Lest we forget

April 25th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Last Post. The video was for British Remembrance Day, but is equally appropriate for us.

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114 Responses to “Lest we forget”

  1. Reid (16,634 comments) says:

    This is a strong sentiment expressing an issue that may not apply here, but it appears to in the UK and in the US, from what I read.

    Note that it’s directed at both left and right politicians, so don’t take the picture at the end the wrong way.

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  2. Fisiani (1,047 comments) says:

    Would you believe it. On the Standard they have equal prominence to a RED and a WHITE poppy on their banner headline.

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  3. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    Quite a lot of people wear both poppiues on Anzac Day. i think the white poppy is catching on.

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  4. OneTrack (3,228 comments) says:

    The white poppy is “catching on”. So that makes it alright then. So ANZAC Day, which was set up to honour the fallen Australian and New Zealand soldiers at Gallipoli, and in the first world war, has now been morphed into some sort of progressive anti-war demonstration to mourn the non-combatants killed. For a start there were no non-combatants killed at Gallipoli.

    Nice going guys. Will the protestors be at the dawn service, burning the New Zealand flag again? But, anything for the cause, right!

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  5. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    The white poppy is a symbol of remembrance for all the victims of war. Its ambit is a bit wider than, and complements, the red poppy. Anzac Day seems to me a good day to wear both.

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  6. Fisiani (1,047 comments) says:

    mikenmild if you are such a leftist fan of the white poppy symbol you should walk into any RSA club today and show off your white poppy. It will be the only one there and you would realise your error. It might however be the last thing you ever realise.

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  7. stephieboy (3,400 comments) says:

    I have just arrived back from the dawn parade at the Auckland Cenotaph followed by breakfast with family and friends.The weather was crisp and beautifully clear, still and peaceful .The service attended by an enormous throng of people was simple. but very moving and memorable.It began with the Maori conch shell, the opening prayer and we all sung that especially ANZAC of all hymns, Abide With Me.Of particular interest were the presence of three mounted horses to remember the all important role that horses played in the war effort , some 8,000 sent over with our troops in WW I . Only four returned.
    Included in our National Anthem was Australia’s for the first time. How appropriate and moving.My son commented on the imagery of the dawning sky and emerging new day, from darkness to light, from death to life t.Just how I think the fallen and their comrades who survived and continue to survive would like us to think ?I suppose those that still attend and especially the increasing numbers of the youger generation also represent that new life. Additionally the dawn parade was a reminder of our judaec Christian past, the occasion rich in it’s religious and spiritual symbolism and imagery.
    Maori Television did an excellent and non intrusive job with the TV coverage..I came away thinking of the enduring legacy that is ANZAC. day.Those that fell and survived at Gallipoli and subsequent battle fields could not of anticipated what such a momentous occasion it has become, embedded so deeply into the hearts and minds of our nation and it’s people.
    Lest we Forget.

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  8. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    Fisiani
    There is nothing particularly left wing about remembering all victims of war. You might be surprised if you actually ever visited an RSA.

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  9. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    DULCE ET DECORUM EST

    Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
    Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
    Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
    And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
    Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
    But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
    Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
    Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

    Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
    Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
    But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
    And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
    Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
    As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

    In all my dreams before my helpless sight
    He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

    If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
    Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
    And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
    His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin,
    If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
    Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
    Bitter as the cud
    Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
    My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
    To children ardent for some desperate glory,
    The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
    Pro patria mori.

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  10. OneTrack (3,228 comments) says:

    mike – there is something particularly left-wing about wearing a white poppy on ANZAC Day.

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  11. ShawnLH (5,754 comments) says:

    “The white poppy is “catching on”.”

    It’s not really. I have seen none around Chch. A tiny number of people, with most being from the “pacifist” left, cannot reasonably be called “catching on.”

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  12. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    The Bishop tells us: ‘When the boys come back
    ‘They will not be the same; for they’ll have fought
    ‘In a just cause: they lead the last attack
    ‘On Anti-Christ; their comrades’ blood has bought
    ‘New right to breed an honourable race,
    ‘They have challenged Death and dared him face to face.’

    ‘We’re none of us the same!’ the boys reply.
    ‘For George lost both his legs; and Bill’s stone blind;
    ‘Poor Jim’s shot through the lungs and like to die;
    ‘And Bert’s gone syphilitic: you’ll not find
    ‘A chap who’s served that hasn’t found some change.’
    And the Bishop said: ‘The ways of God are strange!’

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  13. Tom Barker (145 comments) says:

    Epitaph for a dead statesman

    I could not dig
    I dared not rob
    And so I lied to please the mob
    Now all my lies are proved untrue
    And I must face the men I slew
    What tales shall serve me now among
    Mine angry and defrauded young?

    Rudyard Kipling

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  14. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    mikenmild: Your attitude befits that of a gutless left-wing pacifist. Are you the offspring of one of those disgusting watersiders who struck for more money while “Men” were away protecting the scum. People like you are not worthy of oxygen!

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  15. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    When I first thought of enlisting
    And courageously assisting
    In this game the poet calls the sport of Kings,
    I had dreams of martial glory
    Dashing charge with bayonet gory,
    And a host of other brave and stirring things.

    But, alas! For dreams deceiving,
    And imagination weaving
    Such a web of utter falsehood in my brain!
    For my visions all are shattered,
    And I’ve just become a tattered,
    Weary digger, working knee-deep in a drain.

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  16. SGA (1,142 comments) says:

    @milkenmild
    Sassoon, Owen, but I’m guessing no Brooke?

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  17. scrubone (3,105 comments) says:

    I think WWI taught humanity what can happen when men are too willing to fight wars.

    WWII taught humanity what can happen when men are too unwilling to fight wars.

