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    Thoughts on ANZAC day hijacked from Smile Cemetery.

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    Psalter
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    Thoughts on ANZAC day hijacked from Smile Cemetery.

    Post  Psalter on Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:25 am

    Jesus_Christ
    25/04/2009 11:04:35 AM No doubt I'm going to get flamed for some of this, but I think it's important.

    This is one day of the year I always feel very out of it; to put it bluntly, I couldn't care less about ANZAC Day, but not because I haven't thought about it. I have. I appreciate the history behind it, and to some extent, find it very interesting, but I can't help but feel that this is a day that we continue to humour our veterans, and most importantly, humour ourselves; it seems as though a day where we pretend that the deaths of hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of good men actually meant something. We pretend that these deaths had some kind of tangible benefit in the real world; like, somehow, today, we are actually better for their sacrifice.

    But I ask you how? The causes and motivations behind World War I were so deep and complex that you cannot so easily and xenophobically separate the goodies from the baddies. In the end, on its most basic level, World War I was the result of an ethnic movement in a faraway land that pulled the trigger on the political maneuverings of the ruling elite of the time. None of this had anything to do with the New Zealand everyman, and yet every man, as it were, went to pay the ultimate price for these squabbles.

    Why, then, do we honour their service? Why do we treat them as heroes, when they are victims? Why is it that we have to pretend, have to believe, that they died for something? Sometimes people just die, and there's no reason, no redemptive feature, nothing. They're just gone. Do we, as human beings, have trouble accepting that?

    Now, I know this isn't a popular viewpoint, and I know there will be a lot of argument brought to bear against me (though in the past when I have assumed that, I have been surprised), and that's fine. I know a lot of people feel very strongly about this subject and I'm willing to accept the consequences of voicing my opinion. I also understand if you feel strongly about this and am not dismissing out of hand your sentiment. I am simply providing a springboard for important discussion.

    Simply put; we remember because they were victims. The maxim "lest we forget" is reminding us of the folly of war for the individual man. It reminds us that men like me, men like JC, women like all of you on here sacrificed everything for nothing. Life goes on after war, if we are lucky nothing changes in the greater scheme of things... if a man does not take note of his mistakes, he is destined to repeat them... as it were.
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    Re: Thoughts on ANZAC day hijacked from Smile Cemetery.

    Post  Psalter on Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:49 am

    Okay, and i just thought about the concept of Heroism... heroism is something that happens for the benefit of the few, not the many. They were heroes to their friends, they were heroes to the villagers they rescued, they were heroes to the individual Jews that they saved... they weren't necessarily heroes for the world... unless you believe "no man is an island complete unto himself" which I don't.

    But heroics should be celebrated.

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    Waireka
    25/04/2009 11:31:05 AM I always wonder how soon the ANZAC day services will die out after the last veterans pass away.

    That will take a hell of a long time... seeing as we have ANZAC troops fighting in Afghanistan.

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    Thoughts on ANZAC day

    Post  Hondanutter on Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:28 am

    On ANZAC day, I remember the stories my Father, Grandfather and uncles told of their experiences overseas (Grandfather in WW1, Father and uncles in WW2)
    I lost 2 great uncles in WW1, nobody realy ever talked about them (Only found out about them in family tree)
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    Re: Thoughts on ANZAC day hijacked from Smile Cemetery.

    Post  master5o1 on Sat Apr 25, 2009 2:40 am

    ANZAC Day is only good for throwing up on a couch when you're completely sober and looking like a pack of shit from all those drugs you took three weeks ago (easter)
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    Re: Thoughts on ANZAC day hijacked from Smile Cemetery.

    Post  debs on Sat Apr 25, 2009 3:19 am

    Well to be honest, its only been since I have become a parent that I have begun to appreciate what ANZAC day truly means.

    We attend the dawn service every year in my wee village and I take my children, my hubby as a fire fighter takes part in the March.

    I feel myself that its so important, for the reason psalter said

    Simply put; we remember because they were victims. The maxim "lest we forget" is reminding us of the folly of war for the individual man. It reminds us that men like me, men like JC, women like all of you on here sacrificed everything for nothing. Life goes on after war, if we are lucky nothing changes in the greater scheme of things... if a man does not take note of his mistakes, he is destined to repeat them... as it were.

    It is a well written post and sums up why we partake nicely. My children's great grand dad served in the wars and although he is gone, its amazing to my kids that their grand dad was involved and his behavior afterward etc... Its not just the bravery that is so amazing to them, but the fact he was just a real kiwi bloke
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    Re: Thoughts on ANZAC day hijacked from Smile Cemetery.

