do we forget just how horrible war is?

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Offline Make it Lady

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do we forget just how horrible war is?
« on: 12/11/2008 18:45:27 »
Someone on the radio yesterday was asked "what was the cause of WW1?"
The man answered that because we hadn't had a battle of this scale since Waterloo we had forgotten how horrible war was so we were quite happy to wade into a conflict that wasn't that important. I was a bit shocked at this explanation but as I watched the last three WW1 veterans place poppies at the Cenotaph I wondered if we would remember in another 50 years time if we had no more world wars in the meantime?
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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do we forget just how horrible war is?
« Reply #1 on: 12/11/2008 21:21:41 »
Forgetting how dreadful war is could have had a lot to do with it; I've certain;y seen that reason put forward by good authorities. Between Waterloo & WWI we'd had things pretty much our own way militarily, with the odd exception like Isandlwana (but we only lost, I believe, 1200 troops there as compared to hundreds of thousands at the Somme).

Only those who have seen war 1st hand know just how awful it is. I've been involved in a few firefights, but they only involved small arms not shells or bombs, and that was bad enough. I cannot begin to comprehend what it must have been like in The Falklands or for the Iraqis when we attacked.

What's the motto for Remembrance Day? "Lest we forget"?
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Offline JimBob

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do we forget just how horrible war is?
« Reply #2 on: 13/11/2008 15:17:49 »
It is, here in this country, an aversion for death in any form. After Matthew Brady's pictures of the Civil War were shown all over the US, it seems society became somewhat adverse to the subject of death. It caused the beginning of the "undertaker" role in this country. No longer were the dead prepared for and buried by the family but they were given to a "specialist" who would "hide" the face of death from the living. Although undertaking and morticians had practiced their business since the 17th century, it became fashionable during the later half of the Victorian Era to hand over the deceased to both here and in the UK to those who specialized in the handleing of the body. Death became taboo. Children were not exposed to the fact that a body began to decay soon after death. The disconnect between life and death had become inculcated.

I believe this disconnect from death had begun and the attitude that there was glory to be earned in battle both contributed to the escalation of WW I. Now, today, video games glorify war and killing.

But other, more traditional causes to the war as well. WW I began in Eastern Europe where the value of life had always been suspect, especially in the Ottoman Empire. The conflict between the Muslim-Christian population in Serbia contributed to WW I. Death had been part of the conflict and life in the Balkans since the Turks were at the gates of Vienna. And the Austro-Hungarian Empire was at odds with their Serbian province. The fact that the Chief of Serbian Military Intelligence was part of the conspiracy to assassinate the Grand Duke of the Empire didn't help things much. The fact that the Grand Duke was the only Heir to the throne also was of great import as a cause of WW I. 

War is cyclical. We do forget. But if we compare the present with the past, large-scale war has been much more pervasive in history before 1800. Since then, there have been fewer - but more vicious and devastating than previous wars.

The mind is like a parachute. It works best when open.  -- A. Einstein

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #3 on: 13/11/2008 15:28:22 »
As much as it pains me to agree with the Texan Gneissman, I must.
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Offline JimBob

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do we forget just how horrible war is?
« Reply #4 on: 13/11/2008 16:30:44 »
As much as it pains me to agree with the Texan Gneissman, I must.

Thank you, kind sir.
The mind is like a parachute. It works best when open.  -- A. Einstein

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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do we forget just how horrible war is?
« Reply #5 on: 13/11/2008 17:05:48 »
As much as it pains me to agree with the Texan Gneissman, I must.

Thank you, kind sir.

No, thank you for actually saying something sensible for once.
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Offline JimBob

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do we forget just how horrible war is?
« Reply #6 on: 13/11/2008 19:53:17 »
The mind is like a parachute. It works best when open.  -- A. Einstein

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Offline Make it Lady

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do we forget just how horrible war is?
« Reply #7 on: 13/11/2008 20:59:28 »
Now don't start a war!
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.

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Offline JimBob

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do we forget just how horrible war is?
« Reply #8 on: 14/11/2008 03:50:53 »
Now don't start a war!

Madame, I was just pointing out to one of our woodland friends the way humans interact in polite society. It is an attempt to teach the creature how to live well in the world he wishes to join. You see, I, too, am a teacher, just as you are - In my own way of course.
The mind is like a parachute. It works best when open.  -- A. Einstein

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Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #9 on: 14/11/2008 20:40:13 »
What would you know about polite society? You live in the USA!
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Offline JimBob

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do we forget just how horrible war is?
« Reply #10 on: 14/11/2008 21:56:36 »
Yes, I live in the US but what does this have to do with polite society?

Besides, how would you, the village idiot, know anything about polite society? You are usually chained to the stocks on the village green to keep you from biting the heads off the free-roaming village chickens.
« Last Edit: 15/11/2008 16:11:50 by JimBob »
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Offline DoctorBeaver

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« Reply #11 on: 14/11/2008 23:50:13 »
Now that's just plain slanderous and nothing whatsoever to do with this thread. You should apologise to both me & MIL(f) post haste.
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Offline rosalind dna

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do we forget just how horrible war is?
« Reply #12 on: 15/11/2008 12:06:52 »
Surely the saying "jaw, jaw is better than war"

I totally agree there.
Rosalind Franklin was my first cousin and one my life's main regrets is that I never met this brilliant and beautiful lady.
She discovered the Single DNA Helix in 1953, then it was taken by Wilkins without her knowledge or agreeement.

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Offline JimBob

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do we forget just how horrible war is?
« Reply #13 on: 15/11/2008 16:25:10 »
Now that's just plain slanderous and nothing whatsoever to do with this thread. You should apologise to both me & MIL(f) post haste.

I am just calling a spade (club, heart, diamond) a spade (club, heart, diamond).

Besides, I didn't mention MIL(f)whatsoever with respect to the "village idiot," just you. And the truth is the truth.

NO! - put the fowling piece away, Beaver! Violence is NO WAY to settle this!
The mind is like a parachute. It works best when open.  -- A. Einstein

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Offline Make it Lady

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do we forget just how horrible war is?
« Reply #14 on: 15/11/2008 17:48:20 »
Rosalind, you get the medication and I'll strap them both down.
Give a man a fire and he is warm for a day, set a man on fire and he is warm for the rest of his life.