Tag Archives: #war

The Cipher

The Cipher

A Month had passed since intercepting a message. Most believed it was intercepted from a Chinese-Russian military satellite, our enemy in a war the Allies were losing, but I believed it had come from someone or something else. Everyone knew cracking the code, completely indiscernible to the best and brightest working around the clock, was key to our victory.

As I sat staring at the letters, numbers, and symbols, my eyes bugging out of my head, they began to lift from the page and realign before my eyes. I had done it, I’d found the key to deciphering the entire transmission. The message read,

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Hero of War

Hero of War

In 2003 a United States led coalition invaded Iraq. The Iraqi forces were quickly overwhelmed leading to the fall of the Ba’athist government led by Saddam Hussein. The coalition would remain in Iraq for the next 8 years, officially withdrawing from the country in 2011.

In October 2008 Chicago based punk rock giants Rise Against released their 5th studio album entitled “Appeal to Reason“. The theme for this week Song Lyric Sunday is Army / Soldier / War and I have chosen to highlight the track “Hero of War” from that release. The track was only released as a promo single but did receive significant play on alternative radio.

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The Blood of War

This originally started as a reply to a post that Jim at A Unique Title for Me posted. It got me thinking about the broader context of government and in particular the idea that the people are accountable for the action of their government. In particular, Russians when it comes to Putin.

Yes, Vladimir Putin gave the order to invade Ukraine, the former Soviet republic that declared its independence on January 22nd, 1989. Putin has chosen this path not because of the excuses such as “denazification” or the perceived threat NATO presents to Russia if Ukraine achieves member status. It is all smoke and mirrors to hide the real reasons for Putin’s war, to turn back the clock to a bygone era. To return to some perceived Russian greatness that never really existed. He alone must answer to the world for his illegal actions in Ukraine and the war crimes he has committed in the name of Mother Russia.

I will say that from a world perspective I do not believe the international community and the allied countries of the West are doing enough to quell the Putin threat. Russian aggression in Ukraine has the eerie feel of Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939. The parallels are well documented elsewhere and too many to list here. We the world must stand with Ukraine and prevent history from repeating itself.

I believe the Russian people are good people. Historically they have suffered immeasurable hardship. For the record, the Russian experience is not unique. Many other peoples in various parts of the world have suffered repeatedly at the hands of internal and external forces. That type of suffering creates a certain pathos that brings about insecurity in the people of a nation. It doesn’t require a great leap to see how people end up following someone like Putin who instills a sense of national pride by assuaging their collective vulnerabilities and making them feel whole again.

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The Things I’ve Seen

Down the stairs, truth be told,
In grains of sand, each truth I hold,
The winds of change blowing through,
Where I stand a desert grew.

Long ago, a secret past,
In this cellar, the die was cast,
For trade in skin, bought and sold,
When all used up, left to the cold.

During the times of Jesus Christ,
The pagan north made sacrifice,
Long before the Romans tread,
Countless times, my floor, blood red.

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Vladimir the Terrible

With the criminal actions of Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation, the world is less safe today. Democracy, freedom and the stability of Europe are threatened by the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. The world must respond harshly and without waiver in condemning the despicable act of war initiated by a tyrant and bully. This may seem abstract and distant to many in the West, do not be lulled into a false sense of security. Russian aggression and our responses are being watched by China and other threats to human rights, freedom of speech and the very core values of free and democratic societies. Now is the time for the international community to show these despots that our resolve is strong. Stand strong for Ukraine, Europe and for freedom everywhere.

Vladimir the Terrible,
Has he gone insane?
At the word of a madman
Tovarishchi Putin Ukraine.

Across the border
At lighting pace,
With an F. U. to the world,
“I Putin your face!”

To the West I implore
You’d best not forpass.
zanimat’sya svoim delom
or I’m Putin nukes up your ass.

For his reckless actions,
International sanctions he’ll face,
But with Beijing behind him
He won’t be Putin his place

No time to be insouciant,
We must stand up as one,
Thumb our noses at tyrants
And with Putin be done.

For this act of war,
He deserves a beat down,
or a dose of Novichok
For to be Putin the ground.

tovarishchi (товарищи) – Russian for “comrades”
zanimat’sya svoim delom (заниматься своим делом) – Russian for “mind your business”


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White Flag

I lay on the ground my rifle cocked toward the enemy. The battle rages as the sound of gunfire fill the evening sky. I catch the glimpse of a figure moving towards me through the smoke and haze.

“Stop and get down!” I shout.

The figure continuing to advance on my position. Arms waving in the air.

I take aim while pleading that they stay, “Drop to the ground. God damn it, DROP NOW.” I pull the trigger.

The shells dance in the sand next to me as the sound of each round rings across the battlefield. In the same instant, the figure pushing towards me drops to a heap on the ground and vanishes into the smoke.

After an eternity the dust settles, nerves frayed but our victory secured. The enemy is mostly dead. The unlucky captured, tortured, beaten, and interrogated with efficient brutality. The occasional gunshot pierces through the noise of raucous celebrations.

Haunted by the ghost in the shadows, I walk to the very spot on the now silent battleground. A woman still lays where she fell, terror frozen in her eyes. I follow her stare to a flag white as snow clasped between her fingers.


We came home as heroes, adorned with the medals that they gave us and the scars that we bore. Now the medals gather dust on some forgotten shelf while I spend my nights with a bottle in my hand and that flag at my side.

Photo credit: Pixabay via Pexels.
Copyright 2022 Greg Glazebrook, All Rights Reserved.

Please Stay

Take a moment during the holidays to remember the dedicated individuals, past and present, who risked their lives to protect our freedom. War is not something we seek, however, there are times it is necessary. In those times you rose to the challenges and because of your sacrifices we live and celebrate our own beliefs freely.

Soldiers departing from London, Ontario, heading to fight in World War I. During the First and Second World Wars
soldiers were transported to the point of departure for Europe by train. — CP Rail Archives. 

“Please Stay!” she pleaded.
Her Soldier, waving goodbye, unable to comprehend
her words above the din of Union Station.

Week #241 of Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt.
Word: Din, Count: 19

Photo credit: Canadian Pacific Railways Archives

Copyright 2021 Greg Glazebrook, All Rights Reserved.