Let Us Not Forget

After describing the carnage of the World War I battle of the Somme, future president Herbert Hoover remarked that in another even more dreadful sense he saw inhuman policies of war:  

That was the determination on both sides to bring subjection by starvation. The food blockade by the Allied Governments on the one side, and the ruthless submarine warfare by the Central Powers on the other, had this as its major purpose. Both sides professed that it was not their purpose to starve women and children. But it is an idiot who thinks soldiers ever starve. It was women and children who died of starvation. It was they who died of the disease which came from short food supplies, not in hundreds of thousands, but in millions. And after the Armistice came famine and pestilence, in which millions perished and other millions grew up stunted in mind and body. That is war. Let us not forget.

Tragically, most Americans did forget. On this fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq, let us never forget the evil deeds of the architects of the war and the congressmen who continue to fund it.

Author: Laurence Vance

Laurence Vance holds degrees in history, theology, accounting, and economics. He has written and published twelve books and regularly contributes articles and book reviews to both secular and religious periodicals.

60 thoughts on “Let Us Not Forget”

  1. Sadly, most Americans don't know enough to even forget what has been done in their name in Iraq and Afghanistan. Daily reports of suicide bombings and dozens killed or maimed is yesterday's news to many people. Shock and awe has been replaced by boredom.

    Ho-hum. Click the remote. Dancing with the Stars is on!

  2. “On this fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq, let us never forget the evil deeds of the architects of the war and the congressmen who continue to fund it.”

    We are led by slime, and for our inattention and the empty-headedness of our Elks Club nationalism, will deserve the coming economic debacle and the almost certain recrudescence of Iranian war prospects. When the most authentic the system can produce is the cynicism of a Barack Obama casting his pastor beneath the bus, you know we’ve reach a kind of nadir. And most of us here, like Jews at some latter day Jebwabne, will be led voiceless into the abyss. What representation have we had throughout, what promise? None, all too clearly.

    1. Very eloquently put. I come to this site every day and many others besides, to keep abreast with what is befalling our poor, beknighted species. I am so depressed with what has become of our republic that I find it hard to muster the energy to post my thoughts anymore. It seems more hopeless every day. Thinking back to my childhood, growing up in prosperous and optimistic late 50’s and early 60’s, living in the reflective glow of the USA that had crushed fascism and become the greatest agro-industrial powerhouse in history, it was inconceivable that in my lifetime that we would become a debtor nation, an economic basketcase, an impotent bully leading the world into war without end and an economic tsunami that will cause a new dark age. That our “leadership class” would be such a woebegotten collection of greedy, grasping sophists and worse.

      Sure, there are a lot of people (measured in raw numbers) who are aware of where we are headed. But we are a very tiny percentage of the population. When I talk to friends, family or co-workers about these things, they are mostly against the war and most sense we are in for hard economic times. But they really have no grasp as to how bad things are about to get, having little sense of real history (thanks to our wonderful education system), and due to the fact that they have never lived through anything like what is on the horizon. Our civilization is a fragile thing and it will unravel quickly and savagely if we allow the oligarchy that is steering events to continue the present course. But who will stop them? There are people of good will out there, even within the ruling elite, but I fear compared to other times of great crisis in our history, this bunch comes up woefully short. They are as dumbed-down as the general population.

      I wish I had a hopeful coda for this missive. I don’t. I don’t see our country or the world surviving the coming maelstrom in any recognizable form. One can only hope that a future generation will learn a profound lesson, akin to those behind the Treaty of Westphalia, and lead humanity past our childhood and into a future dedicated the General Welfare above all.

    2. THE GOOD CITIZENS’ LEAGUE had spread through the country, but nowhere was it so effective and well esteemed as in cities of the type of Zenith, commercial cities of a few undred thousand inhabitants, most of which—though not all—lay inland, against a background of cornfields and mines and of small towns which depended upon them for mortgage-loans, table-manners, art, social philosophy and millinery.