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  18. Viking2 (11,568 comments) says:

    Mrs. Irene Graham of Thorpe Avenue , Boscombe, delighted the audience with her reminiscence of the German prisoner of war who was sent each week to do her garden. He was repatriated at the end of 1945, she recalled –
    ‘He’d always seemed a nice friendly chap, but when the crocuses came up in the middle of our lawn in February 1946, they spelt out ‘Heil Hitler.”
    ( Bournemouth Evening Echo)

    :lol:

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  19. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    ‘Good-morning; good-morning!’ the General said
    When we met him last week on our way to the line.
    Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of ’em dead,
    And we’re cursing his staff for incompetent swine.

    ‘He’s a cheery old card,’ grunted Harry to Jack
    As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack.
    But he did for them both by his plan of attack.

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  20. Reid (16,634 comments) says:

    The issue with pacifists is the only time they find their voice and their courage is when they’re in a country that allows them to exercise the abrogation of their responsibilities with no undue penalty – maybe prison but that’s it. They’re not being “heroic” in any way whatsoever, because once a war decision has been taken, everything changes. It’s like the house is on fire, so fight it or get out of the way. One of the two. Simple as that.

    If pacifists had any guts or intelligence whatsoever in any way at all, what they’d do is lie down in front of the tanks that were being paraded through the main towns as part of the build up to war, and allow themselves to be squashed to death horribly in their thousands. They’d also speak up by the thousands as the regime was in the process of taking power, and thereby get themselves and all their families sent off the torture camps. At least if pacifists did things like that, then they’d serve as an example.

    But they never do.

    Instead they wait like the little cowards they are until the damage has all been done, the house is on fire, the country is at war, before they raise their meek little squeaky voices and tell the rest of us that actually, after all things being considered, they don’t really want a bar of this, so good luck and all, and sorry about your sons and daughters who are going to be tortured and die, wish we could have helped.

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  21. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

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  22. hj (7,066 comments) says:

    Empey served for six years in the US Cavalry and was performing duty as a recruiting sergeant for the New Jersey National Guard in New York City when World War I began. He left the United States at the end of 1915 frustrated at its neutrality in the conflict at that point and travelled to London, England, where he joined the 1st London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers), Territorial Force, of the British Army, going on to serve with it in the 56th (London) Infantry Division on the Western Front as a bomber and a machine-gunner. He was medically discharged from the British Army after he was wounded in action at the commencement of the Battle of the Somme.[1]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Guy_Empey
    at the end of the book he says he missed being back in the trenches.
    http://www.amazon.com/Over-Classic-Reprint-Arthur-Empey/dp/144004161X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398380025&sr=1-1&keywords=Over+the+Top+%281917%29

    Diary of a Common soldier (about the Civil War) always missed the regiment also.
    http://www.amazon.com/Common-Soldier-American-Revolution-1775-1783/dp/0875805280

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  23. Yoza (1,908 comments) says:

    igm (881 comments) says:
    April 25th, 2014 at 10:05 am

    mikenmild: Your attitude befits that of a gutless left-wing pacifist. Are you the offspring of one of those disgusting watersiders who struck for more money while “Men” were away protecting the scum. People like you are not worthy of oxygen!

    Past wars should not be viewed through a lens of nostalgia tinted with narratives of heroism, duty and nobility as these are consciously designed to obscure the suffering, futility and horror that are the reality of war.
    Allowing established interests to exploit the memories of those killed in the First and Second World Wars as a means of justifying the ongoing use of state violence to solve conflicts and dispense ‘justice’ in the present ensures we will continue to send our young to their deaths in futile displays of deference in the future.

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  24. SGA (1,142 comments) says:

    War’s a joke for me and you,
    Wile we know such dreams are true.
    – Siegfried Sassoon

    Out there, we’ve walked quite friendly up to Death,-
    Sat down and eaten with him, cool and bland,-
    Pardoned his spilling mess-tins in our hand.
    We’ve sniffed the green thick odour of his breath,-
    Our eyes wept, but our courage didn’t writhe.
    He’s spat at us with bullets and he’s coughed
    Shrapnel. We chorussed when he sang aloft,
    We whistled while he shaved us with his scythe.

    Oh, Death was never enemy of ours!
    We laughed at him, we leagued with him, old chum.
    No soldier’s paid to kick against His powers.
    We laughed, -knowing that better men would come,
    And greater wars: when each proud fighter brags
    He wars on Death, for lives; not men, for flags.

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  25. Yoza (1,908 comments) says:

    Reid (15,606 comments) says:
    April 25th, 2014 at 10:44 am

    The issue with pacifists is the only time they find their voice and their courage is when they’re in a country that allows them to exercise the abrogation of their responsibilities with no undue penalty –

    Have you not heard of Archibald Baxter?

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  26. hj (7,066 comments) says:

    @ Yoza
    Pacifists could become medics?
    What was Valerie doing with that bottle?

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  27. WineOh (630 comments) says:

    Actually back in the day there was nothing gutless about being a pacifist. Being a conscientious objector meant a high probability of becoming an outcast from family and community, lengthy imprisonment with hard labour. The futility of the slaughter and wanton disregard for human life especially in the commanders of WWI – I recall the expectations that in the first waves of allied attack in Passchendaele the expectations were for 50%+ casualty rates, and this was seen as acceptable.

    I for one will still be wearing a red poppy rather than a white one. It isn’t about glorifying war, or promoting “might is right” in settling disputes, it is about remembering those that made the ultimate sacrifice and the horrors endured by the survivors.

    (PS- it is telling that the spell-checker on this post has Passchendaele underlined in red, recommending that I change it to ‘Chippendale’ instead. Lest we forget indeed.)

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  28. WineOh (630 comments) says:

    Actually, my late grandfather was a pacifist… he made the decision to volunteer for the medical core – goodness knows how many lives he saved, and the horrors he saw in WWII when he served in Italy and Egypt. He went on to become a microbiologist, establishing the first pathology labs in two different provincial hospitals, as well being the organist for his local church, a deeply compassionate man and a terrific cutting wit whom I rate as one of my personal heroes.

