Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Lest We Forget

The essay "Lest We Forget" was written on the eve of Remembrance Day 11 November 2007.

I didn't write again for about 2 years as I figured there was not much else to say.

Dropbox link to pdf of the original: 
(I've checked all the links. Where they don't work I've found an alternative where needed. I've left the original links in for the sake of historical accuracy. The 'Great War' image below is recent from a google search)

Anzac Day 2018 falls in the Centennial year of NZ celebrating the conclusion of the Great War WW100.
If humanity were to learn the collective lesson it would have altered the following 100 years of bloody history. There's been plenty of action in the first two decades of the new millennia, with the 9/11 Crime inspired Global War on Terror (GWOT).
The recent provocations in respect to Russia in respect to the Skripal Poisoning and the Douma Syria incident point to the WarPigs desire for more blood to be spilt.
Both sets of accusations were advanced through the mass media machine by the UK, US and French Governments without any evidence offered to the global public. The fact the MSM have largely fallen silent about those allegations in the face of real evidence points to the discerning counter narrative offered by the critically minded who work to ensure that there are no repeat false flag attempts to drive the world to war. 
Interestingly it is our WW1 Atlantic Allies that are eager to commence a new hot war with Eurasian Powers. 

Away from the specific and onto the principle - why are we having to continue to relearn the lesson? "Lest We Forget" can have many meanings, for me it is to ensure we ban the drive to war.... 

Lest We Forget
We are now at the year 1908, which was the year that the Carnegie Foundation began operations. And, in that year, the trustees meeting, for the first time, raised a specific question, which they discussed throughout the balance of the year, in a very learned fashion. And the question is this: Is there any means known more effective than war, assuming you wish to alter the life of an entire people? And they conclude that, no more effective means to that end is known to humanity, than war. So then, in 1909, they raise the second question, and discuss it, namely, how do we involve the United States in a war?”
Norman Dobbs, U.S. Congressional Special Committee for the Investigate of Tax-Exempt Foundations (1982) 

