Iraq print

Four blocks, course grain timber, rough cut and printed on course Kochishi unbleached. It is not a clean subject.

It was the summer of 1969. Alexander Dubček’s spring in Prague had been quashed a year earlier. Most of us were draftees massed for a huge military exercise near the East German border to coincide with the anniversary of the event in case of a possible repeat and matters getting out of hand.

During a year and a half of training not much time was spent to discuss all the morals or immoralities of what was expected of us and after all it was peace for us and at the end of the day it was all just make believe any way. As an observer for heavy mortars teamed up with an artillery observer we would choose and divide between us targets for a possible fire plan for the sector we were facing at that particular moment. To get a proper fix we would choose prominent land marks, church steeples easy to verify against known coordinates. But again, it was all just a game.

However trains with real ammo were in the area just in case. Now can you imagine how it would be if things really got ugly. All of a sudden those church steeples would be real with real people around who live there and build those villages over hundred of years. A lot of us still in or just out of adolescence with frontal brain lobes not even completely formed. What to do? Would we know? It is not that we knew half the story. We did not even know a fraction of the story. And that goes for all the parties in the argument.

I wrote this about 5 years ago. Now 24th Dec 2011 I came across this article on the BBC news. In the context it's worth reading I believe.

Faceless, nameless, too young to reason
A perspective denied, they shuffle
on to and off the stage
Told to hurt, protect, inflict, stabilize and mess it all up again
With some deity’s name on their lips
And a new generation watches

                                                       A.C.W.ten Broek