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  29. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    We might also like to remember that this day in 1951 saw the end of the action at Kapyong, the most notable battle for New Zealanders during the Korean War. New Zealand’s 16th Field Regiment was closely involved, firing in support of Canadian and Australian infantry to successfully check a major Chinese offensive. The regiment was awarded a South Korean Presidential Unit Citation for the action.

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  30. ShawnLH (5,754 comments) says:

    “Past wars should not be viewed through a lens of nostalgia tinted with narratives of heroism, duty and nobility”

    Past wars should not be viewed through the lens of far Left ideology with it’s narratives of treason, supporting mass murdering communism, and generally using pacifism as a cover for merely supporting any and every Left wing, Arab, or third world tin pot dictator.

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  31. tvb (4,512 comments) says:

    The free loading left wearing their white poppies are freeloading off the security we all enjoy thanks to the sacrifices of the mainly young men who gave their lives. Today we honour their sacrifice and bear thanks for our security. War is abominable but important social changes occurred post war – for the better.

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  32. hj (7,066 comments) says:

    In Diary of a Common Soldier he talks about someone who just couldn’t conquer his fear. A phobia got him right between the eyes. It’s a well written book by someone who went on to become a judge. It isn’t a bit jingoistic and is interesting as it is played out in the home territory where families might be split down the middle.
    http://www.amazon.com/Common-Soldier-American-Revolution-1775-1783/dp/0875805280

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  33. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    Those heroes that shed their blood
    And lost their lives…
    You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
    Therefore, rest in peace.
    There is no difference between the Johnnies
    And the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side,
    Here in this country of ours.
    You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries…
    Wipe away your tears.
    Your sons are now lying in our bosom
    And are in peace.
    After having lost their lives on this land, they have
    Become our sons as well.

    Kemal Attaturk, 1934

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  34. hj (7,066 comments) says:

    From what I have read soldiers were often itching to have a go at the enemy. It seems to be an evolutionary adaptation.

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  35. BeaB (2,148 comments) says:

    There would have been more decorum in the video (which otherwise is dulce) if they had got the spelling correct.

    Old diggers like our dads and uncles wouldn’t think much of the soppiness being encouraged these days.

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  36. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    Laurence Binyon’s ‘For the Fallen’, best known here for the fourth verse, usually used as the ode at commemorative services.

    With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
    England mourns for her dead across the sea.
    Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
    Fallen in the cause of the free.

    Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
    Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
    There is music in the midst of desolation
    And a glory that shines upon our tears.

    They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
    Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
    They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
    They fell with their faces to the foe.

    They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
    Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
    At the going down of the sun and in the morning
    We will remember them.

    They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
    They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
    They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
    They sleep beyond England’s foam.

    But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
    Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
    To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
    As the stars are known to the Night;

    As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
    Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
    As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
    To the end, to the end, they remain.

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  37. SGA (1,142 comments) says:

    mikenmild at 11:58 am

    Laurence Binyon’s ‘For the Fallen’, best known here for the fourth verse, usually used as the ode at commemorative services.

    The “ode” part is read out nightly at 7 p.m. in NZ RSAs, followed by a minute’s silence. (Unless things have changed)

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  38. Reid (16,634 comments) says:

    Actually, my late grandfather was a pacifist… whom I rate as one of my personal heroes.

    I lost two uncles in WWII. One of them was killed in the desert, the other was killed in a Lancaster over France. He was a navigator. He volunteered for the Pathfinders, because he’d seen the effects of the carpet bombing and he couldn’t bear the thought of all those civilians being randomly slaughtered so he thought the best thing to do was to transfer to the cutting edge and improve the targeting. The Pathfinder casualty rate at the time was 4.6%, meaning that virtually none of them would survive a tour. Yet rather than hide in the pack still, he went. A fighter attacked over France, hit the bomb load and his plane exploded. I’m named after him. He’s one of my heroes.

    Old men start wars, young men and these days young women, fight them. While in an ideal world, society should stop the old men from starting them in the first place, that doesn’t happen. It should, but it doesn’t.

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  39. David Garrett (7,548 comments) says:

    Mikey: You seem to think if you quote enough poignant war related poetry that will balance out – or perhaps validate – your decision to wear a pacifist emblem on this day most sacred to those who fell in war – both soldier and civilian.

    I am from the generation which first saw ANZAC Day desecrated – the only appropriate word – by protestors like Helen Clark, dressed in Vietnamese style clothing and chucking red paint about to signify the shed blood of innocents. That wasnt appropriate then, and wearing white poppies on THIS day is not appropriate now. I dont think anyone could reasonably object to such a symbol worn yesterday or tommorrow…but not today.

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  40. Yoza (1,908 comments) says:

    hj (5,720 comments) says:
    April 25th, 2014 at 11:54 am

    From what I have read soldiers were often itching to have a go at the enemy. It seems to be an evolutionary adaptation.

    The only study I have seen suggests, without intensive psychological desensitising, only 15-20% of combatants actually shoot at the enemy during a conflict:

    “During World War II, U.S. Army Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshall asked average soldiers how they conducted themselves in battle. Before that, it had always been assumed that the average soldier would kill in combat simply because his country and his leaders had told him to do so, and because it might be essential to defend his own life and the lives of his friends.
    Marshall’s singularly unexpected discovery was that, of every hundred men along the line of fire during the combat period, an average of only 15 to 20 “would take any part with their weapons.” This was consistently true, “whether the action was spread over a day, or two days, or three.”

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  41. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    To My Brother, by Vera Brittain

    Your battle-wounds are scars upon my heart,
    Received when in that grand and tragic “show”
    You played your part
    Two years ago,

    And silver in the summer morning sun
    I see the symbol of your courage glow-
    That Cross you won
    Two years ago,

    Though now again you watch the shrapnel
    Fly,
    And hear the guns that daily louder grow,
    As in July
    Two years ago,

    May you endure to lead the last advance
    And with your men pursue the flying foe
    As once in France
    Two years ago.

