Friday, August 16, 2013

War is hell

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Today I was driving my parents car and having no idea how to change the radio station and not wanting to cause a car accident attempting to find out, I listened to the station they have blaring so they can actually hear it - ABC 702.

It was 11am, for those not familiar with ABC 702 this is the time for Conversations with Richard Fidler - as I found out today.

The conversation from today was recorded and first aired in 2012. It was with Michael Ware. Michael Ware was a war correspondent for Time magazine and CNN in Afghanistan and Iraq. He served the equivalent of nine combat tours and during this time was kidnapped three times.

Michael had returned a couple of years prior to this interview and had been recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

I reached my destination quicker than I thought so only heard about 10-15 minutes.

His words were harrowing. The following resonating with me for the rest of the day.

"Being cut off in traffic is a kidnapping about to happen."

"What is there new to say about war and human nature - there is nothing to say nothing new to add. There is one truth and that is war is hell. Innocence is lost."

"In a society at war you really see who you are. When you think you are about to die you realise what is most important to you, it is not the mortgage or winning the office rugby league pool, it is love, it is those who you love. There is nowhere to hide from yourself."

"Evil men do good and good men do evil. In war, you see it's best bits and its worst bits."

"A soldier doesn't fight because he hates what is in front of him, he fights because he loves what is behind him."

I used to joke with my parents that you had to be of a certain age to listen to ABC 702 - after today, maybe I have reached that age.

This programme really affected me. The experiences of war had re-programmed the way Michael saw the everyday, like driving in traffic and leaving his own apartment. I can't begin to imagine what it would be like to experience war first hand, I hope I never have to find out. I cry for the people who are faced with war every day and the effects both physically and mentally that it has on them.

Do you listen to ABC 702? 
Are you a fan of Richard Fidler's conversations?

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