Real cost of wars

I AM afraid I cannot share the enthusiasm for the upcoming Hunsworth War Weekend voiced in the Spenborough Guardian. Whilst the Red Arrows may create a spectacle and demonstrate a pinnacle of human ingenuity and achievement we should not lose sight of what this technology is for.

Millions of young men lost their lives in the pointless slaughter of the First World War in an attempt to further the imperial ambitions of the warring states. The Second World War, despite rhetoric about fascism, was fought to preserve Britain’s empire, which it then rightfully gave up anyway.

The two current aggressive imperialist adventures have achieved nothing but legitimate hatred from peoples all around the world, thereby making the world a much more dangerous place, and apparently justifying the chilling spectacle of police officers wearing ski masks around the Olympic Games.

Will the war weekend feature displays of young amputees, those blinded by gas or driven to mental breakdown? Will it feature the war-damaged that make up one in four of those sleeping on the streets of Britain? Will it feature the scattered limbs and torsos of Afghan and Iraqi civilians? Will it feature the systematic rape that takes place in most conflicts – of course it won’t.

The young people who have been invited to the Hunsworth sanitised glorification of war would do better to protest about the current posturing against Iran, before they too become cannon fodder in the interests of US world hegemony, which the UK government will no doubt again blindly support.

Of course it will be argued that the war weekend is raising funds for veterans – a very popular bandwagon at the moment – but the people who are responsible for the care of veterans are the politicians who sent them to war. The best way for us to support British soldiers is to insist that they are brought home immediately.

Those who want to raise money for the veterans should do a sponsored swim, instead of turning school children into little militarists. I apologise for shattering the cosy pro-war consensus, but it is time we thought a little more deeply about these things instead of turning war into some kind of entertainment.

DAVID RAMSDEN

Hunsworth Lane

CLECKHEATON