1914 saw the commencement of hostilities in the so-called Great War and 1917 saw the USA's involvement on behalf of the Allies. Australia and New Zealand without the requirement of any pretext, volunteered her sons and daughters to that Great Human Carnage. The Terror and futility of Modern Warfare were fully exposed to any who wished to learn the lesson.
11:00am on November 11, 1918 is the symbolic time of the signing of the Armistice consigning to history the "War to End all Wars." We celebrate it as Remembrance Day, the US calls it Veterans Day. "Lest we Forget."
This was a significant event as the War is estimated to have cost 40 million casualties including 20 million dead. However it was merely an early chapter in a bloody century of human stupidity. We seemed fated to repeat in the 21st century the error of that previous one. Escalating tension, underlying continuous Warfare. This site:
http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat0.htm#America (new url) uses diverse sources to develop a picture of War Dead through history up till 1900. Use this link to view "Deaths by Unpleasantness" in the 20th Century: http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat8.htm  (new url)
A discerning eye cast across the numerous reports, articles, governmental and non-governmental appraisals; any source you choose, will reveal the parlous state of global security presently encountered.
Whilst the final figure for war dead in the twentieth century some 167 - 175 million persons (using the above source) may seem large, this new century is by no means a walk in pacifist heaven. When tallies of the human sacrifice from the first seven years of the 21st century's attempt on the previous record are compared we are off to a grisly start.
Daily, we are confronted by hubristic bluster and verbalized aggression suggesting a third "Hot" World War. This is a terrible and apocalyptic nightmare when ones recognizes the firepower available to the likely protagonists.
Who then or what force brings about the conditions which impel men to wage war against the other? Surely this question deserves the earnest and focused attention of the World's greatest minds? Surely this question is one which ought exercise all minds in the hope of a positive outcome?
Surely some of these have already addressed the question, perhaps even developed some preliminary findings, perhaps even come to logical conclusions that would forestall the requirement to revert to arms?
Or if this is not the conclusion we can draw, what delays our applying our collective minds to this task? I note that philanthropic business celebrity Richard Branson, earlier this year,offered $25 million (US dollars, best claim them quick) toward any who proposed a solution to greenhouse gas, (again we see the morbid fascination with solutions technological, carbon sequestration rather than questioning rampant industrial consumption, the planting of trees along with saving existing forests) see 9th February 2007 news item:
http://www.livescience.com/environment/070209_ap_gw_branson.html   (new url to Branson story)
Is it possible that similar offerings of Corporate philanthropy could be extended toward investigating the cause of war?
"Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind...War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today." : - John F. Kennedy
On the "Peace Trail" I have crossed the histories and sayings of many fine persons both existent and departed. One person's acquaintance I make despite the veil of death is a Military Man of standing and capability matched only by few. His demeanour and attentiveness to his soldiering task brought him legendary status within his lifetime. His name Smedley Darlington Butler, born 30 July 1881 in West Chester, Pennsylvania, who by the age of 16 had gained his parents permission to join the US Marines. The initial prompt being the American-Spanish War then waged in Cuba. During his military career he served with distinction. He was many times decorated including with civilian awards from foreign powers. At the time he left military service in the early 1930s he had attained the rank of Major General.
Smedley Butler was a leader of principle who had respect for all people, notably for the service-persons under his command, and for the veterans once de-mobbed. During the course of his military career he came to the realization that his role in the US Armed services is as the policeman for American Corporate interests abroad. He twice served in China. The first occasion was protecting the US mercantile interests in partnership with the British during the Boxer Rebellion. The second occasion in the 1920s during the Nationalist Civil War where he and his troop were encamped on land owned by the Standard Oil Company. Protecting US interests in this case was protection of the Standard Oil Company's Chinese assets.
Increasingly through his career Smedley Butler was dismayed that US Militarist Policy was factored around protecting moneyed interest's assets with poor persons lives. In the twilight of his career following "retirement", he embarked on a lecture tour of the USA speaking in 1200 different localities "War is a Racket" to veterans and the ordinary peoples of America. He advocated an isolationist USA, nevertheless one which would fiercely defend its homeland, not one which would remove American boys from their homes and take them a half world away to die defending someone else's property. Property and assets often gotten and maintained against the interests of local or indigenous populations.
Smedley Butler died 21st June 1940 hours before the French surrender to the expansionary Nazi German Forces. Up to his death he advocated the US stay out of what he described as a despotic European adventure. Inside a turn and a half around the Sun, the forces that fought under the "Rising Sun Flag," drew the Americans into the carnage with their 7th December 1941 attack on the US 7th fleet in Pearl Harbour.
Of the colourful events in Smedley's hectic life none match the offer made to him by representatives of Wall St. in 1933. He was approached by a Financial Bonds salesman Jerry Maguire to front a renewed organization of veterans and mobilize them to march on Washington. Eventually uncovered was a plot to usurp the then President Roosevelt and install a compliant Commander in Chief, compliant to the dictates of the Moneyed Aristocracy who were most alarmed by Roosevelt's "New Deal." They also ran their opposition to the administration's uncoupling the US dollar from its Gold Standard backing. The moneyed folk feared the egress of inflation eating into the value of their not inconsiderable assets. (At this point I make no comment on the preference of the Gold Standard)
Smedley Butler accepted communication with these until he determined he had enough material to inform Authority. The full story, written by author Jules Archer, 1973 is available in the following links for those who wish to gather in a comprehensive outline of the cut and thrust of Smedley Butler's career and details of the Putsch against the US Government.