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  42. David Garrett (7,548 comments) says:

    Yoza: I usually find you wryly amusing…one can only laugh at a 60 year old who still thinks communism is a capital idea…but today, and on this thread, you are not amusing at all… PFO.

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  43. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    Kipling’s ‘My Boy Jack’

    “Have you news of my boy Jack? ”
    Not this tide.
    “When d’you think that he’ll come back?”
    Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.
    “Has any one else had word of him?”
    Not this tide.
    For what is sunk will hardly swim,
    Not with this wind blowing, and this tide.

    “Oh, dear, what comfort can I find?”
    None this tide,
    Nor any tide,
    Except he did not shame his kind—
    Not even with that wind blowing, and that tide.

    Then hold your head up all the more,
    This tide,
    And every tide;
    Because he was the son you bore,
    And gave to that wind blowing and that tide.

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  44. Yoza (1,908 comments) says:

    David Garrett (5,153 comments) says:
    April 25th, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    Mikey: You seem to think if you quote enough poignant war related poetry that will balance out – or perhaps validate – your decision to wear a pacifist emblem on this day most sacred to those who fell in war – both soldier and civilian.

    I am from the generation which first saw ANZAC Day desecrated – the only appropriate word – by protestors like Helen Clark, dressed in Vietnamese style clothing and chucking red paint about to signify the shed blood of innocents. That wasnt appropriate then, and wearing white poppies on THIS day is not appropriate now. I dont think anyone could reasonably object to such a symbol worn yesterday or tommorrow…but not today.

    The slaughter in South East Asia was not confined to Vietnam. There is no comparison with those who were conscripted to fight in WWI & WWII with those who volunteered to fight on the side of the aggressors in the genocidal assault on Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Conflating the massive losses experienced by NZ soldiers in WWI & WWII with the comparatively light losses suffered during the invasion of Vietnam is pathetic.
    We should be standing against US led genocides, not willingly participating.

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  45. ShawnLH (5,754 comments) says:

    Wayfaring Stranger

    I’m just a poor wayfaring stranger
    I’m traveling through this world of woe
    Yet there’s no sickness, toil nor danger
    In that bright land to which I go
    I’m going there to see my mother/father
    I’m going there no more to roam
    I’m just a-going over Jordan
    I’m just a-going over home

    I know dark clouds will gather ’round me
    I know my way is rough and steep
    Yet golden fields lie just before me
    Where God’s redeemed shall ever sleep
    I’m going there to see my father
    He said he’d meet me when I come
    I’m only going over Jordan
    I’m only going over home

    I want to wear a crown of glory
    When I get home to that good land
    I want to shout salvation’s story
    In concert with the blood-washed band

    I’m going there to meet my Saviour
    To sing his praise forever more
    I’m just a-going over Jordan
    I’m just a-going over home

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  46. ShawnLH (5,754 comments) says:

    “We should be standing against US led genocides, not willingly participating.”

    We should be standing up with the US against Communist led genocides, not hiding our support for them behind “pacifism.”

    There, fixed it for you. :)

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  47. David Garrett (7,548 comments) says:

    Who said anything about “willingly participating” in US genocides you fuckwit?

    Comparing the Vietnam conflict with the slaughter of WW I and II is exactly what Clark and her mates were doing…and trying to suggest that all three wars were the same, or at least similar, and all were unjustified.

    If they had tried what they did in a more passionate country there would have been dead protestors lying along the parade routes.

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  48. Yoza (1,908 comments) says:

    David Garrett (5,155 comments) says:
    April 25th, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Who said anything about “willingly participating” in US genocides you fuckwit”?

    You are one of those silly old men who are attempt to live in a past that never was. What is truly amusing is the older you get the more fantastical your narrative of past events will appear when contrasted with a more rigorous honesty applied to historical events as society becomes more open and tolerant.

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  49. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    WWII taught humanity what can happen when men are too unwilling to fight wars.

    This only makes any sense if we assume that Germans, Italians, Russians and Japanese aren’t ‘men.’ Are we assuming that now?

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  50. David Garrett (7,548 comments) says:

    Yoza: I’d be willing to test my knowledge of WW II history against yours any day…I have no doubt you favour the revisionist historians who see the Dam Busters raid and the bombing of Dresden as “war crimes”…that just makes you an ignorant fuckwit in my view… I have held that view of your ilk since before I went to Uni and studied both world wars properly…

    Here’s a starter for 10 for you…David Irving was the first serious historian to suggest the bombing of Dresden was unjustifed militarily…his book on the subject is still cited. Irving is also famous for denying the extent of the Holocaust. Discuss.

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  51. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    If they had tried what they did in a more passionate country there would have been dead protestors lying along the parade routes.

    If they’d tried it in a country with a higher density of murdering scumbags in the population, maybe. I’m glad we don’t have that – why aren’t you?

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  52. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    David Irving was the first serious historian to suggest the bombing of Dresden was unjustifed militarily…his book on the subject is still cited. Irving is also famous for denying the extent of the Holocaust. Discuss.

    “Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus” is a logical fallacy. Discuss.

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  53. nasska (11,808 comments) says:

    ….”a more rigorous honesty applied to historical events as society becomes more open and tolerant.”…..

    What on earth has that to do with a nation respecting its servicemen. WW 1 & 2 were fought by conscripted men….if they weren’t conscripted then the disapprobation heaped on those who didn’t ‘volunteer’ made it the same. Korea, Malaysia & Vietnam were fought by enlisted men on the orders of the Government of the day.

    Yet scum like Clark & her gutless Commie inspired varsity mates poured paint on & spat at Vietnam veterans. Whichever side of the fence one sits on politically their actions were unforgivable.

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  54. Yoza (1,908 comments) says:

    Knock yourself out, Garrett.

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  55. Reid (16,634 comments) says:

    The bombing of Dresden was a war crime. Same as Mai Lai was. What is wrong with people that they can’t see the freakin obvious when it’s committed by “their” side?

