Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Shouldn't we be remembering its end?

The first world war was a tragedy, the flower of a generation was sacrificed in a war in which the tactics of a previous generation were used to ill effect against machine guns and trench warfare. The term lions led by donkeys came about when the foolishness and arrogance of the generals was questioned but not the courage of the men they were supposed to lead to victory not ignominious death.
Yesterday the news was full of 'celebrations' of remembrance for the start of the conflict, last night a lot of public buildings were in darkness save for a single candle in commemoration. Yet what we were commemorating was the end result of politicians meddling in what they termed the great game, whereby they tied this country into a series of treaties that made war of some kind inevitable. The flower of a generation, bright, patriotic and willing to give their all for king and country were mown down because of a series of treaties meant that the killing of an archduke in Serbia by a Serbian nationalist drew a response from Austia-Hungary and started unravelling a whole web of treaties in which eventually the Austrian ally of Germany invaded of Belgium because France was allied with Serbia drew us into the conflict.
In essence for all we're being told that we're remembering the courage of the men, were also commemorating a massive failure by politicians, one they are likely enough to repeat, after all world war two was a direct result of politicians botching up the negotiations at the end of world war one.
No, we should not be getting into bread and circuses for the start of WW1, we have a perfectly good Remembrance Day in November to remember the brave.
The start of WW1 was a tragedy made flesh by the idiocy of politicians, that is what we should remember.

2 annotations:

Jonty said...

Mr Cameron gave a speech last night in which he said in effect that WW1 was a reminder that war should not be taken lightly as it caused so much pain abd suffering. At the weekend however he was railing against President Putin, when the EU and the US have quietened of late.
I wonder if these people listen to themselves at all?

Dioclese said...

Did it end? They cam back for a return match in 1939 and now we have the EU which is effectively the Fourth Reich. These days they use economic weapons instead of guns but it's the same idea really. German domination of Europe.

Sadly, I am forced to ask whether if we had stayed out of WW1 and let the French and Germans slog it out, would things be any different 100 years on. It's not a thought I like to dwell on.

Either way, it was a senseless waste of millions of lives.