Also below is Smedley Butler's speech "War is a Racket." At least read "The Plot To Seize The White House, By Jules Archer" to gain some of his insight as to the motives and forces then driving man to War.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article13906.htm (The Plot To Seize The White House, By Jules Archer)
Butler's the War is a Racket speech:
The McCormack-Dickstein Committee agreed to listen to Butler's story in a secret executive session in New York City on November 20, 1934. The two co-chairman of the committee were Representative John McCormack, of Massachusetts, and New York Representative Samuel Dickstein, who later became a New York State Supreme Court justice. Butler's testimony, developed in two hours of questions and answers, was recorded in full. None of the named conspirators apart from Butler's direct contact Macguire were questioned and all of the key players in the Putsch managed to have their names expunged from the publicly released report. No investigation was conducted, no charges were brought. It is apparent the uneven-handedness of the law's application. A similar plot by the proletariat or other non-mainstream group would have received greater attention from Authority. McCarthy's later Communist witch-hunts highlight this duplicitous truth. Also see Franklin Delano Roosevelt vs. the Banks: Morgan's Fascist Plot, and How It Was Defeated, Part IV by L. Wolfe, from the American Almanac Website (lots of reading here): http://american_almanac.tripod.com/morgan4.htm
Another contribution in this discussion arises from the Nye Committee's investigation into the causes of why the USA involved itself in World War 1. Available here via Wikipedia is a brief summation of the Committee's findings http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nye_Committee From the article;
"The committee reported that between 1915 and April 1917, the US loaned Germany 27 million dollars ($27,000,000). In the same period, the US loaned the UK and its allies 2.3 billion dollars ($2,300,000,000), or about 85 times as much. The conclusion has been drawn that the US entered the war because it was in its commercial interest for the UK not to lose."
For those wishing for depth the entire report is available here:
More than this the Committee unanimously found collusion between arms manufacturers and the armed services, and arms manufacturers and foreign powers to subvert USA policy aimed at peace. It further found that the Industry was instrumental in the German defiance of the Versailles Treaty forestalling the German re-armament. German rearmament commenced from 1924, abetted by the "Racketeers."

