Tradition and history
April 27, 2008
We reflect on the heroes of past wars. And wear poppies to celebrate their pointless loss. Films of children on the news, five year olds saying lest we forget – “they gave their lives so we could be free” one blonde six year old deliberately spells out for us incase we did not see it. They were talking about the twenty thousand young ANZACs slaughted on the beach at Gallipoli during WW1.
She seemed too young to understand why exactly those young men gave their lives. She seemed too innocent to understand what privations and horror those young men suffered, or would have suffered if their military achivements were not cut short in perhaps their very first day of battle. A soldier dead on a beach landing does not make invasion more successful. It does not advance the cause.
The use of landing craft was so much more effective at Dunkirk. But many were killed. The tradition has now outlived its use, parachute them in or use air strikes if you have to eliminate hard targets. War is evolving, on both sides of the divide.
If North Korea have been more active in exporting nuclear expertise, according to Israel and reason for bombing an alleged reactor in Syria that the US has kept secret until now, and this latest revelatation that Kim Jong-il (the “genius”) has figured out a way to counter the US first strike advantage bestowed on it by superior gun power. Military evolution at the expense of the people? Is this shocking?
All military evolution is at the expense of people.
If the US had spent just half of what they expended on the Iraq war, they could have fixed their health and education and the next generation of children educated there would not culturally short circuit the moment you say “learn from history”.
The Traditions of Warfare have no meaning in today’s world. The West routinely tortures and does not respect the rights of citizens to exist free of political interference. Politics was invented to prevent the abuse of power. The definition of security is not the same as “real security”. It is easier for a Government to survive on doublespeak than the raw truth.
If tradition is no longer seen as a value or learned from, if it is seen as redundant because we now can kill people in more ingenious and threatening ways, then we lost our way.
Health and Eduction for all (including Iraqi children) is the slow and definite answer. War as an expedient is the traditional source of real evil.