    Check this out for many other examples:
    http://cienciologia.wordpress.com/category/hellstorm/

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  56. nasska (11,808 comments) says:

    Reid

    Ever heard of the advice given to soldiers to the effect that it is not their task to die for their country but make the other bugger die for his.

    As for Dresden, have a read about the bombing of London….there were civilian casualties there too. It’s called war.

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  57. Reid (16,634 comments) says:

    As for Dresden, have a read about the bombing of London….there were civilian casualties there too. It’s called war.

    That’s right, it is.

    The point was, WWII is thought by many to have been a ‘good war.’ It wasn’t, it was like any other war, with ruthless slaughter all over the place by both sides and the victor writing the history. Lots of people who think they know about WWII have only ever read the victor’s accounts, that’s what I was like until about 10 years ago and like David, I’ll put my knowledge of WWII history up against anyone. Incidentally David, who in your view was the best general? My pick is Manstein, what’s yours?

    But to know history you can’t just read what the victor wrote, for that’s always, yes, always, a one-sided romanticised view culled of unpleasantries.

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  58. David Garrett (7,548 comments) says:

    Psycho: They didnt teach Latin at my school…you’ll have to translate for this working class boy from Gisborne.

    Reid: Here’s a few “unpleasantries” about WW II for you…Of the New Zealanders who served in Bomber Command, ONE THIRD never came back..(Read Max Lambert’s excellent book “Night After Night”)…but things were even worse for the US 8th Airforce, which persisted with daylight bombing despite horrendous losses (until the Mustang came along, and they could have fighter cover all the way there and back)…TWO THIRDS of the 8th Airforce didnt survive the war…As for the supposed atrocity of Dresden, there were many militarily signifcant targets in the city (fighter instrument making factories for example) and it was a major railway junction through which troops were sent to the Eastern Front…Yep, lots of civilian casualties…just like there were in the London during the blitz, and again at the end of the war from V-1’s and V-2’s…

    American estimates were up to 1 million casualties on the US side if they had to take the Home Islands of Japan by invasion…and about three times the number of civilian casualties were caused by fire bombing rather than the atomic bombs..

    Now I am off to take my Kids to an ANZAC service…

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  59. cha (4,081 comments) says:

    I am from the generation which first saw ANZAC Day desecrated

    I stood as a 7 Squadron cenotaph sentry at the Hamilton war memorial in 1969, 1970 and 1971 and in the years since I’ve done my share of dawn parade transport and coffee and rum duties yet I’ve never seen a ceremony disrupted.

    Have I missed something?.

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  60. nasska (11,808 comments) says:

    There’s no such thing as a “good” war Reid. The victors normally get to write the history but only the perpetually bewildered will believe everything so written.

    But if you can’t win, it is then good fortune to lose to the right side. Contrast the treatment of those in post war East Germany to those in the West.

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  61. tvb (4,512 comments) says:

    The saturation bombing of some German cities were quite possibly war crimes but victors justice mean bomber Harris got away with it.

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  62. Reid (16,634 comments) says:

    Read Max Lambert’s excellent book “Night After Night”

    I have David. When you get back from the service, perhaps we could discuss the Generalship.

    The victors normally get to write the history but only the perpetually bewildered will believe everything so written.

    That’s what normally happens nasska. Witness David’s above comment about the justification for Dresden and his comment about the justification for the nukes on Japan. Perhaps he hasn’t read about the Japanese attempts to surrender which Truman ignored. But then if he’s only ever read the history of the victors, that’s all he would know.

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  63. nasska (11,808 comments) says:

    From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strategic_bombing_during_World_War_II

    ….” In September 1940, the Luftwaffe began targeting British cities in the ‘Blitz’.[“…..

    ….”Targeting cities and civilians was viewed as disrupting the control centre of the enemy, damaging his rail network, disrupting war industries, and as a psychological weapon to break the enemy’s will to fight.”…..

    Someone want to have a go at explaining the difference between the Axis bombing the hell out of civilians in London & the Allies doing the same to Dresden?

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  64. nasska (11,808 comments) says:

    Reid

    The Japanese reportedly used coded messages to their embassies hinting at a willingness to surrender knowing that the USA had already broken the codes. Although in a hopeless position they wanted to dictate terms including the size of any occupation force.

    Perhaps had they not been so determined to save their all important “face” things may have turned out differently but it was the Japanese leaders who were prepared to sacrifice any number of their countrymen for the sake of their wretched honour.

    The responsibility for the bombings was theirs & theirs alone.

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  65. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    Of the New Zealanders who served in Bomber Command, ONE THIRD never came back..

    From their assigned task of roasting German citizens in their basements…

    Someone want to have a go at explaining the difference between the Axis bombing the hell out of civilians in London & the Allies doing the same to Dresden?

    There isn’t much of one. Both air forces found that daytime bombing was too dangerous, and night-time bombing didn’t make for targeting anything much smaller than a city. The main difference is that the British put a lot more effort into it and killed orders of magnitude more people with it.

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  66. Kimbo (1,070 comments) says:

    “The main difference is that the British put a lot more effort into it and killed orders of magnitude more people with it.”

    Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind. And I don’t seem to remember the Luftwaffe exercising much precision nor restraint when they bombed a whole lot of cities in the East – Warsaw, Leningrad, Stalingrad…

    As Montgomery remarked when the German delegation that came to negotiate with him chaffed at the terms offered – “Unconditional Surrender”, and they tried to point out the suffering of the German populace living amongst smoking ruins…

    “Yes, well you should have thought of that before you decided to bomb Coventry!”

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  67. nasska (11,808 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt

    ….”The main difference is that the British put a lot more effort into it and killed orders of magnitude more people with it.”…..

    What the hell are you banging on about?

