LETTER: Why do we celebrate war?

This year we will “commemorate” the start of the First World War. Will we do so with wisdom, or only in the usual fashion?

This year we will “commemorate” the start of the First World War. Will we do so with wisdom, or only in the usual fashion polluted by politics and politicians’ demand to forget the pathology of how that war came to be?

The war was avoidable. Repeat that a few times. Most wars are. The war with Hitler, universally agreed to have been a very good thing for all who fought the Nazis, never need have happened. The First World War is the origin of the Second World War; no serious historian thinks otherwise.

The vast abyss between what historians know and try to teach, and what the public mind knows about wars of our past, keeps us from ever learning from history. Politicians have no interest in educating us. They want only to keep us in a state of ignorance and illusion so we will go to war the next time they and their masters decide Canada must use violence to “solve” an international problem.

We have been violent in Afghanistan in a way unprecedented in Canadian history. Canadians do not know it was radically unlike what we have done in the past.

Now, having done such a mission once, we are ripe to be led into others like it. The Afghan Mission was of no lasting value. Its cost to our public debt and in lives is absolutely unjustifiable.

But it will be justified ad infinitum by governments, parties, the legion, and all military families; the latter have to feel the “sacrifice” of some of their members in the war have “meaning.”

Sorry to say it, but no one is assured that their death has meaning. Death in war is not more noble than death on the job in any other occupation. Soldiers are not automatic heroes. Their death can be a waste, and by far most of them are.

The First World War will be remembered according to official memory, which was written by the same people who wrote the justifications of the war while it was happening.

The needs of past generations to explain and comfort themselves for that horrible, stupid war, will dictate that we continue to distort what really caused the war and the insanity that continued it, and the total failure to make a peace that was just and avoided future wars. The grief we feel for loved ones lost in war is exploited by the need for government to manufacture consent  for the next war.

Please resist the ceremonial spell our public media and politicians and interest groups will try to cast over us in commemorations for that so-called “Great War.”

 

Charles Jeanes

Nelson

Just Posted

Castlegar daycare selected for univeral child care pilot program

MLA Katrine Conroy presents letter of acceptance to the program to the Children’s Centre at Selkirk College

Kootenay region posts 10-per-cent return rate on electoral reform ballots

As of Nov. 13, only 5.3 per cent of ballots had been returned province-wide

Talking transgender issues with Nelson advocate

Nov. 20 is the Transgender Day of Remembrance

Leafs Roundup: Nelson adds a win and a tie on two-game road trip

Nelson native Reid Vulcano scored in his KIJHL debut

Over 120 people to lend a hand at Community Connect

The annual event offers free services at Central School

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Letters shed light on state of mind of B.C. mom accused of daughter’s murder

Trial of South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone begins in BC Supreme Court

Vancouver man must pay $22,000 after breaking strata rules

Peter Gordon took his fight over his rented condo to the civil resolution tribunal, but lost

Most Read