Another ANZAC Day has passed and we are still in the grip of it being used as a PR base for drumming up our kids to join the military.
It wasn’t always so.
When the original Diggers came back from WW1 most were totally disillusioned about War and the senseless waste of human life. Many refused to march in the parades because of the memories it bought back to them and they didn’t think it “honoured their mates”. On the contrary, they did not want to do anything that might cause more kids to sign up next time around.
In this regard it failed miserably because a mere 20 years later more of our kids seeking adventure lined up for WW2 and the whole sordid business started over again.
These days it is getting worse. Deceptive recruitment advertising, tying it all into footy like it is some sort of game, grandstanding pollies sitting in military hardware, artificial “War on Terror” scenarios, an enthusiastic Media lapping up the immature Boys Own stories, and all of it overlaid by the crocodile tears of “isn’t war tragic”.
The recruitment adverts are especially annoying. We need decision makers is the message but in reality want they really need is blind following of orders. When you do enlist you rapidly discover that the training is designed to beat any individuality out of you and perhaps build you up again if you become a decision maker.
Of course it makes sense for the military system to work but they advertise their product offering the exact opposite of what they intend. With a suicide rate at 3 times the national average, I think they should think long and hard about their recruitment techniques and see if it is part of the problem.
The footy link bugs me too. It’s not a game. It’s real life and real death and the damage done mentally when our soldiers are forced to watch disgusting behaviour by allies carries baggage long after they have left the military. Even worse is that it that ongoing damage is often disregarded by Pollies who don’t enjoy the negative side of the wars and hate paying the full bill for their adventures so they don’t.
We are only starting to see the numbers jump from damage caused by Iraq and Afghanistan will follow that, and like every other conflict we will see delays and insults heaped upon the victims before responsible action is taken.
It’s not good enough. In the words of Colin Powell, “You break it. You own it.”
Is there an answer to saving our grandkids from becoming war statistics?
I can’t see an easy one when we don’t call out our Pollies to justify going to war and when we don’t make them pay the full price for their adventures. The bullshit used to drag us into Iraq is obvious but in a world where the likes of Tony Blair can still travel without threat of being dragged into court shows we still cut them far too much slack.
Until we get control of our Pollies, the circus continues and our kids pay the price and that price is far more serious than losing 4 premiership points.