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ER
20-03-2009, 12:48 AM
THE MEDIA: Another Australian digger (the second in a week) killed in Afghanistan!
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/19/2521226.htm?section=world
No disrespect to Natasha Richardson and may God rest her soul, however I think it would be at least an inexcusable amount of indifference if there was not a reference to owr own men and women who face death on a daily basis wherever they serve.
I am not discussing how right or wrong their presence is in various theatres of war away from Australia.
Just paying tribute to those who have died and wish to all those who are still there a speedy completion of their duties and a safe return back home!

Desmond
20-03-2009, 07:01 AM
Well said jak!

Basil
20-03-2009, 08:21 AM
Hear hear.

Garvinator
20-03-2009, 09:57 AM
Why is this in politics?

Ian Murray
20-03-2009, 10:18 AM
The Australian Online is carrying a photo gallery of Cpl Matthew Hopkins' combat-zone military funeral which says it all

http://media.theaustralian.com.au/multimedia/2009/03/19-digger/index.html

antichrist
20-03-2009, 03:09 PM
what bulldust Rudd and Turnbull expressing sorrow. They could not give a bullsroar. Were they opposing when decisions were made to send them over. How come every leader can express sorrow when leader but otherwise shut their mouth. We don't really care about fellow citizens that way. That goes for the people on this board also expressing sorrow.

Basil
20-03-2009, 05:35 PM
We don't really care about fellow citizens that way. That goes for the people on this board also expressing sorrow.
Peter, my part in this thread concerns itself with the acknowledgement of our armed services' contribution and keeping that contribution front and centre in our psyches while we concern ourselves with varied troubles such as ratings slumps and unemployment.

I also like to remind myself (and others) that I object to the weighting given by some to a dead actor on the other side of the planet over the weighting of a dead Australian who otherwise would never have made a headline (in his short life).

Finally, if you're going to miss the point, I'd rather you do so in a thread where there is less chance of offending sensibilities.

Carry on!

kjenhager
20-03-2009, 05:43 PM
what bulldust Rudd and Turnbull expressing sorrow. They could not give a bullsroar. Were they opposing when decisions were made to send them over. How come every leader can express sorrow when leader but otherwise shut their mouth. We don't really care about fellow citizens that way. That goes for the people on this board also expressing sorrow.
As Henry Kissinger once remarked , soldiers are just "dumb animals" or as they were referred to in WW1: "cannon fodder".

Basil
20-03-2009, 05:54 PM
As Henry Kissinger once remarked , soldiers are just "dumb animals" or as they were referred to in WW1: "cannon fodder".
Not sure of the context for the first. Your context (relevance) for the second comment is waaaay out.

kjenhager
20-03-2009, 07:01 PM
Not sure of the context for the first. Your context (relevance) for the second comment is waaaay out.
Have the contexts really changed that much ?

Basil
20-03-2009, 08:02 PM
Have the contexts really changed that much ?
I was referring to the contexts (and reverence) in which 'canon fodder' was used then and society's opinion of soldiers these days.

'Canon fodder', when first coined I believe, was a simple observance of a matter of (unfortunate) fact and a precursor to the idea of doing away with humans as blankets to soak up lead while moving towards an objective.

Conduct of warfare has changed in that the traditional idea of canon fodder has been done away with. No longer are troops sent over the top to soak up lead. That's part A of what I meant.

Part B refers to the reverence shown towards soldiers 100 years ago (times of high pride, aspiration and jingosism) compared to the disdain and desensitised commentary that permeates some parts of discussions about the military today.

I believe that referring back then to the 'boys on the front' as 'canon fodder' and 'dumb animals' would have seen the utterer strung by the short and curlies and left to rot in the town square.

kjenhager
20-03-2009, 10:22 PM
I believe that referring back then to the 'boys on the front' as 'canon fodder' and 'dumb animals' would have seen the utterer strung by the short and curlies and left to rot in the town square.
Yes , i agree , Kissinger should be hung by the short and curlies and left to rot in the town square.

