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Author Topic: "Why I Don't Wear A Poppy"
Kevin_Laddle
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posted 10 November 2005 05:19 PM      Profile for Kevin_Laddle   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I imagine that if the Nazis had taken over the world, we would be encouraged to celebrate that conquest on some day of observation, perhaps "honouring" the soldiers of the Fatherland and the sacrifices that they made as the Third Reich spread its "benevolent influence" over the world, heralding an age of prosperity and racial purity. On the other hand, they might have developed a pithy slogan to represent their foul cause, perhaps one like "freedom". Either way, I wouldn't wear a swastika on my lapel on that day, just like I don't wear a poppy on my lapel on Remembrance Day

thetyee.ca


From: ISRAEL IS A TERRORIST STATE. ASK THE FAMILIES OF THE QANA MASSACRE VICTIMS. | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
ex-hippy
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posted 10 November 2005 05:24 PM      Profile for ex-hippy        Edit/Delete Post
"Sadly, the poppy acts more as a rallying cry to support military solutions to the world's problems, instead of a heart-felt and genuine plea for an end to the suffering of war"

This is bull-shit. Where does the author come up with this?

[ 10 November 2005: Message edited by: ex-hippy ]


From: ontario | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 10 November 2005 05:25 PM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Ya, I can see his point. Poppy, swastika, some babbler's granddad or great uncle, Adolph Hitler... what's the difference, eh?
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obscurantist
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posted 10 November 2005 05:29 PM      Profile for obscurantist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
As someone pointed out in the comments on the Tyee website, if the Nazis had won, the author probably WOULD be wearing a swastika on Remembrance Day -- he's damn lucky he can choose not to wear a poppy. I don't generally wear a poppy either, though I sometimes buy one. I can't quite articulate why I don't wear one, but I wouldn't use quite the same reasoning as the author of the article.
From: an unweeded garden | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
swirrlygrrl
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posted 10 November 2005 05:32 PM      Profile for swirrlygrrl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This isn't news.
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MartinArendt
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posted 10 November 2005 05:33 PM      Profile for MartinArendt     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:

Perhaps, in protest, he would have joined a line up of Jewish people waiting to board a train to Auschwitz. Would you have the courage to make that sacrifice? Would I?

Yeah, that probably would have worked pretty well.

I might start wearing more poppies, just because of this article.

Now, I hate war...hey, my dad's a draft dodger, and I've marched in many a peace march...but for the love of sweet Jehovah! There are two reasons I think most people wear poppies (or at least, why I would wear a poppy):

1) to remember people who died. If anything, poppies signify the incredible human cost of war. Flanders' Fields and all that. It's the loss of many precious lives, and, you know, I think that's probably worth remembering.

2) in the case of WWII, yeah, there were a lot of things going on. There was still tremendous repression at the time. Hell, there still is now. Does that mean that it wasn't a kick ass thing that the Nazis didn't win the war? You know who wanted to practice non-interventionist/appeasement policies in Britain? I'll give you a hint: his name started with "N" and ended with "eville Chamberlain". Now, remember how well that worked? General Romeo Dallaire (a pretty decent fella, by all accounts) wrote a convincing argument that had adequate military force been used in Rwanda, the genocide there wouldn't have happened.

I'm often critical of outside (i.e. Western) interference (especially military interference) in the autonomy of other countries. At the same time, I can't simply be black and white, and say "hey, war is bad, and it should never happen, no matter what, end of story."

The Spanish Civil War, the French Revolution, the Oka stand-off...I mean, I could go on and on about people who fought because it was their only means of trying to defeat great injustice. Granted, there are always other factors, but sometimes conflict is the only available option. That's life.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 10 November 2005 05:38 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I try to wear a poppy on November 11, but don't see why people will wear one for weeks; of course my poppies tend to go missing very quickly. I think I heard or read a veteran saying he preferred to just wear one when it was close to Remembrance Day.
From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 10 November 2005 05:38 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by swirrlygrrl:
This isn't news.

True.

Moving this to International Peace Forum, for lack of a better place, I guess.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
obscurantist
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posted 10 November 2005 05:43 PM      Profile for obscurantist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, I'm with Stephen Harper on this issue and this issue alone. The damn things keep falling off, that's the main reason I don't wear one.

Also, I believe in supporting the causes that they sell the poppies for, but when everyone but EVERYone wears a poppy starting somewhere around the end of October going into mid-November, what does the poppy really signify? It's just something that everyone does, and it's not like it holds us back from taking part in unjust wars or ensures that we take part in necessary wars (just out of curiosity, do they have the poppy tradition in the States? I'm assuming they do).


From: an unweeded garden | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Green Bastard
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posted 10 November 2005 05:47 PM      Profile for Green Bastard     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
No, I don't believe they do wear poppies in the States. Mainly a Commonwealth thing it seems.

I couldn't even bring myself to read that article. I was getting too pissed off just looking at the excerpts. Probably some dumbass 16 year old who doesn't know better (I hope).


From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 10 November 2005 05:47 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Here's a much better article:
quote:
...When we finish eating, I get up to pay the bill. I cross the center of the room and approach two waiters standing at the register. They are talking about the Veterans' Day holiday.

"I remember when this was a day to celebrate peace," says the older waiter to the younger. "It was a day to celebrate the end of World War One."

"Really?" says the younger waiter.

"Yeah, I can't remember the name of the day," said the older waiter as he rings a bill into the register. "But when I was kid - I think it was sometime in the '50s - the politicians didn't want a peace day, so they turned it into a celebration of soldiers."

Perhaps because of the red wine, I feel talkative. So I interject, "It was called Armistice Day."

"Yeah, that's it," said the older waiter, turning in my direction. "It was called Armistice Day, a day for celebrating peace."

"In Canada," I tell them, "they call it Remembrance Day." ...



From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Makwa
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posted 10 November 2005 05:50 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I find this article disturbing, in particular the reach to the experiences of FN people:
quote:
Ask one of Canada's indigenous people who, at the end of WWII, wasn't allowed to vote in elections as a result of his or her "Indian status" whether he or she felt free at the conclusion of WWII.
I have noted this point myself on a couple of occasions, but also noted that this racism within Canada did not stop FN people like my Uncle and my Mother from serving in the Canadian Armed forces with pride. They fought to struggle against a greater evil so that they could be free to struggle against persistent racism at home. As such, I am proud of their service, and to wear a little symbol of that for a few days a year to publicly assert that pride, is not diminished by the struggles against white supremacist patriarchal culture that have gone before and those that continue.

From: Here at the glass - all the usual problems, the habitual farce | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
ex-hippy
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posted 10 November 2005 06:02 PM      Profile for ex-hippy        Edit/Delete Post
I believe that poppies are worn in the US; they are smoked in San Francisco.
From: ontario | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
blake 3:17
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posted 10 November 2005 06:02 PM      Profile for blake 3:17     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
It's worth looking at Veteran affairs on Remembrance Day.

They're trying to balance the need for "our" country's masculinist memory of war with a more sensitive social history. It's unfortunate that historical memory is so caught up in conquest and barbarism.

quote:
I might start wearing more poppies, just because of this article.

Now, I hate war...hey, my dad's a draft dodger, and I've marched in many a peace march...but for the love of sweet Jehovah!


I hate the sentimentalization of war. My grandfather lost four brothers and his toes in the stupid first War To End All Wars. Can't talk about the damage done to my father by the second.

I agree with you in criticizing the author's pacifism -- however I'm not aware of any poppies being sold for Mac-Pap vets or Mohawk warriors.


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
obscurantist
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posted 10 November 2005 06:06 PM      Profile for obscurantist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Green Bastard:
No, I don't believe they do wear poppies in the States. Mainly a Commonwealth thing it seems.

Did a bit of Internet research, and it looks like you're right. I'd never really thought about it before. So maybe the poppies help keep us sane. Still, I can't help wondering, does Tony Blair wear a poppy? If he does, what does the poppy mean to him, and more generally, what does it do to the poppy as a symbol?

[ 10 November 2005: Message edited by: obscurantist ]


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Hephaestion
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posted 10 November 2005 06:17 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
In Newfoundland and Labrador, on Canada Day, they wear Forget-Me-Nots, in memory of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment that was almost obliterated in WWI at the Battle of Beaumont Hamel. I think it would behoove all Canadians to -- at the very least -- have a two-minute silence on Canada Day in recognition of the Royal Newfoundlanders' terrible sacrifice.
From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Reason
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posted 10 November 2005 06:37 PM      Profile for Reason   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Having read this article, I find it most disturbing that it is written by a "teacher". Clearly this is a person who has never set foot anywhere near a Rememberance Day parade.

We do not stamp about cheering loudly for more war. We solemly hope for the day that it never happens again. It is painful that ignorant people like McLeod choose to be willfully ignorant about that which they choose to write.

(It was especially painful for the suggestion that we shouldn't have fought in WW2... I wonder who the Nazis would have targetted after they had killed all the Jews, homosexuals, gypsies, mentally handicapped, teachers, socialists, and pacifists were gone)


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kuri
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posted 10 November 2005 06:42 PM      Profile for kuri   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Actually, I think it's entirely healthy to denounce WWII - as a continuation of the the first WW that needn't have ever happened if it had been resolved reasonably instead of divvying up "victor's spoils". I didn't wear a poppy this year mostly because I didn't happen to come across anyone distributing them.

Even seeing little articles bemoaning the lack of people who've seen actual war annoys me. I mean, isn't that a good thing? Why wouldn't we want a world where the last war was so distant that we have to rely on history books to know about it? We shouldn't glorify violence, even that which is considered "necessary". We should be horrified at it. The fact that government ever come to war is an indication that they have failed in their most important responsibility - that of preventing violence.


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radiorahim
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posted 10 November 2005 06:50 PM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I understand the poppy "symbol" is copywrite or patented...whatever ...by the Royal Canadian Legion. They used it as a fundraiser...ostensibly for assisting veterans etc.

Back in the 1980's IIRC a peace group put the poppy symbol with a tear coming from it on an anti-war button and the Royal Canadian Legion raised shit about it at the time...it being "their" symbol they said. Don't recall if they took it to court or not.

I used to always wear a poppy to honour veterans in November. But after the Legion raised all that fuss I became less inclined to wear them...because if it's "the Legion's symbol" instead of a "veteran's" symbol that put a whole different light on things.

I don't necessarily support everything that the Legion has stood for...including way back when they had a cold-war "anti-communist" clause you had to sign as a condition of membership.

[ 10 November 2005: Message edited by: radiorahim ]


From: a Micro$oft-free computer | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
retread
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posted 10 November 2005 06:51 PM      Profile for retread     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Having all your population never seeing war is a good thing. Having all of your population ignorant of just what goes on in a war is a bad thing. I wear the poppy to remember.
From: flatlands | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Andrew_Jay
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posted 10 November 2005 08:44 PM      Profile for Andrew_Jay        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Reason:
Having read this article, I find it most disturbing that it is written by a "teacher". Clearly this is a person who has never set foot anywhere near a Rememberance Day parade.
Let's hope he's a math teacher and nothing else.

This article is nothing but foolishness. I don't know what's more pathetic, the author's complete misinterpretation of the day, or that they feel the need to boast about it.

quote:
Originally posted by Hephaestion:
I think it would behoove all Canadians to -- at the very least -- have a two-minute silence on Canada Day in recognition of the Royal Newfoundlanders' terrible sacrifice.
That would be nice. Back home, Canada Day is always a day of tension between the two anniversaries, with many people arguing that we shouldn't celebrate it at all.

On having the population experience war - one of the reasons for the Second World War was that the German people hadn't really felt the war in 1914-1918 while France and Britain had (Berlin was supposed to have been heaviily bombed on November 12th, but we know what happened there. History might have turned out a lot different). One could say the same thing about the U.S. - they haven't had a war on their territory since 1865.

[ 10 November 2005: Message edited by: Andrew_Jay ]


From: Extremism is easy. You go right and meet those coming around from the far left | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Transplant
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posted 10 November 2005 08:47 PM      Profile for Transplant     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Green Bastard:
No, I don't believe they do wear poppies in the States.

Yes, they do, but I can't recall if it is the Veterans of Foreign Wars or the American Legion that distribute them. I think the former.

I had to design a Veteran's Day (as it's called in the US) poster that had to feature the poppy in Grade 12 art class. The US was still in Viet Nam and and at first I refused, but the teacher told me I would get an F. Since I planned to go to art school that wouldn't do much for my average, so I just painted the poppy and added "Put politics aside....they did", which is what I had to do to even do the assignment. The teacher had a fit, but she couldn't give me an F.

And yes, I do wear the poppy for Remembrance Day. It's not about celebrating war, it's about remembering those who died in war.


From: Free North America | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 10 November 2005 08:51 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
My dad served in WWII; I wear a poppy for two weeks every year to remember him. He was badly injured in training exercises in England at the time (the jeep my dad was in hit a live mine, rolled over, and crushed his left side). Despite his injuries, he survived to take on a significant role as one of the historians for the Army's official history of the Second World War, and became a noted historian in his own right. I wouldn't dare _not_ wear a poppy.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 10 November 2005 09:19 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
With all due respect to all who wear poppies...

1. It represents a waste of good metal and plastic to me to donate for a poppy, wear one, and then have it thrown out.

2. I shouldn't feel compelled to show off the fact that I understand the significance of Remembrance Day.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Makwa
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posted 10 November 2005 09:23 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by DrConway:
With all due respect to all who wear poppies...
1. It represents a waste of good metal and plastic to me to donate for a poppy, wear one, and then have it thrown out.
2. I shouldn't feel compelled to show off the fact that I understand the significance of Remembrance Day.

Well that's just super, Cilious.

From: Here at the glass - all the usual problems, the habitual farce | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
googlymoogly
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posted 10 November 2005 09:30 PM      Profile for googlymoogly     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I didn't realize I was showing off (or that you were being compelled for that matter). Always helps to be reminded.
From: the fiery bowels of hell | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 10 November 2005 10:37 PM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I usually wear a poppy and did so again this year while I attended a Remembrance Day service at the Saskatchewan legislature. This year, along with the poppy, I also wore a red button put out by the Mennonite Church of Canada featuring a stylized peace dove and the words 'To Remember is to Work for Peace.'

I agree with the poster above who says that Remembrance Day services frequently include sincere expressions of wishes for peace, grief for the lost, respect for the veterans' courage, etc., but they're complex things, these services, and also include other messages as well.

For instance, the service I attended today included a reading from Isaiah's vision of peace in Chapter 2 of the prophet's book: 'They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.' Yet, it also included a reading of McCrae's 'In Flanders Fields,' which--however closely it's become identified with Remembrance Day--is neither a vision of peace, nor a call to it.

Perhaps many would hear simply different notes sounded by these readings, notes harmonious despite their difference, but, personally speaking, I hear something more like a clash.

Finally, while I don't agree with everything the writer of the Tyee article says, I do think he has a point about these occasions affecting our collective sense of reality and memory. The word 'peacekeeping,' for example, must have been mentioned a dozen times in the service I attended today, but the national self-image these public mentions bolstered belies the reality that we're moving away from that role in a serious way.