Smedley Butler's racketeers were up to their necks in it. From the report the following extract indicating the Committee's intent;
"The committee finds, finally, that the neutrality bill of 1936, to which all its members gave their support and which provides for an embargo on the export of arms, ammunitions, and implements of war to belligerents, was a much needed forward step, and that the establishment of a Munitions Control Board, under the Department of State, should satisfactorily prevent the shipment of arms to other than recognized governments."
Too late the damage had been done. The march to World War 2 was written in the World's stars. Thanks to the best efforts of the World's Military, their Political Leaders, and the Global Armaments industry this War once initiated engulfed effectively all nations on Earth in six years of carnage with the very best that modern industry and ingenuity could buy with "our money."
  • We the common people fought the War.
  • We the common people were maimed and killed in the War.
  • We the common people had our lives and the lives of our families disrupted in the War.
  • We the common people did not profit one iota from the War.
  • We the common people suffered acute shortages of necessary materials as a result of the War.
  • The only ones to profit were the War Supplies Providers and their servant Governments who improved their power and prestige.
  • We the common people paid fully for the War. Lest we Forget, indeed.
For mine the Second World War of 1939 - 1945 was an avoidable event. Any considered reading of the Nye report see above link, (and do take time to do so, perhaps a 10 minute investment in future peace) can only reach the conclusion that there exists in our society a grouping of interests which are ever seeking to promote anxiety and the accompanying and requisite Escalation of Armaments. To appreciate the problem of Peace one must appreciate the forces at work to "Deny Peace." Look here at the extent BAE (British Aerospace) goes to secure its interests: http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2011616,00.html and the cover the British Labour Government is providing:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/baefiles/story/0,,2173947,00.html from both USA investigations and earlier a domestic inquiry into fraud and corruption in respect to alleged payments of $1 billion to the Saudis in order to gain Armaments contracts.
Lest we forget, indeed. I've not had the distasteful experience of killing another at a third person's order. I was too young for Conscription to fight the Viet Cong, another wasteful enterprise in human stupidity. I am now in my 49th year, probably to old to fight... so it is likely the direct experience of War as an event appears to have passed me by. Thus far anyway, thank God or thank my lucky stars?
But in thanking my lucky stars I'm cognizant that many others are not so lucky. The sheer accident of birth places them in the swath of the "juggernaut of death." Lest we forget, indeed.
What have these unfortunates done to deserve the mainstream ignominy of being Iraqi, or Iranian or Kurdish, or Palestinian, or Eritrean or Ethiopian, or Afghani or any other nationality or grouping being scapegoated for the profits of the Armaments Industry and the Political Powers bolstered by their patronage and bribes.
What right does any nation have to profit in its economic dealings by the "Killing of Others?" Lest we Forget, indeed.
So the big question; Is war avoidable? I can only answer for myself. Yes. War is organized violence imposed to gain a result. Remove the incentive and ability for the aggressive to gain via violence and one removes the need for War. It is said that the cause of any War usually lies in more than one issue.
What issues are at work today? The Australian Press and their fellow travellers have launched a campaign for Free Speech. Their campaign "Australia's Right to Know" is headed by Murdoch's News Limited and includes the major media interests in Australia including Fairfax who control a large proportion of the New Zealand Newsprint Media. From Stuff's (Fairfax) 6-11-2007 article available here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/4262704a12.html
"Australian democracy is not as free, not as open, nor as transparent as it should be. Some of the rights and freedoms we cherish are threatened," said John Hartigan, chief executive of Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd in Australia and head of a coalition of media groups concerned about free speech. Australia ranked 28 out of 169 countries for press freedom according to the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders latest index released in October. In 2002 it was ranked 12th.
The report titled Australia's Right to Know found 500 pieces of legislation and at least 1000 court suppression orders restricting media reporting.
"Many of the mechanisms that are vital to a well-functioning democracy are beginning to wear thin," the report's author, Irene Moss, former chair of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, told a news conference.
"The greatest loss in this battle is not to the media, but to the Australian people and their right to know about important matters that affect them," she said.
This presents an interesting conundrum, the media assert that Government is clamping down on truth, and I assert that the media are equally guilty in misinforming the public. If both of us are correct in our assertions; the media in stating that Government is clamping the truth, and I in suggesting the media are disingenuous in their reportage of life's events; then the public are doubly thwarted in their attempts to make head or tail out of the resultant propaganda.
Acquaintances of mine on occasion will place in my hands a book, or a reference to an event which they imagine will evoke my curiosity and quest for knowledge. The latest contribution of this ilk is Robert Fisk's 2005 Opus, The Great War for Civilization. Fisk has supplied reports of the "blood soaked" Middle East to the World's press for 30 years. As I would need a couple of weeks to wade through this tome of 1300 pages, I approach it and a lot of my reading strategically. From the preface of Robert Fisk's book pages xxiii and xxiv;
