The Gallipoli campaign was not about democracy, but defending the profits and colonies of the British empire, one of the most brutal the world has seen, writes James Supple
The 100 year anniversary commemorations of Gallipoli will glorify it as sacrifice for a noble cause. Tony Abbott has called it part of a war that “shaped our nation”. In 2012 then Prime Minister Julia Gillard declared on Anzac Day that, “all of us inhabit the freedom the Anzacs won for us”. But Gallipoli and the First World War was no fight for freedom or democracy.
The landing at Gallipoli was an invasion of a Middle Eastern country, modern Turkey, in the service of what was, at the time, the world’s largest and most powerful empire. Australian troops at Gallipoli were among almost half a million British, Indian, New Zealand and French colonial troops who landed there.
At the time, Australian troops were celebrated as dying in the service of empire. As historian Mark McKenna has pointed out, “For decades following 1915, the Imperial context of Anzac Day had been fundamental to the rituals and meaning of 25 April; newspapers, for example, commonly placed the king’s or queen’s message on the front page.”
Tony Abbott has lined up with conservative historians to declare the war necessary because, “Europe was at risk from Prussian militarism”. But the First World War was fundamentally a clash between rival European powers for control of colonies and profits. It was a product of fully modern capitalist economies engaged in brutal industrial slaughter.
Today some still defend the British empire as a civilising force that helped bring economic development to colonies like India. In reality it was a brutal arrangement through which Britain plundered the world, based on sheer military terror and bloodshed.
Britain began constructing its empire in Ireland, effectively its first colony. In 1609 it drove local peasants off their lands and settled English and Scottish colonists in the “plantation of Ulster” as an effort to maintain control. Huge rents were imposed on Irish peasant farmers that kept them in poverty.
The failure of the potato crop between 1845 and 1852 caused a famine in which one million died. Although Ireland was still producing enough to feed the population, the British government allowed merchants and landlords to continue exporting grain abroad for profits while its people starved.
After 1690 Britain shipped three million African slaves to its profitable sugar plantations in the Caribbean. This regime of unimaginable brutality relied on literally working slaves to death: the lifespan of those that survived the trip across the Atlantic was just seven to ten years. Savage punishments were required to maintain it. The Baptist missionary William Knibb recorded that, “flogging on the estates is as common as eating almost”.
There were constant slave revolts and resistance. In 1791 a revolt swept the French slave colony of St Dominique, spreading across much of the rest of the Caribbean. By 1798 Britain had lost 55,000 soldiers putting down the rebellions. A further massive revolt followed in Jamaica in 1831.
It was these rebellions that convinced the British ruling class of the need to abolish slavery. The importance of the plantations in generating their wealth was also in decline as Britain developed as an industrial power. Yet even when they ended slavery in 1833, it was the slave owners who received compensation, not the slaves.
“New world” horrors
The colonisation of the “new world” across North America, New Zealand and Australia involved slaughter and genocide against the indigenous inhabitants. The first British colony in north America was established in 1607 in Virginia.
When the settlers struggled to feed themselves at first, the local indigenous people gave them food that helped them survive. But once they were established the British set out on a policy of extermination. They burned crops and villages, and massacred women and children in punitive raids.
When the local Powhatan Indians finally struck back after years of harassment and provocation, killing a number of the settlers, the English refused to discuss peace and spent the next decade hunting down and killing the local population. In 1623 they invited over 100 Powhatan to a banquet, supposedly to discuss peace, and poisoned them.
Britain’s loss of its American colonies spurred it to grab larger parts of Asia and Africa. The British East India Company began the plunder of the subcontinent with its own private army. It ruled large parts of India from 1757 until 1858 when the British government took full control.
The East India Company established a monopoly on all trade out of India. The country’s textile industry was destroyed by seizing Indian cotton for export to British factories, where it was turned into cheap cloth that flooded the Indian market.
British rule also resulted in frequent famines that killed between 12 and 29 million Indians, according to Mike Davis’s in his book Late Victorian Holocausts.
In 1876 when famine hit there was an overall surplus of rice and wheat in India but, as in Ireland, the British Viceroy refused to stop its export to Britain. While peasants starved a law was passed which banned “at the pain of imprisonment private relief donations that potentially interfered with the market fixing of grain prices”. Again government policy imposed starvation in defence of British profits.
Empires at war
It was these spoils that Britain and its armies were defending in the First World War.