      To the League belonged most of the prosperous citizens of Zenith. They were not all of the kind who called themselves “Regular Guys.” Besides these hearty fellows, these salesmen of prosperity, there were the aristocrats, that is, the men who were richer or had been rich for more generations: the presidents of banks and of factories, the land-owners, the corporation lawyers, the fashionable doctors, and the few young-old men who worked not at all but, reluctantly remaining in Zenith, collected luster-ware and first editions as though they were back in Paris. All of them agreed that the working-classes must be kept in their place; and all of them perceived that American Democracy did not imply any equality of wealth, but did demand a wholesome sameness of thought, dress, painting, morals, and vocabulary.

      In this they were like the ruling-class of any other country, particularly of Great Britain, but they differed in being more vigorous and in actually trying to produce the accepted standards which all classes, everywhere, desire, but usually despair of realizing.

      The longest struggle of the Good Citizens’ League was against the Open Shop—which was secretly a struggle against all union labor. Accompanying it was an Americanization Movement, with evening classes in English and history and economics, and daily articles in the newspapers, so that newly arrived foreigners might learn that the true-blue and one hundred per cent. American way of settling labor-troubles was for workmen to trust and love their employers.

      The League was more than generous in approving other organizations which agreed with its aims. It helped the Y.M.C.A. to raise a two-hundred-thousand-dollar fund for a new building. Babbitt, Vergil Gunch, Sidney Finkelstein, and even Charles McKelvey told the spectators at movie theaters how great an influence for manly Christianity the “good old Y.” had been in their own lives; and the hoar and mighty Colonel Rutherford Snow, owner of the Advocate-Times, was photographed clasping the hand of Sheldon Smeeth of the Y.M.C.A. It is true that afterward, when Smeeth lisped, “You must come to one of our prayer-meetings,” the ferocious Colonel bellowed, “What the hell would I do that for? I’ve got a bar of my own,” but this did not appear in the public prints.

      The League was of value to the American Legion at a time when certain of the lesser and looser newspapers were criticizing that organization of veterans of the Great War. One evening a number of young men raided the Zenith Socialist Headquarters, burned its records, beat the office staff, and agreeably dumped desks out of the window. All of the newspapers save the Advocate-Times and the Evening Advocate attributed this valuable but perhaps hasty direct-action to the American Legion. Then a flying squadron from the Good Citizens’ League called on the unfair papers and explained that no ex-soldier could possibly do such a thing, and the editors saw the light, and retained their advertising. When Zenith’s lone Conscientious Objector came home from prison and was righteously run out of town, the newspapers referred to the perpetrators as an “unidentified mob.”

      [Sinclair Lewis]

      1. “LONDON AP Lawless March 21- British writer and self-styled dandy Sebastian Horsley was denied entry to the United States after arriving to promote his memoir of sex, drugs and flamboyant fashion.

        Horsley said he was questioned for eight hours Tuesday by border officials at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey before being denied entry on grounds of ‘moral turpitude.'”

        Interestingly enough, Oscar Wilde, though savaged in the press from Boston to San Francisco, was comparatively warmly received in Leadville, Colorado.

        1. Apparently, Horsley, as is otherwise unnoticed, has both a sense of history and of high irony:

          Today In Literature: March 21, 2008–Wilde in America

          On this day in 1881 Oscar Wilde embarked for America and a year-long lecture tour on such topics as “The House Beautiful” and “The Decorative Arts.” He may or may not have told passengers that “the roaring ocean does not roar,” or told a customs agent that “I have nothing to declare except my genius,” but the captain did apparently express his regret at not having Wilde “lashed to the bowsprit on the windward side.”

          [http://www.todayinliterature.com/print-today.asp?Event_Date=12/24/1881]

          An intriguing piece of Libertrarian performance art, no?