I suppose in the end we journalists try - or should try - to be the first impartial witnesses to history. If we have any reason for our existence, the least must be our ability to report history as it happens so that no one can say: "We didn't know - no one told us." Amira Hass, the brilliant Israeli journalist on Ha'areetz newspaper whose reports on the occupied Palestinian territories have outshone anything written by non-Israeli reporters, discussed this with me more than two years ago. I was insisting that we had a vocation to write the first pages of history but she interrupted me. No Robert, you're wrong," she said. "Our job is to monitor the centres of power." And I think, in the end, that is the best definition of journalism I have heard; to challenge authority - all authority - especially so when governments and politicians take us to war, when they have decided that they will kill and others will die.
These words were penned in Beirut June 2005. Who are these powers that Amira Hass identified in the above passage?
My thesis in earlier essays and writings is that humanity as individuals and socially are not naturally predisposed to war. It can be seen that homogeneous groups do not wage war within their ranks. It is surely self evident that this would have a destabilizing effect.
I acknowledge that my statements are viewed by some as fractious; however there is now sufficient evidence; physical, circumstantial, in official reports, and of a witness/anecdotal nature to seriously question the foundations of the "Global War on Terror."
This 6th October 2007 article from Times Online : http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1166479.ece?print=yes&randnum=1194570698181# "Blair knew Iraq had no WMD" where it is revealed that 2 weeks prior to the Iraq invasion he informed Robin Cook, former British Foreign Secretary, that Saddam had no WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction).
The Times Online article is no longer live, however, there's plenty out there: 
Not just a nation, the entire population of Earth is being lied to in respect to the Global War on Terror. By now amongst thinking people it must have penetrated that the 9/11 event involved a fair bit of trickery as well as the complicity of many non-Muslim individuals. After all they are still looking for the plane that hit the Pentagon. Have you seen it? Perhaps we could place an add in the "Lost and Found" columns of the mainstream print media, given they seek truth? I'm sure George Walker Bush would be grateful if we could locate it for him, along with the others lost that fateful day.
In attempting to be factual and as truthful as possible, and going to first principles let's look at the Word "Terror" and its derivatives, terrorism, terrorist and terrorize. From the Collins English Dictionary;
  • Terror noun 1. great fear, panic, or dread 2. a person or thing that inspires great dread
  • Terrorism noun 1. the systematic use of violence and intimidation to achieve some goal 2. the act of terrorizing 3. the state of being terrorized
  • Terrorist noun a. a person who employs terror or terrorism, especially as a political weapon
  • Terrorize verb 1. to coerce or control by violence, fear, threats, etc 2. to inspire with dread; terrify
The act of terrorism and the employment of terror as a means to an end cannot be viewed under any circumstances as a humane activity. The above definition is not limited to small groups of Middle-Eastern radicals. It applies equally to Nations seeking advantage in their dealings with others. The First and Second World Wars were the acts of Terrorists. Fear and loathing were engendered in the World's population, sufficient to bring the Earth to the brink of destruction. Again Terror is applied to the World's population, the degree is determined by one's geographical location.
The polarity of the West/Islamic divide is reinforced by the fear and loathing engendered in both cultures. The asymmetrical nature of the power wielded by the opponents determines the tools of terror employed to gain the antagonist's desire. The so called terrorists the Islamists (they see themselves as freedom-fighters) use amongst other measures the Suicide Bomber. The West and US led coalition use Smart Bombers.
A recent discussion on the extremism and incomprehensibility of suicide bombing led to the following contribution by myself;
Consider the First World War, the allies in the trenches facing a German Machine Gun emplacement. All know that to put their head up in defiance of the machine-gun is to invite sure death. The officer orders the first wave to advance and take the position. You are in the third wave and have seen your comrades mowed down as they crawl across no-man's land. Your turn comes, you've written your note home and kissed your crucifix. How are you different in mindset from the modern suicidee carrying their load of death?
Terror and War calls on men and women to undertake the most onerous tasks. It calls on them to sacrifice and kill. It destroys lives and the souls of those it confounds. It is the work of Satan.
And yet War is glorified, it is held up as a grand adventure, it has been romanticized by literature and film. It is made into something that it is not, for it is none other than the orchestrated mass killing and terrorism of the population of children, women, and men. Lest we Forget, indeed.
As recent as 8th November the New York Times, link:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/08/us/08vets.html?ref=us carried a story on homeless veterans of the current Terror. Compare this outcome with the ghastly situation on the ground in Afghanistan, Iraq and a host of other regions where the majority worship Allah. Each day 100 men, women, and children are sacrificed to the most blood thirsty God known.
The War on Terror has been going for centuries by one name or another. If and when the War on Terror is won. (Who claims they can win this War?) The contrariness of the logic here astounds; use overwhelming and awesome Terror to defeat Terror? There will be a War on something else, someone else, or on an idea. However I think the Idea's time has come. In the words of an old campaigner, Gough Whitlam one time Australian Prime Minister "It's Time."
Time to say no to War and the politics of greed.
Time to encircle the Earth with the spirit of the human family.
Time to co-operate.
Time to love.
Time to love our planet, our mother, our home.
Time to recognize the wonder that is the life we share.
Time to be one.
The only victor over a War on Terror is Peace.
Unity in Diversity, its time has come.
Lest We Forget.