Egypt had been invaded in 1882 in order to ensure the repayment of debts run up to British and French investors on extortionate terms. A new nationalist government had attempted to throw off “supervision” by the British and French governments. The decisive battle at Tel-el-Kabir was more like a massacre, with 57 British soldiers killed and between 2000 and 10,000 Egyptians.
During the First World War, British troops based in Egypt, including Australian light horse regiments, invaded the Ottoman provinces in Palestine and Mesopotamia.
At the war’s conclusion Britain took control of modern day Iraq and Jordan as well as Palestine, while France gained Lebanon and Syria. Promises about establishing an independent Arab state, which Britain made during the war to secure military support against the Ottomans, were simply dropped.
When Egypt staged a nationalist rebellion in 1919, Australian troops were used to help crush it. Australian light horse units had been waiting in Egypt to sail for home at the end of the war. But with few other British troops in the country they were ordered to help re-establish British rule. Australians were sent out to machine gun crowds of protesters. By the time the revolt was crushed in April 1919, over 1000 Egyptians had been killed, 1500 jailed and 57 hanged.
Winston Churchill, the man who ordered the assault on Gallipoli, sent in British planes dropping poison gas to put down the uprising in Iraq which followed in 1920.
After the Second World War the US succeeded Britain as the world’s foremost imperial power. While it stepped back from use of direct imperial control, it has proved just as willing to overthrow governments that defy its wishes and which harm the interests of US multinationals.
Just as Australia sat under the British umbrella in the First World War, it now works in partnership with US imperialism, joining its imperial adventures from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Nothing in this tradition of empire and plunder is worth celebrating.
Photo above: Victims of the famine in India as a product of British rule in 1876
What is the background to the black and white photograph used at the start of this article?
It shows victims of the famine in India as a product of British rule in 1876 mentioned in the article. Sorry, I tried to put a caption but didn’t show up, will put it at bottom of the article.
First: Who wrote this article?
Second: Where are your references? I see a couple of people attributed to quotes in the intro but nothing else.
Third: (One of many statements not backed up with evidence) The premise – “It was these spoils that Britain and its armies were defending in the First World War.” – This is completely inaccurate as Britain only got into the war because the Germans invaded and attacked Belgium and were attacking the Ottoman empire for strategic importance.
Fourth: You completely glaze over the statement that the ANZACs were there to “defend the profits and colonies of the British Empire” – How? You spend three quarters of this “essay” talking about atrocities in other countries, NOT anything to do with the ANZACs.
If this was a history paper given in to my History class, you’d barely get a ‘C’. Learn how to construct a written argument with evidence.
If you read the first sentence it lists the author. (I guess that means you fail at reading comprehension). We are a magazine not an academic journal so we don’t include detailed citations, but am more than happy to point you to sources about any particular points you want to read more on.
Your third point about why Britain joined the war is dealt with in the second half of another article in our current issue. http://solidarity.net.au/reviews/hell-bent-on-slaughter-for-empire-australia-in-wwi/
You have to look at the underlying interests behind the British decision, not simply the trigger events and immediate causes of the war. Foreign policy decisions then as now are driven by realpolitik: the British ruling class weighed up whether it was necessary to fight to war to protect their global imperial interests. A fuller explanation of this is here http://socialistworker.co.uk/art/8925/Was+Germany+to+blame+for+the+First+World+War%3F
Oh I can read. I can also tell the difference between an introductory sentence that introduces an article (usually in bold and a different font size) and a sentence that looks like the first sentence of said article that looks like the author is using someone else’s writing to set up their premise – like you have here.
And No, when you write a historical article you are meant to, at the very least, link to your sources. This is the internet where bullshit reigns. You want some credibility you have to source your information either inside your article or at the end.
(And are you kidding about linking to another socialist article to get a fuller ‘explanation’? Give me a break.)
One of your major problems is you start off by talking about Gallipoli/ANZACs to say that they shouldn’t be remembered/commemorated because they were aiding the British Empire but do not mention that they were volunteers, who thought they were still important members of the British Empire (including indigenous volunteers!). Were they sent into the meat grinder? Absolutely. But then all the other European nations were doing that as well to aid their “imperial interests”.
And as the Author you are meant to write about the ‘underlying interests’ (Which were what, by the way? You only mention sugar plantations in the Caribbean) that is what helps support an article rather than this opinion piece.
You want to rant on about the British Empire and what it did? Fine. Plenty of fertile ground. But get your history correct before you use it support an ‘article’. And don’t drag the memory of people who died, valiantly, in Europe 100 years ago to jumpstart a bitch session about an empire. Show some respect.