Moreover, near the end of the service, Lorne Calvert directly addressed the children's choir who were present, linking their youth to the youth of the fallen soldiers of the past, and finally drawing their attention to a flag hanging in the building that had been flown by Canadian troops in Afghanistan at Camp Julien, calling them and all of us to take pride in it and in the mission.

I'm not accusing Calvert of being some kind of warmonger, nor do I wish to offer disrespect to veterans, active soldiers or their family and friends: I just would point out that, at this service at least, respect for the dead of previous wars was being mobilized to legitimate the current military campaign in Afghanistan which, whatever you think of it, has little in common with either the traditional 'peacekeeping' role, or, really, with the circumstances of WWI, WWII or Korea. Maybe some would consider that linkage legitimate despite the obvious differences, because, for example, Canadian soldiers are acting bravely in all these cases. I'll admit that's true, but I'm far from sure that this kind of legitimation is entirely innocent.

[ 10 November 2005: Message edited by: sgm ]


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
mayakovsky
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posted 10 November 2005 10:47 PM      Profile for mayakovsky     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I wear one to remember. I wear one to honour all those who lost their lives or were damaged from war. I wear one because I believe the intention was that we remember the horror and destruction of war and that we work to prevent future wars. Last November 11th some babblers shared stories of relatives who were veterans, many who never talked about their war experiences. I imagine they did not want to relive the horror or felt they couldn't explain it. At the ceremonies you see men and women crying for memories and friends from sixty years or more years past. People who were seeing untold destruction and death at the age where I was wondering what university courses to take.
From: New Bedford | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Makwa
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posted 10 November 2005 11:16 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I imagine that if the Nazis had taken over the world, we would be encouraged to celebrate that conquest on some day of observation, perhaps "honouring" the soldiers of the Fatherland and the sacrifices that they made as the Third Reich spread its "benevolent influence" over the world, heralding an age of prosperity and racial purity. On the other hand, they might have developed a pithy slogan to represent their foul cause, perhaps one like "freedom". Either way, I wouldn't wear a swastika on my lapel on that day, just like I don't wear a poppy on my lapel on Remembrance Day

From Makwa's Daughter

I am of Jamaican background and it is always so surprising to me how ungrateful some Canadians are for everything they have. It seems that living in a society with relatively little crime induces people to believe that non-violence is always a viable weapon and to look at those who make the hard decisions of war with scorn. Perhaps the self-righteous should consider that without the sacrifices of others they would be unable to critize so freely. War is killing, and killing is only justifiable when it becomes a matter of self defense. WWII cannot be judged in the same manner as the war in Iraq. An entire race of people were facing genocide, in the time it may take to defend them through non-violence they may have become extinct. To see what happens when other nations ignore the threath of genocide, we need only look to Rwanda. What a difference it would have made if the governments of other nations made the hard decision to tell their people that they would be fighting to defend innocent lives in another nation at the risk of the innocent lives of their country men. In 1918 Moira Michael wrote the poem " We shall Keep the faith" promising to wear a poppy "in honour of our dead", not in honour of war. Further more the wearing of poppies is in honour of the living veterans, because the money made from their sale is used to help support the veterans.


" Those who can do, and those who can't critique"


From: Here at the glass - all the usual problems, the habitual farce | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Makwa
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posted 10 November 2005 11:36 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by DrConway:
With all due respect to all who wear poppies...

1. It represents a waste of good metal and plastic to me to donate for a poppy, wear one, and then have it thrown out.

2. I shouldn't feel compelled to show off the fact that I understand the significance of Remembrance Day.



MAKWA'S DAUGHTER

1. In the same thread of thought, could we also say that breast cancer pins are a waste of ribbon and metal? Eventually they get worn out or lost so they become garbage too.

2. You shouldn't feel compelled to show you understand the significance of rememberance day. I don't think that anyone would look at you and say "you aren't wearing a poppy obviously you don't appreciate the importance of the day" Weatring it is a choice to dontate to a charity and, not an obligation.


From: Here at the glass - all the usual problems, the habitual farce | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
peppermint
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posted 10 November 2005 11:41 PM      Profile for peppermint     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm wearing a poppy today, even though it's a hyper commecialise holiday unrelated to war in Korea, right now.

A few of my students have asked about it, and I just tell them that today is a sad day for Canada and many other countries, and it's a little like the Liberation day holiday that they celebrate in August here.


From: Korea | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
voice of the damned
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posted 10 November 2005 11:43 PM      Profile for voice of the damned     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The general consensus here seems to be that wearing a poppy is a good thing. And I don't really disagree with that, I'd probably have one on myself if I were back in Canada.

Just to play devil's advocate though: I wonder if the consensus would be any different if World War II and the consequent Korean War had never happened, and if it were only the 1914-1918 conflict(which was originally the sole conflict commemorated by Nov 11) being memorialized?

And what about the Boer War?


From: Asia | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 10 November 2005 11:58 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by kurichina:
Actually, I think it's entirely healthy to denounce WWII - as a continuation of the the first WW that needn't have ever happened if it had been resolved reasonably instead of divvying up "victor's spoils".

Who's not denouncing war? My Dad's generation of Americans lost 300,000 young men (and multiples of that permanently injured) to help defeat Hitler. Nobody is celebrating war. It's a celebration of the selfless sacrifice made my millions in order to defeat evil.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 10 November 2005 11:59 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by MartinArendt:
Does that mean that it wasn't a kick ass thing that the Nazis didn't win the war? You know who wanted to practice non-interventionist/appeasement policies in Britain? I'll give you a hint: his name started with "N" and ended with "eville Chamberlain".

That's a good hint, Martin...but some may still not "get it".


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 12:00 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by retread:
Having all your population never seeing war is a good thing. Having all of your population ignorant of just what goes on in a war is a bad thing. I wear the poppy to remember.

Well said.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Reason
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posted 11 November 2005 12:03 AM      Profile for Reason   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Makwa:

From Makwa's Daughter

I am of Jamaican background and it is always so surprising to me how ungrateful some Canadians are for everything they have. It seems that living in a society with relatively little crime induces people to believe that non-violence is always a viable weapon and to look at those who make the hard decisions of war with scorn. Perhaps the self-righteous should consider that without the sacrifices of others they would be unable to critize so freely. War is killing, and killing is only justifiable when it becomes a matter of self defense. WWII cannot be judged in the same manner as the war in Iraq. An entire race of people were facing genocide, in the time it may take to defend them through non-violence they may have become extinct. To see what happens when other nations ignore the threath of genocide, we need only look to Rwanda. What a difference it would have made if the governments of other nations made the hard decision to tell their people that they would be fighting to defend innocent lives in another nation at the risk of the innocent lives of their country men. In 1918 Moira Michael wrote the poem " We shall Keep the faith" promising to wear a poppy "in honour of our dead", not in honour of war. Further more the wearing of poppies is in honour of the living veterans, because the money made from their sale is used to help support the veterans.


" Those who can do, and those who can't critique"


Makwa, and Makwa's daughter, I salute you. I salute all who posted here and on the other thread. DrConway, you are right, it is more then just a peice of plastic and metal, and your sentiments are in the right place in my opinion. The day is about rememberance, and from what I have seen here, all will remember in their own way (with and without poppies).

It's not a glory thing, as there is nothing glorious about it. It is about remembering who we are, and what we have lost and gained getting to where we are today. Many people lose their lives in war (not all of them died right away). Remember all of them, the civlians and military. Many civilian organisations were involved in the wars (non-fighting), from the Red Cross to the merchant marine.

For those who are not convinced about the intent of the day, find the nearest parade, and just stand in the back ground and listen to what is said. Anywhere there is a Legion, there will be a parade.


From: Ontario | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 12:05 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by mayakovsky:
I wear one to remember. I wear one to honour all those who lost their lives or were damaged from war. I wear one because I believe the intention was that we remember the horror and destruction of war and that we work to prevent future wars. Last November 11th some babblers shared stories of relatives who were veterans, many who never talked about their war experiences. I imagine they did not want to relive the horror or felt they couldn't explain it. At the ceremonies you see men and women crying for memories and friends from sixty years or more years past. People who were seeing untold destruction and death at the age where I was wondering what university courses to take.

Our 85 year old neighbor at our cabin has a wooden leg, a deformed arm and hand and shrapnel in his body. He was fighting the Italians in WWII when he and nine other men were hit with artillery. He spend two years in the hospital...the other nine died. Just boys really.

It's worthwhile remembering...and honoring...that sacrifice, whether your elect to wear a poppy or not.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Reason
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posted 11 November 2005 12:08 AM      Profile for Reason   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by voice of the damned:
The general consensus here seems to be that wearing a poppy is a good thing. And I don't really disagree with that, I'd probably have one on myself if I were back in Canada.

Just to play devil's advocate though: I wonder if the consensus would be any different if World War II and the consequent Korean War had never happened, and if it were only the 1914-1918 conflict(which was originally the sole conflict commemorated by Nov 11) being memorialized?

And what about the Boer War?


Someone else alluded to the idea that maybe WW2 wouldn't have happened if we had of handled armistice better. I honestly think he/she is right. One of the factors that allowed Hitler to rise to power was bitterness of the German people over armistice (I'm not entirely certain that I could blame them).

It is a nice thought, what if... I do beleive that we would still wear the poppy today to remember the "... war to end all wars."


From: Ontario | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ron Webb
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posted 11 November 2005 12:10 AM      Profile for Ron Webb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I remember learning the message of the poppy in elementary school, less than a decade after the end of WWII. All students were encouraged to buy a poppy for a quarter, or a dime, or even a nickel -- whatever we could afford.

Then the teacher passed out poppies to those who hadn't bought one, and asked all of us to wear them to the Remembrance Day ceremony in the gymnasium. There we were admonished with the rather cryptic slogan, "Lest We Forget".

Forget what?

Lest we forget those who gave their lives for freedom, no doubt. Lest we forget that war is inhumanly brutal and obscenely wasteful, sure. But I think the definitive statement is from John McCrae's poem, "In Flanders Field":

quote:
Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you, from failing hands we throw
The torch: Be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep..."

This is not a simple rejection of war. On the contrary, McCrae charges us to "take up the torch" that has fallen from their hands as they fell in battle. In other words, to continue their fight.

IMHO we are warned not to forget that freedom is worth fighting for, and is the only justification for war.

Nearly half a century later, I believe that message has been hijacked -- both by the right, who would claim that "fighting for freedom" means launching unprovoked wars to impose their version of freedom on others; and by the left, who argue that war is never justified, and naively would make us unwilling or unready to defend ourselves when necessary.

Sad to say, but I truly believe we have forgotten.


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Américain Égalitaire
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posted 11 November 2005 12:12 AM      Profile for Américain Égalitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Just as a clarification, In my 42 years (43 in 9 days) and in my time in both the US Army Reserve, working for Army Recruting and being present and many veterans events, I have never seen an American wear a poppy on Veterans Day.

I think it would be great if they did, noting the origin of the poppy.

I rather like the idea of poppies on Remembrance Day. Down here its all flags and bands and gun salutes, if that. For too many people here, its a day off (maybe) without too terribly much thought to the wars and the victims of those wars.


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 12:13 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Ron Webb:
IMHO we are warned not to forget that freedom is worth fighting for, and is the only justification for war.

I wonder how many people in the West would fight and kill to save our freedom today?


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
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posted 11 November 2005 12:14 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
One thing that's always kept me wearing a poppy this time of year is the men and women who hand them out. Something about an 80 year old guy standing on his feet all day with a box on a strap around his neck clued me in that this is something important.

I remember once when I was much younger, being asked by one of these veterans if I mightn't like a poppy. I told him sorry, but I had no money, and he told me that wasn't important, and gave me one anyway, even pinning it to my coat for me. Nothing we had been told in school carried the weight that that did.


From: ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°`°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø,¸_¸,ø¤°°¤ø, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
kuri
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posted 11 November 2005 12:14 AM      Profile for kuri   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Oh my dawg. Let's just see how many mindless slogans and sentimental drivel we can cram into one thread, can we?
From: an employer more progressive than rabble.ca | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 11 November 2005 12:14 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by googlymoogly:
I didn't realize I was showing off (or that you were being compelled for that matter). Always helps to be reminded.

I get the impression from some people that if I don't wear a poppy I'm not fully appreciative of the importance of the day. Considering that at least one of my grandparents fought in World War 2 I'd say I understand the importance of it pretty well.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 12:14 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Américain Égalitaire:
Just as a clarification, In my 42 years (43 in 9 days) and in my time in both the US Army Reserve, working for Army Recruting and being present and many veterans events, I have never seen an American wear a poppy on Veterans Day.

That's interesting. Maybe it's a regional thing in the US. We wore poppies as kids here in Minnesota every year.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 12:15 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by kurichina:
Oh my dawg. Let's just see how many mindless slogans and sentimental drivel we can cram into one thread, can we?

Such as?


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Américain Égalitaire
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posted 11 November 2005 12:18 AM      Profile for Américain Égalitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

That's interesting. Maybe it's a regional thing in the US. We wore poppies as kids here in Minnesota every year.


You may indeed be right on it being a regional thing. I grew up in Cleveland and never saw it. I would suspect that local Veterans organisations that had a large percentage of WWI veterans may have carried it forward.


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
kuri
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posted 11 November 2005 12:23 AM      Profile for kuri   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well, this for starters:

quote:
I wonder how many people in the West would fight and kill to save our freedom today?

Also, invoking the voices of one's children would probably count as sentimental drivel, IMHO.

Look, the reflexive participation in a coerced through guilt public ceremony does not achieve "remembrance". Education does that. I'm not supporting any ignorance over past wars: far from it, I think all of us should indeed remember the major wars, including all the proxy wars of the Cold War, and remember them critically - as events that were all preventable. Even WWII was preventable, if people had acted justly at the end of WWI, I believe it wouldn't have happened. Relying on a machismo filled "respect" for the military - even when involved in highly questionable actions, such as the Korean War - is probably the surest way to ensure it does happen again.


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'lance
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posted 11 November 2005 12:24 AM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Remembrance Day ceremonies as a kid and a teenager left me with profound ambivalance about the whole enterprise. (Perhaps discovering "Dulce de Decorum Est," by Wilfred Owen, and what a lousy poem "In Flanders Fields" is by comparison, factored into it). Anyway I don't wear poppies, and some day may actually be able to articulate why.

But the Tyee column gets my vote for this month's Most Gratuitous Invocation of Nazism by a Self-Described Progressive. I can see no other function for the comparison than as a smear, and it perfectly illustrates how cheap and easy is this debating tactic.

It also illustrates just how cheap and easy is moral absolutism -- when it's never put to any sort of meaningful test, that is.

quote:
Maybe it's a regional thing in the US. We wore poppies as kids here in Minnesota every year.

Well, as everyone knows, Minnesotans are honourary Canadians -- or, as others would have it, temporarily mislaid Canadians who will eventually find their way home.

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: 'lance ]


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Reason
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posted 11 November 2005 12:24 AM      Profile for Reason   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by kurichina:
Oh my dawg. Let's just see how many mindless slogans and sentimental drivel we can cram into one thread, can we?


