Monuments

Issue 

Monuments

By Karl-Erik Paasonen

Where are the statues for civilians killed?

I want monuments for the victims

Where are the statues for the dead of Hanoi?

I want monuments for the victims

And where are the statues for Australians with pride

Who refused to take part in fratricide

And spent time in prison, spat on, vilified?

I want monuments for the victims.

Don't give me that crap about saving your country

I want monuments for the victims

Defending your women and your way of life

I want monuments for the victims

And don't try to tell me that the land of your birth

Was threatened by people half way round the earth

And well done for defending America's turf

I want monuments for the victims.

And when we hear about needing to reconcile

I want monuments for the victims

Those poor, poor bastards who answered the call

I want monuments for the victims

And yes, it was horror; yes, it wrecked lives

And yes, the men suffered: wars warp people's lives

Suffering? Ask the Vietnamese who survived

I want monuments for the victims.

Cos who did the hurting? Who were the hurt?

I want monuments for the victims

Who were the tortured? Who were the burnt?

I want monuments for the victims

And who gave the orders, whose was the voice

So Australian men thought they had no choice

But to save another country's political ends?

I want monuments for the victims

What will we see next in the hero-stakes?

I want monuments for the victims

The crook-necked heroes of the Gulf War?

I want monuments for the victims

I cry for the dead of Iraq and Kuwait

Who died so we could drive round in state Conquering heroes? No.

I want monuments for the victims

So give us the statues, give us them soon

I want monuments for the victims

For the dead of Vietnam and the Kalkadoons

I want monuments for the victims

Time Australia paid its dues

To this country's owners, who we've treated like Jews

To those who resisted war, those who refused And to women and children raped and abused

But most, to the dead, whatever their views.

I want monuments — for all the victims.