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Vol 20|No 10| June|2024

Oh, you Masters of War
Where have all the flowers gone?
The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind.

by Jamie McKenzie
(about author)
Masters of War The song The lyrics
Where have all the flowers gone? The song The lyrics
The answer is blowin in the wind The song The lyrics

During 2017 I lived in Sochi in Russia for 6 months and watched the "Victory Day" parade which commemorates the defeat of Hitler and the Nazis. There was no big show of military equipment as is typical of the parade in Moscow. It was mainly families marching to honor those relatives who served and died in the war. I took the photo of the young girl above while watching the parade.

Watching the parade inspired the poem below. I did not realize at the time that the attack on the Ukraine that began in 2014 would expand to a full blown war a few years later.

With Putin acting much like Hitler in attacking the Ukraine, it is a shame that so many will die on both sides. There is no honor to be found for Russians in this horrible criminal act. It is shameful.

Hear me read this poem from 2017 on YouTube at youtu.be/I61Knre6ijE

Never ending

Each war begins
It seems
With celebration
And fanfare
The promise of a quick victory
Death to the Hun!
The Nazi!
The zealot on the other side
An end to tyranny
An end to war altogether
The triumph of our side
Against their side
With Godís blessing
A chance for young men
And young women
To taste glory
Show courage
And win medals

But each war lies
Breaks promises
And lasts far too long
Each war takes the husbands
From wives
Wives from husbands
Mothers and fathers
From children

Each war takes away the young
Before their time
Kills dreams
Destroys hope
And plants new seeds
For wars to come

We cannot escape
It seems
As time and again
Destiny beckons
Parades begin
Flags fly proudly
And trumpets sound the call to arms
As sons and daughters heed the call
And once again
We go marching
Happily marching
Off to war

© Jamie McKenzie, all rights reserved

© Jamie McKenzie, all rights reserved

Atrocities and death in Gaza and Israel

"On October 7, 2023, the Palestinian Sunni Islamist group Hamas (a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization, or FTO) led surprise attacks against Israel from the Gaza Strip. More than 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals (including at least 35 U.S. citizens in Israel) were killed. Hamas and other groups also seized 253 hostages on October 7."

Source: Congressional Research Service
As with Putin's cowardly and criminal attacks on the Ukraine which have killed more than 10,500 civilians (according to OXFAM), the Hamas attack killed many innocent men, women and children. It was by any definition a terrible atrocity. With such a barbaric attack, it was not surprising that Israel would retaliate, but eight months after the October attack, the war and the death continues.

According to a Reuters May report, "Palestinian health authorities say Israel's ground and air campaign in Gaza has killed more than 35,000 people, mostly civilians, and driven most of the enclave's 2.3 million people from their homes." The article goes into considerable detail explaining how this number was calculated.

"Last week Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said 14,000 Hamas fighters and 16,000 Palestinian civilians had been killed in the war." According to Reuters on May 14.
The price of war

The price of war is grotesquely
And obscenely high
Impossible to grasp
Beyond calculation
And difficult to add up

The cost of war is so monstrous
When counting casualties
The fresh graves
The bombs
The bullets
And the broken bones
The schools, churches and homes
All destroyed
Laid low
And obliterated
The thousands of new widows
The countless new orphans

Itís a devastation so vast and incomprehensible
The mind cringes
And trembles
As headlines
And war photos
Disrupt the calm of everyday life
And interrupting
Our reverie
With horrors

The price of war is
Obscenely high
And impossible to grasp
And so we change the channel
Go to concerts
Play golf or tennis
Complain about inflation
And the price of gas
While pretending it is not really happening
Not here
Not now
Not in our own backyard

Unanswerable Questions

In 2008 I published the book, Leading Questions, with Chapter Sixteen devoted to Unanswerable Questions.


Even though unanswerable, most of these questions are essential questions worth our study and devotion.

In the case of endless warfare, we must continue to ask how we might break the chain.

Could we form a League of Nations? (Tried that!)

Could we create a United Nations? (Tried that!)

Could we try something new and different?

Even though many questions may be unanswerable in the sense that no definitive, clear conclusions can be reached, those same questions are often crucial. Their resistance to analysis makes them no less important. A teamís success may depend upon wrestling with elusive, frustrating questions and issues. In some cases, survival may require such skill.

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