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Thread: Commemorating WW1

  1. #31
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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    Quote Originally Posted by Trow View Post
    I think when placed in such a unique environment that is trench warfare, you'd come to know the man beside you.

    Same with Prison/Slave camps.

    Were Ledwidge and Christie acquainted prior to the outbreak of war?
    No.
    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies.”

  2. #32
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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    Quote Originally Posted by Apjp View Post
    Hang on just a second now. Belgium was an imperial power with imperial interests, just like the others. The fact it was a small imperial power does not change that fact.

    You may just as well say Congolese men serving in that army, if indeed there were any left able to serve again Belgium was through murdering and traumatising and stealing from them, were somehow fighting for the promise of some limited Freedom. A Congolese man would be ashamed of any retrospective endorsement of Belgian rule, and we ought to feel that way here too.
    Nonetheless .. a Belgian fighting the German invader in the First World War .. or the Second World War .... was a freedom fighter.

    I repeat .... Ireland is not the only country in the History of the World that fought for its freedom.
    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies.”

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    Quote Originally Posted by TotalMayhem View Post
    They weren't told such nonsense as "fighting for freedom", back in the day it was all about "King and country". And most of the Irish volunteers volunteered for what they usually volunteer for: money. In 1918 the Brits tried to introduce conscription but that didn't go down all that well.
    And for one Division it was for ''God and Ulster'' [36th Ulster Division] Found this article in a Northern newspaper...

    Quote.. Nationalists, for whom the establishment of an Irish ‘home rule’ parliament in Dublin had been the principal political aim for most of the 19th century, were committed to the war effort by their leader, John Redmond, in September 1914.

    This was on the grounds that the necessary legislation had been passed (though in fact it was suspended for the duration of the war), and that the ‘freedom of small nations’ (such as Belgium or Serbia) was that of Ireland as well.

    The plight of gallant, Catholic little Belgium, invaded by a militaristic aggressor, was disadvantageously compared with Ireland, achieving freedom (so Redmond argued) within the British Empire, rather like Canada or Australia.

    Despite some jockeying for party advantage, a substantial proportion of the UVF enlisted to form the predominantly unionist and almost wholly Protestant 36th (Ulster) Division.

    Nationalists, themselves mostly Catholic, joined the other two of Lord Kitchener’s ‘New Army’ divisions raised in Ireland: the 10th (Irish) and 16th (Irish) Divisions.

    But Irishmen joined up for more than political reasons.

    Some were simply after adventure, like Tom Barry, later to become a noted IRA commander, who enlisted in June 1915 ‘to see what war was like, to get a gun, to see new countries and to feel like a grown man’.

    For others there was an economic motive. James Connolly, the socialist revolutionary, said that employment opportunities were so bad in Ireland that men had no choice but to enlist. It was, he asserted, ‘economic conscription’. Certainly an unskilled worker might more than double his pay by joining up. unquote. http://www.ballymenatimes.com/news/l...aign-1-6228972

    A song....''For God and Ulster''

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  4. #34
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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    What's this with "commemorating" the deaths of people who died like cattle fighting in imperialist wars?

    Everyone dies. Do we "commemorate" people who die of heart attacks and emphysemia ?

    But someone who dies while trying to butcher fellow human beings because they were told to do it is "commemorated."
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
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  5. #35
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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    What's this with "commemorating" the deaths of people who died like cattle fighting in imperialist wars?

    Everyone dies. Do we "commemorate" people who die of heart attacks and emphysemia ?

    As a matter of fact we do ....... our family get together every year to commemorate (remember together)our father who died of a heart attack.

    The above is a very silly argument which amounts to saying that nothing should ever be commemorated ..... which is an attempt to deny of an essential component of human nature.
    Last edited by riposte; 09-08-2014 at 09:12 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
    Nonetheless .. a Belgian fighting the German invader in the First World War .. or the Second World War .... was a freedom fighter.

    I repeat .... Ireland is not the only country in the History of the World that fought for its freedom.
    Er no. It was an empire fighting another empire who had invaded it.

    They were fighting for their overlords, no matter what the nationality was.

  7. #37
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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    It is a silly argument, but the sentiment is right. It's glorification while other reasons for other uses of violence are deplored by the elites.

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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    I logged on to see if anyone had caught the discussion programme chaired by John Bowman on the Irish attitudes to WW-1. Three historians were joined on the panel by artist Bobby Ballagh who displayed the ignorance of history characteristic of ideologues who cling to their prejudicial viewpoint- in his case Irish Republicanism with a dash of socialism- in the face of any contrary evidence. The very first sentence out of his mouth contained a gross error on the status of the Home Rule Bill that a schoolboy could correct. How people like him have the neck to go on national TV to pontificate on matters they are too lazy or smug to educate themselves about is beyond me. Alas reading the posts in this thread I detect similar attitudes among some contributors and a very sketchy knowledge of all aspects of the war domestic and international.

