WWI – remembering
The heartbreaking letters published in the Echo from butchered servicemen to their families in WWI brought out the essential element of the conflict.
They captured the horror and heartbreak, not the glory, of the 1914-18 slaughter. Lessons need to be drawn by a new generation as to the causes and consequences of unleashing such a deadly conflict.
It’s ironic that the criminal slaughter being perpetrated in Gaza by Netanyahu’s extreme right-wing regime is unfolding while the nation remembers the ‘war to end all wars’. And being anti-Netanhayu is not being anti-semitic.
The issues in 1914 are similar to that today: the thirst for territorial influence and control over the planet’s resources. Israel, funded and armed by the US, seeks to control the Middle East; in 1914 Germany sought to extend its territories and markets at the expense of France and the British Empire, which controlled 25% of the world’s resources.
I can recall sitting in my classroom in 1946 as a seven-year-old with the teacher pointing at a map of the world saying ‘those pink parts are all ours.’ It didn’t occur to me to ask ‘if they’re all ours why are my shoes letting in?’
It was unbridled international capitalism which unleashed WWI and, as always, it was the poor workers in uniform of all nations, who died in its interests.
It is only when the international working class takes control of the world’s wealth and harnesses it for the common good that we will see the end of the horrific conflicts that have plagued society since end of the ‘war to end all wars.’