The issue is that the commemorations are used to justify militarism and nationalism, and the notion of fighting for a noble cause, that the Anzacs in the First World War died “for us” is used to bolster this. The point of the article is to show how the war was actually fought in the interests of the British empire, not those of democracy or ordinary people. I agree all the other countries’ rulers were playing the same game–and they still are.
Nowhere in the article does it blame the ordinary soldiers who served for this. In fact a number of them came back opponents of war and imperialism. http://solidarity.net.au/mag/current/issue-77-apr/anzacs-who-became-opponents-of-war/
Big Al did you know Churchill offered the Kaiser asylum in the United Kingdom in 1940 –FACT ..its true . (Kaiser Bill was residing in the Netherlands under the protection of another royal -Queen Wilhemina ). Yes the very same Churchill who produced the great fuck up called Gallipoli in 1915 leading to 10’s of thousands of deaths . How’s that for an act of huge bastardry ?…offering sanctuary to one of the greatest war criminals in history whom the French wanted to HANG in 1919. Churchill was of course derived from the upper classes — The Drake of Marlborough –and Kaiser Bill was a first cousin of George V and like all English upper classes he couldn’t give a fuck about his our slum soldiers much less bloody ‘colonials’ . The upper classes know how to stick together and protect their own kind regardless of their crimes . Common soldiers like the AnZACs were mere pawns in a bigger play ..so wake up. The only good that came out of WW1 was to destroy the old order in Europe — the so called royals and autocrats and other unelected parasites – and give power to the people .
That was the ‘freedom’ the Anzacs unwittingly fought for — the freedom to choose your our government.
My Great great grandfather died in Gallipoli and it did no one any good least not his wife and children, so forget your notions of grandeur and freedom fighting, its all bullshit that allowed the powers that be to use people as cannon fodder when it suited them. Respect to the fallen, but fuck those that sat in the board rooms planning these mens deaths, and fuck blind patriotism…
The antecedents of WWI were complex. Reducing it to a line that it was a British war fought to protect their imperial interests is not only too simplistic, it is quite incorrect. It was about, amongst other things, the inability of Germany to expand it’s own colonial empire in Africa (due to being thwarted by Britain and France), and thus concentrating more on Europe, the interlocking treaties amongst the various European powers, the rise of industrialism, the decline of the Hapsburg and Ottoman Empires and the 19th century thinking in a 20th century war. And that’s not even the half of it. It’s really difficult to lay the blame at any one particular door, and probably isn’t even fair to do so
The article says “the First World War was fundamentally a clash between rival European powers for control of colonies and profits”. In other words there was nothing to chose between the two sides in the war who both had imperialist interests in mind. But I don’t agree you can’t blame anyone. The ruling classes of all the European states involved benefited enormously from the profits of empire, and pursued conscious policies designed to further these aims. On the other hand, they were happy to throw the working classes of their respective nations into the hell of trench warfare so they could continue to enjoy the spoils.
We wrote on this in more detail here
I think you’ll find that Germany had already invaded Belgium and was moving on France (part of the Schlieffen Plan) before France and Britain declared war, so your comment that France and Germany were looking for an excuse to start a war doesn’t seem to hold up chronologically. Germany were already in Belgium and fully mobilised. Or are you suggesting that the French (and British) should have just sat there and done nothing?
The Ottoman Empire was declining, for sure. Which goes some way to explaining why it was so foolhardy and anxious to cut a deal with the Germans and prepared to go to war. They were trying to salvage some power and prestige, the last throw of the dice for a fading empire.
I don’t really have an awful lot of sympathy for imperialism, and the subjugation of a large number of nations, whoever is practicing it, so I can’t really shed too many tears for the demise of one empire (and the subsequent beginnings of decline of most of the others)
That quote is incorrect. It actually says:
“The Gallipoli campaign was not about democracy, but defending the profits and colonies of the British empire, one of the most brutal the world has seen”
So quite specific, really.
I’d agree that the ruling classes of all the nations (and the industrialists and politicians and militarists) were the beneficiaries of empire, but I rather meant you can’t blame any one nation. I don’t know that the ruling Junkers were any better (or worse, or fairer, or more noble or more caring) ) than their British, French, Turkish or any other counterparts.
For some reason I can’t post below your comments so doing it here. The two quotes are both in the article, and aren’t inconsistent.