Nothing mindless about the drivel in this here thread. If you choose to do other things tomorrow, feel free, it is a day like any other. I choose to be outside, on parade, with people who may not make it to next year.


From: Ontario | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 11 November 2005 12:25 AM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
See also this thread; discussion and some good links.
From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 12:26 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by kurichina:
Look, the reflexive participation in a coerced through guilt public ceremony does not achieve "remembrance". Education does that. I'm not supporting any ignorance over past wars: far from it, I think all of us should indeed remember the major wars, including all the proxy wars of the Cold War, and remember them critically - as events that were all preventable. Even WWII was preventable, if people had acted justly at the end of WWI, I believe it wouldn't have happened. Relying on a machismo filled "respect" for the military - even when involved in highly questionable actions, such as the Korean War - is probably the surest way to ensure it does happen again.

While we should remember wars "critically", do you not pause to remember and honor the dead who fought to protect the liberty you enjoy in peace today?


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Reason
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posted 11 November 2005 12:26 AM      Profile for Reason   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by kurichina:
Well, this for starters:

Also, invoking the voices of one's children would probably count as sentimental drivel, IMHO.

Look, the reflexive participation in a coerced through guilt public ceremony does not achieve "remembrance". Education does that. I'm not supporting any ignorance over past wars: far from it, I think all of us should indeed remember the major wars, including all the proxy wars of the Cold War, and remember them critically - as events that were all preventable. Even WWII was preventable, if people had acted justly at the end of WWI, I believe it wouldn't have happened. Relying on a machismo filled "respect" for the military - even when involved in highly questionable actions, such as the Korean War - is probably the surest way to ensure it does happen again.


And because you clearly missed the message of Rememberance day, you find it so easy to dissmiss others thoughts as drivel.


From: Ontario | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
kuri
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posted 11 November 2005 12:28 AM      Profile for kuri   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Speak for yourself, dude.
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Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 12:28 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by 'lance:
Well, as everyone knows, Minnesotans are honourary Canadians -- or, as others would have it, temporarily mislaid Canadians who will eventually find their way home.

I agree with that!! I love Canada (particularly Montreal, Toronto and BC). Minnesota is not called "the State of Hockey" for nuffin.


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siren
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posted 11 November 2005 12:30 AM      Profile for siren     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hmm. This is an interesting thread; I am surprised though that it has taken on such a black and white polarity.

I have always worn a poppy and kept it throughout the year. My dad used to pin his poppy (after the services) in the visor of his car. I used to keep my poppy throughout the year pinned to my paper can of pens, kept by the telephone.

I can't be the only one to feel that this remembrance day feels vastly different from others. Letters from vets in our local paper have taken a rather militaristic tone.

Consider this quote:

quote:
"That it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the Freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us Freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the Freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, who serves beneath the Flag, who salutes the Flag, whose coffin is draped by the Flag, who allows the protester to burn the Flag. It is the soldier, not the politician, who has given his blood, his body, his life, who has given us these Freedoms. And it is the soldier who has given us the privilege to sleep safely in our homes and to hold our children warm within our arms. It is the greatest crime that it is only war that brings peace and it is the greatest sacrifice that men and women were struck in the prime of their lives so that we might enjoy such freedoms." -Zell Miller @ Free Republic. {Bold = Zell going nuts.}

An excerpt of this claiming that all democratic forms flow through the blood of soldiers was printed in my local paper in a letter to the editor from a war vet. BTW -- I think Miller has plagiarized a lot from an American soldier/minister who fought in the Korean war (name escapes me right now).

Y'know -- even though the letter writer was a veteran I have to utterly disagree with him. The Nazis fought bravely in the war too, also the Russians --- neither of them were fighting for democracy. The invasion of Iraq wasn't to spread democracy in the ME. That was the excuse dreamed up when WMD were not found. Partly because we attribute "only" goodness to our soldiers it has been easy for the White House (in this case) to shift the rhetoric and hinge it all on patriotism.

Are we really fighting for freedom in Afghanistan? Ours or theirs? Is it "just like WWI and WWII" as so many seem to imply?

Thanks to Blake for the government site, as I think they get the memory right:

quote:
These wars touched the lives of Canadians of all ages, all races, all social classes. Fathers, sons, daughters, sweethearts: they were killed in action, they were wounded, and thousands who returned were forced to live the rest of their lives with the physical and mental scars of war. The people who stayed in Canada also served - in factories, in voluntary service organizations, wherever they were needed.

It is not the soldier who exclusively brings democracy, it is also the poets, the reporters, the politicians, those of us who care about our country and keep aware and vote, the schoolteacher, and on and on. Democracy is not delivered from a gun barrel, it is not a one shot deal, it as an ongoing process of informed citizens.

The message I hear this remembrance day is harsher than on other Nov. 11ths that I recall. It seems to be slowly morphing into belligerence.


From: Of course we could have world peace! But where would be the profit in that? | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Reason
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posted 11 November 2005 12:31 AM      Profile for Reason   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by kurichina:
Speak for yourself, dude.

20 years standing on these parades. 20 years talking to the vets afterwards. In 20 years, I have not heard one single vet wish war on anyone. The sincere words I get from them is along the lines of, "... I hope you never have to go". Of course, what do they know. They were only the front line soldiers (from both sides I might add).

Once again, it is clear you missed the message.


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Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 12:32 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I remember as a kid thinking the veterans parades were dorky. A bunch of "old" duffs (yeah, I though people who were forty and fifty were "old") marching around and then firing their salute when they tossed a wreath of remembrance into the river.

But, as I got older and talked to my Dad (who fought in Germany) and my uncle (who landed at Normandy at 7am of D-Day and it, needless to say, very, very lucky to be alive) and many of their contemporaries, I really learned about the personal sacrifice that the great effort to defeat the Nazis demanded.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
voice of the damned
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posted 11 November 2005 12:33 AM      Profile for voice of the damned     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Relying on a machismo filled "respect" for the military - even when involved in highly questionable actions, such as the Korean War - is probably the surest way to ensure it does happen again.

You might have a point if people were simply wearing the poppy to honour the military as being a good thing in-and-of-itself, but I don't think that's what it's all about.

I don't think the point is to honour the military, or even all the soldiers who fought. Rather, it is specifically the soldiers who died in the conflict who are being remembered.


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DrConway
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posted 11 November 2005 12:35 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
My grandfather never liked talking about what he did as a soldier in World War 2. I think about that sometimes, and wonder if we would be so inclined to glorify war if we listened more to those who've had to fight in past wars.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
kuri
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posted 11 November 2005 12:36 AM      Profile for kuri   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sentimentalism, sentimentalism, sentimentalism.

No one had to go, if saner minds had prevailed from the beginning.


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Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 12:39 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by kurichina:
Sentimentalism, sentimentalism, sentimentalism.

No one had to go, if saner minds had prevailed from the beginning.


Well, of course, if WWII could have been prevented, that would have been wonderful. But, given the fact of Hitler's rise, cannot you not bring yourself to honor those who gave their lives to defeat him??


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sgm
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posted 11 November 2005 12:41 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
voice of the damned wrote:
I wonder if the consensus would be any different if World War II and the consequent Korean War had never happened, and if it were only the 1914-1918 conflict (which was originally the sole conflict commemorated by Nov 11) being memorialized?
VotD's comment brings up an interesting point: are we being selective in the parts of our country's military history we bring forward for public purposes like Remembrance Day?

Did the First World War in fact run from 1914 until 1918?

If so, what were Canadian troops doing in north east Russia after the official armistice and, indeed, on into 1919?

quote:
Censorship and heavy fighting on the Western Front during the final stages of the European war initially diverted public interest away from Canadian involvement in Russia. Armistice, however, ended public apathy and critical attention turned to the northeast and Canada's role in the postwar world. With the conclusion of the Great War, domestic discontent towards Russian intervention became increasingly aroused. Visible opposition manifested a pervasive sense that Canadian military participation overseas was no longer desired, especially when it involved conscripts. For example, on 21 December 1918, a small number of French Canadian troops bound for Vladivostok refused to board a ship in Victoria, B.C.
Are we remembering these people on Remembrance Day?

Or the dead of the 1884 Nile Expedition, whose names are written in a book in the Peace Tower?

Incredibly (to me) these soldiers, along with those who died in the Boer War VotD mentions, are described on Veterans Affairs' Web Page as 'those who gave their lives for their country in the South African War (1899-1902) and the Nile Expedition (1884-1885).'


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
voice of the damned
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posted 11 November 2005 12:46 AM      Profile for voice of the damned     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
quote:

"That it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the Freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us Freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the Freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, who serves beneath the Flag, who salutes the Flag, whose coffin is draped by the Flag, who allows the protester to burn the Flag. It is the soldier, not the politician, who has given his blood, his body, his life, who has given us these Freedoms. And it is the soldier who has given us the privilege to sleep safely in our homes and to hold our children warm within our arms. It is the greatest crime that it is only war that brings peace and it is the greatest sacrifice that men and women were struck in the prime of their lives so that we might enjoy such freedoms." -Zell Miller @ Free Republic. {Bold = Zell going nuts.}

An excerpt of this claiming that all democratic forms flow through the blood of soldiers was printed in my local paper in a letter to the editor from a war vet. BTW -- I think Miller has plagiarized a lot from an American soldier/minister who fought in the Korean war (name escapes me right now).


Assuning this is the same guy, Zell Miller is a right-wing American politician who is a big supporter of the current war in Iraq. So I would take this letter as partisan, pro-war spechmaking, rather than as neccesarily representative of what the average veteran would write.

And in doing on-line research on the guy, I can't find any mention of him serving in wartime, just that he was in the marines "in the 1950s". So I'm not even sure if he qualifies as a war veteran.

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: voice of the damned ]


From: Asia | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 11 November 2005 12:46 AM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by sgm:
...Incredibly (to me) these soldiers, along with those who died in the Boer War VotD mentions, are described on Veterans Affairs' Web Page as 'those who gave their lives for their country in the South African War (1899-1902) and the Nile Expedition (1884-1885).'

What's wrong with that? They didn't go to fight as individuals but as Canadian soldiers.

kuruchina, go back and read lance's comment on the article; note especially:

quote:
It also illustrates just how cheap and easy is moral absolutism -- when it's never put to any sort of meaningful test, that is.
World War II happened; get over it.

From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Reason
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posted 11 November 2005 12:47 AM      Profile for Reason   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by siren:
Hmm. This is an interesting thread; I am surprised though that it has taken on such a black and white polarity.

I have always worn a poppy and kept it throughout the year. My dad used to pin his poppy (after the services) in the visor of his car. I used to keep my poppy throughout the year pinned to my paper can of pens, kept by the telephone.

I can't be the only one to feel that this remembrance day feels vastly different from others. Letters from vets in our local paper have taken a rather militaristic tone.

Consider this quote:

It is not the soldier who exclusively brings democracy, it is also the poets, the reporters, the politicians, those of us who care about our country and keep aware and vote, the schoolteacher, and on and on. Democracy is not delivered from a gun barrel, it is not a one shot deal, it as an ongoing process of informed citizens.

The message I hear this remembrance day is harsher than on other Nov. 11ths that I recall. It seems to be slowly morphing into belligerence.


There is a fair bit of confusion amongst alot of our vets today (father time catches up with all of us eventually). Frankly, IMO the current world is confusing. Things back in WW1,WW2, and the Korean war were so much easier to define. Good, bad. Now, there are many shades of gray. Those who were enemy are now friends, and those who were friends are now the enemy.

Of course, 60 years ago, we didn't have live battlefield feeds on CNN.

Many do not understand todays conflicts, and only have the evening news to give them information. As much as I disagree with many here, I do agree there is an awful lot of bias in the media. This bias has led some vets to beleive that those protesting current conflicts are acting impetuous.

Many Canadian vets will always see the Americans as our closest friends, and they do not understand why Canadians would want to protest them. So, occasionally they will write a letter to the editor.

Does it sound martial? Yes. Martial is what they know and understand. Some have expressed a feeling in the past that there are those who resent them (clearly these people do exsist). It is not always easy to comfort them and remind them that most do appreciate them.


From: Ontario | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Ron Webb
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posted 11 November 2005 12:48 AM      Profile for Ron Webb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by kurichina:
... I think all of us should indeed remember the major wars, including all the proxy wars of the Cold War, and remember them critically - as events that were all preventable. Even WWII was preventable, if people had acted justly at the end of WWI, I believe it wouldn't have happened.
That's a nice debate to have over a mug of beer, perhaps; but the fact remains that those wars were not prevented. Neither were the countless wars before it, and neither will the countless ones to come.

I'll accept for the sake of argument (though I don't believe it for an instant) that you have the "magic bullet" that can prevent all war. That's great. I'll be looking forward to the day you publish your solution to one of the great dilemmas of the ages, and I'll applaud as loudly as anybody when you receive the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition. I hope I may even live to see the day when your grand scheme is actually implemented.

But in the meantime, there will be wars. Your fantasy world where all leaders are enlightened and subscribe to your pacifist ideals does not exist. Not yet anyway.

Here in the real world, where poverty and ideology create tensions, and people are easily swayed by the rhetoric of corrupt leaders, we need to be ready to defend ourselves. Reluctantly and soberly -- but ready. That is the message of the poppy.


From: Winnipeg | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
kuri
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posted 11 November 2005 12:49 AM      Profile for kuri   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Contrarian:
World War II happened; get over it.

And I mourn. It's a little different than honour, but it feels more appropriate to me.


From: an employer more progressive than rabble.ca | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
voice of the damned
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posted 11 November 2005 12:50 AM      Profile for voice of the damned     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
quote:
Originally posted by kurichina:
Sentimentalism, sentimentalism, sentimentalism.
No one had to go, if saner minds had prevailed from the beginning.

Well, of course, if WWII could have been prevented, that would have been wonderful. But, given the fact of Hitler's rise, cannot you not bring yourself to honor those who gave their lives to defeat him??


That's a good point. We're not honouring the people who negotiated the Treaty of Versailles.


From: Asia | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 11 November 2005 12:52 AM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by kurichina:
And I mourn. It's a little different than honour, but it feels more appropriate to me.
The veterans mourn their friends that they saw die; and they have earned the honour.

From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Reason
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posted 11 November 2005 12:53 AM      Profile for Reason   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by kurichina:

And I mourn. It's a little different than honour, but it feels more appropriate to me.


And that it is. Each mourn in his or her way. Like I said before, nothing to glorify here, we do honour our dead, and we must remember them all (even those on the other side). All civilian, all military. Perhaps some day we will get rid of religion and money, and finally be able to live in peace.

EDIT TO ADD: To me, mourning and honouring go hand in hand. In the end, we remember.

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: Reason ]


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Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 12:54 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I will agree with kurichina on one thing: the Victors (particularly the French) were vindictive in the settlement of WWI...and that ultimately lead to WWII.

But, given the fact that Hitler came to power...and nothing but military force could stop him...I'm glad...thankful...for the sacrifice of millions of Americans, Canadians, Brits, Russians and others who died to stop him.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 12:56 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Reason:
Perhaps some day we will get rid of religion and money, and finally be able to live in peace.

