The wonderful place the universe has guided me to, Tetbury, is big on celebration of Poppy Day. Most of my life I have abhorred war. There is nothing good about war. As a consequence I have distanced myself from “the military” and chosen to honour the senseless carnage by wearing a white or a purple poppy.
The father I never knew was a Major in the American Air Force, based at Burtonwood, Lancashire during and after the Second World War. Through family, marriages and friends I have never been too far from connections to the Armed Forces.
For personal and global (the scamdemic) reasons, no doubt in common with everyone, my worldview has been drastically altered in the last 12 months. During my lifetime I have “danced” with atheism, agnosticism, organised religion, left and right wing politics, social justice, truth activism and spirituality. I was heavily into left-wing politics in my 20’s and 30’s. No one on the planet has “heard it all” but I can honestly say I have left no stone unturned when it comes to different perspectives on how it all works.
“Military men are just dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy.”
If you join the Armed Forces, it is presupposed you are willing to sacrifice your life for “the cause.” That is one hell of a commitment. We can argue interminably as to whether “the causes” are justified, and about the orchestration and creation of any war. The facts are clear. People (mostly men) die fighting wars.
Had I been born in the 1920’s, would I have volunteered to fight the Nazis? Of course I would. It gets a little hazy when we talk about wars in Korea, Vietnam, the Falklands Afghanistan and Iraq.
It gets a little more hazy when we talk about the Ottoman Empire, the invasion of Cyprus, the Armenian genocide, Pol Pot, Stalin and Chairman Mao. There is no doubt in my mind what faces us all on the planet, NOW, is the Chinese model of communism is one of two alternatives, the other being the takedown of the warmongers, the manipulators and the deceivers.
And who is behind this takedown? The US military.
Who knows what the figure is, but let us suggest 95% of the world’s population is clueless about what is at stake. However I suspect a similar figure would (have) support (ed) fighting the Nazis, and fighting tyranny all around the world.
I could quote endless (unbelievable) statistics about how many people were killed by governments in the last century (democide). I could also quote how long there has been world peace (never), and how many countries have been at war during the same period. I can also tell you- sufferers of TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) may now leave-that Trump’s administration hasn’t started one war since he came to power and his team have been going around the world brokering peace. He has also taken steps to bring American service men and women home from foreign bases.
My third wife Vanessa’s father, my biological father and my partner’s father were all employed by the military.
Had I walked past the incredible display above 12 months ago I would have dismissed it and muttered my disapproval. Yesterday when I walked past I was moved to tears. As soon as I can I will be buying my red poppy.
One of the most overused clichés is “God works in mysterious ways.” These ways are only mysterious if unexamined and will all ultimately become clear.
How can anyone not grieve (I have always, always felt respect for all those who died “in service” during wars) for someone who has given up their life for a just cause?
A place which will always stir my emotions more than just about anywhere else on the planet is the Souda Bay Cemetery in Crete. My three visits here have always resulted in humility and reverence. As this is written tensions are running high between the Greeks and Turks. I have no doubt the peace brokers are keeping a very close eye on the situation.
Many years ago I was interested in the Japanese martial art of Aikido. Unfortunately three visits to a local group made me realise my body was insufficiently flexible to be able to participate.
So I will close with revealing that Aikido is also known as The Way of Peace.
Lest we forget.
Jack Stewart, October 28, 2020.