It’s not true about Belgium. Douglas Newton has written of how the British Navy was already put on a war footing a week before the invasion of Belgium. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/sep/19/darkest-days-truth-behind-britains-rush-to-war-douglas-newton-review
There had also been war scares on the continent in 1911 and 1913. So it’s not that useful to look at the immediate triggers for the war, you have to look at the underlying causes and interests involved, in terms of the clash of rival imperialisms.
England came to the rescue of Belgium so entered WW1. What a load of rubbish! Bismark said Germany wanted ‘a place in the sun’, meaning a colony or two. Britain took umbrage and the rest is history. By the way, I was born in Liverpool 6 years after WW2 finished, and this was taught in history.
“Germans … were attacking the Ottoman empire ” weren’t the turks germany’s allies?
weren’t they shooting at the british and australians?
You got your right whack there Big Al. Your history classes are probably tainted by ruling class hegemony anyway. Glad I did not have to take of your course.
Uh, Big Al, Germany was definitely not attacking the Ottoman Empire at all, they were doing deals with them in fact, which is why a nervous Britain and France decided to enter into a war, or try to start some provocations. The Ottoman empire was declining and had large debts to English and French banks. Germany offered to bail them out of debt in exchange for oil. They were in the process of building the Berlin to Baghdad railways, had signed mining claims with Persia, and so had to be stopped. Germany was beating Britain in the technology race, Daimler and Benz had invented the motorcar in Germany, they were keen industrialisers and technologists and proud of it. The British Navy at the same time was trying to convert its ships to oil, but had no oil of its own at the time, and did not want to rely on Russia or America, two allies of sorts, but wanted to colonise somewhere and take the oil. Germany was building battleships at Hamburg, its population was growing, and Britain didn’t like its #1 status being threatened. The Kaiser was also offered the throne of Spain by succession, which made France very nervous. Hence France and England united against Germany, seeking excuses for war, with Russia also an ally after the Prussians had attacked.
Britain had to weaken the Ottoman Empire as a side benefit of the war in order to grab the oil and fuel its ships, and fuel industry, and prevent Germany getting it, which was physically closer. Hence the Gallipoli battle to weaken Turkey, the head country of the Ottoman Empire, and support the British camp at Basra – also designed to get the oil. Winston Churchill eventually had many shares personally in BP, or its predecessor company.
agree with this, it’s commemoration, not celebration
As with our ‘Civil War’ here in the United States. I loath that it was fought, feel disgust not just at slavery and that the institution was permitted and the ways in which it was justified, but the way the ruling class in the south manipulated the people who were closer to slave than slaveholder in class to go fight their war (sound familiar?). Let us look at our history as somber warning worthy of study and remembrence.
The Australian Prime Minister of the day on receiving the request from the British to send troops, didn’t put it to Parliament to vote on party lines, he on his own made that decision.
By the end of 1918, 60,000 young Australians had been killed or died of wounds. This out of a population of less than 5Mn.
What is not mentioned is that by 1938 another 60,000 men had died prematurely as they had returned maimed in different ways, some from the effects of war gasses used by both sides.
It was noted in subsequent generations that the average height of people was a little less than before – the fine and the tall earlier of them had gone off to be slaughtered, for nothing.
1. The article omits who the enemy was: the Ottoman Empire, a major colonial power who had just finished the Armenian genocide. Or do you deny that too?
2. It neglects the historical context of the stated goal of Gallipoli: had the second front opened then it would have saved millions of lives on the French front.
3, Similarly, the list of evils of the British Empire, while accurate, is imbalanced: these same evils gave rise to the British liberalism, which is our culture today. No other empire historically has forsaken these brutal measures, nor given birth to small-l liberalism, which is our present shared culture and universal human value.
There’s three distortions straight up. Now, I won’t say it’s wilfully dishonest, but it IS questionable, because it has no references, no evidence, and misjudges history by modern standards.
Thanks for the comment, but I think you’ve missed the point, these aren’t distortions they are political arguments. I’ll deal with your points in turn.