  3. I share the pessimism of the above comments. By any measure this country is declining fast. I think it is possible to trace back our trajectory from greatness to the mud which we are now approaching. This country’s peak was from 1946 to about 1969. I remember the energy of the 1960s – the Space program, the awakening from the old social restraints upon blacks, gays, young people in general. All this energy, these new freedoms. And then the inevitable reaction – Richard Nixon, the conservative evangelical religious movement, the reassertion of “law and order”. Since the late 1960s, reactionary forces have gotten stronger until now we are approaching fascism. Freedom – that is what spooked America. Reminds me of “Easy Rider” the 1969 film that portrayed unbridled freedom and how frightened most people are of that kind of freedom and how ruthlessly they will supress it. Take any measure of freedom from the 1960s and compare it to its measure of today (prison rates, privacy, governmental control) and you will see that the last 40 years has seen the ascendancy of reactionary haters of freedom. All of the conservative talk show hosts hate personal freedom. And the best example of this reactionary force against true freedom has been the Administration of Bush, Cheney, et al. What a disaster this has been for a nation founded upon freedom.

    1. Modern Americans will gleefully participate in, or cheerlead, or at best acquiesce to, the suppression of freedom, as long as it is done in the name of freedom. You can say the same for democracy. They truly deserve neither. Our institutions are structurally flawed, but I have begun to suspect that that is the lesser problem. The greater problem is the flawed character of the people of this country.

  4. Unlike previous generations in ages past, which lived lives of almost unremitting adversity, the current generation of Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers/Yers has NEVER, for the most part, faced anything close to privation, social decay (i.e., civil war and its attendant anarchy), displacement, or other hardships that are commonplace in 80-plus percent of the rest of the world. Whereas previous generations of Americans had family and community to draw upon for mutual support, encouragement, and self-defense, today’s fragmented, transient, and ethereal suburbs and gated yuppiedoms, inhabited by people raised largely in broken homes without extended families, lack any semblance of cohesiveness. I challenge anyone in America who lives anywhere other than a small rural hamlet to name even ten of their immediate neighbors, much less give a description of them that comes from intimate friendship and trust. It is such relationships that will ensure one’s survival in the coming socioeconomic holocaust, which means that 95-plus percent of Americans are essentially facing the prospect of battling hostile strangers living in their laps in competition for scare resources. I’m not optimistic that today’s zoologically ignorant, totally dependent, and thoroughly pampered wage slave/couch potatoes will survive such an ordeal.

    May heaven help this country (although heaven knows we don’t deserve such help).

    1. What you said. You are exactly right.

      @ Tim R. Pull your head of of your posterior. Killing a million people to depose a dictator is a horrible equation – not that that is what this war was really about anyway. This kind of sickening, amoral logic befits a Stalin, Hitler or Mao. How can you parrot the fascist talking points all day and still sleep at night? I know, its not worth responding to a brainwashed pod-person, but I’m just sayin’.

  5. A very strong case can be made that the Iraq war was a terrible, monumental mistake. And reasonable people certainly hold that view. However, let us also not forget that Saddam Hussein was an evil, brutal tyrant–a wicked man who used chemical weapons on tens of thousands of his own people. A man who once sent in bulldozers to demolish a whole villege ( and kill every one in it) because of an attempted assassinatin attempt by someone from the villege. Let us also not forget how millions of Iraqi citizens were extraordinarily happy to see him removed and that they had the chance to vote in free elections for the first time.

    1. Let’s also not forget the tacit assent of the US to the antics of Saddam’s ground forces in the “no fly zone”.

    2. It’s not the job of the USA to be the world’s policeman sir, thank you very much, especially a hypocritical one – why no action on Tibet then?

      1. I’m not arguing that it should. Its chicanery in its use of “no fly zones” is simply being noted.

  6. Tim,

    Like Fallugah,Fallujah:The Flame of Atrocity

    http://www.chris-floyd.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=274&Itemid=1

    Fallujah: Death, destruction and elections

    http://www.notinourname.net/war/falluja-18nov04.htm

    US used white phosphorus in Iraq,
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4440664.stm

    Wasting Fallujah,

    http://www.notinourname.net/war/wasting-fallujah-19nov05.htm

    Or the missiles that rained down on Iraq after the so-called assassination attemppt aginst “Daday” Bush in Kawait.

