Tuesday, March 24, 2009

So Ya Think It's Bad Now... WHITE FEATHERS

Today's Delanceyplace.com is about--the white feathers of cowardice an informational good read about the past.

WW1 doc British Propaganda



In today's excerpt--British men enlisted in droves at the outset of World War I, in part because British women handed men not in uniform white feathers symbolizing cowardice, and ministers and priests encouraged the idea that the war was a holy war. The fervor quelled as war casualties mounted to an unprecedented 23 million:

"Why then did British men volunteer in such numbers? Five motives suggest
themselves:

1. Successful recruitment techniques. The efforts of the Parliamentary
Recruiting Committee ... built up an impressive organization of 2,000 volunteers
who managed to organize 12,000 meetings at which some 20,000 speeches were
delivered, to send out 8 million recruiting letters and to distribute no fewer
than 54 million posters, leaflets and other publications. ...

2. Female pressure. There is ample evidence of women handing men not in uniform white feathers symbolizing cowardice. Government propaganda capitalized on this. The PRC poster, with its clever implication that the addressee's husband or son would survive either way, was well-aimed: 'When the war is over and someone asks your husband or your son what he did in the Great War, is he to hang his head because you did not let him go?' ...

3. Peer-group pressure. There is no doubting the importance of the so-called
'Pals' Battalions' in getting groups of friends, neighbours or colleagues to
join up together. ... As if to confirm the British thesis that the war was a
game, there was even a footballers' battalion and a boxers' company. To begin
with, exclusivity was possible: some battalions even demanded an entry fee of up to five pounds. ...

4. Economic motives. ... There is no question that the peak of enlistment in
Britain coincided with the peak of unemployment caused by the August
financial and commercial crisis. Nine out of ten of the working men laid off in
Bristol in the first month of the war joined up; enlistment rates were clearly lower in areas where business quickly picked up again. Men were not wholly irrational in 1914.

5. Impulse. Finally, as Avner Offer has pointed out, allowance must be made for the fact that some men volunteered impulsively, with little thought of the consequences for themselves, much less the causes of the war. ...

"As is well known, many ministers and priests encouraged the idea that the war
was a holy war, often in a quite grotesque way. ... The most egregious example
of militarist churchmanship in England was the shocking Advent sermon preached in 1915 by the Bishop of London, A. F. Winnington-Ingram (later published in a
collection of his sermons in 1917), in which he described the war as: 'a great
crusade--we cannot deny it--to kill Germans: to kill them, not for the sake of
killing, but to save the world.' ...

The Germans
, wrote Michael Furse, Bishop of Pretoria, were 'enemies of God.' ...
Billy Sunday included in his prayer in the U.S. House of Representatives that 'If you turn hell upside down, you'll find 'Made in Germany' stamped on the bottom.' ...

"For many, the First World War was thus a kind of war of religion, despite an almost complete absence of clear denominational conflicts, a crusade without infidels. ... The sense that the world had arrived at the Biblical Armageddon was the most powerful of all the 'ideas of 1914.' And how like Armageddon it proved."

Niall Ferguson
, The Pity of War, Basic Books, Copyright 1999 by Niall Ferguson, pp. 204-208.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WE DO NOT LEARN FROM THE PAST

World War I the First World War was dubbed, The Great War and The War to End All Wars. How soon we forget the devastation of the wars governments seem so ready to order us off to. It's apparent that no one really learns from history, (especially governments) if they did, the term "WAR" itself would have been laid to rest alongside words like Shell-shock, and Trench Warfare: (I wonder who thought that one up?)

Following the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in 1914, the then superpowers of Europe decided to carve up France because Germany wanted it for themselves, and Britain and its allies opposed this idea. In September of 1914 German commander General Erich von
Falkenhayn ordered the construction of defensive trenches to ensure that the
Allied forces couldn't overrun his own men. The Allies responded in kind and two
long trenches were dug from the coast of France to Switzerland, which was soon
dubbed the Western Front. The trenches mostly ran alongside each other, and
varied from a distance of over a kilometre to as little as 15 metres apart, such
as at Hooge, near Ypres1.

Soldiers who thought that joining up for the good of their country was all guns
and glamour were to be proved horribly, horribly wrong. Instead of dashing about
on horses, or fighting in the beautiful fields of Europe (and meeting lots of
nice French girls to boot), the soldiers found themselves facing their enemies
from inside a big hole in the ground. The trenches soon became extremely
inhospitable and terrible places and aside from the fact that some bloke a few
yards away was trying to kill you in a variety of ingenious ways, there were
many other things to contend with.
(From this site: Life in the Trenches of World War One)

We the people are led into war like lemmings. As soon as one of the world government, Big Kahunas decide it's time for a War, the propaganda machines start to sputter and all's fair in love and war. Of course if the moment is right, as in massive business failures and enormous unemployment, (sound familiar?) it's a lot easier to line the lemmings up for their cliff plunge. With times the way they are today, the probability that some world war will break out, is at full peak. So while we listen to the talking heads, go-to-town-with-their-Breeches-falling-down, on the AIG bonuses and FOX NEWS along with Limbaugh's DITTO HEADS, hoping President Obama will fail. Just remember, we do not learn from history and if ya think it's bad now... JUST WAIT, TILL A PRETTY MISS, HANDS YOU SOME WHITE FEATHERS. thinkingblue.blogspot.com

The Somme - Sneak Peek Part I

Let's keep our heads, while we continue to
watch THE THEATER OF THE ABSURD!!!

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