Here’s another one for ANZAC Day…

So, it was on or just before ANZAC Day four years ago, the last veteran of Gallipoli died.   And I truly do get a bit sad and angry, betimes, when these guys are held up as a reason FOR more wars, more militarism, more police state bullshit.  Sometimes I choke when singing  Eric Bogle’s song, “The Band Played Waltzing Matilda”. There were 2 sections of the song:
“I looked at the place, where me legs used to be” and “But as year follow year / More old men… disappear / Someday no one will march there at all.”

Which happened this February.  The last WWI Veteran, an English nurse who joined when she was 14.  Funny how such things run in cycles.  

When she was born, the “old men disappearing” were veterans of the Napoleonic Wars of which we in America got a teenie weenie bit part, not even onstage really, more like the orchestra pit.  We didn’t actually win, got a “mutual non-aggression pact” with the British, who among other “losses” they incurred, took a “beating” at Baltimore where they bombed the living Hell out of Fort McHenry, but didn’t actually capture it.  Burned Washington D.C. (Why is the White House white? Because after they almost burned it down it was repainted with the cheapest and only paint available) and a small expeditionary force didn’t take New Orleans at a time when it wouldn’t make a gnat’s eyebrow worth of difference because our part of the war was already over.  

Kind of like we only got our collective arse beat pink instead of shiny red.  A country song called “The Winner” from 1973 leaps to mind:

“But I left that person cursing, nursing
Seven broken bones
And he only broke… uh, THREE of mine.
Guess that makes me the Winner.”

Gee, we only got whooped a little so let’s make Songs out of it.  “The Star Spangled Banner” and “The Halls of Montezuma” have a lot in common there.

When those “victories” were accomplished, two other famous nurses were growing up, Clara Barton and Florence Nightingale. Women doctors?  Not in the “civilized” world, you betcha, Red Ryder.

They didn’t even allow women to work in hospitals, the only “nursing” they were allowed to do professionally involved renting their nipples to rich women who couldn’t be bothered to do it for their own kids.

Women in the military?  Ha to the Ha-Ha!!  They were “allowing” children into the Army, hanging kids for petty theft, too… long before they accepted women in any kind of uniform.  In fact, on “Haunted London” tours you get the story of a ghost at Old Bailey who was hanged in 1911, when SHE was 8.

For those who are actually counting, Bravo!! and those who dropped out in 2nd grade, for you I’ll do the math.  The nurse who just left our Vale of Tears was 11 in 1911, and three years later she enlisted unless I’m doing the math wrong.  They started enlisting women as nurses primarily because they were using the men in important jobs like collecting bullets and shell fragments.

After the war, women could still be imprisoned, hanged and beaten to death by their husbands, but couldn’t vote or own property, so you didn’t actually come a long way, baby.

The biggest gain, allegedly, for any group has been for some reason being accepted as cannon fodder.

There is an awfully twisted logic to that.  “Congratulations, you got the job!!  Which by the way involves YOU being killed by someone who has been honored with THE SAME JOB.”  Luck, that is.

In one made-for-TV movie from the 80s, Cicely Tyson had this really cool line, about the Army being integrated across the “color” barrier..  “Oh, Lord! They fond found out we make good soldiers!”

Now they’re saying that it’s a major milestone that gay People can openly serve in the military.  Great big whoop-di-diddly-do. Here I was thinkin’ to myself, what would be a REAL major milestone would be to, you know, NOT kill people who are historically marginalized groups.  Or anybody else.

Just, you know, sayin’.  But what really brings it back around to ANZAC is this was the first time Australian and New Zealand soldiers were allowed to serve under Australian and New Zealand officers.  Yippee for everybody!!

From another Bogle song “Green Fields O’ France”:

“Well the sorrow, the suffring’, the glory and pain
The killin’ a’ dying was all done in vain.
For Young Willie MacBride it all happened again
And again, and again, and again.

Those who scorn weeping for the dead, are those who lack the courage to morn or to love.

Those who mock as madness peace, are those who have taken the coward’s path, killing their own souls rather than face their insane fear of seeing anyone as their brother.

There is no glory in war.  Never was.  Especially obvious now when “our” country government is preparing to invade have other people invade yet another country, following the P.N.A.C. agenda plan two decades ago to economically dominate the world for the ben’mefit of the very few.  They also said boasted they would be able to get enough Americans to back their plans, even surrender their liberties, using simple lies, like the WMD lie they’re recycling for the Iran war.

And that American people are way too stupid to doubt a lie even when we’ve been told in advance and by the exact same liars, that they’re going to do so.  

