Musings on the War in Afghanistan

Written 2014

When, with a stroke of politician’s pen,
Young men go warring against other men,
Spoiling for a fight, not questioning
That the cause they fight for might be vain,
Or that the enemy are men like them,
It’s politicians and C.O.s should take the blame.

Professional soldiers’ passion is to kill
Or to be killed at politicians’ will,
Caring not the cause, but fighting still
To dare to do or die for good or ill.
Grieve not for them if they are slain,
They chose their fate and they would die again.
Grieve for their wives and mothers, not for them.

But while the war goes on the soldiers struggle.
“Bring up more men,” they cry, “to save the battle,
And a thousand more to win the war.” The sabre rattle
Stirs us all. Never mind the blood that’s spilled
Of foe or friend by “friendly fire”.
The innocents thus slain by the desire
To raise them from their tribal state to something higher
Raise in some erstwhile allies only ire.
Once peaceful, passive men wreak vengeance for the sin.

Warring against terror breeds nothing but hate.
Let’s not multiply our forces. Let’s not wait.
Let’s bring home our forces. Terror won’t abate
While Aussie troops wreak damage in a foreign state,
While they slay one woman or one child,
Or cause collateral damage in the wild
Heat of battle, making foes
Of friends, increasing woes
Of those they claim to fight for.

We suppose the war is just,
But those we claim to fight for also must
Have passion for what we and politicians think ideals.
History reveals it’s only from within a nation heals.

Democracy and freedom do not come
By way of sword or cannon or the barrel of a gun.
The pen is mightier than the sword; a blog deflects a bomb.
The web is the most effective weapon.
Pollies, bring our soldiers home.
Wage bloodless war on terror by the internet.
The world-wide web wins minds and hearts,
Will conquer yet.