Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The bitter truth (or why i should never be allowed to sit and brood)

Robert E. Lee spoke the truth when he uttered those words around 160 years ago. i wonder what other words he would have for us today if he had been able to move forward in time and see the devastation that has unfolded in every corner of the world at some point over the past 100 years. would he break down at the 8 million dead on the battlefields of the great war? Would he agree with the civilian casualties so needlessly killed in bombing operations in world war II? would freedom from communism be a good enough justification for him to throw  so many lives away in the futile land wars in Asia. War is an ugly, brutal, ceaseless facet of the human condition. so why do we wargamer's insist on going back and recreating such terrible memories for the so called sake of fun. An almost glorification of the conflicts that have gripped mankind ever since we stopped being prey and became the predator. i can only think of one answer. Those who forget the lessons of the past are destined only to repeat them. By recreating a conflict in a strategy wargaming format we do not glorify the war. We do not glorify the people. We reinforce the bloody business in a safe and enjoyable environment to remember those that fought and died for the ideas they believed in, even if we do not quite realize that we are doing it at the time. by acknowledging their sacrifice we can remember the bitter truths of war without being scared by it like those who discovered it the hardest, and worst, way possible. today is a day to raise a glass to remember those who passed away before their time in order to preserve the ideals they held close to their hearts, and for us to look back and remember the lessons they have taught us. as a final note i found this song about an ANZAC soldier in Vietnam which seemed to sum up my mood quite succinctly


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