    The commemoration of the thousands of Irishmen who served and died in the war is not primarily to produce "a narrative often used to supposedly bridge the nationalist and unionist traditions." as Richardbouvet has it in his introduction. It is firstly to right an historic wrong done to those men who through no fault of their own ended up on "the wrong side of history" in the new State. They were written out of Irish history and many suffered prejudice and discrimination on account of it. This intensified after the Fianna Fail victory of 1932- the counter-revolution of the Irregulars, who had some old scores to settle. The irony is that they endured a far longer and deadlier war with far more suffering and global consequence than any who fought in the War of Independence (a provincial bun-fight in comparison). Some joined the IRA on return (did anyone mention Tom Barry) but the majority probably never wanted to see a rifle again.

    Of course the Redmond bashers are out again. The rational for the National Volunteers to fight was to demonstrate that Ireland would not truck with Britain's enemies then or in future but would line up alongside her. This was an important demonstration of loyalty to counter the British fear that Ireland could be used by enemies to attack her western flank, which was one of the long-standing justifications of British sovereignty here, no doubt reinforced by those generations of republicans from Tone onwards whose playbook always involved conspiring with those selfsame enemies (a tradition continued by the IRA seeking help from the Nazis to Ghaddafi). Interestingly at the outset of the peace process the IRA sought and received the assurance of "no strategic or selfish interest..." on the part of Britain in Ireland, showing they had understood this historical strategic concern now voided by the EU/NATO and the end of the Cold War.

    Anachronism or "present-mindedness" is an obstacle to historical understanding. Imagination an aid. I see much of the first and little of the second in the posts above. An example: calling something "imperial" does not automatically make it evil. After 1945 a new worldwide political dispensation took hold, advanced by US attitudes and policy:
    Imperialism=bad, Democracy=good.
    It of course already existed in marxism and nationalism, but US hegemony after WW2 helped make it an unquestioned political value. But think! since post-war decolonisation how many people around the world in many of those old imperial lands have had cause to wish their old masters were still in power. This is emphatically not to try to justify them, only to point out that not all regimes were all bad and some were superior in some ways to those which replaced them. We can also note in passing the ethical destinations the US zeal to foster Democracy has led to.

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    This is the point where I stopped reading: "Bobby Ballagh who displayed the ignorance of history characteristic of ideologues who cling to their prejudicial viewpoint".

    If you want to discuss something, then do so. If you want to bad-mouth someone, find a crayon and a toilet door.

  10. #40
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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    Quote Originally Posted by lastman View Post
    I logged on to see if anyone had caught the discussion programme chaired by John Bowman on the Irish attitudes to WW-1. Three historians were joined on the panel by artist Bobby Ballagh who displayed the ignorance of history characteristic of ideologues who cling to their prejudicial viewpoint- in his case Irish Republicanism with a dash of socialism- in the face of any contrary evidence. The very first sentence out of his mouth contained a gross error on the status of the Home Rule Bill that a schoolboy could correct. How people like him have the neck to go on national TV to pontificate on matters they are too lazy or smug to educate themselves about is beyond me. Alas reading the posts in this thread I detect similar attitudes among some contributors and a very sketchy knowledge of all aspects of the war domestic and international.

    The commemoration of the thousands of Irishmen who served and died in the war is not primarily to produce "a narrative often used to supposedly bridge the nationalist and unionist traditions." as Richardbouvet has it in his introduction. It is firstly to right an historic wrong done to those men who through no fault of their own ended up on "the wrong side of history" in the new State. They were written out of Irish history and many suffered prejudice and discrimination on account of it. This intensified after the Fianna Fail victory of 1932- the counter-revolution of the Irregulars, who had some old scores to settle. The irony is that they endured a far longer and deadlier war with far more suffering and global consequence than any who fought in the War of Independence (a provincial bun-fight in comparison). Some joined the IRA on return (did anyone mention Tom Barry) but the majority probably never wanted to see a rifle again.

    Of course the Redmond bashers are out again. The rational for the National Volunteers to fight was to demonstrate that Ireland would not truck with Britain's enemies then or in future but would line up alongside her. This was an important demonstration of loyalty to counter the British fear that Ireland could be used by enemies to attack her western flank, which was one of the long-standing justifications of British sovereignty here, no doubt reinforced by those generations of republicans from Tone onwards whose playbook always involved conspiring with those selfsame enemies (a tradition continued by the IRA seeking help from the Nazis to Ghaddafi). Interestingly at the outset of the peace process the IRA sought and received the assurance of "no strategic or selfish interest..." on the part of Britain in Ireland, showing they had understood this historical strategic concern now voided by the EU/NATO and the end of the Cold War.