I think religion will die long before money.

Unfortunately, I don't think religion is going to go away anytime soon (like maybe never)...


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Reason
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posted 11 November 2005 01:06 AM      Profile for Reason   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

I think religion will die long before money.

Unfortunately, I don't think religion is going to go away anytime soon (like maybe never)...


Ahh ya, great. Send me to bed on a sour note. Next your gonna make me cut my hair and join the... Oh wait.


From: Ontario | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 11 November 2005 01:15 AM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Contrarian:

What's wrong with that?


What's wrong with it is that it's rubbish. Those were wars of the British Empire. What had they to do with Canada?

Passing over the question of when or whether Canada might legitimately go to war in its "national interest" (or in "self defence") -- and passing over, too, the fact that Canada as we know it is, to a considerable extent, a creation of British imperialism -- why should Canadians be proud that their ancestors went to war for British imperialism?

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: 'lance ]


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
siren
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posted 11 November 2005 01:22 AM      Profile for siren     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by voice of the damned:

Assuning this is the same guy, Zell Miller is a right-wing American politician who is a big supporter of the current war in Iraq. So I would take this letter as partisan, pro-war spechmaking, rather than as neccesarily representative of what the average veteran would write.


Yes, that is true VotD. I plugged the first line into google and bumped into Miller's speech. I was lazy so just went with it.

Searching more thoroughly, I found this credited as "Prayer for a Soldier" and it is on many right wing sites, including G. Gorden Liddy's.

On this site, I found it attributed to, The following passage is from a sermon by John Hagee of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio

However, it was a local canadian war vet (so he says, who can tell) who excerpted this bit and inserted it in to his letter in the local paper(sorry, can't find the letter).

quote:
"It's the soldier, not the reporter who gives you the freedom of the press.

"It's the soldier, not the poet who gives you the freedom of speech.

"It's the soldier, not the campus organizer who allows you to demonstrate.

"It's the soldier, who salutes the flag, serves the flag, whose coffin is draped with the flag that allows the protester to burn the flag.


I have never before read anything so self laudatory and, belligerent, from a vet in the past. Nor so black and white. Nor so incorrect.

That in conjunction with the increase in vanity car plates proclaiming "WWII Vet" and a concerted campaign to get free parking for veterans, the roiling of peace keeping with the Afghanistan effort, etc. etc. has made observations in my town suddenly contentious. When Remembrance Day is the LAST day on earth when one should play politics. (The mention in the other list of war vets intending to turn their back on the Governor General -- well that kind of politicking is just not suitable for tomorrow.)

Reason, thanks for the reminder about the age of war vets. We will all have wandering minds in no time at all. Hope you find your longjohns and/or it not too cold at your memorial service.


From: Of course we could have world peace! But where would be the profit in that? | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 11 November 2005 01:30 AM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I mean what's wrong with saying they died for their country? They were fighting as Canadian soldiers and they probably believed they were fighting for their country and their empire. I'm not arguing that those wars were justified. But you don't just ignore the parts of history that do not appeal to your twenty-first century sensibilites. They happened, and it's more useful to understand why and how they happened than to sit on a high hill and judge them (as Desmond Morton said in a similar context).

Edit: siren this is "The Year of the Veteran" so the government has been doing extra things all year such as the special nickels and quarters, special pins, etc., which probably explains the licence plates.

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: Contrarian ]


From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 11 November 2005 01:32 AM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Reason:
There is a fair bit of confusion amongst alot of our vets today (father time catches up with all of us eventually). Frankly, IMO the current world is confusing. Things back in WW1,WW2, and the Korean war were so much easier to define. Good, bad. Now, there are many shades of gray. Those who were enemy are now friends, and those who were friends are now the enemy.

I believe that thinking in terms of good/bad, friend/enemy, even though easier to define, leads to a mentality that justifies taking of life. If I'm "good" and am out to stop the "bad," what is to stop me from killing "bad" people? I can also ask if the veterans at war saw soldiers fighting for the other people as "bad." I remember hearing about how during Christmas in the trenches of WWI, British and German soldiers would celebrate Christmas together during their days off. Doesn't sound to me like seeing the other people as "bad."

I think the story of the soldiers sharing Christmas together is something that deserves major attention. It shows how the soldiers, in the midst of all the death, destruction, and confusion happening all around them, put aside their differences and shared in their common humanity. This story is very inspirational and speaks to the hope we all share that war may one day be a thing of the past.


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
jas
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posted 11 November 2005 02:58 AM      Profile for jas     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

Who's not denouncing war? My Dad's generation of Americans lost 300,000 young men (and multiples of that permanently injured) to help defeat Hitler. Nobody is celebrating war. It's a celebration of the selfless sacrifice made my millions in order to defeat evil.

America didn't enter the war until Japan bombed Pearl Harbour: two years after Hitler invaded Poland and several years after the first concentration camps were built, and Jews were rounded up. Nations outside of Germany 'didn't know' what was going on? After the liberation the American military paid Germany for much of the documentation that Nazi doctors gathered in their "medical" experiments on death camp inmates.

If there are some good reasons you want to wear a poppy, great. Pretending that WWII was about 'defeating the evil of Hitler' is not one of them.

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: jas ]


From: the world we want | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
sgm
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posted 11 November 2005 03:38 AM      Profile for sgm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
contrarian wrote:
I mean what's wrong with saying they died for their country? They were fighting as Canadian soldiers and they probably believed they were fighting for their country and their empire. I'm not arguing that those wars were justified. But you don't just ignore the parts of history that do not appeal to your twenty-first century sensibilites. They happened, and it's more useful to understand why and how they happened than to sit on a high hill and judge them (as Desmond Morton said in a similar context).
As one of those who helped to bring up certain episodes of Canadian military history (e.g. the Nile Expedition and the Siberian Expedition), I'm not sure why I'm being accused of ignoring 'parts of history that do not appeal to [my] twenty-first century sensibilities.'

These episodes did indeed happen, and no doubt some of those involved in them believed, for example, that fighting Boers in Africa was necessary to preserve 'their country,' Canada. I mean no disrespect to such fighters when I say that I think they were mistaken to believe that the defence of 'their country' depended on their going at Britain's behest to Sudan, Egypt, or South Africa, as the case might have been.

It seems to me that it might be useful, in the present circumstance, to look at such episodes in Canadian military history--episodes essentially excluded from our Remembrance Day ceremonies--and ask indeed 'why and how they happened.'

For my own part, I certainly don't belong on a 'high hill' from which I can 'judge' Canadian soldiers. It was never my intention to set myself on such a hill.

Nevertheless, I am interested in why the actions of some Canadian soldiers are considered politically useful by those in power in our country, while those of others are considered less so...

Can we talk about that?


From: I have welcomed the dawn from the fields of Saskatchewan | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
siren
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posted 11 November 2005 04:06 AM      Profile for siren     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In remembrance day, we honour our soldiers.

We need a day in which we shun or condemns the politicians who sent those good young men and women to war.


From: Of course we could have world peace! But where would be the profit in that? | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
radiorahim
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posted 11 November 2005 04:32 AM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Assuning this is the same guy, Zell Miller is a right-wing American politician who is a big supporter of the current war in Iraq. So I would take this letter as partisan, pro-war spechmaking, rather than as neccesarily representative of what the average veteran would write.

IIRC Miller is a very right-wing Democratic senator from Georgia who addressed the last Republican national convention in support of the Iraq war and George W. Bush.

Anyway...since the whole Legion vs. peace groups controversy back in the 1980's sometimes I wear a poppy and sometimes I don't ... I'm pissed at the Legion but honour the vets who went through a living hell that most of us could never imagine.

Our picture of D-Day for example is coloured by John Wayne-type Hollywood movies. If you talk to vets it was nothing like that at all.

It was mass chaos with folks dying all around you...your friends...sometimes your relatives. The vets will tell you that your only thought was to stay alive till the end of the day.

I think it's important for the vets to keep telling their stories so that the rest of us know what these folks went through.

Stud's Terkel's book "The Good War" is one that I can highly recommend. Lots of oral history where the vets speak for themselves. It was the kind of book I couldn't put down.

WWI was just utter stupidity and futility. Two sides living in filthy muddy rat-infested trenches shooting at each other and then every now and then some idiotic officer ordering you all to go "over the top" where most folks would get mowed down by machine gun fire.

I read Margaret MacMillan's book "Paris 1919" earlier this year and it's a myth that the "guns went silent" on November 11, 1918. Maybe in the "west", but there were all kinds of border clashes and attempted land grabs in central and eastern Europe often by newly-formed states...and as another poster mentioned, the western intervention in the Russian civil war. It was actually several years before there was something that looked like peace in Europe.

War is hell and I guess that's the most important thing to remember on November 11th.


From: a Micro$oft-free computer | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 11 November 2005 04:45 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The old man went overseas in '39. Everytime us kids asked him what he did in the war, he'd recite the same two stories about shooting at chickens and stopping for tea with the Ozzies and Brits to fix a tank and lob the odd tank shell at the enemy. And then he'd change the subject to camping, hunting and prospecting - his passions.

Several years after dad died, I learned from my Uncle in B.C. that dad was there at a fairly nasty dustup in Northern Italy. The guys like dad, who went to North Africa first, were called "D-day dodgers" for missing Juno Beach. Dad never paid them any mind. We laid a wreath yesterday. Thanks dad.

quote:
Why would the Germans defend with inordinate fierceness - matched only by the determination of the Canadians - a small coastal town of little strategic value? Throughout the world, the showdown made the headlines and Ortona became a household word: "This is Matthew Halton from the CBC, speaking from Italy… ". Canadian radio war correspondents made this bloody episode world-famous. Ortona became a symbol, as important as Rome. To capture the city or to keep it, it all became a matter of national prestige.

From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Transplant
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posted 11 November 2005 10:12 AM      Profile for Transplant     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by kurichina:

No one had to go, if saner minds had prevailed from the beginning.

But they didn't, because sometimes sanity is not enough to prevail over insanity.


From: Free North America | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 11 November 2005 10:29 AM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
But you don't just ignore the parts of history that do not appeal to your twenty-first century sensibilites.

Two straw men in one sentence; or rather one straw man, and one irrelevant jibe. Remarkable.

I'm not prepared to ignore these, or any other parts of history (or rather I would be, if my bad conscience would allow it); and as for my "twenty-first century sensibilities," as you snidely put it, those have not much to do with it. It's forgotten now, but Canadian support for the British Empire was by no means universal, particularly by the time of the Boer War.

I'd prefer it if the Veterans Affairs web page said something like "those who gave their lives for the British Empire," or some such. That would be more accurate and honest, while avoiding the sting of a word like "imperialism." And, even today, some would see it as a noble cause. It takes all kinds. Take Niall Ferguson. Please.

Though in all candour I won't begrudge Veterans Affairs a little sentimental rhetoric. I'd be astonished and somehow disturbed if they didn't indulge in it.

quote:
They happened, and it's more useful to understand why and how they happened than to sit on a high hill and judge them (as Desmond Morton said in a similar context).

On the other hand, I'm quite prepared to ignore Desmond Morton.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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posted 11 November 2005 11:10 AM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I remember hearing about how during Christmas in the trenches of WWI, British and German soldiers would celebrate Christmas together during their days off. Doesn't sound to me like seeing the other people as "bad."

Happened once, in 1914, in one section of the battlefield/trenches. It was condemned by High Command and never ever allowed to happen again


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Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 11:29 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by jas:

America didn't enter the war until Japan bombed Pearl Harbour: two years after Hitler invaded Poland and several years after the first concentration camps were built, and Jews were rounded up. Nations outside of Germany 'didn't know' what was going on? After the liberation the American military paid Germany for much of the documentation that Nazi doctors gathered in their "medical" experiments on death camp inmates.

If there are some good reasons you want to wear a poppy, great. Pretending that WWII was about defeating the 'evil of Hitler' is not one of them.

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: jas ]


What was it about then?

I suppose you'll denigrate the millions of Russians who died, too, because Russian struck the Soviet-Nazi Non-Agression Pact that kept Russia out of the war while Hitler destroyed France and western Europe?


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
James
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posted 11 November 2005 11:33 AM      Profile for James        Edit/Delete Post
A week ago tomorrow, I stood in the rain in front of a Beer Store for three hours distributing poppies. ( As Magoo noted above, the Legion does not sell poppies, it distributes them as a symbol of remembrance, and at the same time accepts donations for the support of survivors and related charitable causes. It is always an interesting exercise to observe the varying reactions of different people. Often those who on first assessment you would expect would ignore you are the ones who approach, donate generously, and stop to talk about what the occassion means to them. One very indigent looking fellow arrived on a battered bicycle with a shopping bag full of empties. while he was inside with the bike propped against the storefront window, I pinned a poppy to the hockey stick tape that served as handgrips. When he came out with a small bag ( I presume a couple of cans of the cheap strong stuff), he mounted the bike and started to ride off. Halfway out of the parking lot, he stopped, turned around and came back. "Thanks man", he said, holding the poppy in shaking fingers. "My gandfather was killed over there. That's what I should be thinking about this week .... instead of this", pointing to the black plastic bag slung over his forearm. I took the poppy from him and pinned it to the left lapel of his jacket. "Never mind", I assured, "but do me a favour. When youi're enjoying that today, raise a toast to him from me, as well as from yourself". He smiled, though I could see his eyes were starting to well up.

The next afternoon was the local branch's "parade" to the nearby cenotaph, with pipe bands, vets in their blue and grey, cadet corps, etc. Watching them form up and march off, I couldn't help but notice one person in the watching crowd. Yup, the guy with the bike, but on this day there was no black plastic bag, and I noticed no "shakes". The poppy was proudly pinned to a more presentable, cleaner set of clothes. as the trailing police car passed us, he got on the bike, caught my eye and gave me a clear eyed smile and a wave, and headed off in the direction of the cenotaph.

What happened from there, I know not but I wish him well.

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: James ]


From: Windsor; ON | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 11:38 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by James:
What happened from there, I know not but I wish him well.

Wow. Thanks for sharing that, James.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Stargazer
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posted 11 November 2005 12:52 PM      Profile for Stargazer     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Two minutes of silence isn't enough. My dad enlisted underage in the Korean War. Consequently as a result of that war and all the pain he had suffered (and had inflicted upon others as he acknowledged) he became a really bad drunk. In honour of my dad, who will be marching in the Native Veterans Parade in Winnipeg (he does this every year) I shed tears. Not just for my dad, but for all the people who died, soldiers and victims alike. I hate war, but it's hard to hate the people who fought because some thought they really were doing the right thing.

War Time Contributions of native Peoples


From: Inside every cynical person, there is a disappointed idealist. | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 11 November 2005 01:17 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by sgm:
As one of those who helped to bring up certain episodes of Canadian military history (e.g. the Nile Expedition and the Siberian Expedition), I'm not sure why I'm being accused of ignoring 'parts of history that do not appeal to [my] twenty-first century sensibilities.'

These episodes did indeed happen, and no doubt some of those involved in them believed, for example, that fighting Boers in Africa was necessary to preserve 'their country,' Canada. I mean no disrespect to such fighters when I say that I think they were mistaken to believe that the defence of 'their country' depended on their going at Britain's behest to Sudan, Egypt, or South Africa, as the case might have been.

