“Once something has been approved by the Government, it’s no longer immoral.”

Today is Anzac Day and we remember all those who bravely served their country in the World War 1. Although I usually associate Anzac Day with the WW1 thanks to the events at Gallipoli, I think I’m correct in saying Anzac Day now commemorates all those who have served their country in all the various armed conflicts we have found ourselves in.

Now I’m not what you would call a devotee to the History Channel but I do enjoy my documentaries and on the History Channel they often show something on WW1 or WW2. One thing that always strikes me is how savage the conflict was, and the sheer courage of the young men who were involved in the battles. How they were able to even function in the conditions they found themselves in with carnage going on all around them, all for the service of their country and the greater good is something I hope I never have to personally have to find out.

Maybe WW1 and WW2 were more clear cut and the lines between which side was ‘good’ and ‘bad’ was more well defined. And I guess the reasons the countries were at war were easier to fathom as well. Perhaps it’s a sign of the times or people are just less trusting of the powers in charge, but who knows why we really go to war these days.

Anyway, today we should offer up our prayers for those who gave their lives for their country, and continually pray for peace in our world.

Be Sociable, Share!

    Comments: 8

    1. Gianna April 25, 2008 at 1:06 pm

      I went to the Anzac day dawn service and as always, it was very moving. I agree that we need to honor these men. Something that really hit home was that in the speech they said may we live lives worthy of the sacrifice of these men and women who gave their today that we might have their tomorrow.

      Something that made me most upset was in down down in the Octogen some people had set up a billboard that said ‘Thank you Helen Clark for not sending our troops to Iraq.’ While I agree that this is a good thing, I think it was an inappropriate day to do this and almost a slap in the face to all those service people we were honouring.

      Also glad to see so many young people there!!

    2. Andrewesman April 25, 2008 at 5:07 pm

      I went to the Auckland Parade–it was brilliant–and belted out “Recessional.”

      Nothing like Kipling to stir the blood.

      GOD of our fathers, known of old—
      Lord of our far-flung battle-line—
      Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
      Dominion over palm and pine—
      Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet, 5
      Lest we forget, lest we forget!

    3. poorclear April 26, 2008 at 5:21 am

      Thank you Meth’s Beard. I agree that a war today is so different to those of the first half of the twentieth century. I think one can validly risk one’s life to protect one’s family and community, but it is true that with wars today it is difficult to see that that is what is going on.

      So thanks be to God for the sacrifice of those who gave their lives for their families and communities to be safe. No greater love hath any man than he lay down his life for his friends. May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

    4. famous spear April 26, 2008 at 8:34 am

      i actually have to disagree on the comment you made about ww1 being more clear cut between good and evil. WW1 happened by accident almost, and it is only because the western allies won that they have been considered the good guys. there is a little known fact that the emperor of austria-hungary is in the process of being canonised – a man who was/is considered the leader of the enenmy. see: http://norumbega.co.uk/2008/04/14/blessed-charles/
      WW1 was certainly not clear cut between good and evil, it was just an opportunity seized on by war hawks on all sides to flex their egos.

      Whereas fighting against an international ‘movement’ that seeks to indiscriminately kill people for little reason seems pretty clear cut. similarly, the american presence in asia (vietnam) halted the spread of communism; which after their departure brought such pleasant things as the killing fields in cambodia and the massacre of south vietnamese. that war, in hindsight, seems pretty clear cut.

      but it goes against conventional thinking to say things like this.

      btw… my own ancestors fought in ww1 and i honour their willing sacrifice. they cannot be blamed for the actions of the leaders; all veterans should be honoured for all the conflicts in which they have sought to defend our freedom.

    5. poorclear April 26, 2008 at 9:27 am

      It is true famous spear, that WW1 was not clear cut in the way that Meths implies, whereas WW2 was much more so. War though, before the scourge of 19th century nationalism was normally a much more localised dispute where one might be sacrificing one’s life for one’s immediate family and community, which is a far more natural thing to do than to respond simply to international propaganda using technology that necessarily distances you from the people whose lives you are destroying.

      I doubt you could really call the war in Iraq clear cut.

      We cannot judge these things by results either. The atomic bombs in Japan stopped the war there, but were clearly not morally justifiable. And the fact that Americans tend to be relatively successful when they make an enemy of someone with far less advanced technology and war budget than themselves will certainly not make the justification for their attacks any more clear cut.

    6. Methuselah's Beard April 26, 2008 at 10:33 am

      I think I’m inclined to agree with you Famous Spear in that to describe the first world war as a battle between good and evil is a little simplistic as it was probably more a war that developed because of old empire building ideals and the presevation of empires…

    7. greg bourke April 26, 2008 at 11:14 am

      The chief difference between WW1, WW2, and more murky modern war is that the combatant sides in WW1 and WW2 were EVENLY MATCHED and both were “CONVENTIONAL”.

      In practice, I guess this means:
      1. both sides fought themselves to exhaustion and one side to clear article-signing defeat.

      2. given the organisation of both sides in both WW1 and 2 into conventional armies and navies they are both remembered more “romantically”. There are comprehensible tags and landmarks assigned to the carnage. Plate, Somme, Verdun, Marketgarden, Bulge, Omaha, 6th Army, Monte Casino, El Alamien, Rommel, Monty etc.
      I submit that conventional organisation makes wars easier to understand and more like grand games of mass, movemment, and fire.
      Comparatively, in Iraq or Darfur can you name a single “bad guy” General officer or crucial battle?
      Pick up a copy of Stalingrad or Berlin by Beevor and you find it instantly more understandable than similar explanations of Vietnam or the current imbroglio in Iraq.

      3. Due to the even matching and exhaustion, both WW1 and WW2 demanded deeper sacrifice and social modification and afterwards required more equitable diplomacy (i.e. Marshall plan c.f. Versaille).

    8. famous spear April 26, 2008 at 11:22 am

      @ poorclear: I didn’t mention Iraq or Saddam. That’s an issue I don’t want to bring up!! But the so-called war on terrorism is pretty clear cut. With little provocation terrorists have been bombing hotels, bars, schools, churches, residential areas etc. their indiscriminate and cowardly attacks are clearly wrong, and actions taken to protect against them would be just.

      we cannot judge a just war by end results; only God in His judgement of us can do such a thing. anyway, it also makes no sense in waiting to the end of something to see who was at fault. What we are meant to do is with God’s wisdom find out what is true and right in any conflict and then act on that.

      In this age of global travel, technology, long range missles, and easy communication the nature of war has changed. The threats posed by people who live on the other side of the world can reach us right in our own country or street. So we are therefore back to the situation you speak of where people fought to protect their own communities.