    From the BBC re London:

    ….”The final toll of casualties caused by the various air raids on Britain was over 60,000 civilians killed, (30,000 in London), and 90,000 admitted to hospital (50,000 in London). Over 25,000 men, more than 29.000 women, and over 5,000 children were killed – in addition there were almost 1,000 bodies so badly charred that they could not be identified as to sex and age.”…..

    vs Dresden

    ….”But now, after a four-year investigation, a panel of German historians has said that the true number of dead from the Allied air raids in January 1945 was between 18,000 and 25,000.”…..

    Ref: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1078529/WW2-Dresden-bombing-killed-far-fewer-people-half-million-new-records-show.html#ixzz2zrTeKtax

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  68. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

    That was certainly Hitler’s motto. I thought we weren’t fascists, though?

    What the hell are you banging on about?

    Here’s a tip: if, instead of totalling up British casualties of air raids in the entire war vs casualties of one raid on Dresden, you look at total casualties on each side, you’ll find you need an extra 0 on the German number. For example: 50,000 total in London during the entire war, vs 43,000 in just three nights in Hamburg during July 1943. Really, really not comparable.

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  69. Kimbo (1,070 comments) says:

    No we weren’t facists.

    Lots of revisionists try and put Harris in a metaphorical dock as a war criminal. Although the data was uncertain and mixed throughout the war, the Allied campaign wasn’t primarily as RETRIBUTION for the Blitz. Instead, they believed in good faith it was a means to shorten the war – and save more Allied servicemen’s lives. The Allied politicians, generals, admirals and marshals were primarily responsible for them – not Axis civilians.

    So

    For example: 50,000 total in London during the entire war, vs 43,000 in just three nights in Hamburg during July 1943. Really, really not comparable.

    Yes – very comparable. Killing enemy civilians with the intent of saving the lives of your servicemen is qualitatively the same thing – no matter what the comparative quantitative statistical differences.

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  70. tvb (4,512 comments) says:

    The Americans do much more than their share of the heavy lifting. The British have a habit of trying to get the Americans to fight their war meanwhile committing meagre resources.

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  71. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    Killing enemy civilians with the intent of saving the lives of your servicemen is qualitatively the same thing…

    Kind of funny you should mention that, since IIRC killing civilians to save your soldiers’ lives is definitely a war crime.

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  72. Kimbo (1,070 comments) says:

    Kind of funny you should mention that, since IIRC killing civilians to save your soldiers’ lives is definitely a war crime.

    As British admirals tried to argue that German admirals Doenitz and Raeder were within their rights to issue the order for their U boats to sink ALL Allied shipping without warning, they obviously didn’t see it that way when the Axis applied the same principle.

    Also, while Goering was condemned to hang at Nuremburg (and beat the noose by suicide) I’m not aware the sentence was anything to do with the conduct of the Blitz.

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  73. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    We have forgotten. Our support of Americas absurd ‘war on terror’ demonstrates that. Nothing has been learnt.

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  74. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    Recalling the sacrifice of a previous generation does not mean that a current war is wrong.

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  75. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    The Americans do much more than their share of the heavy lifting. The British have a habit of trying to get the Americans to fight their war meanwhile committing meagre resources.

    Er, what? The Yanks came into WW1 only when it was clear the Jerries were going down – the heavy lifting was done entirely by France and Britain (and their proxies, eg us).

    In WW2, Britain committed such ‘meagre resources’ that it was bankrupt by late 1940. The Americans’ “heavy lifting” up to 1942 consisted of hauling Britain’s entire gold supply back to the States. Once the only gold left in the UK was on women’s fingers, the Yanks were willing to take bits of the empire suitable for military bases in exchange for supplies and military equipment. After that they were willing to do a bit of “buy now, pay later.” As usual, they eventually turned up in time to take the credit. Heavy lifting, my arse.

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  76. David Garrett (7,548 comments) says:

    Back from the KKK Anzac day service…short and sweet, the way they should be…I find it difficult to attend the “major” services where some 30 year old Captain in the Army tries to say something meaningful about events 70 years and more ago…

    Re Dresden and Hamburg vs. Coventry and London…although it is very old fashioned to say so, the raw reality is Adolf and his adoring citizens started the conflict…and as someone has quoted Harris as saying, once you start hostilities you inevitably reap the whirlwind…

    No-one but a psychopath would rejoice in German civilian deaths…but as others have noted, between 1940 and 44 the only way of taking the war to the Hun was through aerial bombardment…and while Harris turned out to be wrong (because the civilian population of Germany was no less resolute than the Brits) area bombing WAS the only “second front” the Brits could mount before the industrial might of the US constituted an irresistable force..and shit happens when it is total war as it was…

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  77. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    milky what are you on about ?

    The current wars are wrong and so was that one. It is not one thing or the other.

    WWII was wrong as well. We were told we were fighting to protect Europe from an evil authoritarian regime. Only to abandon it to an arguably worse communist regime that spread death, fear and oppression through Eastern Europe, Central Asia, The Caucasus and Northern Europe. It went way beyond anything planned by the German socialists.

    So what were we really fighting for ?

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  78. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    The outcome of WWII for eastern Europe doe not mean it was wrong to fight Germany and Japan.

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  79. David Garrett (7,548 comments) says:

    Kea: The guys who went to war in 1940 had no way of possibly knowing what Stalin and his mates had planned for Europe post war..They responded to the clear threat posed by Adolf of domination of Europe and the wider world…I agree that lots of bad decisions were made during the latter stages of WW II…most obviously the decision to hold back on the West while Zhukov and the other Russsian Generals took Berlin…But that’s all 20/20 hindsight…we need to look at how things were in 1940-41 from the Western allies’ perspective..

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  80. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    The outcome of WWII for eastern Europe doe not mean it was wrong to fight Germany and Japan.

    No, but it means it’s wrong to pretend we did it out of some kind of noble sentiment rather than plain, ordinary old national interest.

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  81. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    The guys who went to war in 1940 had no way of possibly knowing what Stalin and his mates had planned for Europe post war.

    Unpredictable results is one of the big reasons why declaring war on people is stupid.

