Dulce et decorum est


The western powers are going to go to war in the Middle East once again. There are good diplomatic, political, moral arguments for and against but there is one overriding reason why civilised nations cannot let this atrocity go “unchecked”. I can’t say it any more eloquently than the renowned WWl poet Wilfred Owen already put it ..

Dulce et decorum est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots,
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen
8 October 1917 – March, 1918


Somewhere in the house I still have a CBN (chemical, biological and nuclear) suit and gas mask. What I learned about the effects of VX, Sarin etc while being trained in how to use the kit horrified me. These are weapons of incomprehensible cruelty.

Their use anywhere in the world at anytime diminishes all of us. I know many people have said that it is wrong that only now after 100,000 deaths in Syria that the west should intervene. They have a point but they completely misunderstand the difference between conventional and chemical warfare.

To give the order to fire an artillery round containing nerve agents mixed with emulsifiers (to make them stick to surfaces longer) is an act of only the most cynical and the most depraved. I don’t believe in ideas like pure evil, but the person who caused this to happen is unsaveable. Knowing what we know about the kind of deaths they cause and the population wide terror they inflict there is only one moral response.

Having worked in The Balkans, Occupied Palestine, Iran and Iraq I would love to be able to agree with those who say that anybody who gives the order to kill another person lives outside the moral community. That is unfortunately a naive stance. The use of chemical weapons however is not. This has to remain fixed line to which we all respond swiftly and unanimously.



Filed under Uncategorized

7 responses to “Dulce et decorum est

  1. I cannot bring myself to hit the ‘Like’ button. Powerfully appropriate post. Thanks

  2. Haunted by your reminder of Owen’s words and the images of those Syrian children who were ardent only for life. Almost a century after this poem was written, what new lies allow the sacrifice of such innocents? Saw the effects of international indifference in Bosnia… whenever it suits the powerful, still so ‘dulce et decorum’. Agree with the previous comment that ‘like’ is a misnomer, so I’ll ‘recommend’.

  3. Hi there, its nice paragraph on the topic of media print, we all know media is
    a fantastic source of information.

  4. I comment each time I like a post on a site or I
    have something to contribute to the discussion. Usually it is triggered by the passion displayed in the article I
    read. And on this article Dulce et decorum est |
    Philip Boucher-Hayes. I was excited enough to drop
    a thought 😉 I do have a couple of questions for you if
    you don’t mind. Could it be only me or does it appear like some of
    these responses look as if they are coming from brain dead visitors?
    😛 And, if you are posting at additional online social sites, I
    would like to keep up with everything new you have to post.
    Would you make a list every one of your communal pages like your
    twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

  5. Online poker sell facebook poker chips rooms thgat provide the top poker bnus codes
    aree many cheap zynga poker chips for sale whicch might be striving to draw in extra people to take
    part in their tournament or just to create people occur again frequently.

    On October 2, Farmville players received this message wnen they
    logged oon too play: “Together we have raised over $900,000 to complete the School of Choice in Haiti. Tame your betting habits Betting at the wrong time, or for that matter, what any of their moves at the wrong time is bad.

  6.   爱为你珠宝有限公司作为一 定制珠宝 家集设计、生产、销售及售后服务于一体的专业珠宝企业,旗下"AIFFILY,爱为你"为国内珠宝品牌。



  7. Food, beverages, tobacco, cable, pharmaceutical and cosmetics packaging printi http://shyuchang.ziyouhu.com/ ng enterprises requiring frequent or high speed digital, barcodes, graphics or text printing on the product or packaging cartons. Practice has proved that the application of small character inkjet printer, high-resolution

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s