The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

A little late for Veteran’s Day, but a beautiful, tragic indictment of war. In the great wars of the 20th Century, millions died, and today’s conflicts only number in the thousands. I suppose that’s progress, but we have so far to go…

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4 Responses to The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

  1. Chris Peterson says:


    The invention of the nuclear warhead brought about the age of the regional war. And the end of the draft brought about a major disconnect between the military and civilians, other than the oft-hollow refrain of “support the troops.”

    As a veteran, I say “support the troops; bring them home,” and only use them in defense of OUR country. We have no business getting involved in the 2,000 year old war between Muhammed the Arab and Ishmail the Jew, or any other religious , political, or tribal conflict outside our borders.

    • Terry says:

      Well said, Chris. Wars are fought for ever other reason EXCEPT liberation of the poor sods whose only crime was to be in the line of fire, and to battle against an ideology is tragically ludicrous.

  2. george rebane says:

    Important alternative arguments to Mr Peterson’s vision of a more sanguine foreign policy for America can be had from the writings of Presidents Roosevelt (T&F), Wilson, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, and Presidents Bush (1&2), and also other leaders like Stalin, Mao, Churchill, Kennan, Harriman, Dulles, Kissinger, … . To save tens (hundreds?) of millions has required the steady sacrifice of thousands. We have to remember that autocratic governments have always killed more of their own civilians in peace time than have fallen in all the wars. Take what you will, but pay the price.

    • Chris Peterson says:

      Notwithstanding the fact that one can find a plethora of quotations by each of the Presidents listed against the horrors of war, (especially those who actually fought in one), in a free society each individual must decide if the question of conflict rises to a level that they, themselves, would be willing to die for.

      With few exceptions, what we see today is what Churchill so presciently described: “When the war of the giants is over, the war of the pygmies will begin.”

      Again, as a veteran, I see no such conflict today for which I would sacrifice myself, my own child, or the sons and daughters of others; that being my sole criteria for any involvement. For me; it is a putrid memory, and not a philosophical argument. But of course, due to the sacrifice of others, you have every right to argue otherwise.

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