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  82. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    DG you are of course correct and my comments intended no disrespect to those who fought and suffered.

    But the fact remains our efforts allowed the rise of something possibly worse. So I ask what was really achieved by all that killing ?

    If our goal was to protect the liberty and freedom of Europe then we lost the war. And we lost it badly. Just have a look how far the communist empire stretched and how many countries fell victim.

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  83. Reid (16,634 comments) says:

    Back from the KKK Anzac day service

    Let’s hope the lefties don’t read that David, they might get all mistaken. Just BTW that reap the whirlwind that Harris used is from the Bible, Hosea 8:7.

    So are you interested in discussing Generals, or not really? I don’t mind, either way.

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  84. Kimbo (1,070 comments) says:

    Unpredictable results is one of the big reasons why declaring war on people is stupid.

    That could apply to any risky endeavour…business, education, marriage!

    Actually on second thoughts you may be on to something… :)

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  85. Psycho Milt (2,419 comments) says:

    At least marriage is yet to prove fatal – in my case at least…

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  86. nasska (11,808 comments) says:

    ….”At least marriage is yet to prove fatal – in my case at least”….

    Brave words…..the arsenic & hemlock in tonight’s tea will be your undoing. :)

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  87. Tauhei Notts (1,747 comments) says:

    I think David Garrett is wrong on his opinion that the fire bombing of Dresden in February 1945 was totally justified.
    I thought about comments like that when I visited the museum on Karl Stauffenberg Strasse on the other side of the river from the main part of that city. That was seven months ago. I saw the big monument to the 1941 – 1945 war. Dresden ended up in East Germany and the war according to the Russkies was the 1941 – 1945 war. I also saw a Karl Stauffenberg Strasse in Berlin. Germany was rooted by February 1945, and there was no need for such a fire bombing on a sanctuary for Krauts who did not wish to be raped by Russians.
    We had an AFS scholar from Kiel stay with us some years ago. I visited her father. He took me to the submarine monument near Kiel. They had DVD’s of Das Boot. I’ll put it on My Sky tonight. He was pleased that his mother survived the fire bombing of February 1945. He was born in Dresden in June 1945.

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  88. Andronicus (219 comments) says:

    Reid, thanks for the video at the start of this thread. It really says it all.

    Smart, smug politicians like Thatcher, Blair, Bush, Holyoake and others send troops out to war.
    Do they ever stop to think of the deaths and the maimings of the widows and fatherless children left behind?
    Or the suffering of mental illness, drug dependency and alcoholism among so many who do survive?

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  89. Andronicus (219 comments) says:

    Kea, the Nazis were not socialists, despite the party name. By 1935, Hitler had chucked all the socialists, like Gregor Strasser, out of the party.

    When the Nazis forced the Enabling Act through Parliament after the Reichstag fire (the legislation that gave Hitler dictatorial powers) only the Socialist members had the courage to vote”No”. Many paid dearly for their decision.

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  90. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    It must be a hard, hard thing to do to commit a country to war, knowing that men will die and families suffer. It’s not all glory by any means, just making choices between unattractive options.

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  91. Reid (16,634 comments) says:

    It must be a hard, hard thing to do to commit a country to war, knowing that men will die and families suffer.

    It’d be a lot harder if the people who did that were required, by law, to consign their children as the first troops into the most dangerous combat assignments available and there were no excuses or exceptions permitted whatsoever in any way.

    I bet you’d see a bit less of countries being committed to war, if that was the standard rule.

    Edit: It said a lot in a few words didn’t it Andronicus. I wonder how many watched it. Not a lot I suspect. Message too hard perhaps.

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  92. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    Well the last NZ Prime Minister to have children serving during the war was Massey. Savage and Fraser had no children, nor did Clark, so I’m not sure what your stupid proposition would ever have achieved.

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  93. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    Andronicus, call them what you will, the Nazis were probably not a good thing for Europe. The commies certainly were not. I have mates who lived under the Russian regime. Some of the stories are very sad.

    Reid, politician start wars and the people die in them. The biggest threat to your safety and freedom is the state. Most often your own state. That is a chilling statistical fact to ponder. Forget random acts of random criminals. They kill hundreds against the millions who die by the state.

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  94. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    ‘the Nazis were probably not a good thing for Europe’
    You have some doubts, then?

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  95. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    Milky, no doubts but it is debatable they were worse than your (fellow socialist) Russian comrades.

    Check out how many countries fell to the communists post war. It went way beyond anything Hitler had in mind. It also started the Cold War which could have ended badly.

    If you knew a bit of history you would know the Nazi were not even close to being the worst regime in recent history. Your fellow socialists in China would probably be number one.

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  96. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    Did I say that, fuckwit? No, just pointing out your stupidity. You can thank me later.

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  97. All_on_Red (1,645 comments) says:

    “The biggest threat to your safety and freedom is the state”

    So fucking true. And the political elite which governs the State.

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  98. Reid (16,634 comments) says:

    I’m not sure what your stupid proposition would ever have achieved.

    Well you’re pretty damn thick then mm. A focus on what they were really doing of course, at a personal level, same as what they were committing their fellow citizens to, by law. It’s quite obvious, when you think about it.

    Don’t you realise that many politicians children have historically been assigned to cushy positions away from the bullets or escape altogether: e.g. G.H.W. Bush assigned to the Air National Guard during Vietnam just to name one but there are thousands? Don’t you know that?

    And der, it should have been quite obvious I wasn’t just talking about Dear Leader, but everyone, every single person with a hand in the decision, should be subject to that rule. Even the people from MFAT who write and signoff on the recommendation. That’s right. Even them.

    That’ll learn em, won’t it. That’ll make every single person involved really really really focused on exploring every little avenue, every little option, to the n’th degree, before committing a single troop, won’t it.

    I forgot to mention of course that once their children have all gone, it’s their turn next. And I don’t care if they’re fat and fifty.

