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News :: War and Militarism
Anne Perry's World War I ...Echoes Still In Afghanistan
by S Shriver
08 Feb 2012
Anne Perry''s book Shoulder The Sky and others of her over 60 books are understated litanies of the suffering of World War I, written without preaching or opining. They serve as a mirror for the atrocities of present wars. Perry lives on the Eastern coast of Scotland.
ANNE PRERY'S WORLD WAR I
World War I, a war between
the Kaiser's desire
to expand his empire
and British plutocrats' desire
to hold on to their own.
Millions were slaughtered
by chlorine gas
by suffocation in trench tunnel caveins
by dying slowly for hours shot and nailed
on barbed wires
by slow freezing
by gnawing hunger
by each side's hunters.
Tens of thousands of sailors died
of suffocation by drowning or
of fiery torpedo explosions.
No chaplain spoke of Jesus
as universal pacifist
but of the honor
and loyalty of slaughter through
bullets bayonets or fists.
British 'upper' classes could
purchase officer status,
were often incompetent,
and in many cases conducted no
Those who were convicted of self inflicted injuries
in order to leave the insane slaughter
were shot, whether they had injured themselves
or were innocents sacrificed. 306 soldiers on the Commonwealth side were
executed, including 25 Canadians, 22 Irishmen and 5 New Zealanders. Shellshock
was not recognized.
Survivor soldiers' world was a treeless gray mud
of bonenumbing cold.
The constant stream of legs or hands shot off,
bellies blown open, blindings,
bombcaused castrations exhausted the surgeons.
Smells of offal
were longlasting and awful.
A dismembered horse leg or decapitated head could frequently be seen floating
down the stream. Burial of conscripted animals was not a priority.
The Treaty of Versailles was so draconian in
its steep reparations and punishing provisions
that it planted the seeds of Hitller's hope for revenge.
World War I's atrocities are echoed today as soldiers on both sides freeze on Afghan mountainpeaks,
are blown apart by drones or daisy cutter bombs.
Survivors, because of faster more advanced techniques,
are of higher percentages, but their injuries worse.
Today too men and noncombatant women, elders, children,
animals, birds, frogs, butterflies, trees
die in fights for oil, for control of poppy fields, for mineral mining, for
interfaith hatreds fanned by war profiteers. Bears are bomb-sealed forever
by caveins in their hibernation caverns. A quarter million fleeing Iraqis were
carpetbombed and bulldozed into graves, some buried alive, in what has been
called The Highway Of Death.
Today, some returning soldiiers will bring back STD's or face a homefront of
some mate infidelity. On one military base, 4 men have killed their wives,
driven mad by an alleged antimalaria drug.
Other soldiers have died forced to take lethal 'vaccines'.
Who is a greater familybuster
than military and media
with propaganda's luster?
Cui bono? 'To whose benefit' was the black op of Sept 11, 2001. The answer could
be seen in the haste with which the US regime went into Afghanistan 6 weeks
Anne Perry's book Shoulder The Sky and others of her books have been
graphic about this war, yet she has done no preaching or opining. She has
described nearly all the WW1 events in this poem. Apologies for any
unintentional inaccuriacies. The paragraph about purchase of officer status is
not Anne Perry's, nor does she make any criticism of chaplains for supporting
the war effort.
This work is in the public domain