1. In Australia the dominant narratives are either that the First World War was an accident that Europe’s leaders blundered into, or that German aggression was to blame. Of course there were atrocities on all sides, and Germany had been just as brutal in its colonies, the Ottoman Empire had its own genocide of the Armenians as you point out. But the British weren’t invading at Gallipoli to stop the Armenian genocide, but in pursuit of their own imperialist agenda and with the aim of hanging onto their empire. We’ve written on the imperialist aims behind the First World War here http://solidarity.net.au/highlights/100-years-since-the-first-world-war-slaughter-for-empire-and-profit/
2. The claim that if Britain and France had won the war more quickly they would have saved lives is pretty dubious. It’s impossible to know if the aim of opening the Dardanelles and supplying Russia on the Eastern front with more weapons would have changed the balance there enough to sustain the Russian army (which disintegrated, helping spark the Russian Revolution of 1917). But arguments of this sort can be used to justify all sorts of atrocities: the US used the same argument to justify dropping atomic bombs on Japan (to save the lives of American soldiers in an invasion of the Japanese homeland islands, even though Japan was already asking for surrender). Any side in a war can use this argument: why couldn’t Germany’s rulers have made the same claim?
3. Imperialism never ended. Today the US is the top dog and has been just as brutal as Britain. The flip side of liberalism is the US-Australian-UK invasion of Iraq at the cost of a least a million lives and the destruction of a whole society. You wouldn’t have the growth of groups like ISIS without the suffering and brutality imposed by the invasion of Iraq and US policies in the Middle East. The economic policies imposed by the world’s major powers like the EU and the US through the “free market” condemn three million children a year to death from malnutrition.
The point is, Imperialism is wrong, no matter who does it. The Ottoman Empire doesn’t get a free ride because Britain didn’t arrive at Gallipoli to save the Armenians. Genocide is simply wrong, and trying to justify it by claiming there are worse people out there just seems nuts to me.
My reply above addresses Makara Hakuna’s assertions. Britain
1. had plenty of genocides of its own under its belt, harassment of the Armenians would mean nothing at that time. As noted, Britain wanted an oil supply to fuel its ships and industry, and had its eye on what is now Iraq. Germany was already doing deals to secure the oil and freight it back.
2. Forget the Western Front, Britain was after middle eastern oil.
3. The British empire couldn’t predict future liberalism while committing atrocities or colonizing for gain. Further, today the US, UK and Australia are ranked at the bottom of the OECD for the quality of their respective Anglosphere welfare states.
The distortions seem to be coming from you, and YOUR assertions are questionable.
Of course WWI shaped our nation – that is indisputable. The men and women who left for those battles were the first Australians who were not citizens of colonies (e.g. the colony of Tasmania, the Colony of New South Wales), they were the first to be living under a Federation of states in one nation. Once they fought, suffered and died alongside one another in regiments of men from many different former colonies, they truly ceased to be New South Welshmen or Victorians in the colonial sense and began to strongly identify as federated Australians. This rapidly took a theory of Federation into reality and galvanised a national (federated) identity. That alone makes Anzac Day important, not all the other imperialist sabre-rattling guff. We need to remember our own history for a change, instead of worrying about everyone else’s.
That’s a bit silly, Lyndall, they were called up to fight for the British Empire as their duty. Even today Australia is still not a republic but a country ruled by the English queen, and controlled by the Governor-General and Governors of each state as representatives of the queen. It is a servile vassal state without the wit to become a republic.
1. Wrong choice of words. “Called up” insinuates that they were conscripted. I’m pretty confident that most of the Australian troops at Gallipoli were volunteers.
2. You are taking the current governance situation of Australia a little too literally. Technically Elizabeth II is the queen, but she reigns as Queen of Australia, not Queen of England. The role is purely symbolic (as is that of the various federal and state governors). To say that we are a “servile, vassal state” shows a complete lack of understanding of the true situation.
Excellent summation of the horrors of colonialism and the present day. Thanks.
Thank you for these very interesting points of view giving us many different perspectives about what WW1’s underlying motivation could have been fought over. Being half Irish I still get various shades of green over the treatment of my family’s inheritance within the period of the potato famine but the books have not been closed on these historical events and the message is the same on WW1 especially in the battle against the Ottoman Empire who ruled eight hundred years in streams of blood and brutality throughout the Middle East. Indeed, to blame ISIS’s murderous rampage on Iraq’s War is just establishing the myth of some underlying financial reason for 911 and frankly there may have been many motives to such a response.
You didn’t mention that it was all just one big family battle. The Kaiser Wilhelm in Germany, the King George in England, and the Russian Tsar Nicholas were all cousins…. so it was one big family affair of 3 cousins kicking the shit out of each other and waving their wangs in the air by killing thousands of their subjects and destroying or stealing each others colonies.
sign me up for the celebrations.
