I am not a pacifist. There are some wars that need to be fought for the greater good. But there are many wars, fought far too often that don’t. There is always potentially a new war around the next political corner and as a nation we try to decide whether it is right to intervene or involve ourselves in that conflict.
But this isn’t about any specific war, this is about how on Remembrance weekend, when we mourn our war dead from the First World War and after, Peter Capaldi’s Doctor gave a speech that showed the moronic attitude held by many on many of the wars that have and will certainly be fought.
The Doctor’s Speech
“You just want cruelty to beget cruelty. You’re not superior to people who were cruel to you. You’re just a whole bunch of new cruel people. A whole bunch of new cruel people, being cruel to some other people, who’ll end up being cruel to you. The only way anyone can live in peace is if they’re prepared to forgive…
“And when this war is over, when — when you have the homeland free from humans, what do you think it’s going to be like? Do you know? Have you thought about it? Have you given it any consideration? Because you’re very close to getting what you want. What’s it going to be like? Paint me a picture. Are you going to live in houses? Do you want people to go to work? What’ll be holidays? Oh! Will there be music? Do you think people will be allowed to play violins? Who will make the violins? Well? Oh, You don’t actually know, do you? Because, just like every other tantruming child in history, Bonnie, you don’t actually know what you want. So, let me ask you a question about this brave new world of yours. When you’ve killed all the bad guys, and it’s all perfect and just and fair, when you have finally got it exactly the way you want it, what are you going to do with the people like you? The troublemakers. How are you going to protect your glorious revolution from the next one?
“Because it’s not a game. This is a scale model of war. Every war ever fought right there in front of you. Because it’s always the same. When you fire that first shot, no matter how right you feel, you have no idea who’s going to die. You don’t know who’s children are going to scream and burn. How many hearts will be broken! How many lives shattered! How much blood will spill until everybody does what they’re always going to have to do from the very beginning — sit down and talk! Listen to me, listen. I just — I just want you to think. Do you know what thinking is? It’s just a fancy word for changing your mind.
“I fought in a bigger war than you will ever know. I did worse things than you could ever imagine, and when I close my eyes… I hear more screams than anyone could ever be able to count! And do you know what you do with all that pain? Shall I tell you where you put it? You hold it tight… Til it burns your hand. And you say this — no one else will ever have to live like this. No one else will ever have to feel this pain. Not on my watch.”
Even the Doctor knows that there are times, when everyone must fight and that some wars are necessary, but those wars are so rare. Many believe that the Second World War was a just war, waged to defeat the evil of Nazism and Fascism. However that war would most likely never had occurred if not for the waste of war that obliterated Europe for the sake of the pride of decaying empires known as the First World War. A war that was fought for no moral reason other than for the purpose of protecting the pride of Royal Families and Governments.
Today is Remembrance Day and as a nation, we mourn are dead, but are we any closer to creating a more stable peace globally.I’m not sure I believe that with the forces of Islamic State and Russia and many other conflicts in many other regions that we rarely hear about.
And here is a poem to remind us that war is not pleasant. It is not glorious. And it should not be celebrated.