    Or the so many prisons some so secret that sprung up in Iraq after the invasion,Abu Ghraib is just one of them.

    And how about the countless Iraqis who died as result of the invasion,the millions who live in misserable condetions as refugees,the millions of Iraqis who can not attain the basic minimums of life,the countless generations who would be for over scarred,or who about the millions of Iraqis who wish that Sadam was alive today because life under might has been bad,but their life now is much,much worse.

    The true living hell that is Iraq now wouldn’t be coming to a fox station near you any time soon!

    1. Salem S,

      Do you really think most of the Iraqi people would like to see Saddam Hussein come back? Most of them danced in the streets when he was overthrown and were happy at is demise.

      1. No, they didn’t. Most were indifferent to Saddam’s overthrow- there were no spontaneous “celebrations in the streets”. The guy who brought down the statue even regrets it now:

        http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/mar/19/iraq.topstories3

        The moment became symbolic across the world as it signalled the fall of the dictator. Wearing a black vest, Mr al-Jubouri, an Iraqi weightlifting champion, pounded through the concrete in an attempt to smash the statue and all it meant to him. Now, on the fourth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq, he says: “I really regret bringing down the statue. The Americans are worse than the dictatorship. Every day is worse than the previous day.”

        The weightlifter had also been a mechanic and had felt the full weight of Saddam’s regime when he was sent to Abu Ghraib prison by the Iraqi leader’s son, Uday, after complaining that he had not been paid for fixing his motorcycle.

        He explained: “There were lots of people from my tribe who were also put in prison or hanged. It became my dream ever since I saw them building that statue to one day topple it.”

        Yet he now says he would prefer to be living under Saddam than under US occupation. He said: “The devil you know [is] better than the devil you don’t. We no longer know friend from foe. The situation is becoming more dangerous. It’s not getting better at all. People are poor and the prices are going higher and higher.”

        This isn’t intended to defend Saddam, but rather to show the brutality of the occupation.

    2. Thank you, salem, for taking the time to post such valuable sources. God bless the USA that could have been.

  7. Tim
    you watch too much of fox!

    The photographs tell the story…

    Is This Media manipulation on a grand scale?

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2842.htm

    ALAN SUNDERLAND: Reverend Watson, welcome to Insight. You were in Baghdad right through the bombing, the arrival of the coalition troops. So tell me, what are we to make of the scenes of Iraqi jubilation on the streets that we’ve been seeing here?
    NEVILLE WATSON, PEACE ACTIVIST: Well, there certainly was some jubilation, but I certainly wouldn’t go along with that presented by television. The one that I’ve seen a lot of since I’ve been back is the toppling of the statue of Saddam and I can hardly believe it was the same one that I saw, because it happened at only about 300m from where I was and it was a very small crowd. The rest of the square was almost empty, and when we inquired as to where the crowd came from, it was from Saddam City. In other words, it was a rent-a-crowd. Now, that piece of television has been played over and over again, but I’ve seen nothing of the pieces of television, for example, what happened in Mosul the other day, where the Americans opened fire on a crowd killing 10 and injuring 100 when it became anti-American. So I think the scenes of jubilation have to be balanced against the other side of the picture:http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article3024.htm

  8. Tim,Tim,
    ME think that you watch too much of fox. yes,a lot of Iraqis nowdays look with such nostalgia to the “good old days” compared to now.

    Tim,

    Somehow it seems very convinent that the same media sources that you get your information from, and which constantly telling you about ‘Sadam use of chemical weapons against and his people’ forgets to tell where did Sadam get these weapons from,and somehow not mention their use againt Iran!!

    The photographs tell the story…

    Is This Media manipulation on a grand scale?

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2842.htm

    1. Yes Salem S, I know where he got the chemical weapons from. The US gave it to him. I know. And I think we did a very terrible thing to do that. However, we thought that at the time Saddam was the lesser of two evils. He was fighting Iran and we thought Iran was an even greater danger so we supported him. I am not saying it was right. But there was a reason for it.

