The Poppy – The symbol of Imperialism

Political

‘The great and the good bowed their heads at the cenotaph, Generals, politicians, newsreaders, football managers and stock market traders wore their poppies. No one mentioned Iraq. No one uttered the slightest remorse for the fallen of that country.’ John Pilger

There has been no escape from the consistent barrage propaganda in the past few weeks that coerces us to celebrate imperialism. The media, specifically the BBC, are glorifying and encouraging support for warfare, militarism and the domination of Imperialism. While the great, the good and the political classes lay wreaths and flowers at expensive events in different imperial war memorials throughout the British empire, the truth is carefully concealed.

While the British soldiers that perished in the two world wars are remembered, also recalled are those soldiers that lost their lives in bloody imperial adventures throughout the world in places like Kenya, Indonesia, Diego Garcia, Argentina, Zimbabwe and many other places when the native population stood up against foreign, oppressive domination and millions of innocent lives were lost in the process. Indeed, many such lives were lost in Ireland in this past century as their democratic rights were being trampled on in the name of empire.

The poppy is the political symbol of this brutal, unmerciful process which took place across the globe. It’s the British Legion that administers it whilst they support serving soldiers and survivors from Britain’s latest military expeditions. Support is given to those that died and that continue to die in recent imperial conflicts currently raging. The poppy is not, therefore, a simple commerative symbol but a symbol which implies complicity in the unequal system under which we are governed.

Notwithstanding the fact the influence and power of the British empire had diminished in recent years as they come under the shade of the great imperial power – America, they still place a central role in the political violence raging throughout the world as they seek more and more sources of revenue to feed their imperial greed. Millions died and continue to die in Iraq and Afghanistan and sophisticated warplanes valued worth millions of pounds pounded Lybia recently. When we wear a poppy, when we take part in glorious ceremonies and when we lay wreaths at imperial war sites, we lend credibility to this violent and bloody heritage and to the version of history and public discourse which disseminates from it.

There is no point in any republican, socialist, activist or any progressive person taking a stand against ‘poppy bullying’ as a ‘free-choice’ unless they are willing to explain their reasons to the community under siege from poppy propaganda. An honest logic and rational analysis lies behind our instinctive opposition to imperialism and its symbols and ceremonies. This analysis should be shared every year when the ‘poppy fascism’ returns.

We should, of course, remember the poor Irish people, and the poor and downtrodden everywhere, that died in vain. They should be remembered not as anonymous soldiers, non-people, digits on the ‘military roll of honour’ of Britain but as pathetic victims of imperialism that were tossed to the graveyard in the name of imperialism and the upper class which it protects. We could provide the next generation with a genuine and sincere education so that they may avoid the death lines of imperialism.

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This would do so much more for the cause of peace than the hypocritical celebration of warfare that we are subjected to year after year.

poppy

An Poipín- Siombail an Impiriúlachais!

11-11-12

Le Feargal Mac Ionnrachtaigh

‘The great and the good bowed their heads at the cenotaph, Generals, politicians, newsreaders, football managers and stock market traders wore their poppies. No one mentioned Iraq. No one uttered the slightest remorse for the fallen of that country.’ John Pilger

Ní raibh aon éalú ar bith le cúpla seachtain anuas ón bholscaireacht leanúnach a bhrúadh anuas orainn chun ceiliúradh a dhéanamh ar an impiriúlachas. Tá na meáin chumarsáide agus go háirithe an BBC, ag déanamh glóiriú agus tréaslú ar an chogaíocht, an mhílteachas agus ansmacht an impiriúlachais. Déantar an fhírinne a cheilt sna cuimhneacháin chostasacha seo ina bhfheictear na móruaisle agus na haicmí polaitiúla a chothaíonn iad, ag cur fleasca agus bláthanna ar leachtaí cuimhneacháin impiriúla ar fud na gcoilíneachtaí Briotanacha.

