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 ramblings and things

Operation Banner

Some seem to think I was Superman
Even more think I was was a baddie
Out on the streets of Belfast,
But I was just a squaddie,
Just a political pawn
No ideas of wrong or right
Just sent out there
To try and stop a fight.
Standing out in the street
Wearing combat dress
Starkly obvious
My presence hard to miss.
Surrounded by those
Just normally dressed
Hard to tell foe from friend
When you're hard pressed.

Could have been attacked
Anytime on the street,
Suspicious of all and sundry
That you happened meet.
Five hundred years of history
Of misery and strife
And we walked the streets
Like balancing on a knife.
I am only human
I wanted to survive
Go home to my family
Leave that place alive.
I see fighters of both sides
On the streets now, totally free
While they try to prosecute
Some old  Veterans like me.

The knee cappers and the bombers,
Those who killed indiscriminately,
Treat with contempt and disdain
My old comrades and me.
Freedom Fighters, terrorists., guerrillas,
Call them what you will
Have no Geneva Convention
When they wound, maim and kill
The armchair warriors criticise
And condemn our acts
With scant regard for
The circumstances and the facts.
It's the same old same old story
Politicians stir up the shit
And poor old Tommy Atkins
Is sent out fix it.

Maybe really we should
Have just pulled out
Let them to kill each other
Left them to sort it out.  
Let them terrorise and kill
The result may have been the same
History would have whitewashed them
We still held to blame.
History is a cruel master
That all and sundry freely cite
And hindsight's a wonderful thing
But not necessarily always right.
I suffer from night fears from  
Serving where I didn't choose,
And listening  to the armchair experts
Who've never walked in my shoes.

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