As we approach Remembrance Day, the controversy about red vs white poppies is surfacing again.
We all know, or should, the significance of the red poppy, worn on Remembrance Day: http://www.warmemorials.net/redpoppy.htmThe white poppy movement, in the news, is “white poppies for a culture of peace: the White Poppy symbolises the belief that there are better ways to resolve conflicts than killing strangers.” Another source says “peace committee members say their white version stands for non-violent conflict resolution.” A writer in The Gateway, the Univ. of Alberta newspaper (Nov. 7, 2010), declares that White poppy honours dead without glamourizing war. “On the contrary, with these Remembrance Day distortions removed, war can be seen as it is: a horrifying mess of propaganda, deceit, and suffering. Millions of people never sacrificed their lives, but rather had their lives torn from them while they kicked and screamed in vain. The righteous sentiment of Remembrance Day doesn’t mix well with the realities of war.”
Is there anyone other than Halliburton & co. who is in favour of war?! Yes, there are some wars that some countries have no right participating in, but the major wars have an aggressor and a defender. Invaders need to be stopped, people and lands must be defended. If you just raise the white flag and give up your country to the aggressor, and “give peace a chance,” you and your land are toast.
The trouble is, in the aggressor countries, usually there is no way in hell a peace movement or any opposition at all would be permitted. In the past, the peace movement was funded by that paragon of virtue, the Soviet Union. Yeah, it sure were peaceful and non-aggressive. Those for true peace were naive in being caught up in this charade.
Stopping an unjust war, if your country is the aggressor, can be successful, as the peace movement contributed to in the 1960/70s. But this is not equivalent to what our soldiers did in the two wars and subsequent wars of aggression. There was no chance for "non-violent conflict resolution." Chamberlain thought he had it, right? Then there was the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, eh?
To honour those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, we wear a red poppy. We remember them. They defended. They wanted peace. The other side was the one that did not. Lest we forget.