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Thread: Commemorating WW1

  1. #1
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    Default Commemorating WW1

    Commemoration of the 1914-18 bloodbath is bound to be a sensitive area for progressives, both in Ireland and elsewhere.

    My own inclination would be to remember the thousands of Irishmen who served, but to do so in a way that does not endorse the allied or central powers "cause" in that war. I would broadly agree with the statement put out by the Irish Anti war Movement:

    August 2014 marks the hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the First World War. Far from being a “war to end all wars” or a “victory for democracy”, the war was a military disaster and a catastrophe for humankind which left 16 million dead and 20 million wounded, many horribly so. Britain alone suffered almost 900,000 military deaths and a further 124,000 civilian deaths. Life in the trenches was a living hell. Desertions were punished by firing squad. Those who survived were deeply scarred with many suffering debilitating long-term effects. The war became a testing ground for new mechanised techniques of mass killing with the development of tanks, gas warfare and aerial bombing that encouraged huge profiteering through the armaments industry. In the US alone, for example, war profits saw the creation of 21,000 new millionaires.
    The dominant, simplistic justification for World War 1 is that it was a tragically necessary expedient to halt German domination of Europe. We believe it is important to remember that this war was driven by the major imperial powers’ competition for influence around the globe. It was an unnecessary slaughter conducted for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many. Many of the lies told to justify the war on all sides at the time resonate today as young men are cajoled into fighting wars for spurious reasons.
    We believe it is vitally important that the sacrifice of the 49,000 soldiers from the island of Ireland who died in World War 1 should be commemorated. We also believe that the supposed good cause for which they died should be exposed for the imperial slaughter that it was. We are not in any way disrespecting the memory of dead Irish soldiers by criticizing the architects of this carnage but we dispute the revisionist narrative idealising the ‘good cause’ that these soldiers died for, a narrative often used to supposedly bridge the nationalist and unionist traditions.
    We call on the Irish government not to use the occasion of the commemorations to justify the slaughter of World War 1, or to justify the ongoing militarisation of Europe or the current state of perpetual warfare being promoted by the major world powers. In a time of serious international tension and seemingly perpetual war, we call on everyone, but especially Governments, to ensure that this anniversary is used to expose the real reasons behind World War 1, to analyse the senseless succession of wars in the intervening hundred years, and to promote peace and international co-operation in an effort to end all war forever.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    We need to counteract the "they died for our freedom" guff and remember that it was those at home fighting the British army who died for that cause.

    John Redmond has a huge amount of blood on his hands, the needless deaths of thousands of Irishmen.

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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    Quote Originally Posted by Saoirse go Deo View Post
    We need to counteract the "they died for our freedom" guff and remember that it was those at home fighting the British army who died for that cause.
    But Saoirse ... a large number of them went on to join the IRA and fight in the War of Independence. Sometimes people forget that it was not the Easter Rising that delivered Irish freedom ....... but the 4 years of War between 1918 and 1922...... incidently ........led by Michael Collins.
    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies.”

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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    I think words like "sacrifice" and "commemoration" are entirely out of place.

    They were sold down the river by the Second International of supposed socialists that broke itself up so that workers could slaugher workers without hindrance. Never again.

    http://www.marxist.com/4th-august-19...ernational.htm


    Quote Originally Posted by Richardbouvet View Post
    Commemoration of the 1914-18 bloodbath is bound to be a sensitive area for progressives, both in Ireland and elsewhere.

    My own inclination would be to remember the thousands of Irishmen who served, but to do so in a way that does not endorse the allied or central powers "cause" in that war. I would broadly agree with the statement put out by the Irish Anti war Movement:

    August 2014 marks the hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the First World War. Far from being a “war to end all wars” or a “victory for democracy”, the war was a military disaster and a catastrophe for humankind which left 16 million dead and 20 million wounded, many horribly so. Britain alone suffered almost 900,000 military deaths and a further 124,000 civilian deaths. Life in the trenches was a living hell. Desertions were punished by firing squad. Those who survived were deeply scarred with many suffering debilitating long-term effects. The war became a testing ground for new mechanised techniques of mass killing with the development of tanks, gas warfare and aerial bombing that encouraged huge profiteering through the armaments industry. In the US alone, for example, war profits saw the creation of 21,000 new millionaires.
    The dominant, simplistic justification for World War 1 is that it was a tragically necessary expedient to halt German domination of Europe. We believe it is important to remember that this war was driven by the major imperial powers’ competition for influence around the globe. It was an unnecessary slaughter conducted for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many. Many of the lies told to justify the war on all sides at the time resonate today as young men are cajoled into fighting wars for spurious reasons.
    We believe it is vitally important that the sacrifice of the 49,000 soldiers from the island of Ireland who died in World War 1 should be commemorated. We also believe that the supposed good cause for which they died should be exposed for the imperial slaughter that it was. We are not in any way disrespecting the memory of dead Irish soldiers by criticizing the architects of this carnage but we dispute the revisionist narrative idealising the ‘good cause’ that these soldiers died for, a narrative often used to supposedly bridge the nationalist and unionist traditions.
    We call on the Irish government not to use the occasion of the commemorations to justify the slaughter of World War 1, or to justify the ongoing militarisation of Europe or the current state of perpetual warfare being promoted by the major world powers. In a time of serious international tension and seemingly perpetual war, we call on everyone, but especially Governments, to ensure that this anniversary is used to expose the real reasons behind World War 1, to analyse the senseless succession of wars in the intervening hundred years, and to promote peace and international co-operation in an effort to end all war forever.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    Quote Originally Posted by riposte View Post
    But Saoirse ... a large number of them went on to join the IRA and fight in the War of Independence. Sometimes people forget that it was not the Easter Rising that delivered Irish freedom ....... but the 4 years of War between 1918 and 1922...... incidently ........led by Michael Collins.
    How does that change what I said? No one who died during WW1 died for anyone's freedom, never mind that of Ireland.

