Friday, November 11, 2011


It is Veteran's Day.

Not just here, but in Europe as well. Originally called Armistice day, it is now called Remembrance day in Europe and Veteran's Day here in the US.

World War One, called then The Great War because they did not know that they would have to number such wars, came to a close on the 11th hour, of the 11the day, of the 11th month of 1918.

There are no surviving Veterans of that awful war. The ages have passed them by and made them a part of our history.

Veteran's Day is now a day of remembrance for all US Veterans of all the Wars that the US has fought.

Every nation that wills to survive must be willing to fight for its survival against hostile nations and forces that would weaken or destroy it. The harsh truth of it is that a nation state must be willing to send its young soldiers into harms way to protect its interest in a hostile world shared with other nations that also have the same obligation to protect themselves.

We must honor those that have been called to preserve our nation. We owe them much.


  1. After WW I, then President Wilson urged Congress to approve of the formation of the League of Nations. We do not know if an international forum for debate and diplomacy would have averted WW II, but it would have been worth the effort. Congress rejected the plan, but neither would other nations allow it to stand, so we cannot lay all blame on them.

  2. Arcadia, thank you for your thoughtful comment.

    It has often been said that "jaw-jaw is better than war-war." I think that may be true. In many cases it may be better to let time pass and passions cool before rash action is taken.

    Unfortunately, I think history is not so inclined to favor such stratagies.

    In the case of World War Two, a war that suggested that such wars may need to be numbered, I think it is highly doubtful that Germany, Japan or Italy would have been been dissuaded by a debating society from taking up arms against weaker nations.

    When Italy invade Ethiopia, both Italy and Ethiopia were members of the League of Nations. Little good that did for Ethiopia as the League proved either unwilling or unable to prevent one of it's member-states from consuming another. Article X of the League of Nations was clearly violated, yet nothing was done to stop Italy. Nothing was done to save Ethiopia.

    After Japan invaded China, the League of Nations recommended that China Negotiate with Japan for a settlement. A sad and tragic policy that proved that the League of Nations was ill equipped to deal with an aggressive nation-state willing to take by force what it wanted. Both China and Japan were original members of the League of Nations.

    From 1926 to October of 1933, Germany was a member of the League of Nations. At the time Germany withdrew from the League of Nations, Hitler's had effectively taken over the government of Germany. The League of Nations was unable to do much about Hitler and Germany but watch impotently from the side lines.

    So much jaw-jaw, so little action. War became inevitable.

    And after all of that, lets go back to Article X of the League of Nations. This article proved central to why the League of Nations was not approved by the US Senate.

    World War One proceeded out of treaty obligations in Europe that were triggered when a minor prince-ling of an anachronistic empire was gunned down by a Serbian separatist in Sarajevo. Treaties that obliged nations to take up arms against one another cascaded into a cataclysmic war that would tear Europe apart. Treaties that compelled signature nations to fight one another even if the particulars that started the whole damnable thing had little or nothing to do with them.

    Article X of the Covenant of the League of Nations

    -The Members of the League undertake to respect and preserve as against external aggression the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all Members of the League. In the case of any such aggression or in case of any threat or danger of such aggression the Council shall advise upon the means by which this obligation shall be fulfilled.

    I am sure that to many members of the US Senate, this read to them like Deja Vu all over again.

    The US had just been through a god-awful-horrible-abomination of a war resulting from such clauses in treaties.

    Did the Senators hear in their minds George Washington's warnings against permanent alliances and foreign entanglements? Did they stop to ponder what other Gavrilo Princip's were waiting in the wings to set the whole world again to war over what would other wise be a minor incident of remote and obscure import?

    Should we be more surprised by the Senate's rejection of the treaty or of the rest of the world's eagerness to sign onto it?

  3. Continued, . . .

    I believe that The League of Nations was designed and promoted with the best of intentions and with the utmost sincerity of its proponents. I also believe that many people would so much prefer a world run by polite and genteel people that they forget just how awful and brutal we really are at heart.

    Much to our misery, we live in a world where nation-states exist side by side in a hobbesian nightmare ruled by force and bloodshed. As our ten thousand plus year history has proven again and again, every-time some well intentioned idealist thinks that all nations should and can live like brothers and friends, some evil opportunistic bastard comes along and sticks a knife in his back.

    Though I dearly wish it were other wise, I believe that no matter how much we may want or try, we can not live like angels, only like humans, and much grief and blood would be spared if we were more content with our mortal condition.


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