Sheer Bloody-Minded Optimism

Sometimes it helps to look to the past in order to put the present in context. With that in mind, here’s a song I wrote in 2000, just before the US and Australian elections.

War is Over

Words and Music by Dan Walmsley

It’s the year 2000
End of the twentieth century
In which humans perfected
All kinds of hideous weaponry

The first and second world wars
Showed us the ways of evil men
But now we’ve learned the lessons of history
We’ll never have to learn them again

Peace upon the Earth

Many wars were caused
By leaders going off their tree
But Democracy will make
Our leaders act responsibly

Our voting rights ensure they’ll do
Exactly what we say
And if we protest something loud enough
I’m sure they’ll back the fuck away

Because war is over
Peace from now on
Technology will help us move away from fossil fuels
And the Middle Eastern tension will be gone

War benefits just two groups
In modern societies
Weapons manufacturers
And construction companies

So preventing war is simple
All we have to do is say
People closely linked to those two groups
Cannot run the USA

Peace upon the earth

Now that war is over
We can turn our thoughts to peace
Use the SAS to find lost kids
And go on missions planting trees

By next year our great nation
Will have reconciled our violent past
And that unpopular John Howard
Will be voted out at last

Because war is over,
Peace has come at last,
Kyoto will be signed, society we be refined,
And violence will be looked upon as crass

Yeah war is over,
Peace forever more,
We’ve hurt so much and learned so much in the 20th century,
I can’t wait to see what the 21st one has in store

September 11

Let’s put the comedy aside. On this day, I think it’s worth remembering why September 11 made the world so angry. It made us angry because some people, driven by principles we may never understand, killed thousands of innocent people while they went about their day. And our leaders made a point, one they drove home over and over. We don’t care what you stand for, no ideology can justify such a crime against humanity.

With this in mind, I would like you to consider the present day. What has been done in the name of those who died on September 11? The US government and its allies have waged war around the world. They have denied the sovereignty and human rights of countless thousands of people, ignored international treaties governing the treatment of prisoners of war, and created what could only be called a “war without end”. No battle front, no meaningful possibility of surrender, no territories or visible symbols of success are possible as each generation of terrorists killed breeds a new generation committed to killing in their name.

Nobody could argue that what happened on September 11 was justified. But, by the same principles, neither can we justify the response. To say that there is no possible justification for killing innocents, and then to construct our own ideology and perpetuate that same crime against humanity ourselves, is the most extreme hypocrisy I can imagine.

We have to stop the murder of innocent people. We have to stop trampling the rights of others in the name of our own twisted ideology and hatred. And we must have the will and imagination to create a world of peace.

And we’ll kill anyone who gets in our way.