    Post  woody67 on Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:06 am

    I always feel a bit saddened on anzac day , it reminds me of how many NZ and AUST men were used as cannon fodder by the british, yes we were far removed from the core reasons behind both wars.....and yet I still feel that their senseless deaths did mean something ... that over the generations we have altered our blind obediance as a nation and progressed to where we do say NO ....No to active fighting as such but stil humane enough to send peace keeping troops or medical help...we have stood up and said nope, no nukes here thanks! and I believe the reason we as a nation have done this , is because of the deaths of our troops in ww1,ww2,korea and vietnam....we have learned not too buy into the bully mentality that is bigger nations ...and why on earth the british weren't put on trial after the gallipoli debacle that saw what can only be described as slaughter of hundreds upon hundreds of our men is beyond me.....if the same thing were to happen today britain's decisionmakers re gallipoli would be up shit creek
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    Re: Thoughts on ANZAC day hijacked from Smile Cemetery.

    Post  Psalter on Sat Apr 25, 2009 1:44 pm

    War and morality:


    I'm confused about war.

    On the one hand, I don't believe in killing. On the other hand, I don't believe in sitting idly by while bullies hurt innocents.

    If it is okay to kill in war, because it is hoped that there will be a net saving in the lives of civilians that way, does that mean it is okay to torture in war, because that can also result in lives saved?

    Either no one had anything to say, or it was inappropriate in that thread, or it just got buried.

    More:

    Do you respect the right of conscientious objectors, or do you consider they are only looking for an easy way out?


    All that is required for evil to prevail, is for good men to stand idle... true and false in war. Good and evil, by-and-large, are points of view, there is no empirical measure of what is good and what is not. However, what is right and what is wrong is a different matter. If your county is attacked, your country could be attacked, or you want to preempt an attack... well, the country that chooses war could be in the right... it depends on who wins.

    Conscientious objectors? IMO they should be imprisoned at least... at worst, they should be made to live in one of our world's nations of oppression, then they will see the value of a "righteous war". To be born in to a "civilised" nation holds certain rights and responsibilities. Your rights are guaranteed by law, your responsibilities are to live by, die by, and defend the laws and principles that protect you.

    So people die, nothing is really resolved, people go on being people... moths to the flame of self-destruction. That doesn't matter, it could be worse, we could starve and live under a draconian dictator as we destroyed ourselves. It is our responsibility as civilised people in a civilised nation to improve the lot of humanity... sometimes we have to "free the fuck" out of people to do so.

    Feel free to reproduce in SC if you so wish... as your own work of course.
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    Re: Thoughts on ANZAC day hijacked from Smile Cemetery.

    Post  Summoner on Sat Apr 25, 2009 2:08 pm

    I had a Woman "bitch" at me at work today about why we opened after 1pm... (as is the law)

    I told her that "it was out of respect for those, y'know "guys" that fought and like died in "that" war to help people like you go out and shop like crazy people in a free world."

    Obviously, she didn't like my "tone" ... oops, my bad. (meh)

    I always think of my granddad and his brothers that fought in the second world war... The Maori battalion and all those that fought for no reason in Gallipoli... Because of some pricks slip up.

    I see a need to remember for the reason of this is how we calculate what makes a man/humanatarian (IMO) It shows what man is capable of, the good AND the bad of it.

    But that's just me.
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    Re: Thoughts on ANZAC day hijacked from Smile Cemetery.

    Post  relict on Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:16 pm

    Psalter wrote:Conscientious objectors? IMO they should be imprisoned at least... at worst, they should be made to live in one of our world's nations of oppression, then they will see the value of a "righteous war". To be born in to a "civilised" nation holds certain rights and responsibilities. Your rights are guaranteed by law, your responsibilities are to live by, die by, and defend the laws and principles that protect you.

    You'd put people in prison who were happy to serve in a medical or similarly helpful role?

    Psalter wrote:It is our responsibility as civilised people in a civilised nation to improve the lot of humanity... sometimes we have to "free the fuck" out of people to do so.

    Later in the same thread you most recently quoted is the question: ... and what if you go off to war believing you will have a peace keeping [or freeing] role, then when you get there, your orders change?

    Psalter wrote: Feel free to reproduce in SC if you so wish... as your own work of course.

    *wonders if linking to this source would be following SC's referencing guidelines, or ignoring their advertising ones* scratch
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    Re: Thoughts on ANZAC day hijacked from Smile Cemetery.

    Post  Psalter on Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:07 am


    You'd put people in prison who were happy to serve in a medical or similarly helpful role?

    No, that is a reasonable substitute... I would rather have a person behind me that wasn't a coward.


    Later in the same thread you most recently quoted is the question: ... and what if you go off to war believing you will have a peace keeping [or freeing] role, then when you get there, your orders change?

    That is almost an irrelevant question in NZ... our army is paid to follow orders, they joined, were fed, have been trained and paid just in case such a need arises. But hypothetically speaking... I can understand a person having an aversion to killing but sometimes peacekeeping means killing... it's not an easy one and it would be very naiive of me to say how another should act. I don't think I would have a problem, human life doesn't have too much value to me.
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    Re: Thoughts on ANZAC day hijacked from Smile Cemetery.

    Post  Diaz on Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:37 am

    "and what if you go off to war believing you will have a peace keeping [or freeing] role, then when you get there, your orders change?"