It seems to me that it might be useful, in the present circumstance, to look at such episodes in Canadian military history--episodes essentially excluded from our Remembrance Day ceremonies--and ask indeed 'why and how they happened.'

For my own part, I certainly don't belong on a 'high hill' from which I can 'judge' Canadian soldiers. It was never my intention to set myself on such a hill.

Nevertheless, I am interested in why the actions of some Canadian soldiers are considered politically useful by those in power in our country, while those of others are considered less so...

Can we talk about that?


I was addressing my reply to what lance said. I think that at that time Canadians in general did feel very much a part of the British Empire, probably especially the soldiers; it's a psychological necessity to think you are not risking your life for nothing, or that your friends died for nothing. And it was World War I that produced so much disillusionment with war.

Look at some Vietnam vets who feel they would have won if they hadn't been betrayed etc.; and who cannot admit the war in Iraq is wrong because that would mean American soldiers' lives are being wasted.

sgm, you make an interesting point about earlier episodes being left out; but Remembrance Day did start because of WWI; it was the first world war and it had a profound effect on all Canadians; and there are still some survivers.


From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
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posted 11 November 2005 01:31 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post
Well, that point does remind me how I did enjoy visiting the Canadian War Museum during the summer. It was very didactic for the average person, if you're interested in military strategy and so on, and the history was very complex and complete (addressing pre-contact societies, European imperialism, all of Canada's various war contributions, etc.), but at the end, it had a open-ended section where the idea is to reflect on why one would support going to war and exactly how one would make the personal choice to fight.

Those are the modern sensibilities that we have in front of us now, not the ones from the 19th century, where we can only speculate about people's motivations for going to war. How about the one of having no other economic option? How many men (and they have been overwhelmingly men) in Canada's history went to war because it was the only option they had?

I know myself, that there are certain conditions under which I will, in fact, fight (I'm not a pacifist), but on many, I will not. I would not have fought in WW1, but I might have in WW2.

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: Hinterland ]


From: Québec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Soul Rebel
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posted 11 November 2005 02:20 PM      Profile for Soul Rebel        Edit/Delete Post
Whoever started this thread just doesn't get it. I don't know where he has been hiding out all his life. I grew up in a military family and have attended many, many Nov. 11 ceremonies from as young as I can remember and I have NEVER heard or seen ANY display of the kind of war-mongering that the originator of this thread seems to suggest that the ceremonies are all about or that the poppy represents. However I do agree with him that if the Nazis had won WW II, we'd be celebrating the glory of the Reich and all that it represents.
From: Calgary | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Lard Tunderin' Jeezus
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posted 11 November 2005 02:35 PM      Profile for Lard Tunderin' Jeezus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
But, given the fact that Hitler came to power...and nothing but military force could stop him...I'm glad...thankful...for the sacrifice of millions of Americans, Canadians, Brits, Russians and others who died to stop him.
I agree with the sentiment, but couldn't help but notice you've listed the countries in reverse order of the degree of sacrifice.

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Fidel
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posted 11 November 2005 02:37 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

What was it about then?

I suppose you'll denigrate the millions of Russians who died, too, because Russian struck the Soviet-Nazi Non-Agression Pact that kept Russia out of the war while Hitler destroyed France and western Europe?


The bulk of WWII was fought on Russia's front door steps. 'Liebensraum' was Hitler's plan all along - to enslave the Russian people and create more living space for the master race. It wasn't Washington or Ottawa or New Orleans or Los Angeles that was laid siege to by about two-thirds of Hitler's war machine. It was Stalingrad and Leningrad and more. The massive destruction and loss of life didn't happen over here, and it didn't require us to pick up the pieces for years afterward. The same goes for the 14 nation invasion of Russia to put down the revolution and WWI. WWII might also be referred to as, " The Imperialist-Corporate Effort to Stop Communism Part Deux or even Trois."

Nobody's denigrating the contribution of the many Yanks who died during WWII. The corporations and banking elite of that era who aided and abetted Hitler can go to hell though.

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
BleedingHeart
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posted 11 November 2005 02:40 PM      Profile for BleedingHeart   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I haven't read the whole thread so forgive me if I missed or repeat anything.

The Tyee article essentially echos the reasons I have not worn a poppy for the last 20 years.

Aside from them falling out and pricking your finger when you put them on.


From: Kickin' and a gougin' in the mud and the blood and the beer | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 11 November 2005 03:18 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Transplant:

But they didn't, because sometimes sanity is not enough to prevail over insanity.


I believe Canadian's wanted to go overseas at the time. Life was grey and boring in Canada then. The economy was the shits, and you couldn't get a drink anywhwere, according to Pierre Burton's book. Montrealers were turfed out of their apartments for non-payment of rent. Many Canadian's and American's were suffering from malnutrition. Both armies said they'd never seen so many emaciated young men unfit for combat - unfit to fight the mother of all battles against fascism.

WWII was a chance to see the world and fight against fascism. The British people were in awe of the Russian Red Army at the time as was the whole world. Governments didn't order our fathers and grandfathers to go, no. Churchill and Roosevelt fully expected the Nazis to occupy the Kremlin in about six weeks time.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 11 November 2005 03:23 PM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
I suppose you'll denigrate the millions of Russians who died, too, because Russian struck the Soviet-Nazi Non-Agression Pact that kept Russia out of the war while Hitler destroyed France and western Europe?

Yes Sven, questioning the conventional wisdom about WWII is equiavlent to denigrating soldiers

I agree that WWII had to be fought in order to stop Hitler, and a good aspect of our victory is that we aren't saluting the swastika. But note that it was our side who won the conflict, so it has been framed entirely from that point of view. It isn't the citizens or the soldiers of a country who decide to go to war, it's the leaders, many of whom have lived comfortable lives and don't know about war firsthand. They made decisions to go to war based on what would benefit them, and sold it using ideas of defending "freedom." What also doesn't receive nearly the attention it deserves is the role that businesses this side of the Atlantic had both in building up Hitler to what he was while at the same time wishing that Canada and the US would go that way. If anyone's denigrating the soldier's lives, I'd say it's the world leaders who used the soldiers as pawns in their sick power games.


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 03:50 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:
I agree that WWII had to be fought in order to stop Hitler, and a good aspect of our victory is that we aren't saluting the swastika. But note that it was our side who won the conflict, so it has been framed entirely from that point of view.

And viewing WWII from our perspective is wrong (or misguided) because…what??

quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:
It isn't the citizens or the soldiers of a country who decide to go to war, it's the leaders, many of whom have lived comfortable lives and don't know about war firsthand. They [the Allied leaders] made decisions to go to war based on what would benefit them, and sold it using ideas of defending "freedom."

First, you say it’s good that we fought the war and won (because, as you tepidly said, “a good aspect of our victory is that we aren’t saluting the swastika”). Yet, at the same time, you criticize the American leadership (and presumably, the Canadian, British and Russian leadership) for actually fighting the war because the leaders “made them do it”. If the result was victory over the Nazis, which you yourself concede was “good”, why do you attack the motives of the leaders (without basis, of course…because many of the leaders in the Allied countries were veterans of WWI and had a plenty good idea of what war means). And how, exactly, was it that the only the leaders of the Allied countries benefited from the victory? With the hundreds of thousands of boys killed and maimed for life, everyone was touched by the tragedy of the war.

quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:
What also doesn't receive nearly the attention it deserves is the role that businesses this side of the Atlantic had both in building up Hitler to what he was while at the same time wishing that Canada and the US would go that way.

And, of course, “evil” capitalism is at the root of everything, now isn’t it?


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 11 November 2005 04:55 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

And, of course, “evil” capitalism is at the root of everything, now isn’t it?


You can say that again.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 05:17 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Hmmmm, okay, then:

And, of course, “evil” capitalism is at the root of everything, now isn’t it?


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 11 November 2005 05:19 PM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
And viewing WWII from our perspective is wrong (or misguided) because…what??

As long as we recognise that it is our own perspective and not the only valid perspective on things, nothing's wrong with it.

quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
First, you say it’s good that we fought the war and won (because, as you tepidly said, “a good aspect of our victory is that we aren’t saluting the swastika”). Yet, at the same time, you criticize the American leadership (and presumably, the Canadian, British and Russian leadership) for actually fighting the war because the leaders “made them do it”. If the result was victory over the Nazis, which you yourself concede was “good”, why do you attack the motives of the leaders (without basis, of course…because many of the leaders in the Allied countries were veterans of WWI and had a plenty good idea of what war means). And how, exactly, was it that the only the leaders of the Allied countries benefited from the victory? With the hundreds of thousands of boys killed and maimed for life, everyone was touched by the tragedy of the war.

Commenting on whether an outcome is good is different than questioning people's motives in a particular course of action. I did not say anything about the decisions of world leaders not benefiting anyone. I'm suggesting that their motivations for making those desicions were not very noble. There's a difference. If you don't believe that our world leaders manipulate us for their own personal gain while saying they want what's best for us, you don't live in the real world.

quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
And, of course, “evil” capitalism is at the root of everything, now isn’t it?

Strawman argument. I never suggested that. Why didn't you directly address the point I made about American businesses supporting Hitler, which Fidel (thank you) has posted information to support?


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
nuclearfreezone
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posted 11 November 2005 05:34 PM      Profile for nuclearfreezone     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Arms dealers made millions while millions died. And now we remember the dead soldiers every Nov.11th. I find the whole thing ironic and very sad.

We put on a really good show on the 11th. We are told to honour our veterans for the sacrifices they made. Then why was there a separate food bank set up for Calgary vets about 10 years ago because they were too embarrassed to go to the main food bank? Why are their pensions so small that they have to rely on food banks? Is that how you honour old soldiers who fought for your freedom? By giving them a pittance to live on after all their sacrifices?

And who, in all these years, has ever remembered the other victims of war? The innocent civilians on both sides who were caught in this madness, who, like my mother, was a slave labourer in Germany and had bombs dropped on her head by the Brits and the Americans?

Who remembers the Underground throughout Europe who fought valiantly against the Nazi invader?

Who remembers the little kids who were maimed, killed, permanently traumatized, and orphaned?

There is no honour and there is no glory in war. War is hell. War is blood and guts and death and disease and hunger and want and fear and terror. It wasn't only the soldiers who suffered through this. It was ordinary people too.

I don't have a problem remembering the sacrifices of these old soldiers. But in today's world we have more conflicts going on than ever before in the history of mankind. Child soldiers in Africa, refugee camps filled with children in Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc., all victims of war.

So it's nice that we remember these old soldiers but we have generations of children growing up with violence. Maybe it's time we started focusing in on them, now, because the war to end all wars didn't end the wars at all. It's getting worse and if we don't stop there may not be anyone left to remember anything at all pretty soon.

One more thing. Many of the guys who signed up in '14 and '39 did so because they were hungry and unemployed. They didn't have mass media back then showing them what war was really about.

I hope I haven't offended anyone with my comments but I have always felt that the innocents should be remembered, too, not just the soldiers who killed them.


From: B.C. | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 11 November 2005 05:35 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
Hmmmm, okay, then:

And, of course, “evil” capitalism is at the root of everything, now isn’t it?


The capitalists love war, yes they do. It's as profitable for Keynesian militarists now as it was then for Standard Oil, Ford, Prescott Bush and his father in the century before that.

If 25 years ago five hundred million people were going hungry, today over 800 million are starving.

quote:

Speaking of the IMF: “The change in mandate and objectives, while it may have been quiet, was hardly subtle: from serving global economic interests to serving the interests of the global finance.”

“The colonial mentality – the certainty of knowing better than developing countries what is best for them - persisted.”

“Globalization today is not working for many of the world’s poor. It is not working for much of the environment. It is not working for the stability of the global economy.” - Joe Stiglitz, former Chief of the World Bank


[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 05:52 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:
Commenting on whether an outcome is good is different than questioning people's motives in a particular course of action. I did not say anything about the decisions of world leaders not benefiting anyone. I'm suggesting that their motivations for making those desicions were not very noble. There's a difference.

So, what were FDR's and Churchill's ignoble motivations for fighting Hitler and the Japanese?


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 05:52 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:
As long as we recognise that it is our own perspective and not the only valid perspective on things, nothing's wrong with it.

Hitler couldn't have agreed with you more.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 05:55 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:
Strawman argument. I never suggested that. Why didn't you directly address the point I made about American businesses supporting Hitler, which Fidel (thank you) has posted information to support?

Actually, if you want to look at a “strawman argument”, then look at your initial critique above. In a discussion of whether it’s good to honor the dead (and maimed) soldiers who have fought for your freedoms, you bring in the “strawman” of ignoble motivations of the Allied leaders and how corporations were profiting on this or that.

Look in the mirror.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 11 November 2005 06:11 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

In a discussion of whether it’s good to honor the dead (and maimed) soldiers who have fought for your freedoms, you bring in the “strawman” of ignoble motivations of the Allied leaders and how corporations were profiting on this or that.

I think the capitalists would prefer to leave it at just that - that supporting the Nazis was merely a business venture and little entrepeneurship abroad. But the problem was at home and around the western world at the time. Factories sat idle and millions were out of work after 30 years of Smithian laissez-faire capitalism and William McKinley-style wars of conquest in the name of "free enterprise." The American ambassador to Germany said in 1938 that it was embarrassing to see American businessmen tripping over one another in Berlin while the economy was still on its knees at home. Slave labour would have meant free labour and maximized bottom lines - total fascism.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 06:27 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
I think the capitalists would prefer to leave it at just that - that supporting the Nazis was merely a business venture and little entrepeneurship abroad. But the problem was at home and around the western world at the time. Factories sat idle and millions were out of work after 30 years of Smithian laissez-faire capitalism and William McKinley-style wars of conquest in the name of "free enterprise." The American ambassador to Germany said in 1938 that it was embarrassing to see American businessmen tripping over one another in Berlin while the economy was still on its knees at home. Slave labour would have meant free labour and maximized bottom lines - total fascism.

So, given that Hitler came to power and that the USA, the Brits and the Russians destroyed his army (at great sacrifice to all, especially the Russians), why would we not honor those who gave their lives for that effort?

Instead, some posters divert the discussion to evil capitalists and the ignoble motivations of the Allied leaders. That is called a strawman.

It’s like saying we shouldn’t honor the 20 million Russian dead simply because Stalin signed the Soviet-Nazi Non-Aggression Pact with Hitler so that Hitler had free reign to conquer France.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 11 November 2005 06:41 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, the Russian's signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact because they thought they might avoid a war, or at least delay the inevitable. Stalin and everyone else knew that Hitler was violating a WWI non-proliferation agreement. Britain's conservative PM, Neville Chamberlain, the French and Italian fascists were for appeasing Hitler, too.

Stalin believed it would be a war between capitalists. Hitler couldn't be stupid enough to invade Russia. When operation barbarossa was set in motion, Stalin fully believed that he would go the way of Czar Nicholas and so many traitors to the people's revolution. For two weeks, Stalin waited at home for the assassins to arrive and line him up at dawn without cigarette or blindfold as the enemy laid siege to Stalingrad, Leningrad and came within 20 miles of Moscow. Was it time to die ?.