He is after all wanted for war crimes in various countries anyway , i understand.

Ian Murray
20-03-2009, 10:28 PM
The disdain shown for the military by some people seems to be a hangover from the Vietnam War protests and has little relevance today.

The ADF is an entirely volunteer force of professional young men and women, loyal to the government of the day and committed to discharging all given tasks. They are in Afghanistan because they want to do what they train to do, regardess of the personal risk.

They do us proud.

kjenhager
20-03-2009, 10:32 PM
The disdain shown for the military by some people seems to be a hangover from the Vietnam War protests and has little relevance today.

The ADF is an entirely volunteer force of professional young men and women, loyal to the government of the day and committed to discharging all given tasks. They are in Afghanistan because they want to do what they train to do, regardess of the personal risk.

They do us proud.
Regardless of the reasons as to why they are there .

MichaelBaron
21-03-2009, 10:29 AM
Can not wait for Australians to go back home. Why should we die in a foreign country and what for? :(

Watto
21-03-2009, 11:12 AM
I also like to remind myself (and others) that I object to the weighting given by some to a dead actor on the other side of the planet over the weighting of a dead Australian who otherwise would never have made a headline (in his short life).

I really don't see the need to contrast Natasha Richardson's death and coverage with that of an Australian soldier. Both have received coverage this week. Both have been mourned. But since this thread makes that specific comparison...

The 'dead actor' died in a way which was particularly surprising and confronted us with the fact that things can change very abruptly. Her death is shocking and poignant. Apart from these aspects, being a celebrity herself from a famous acting family and the wife of a famous actor and mother of their two children, there is simply more information for the press to work with.

The Australian soldier was as you point out, unknown (his name, Sergeant Brett Till, has now been released), and his death whilst very sad and regrettable and poignant is not so surprising. Do you really think it's a shocking, surprising thing when a soldier dies? It's terrible, yes, but what are they are trained for? What is the job about? Death and dying are very much part of it, even though these days we seem to want a military force dealing with deadly weapons but no deaths, at least for our side.

May they both rest in peace.

Capablanca-Fan
21-03-2009, 11:24 AM
'Canon fodder', when first coined I believe, was a simple observance of a matter of (unfortunate) fact and a precursor to the idea of doing away with humans as blankets to soak up lead while moving towards an objective.
It's probably from WW1, where for a time, defenders had the advantages of trench cover and machine guns, that could mow down huge numbers of charging unprotected soldiers.

It was Australia's great general John Monash who was appalled by this, and proposed using the new invention, the tank, as an infantry support. He also planned airplanes to parachute in fresh ammunition and medical supplies, and a "creeping barrage" where the artillery would move slowly in front of the advancing troops. This worked like a charm in the Battle of Hamel (http://www.ww1westernfront.gov.au/battlefields/hamel-1918.html) (4 July 1918), where Monash planned to take his objective in only 90 minutes instead of the months it would have taken with previous tactics. He ran only 2 minutes over time. His strategy was then used in the much larger and decisive Battle of Amiens (8-11 August 1918) that broke the will of the Germans to resist. The great conquerer of Rommel, Bernard Montgomery praised Monash as the best Allied general of WW1.


The disdain shown for the military by some people seems to be a hangover from the Vietnam War protests and has little relevance today.
Leftie disdain for the returning Vietnam soldiers, to the point of spitting on them as they returned from the horrible war, is unfortunately par for the course for lefties.

Leftie bumper sticker: If you can read this, thank a teacher.
Rightie bumper sticker: If you can read this in English, thank a soldier.

Basil
21-03-2009, 12:07 PM
I really don't see the need to contrast Natasha Richardson's death and coverage with that of an Australian soldier.
Oh take your blinkers off and stop reading what you want to read. The point of my post wasn't to contrast the deaths. And the point wasn't to contrast the coverage. And even if it were, what waste of breath your post would have been anyway :rolleyes:

I did, however invoke a contrast in the coverage to highlight a greater point which I clearly set out in my opening paragraph in post #7.