    It was not a one man show.

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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    Quote Originally Posted by Saoirse go Deo View Post
    How does that change what I said? No one who died during WW1 died for anyone's freedom, never mind that of Ireland.
    Well I guess the Belgians who fought the German invader in the first two weeks of the War without any assistance from elsewhere .... were fighting for their country.

    Ireland is not the only country in the history of the world ..... that fought for its freedom.
    Last edited by riposte; 06-08-2014 at 08:07 PM.
    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies.”

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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    Quote Originally Posted by riposte View Post
    But Saoirse ... a large number of them went on to join the IRA and fight in the War of Independence. Sometimes people forget that it was not the Easter Rising that delivered Irish freedom ....... but the 4 years of War between 1918 and 1922...... incidently ........led by Michael Collins.
    That is an excellent point, Riposte, the survivors of WW1 were battle hardened veterans handily delivered back home with the experience to lend Michael C a useful helping hand. Any figures on how many fought and whether that was likely to have swung it for Collins?
    Well, that should give Republicans an interesting reason to commemorate WW1 😉
    "The floggings will continue until morale improves "

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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    Quote Originally Posted by morticia View Post
    That is an excellent point, Riposte, the survivors of WW1 were battle hardened veterans handily delivered back home with the experience to lend Michael C a useful helping hand. Any figures on how many fought and whether that was likely to have swung it for Collins?
    Well, that should give Republicans an interesting reason to commemorate WW1 ��
    Even more joined the Free State army... and look at what they got up to.

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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    Quote Originally Posted by Saoirse go Deo View Post
    Even more joined the Free State army... and look at what they got up to.
    Oh, do you mean fighting the civil war? 😰
    "The floggings will continue until morale improves "

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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    @Saoirse

    The men who joined the army in World War 1 I feel did more so out of economic necessity rather than wanting to fight per se. Irelands economy was very much in the position of the North is now, vast swathes of people were employed in the civil service. What was a largely agarian society back in the early 19th century became heavy industrialised. To access the civil service, an open competition was held and the people needed to have a good standard of education. The outfall from this was those that did not have access to a good education as it was considered at the time, meaning that they either worked in the diminishing agarian sector or moved into occupations like the army which allowed unskilled men to earn a wage. This situation still very much occurs today in the US where a lot of recruits are targetted from areas with high levels of social inequality, fodder for the machine.

    Thats just from my reading of it.

    We could say British oppression lead to economic inequality which lead to a large number of people joining the British army....
    History is the only true teacher, the revolution the best school for the proletariat - Rosa Luxembourg

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    Default Commemorating WW1

    Good point, Fluffy. Also true of the Welsh Valleys today..lots of them sent off as cannon fodder to Iraq. Sigh. I always feel that supporting and commemorating the soldiers is really important for that reason.
    Anger should be reserved for the "masters of war". As Bob Dylan put it. Those politicians who never fought themselves but are happy to deploy others to die in pursuit of their madcap schemes.
    "The floggings will continue until morale improves "

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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    Quote Originally Posted by morticia View Post
    Good point, Fluffy. Also true of the Welsh Valleys today..lots of them sent off as cannon fodder to Iraq. Sigh. I always feel that supporting and commemorating the soldiers is really important for that reason.
    Anger should be reserved for the "masters of war". As Bob Dylan put it. Those politicians who never fought themselves but are happy to deploy others to die in pursuit of their madcap schemes.
    +1

    Despots who throw these people into the war machine, the peoiple should gather and ******* the despots out of power. Its a situation repeated over and over all over the world...
    History is the only true teacher, the revolution the best school for the proletariat - Rosa Luxembourg

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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    Quote Originally Posted by Saoirse go Deo View Post
    Even more joined the Free State army... and look at what they got up to.
    There's something wrong with with your calendar Saoirse ....... the Free State army didn't exist during WWI.

    .....and it might be an unpalatable fact to you that Michael Collins led the fight for Irish freedom between 1918 and 1922....... but that's a fact .... and any attempt to deny it is devoid of logic..... and delusional. Collins was Chief-of-Staff of the IRA.
    Last edited by riposte; 06-08-2014 at 09:31 PM.
    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies.”

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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    Quote Originally Posted by riposte View Post
    There's something wrong with with your calendar Saoirse ....... the Free State army didn't exist during WWI.

    .....and it might be an unpalatable fact to you that Michael Collins led the fight for Irish freedom between 1918 and 1922....... but that's a fact .... and any attempt to deny it is devoid of logic..... and delusional.
    Mortica was talking about the "survivors" of WW1 and what they did after. Many joined the Free State army. You're laggng behind in the conversation.

    Collins was not "leading the fight for Irish Freedom" in 1922. He was leading the fight against it. The Tan War ended around mid 1921. I think it's your calender which needs adjusting

    In any case I wasn't denigrating anything, I merely said that it was not a one man show - many people played their part. Collins was not solely responsible for the successes of the Tan war nor was he solely responsible for the success of the counter revolution which followed. He played major roles in both.

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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    Quote Originally Posted by riposte View Post
    Sometimes people forget that it was not the Easter Rising that delivered Irish freedom ....... but the 4 years of War between 1918 and 1922...... incidently ........led by Michael Collins.
    And sometime people forget that the actual war for Irish freedom [32 Counties] has'nt been won yet.
    Happiness is an inside job.

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