    Signing your own death warrant not to mention the death warrants for your own children tends to bring a certain focus to the situation doesn’t it. And when you think about it, why is that unjust, given what they’re committing the rest of us to?

    Reid, politician start wars and the people die in them.

    No kidding Kea. As I said above, old men start wars, young men and women fight them. Try to be original.

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  99. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    mikenmild (8,925 comments) says:
    April 25th, 2014 at 9:29 pm
    Did I say that, fuckwit?

    Everything ok at home Milky ? :)

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  100. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    Try to be original.

    Sorry its the Chemtrails making me stupid.

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  101. wat dabney (3,809 comments) says:

    Another very unfortunate fact which is rarely considered is that soldiers returning from WWII voted in large numbers for Socialism, denying others the very rights and freedoms they claim to have been fighting for.

    So thank you for defeating German leftism, and thanks for nothing for inflicting coercive statism back home.

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  102. mikenmild (11,742 comments) says:

    Yes, the British very famously threw out Churchill in favour of Labour and the welfare state. You’re not still pretending the Nazis were actual socialists though are you? Hasn’t that been rehashed here a thousand times before?

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  103. Reid (16,634 comments) says:

    soldiers returning from WWII voted in large numbers for Socialism

    I don’t really know wat so I’m guessing but I’d pick they voted to boot out the govt that sent them to war. Recall Churchill was voted out as well. Perhaps after returning from such an experience the entire country’s just had a gutsful of the whole thing and they want a change, any change.

    If a party shouts for vets rights and land etc for those who made it back, maybe for some strange reason that’s appealing to those who’ve seen their bothers and best mates die in front of them as well as their families.

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  104. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    wat dabney, people who have seen the horror of war would not agree with the positions stated by right-wing pro-war types on this thread. They have seen through the propaganda and bravado.

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  105. Nostalgia-NZ (5,279 comments) says:

    ‘Perhaps had they not been so determined to save their all important “face” things may have turned out differently but it was the Japanese leaders who were prepared to sacrifice any number of their countrymen for the sake of their wretched honour.

    The responsibility for the bombings was theirs & theirs alone.’

    So a country defeated to the point of wanting to negotiate the terms of it’s occupation deserves to be bombed with nuclear weapons that kill indiscriminate numbers of civilians. It was after all the civilians fault.

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  106. lolitasbrother (749 comments) says:

    thanks David Garrett
    April 25th, 2014 at 12:18 pm when you say
    quote ”
    Mikey: You seem to think if you quote enough poignant war related poetry that will balance out – or perhaps validate – your decision to wear a pacifist emblem on this day most sacred to those who fell in war – both soldier and civilian.

    I am from the generation which first saw ANZAC Day desecrated – the only appropriate word – by protestors like Helen Clark, dressed in Vietnamese style clothing and chucking red paint about to signify the shed blood of innocents. That wasnt appropriate then, and wearing white poppies on THIS day is not appropriate now. I dont think anyone could reasonably object to such a symbol worn yesterday or tomorrow…but not today.
    unquote ”

    Mr Garrett, thank you,
    most people on this site did not have dead fathers at that war,
    otherwise we would not have been born.
    My father came back and he had had a lucky war.
    thank you for the truth you brought to this discussion

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  107. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    miken: You must be the by-product of gutless conshie forebears . . . get back to your desk and pollute the public with more pro-Labour rhetoric.

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  108. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Those soldiers that went off to fight in the first and second world war, didn’t go because they cared (or possibly even knew) how the war/s started, they went off, putting their lives at great risk because they cared how it ended.

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  109. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    Judith, if they had the luxury of knowing the facts and considering the options, they probably would not have gone.

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  110. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Hi Kea,

    You may be right there, but the times were very different compared to today, and the workings of politics did not enter the common home back then. They went because they were told their countries needed them, and that the lives of their families could be at risk if they didn’t.

    By time the New Zealander’s went to Gallipoli – they knew the odds. The horror stories of the slaughter had reached here, but they went anyway.

    It is difficult to apply the standards of today when critiquing any of the WW’s. Standards were different. Men were willing to die for honour. They went knowing that many of them wouldn’t return, but that was their duty – that is what men did – they walked on board those ships with pride and a smile – many didn’t return, many returned incomplete, many lie in graves in foreign lands, and many still lie in the bog – their bodies never found. They knew what their fate may very well be – but they fought because it was the right thing to do –

    I don’t care about the politics when it comes to ANZAC day – every single one of those guys was a regular bloke. Bugger the politicians – they were probably as crooked then as they are now – but those diggers were heroes in my books.

    It is them we remember – it is their sacrifice we honour because they were our fathers and grandfathers, and great grandfathers.

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  111. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    Judith, I disagree.

    They were fed propaganda and lies. The same tactic works just as well today. KB is evidence of that.

    The Nazis, the Russkies, The Muslims…

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  112. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Kea (10,510 comments) says:
    April 26th, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    Of course they were fed propaganda – but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t remember the sacrifice they made.

    It doesn’t mean we should not remember what they did (yes, even when they shouldn’t have had to).

    Those men were heroes because of what they did, not why it happened. Probably more so because they went off willingly, without knowing – that was the way it was back then, you didn’t question your leaders, you didn’t ask for explanations, a handshake was as firm as any legal contract is today.

    You have to look at their actions in the context of that era. Yes they were fed garbage, but that doesn’t make them fools, because at the time, that is how it was – you trusted what your superiors told you. It’s easy to apply today’s standards and be critical – but you’re talking about two different worlds.

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  113. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    Judith, don’t get me wrong. They are heroes and I honour their service and what they have endured. Even today I am very strongly opposed to our involvement in Afghanistan, but I still acknowledge the efforts of the service people we send there.

    I am a different kind of pacifist to what you imagine.

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  114. Left Right and Centre (2,997 comments) says:

    Two sides each attempting to kill the other. Hell on earth.

    That’s humans for ya.

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