Do you really think it's a shocking, surprising thing when a soldier dies?
I won't even dignify that.

What a jumbled and tortured post, Jean :hand: A hopeless twisting of my post taking a reasonably held conservative posting (of mine) and seeking to wedge dribble out of nothing.

Watto
21-03-2009, 01:05 PM
Oh take your blinkers off and stop reading what you want to read. The point of my post wasn't to contrast the deaths. And the point wasn't to contrast the coverage. And even if it were, what waste of breath your post would have been anyway :rolleyes:

I did, however invoke a contrast in the coverage to highlight a greater point which I clearly set out in my opening paragraph in post #7.


I won't even dignify that.

What a jumbled and tortured post, Jean :hand: A hopeless twisting of my post taking a reasonably held conservative posting (of mine) and seeking to wedge dribble out of nothing.
Gunner, we often seem to misunderstand each other - even the most simple statements. This is another case in point.
Okay, it's now 8:45 pm and I've re-read your post #7 and think I know what your general point was. Although I still don't understand why you were so offended by my response (which was just to point out why the coverage might have been unequal and to register my objection to the comparison in the first place.)

I'd like to note that I used the words 'shocking' and 'surprising' carefully, as in 'unexpected'; no indifference to the soldier's death on my part was intended. But that should have been clear from what else I wrote.

Anyway, the good news is that I think we're on the same page about one thing: I find your posts a tad jumbled and tortured too (at least there are roughly 6000 fewer of mine... :))

Rincewind
21-03-2009, 01:42 PM
It's probably from WW1, where for a time, defenders had the advantages of trench cover and machine guns, that could mow down huge numbers of charging unprotected soldiers.

According to http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=cannon the term was coined (in English, I assume) in 1891 as a translation of the German "kanonenfutter".

According to Wikipedia,


The supposedly first attested use of the expression "cannon fodder" belongs to a French writer, François-René de Chateaubriand. In his anti-Napoleonic pamphlet "De Buonaparte et des Bourbons", published in 1814, he criticized the cynical attitude towards recruits, that prevailed in the end of Napoleon's reign: "On en était venu à ce point de mépris pour la vie des hommes et pour la France, d'appeler les conscrits la matière première et la chair à canon" — "the contempt for the lives of men and for France herself has come to the point of calling the conscripts 'the raw material' and 'the cannon fodder'."

The idea of using infantry soak up firepower goes back before the Napoleonic wars and even earlier still where (for example) the English civil wars were characterised by large losses on both sides. And further back still, as both the websites point out from Henry IV part 1, Shakespeare uses the phrase "food for powder" to describe the rank and file soldiers.

antichrist
24-03-2009, 06:12 PM
I recently come to the opinion that all soldiers world wide should go on strike until the laws of engagement change. No long missles nothing. Just high powered slug guns and it being illegal to fire at heart or head. So the soldier will just get wounded, hopefully get patched up okay and he is on his way home, being unable to compete again in the war. So who really cares for the soldier, someone expressing sorrow like poor Aussie guy or someone who wants to eliminate death in war, destruction in war and waste of resourses in war?

no religion - nothing to die for, living life in peace

kjenhager
24-03-2009, 07:34 PM
I recently come to the opinion that all soldiers world wide should go on strike until the laws of engagement change. No long missles nothing. Just high powered slug guns and it being illegal to fire at heart or head. So the soldier will just get wounded, hopefully get patched up okay and he is on his way home, being unable to compete again in the war. So who really cares for the soldier, someone expressing sorrow like poor Aussie guy or someone who wants to eliminate death in war, destruction in war and waste of resourses in war?

no religion - nothing to die for, living life in peace
Ahmen ( our men )