Some are making a big deal about something that happened 100 years ago. Anniversaries are a time to remember…something…maybe…or use for political purposes. Politicians are the same everywhere.
Are these people stupid or venal both? Don’t people notice? For example, British politicians try to commemorate the First World War with warm words about remembering. Of course, they speak mostly of the wasted lives, but talk only of “sacrifice” and never about the lesson not learned. At the same time, these same geniuses demand troops be sent to Ukraine, which proves that they do not remember, do not care, and have not learned. From the safety of their clubs in London, as in the past, “great men” send forth poor suckers to use bullets from which they profit.
At least one intelligent man resides in England, but his lone voice does little good to stem the tide of stupidity and hypocrisy.
Sine Qua Non
Wars never end; the shooting might—I repeat, might—stop, but battles continue with words, intrigue, and slights.
English television programming would be gutted without repeated stories of past wars. Although friendship with Germany is mentioned in reports on membership in the European Union, citizens are not allowed to forget what they did in 1914 (when the cousins squabbled) or 1940 (even if the friendship of the future king with the German dictator is covered up). And, militarism is not allowed to die or even fade, as seen in the “royal” family traipsing around in uniforms (even the women). What would the English do without a war drum to beat. Recent reports claim that the prime minister wants NATO to send troops to Ukraine, despite the fact that this country is not a member of the alliance. This guy must not have read history (or watched local television) of World War Two (or One). Perhaps, he is posturing, as did his predecessor, to impress the United States, where the cons (short for neo-con, but also for criminal) are beating the same old drums.
Clauswitz wrote that war is policy by other means. Nowadays, policy is war by any means. After all, the laws of capitalism demand that the sales weapons and munitions must continue unabated. And, self-proclaimed statesmen must posture from the safety of their clubs and offices far removed from danger.
Arms manufacturers and uniform suppliers everywhere are rubbing their hands in glee at the prospect of another war. How apt, considering that this is 2014.
I watched program recently on how World War I started, one hundred years ago. I learned in school only that an anarchist shot the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian dictatorship. In fact, he was a tool of the Serbian government. None of the participants wanted war, and most did not understand what they were getting themselves into...until it was too late to back down. No politician or king likes to admit making a mistake. After all, infallibility is perk. A disagreement between Serbia and Austria caused all major powers of Europe to waste a generation of men and led to further disasters in the 20th century. The history of the Balkans is messy and difficult to understand; problems still rumble below the false charm offensive needed to join the EU.
The situation in Ukraine, with an equally turbulent and misunderstood history, could be a spark to cause another unnecessary war, either cold or hot. Stupid politicians do not know the stakes nor what they are doing, despite the arrogance to believe they are right. But, there are profits to be made, so others are stirring things up and whispering sweet nothings in their ears.
Hypocrisy reigns supreme. Ukraine is threatening to develop nuclear weapons, which they can, while screaming about the potential threat of Iran. Known terrorists are present in the leadership of the new Ukraine government, but only terrorists that threaten the United States are denounced. One should not be surprised that Russia upset about such treats on its border. Of course, US news media, especially Fox, are telling a different story. The narrative must fit to a conflict, that the US can "solve". Like they did in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc.
I always liked the bit in the US Constitution about no foreign entanglements. People that constantly tout this document tend to ignore this line, so important to the Founding Fathers. The United States is totally tied up in foreign entanglements, most of their own making. The problem seems to be that this line does not help sell guns...
There is a saying about blood being thicker than water. Although this makes little sense, I guess it means that relatives stick closer together than friends. History has proven that this is not always the case. One statistic that comes to mind is the number of murders and gunshot wounds of relatives in the United States.
This phrase came to mind when watching a trailer for a program on World War I. This is the one hundredth anniversary of a really big and stupid war (unlike some the more-recent small and stupid wars...which were big for all involved, but you get the point).
The word thick has different definitions. It can mean solid or viscous. It can also mean lacking intelligent or stupid. I pick the later definition to plug into the above saying about thick blood. The principle players in World War I were related. The King of England, the Kaiser of Germany, and the Tsar of Russia were first cousins. They had played together as children and met in later years. The wife of the Tsar was a German princess. The father of the King was German. Instead of sticking together, they squabbled and cost the lives of millions and led to the suffering of many millions. The Second World War is almost certainly a consequence of this thick (lacking intelligence) blood.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.