    Just touching on this, there is a necessary pre-condition that you are prepared to take on a combatant role on joining any of the armed forces. If I was in that situation where the country was at war, I would enlist in the medical corps but would have to accept that it might be that I could be deployed to a war zone and that might mean despite a natural aversion to killing that I may be put into the position where active combat is required. I'd have to be prepared to accept that.

    In most cases conscientious objectors refuse to fight in a war, but in many cases this includes objection to involvement in any kind of support role like working in a medical role. I think it's an inconsistent stance, because in many cases people would be ready and willing to act in self-defence or act to in defence of a family member if attacked. It's not so hard to stretch this to include the nation and all the people in it particularly in the situation where the nation is defending itself against aggression from another or the other various reasons why there would be a need to deploy troops. I suppose there is room for freedom of conscience there but at those times the public safety or prevention of public disruption may mean there are repercussions in times of overwhelming need.

    NZ as a nation didn't have much of a choice in whether it participated in WWI at all but I see that particular war as one that was going to happen anyway with the dying of Imperialism and moves towards the nationalism and the self-determination of peoples in various countries. It would have inevitably have affected us somehow, though even without us supporting Britain in the conflict. No one knows what would have happened otherwise, it's very likely though that one by one each of the European nations involved would have descended into separatist movements and civil war with oppression from the powers in control of their countries - much like Chechnya since 1991, after they declared independence from Russia. I agree with the proposition that sometime you have to "free the fuck" out of people, that's most likely the reason that most of the population in the world have the opportunity to live under democratic regimes where we can enjoy individual freedoms like being able to speak freely. Way too many people still live in situations where those freedoms are unavailable to them. I know there was a lot of senseless loss, but even Gallipoli which was a doomed campaign is significant to the Turks as a defining moment in them forming nationhood and freedom from the domination of the dying Ottoman Empire similar to it's importance in NZ beginning to forge it's own identity as a nation independent of the British Empire that existed at the time.

    I don't think right entirely depends on who wins, the Nazi ideologies that were held pre- and during WWII would always be wrong and but for factionalism, lack of collaboration and infighting between different branches history might easily have been different. There were several points between 1939-1945 where Germany was very close to winning the war. I think 'right' or 'wrong' can be empirically assessed against standard principles all can agree to like standard human rights for instance, like the right not to be detained without trial or the right to freedom of speech, things which dictatorships contravene.
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    Re: Thoughts on ANZAC day hijacked from Smile Cemetery.

    Post  relict on Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:56 am

    Psalter wrote:Sometimes peacekeeping means killing.

    Surely that is a given. But what if the rules change after you agree to serve, from ones you can accept, to ones that go against your conscience? Or what if you serve under a superior who expects you to act outside the rules, or for a purpose that isn't the national purpose?

    Diaz wrote:I don't think right entirely depends on who wins ... I think 'right' or 'wrong' can be ... assessed against standard principles

    Agreed.
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    Re: Thoughts on ANZAC day hijacked from Smile Cemetery.

    Post  Psalter on Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:35 am


    Surely that is a given. But what if the rules change after you agree to serve, from ones you can accept, to ones that go against your conscience? Or what if you serve under a superior who expects you to act outside the rules, or for a purpose that isn't the national purpose?

    If we are speaking about the true abhorrent acts of war like torture and so on... well, we live in a country that has systems in place that we can use to stop such actions and so appease our conscience... if we aren't speaking about that, you will have to elaborate please.

    Diaz wrote:
    I don't think right entirely depends on who wins ... I think 'right' or 'wrong' can be ... assessed against standard principles


    Agreed.

    "standard" principles are anything but standard. Values, morality, and ethics are societal and cultural constructions and are therefore neither static, nor universal. If Nazi Germany and Hirohito had emerged triumphant and been able to win the harder "cultural war", then we would have come to learn that Jews needed to die, that the Chinese were rats to be exterminated, that disability = death. The fact that there are still neo-nazi groups speaks for the lack of universal morality.
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    Re: Thoughts on ANZAC day hijacked from Smile Cemetery.

    Post  relict on Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:55 am

    Psalter wrote:If we are speaking about the true abhorrent acts of war like torture and so on... well, we live in a country that has systems in place that we can use to stop such actions and so appease our conscience... if we aren't speaking about that, you will have to elaborate please.

    Nah, I don't really know what I'm talking about, so I can't elaborate much. Maybe I've been watching too many movies where superiors have their own agenda, or people act from misguided, uncontrolled anger rather than orders.
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    Re: Thoughts on ANZAC day hijacked from Smile Cemetery.

    Post  Psalter on Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:38 am

    relict wrote:
    Psalter wrote:If we are speaking about the true abhorrent acts of war like torture and so on... well, we live in a country that has systems in place that we can use to stop such actions and so appease our conscience... if we aren't speaking about that, you will have to elaborate please.

    Nah, I don't really know what I'm talking about, so I can't elaborate much. Maybe I've been watching too many movies where superiors have their own agenda, or people act from misguided, uncontrolled anger rather than orders.

    Maybe.

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