I agree with this comment by Brian MacCormaic:
“There was nothing ‘Great’ about this war in the modern sense of the word. Neither was it a ‘World War’. It was a power struggle between the elite ruling classes in Europe of the time; an obscenity on a vast scale, perpetrated by the political and military elite on both sides, who sent millions to their deaths; gullible and idealistic young men, duped into believing they were fighting for a just cause, or with the promise of a pittance into their hand to feed hungry families back home – families left hungry in the first place by the unjust and oppressive policies of this same elite.
What makes present-day commemorations and ceremonies all the more contemptuous, in my opinion, is to see a present generation of that same elite military aristocracy leading the ‘old soldiers’ out onto the parade ground to be honoured for their sacrifices and bravery.
Present-day commemorations, supposedly organised to honour the courage and sacrifice of these brave men are, let’s be honest, designed to perpetuate the myth that military service and – if the occasion arises – military sacrifice, is honourable and patriotic. But this only serves to entice a new generation of young men to join up for the glory of ‘King and Kaiser’ or ‘Queen and Country’.
But surely, the best way to honour those who fought on both sides in that terrible war, and to show we have learned some lessons from their sacrifice, would be to ignore these official ceremonies, and to commemorate the war for what it truly was: a brutal atrocity perpetrated on both sides by callous and uncaring ruling classes on the so-called ‘lower’ classes. To this end, members of the nobility and military aristocracy should be excluded from commemorations.
Otherwise we are doing a grave injustice to those who were sent to their deaths, or we maimed – both physically and mentally – in such vast and obscene numbers.”
Quite right. And this can be seen a priori. All wars by definitions are turf wars fought between gangsters by gangland foot soldiers. And glorifying the deaths as sacrifices is blasphemy given that the Christian scriptures condemn war in no uncerain terms. Moreover all empires are evil by definition, even those I might tend to be sentimental about, like the British Empire. Thank you, Mr Supple, for being among the few to point out the real evil of war
ANZAC is not a celebration it’s for us to remember those that fallen. Many Men and Women lose their lives during any war. And this is our way of giving them the respect they deserve.
Regardless of how or why they went to war, it happened. Each comment makes a valid point, but NOT one person tells why ANZAC is commemorated only that it is celebrated. And this is wrong of the author to say we celebrate ANZAC. There is nothing to celebrate about a war. Many of our own men and women lost their lives. Why would you say such a thing as “celebrate”? Many of us, not just my generation, but our younger ones also, rise at dawn and go to the dawn parade to remember them, Lest We Forget.
the minions of those wars are just like the minions of our age uneducated and misled by the elitists and their media unfortunately the minions will make these same mistakes believing that they are fighting the good fight for the elite perceived elected political leaders who continue to use their smoke and mirrors to mislead and sacrifice the unaware defending their perceived moral and misguided loyalty to their leaders
P.S. please excuse my grammar and punctuation
So by what right does the present nation of Australia exist?
With due respect to fallen ANZACs, they are remembered for their bravery and commitment to duty. A soldier obeys orders in line with strict military discipline.
He has nothing to do with the reason and motives which lead to the war being fought.
British imperialists were plunderers who used everything they could to defend their interests The reality is no different today. Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa and many other hotspots are being linked to terrorism. A spectre of terror is being created to justify toppling of governments and killing of people.
There is no justice, noble cause and fight against terror! Self interest is at the core of it all.
Call me niaive but surely the soldiers who fought at Gallipoli were sent by the politicians at the time[be it conscripted or volunteers]. The soldiers are being commemorated for their sacrifice at the behest of their governments rather than a soldiers desire to just up and fight. Soldiers follow orders, it is the politicians who should shoulder the blame. War should always be the last resort and avoided at all costs if possible. If war/conflict is required then when the fighting is done political stability is needed, else we will end up in the mess we are in now with power vacuums in Libya, Iraq, Syria and potentially Afghanistan again. Going to war on half truths is never a good thing and always leads to no good. Politicians sort your s*** out so we don’t have to commemorate the loss of our soldiers who do your bidding.
Simply, well done James Supple.
I think The idea to restore peace comes from many many wars fought. The English/West races got to a point-of-stop in there brutal history long before ww1. They became a religion of peace dreaming. Possibly caused by realizing Roman religion was hypercritical during the reformation. Any conflict up till today is resolved by joining forces to restore balance. One day wars will by engineered out of everyone’s genes/attitudes and/or culture… It is always at a cost unfortunately…