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 11 November 2005 06:50 PM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
So, what were FDR's and Churchill's ignoble motivations for fighting Hitler and the Japanese?

I won't speak to that specifically, but there is suspicion that FDR deliberately allowed the Japanese to bomb Pearl Harbor to use as a pretext to enter WWII. How honourable is that?

quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
Hitler couldn't have agreed with you more.

What the hell is that supposed to mean? From what I recall, Hitler wasn't exactly the most patient person in dealing with people who didn't see the world as he did.

quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
Actually, if you want to look at a “strawman argument”, then look at your initial critique above. In a discussion of whether it’s good to honor the dead (and maimed) soldiers who have fought for your freedoms, you bring in the “strawman” of ignoble motivations of the Allied leaders and how corporations were profiting on this or that.

The conventional wisdom around Remembrance Day is that the soldiers fought for our freedom. That's what we're told. I don't think that questioning the motives of the world leaders who sent our soldiers to die in the first place, thereby implicitly challenging conventional wisdom, is out of place on this thread.

I'm trying to challenge your perspective that our leaders during the war were good people who had everyone's best intentions. What about the Western world's (including Canada and the US) refusal to accept Jewish refugees in the 20s and 30s, thereby becoming complicit in their deaths? (Reminder: concentration camps were discovered after Russian troops occupied Germany and the horrors became well known thereafter, so stopping the Holocaust wasn't even on the radar screen in the Western world in '39.) What about the American decision to drop 2 nuclear bombs on whole cities of civilians who suffered the most and didn't do anything to warrant what they got?

I've got an example of leadership for you. Tommy Douglas went over to Germany in the '30s, and saw right away that Hitler was bad news. Canadian Prime Minister McKenzie King said early on that Hitler wasn't such a bad guy after all. Now, King was a world leader, Douglas was a small town Saskatchewan preacher. You'd think that King would have a better grasp on world events than Douglas. So how did Douglas clue into Hitler before King? Was King really incompotent and had no clue what was going on? Or was King fully aware and playing the situation based on what would get him more powerful.


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 11 November 2005 07:16 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:

So how did Douglas clue into Hitler before King? Was King really incompotent and had no clue what was going on? Or was King fully aware and playing the situation based on what would get him more powerful.

I think "Mein Kampf" was in circulation in mid 1920's. How widely was it distributed back then, I don't know.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 07:17 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:
I'm trying to challenge your perspective that our leaders during the war were good people who had everyone's best intentions.

First of all, please tell me where I wrote anything about the Allied leaders prior to you bringing the subject up as a straw man. I didn't assert whether they were good, bad or indifferent nor did I discuss, directly or otherwise, what their intentions were.

So, given that, why are you trying to challenge my "perspective" on something that (1) wasn't even being discussed and (2) you know nothing about?

Secondly, on what basis do you make a blanket conclusion that FDR, Churchill, Charles de Gaul, Eisenhower, and the countless other leaders who controlled the Allied governments weren't "good people"?

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: Sven ]


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 07:18 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: Sven ]


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 11 November 2005 07:28 PM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
First of all, please tell me where I wrote anything about the Allied leaders prior to you bringing the subject up as a straw man. I didn't assert whether they were good, bad or indifferent nor did I discuss, directly or otherwise, what their intentions were.

First you wrote that "While we should remember wars "critically", do you not pause to remember and honor the dead who fought to protect the liberty you enjoy in peace today?" which is what we're taught to believe. Then, when jas pointed out to you that the US waited a few years to enter WWII, you remarked about "denigrating the sacrifices" without addressing the point that was made. You responded to any challenge of conventional wisdom with your "sacrifice, sacrifice, blah blah blah" rhetoric.

quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
Secondly, on what basis do you make a blanket conclusion that FDR, Churchill, Charles de Gaul, Eisenhower, and the countless other leaders who controlled the Allied governments weren't "good people"?

I don't know if I came to a blanket conclusion or if I simply questioned their intentions. And FDR playing games with the lives of American military people to find justification for entering WWII (if those accusations are true) is pretty repugnant.

BTW Sven, if you're going to respond to someone, please try to do make all of your points in one post.

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: Aristotleded24 ]


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 11 November 2005 07:29 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:
I won't speak to that specifically, but there is suspicion that FDR deliberately allowed the Japanese to bomb Pearl Harbor to use as a pretext to enter WWII. How honourable is that?

"Suspicion" is a good way to put it. "An unlikely and unproven conspiracy theory" is a better.

quote:
Over the years, historians dutifully exposed the flaws (and lies) in the revisionist arguments. Those arguments, like most conspiracy theories, had a kernel of truth. FDR certainly favored American intervention in the war, as had been obvious at least since his support for Lend-Lease in 1940. It's also true that Kimmel and Short weren't as well informed of Washington's intelligence as they should have been. But the revisionists have never made the critical leap between motive and action. Most significant, no one ever produced credible evidence that Roosevelt knew the attack was coming. In fact, contemporaneous diaries and accounts show reactions of surprise among top officials.

Recent revelations from Japanese archives have also dealt a blow to the revisionists. Until last year, many people believed that Japan had tried to notify the United States about its plans to make war but that the message had been delayed in transmission. While not necessarily subscribing to the darkest fantasies about FDR's behavior, some skeptics believed that it was Washington—not Tokyo—that was bent on war and refused to pursue available diplomatic channels. But as the New York Times has reported, a researcher working in the Japanese foreign ministry archives recently found documents showing that Tokyo actively chose the path of war and, worse, intentionally concealed its hostile aims, even from its own diplomats in Washington, and that Japanese officials took pride in the deception. The famous message alerting the United States about the attack was in all probability deliberately delayed. While not speaking directly to the question of what FDR knew, this evidence demolishes the portrait of a Japanese government forced into war by Washington's intractability.

As damning to the revisionist claims as the ignorance of facts is the absence of logic. Gaping holes riddle the revisionists' reasoning. Even if FDR sought a Japanese attack as a pretext for war, would he really allow all the major ships of the American fleet to lie vulnerable and so many Americans to be killed? Surely a strike on American soil that was far less crippling would still have aroused the public indignation to make war against an aggressor.

And yet the stories have persisted into our own day, only to be blown apart. Consider:

* In 1981, journalist-historian John Toland published Infamy, which cited an interview with an unidentified seaman who claimed to have intercepted reports of a Japanese aircraft carrier approaching Hawaii just before the raid. But once the seaman was unmasked as Robert Ogg, and the interview on which Toland was relying was made known, it became clear Toland had distorted or misread Ogg's account.

* In 1991, James Rusbridger argued in Betrayal at Pearl Harbor that it was Churchill, not FDR, who suppressed intercepted news of the invasion. But Rusbridger's reliance on the claims of a 92-year-old naval captain persuaded few reviewers.

* This spring, Robert Stinnett published Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor, which uses the fact that American intelligence did seem to intercept Japanese messages not far from Hawaii. But as reviewers noted, Stinnett never demonstrated that those intercepts were fully understood or even relayed to the highest levels. Like many conspiracy theorists, he attributed to high-level plotting what was in fact something far more common: human error.


[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: 'lance ]


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 11 November 2005 07:32 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

I didn't assert whether they were good, bad or indifferent nor did I discuss, directly or otherwise, what their intentions were.
[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: Sven ]

That's right, and neither did we lay blame squarely on the shoulders of Churchill or Roosevelt for ignoring Stalin's pleas, and then, outright demands, for a second front for over two years. So why would you feel the need to defend the western leaders before anyone did start pointing fingers ?.

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 07:34 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:
your "sacrifice, sacrifice, blah blah blah" rhetoric.

Since you apparently do not think much of the sacrifice made by hundreds of thousands of Americans and Canadians (so that you don't have to salute the swastika) but instead dwell on whatever shortcomings you can find about the Allies, then I invite you to share those thoughts with the residents of the nearest veterans' home.

Oh, and you correctly pointed out that it was jas who initiated the strawman argument...you just jumped on the bandwagon. I stand corrected.

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: Sven ]


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 07:35 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:
BTW Sven, if you're going to respond to someone, please try to do make all of your points in one post.

Why?


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 11 November 2005 07:38 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

Since you apparently do not think much of the sacrifice made by hundreds of thousands of Americans and Canadians (so that you don't have to salute the swastika) but instead dwell on whatever shortcomings you can find about the Allies, then I invite you to share those thoughts with the residents of the nearest veterans' home.


What the hell are you talking about?.

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 11 November 2005 07:43 PM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
Since you apparently do not think much of the sacrifice made by hundreds of thousands of Americans and Canadians (so that you don't have to salute the swastika) but instead dwell on whatever shortcomings you can find about the Allies, then I invite you to share those thoughts with the residents of the nearest veterans' home.

You are the one who dwells on the sacrifice aspect every time someone challenges the conventional wisdom surrounding the war. I had relatives who fought in the war and came back scarred. And what makes you think there are no veterans who may share my views about the manipulativeness of our leaders?

Don't forget that many German and Italian soldiers came back from the war wounded, and brought their baggage back to their families. Innocent families. Also remember the bombs that fell on German and Italian cities at the hands of the Allies, killing many and injuring many more. Why are these deaths any less tragic than the deaths and injuries of our own soldiers?


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 07:44 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
What the hell are you talking about?. Do you even know?.

Why do some people have such a hard tim taking even a moment to quietly honor the dead without dragging in all kinds of other things (the ignoble motivations of the Allied leaders and so forth)?

It's like saying, "Yeah, yeah, yeah. They sacrificed their lives and all. But, what about the evil corporations?!?! And, what about the ignoble motivations of the Allied leaders?!?! And what about this and what about that?!?!

For some, their hatred of the military is so great that they cannot refrain from attacking it even while they give a cursory nod of the hat to the fallen soldiers who made your nice life in Canada possible.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 07:48 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:
You are the one who dwells on the sacrifice aspect every time someone challenges the conventional wisdom surrounding the war.

What are these "conventional wisdoms" surrounding the war that you keep harping about?

And, yes, I'm "dwelling" on the sacrifice of fallen soldiers because that the whole point of Remembrance Day. You have 364 days of the year to discuss the history of political and military decisions. How about one day of respect for the dead?


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 07:49 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:
Don't forget that many German and Italian soldiers came back from the war wounded, and brought their baggage back to their families. Innocent families. Also remember the bombs that fell on German and Italian cities at the hands of the Allies, killing many and injuring many more. Why are these deaths any less tragic than the deaths and injuries of our own soldiers?

Strawman once again.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
karmapolice
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posted 11 November 2005 07:51 PM      Profile for karmapolice     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

Since you apparently do not think much of the sacrifice made by hundreds of thousands of Americans and Canadians (so that you don't have to salute the swastika) but instead dwell on whatever shortcomings you can find about the Allies, then I invite you to share those thoughts with the residents of the nearest veterans' home.[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: Sven ]


thanks to the honoured dead and the surviving Vets, we live in a nation that allows contrary points of view, regardless of their validity. the soldiers that fought, and died, for the freedoms and liberties we celebrate today should never be forgotten or belittled. liberty comes with a price.

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: karmapolice ]


From: T Dot | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 07:52 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Let me ask you a very simple question, Aristotleded24:

Do you honor and respect the young men who gave their lives to crush the Nazi armies so that you can enjoy the freedoms you have today?


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 11 November 2005 07:52 PM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
And, yes, I'm "dwelling" on the sacrifice of fallen soldiers because that the whole point of Remembrance Day. You have 364 days of the year to discuss the history of political and military decisions. How about one day of respect for the dead?

What better way to honour and respect the dead than by thinking about the root causes of war and making sure it never happens again?

(BTW I asked you to put your entire response in a single post because the more posts there are on a topic, the more likely it is that it will be shut down. It's also misleading to see what looks like several different points by different people actually turn out to be one person posting repeatedly)


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 11 November 2005 07:55 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
It's like saying, "Yeah, yeah, yeah. They sacrificed their lives and all. But, what about the evil corporations?!?! And, what about the ignoble motivations of the Allied leaders?!?! And what about this and what about that?!?!


So now you're off of the capitalists and on with our then fearless leaders of the day. What does the collective sacrifice of thousands of volunteer Americans and Canadians have to do with the appalling greed of a few influential, powerful capitalists and one Prescott Bush and his personal crusade for eugenics?.

I laid a wreath at dad's grave. I have venom for corporations and their paid lackeys, yes. Our fathers fought for our rights to speak out on any damned day of the year we want to. So bugger off with the minute of silence. I did that already. I do it every year. Don't begin to tell us what the hell its all about, because you don't have a clue.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 11 November 2005 07:55 PM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
Do you honor and respect the young men who gave their lives to crush the Nazi armies so that you can enjoy the freedoms you have today?

Yes, I honour the lives lost. I went to the service at the college yesterday, and I went to the service offered by the Legion today. I'm greatful that they stopped Hitler. However, I can't help but wonder if they were caught up in a sick power game. Questioning a government's intentions is not the same as dishonour and respect.

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: Aristotleded24 ]


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 11 November 2005 07:57 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:

I believe Canadian's wanted to go overseas at the time. Life was grey and boring in Canada then. The economy was the shits, and you couldn't get a drink anywhwere, according to Pierre Burton's book. Montrealers were turfed out of their apartments for non-payment of rent. Many Canadian's and American's were suffering from malnutrition. Both armies said they'd never seen so many emaciated young men unfit for combat - unfit to fight the mother of all battles against fascism.


A great-uncle of mine, born around 1914, left school in 1929. When he joined the Navy in 1939, it was the closest thing to a steady job he'd had.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 07:57 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:
What better way to honour and respect the dead than by thinking about the root causes of war and making sure it never happens again?

That you were doing an examination of the root causes of WWII is news to me.

The fundamental and most direct "root causes" are (1) the screw up at Versaille and (2) the existence of evil men like Hitler.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 07:59 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:
However, I can't help but wonder if they were caught up in a sick power game.

Who is the "they" you are talking about?


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 11 November 2005 08:04 PM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:
The fundamental and most direct "root causes" are (1) the screw up at Versaille and (2) the existence of evil men like Hitler.

That's a simplistic answer. Evil people like Hitler have been around for a long time, and evil people like Hilter existed in every country. So what was special about Germany that allowed Hitler to rise up to power, while no Hitlers came to power in the Scandinavian countries, for instance? Are you going to say there are no evil people in Scandinavia?

Note also that I didn't say examining the root causes of WWII, I said examining the root causes of war in general.

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: Aristotleded24 ]


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 08:05 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:

That's a simplistic answer. Evil people like Hitler have been around for a long time, and evil people like Hilter existed in every country. So what was special about Germany that allowed Hitler to rise up to power, while no Hitlers came to power in the Scandinavian countries, for instance? Are you going to say there are no evil people in Scandinavia?


See point no. (1) in my post.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 11 November 2005 08:08 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by 'lance:

A great-uncle of mine, born around 1914, left school in 1929. When he joined the Navy in 1939, it was the closest thing to a steady job he'd had.