    Anachronism or "present-mindedness" is an obstacle to historical understanding. Imagination an aid. I see much of the first and little of the second in the posts above. An example: calling something "imperial" does not automatically make it evil. After 1945 a new worldwide political dispensation took hold, advanced by US attitudes and policy:
    Imperialism=bad, Democracy=good.
    It of course already existed in marxism and nationalism, but US hegemony after WW2 helped make it an unquestioned political value. But think! since post-war decolonisation how many people around the world in many of those old imperial lands have had cause to wish their old masters were still in power. This is emphatically not to try to justify them, only to point out that not all regimes were all bad and some were superior in some ways to those which replaced them. We can also note in passing the ethical destinations the US zeal to foster Democracy has led to.
    Oh dear, you were doing fairly okay until you went into ranting mode and then the mask slipped and your inner blueshirt/Imperialist popped up in all its confused glory.

    Ending up with a utilitarian conclusion that maybe Imperialism is a lesser evil than democracy. The utilitarian position of least damage done being the best outcome, the minimal loss of life expended in achieving Independence by rebellion outweighed massively the massive loss of life expended in begging for Independence by dying in service of Empire on the fields of Flanders etc, fighting for the freedom of small countries like Belgium, France, Holland etc who were holding countless millions captive But sure by your logic, all those brown and black fellas were lucky to have massa there killing and exploiting and creating fictitious countries by drawing lines on maps that took no account of ethnicity and left the seeds of ethnic division in those created entities. Divisions that the old Imperialist and new Imperialist powers were only too happy to use to harness the discontent they relished for their cold War proxy and Resource Wars.

    Sure the Redmondite line goes that "the divine providence of the famine" ( actual elimination of the peasantry to clear the land for cattle farming which had mass evictions going on a decade before the famine and after ) produced a flourishing economy. For those that grabbed the land and sold cattle it did, but for the bulk of the population it meant endless emigration. But sure isn't that what the Redmondite tradition was all about, the Big House and doffing the cap to massa while assisting him and yourself to grab as much as possible!

    US Imperialism has been about hegemony over wealth and resources and geo-politics, it was and is achieved by manipulation, propping up dictators to deny democracy while claiming to be spreading democracy, their armaments industry making billions from selling weapons to people who can't afford them and giving weapons to others at the expense of the US Tax-Payer. Like perfidious Albion, what the US says and does are entirely different things, hence any UK promises to Ireland are worthless.

    Go on anyways, tell us how all those famines and genocides, subjugation's at the hands of murdering foreign forces and creations of false countries under Imperial occupation were for their own good. By that logic once the Germans had settled down the natives in their conquered countries, the trains would have all run on time and the natives would then have been living in an efficient Teutonic rapture.




    PS. Here's the real picture of Irish political sympathisers with the Nazis. Unlike Russel's utilitarian ( utilitarianism being a concept which you approve of ) link up with the Germans, these boys connections to FG and LAB make the Sean Russell bashing those party's supporters often engage in look very hypocritical.



    Seán Treacy. LAB TD ( Ceann Comhairle (chairman) of Dáil Éireann from 1973 to 1977 )

    James Walsh. Cumann na nGaedheal/FG ( Minister for Posts and Telegraphs) of the Irish Free State from 1923 to 1927.)

    Ernest Blythe. Cumann na nGaedheal/FG ( in 1923 he became Minister for Finance in W. T. Cosgrave's first government. )

    Oliver J. Flanagan. FG ( Minister for Defence for six months, Father of the Dáil from 1981 until his retirement in 1987 )


    An "organised group of anti-Semites",[3] its sympathies were with the Axis powers
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ailtir%...Ais%C3%A9irghe
    Last edited by Shaadi; 10-08-2014 at 12:42 PM.

  11. #41
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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    Quote Originally Posted by Binn Beal View Post
    This is the point where I stopped reading: "Bobby Ballagh who displayed the ignorance of history characteristic of ideologues who cling to their prejudicial viewpoint".

    If you want to discuss something, then do so. If you want to bad-mouth someone, find a crayon and a toilet door.
    Very sorry to upset you like that,but ignorant is appropriate for someone who put his foot in mouth on his first sentence. I'm heartily sick of listening to him trotting out his Shinner propaganda and Student politics circa 1969. Surely RTE can find a better informed Irish Republican socialist to peddle that viewpoint.