      1. Tim R,
        The nasty aspect of the Iraq-Iran War was that this country via the guidance of that evil Henry Kissinger and the other Neocons, was aiding both sides. I guess to raise the body counts on both sides. “Kill as many Muslims as possible!”, being the guiding principle, I guess.

        1. Because in wars there always be a killing to be made and I do not just mean the killing of peopole,it is the profitable kind!

          And to weaken both countries for a long time to come.

  9. to everybody,
    please excuse the redundence!

    I had a hard time getting my comments posted.

    Thanks!

  10. Thank you so much, Lawrence Vance, for this quote from President Hoover, above. He sounds very sincere, and shows me a very good side of himself.

  11. Find a New Hero

    The zeitgeist is change

    but are we roped to the track

    by the warrior pack?

    Construct a new construct

    for a new hero of yore

    what sort of hero for our PNAC shore

    will he/she shore up new levers

    for the fiat that we trust

    The one nation manifest

    Is it uber alles or under Dues?

    Could their be a mammon link?

    What would Woodrow Wilson think?

    Is the nation really on the brink?

    Say do we need a Bonaparte

    a Mao or a touch of Tao

    or a party truly populist?

    Does the bang proceed the bust?

    Is there a law that covers trust?

  12. Salem S,

    There is so much more garbage and filth from the Quran and Hadith. Maybe you can explain it? It is sad that so many people are ignorant of the ruthless and horrible things in Islam. They are lied to and told how peaceful it is and they actually believe it. How about the Prophet ordering Jewish women and children to be killed? (Bukhari 58:148).

    How about this alleged “Prophet” walking over dead bodies and mocking the corpses of people he had slain? (
    Bukhari 59:314).

    Here Muhammed actually enourages RAPE of non Muslim women!
    “Some of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) were reluctant to have intercourse with the female captives in the presence of their husbands who were unbelievers. So Allah, the Exalted, sent down the Qur’anic verse: (Sura 4:24) “And all married women (are forbidden) unto you save those (captives) whom your right hands possess.” (Abu Dawud 2150)

    How about sexually molesting little children? Do you repudiate that?
    ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: “Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) married me when I was six years old, and I was admitted to his house at the age of nine.” (Sahih Muslim 3309) This is confirmed in many other hadith as well.

    Forcing people to convert? (See Ibn Ishaq 814)

    Suicide bombers? Jihadists who love death? ( Bukhari (52:54)

    I could keep going but don’t have the time. You get the picture. The only thing true about Muhammad are the last three letters of his name, MAD. That, indeed, he was.

    1. Two issues need to be tackled here, Sexuality and Slavery. Islam phased out slavery from the bedouin societies. So, during the first years of Islam, some muslims had slaves until it was completely phased out. Slaves were won in battle, and sometimes they are women – these women were referred to as those “whom your right hands possess”.

      Now sexuality. Islam allows polygamy. Sexual relations are extremely restricted in Islam and the punishment for sexual violations are tough. Now of course RAPE is never allowed. What is allowed is for a man to have sexual relations with one, two, three, or four wives and “whom your right hands posses”.
      No where does it say that you are allowed to rape your wives or those you posses. So, yes it allowed sexual relations but you are assuming it is inconscented that is not true. Rape would get a man’s head chopped off.

      There is no molesting children either.

      The prophet was married to one woman (Khadija who was 40 when they met) for most his life (twenty five years). When she passed away he married others. He could have married others while with Khadija if he needed that pleasure but he didnt. And when he married after her he did so to a variety of women. He married young, old, Jewish, and others. These were not marriages out of lust, these were the result of tribal politics and the inner workings of the bedouin culture. When the prophet marries a woman from a tribe, that tribe becomes linked Qureish (his tribe) and treaties are easier to make and to cement alliances. Only your sick mind will go to pedophilia.

      As for your other points
      There is no forcing people to convert. In your last posting you mentioned the Jizya so you are contradicting your self. One of the main tenents of Islam is that there IS NO COMPULSION IN RELIGION. That is a Quranic quote. No one can be forced to do anything they don’t want in religion.