Good thing he wasn't a merchant mariner. Those guys got screwed for pensions and benefits just after the war and probably saw more dangerous combat than the reg forces guys by what I've read. Was he a Yank or a Canuck ?.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 11 November 2005 08:09 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:
That's a simplistic answer.

Okay, then. You tell me what the root causes of war are (either WWII specifically or war generally).


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Andrew_Jay
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posted 11 November 2005 08:12 PM      Profile for Andrew_Jay        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:
So what was special about Germany that allowed Hitler to rise up to power, while no Hitlers came to power in the Scandinavian countries, for instance? Are you going to say there are no evil people in Scandinavia?
Oh God, not some foolishness about Scandanavia, with its wonderful welfare state, being the source of all virtue and goodness in the world.

I'll refer you to:

Finland which fought with the Germans (because comrade Stalin invaded, no less).

Sweden which remained neutral.

Norway and a certain Vidkun Quisling.


From: Extremism is easy. You go right and meet those coming around from the far left | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 11 November 2005 08:13 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There has been a fire in some veterans' housing in Edmonton today, probably started by smoking. One man is dead.

It's my understanding that Finland was at war with the USSR; so they were good guys until the USSR broke with Germany and joined the Allies; then Finland were suddenly grouped with the bad guys, much to their surprise.

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: Contrarian ]


From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 11 November 2005 08:13 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
[double post cut]

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: 'lance ]


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 11 November 2005 08:14 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:

Good thing he wasn't a merchant mariner. Those guys got screwed for pensions and benefits just after the war and probably saw more dangerous combat than the reg forces guys by what I've read. Was he a Yank or a Canuck ?.


A Canuck. He was a radio operator on the HMCS Athabaskan when it was torpedoed.

As he was standing on the deck with his best friend, trying to figure out how to get off, his friend's head was blown off by a piece of shrapnel.

My uncle was eventually rescued by the Haida.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Américain Égalitaire
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posted 11 November 2005 08:32 PM      Profile for Américain Égalitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Just as a reminder, they weren't all men.

Caption: Perhaps 200 people came out to Old Fort York and the Strachan Military Cemetery for a Remembrance Day service, November 11, 2005.
RICHARD LAUTENS/TORONTO STAR


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 11 November 2005 08:34 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Andrew_Jay:
Oh God, not some foolishness about Scandanavia, with its wonderful welfare state, being the source of all virtue and goodness in the world.

The Norwegian resistance were told by London not to allow Norsk Hyrdro heavy water to find its way to Berlin. It didn't.

And Sweden's
Raoul Wallenberg worked tirelessly in saving thousands of Hungarian Jews from Adolf Eichmann's terror. Thousands of safehouses in Budapest were protected by the Swedish flag.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Américain Égalitaire
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posted 11 November 2005 08:37 PM      Profile for Américain Égalitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
And neither were they all straight:

Caption: Gay veterans Marine Corp. Sgt. Mario Benfield, left, with the U.S. flag; Navy Petty Officer John Zullo, center, with the California flag, and Army Air Force Cpl. Robert Potter, with the Gay and Lesbian Rainbow coalition flag, march in Oakland, Calif., on Veterans Day, Friday, Nov. 11, 2005. Gay veterans and activists held their own parade and memorial service to honor the contributions of gays and lesbians in the military and to protest the Pentagon's 'Don't ask, Don't tell' policy. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 11 November 2005 09:07 PM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Andrew_Jay:
Oh God, not some foolishness about Scandanavia, with its wonderful welfare state, being the source of all virtue and goodness in the world.

Andrew, try reading people's posts before responding. It will do you good, and you might even learn something.

I never brought up or alluded to the welfare state. I used the examples of the Scandinavian countries because of their lesser roles in the war. Sven stated that the cause of war is evil men like Hitler. I pointed out that evil men like Hitler existed back then in the Scandinavian countries as well, and my question was if it's a simple matter of evil men, why are we specifically talking about Nazi Germany and not also Nazi Finland, Nazi Sweden, Nazi Norway, etc?


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 11 November 2005 09:16 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Because Germany was a bigger and more powerful country? Kind of dominating Europe? They didn't split it up after the war just for fun.

A woman on the radio was a survivor of the Warsaw uprising and ended up in various camps. When the soldiers came and liberated her camp, I doubt that she asked them about the ignoble motives of their leaders; she was just glad to be liberated.

Remembrance Day is not about the leaders who choose to go to war; it's about the people who fought and died in them.


From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 11 November 2005 09:36 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:

Sven stated that the cause of war is evil men like Hitler. I pointed out that evil men like Hitler existed back then in the Scandinavian countries as well, and my question was if it's a simple matter of evil men, why are we specifically talking about Nazi Germany and not also Nazi Finland, Nazi Sweden, Nazi Norway, etc?

Yes, Hitler wasn't very popular among the German working class in the 1920s. He spent time in jail and wasn't winning friends or influencing enemies with his anti-semitic rants. That all changed with the distribution of pamphlets entitled
The Road to Resurgence to leading industrialists and banking elite. It mentioned preserving private enterprise and cracking down on trade unions. Money poured into Nazi party coffers after that.

Corporations like
IBM still deny knowing anything about slave labour and concentration camps in Nazi Germany to this day.

[ 11 November 2005: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
voice of the damned
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posted 11 November 2005 11:47 PM      Profile for voice of the damned     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
And Sweden's
Raoul Wallenberg worked tirelessly in saving thousands of Hungarian Jews from Adolf Eichmann's terror. Thousands of safehouses in Budapest were protected by the Swedish flag.

Yeah, and it's probably the case that if Sweden HAD entered the war on the side of the allies, the only tangible result would've been the Nazi invasion of Sweden, followed by the usual repression, deportations, etc. And there likely wouldn't have been any Swedish safe houses either.

And, no this isn't some "oh those wonderful Swedes" gush. They've got their moral failings like anywhere else.


From: Asia | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 12 November 2005 12:14 AM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Contrarian:
A woman on the radio was a survivor of the Warsaw uprising and ended up in various camps. When the soldiers came and liberated her camp, I doubt that she asked them about the ignoble motives of their leaders; she was just glad to be liberated.

Remembrance Day is not about the leaders who choose to go to war; it's about the people who fought and died in them.


Thank you for that humble reminder about liberation, Contrarian. There are other examples of liberation we can point to, such as The Netherlands. However, in remembering the people who died in war, I still don't think discussion around the root causes of war is out of place.

And I really regret using my Scandinavian example and opening a can of worms about the "welfare state" and "socialist paradise." For my own purposes, I could have substitued many other countries with "Scandinavia," and my original point would not have been lost.


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 12 November 2005 12:34 AM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Your point being that in other countries a Hitler might not have been able to take power? Well, look at who's in charge of the USA today; sometimes you just get the scum rising to the top. In smaller countries it would not affect the rest of the world so much; look at the ruler of Uzbekistan, or Idi Amin, or Papa Doc; evil people, but with a smaller sphere of influence.

I think Germany was a major power and without Hitler maybe it would still have started a war, or maybe it would have just bullied its neighbours. But it couldn't be ignored.

[ 12 November 2005: Message edited by: Contrarian ]


From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 12 November 2005 12:48 AM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Contrarian:
Your point being that in other countries a Hitler might not have been able to take power?

No. Again, Sven placed blame for WWII on Hitler because Hitler was an evil man (and he also mentioned the Treaty of Versailles). I found that analysis to be simplistic, and said, evil people were in every country at the time, so if it's mainly evil men, why didn't a powerful Hitler arise in other countries? I never claimed that it was impossible.


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 12 November 2005 12:51 AM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:
That's a simplistic answer.

Okay, then. You tell me what the root causes of war are (either WWII specifically or war generally).


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 12 November 2005 01:14 AM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by voice of the damned:

Yeah, and it's probably the case that if Sweden HAD entered the war on the side of the allies, the only tangible result would've been the Nazi invasion of Sweden, followed by the usual repression, deportations, etc. And there likely wouldn't have been any Swedish safe houses either.


It's hard to say. There were occupied countries that collaborated with the Nazis in rounding up their Jews, and then there were occupied nations where Jewry had higher survival rates than the rest. The records are there.

And some historians are saying that more Jews could have been saved at Birkenau and Auschwitz.

Aerial photos of the camps have been discovered relatively recently and indicate that there was increased activity there by the Nazis of some significance - networks of railroads converging there from across Europe, billowing smoke stacks etc. The allies apparently refused to mistake the death camps as being a munitions or other weapons factory.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
siren
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posted 12 November 2005 03:48 AM      Profile for siren     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Plhgh.

You guys with your "great (or evil) men of history" theories. Old news, old historical analysis.

What we need to understand is why the PEOPLE of Germany supported Hitler.

BTW thank you EA for your posts about women and gays serving in the war(s).

Frankly civilians suffer a disportionate amount in war. Do we take a day or a minute to honour them?


From: Of course we could have world peace! But where would be the profit in that? | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
siren
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posted 12 November 2005 04:04 AM      Profile for siren     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Sorry to double post, but did anyone notice this affirmation of my up thread suggestion that this Remembrance day felt different than others?

quote:

Veterans turn their back on GG in protest
CTV.ca News Staff

It was meant to be a solemn occasion to honour fallen soldiers, but a small number of veterans chose Friday's Remembrance Day ceremony in Ottawa to launch their protest against Canada's new Governor General.

As Michaelle Jean laid a memorial wreath on the War Memorial, the words "Turn, turn," were called out, and about 25 people, led by veterans, turned their backs on the Governor General.

It was meant as a statement against the newly appointed Jean, who the protesters believe has separatist sympathies.


The news coverage on CTV showed a young man/boy saying that he thought the protest by the few vets was wrong. One of the vets countered him by saying that he (the vet) had earned his right to be at the ceremony while the young man had not(!). The young man took his poppy out of his lapel and let it drop to the ground saying that he would never wear the poppy again.

Yes, a real high point in Canada.

What was it that Lester Pearson said -- that we prepare for war like precocious giants but for peace like retarded pygmies. Not terribly politically correct -- but true.

Perhaps we should put some effort into preparing for peace?


From: Of course we could have world peace! But where would be the profit in that? | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
obscurantist
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posted 12 November 2005 04:34 AM      Profile for obscurantist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
On the other hand, I heard on the radio news yesterday about the protest against the private-health-care-options conference that was being held in Vancouver on Remembrance Day. I looked in vain for an online story that included the detail I heard on the news, that the protest was attended by some veterans. One of them was quoted to the effect that veterans of World War II and the Korean war had played a role in getting Canada to set up the public-health-care system in the first place, and pointed out the irony of this conference being held on Remembrance Day.

For some reason, it choked me up. Some vets are still fighting for what they value about Canada. The people turning away from the G-G, I wouldn't call that a constructive gesture. But the protest against the private-health-care conference... the vets are still setting a positive example for the rest of us to follow, and in this case, the originally jingoistic lines "from failing hands we throw / The torch, be yours to hold it high" seem apt.


From: an unweeded garden | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Reason
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posted 12 November 2005 04:35 AM      Profile for Reason   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stargazer:
Two minutes of silence isn't enough. My dad enlisted underage in the Korean War. Consequently as a result of that war and all the pain he had suffered (and had inflicted upon others as he acknowledged) he became a really bad drunk. In honour of my dad, who will be marching in the Native Veterans Parade in Winnipeg (he does this every year) I shed tears. Not just for my dad, but for all the people who died, soldiers and victims alike. I hate war, but it's hard to hate the people who fought because some thought they really were doing the right thing.

War Time Contributions of native Peoples



Stargazer, I know it is late, but please... Pass on my thanks to your dad. This ole WO does appreciate the pain. I sincerely hope that on this day, he found peace. I hope that he will continue to find peace.

Cheers


From: Ontario | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Reason
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posted 12 November 2005 04:41 AM      Profile for Reason   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by nuclearfreezone:
Arms dealers made millions while millions died. And now we remember the dead soldiers every Nov.11th. I find the whole thing ironic and very sad.

We put on a really good show on the 11th. We are told to honour our veterans for the sacrifices they made. Then why was there a separate food bank set up for Calgary vets about 10 years ago because they were too embarrassed to go to the main food bank? Why are their pensions so small that they have to rely on food banks? Is that how you honour old soldiers who fought for your freedom? By giving them a pittance to live on after all their sacrifices?

And who, in all these years, has ever remembered the other victims of war? The innocent civilians on both sides who were caught in this madness, who, like my mother, was a slave labourer in Germany and had bombs dropped on her head by the Brits and the Americans?

Who remembers the Underground throughout Europe who fought valiantly against the Nazi invader?

Who remembers the little kids who were maimed, killed, permanently traumatized, and orphaned?

There is no honour and there is no glory in war. War is hell. War is blood and guts and death and disease and hunger and want and fear and terror. It wasn't only the soldiers who suffered through this. It was ordinary people too.

I don't have a problem remembering the sacrifices of these old soldiers. But in today's world we have more conflicts going on than ever before in the history of mankind. Child soldiers in Africa, refugee camps filled with children in Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc., all victims of war.

So it's nice that we remember these old soldiers but we have generations of children growing up with violence. Maybe it's time we started focusing in on them, now, because the war to end all wars didn't end the wars at all. It's getting worse and if we don't stop there may not be anyone left to remember anything at all pretty soon.

One more thing. Many of the guys who signed up in '14 and '39 did so because they were hungry and unemployed. They didn't have mass media back then showing them what war was really about.

I hope I haven't offended anyone with my comments but I have always felt that the innocents should be remembered, too, not just the soldiers who killed them.



You have not offended a reasonable soul that I can think of. It wasn't just soldiers that died during the wars in question after all. I do remember them all, on this day, and all days. Civilian, military, aid worker alike,=.


From: Ontario | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Reason
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posted 12 November 2005 04:47 AM      Profile for Reason   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:

What better way to honour and respect the dead than by thinking about the root causes of war and making sure it never happens again?

(BTW I asked you to put your entire response in a single post because the more posts there are on a topic, the more likely it is that it will be shut down. It's also misleading to see what looks like several different points by different people actually turn out to be one person posting repeatedly)


There is only one root cause to war... GREED.


From: Ontario | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Reason
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posted 12 November 2005 04:54 AM      Profile for Reason   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by siren:
Sorry to double post, but did anyone notice this affirmation of my up thread suggestion that this Remembrance day felt different than others?

The news coverage on CTV showed a young man/boy saying that he thought the protest by the few vets was wrong. One of the vets countered him by saying that he (the vet) had earned his right to be at the ceremony while the young man had not(!). The young man took his poppy out of his lapel and let it drop to the ground saying that he would never wear the poppy again.

Yes, a real high point in Canada.

What was it that Lester Pearson said -- that we prepare for war like precocious giants but for peace like retarded pygmies. Not terribly politically correct -- but true.

Perhaps we should put some effort into preparing for peace?


It is a damned shame I did not parade in Ottawa. I would have chalenged the idiots that turned their backs on the Hon GG.

"Earned..."? Rest assured they do not speak for the CF.