    Are you related?

  12. #42
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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    Quote Originally Posted by lastman View Post


    Of course the Redmond bashers are out again. The rational for the National Volunteers to fight was to demonstrate that Ireland would not truck with Britain's enemies then or in future but would line up alongside her. This was an important demonstration of loyalty to counter the British fear that Ireland could be used by enemies to attack her western flank, which was one of the long-standing justifications of British sovereignty here ...
    I have not heard this before. Could you provide a link to their writings or speeches on this matter at the time.

    I am more familiar with the stuff that is traditionally quoted like:



    The interests of Ireland — of the whole of Ireland — are at stake in this war. This war is undertaken in the defence of the highest principles of religion and morality and right, and it would be a disgrace for ever to our country and a reproach to her manhood and a denial of the lessons of her history if young Ireland confined their efforts to remaining at home to defend the shores of Ireland from an unlikely invasion, and to shrinking from the duty of proving on the field of battle that gallantry and courage which has distinguished our race all through its history. I say to you, therefore, your duty is twofold. I am glad to see such magnificent material for soldiers around me, and I say to you: "Go on drilling and make yourself efficient for the Work, and then account yourselves as men, not only for Ireland itself, but wherever the fighting line extends, in defence of right, of freedom, and religion in this war.

    Redmond
    Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the (female dog) that bore him is in heat again. Bertolt Brecht

  13. #43
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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    Oh dear, you were doing fairly okay until you went into ranting mode and then the mask slipped and your inner blueshirt/Imperialist popped up in all its confused glory.

    Oh dear is right! You misunderstand me entirely or perhaps I failed to express myself clearly. (Reading back over my post I'd say the rant was at the start over poor old Bobby Ballagh- mea culpa). I did not intent to defend imperialism as against some imperfect states which succeeded them. All rational Ugandans would have preferred the Brits to Idi Amin Dada: that's a no-brainer which makes a very poor political arguement. I didn't intend to defend empire at all. I was trying to pick an example where people choose a label,

    in this case the term "imperial/ist/ism" and attach it to people or to hundreds of years of history so they can dismiss it all with a wave of the hand. If you have time to read back over all the posts in this thread, you will see several examples of this:

    eg one says the "Belgians were fighting for their freedom." another "Hold on mate they had an empire!" the next "Oh to hell with them then!" etc etc

    I also picked it because on the TV program I refered to, Ballagh, when boxed in by the historians on the panel with him, declared that the essential difference between the Volunteers who went to France and those who stayed here and staged the Rising was that the former "were engaged in an Imperialistic war" and the latter "in an anti-Imperialistic struggle". I bridled at that and so did the historians who pointed out to him that both groups were dedicated Irish Nationalists who felt they were doing the right thing at the time they made their decision and it's too easy to stick a label on one group and dismiss them. They were just human beings after all doing the best thing by their lights- something the labellers seem to forget.

    As early as 1944 George Orwell wrote that the term 'fascist' had become a meaningless term of abuse. Why? Because people on the Left called anyone they disagreed with a "fascist" ranging from a mildly traditional conservative all the way to Hitler, to the extent that the word had been emptied of its meaning. (Looking at Irish blogs I would guess that 'blueshirt' has had a similar fate-although I'm not sure what they stood for).
    You take my comments on history and immediately translate them into what you imagine my current political positions are. That is so boring. Everyone has opinions. History is not about opinions, it's about facts and interpretations. ideas and institutions. Using history to bolster one's political views is a misuse of history. Complete neutrality as to one side or the other is the sign of mature historical perspective. It's difficult to muster when one's own country or people is the subject but it is a sure sign when you can see the issues from both sides equally.

  14. #44
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    Default Re: Commemorating WW1

    Quote Originally Posted by riposte View Post
    As a matter of fact we do ....... our family get together every year to commemorate (remember together)our father who died of a heart attack.

    The above is a very silly argument which amounts to saying that nothing should ever be commemorated ..... which is an attempt to deny of an essential component of human nature.
    Does RTE put on x 6 "commemorative documentaries" in his memory ? I don't think so. And of course the argument is not "tantamount to saying nothing should ever be commemorated."
    “ 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 lastman View Post
    Very sorry to upset you like that,but ignorant is appropriate for someone who put his foot in mouth on his first sentence. I'm heartily sick of listening to him trotting out his Shinner propaganda and Student politics circa 1969. Surely RTE can find a better informed Irish Republican socialist to peddle that viewpoint.

    Are you related?

    What was his first sentence ?
    “ 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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