Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Tele 'acting as cheerleader for glorification of war'

Although Corporal Channing Day's death in Afghanistan is a tragedy, so also is the death of Afghan and Pakistani civilians killed by Nato forces (News, October 26).

Mothers and fathers in Afghanistan and Pakistan also cry for their children, killed by bombs, by bullets and by drones.

There is no glory in war.

If one takes the time to deconstruct the bedrock notions of 'dying for freedom' and 'dying for one's country', one will soon realise that they are absolute nonsense.

Is the Belfast Telegraph, in its coverage of Corporal Channing Day's tragic death, not guilty of what the First World War soldier and poet Wilfred Owen called "The old lie, dulce et decorum est, pro patria mori"? - 'It is a wonderful and a great honour to fight and die for your country.'

The Peace Studies Programme at Cornell University in the United States estimates that 231 million people were killed in wars over the course of the 20th century.

Many more millions suffered from associated starvation, homelessness and trauma.

The glorification of war through the notion of heroes and patriotism can only lead to another century of pointless destruction, suffering and death.

The Belfast Telegraph can play an important a role in the evolution of a more peaceful world by taking a more critical approach to all aspects of warfare.

LAURENCE SPEIGHT

Derrygonnelly, Co Fermanagh

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