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Veterans Day, 95 Years On


LIBertea
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In a country that uses every possible occasion to celebrate its “warriors,” many have forgotten that today’s holiday originally marked a peace agreement. Veterans Day in the United States originally was called Armistice Day and commemorated the ceasefire which, at 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918, ended the First World War.

 

Up to that point, it had been the most destructive war in history, with a total civilian and military death toll of roughly 20 million. Millions more had been wounded, many of them missing arms, legs, eyes, genitals; and because of an Allied naval blockade of the Central Powers, millions more were near starvation: the average German civilian lost 20% of his or her body weight during the war.

 

A stunned world had never experienced anything like this. In some countries for years afterward, on November 11th, traffic, assembly lines, even underground mining machinery came to a halt at 11 a.m. for two minutes of silence, a silence often broken, witnesses from the 1920s reported, by the sound of women sobbing.

 

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So what lessons for the betterment of humanity were learned from WWI or the battle of the Somme? Probably none that were ever carried out. What was the main military reaction?.... Dig fewer trenches and kill from moving platforms on land, sea and air.

 

Military industrialists continue to lobby for war for their enhanced profit. And they are getting it. The US has been waging endless war since WWII. And the world is poised for an unthinkable nuclear conflagration which will probably not even profit those who financed it.

 

In my time in the service I heard a constant refrain from the "lifers".... A desire for another big war soon.

 

Much of the first world is shrinking its military capacity to provide safety nets for its people and relying on the dubious services of the U.S. to police the world. The more policing, the more profit for a handful of owners of the military industrial complex.

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"War is one of the constants of history, and has not diminished with civilization or democracy. In the last 3,421 years of recorded history only 268 have seen no war." -- Will and Ariel Durant. The Lessons of History. 1968.

 

Got a point I wouldn't argue with. War is a lucrative business for those who sell the implements.

And to think WWI started with an anarchist killing a nobleman. Territorial ambitions snowballed into WWII, which ultimately claimed something like 56 million lives. (Souces and numbers vary.)

Today, what is the exponential death and destruction if a madman ignites a nuclear device? We came close to finding out during the Cuban Missle Crisis.

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