Saturday, March 22, 2003

War Speeches

A decent speech by a lieutenant before taking his troops into the Iraqi war

"We go to liberate not to conquer. We will not fly our flags in their country. We are entering Iraq to free a people and the only flag which will be flown in that ancient land is their own. Show respect for them.

"Iraq is steeped in history. It is the site of the Garden of Eden, of the Great Flood and the birthplace of Abraham. Tread lightly there."

"You will see things that no man could pay to see and you will have to go a long way to find a more decent, generous and upright people than the Iraqis.

"You will be embarrassed by their hospitality even though they have nothing.

"Don't treat them as refugees for they are in their own country. Their children will be poor, in years to come they will know that the light of liberation in their lives was brought by you."

Another great speech on the eve of battle is conjured up by shakespeare, the St.Crispen's day speech.( in Henry the fifth )

Henry V is inside France, seizing Calais and other French towns. His troops are weak from dysentary and from hard fighting and want to return home. French troops move between Henry's troops and Calais, preventing them to return to England.

Henry relies on his peasant footmen and peasant longbow archers. French relies on its elite aristocratic heavily armoured knights. British troops are scared looking at this "wave of steel" and King Henry talks to them . Henry wins, gets the french princess, secures peace with France but dies of dysentry soon after (1422)

Over to the speech :

WESTMORELAND. (The Kings cousin, wishes for more men to fight)

KING.No, my fair cousin;
If we are mark'd to die, we are enough
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.

( If we are gonna die, lets minimise England's loss by not having anymore men, If we are gonna win, lets maximise our honour but not having more men with us)

God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more.
By Jove, I am not covetous for gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon my cost;
It yearns me not if men my garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.

( I dont want any more men. Not because I lust after gold, or because I grudge feeding them, but what I covet is honour)

..... wish not a man from England.
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!

( I don't want any more men to share this honour with me)

Rather proclaim it, Westmoreland, through my host,
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse;

( Tell our men to leave, if they don't wish to fight. I'll give him money and ensure a safe passage )

We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian.

( I do not want to die in the company of cowards)
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.

( Today is St.Crispen's day and those who fight and live will have every reason to be proud of whenever St.Crispen's day is mentioned)
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian.'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's day.'

( On St. Crispen's day, while feasting with neighbours, they will proudly show their scars and tell their tales to their neighbours)
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-

( This day will be remembered and our deeds will be remembered and go down in legend )

... This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,

( Whoever sheds his blood with me today, irrespective of how lowly he might be becomes my brother)

This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

(Those who fight with us today, automatically becomes 'Gentlemen" . But the 'Nobility" and "gentlemen" in England, who have not fought with us today, will curse themselves for not being here and hang their heads down in shame while people talk about those who fought here on St.Crispen's day )


Post a Comment

<< Home