Wednesday, October 21, 2009

An Illustrated Prayer for the IDF

Mark Twain's 'War Prayer' was considered too controversial by his family and was therefore not published until after his death in 1910. The posthumous direction to publish included the following observation: "I have told the truth ... and only dead men can tell the truth in this world." It is a scathing indictment of war - especially the sanctimonious, patriotic variety - in the form of a short story and though over 100 years old it's ending, in the form of a prayer, might have been written especially for today's euphemistically named "Israeli Defence Force":

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle – be Thou near them! With them – in spirit – we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe.

O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells.

Help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead.

Help us to drown the thunder of the guns with shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain.

Help us to lay waste their humble homes with hurricanes of fire.

Help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst,

 sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it

– for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen."

All photographs are of the 22 day Israeli invasion of Gaza Decamber 2008 - January 2009.
Hat-Tip to "What Really Happened"

1 comment:

  1. He was good wasn't he, that Twain? Nice one Tache.