Déantar comóradh, ní amháin ar shaighdiúirí Briotanacha a d’éag sna cógaí domhanda, ach lena chois, orthu siúd a maraíodh in eachtraí impiriúla fuilteacha ar fud an domhain ar nós an Chéinia, na hIndinéise, Diego Garcia, na hAirgintíne agus na Siombáibe nuair a chuir an chosmhuintir dúshlán roimh an

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daorsmacht fhoréigneach agus cailleadh na milliúin íobartaigh sa phróiseas. Cailleadh sciar maith acu in Éirinn le céad bliain anuas agus iad ag cur cos-ar-bholg ar chearta daonlathacha mhuintir na tíre seo chomh maith.

Is é an poipín atá mar shuaitheantas polaitiúil ar an slad bhrúidiúil neamhthrócaireach seo a thit amach ar fud na cruinne. Is é Léigiún na Breataine a riarann air agus iad ag tacú le saighdiúirí Briotanacha reatha agus marthánaigh a tháinig slán ó na hionsaithe míleata. Tugtar tacaíocht dóibh siúd a d’éag agus atá ag fáil bháis go fóill sna coimhlintí impiriúla comhaimseartha atá faoi lán seol. Ní suaitheantas comórtha stairiúil atá sa phoipín, mar

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sin, ach is siombail bholscaireachta é a mhúnlaíonn comhthoil don chóras éagothrom reatha. Maireann na cruálachtaí impiriúla seo ar fad. Scriosadh saolta, pobail agus cultúir faoi chois na himpireachta seo.

Bíodh is gur ísligh tionchar agus cumhacht na Breataine le blianta beaga anuas agus iad ag teacht faoi scáth na himpireachta nua-Mheiriceánaí, tá páirt leanúnach acu go fóill i bhforéigean polaitiúil gan truamhéala ar scála domhanda agus iad ar lorg tuilleadh acmhainní eacnamaíochta ar mhaithe leis an impireacht shantach úd. D’éag na milliúin san Iaráic agus san Afganastáin agus rinne éitleáin troda le luach na milliún punta orthu, slad buamadóireachta ar an Libia ar na mallaibh.

Is nuair a chaitear poipín, nuair a ghlactar páirt i searmanas glórmhar agus nuair a chuirtear fleasca ag leachtaí cuimhneacháin impiriúla go dtugann muid creidiúint don oidhreacht fhuilteach seo agus an leagan staire is dioscúrsa poiblí bréagach a chraobhscaoileann sé.

Níorbh fhiú do phoblachtánaigh, sóisialaithe, díograiseoirí agus daoine forásacha d’aon chineál seasamh in éadan ‘bulaíocht an phoipín’ ar bhonn ‘saor-rogha’ mura bhfuil siad chun an cinneadh seo a mhíniú don phobal atá faoi chois na bolscaireachta. Tá anailís agus loighic ionraic taobh thiar den fhreasúrthacht dhlísteanach a mhothaíonn muid don Impiriúlachas agus dá chuid suaitheantas agus searmanas. Ní mór an tuairim seo a nochtadh gach bliain nuair a fhilleann bulaíocht an phoipín.

Is cinnte gur chóir dúinn cuimhniú ar na hÉireannaigh bochta, agus cosmhuintir bhunaicmeach a shaothraigh, agus a shaothraíonn an bás in aisce. Ní mar shaighdiúirí anaithide, neamhdhaoine, agus digití ar ‘rolla onóra míleata’ na Breataine ach mar íobartaigh truacánta de chuid an impiriúlachais a caitheadh i dtreo na reilige ag na móruaisle rachmasacha. D’fhéadfadh muid oideachas macánta a chur ar an chéad ghlúin le go bhfanfadh siad amach ó na scuainí báis impiriúla. Déanfaidh seo níos mó ar son na síochána ná an ceiliúradh fimíneach ar an chogaíocht a fhulaingíonn muid bliain ina dhaidh bliana.

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