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27 April 2022
While reflecting of times past during Anzac Day, it was hard to ignore the fact that as we listened about the horrors, inhumanity and ridiculousness of war, that armed international conflict continued to rage in Ukraine.
To coin a line from the Norman Whitefield and Barrett Strong song ‘War’, made famous by Edwin Starr in 1970, war is ‘Friend only to the undertaker’.
Perhaps the underpinning question and answer carrying the song through its duration makes an even stronger point – ‘War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing!’
Sure, it can galvanise or harden the resolve of people, but in the end it’s about killing, maiming and destroying people and their assets – be it as attacker or defender.
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It, like most physical fights, is the ultimate revelation that we as humans are also animals and have the ability to be as stupid as we are clever.
One of the first comments from idle chat among friends after news broke that Russia had started its war on Ukraine were: ‘Surely not. This is modern world. It’s not supposed to happen anymore!’.
But it seems that for such a smart animal, we can easily dismiss judgment errors from the past.
This is why the words ‘lest we forget’, the annual reminder hammered into us every year since children, are part of Anzac lore.
During the Second World War, the USSR, including Russia, Ukraine and its other republics, lost what some estimate to be about 27-million people. You would think this fact alone would always be an influencing factor when their leaders make military decisions.
Of course it is always the innocents who suffer the most during war and what is commonly coined as ‘collateral damage’ can be immense.
Ukraine has some of the most productive farmland in Europe and as a major grain-growing nation is usually a fierce international market competitor of Australia. That competition directly includes us, here in the Wimmera.
In understanding and acknowledging this intense market rivalry, we salute our regional broadacre farmers who show international solidarity to support Grain Producers Australia’s Grain4Ukraine fundraiser.
Grain4Ukraine involves Australian farmers donating harvest proceeds to Ukrainian farmers hit hard by the war.
The reality is that many Wimmera growers are likely to financially benefit from rising grain prices generated by the conflict. War would have crippled much of Ukraine agricultural production.
For our farmers to make such a donation, especially in a seasonal industry where disaster can lurk around the corner, is a wonderfully magnanimous gesture.
It is one of those occasions that should make us proud to be who we are and perhaps sets an example of what is possible in building international relationships.
It might sound a bit naïve, but we shouldn’t need to have a nasty fight to make things happen. Just respect and good will.
The entire April 27, 2022 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
The entire April 27, 2022 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!