? . There will always be those who see themselves as being oppressed, having their lands stolen away from them, see the riches which lay deep beneath their soil in the form of petrochemicals being siphoned off by outsiders.
Populations who are ruled with an iron fist, one which does not even bother with the velvet glove.
Most of this will be a very justified outlook to them. What else are they supposed to do?
It always seems to me that it is the more advanced countries who focus their military might upon the lesser developed counties. This has become the case over the last twenty years. There have been many instances where poorer countries have openly gone to war with each other, usually in the name of nothing but being the "top dog" in the regions concerned. Those same better off countries who are happy to rain down their technological military might tend to ignore such times, mainly because there would be no material gain for them if they intervened to stop it.
Therein lays a telling sign, no gain allow the pain. Very advanced thinking eh?
The much detested Tony Blair has for years been putting forward that ideology is the key at such times, I have to wonder how much time money and effort is brought to the table in that respect. I have no idea just exactly how much money has been invested in war toys since it all began centuries ago, I also have to wonder what stage of our evolutionary curve we would be at if all that cash had indeed been spent on other ways to resolve these serious outbreaks of discord.
Our evolutionary curve, far too depressing to think about that.
One of the more depressing things to come out of all this to me, is the way our leaders put forward the losses of jobs at times when people object to vast amounts of our money being spent on weapons. It is said that 50,000 jobs could be lost if Trident was consigned to the bin. This tells me that the arms industry is making far too much money. Money, the root of all evil, well, it is certainly the root of this one.
With a huge apology to anyone who may lose their jobs, I see profiting from huge scale death as an enormous, but casually accepted, mortal sin.
50,000 jobs , or no arms industry,,,, ??????
Profit from hundreds of thousands of painful deaths, how is this supposed to be acceptable? I will go further, anyone one in ANY political party who sanctions this is a coward, a poor excuse for a human being. Nothing is lower than profiting from the spoils of war. The role of our political representatives should involve departing from assisting in mass death, why are we not hearing such things being said in Parliament?
There are countries who have no military, they all seem to be doing just fine to me. Fair enough flash points will continue to happen all over the world, surely there are enough awful weapons in existence currently to indicate we really do not need any more.
The outlook is very bleak. We have a world super power who tells everyone else to halt their nuclear weapons projects whilst they rush along developing their own. This is the same superpower that says it will press on with armed aggression with or without the consent of the UN.
I maybe have 20 years left, I will attend the Cenotaph for every one of them, will I ever be able to take comfort from the absence of war on the planet?