Funnier still, (I’m laughing so hard it looks like I’m just staring in disbelief at the morons, Ok, for those incapable of understanding sarcasm, no I’m not laughing, but AM staring in disbelief) Winston Churchill and some of his fellow Demon Span had issued a similar agenda, to liberate the Persian and Arabian oil fields for the Crown Corporation which is now called British Petroleum.  “Liberate” them from the iron grip of the Turks using as pawns the French, Jews, Persians, India and the Australia-New Zealand Auxiliary Corps, IN 1915.

Under the command of Sir Winston Churchill, whose first order of business (after igniting a war by having an Austrian cousin of the British King assassinated in Turkish ruled Sarajevo, Serbia) was to take the Turkish Dardanelles, at Gallipoli, on Suvla Bay.  

“Johnny Turk, he was waitin’, aye, he’d primed himself well
They rained us with bullets, an’ shot us with shells
And in Five minutes flat they blew us all to Hell
Nearly blew us right back to Australia.”

Churchill resigned his command and took a commission as a field officer on the Green Fields o’ France.  Maybe he should have enlisted as a private.  Guess not.  Aristocrats aren’t supposed to be cannon fodder, that’s what peasants are for, eh wot?

Ah, well…

Could have/Should have/What ifs and such are parlor games which are now revived via computers.  One scenario suggested that if Alexander the Great had been hit one inch to the left by a Persian battle axe, early in his conquests, his bodyguard wouldn’t have been able to save him.  His empire and subsequently the Ptolemaic Dynasty, the Etruscan civilization, Carthage and Rome might not have arisen and Jesus would have just been a street preacher in a dusty backwater of the Persian Empire.

My favorite is one Senator Al Franken wrote for SNL back before it was just initials, “What if Spartacus had a Piper Cub?”, which ended up as no difference.  “What if Superman had landed in Germany instead of Kansas?”, the allies would have developed the Kryptonite ray, no difference.  The one they had lined up next was “What if Custer had a Sherman Tank?”, but they didn’t keep it going.

What if Churchill had been killed?  What if the ANZACs had mutinied? But my mom taught me a saying about IF: “If a frog had wings he wouldn’t bump his rump with every jump.”

Frogs don’t fly, the War went forth with so many “oopsie” moments the Crown went bankrupt, Every Soldier has not died, and War has ground on every stinking day since. 

Aye, Willie MacBride, I can’t help but ask “Why?”  Or did those who died here know why they died?

“for the sorrow, the sufferin’, the glory, the pain
The killing and dying was all done in vain.
For Young Willie MacBride, it all happened again
and again, and again, and again.”

“Did they beat the drum slowly?
Did they play the fife lowly?
Did they sound the death march as they lower ye down?
And did the bank play “The Last Post” in chorus? 
And did the pipes play “The Flow’rs o’ the Forest?”

This will be the first ANZAC Parade with absolutely none of the Great War veterans attending or watching.  In May, it will be our first memorial day and come November, Armistice Day will have lost its last feeble grip on reality.  9-11 lost it on or about 9-10-01, but that’s another story.

The theme keeps going, rambling, but still making an order of magnitude more sense than the ongoing rambling war.

5 thoughts on “Here’s another one for ANZAC Day…

  1. AvatarJames

    Under the command of Sir Winston Churchill, whose first order of business (after igniting a war by having an Austrian cousin of the British King assassinated in Turkish ruled Sarajevo, Serbia)

    Source please, that seems to have been left out of any history text I’ve ever read.

  2. Avatarjonah

    History text get written by the winners, so sayeth Alexander, Hitler, and a broad range of (mostly hereditary, like the British Crown) dictators in between.
    Herr Churchill survived to write HIS side, millions of others did not.

    That BP had a huge stake in relieving the Arabs, Persians, and Palestininian Jews of Turkish oppression by English oppression is fairly well known.
    X
    At least by those who read more than one facet of history.
    For what it’s worth, there were far more than two “belligerent factions” in that nonstop hostility, and the accounts of any are just as valid as the ones we are told in our schools, schools.

    And ours are just as foolish and inaccurate as any others.

    When those accounts are used to inflame further atrocities the world loses and I would be shamed if I did nothing to challenge them.
    To take the name of God in defending further slaughter would break every commandment.

    Churchill was as strong an advocate of imperialism as the Kaiser or Archduke Ferdinand and if the Crown had no hand in specifically ordering the hit on Ferdinand they had stirred the stew of ethnic hate between Greek and Turk, they made certain to dip their ladles.

  3. Avatarjonah

    I have to clean up my text a tad as (example) “Demon Spawn” was rendered “span”.
    Apologies are’demanded, but I will anyway.

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