From World War I to Iraq

This video is called Flanders Fields Museum.

Tonight, the Dutch VPRO TV series “In Europa” was on again. It is based on the book about twentieth century European history by Geert Mak.

Tonight was about the first world war; especially in Flanders, and especially in 1915.

Now, ninety years after the bloodbaths of the battles in Belgium then, the Belgian army is still very busy detecting and detonating potentially lethal ammunition from the Great War; much of which is still found often accidentally by farmers plowing their fields etc. A farmer whose father was killed by an exploding World War I bomb told the TV interviewer that the war never should have happened.

The city of Ypres was totally destroyed by the war. Still today, at the Menin gate, every evening the Last Post is played to commemorate the ten thousands of British soldiers who died there.

The director of the Ypres museum “In Flanders’ fields” is Piet Chielen.

He told the interviewer that, when the Iraq war started in 2003, masses of Ypres people went spontaneously to the Menin gate for a sit in to protest against the war. Ypres people, Chielen told, know the reality of war: more and more dead and wounded people; even long after its official end.

Some British Establishment people, Chielen said, had been angry about that peace demonstration. They were wrong.

As British Establishment people had also been wrong during the first world war (they were refered to then as “donkeys leading lions”); when they had many shell-shocked British soldiers executed for “cowardice”. Geert Mak for this TV series went to England, to interview the granddaughter of a British soldier who had become mentally ill by the war, and had then been executed as a “coward”. 91 years after his death, he had finally been rehabilitated. When will the donkeys leading lions into Iraq and Afghanistan be finally officially declared to have been wrong?

History Repeats Itself: France in Algeria, the US in Iraq. By Marnia Lazreg: here.

Peggie Preston: Tenacious peace campaigner dies: here.

Germany: The defusing of a World War II bomb on Sunday led to the largest evacuation in Germany so far in peacetime. More than 60,000 people had to leave their usual environment in Frankfurt for more than twelve hours. For many older people, this awakened memories of the Second World War. A huge bomb had been discovered during construction work close to the new Goethe University. Before it could be defused, a 1.5-kilometre-radius area had to be completely evacuated. Two hospitals, several retirement homes, the new West End university campus, the broadcasting centre of Hessischer Rundfunk, the Deutsche Bundesbank headquarters and several large residential neighbourhoods are all located in this area. Had the bomb exploded, the entire evacuation zone could have been seriously damaged—72 years after the end of World War II: here.

9 thoughts on “From World War I to Iraq

  1. America Cannot Afford Bush’s “Success”

    Remember when Bush declared “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq? Now he’s calling Iraq a “success.”

    Bush whined, “It’s unconscionable to deny funds to our troops in harm’s way because some in Congress want to force a self-defeating policy, especially when we’re seeing the benefits of success.”

    The “benefits of success”???

    Bush’s “success” unleashed chaos that murdered 1 million Iraqis and drove 4 million more out of their homes into desperate poverty. Bush’s “success” created a sectarian Shia government that ethnically cleansed Baghdad of Sunnis and Christians and corruptly lined its pockets with our tax dollars. Bush’s “success” killed nearly 4,000 brave young Americans and maimed tens of thousands more, both physically and mentally, leading to 120 veterans’ suicides each week. Bush’s “success” broke our military, corrupted our intelligence agencies, and embraced torture as official U.S. policy.

    Bush’s “success” empowered Osama Bin Laden and handed half of Afghanistan back to the Taliban. Bush’s “success” empowered dangerous dictators in Russia, Pakistan, Burma, Iran and Venezuela. Bush’s “success” increased global terror and hatred of the United States.

    Bush’s “success” wasted $500 billion on Iraq, with trillions more to come. Bush’s “success” added $4 trillion to our national debt and trillions more in future debts. Bush’s “success” drove the price of oil from $16/barrel to nearly $100/barrel, and tripled the price of gasoline from $1.06 to $3.11.

    America – and the world – cannot afford any more of Bush’s “success.”

    Tell Congress no more funds for Iraq:

    And send a message Democrats cannot ignore by joining the Democratic Donor Strike against the DCCC and DSCC


  2. Impeachment: Congressional Silence = Constitutional Death

    Bush signed an agreement with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki for permanent bases in Iraq, in defiance of the explicit opposition of both the U.S. Congress and the Iraqi Parliament. Yet Congress is utterly silent.

    Bush issued his first signing statement since Democrats won Congress, and gave himself the right to steal all the money he needs to invade Iran. Yet Congress is utterly silent.

    Bush knew a year ago that Iran abandoned its nuclear weapons program in 2003, but threatened World War III with Iran just weeks ago. Yet Congress is utterly silent

    Bush formally advised a British Court last week that he is fully entitled to kidnap foreigners (i.e., Britons) off the street around the world for any reason at all and carry them off to secret prisons. Yet Congress is utterly silent.

    Bush’s former press secretary Scott McClellan admitted he lied about the role of Scooter Libby and Karl Rove in destroying the career and urgent work of Valerie Plame. Libby was sentenced to 30 months in prison but Bush commuted his sentence under orders from Cheney to shut Libby up. Yet Congress is utterly silent.

    Bush rehired Iraq War Criminal Paul Wolfowitz as chairman of the International Security Advisory Board. The Board includes Robert Joseph, who put the Niger Uranium Big Lie in Bush’s 2003 State of the Union, and ex-CIA director James Woolsey, who helped mega-liar Ahmed Chalabi defraud the U.S. into a $1+ trillion disaster. Yet Congress is utterly silent.

    Bush is still contemptuously defying dozens of subpoenas. Yet Congress is utterly silent.

    The people are not silent. Impeachment activists continue to organize from coast to coast. In the northeast, 60-year-old John Nirenberg is marching along Route 1 from Boston to DC to see Nancy Pelosi, and needs your support along the way. In the West, Los Angeles activists will protest at the Rose Bowl parade on January 1.

    And Rep. Dennis Kucinich is not silent. He continues to advocate impeachment everywhere he goes.

    Tell Congress to Impeach Cheney and Bush:


    “The Real News” Interviews David Swanson on Impeachment

    “The Real News” is the world’s first global independent news network – without funding from governments, corporations or advertising.

    Senior Editor Paul Jay recently interviewed David Swanson about Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s effort to impeach Dick Cheney. Watch the excellent interview:


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