As to the rest of your post, you are right. The rest of Canada must prepare for peace... But you have to allow the CF to prepare for war. The reason why we are the best peacekeepers on the planet, is because the others know we are amongst the best war fighters on the planet (even with our understrength, under equiped army). When the other guy knows that you are better at a thing (war) then they are, they are more willing to negotiate peace.

It is a bullshit thing, but it is true none the less. Perhaps some day it will be less true.


From: Ontario | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
MasterDebator
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posted 12 November 2005 05:18 AM      Profile for MasterDebator        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by obscurantist:
Well, I'm with Stephen Harper on this issue and this issue alone. The damn things keep falling off, that's the main reason I don't wear one.

Look, ... all you do is push the pin through the outer edge of the flower part once it comes through the fabric, ... you've got to kind of retard the pin a bit before advancing it, but once you get the hang of it they stick pretty good.


From: Goose Country Road, Prince George, BC | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
obscurantist
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posted 12 November 2005 05:23 AM      Profile for obscurantist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thanks MD. I have to admit I was being somewhat flip with that comment -- it's not really a factor for me that poppies take a bit of work to keep them from falling off.
From: an unweeded garden | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
bigcitygal
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posted 12 November 2005 09:18 AM      Profile for bigcitygal     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Never have I read the words "died for your freedom" and "honouring our war dead" used so many times, non-ironically, on a babble thread.

A big thank you to to kurichina, nuclearfreezone, and others who have commented on the reflexive and, yes, over sentimentalized and overtly romanticized notions of the perspective of soldiers and war.

Now that the day has passed, perhaps emotions will not be so ignited.

My thoughts: I am cognizantly aware of war and its fallout pretty much every day. I'm aware that I live a life of Western privilege because of overseas wars both past and present, wars in which Canada has engaged, and those that it hasn't. As well as less publicized local and national "wars".

As a woman I have an acute understanding of what war is like, for both women soldiers and civilians, and the intrinsic fact that rape as a war "strategy" is universally known, and almost never spoken of.

I'm 39, and have no living relatives that experienced war. Yet I know this.

For any man to extole the nobility, honour or justification of any war is to not understand the very essence of what war does to civilians and, yes, to soldiers. There is nothing noble in war. Ever.

I remember, every day and with the actions in my life, I remember.

I have a button that I wear this time of year. It reads "To Remember is to End All War"


From: It's difficult to work in a group when you're omnipotent - Q | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Makwa
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posted 12 November 2005 11:17 AM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thank you Stargazer for the link about FN people and their wartime contributions. Rememberance day is always somewhat emotional for me, as my mother, Elder and adopted father served in WWII or Korea. For the Cree in my family, military service has always been common. Perhaps this is a means of recapturing the warrior tradition, who sacrifices for the good of the community. However, I can see the risk in sentimentalizing and romanticizing warfare. Still, I believe that warfare in defence of community and to protect the innocent may be necessary at times, and for those who serve, respect and honour is appropriate. From Stargazer's link, one quote stood out for me:

"In Cree we say 'Kahgee pohn noten took' on Remembrance Day. It means, 'the fighting has ended'."

- Irene Plante, veteran's widow (108)


From: Here at the glass - all the usual problems, the habitual farce | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 12 November 2005 01:09 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by siren:
You guys with your "great (or evil) men of history" theories. Old news, old historical analysis.

What we need to understand is why the PEOPLE of Germany supported Hitler.


A historical analysis, in many instances should be a mixture of "the people" and the "great men" theories. But to simply dismiss "great man" theory is to ignore an important creator of history.

Truman, and Truman alone, made the decision to drop the atomic bombs on Japan. Had he elected not to do so, the bombs would not have been dropped. Hitler, and Hitler alone, made the decision to invade his neighbors. Had he not decided to do that, it is likely that they would never have been invaded. To deny the power of Churchill's moral leadership during the relentless attacks on Britain is to ignore a principal force of courage.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
brebis noire
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posted 12 November 2005 01:20 PM      Profile for brebis noire     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Um, your Truman theory is full of holes: just for starters, I doubt he had even an elementary grasp of the nuclear physics required to *build* the bomb in the first place. He didn't will it into existence through his position as a 'great man'.
From: Quebec | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Ron Webb
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posted 12 November 2005 01:41 PM      Profile for Ron Webb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by bigcitygal:
There is nothing noble in war. Ever.
Not even to defend your own nation if it is under attack?

From: Winnipeg | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 12 November 2005 01:52 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Ron Webb:
Not even to defend your own nation if it is under attack?

Just as suffering doesn't convey virtue, necessity doesn't imply nobility.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ron Webb
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posted 12 November 2005 02:05 PM      Profile for Ron Webb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
So defending your fellow citizens from attack is ignoble?
Let me rephrase that: If I see thug on the street attacking an innocent person, and I step in at great personal risk to defend that person, then that is a noble act? UNLESS the thug happens to be from another country and has brought a few thousand of his friends, in which case defending my fellow citizen(s) becomes ignoble?

[ 12 November 2005: Message edited by: Ron Webb ]


From: Winnipeg | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Jim Schmitt
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posted 12 November 2005 02:07 PM      Profile for Jim Schmitt     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This article is appaling! It is an insult to the memory of my late father, who served in the Canadian army in WWII, and the countless other people who sacrificed their lives to stop the Nazi menace and protect the freedoms we have today. Do you think a Nazi world would allow idiots like this "teacher" to write articles of this nature! Of course not. It is an insult to the memory of Jews, gypsies, Slavs and gays who were slaughtered by the Nazis.

The treatment of Japanese Canadians in the war was disgraceful, to say the least, and some Italian Canadians were sent to camps as well. Tommy Douglas' opposition to Japanese internment and support of civil rights in general is why he is one of my heroes and I'm a proud New Democrat. But the veterans did not clamor for these policies. Why should we blame them for it then?


From: Port Moody, BC | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 12 November 2005 02:34 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Schmitt:
Tommy Douglas' opposition to Japanese internment and support of civil rights in general is why he is one of my heroes and I'm a proud New Democrat. But the veterans did not clamor for these policies. Why should we blame them for it then?

And Tommy protested Trudeau's invoking the War Measures Act and the ensuing roundup of socialists, union leaders and social workers right here in Canada.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Jim Schmitt
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posted 12 November 2005 03:09 PM      Profile for Jim Schmitt     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
This is true as well. Tommy was a class act, a man who stood up for working people and farmers, for bread-and-butter issues. And now we've lost the historical bastion of Saskatchewan thanks to Layton's leadership because of his support of the gun registry. This is an attack on many rank-and-file New Democrats.

[ 12 November 2005: Message edited by: Jim Schmitt ]


From: Port Moody, BC | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Jim Schmitt
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posted 12 November 2005 03:12 PM      Profile for Jim Schmitt     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I should also add that my father's politics were also NDP - and Douglas was already a hero for me before the War Measures Act.
From: Port Moody, BC | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Jim Schmitt
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posted 12 November 2005 03:15 PM      Profile for Jim Schmitt     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
To return to the subject at hand: Why won't any of our parties stand for a strong and proud Canadian military? The Liberals slashed it to ridiculous levels when Martin was finance minister. The NDP under Layton, if anything, thinks we're still too militaristic! And the Tories just want a strong military that's subservient to Bush and his gang of neocon scumbags.
From: Port Moody, BC | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 12 November 2005 03:32 PM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Reason:
There is only one root cause to war... GREED.

Makes enough sense to me.

Reason, I know we've locked horns on babble before, but I want you to know that I have enjoyed your thoughtful and eloquent contributions to this thread.


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Reason
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posted 12 November 2005 03:52 PM      Profile for Reason   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:

Makes enough sense to me.

Reason, I know we've locked horns on babble before, but I want you to know that I have enjoyed your thoughtful and eloquent contributions to this thread.


Thanks, we will probably lock horns again, and with others.

I am trying to step back and think harder before going all reactionary. Surprising, it is something I find much easier to do on the street in real life then here in cyber space. (I would have thought the oppoisite to be true)

(Oh, I do enjoy alot of your posts, Stargazer's too... I'll just avoid "law & order" type things for the next lil while).


From: Ontario | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Reason
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posted 12 November 2005 03:54 PM      Profile for Reason   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Jim Schmitt:
To return to the subject at hand: Why won't any of our parties stand for a strong and proud Canadian military? The Liberals slashed it to ridiculous levels when Martin was finance minister. The NDP under Layton, if anything, thinks we're still too militaristic! And the Tories just want a strong military that's subservient to Bush and his gang of neocon scumbags.


I don;t read the NDP defense policy that way. In fact, the only beef I have with the NDP policy is pegging deployments and peacekeeping to the UN. The UN has proven to be a failure WRT peacekeeping over the past 20 years.


From: Ontario | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
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posted 12 November 2005 03:55 PM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Reason:
(Oh, I do enjoy alot of your posts, Stargazer's too... I'll just avoid "law & order" type things for the next lil while).

Don't feel as if you have to avoid Law and Order. It's not a bad TV show at all!


From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
Reason
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posted 12 November 2005 03:57 PM      Profile for Reason   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Aristotleded24:

Don't feel as if you have to avoid Law and Order. It's not a bad TV show at all!


LOL Ya put a big ole smile on my face. Have a nice weekend, and too all the rest of the readers, I have to go to work.

Cheers


From: Ontario | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 12 November 2005 04:11 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by brebis noire:
Um, your Truman theory is full of holes: just for starters, I doubt he had even an elementary grasp of the nuclear physics required to *build* the bomb in the first place. He didn't will it into existence through his position as a 'great man'.

Of course not.

But, then, if you *really* believed the "great man" perspective had no validity, they why would you worry about GWB? In other words, if history is driven principally by "the people" and little, if at all, by "great leaders", then GWB is harmless.

The reason that is an argument that you do not make is because certain people have power disproportionate to their number (one). Therefore, as individuals, they have great influence on events.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sven
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posted 12 November 2005 04:13 PM      Profile for Sven     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by 'lance:

Just as suffering doesn't convey virtue, necessity doesn't imply nobility.


Selfless sacrifice does imply nobility. The necessity of tilling the soil and killing animals in order to survive is not noble. Defending your family and your village by giving your life to protect them is.


From: Eleutherophobics of the World...Unite!!!!! | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Jim Schmitt
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posted 12 November 2005 04:20 PM      Profile for Jim Schmitt     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Reason:
I don;t read the NDP defense policy that way. In fact, the only beef I have with the NDP policy is pegging deployments and peacekeeping to the UN. The UN has proven to be a failure WRT peacekeeping over the past 20 years.

So how do you read the NDP's defense policy?


From: Port Moody, BC | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
blake 3:17
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posted 12 November 2005 04:39 PM      Profile for blake 3:17     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Gay veterans and activists held their own parade and memorial service to honor the contributions of gays and lesbians in the military and to protest the Pentagon's 'Don't ask, Don't tell' policy. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

Cool. Thanks for sharing!


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 12 November 2005 05:28 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Ron Webb:
So defending your fellow citizens from attack is ignoble?
Let me rephrase that: If I see thug on the street attacking an innocent person, and I step in at great personal risk to defend that person, then that is a noble act? UNLESS the thug happens to be from another country and has brought a few thousand of his friends, in which case defending my fellow citizen(s) becomes ignoble?

Read for comprehension, my dear fellow. I didn't say it was "ignoble." I said it's not necessarily noble, though it may be admirable. "Noble" is one of those words we should be very leery of, in my opinion.

Some veterans of the Second World War, e.g., wave off words like "nobility" and "sacrifice," and would rather talk instead about having had to do a job. I don't think this is false modesty. I suspect they had a bellyful of such words in their youth, and got to see, close up, the sordid realities that such words are typically used to mask.

[ 12 November 2005: Message edited by: 'lance ]


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ron Webb
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posted 12 November 2005 05:48 PM      Profile for Ron Webb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by 'lance:
Read for comprehension, my dear fellow. I didn't say it was "ignoble." I said it's not necessarily noble, though it may be admirable. "Noble" is one of those words we should be very leery of, in my opinion.
I was disputing bigcitygal's statement that "There is nothing noble in war. Ever." If you agree that defending your fellow citizens, either individually or collectively, may be admirable, then I think we're on the same side here. I wear a poppy to express my admiration for those who have earned it, in particular those who have gone to war to protect the freedom of others. It does not imply that I think all actions in war are admirable, or that all causes are worth fighting for.

From: Winnipeg | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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Babbler # 4795

posted 12 November 2005 06:31 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
Universal Soldier

by Buffy Sainte-Marie

quote:
I wrote "Universal Soldier" in the basement of The Purple Onion coffee house in Toronto in the early sixties. It's about individual responsibility for war and how the old feudal thinking kills us all. Donovan had a hit with it in 1965.

He's five feet two and he's six feet four

He fights with missiles and with spears

He's all of 31 and he's only 17

He's been a soldier for a thousand years

He's a Catholic, a Hindu, an athiest, a Jain,

a Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew

and he knows he shouldn't kill

and he knows he always will

kill you for me my friend and me for you

And he's fighting for Canada,

he's fighting for France,

he's fighting for the USA,

and he's fighting for the Russians

and he's fighting for Japan,

and he thinks we'll put an end to war this way

And he's fighting for Democracy

and fighting for the Reds

He says it's for the peace of all

He's the one who must decide

who's to live and who's to die

and he never sees the writing on the walls

But without him how would Hitler have

condemned him at Dachau

Without him Caesar would have stood alone

He's the one who gives his body

as a weapon to a war

and without him all this killing can't go on

He's the universal soldier and he

really is to blame

His orders come from far away no more

They come from him, and you, and me

and brothers can't you see

this is not the way we put an end to war.

From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
'lance
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1064

posted 12 November 2005 06:54 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Sven:

Selfless sacrifice does imply nobility. The necessity of tilling the soil and killing animals in order to survive is not noble. Defending your family and your village by giving your life to protect them is.


To extend your pastoral metaphor: I've concluded that when someone uses the word "noble" as a term of praise (that is, they're not simply referring to this or that titled unemployable, snoozing in the House of Lords), they're spreading sheepshit in the hope that something beautiful will grow.


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
jas
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Babbler # 9529

posted 12 November 2005 10:47 PM      Profile for jas     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Ron Webb:
I wear a poppy to express my admiration for those who have earned it, in particular those who have gone to war to protect the freedom of others...

It's this constant repetition of war propaganda 'fighting for freedom' 'democracy' etc., that gets irksome. In 1939 it was fascism, in the 50's and 60's it was communism. Today it's freedom from 'TERROR'.

I agree with 'lance that the ones who actually fought might know best whether words like 'noble' and 'sacrifice' truly apply. If sacrifice is an accurate descriptor, then we would like to know for whom or what purpose these people 'gave' their lives, without deliberately obtuse, sentimental, and totally untruthful references to God or the Queen, Freedom, Democracy, the Homeland, or the flag. That these kinds of references are making their way repeatedly into babble discussions is very surprising.

No one here is denigrating the contribution of those who fought, those who followed commands, those who enlisted because at the time it seemed like the right or only thing to do. I think some here are merely trying to separate the propagandistic sentimentality from the underlying politics and sometimes absolute pointlessness, terrorism and slavery of war.


From: the world we want | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 12 November 2005 10:48 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Another long thread!
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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