I think I know why people may not want to wear poppies

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by Dashing_Chap, Nov 14, 2010.

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  1. First let me make clear that I would support our troops whatever the case may be, but I'm also rather concerned that we may inadvertently be promoting the 'cult of the heroic soldier' which Owen, Sassoon and their like warned us against.

    This is a very hot potato indeed, but it has caused me to consider where I should really stand with remembrance. Naturally we should remember those who died for our freedom, but can we place the bravery of Iraq/Afghanistan in the same context as that shown in WWII? Bearing in mind that they had a choice to serve and Iraq was merely politically correct imperialism. It isn't really in the same vein as fighting in a death struggle against one of the most sinister organisations known to man.

    Is the RBL/BBC/Remembrance Day in danger of getting caught between promoting bravery for one's country and bravery in the fight for freedom? In the space of a hundred years have we already forgotten:

    My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
    To children ardent for some desperate glory,
    The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
    Pro patria mori.

    Personally I fully agree with the views of Smedley Butler, you can't really argue with a 2x Medal of Honour winner:
    THREE TITLES [3] for the PRICE OF ONE.

  2. Fuck off you dull cunt.
  3. Thanks for that enlightened report, dickface, now fk off and air your inane views elsewhere.
  4. Or it could be something perfectly reasonable. Like not wanting to damage an expensive coat.

    When wearing a suit, I do have a poppy in the buttonhole, a space is already assigned for this sort of thing. However when I'm in mufty, I wear a leather jacket which cost me about £600. No way in hell do I want to pierce that with a pin, so no poppy.

    There's often a case that things are simply being over-analyzed.
  5. Yes that is a valid point, though I'm trying to understand the perspective of the looney left and how they can decide against wearing what is essentially a symbol for peace. I believe a lot of them now associate it with a pro war symbol which goes against their anti war views.

    Those Muslim chaps are a good example, they're using the poppy as a form of protest because they believe it represents the modern war and they've probably never heard of Kohima or Imphal.

  6. The Poppy is a symbol, and like all other symbols, can be appropriated by those who are issue motivated, or politically motivated.

    In a similar way to the manner in which the Southern Cross has, to some, become a politicised symbol of xenaphobia and racism in Australia, the Poppy has become, in some regards, a symbol of the 'cult of the heroic soldier' to which you refer. It is not the sole meaning which has attached to the Poppy, but perhaps in popular view, has come the dominant meaning.

    I have always (personally) considered the Poppy to be not only a symbol of remembrance, but also of loss. There is no doubt that the battles fought in the Second World War were imperative in repelling and destroying a truly evil political force. The battles of the First World War are a little more open to debate in this regard, however the sheer scale of death, injury and deformation among the soldiers who served in achieving that success is more than enough to give pause for thought. Contrasting the two World Wars against one another, the thought which has always occured to me has been 'loss may be acceptable, but always know the reason for which you are suffering the loss, and make sure it is worth it'. I believe this is one of the meanings encapsulated by the Poppy Symbol.

    With time, however, this meaning has faded somewhat in favour of the new wars - Iraq and Afghanistan. Debates were had about the validity and merits of the wars, and the losses suffered as a result. Unfortunately, there has been an increasing tendency towards the "with us or against us" mentality. Where as previously, debates on matters such as war might well have been layered with subtlety and nuance, with several distict, identifiable positions, this is less so the case today. This is not to say that extreme, polar opinions have never existed until now, but it would appear that in the absence of a requirement to produce a sound bite to summarise your position in 5 seconds or less, there was a scope for relative positioning.

    Now, you're generally grouped as either pro-war, or anti-war, without the benefit of nuance. It can, in some instances, be very difficult to wear a poppy without attracting the assumption that you pro-war, fully supportive of all aspects of the way in which the Wars have been conducted, etc.

    The Poppy has, unfortunately, become politicised and in some regards become alligned with this no-debate-with-us-or-against-us view. I remember seeing another thread on this forum about a BBC presenter choosing not to wear the Poppy, and a couple of responses to it which were labelled 'Poppy Facism'. Should the Poppy be politicised like this? Of course not, but 'should' is very different to 'has'.
  7. I have served in the reserves for a few years but I didn't feel too comfortable about invading a foreign territory for oil, nor would I wish to risk life and limb to finance GW and Tony Blair's pocket, it's just not worth it. I am of the opinion that defence should be for the realm, not for invasion (see my link in the first post to Smedley Butler's War is a Racket). And with that in mind I can understand promoting the bravery of WWII, but is it right to make a show of the bravery for those who fought in Iraq? For very different reasons?

    I've just seen a young lad on the telly/Cenotaph wearing his Dad's medals after he was blown up defusing a bomb, where was Tony Blair with his smiling cnutish face eh? If anyone should have been at the service today it should have been him! It's precisely these sort of lies that we were warned about in WW1.

  8. Is it an issue of bravery, or is it a question of the folly of war, and remembering those who lost life or limb carrying out orders?

    Wars will happen. People will die. Not remembering the latter when electing to carry out the former is one of the things the wearing of a poppy is meant to combat.

  9. Your obviously a man who at best has a grip of long words and who is able to use google to cross reference responses thus looking all clever and smart or at worst is half clever.

    Without wishing to stereotype myself if you reffered to my friends and colleagues in the manner that you did, which I believe you dropped in to cause outrage then I'd spend as long as I could punching your face off. It's telling that the handful of Chelsea Pensioners who entertained 2 minibuses off Royal Marines were the ones giving reciprocal respect when fed tour dits over beer and lunch.

    Stick to entering chad threads about your Russel Brandesque galavants around the silk sheeted beds of posh women.
  10. Not really, I'm quite proud of the history of Empire, we had a leading hand in the abolition of slavery and also brought peace, prosperity, education and civilisation to the noble savages. As aforesaid I'm not politicising the dead, I am making an issue about the BBC/RBL or whoever making a story about their bravery which no doubt inspires the impressionable youth.

    Butler won the Medal of Honour twice and became a general in the Marine Corp, even if he was a commie he's been there done it and got the t shirt. If you'd like to provide a better source please feel free.

  11. If you want to get your head blown off in a far away country that has nothing to do with terrorism in the UK that's entirely your choice son, I'd prefer to stay back with the scared and the smart. If there's a deliberate threat to UK security then I'll take a little more interest.

  12. Standing in the row behind the current party leaders!!!! As was Brown and Major.
  13. Politicians will seek to hijack any symbol to rally support for or against some thing or another. What works for me is to ignore them all, whether gung-ho or pacifist or merely obnoxious. Teaching people about wars past and losses suffered is a duty; attempts to impose a duty of public mourning are doomed to fail and are, in my view, wrong.

    I know why I remember, and I know why I make what public signs of it I do. Anyone trying to politicise it should be politely ignored - politely because it is not seemly to join them in the gutter of politics over such a matter.
  14. Do not confuse my motives, I am a poppy collector, but I don't believe you can put soldiers who serve by choice and are aware of the exploitation of places like Iraq with those who chose to defend their homeland in WW2 in the same context. I have said this is a hot potato, it's best we try to keep a cool head and debate this as adults. Believe me I've no desire to offend anyone, not least those who have died in the service of their country.
  15. DC, can we skin you and wear you as a hat?