      There were no “bombers” 1400 years ago, so Bukhari couldnt have been talking about suicide bombers.

      The meaning of Jihad is not restricited to war or fighting. Jihad means to “put an effort”. If put an effort to help the poor then you are a jihadist, if you put an effort to teach Islam then you are a jihadist, if you put an effort to raise your children properly then you are a jihadist, if you put an effort to stop injustice then you are a jihadist, etc… If you die while performing any kind of jihad then you are a martyr. And yes Islam does celebrate Muslims who are martyred in Jihad. It is a big deal for a person to risk or sacrifice his life for a cause. I believe in the US such folks are commonly refered to as the “finest” as in “New York’s Finest”. So there is no higher honor in Islam that to die for Islam. If a muslim dies in battle, or dies in prayer or dies in serving islam in any way, then he is a jihadist who died for Islam and will be rewarded greatly in heaven.

      You obviously picked up a few quotes here and there but have no clue what you are talking about. I don’t appreciate your offensive tone towards Mohammad. He is the finest man to ever walk the earth.

      peace be upon you all.

      1. Will,

        How come you did not specifically and directly address the source texts I provided you with? Namely: the Prophet ordering Jewish women and children to be killed? (Bukhari 58:148), this so called prophet marrying and having sex with a 9 year old named Aisha (Sahih Muslim 3309) Muhammad telling people he’d kill them if they don’t convert (See Ibn Ishaq 814)

        See, Will, you just totally ignore the sources that you can’t dispute and the rest you find some silly way to twist and and distort. And if you don’t like my tone about Muhammad, too bad! Finest person to walk the earth? Give me a break.

        1. I spoke about the Aisha issue when I addressed the Prophets marriages.

          There is a big difference between Quranic verses and Hadith. Anything Bukhari says is a hadith, which is a saying somebody said that somebody saw the prophet do. A great deal of effort is put to preserve the accuracy of hadith in Islam but it is not without error.

          That said, I only have a Quran handy and I don’t have the wide volumes of hadith. I cannot speak to it because I don’t have it to go back to it and read it. I have never heard of these Hadiths you speak of so I cannot address them.

          All I know is that you have twisted and taken out of context every Quranic verse you could and you have been exposed to be nothing but a sleazy liar who knows nothing about the religion you are attacking. I don’t claim to be an Islamic scholar, but a quick review of those verses doesn’t take a genius to see you’re a fraud. For this I won’t respond to you any more.

          Islam is a religion that begins with peace and ends with peace. And anything you try to dig up and twist to hold against Islam won’t work.

          And no. No breaks. The Prophet Mohammad, may God’s mercy, prayers, and peace be upon him, is the finest man to walk this earth.

          Peace.

        2. Will writes: “Islam is a religion that begins with peace and ends with peace.”

          That is a very funny joke. Tell that to the 3,000 Americans who were burned alive on 9/11/01 while your peaceful Muslim brothers shouted “Allah Akbar” while they deliberatly murdered thousands of innoecent people. Peaceful relgion? What rubbish! Tell that to the famililes of Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl, who had their heads CHOPPED OFF by your Muslim brothers.

          Karl Marx once said that “religion is the opiate of the masses.” When thinking of a person like you, I think he was probably right.

          PS: The violent rubbish found in the Hadiths I cited is very easy to look up. Just do a google search for crying out loud and stop pretending to be ignorant.

      2. “Jihad” is roughly equivalent to “Crusade” in English; ie, a “crusade” against poverty, against homelessness, etc.

        1. From another point of view, the Fourth Crusade may also expand the “Crusade” aspect a bit as well.

        2. ”The Pope, Innocent III, called a formal Crusade against the Cathars of the Languedoc, appointing a series of military leaders to head his Holy Army. The first was a Cistercian abbot (Arnaud Amaury) now best remembered for his command at Béziers “Kill them all. God will know his own”. The second was Simon de Montfort now remembered as the father of another Simon de Montfort, a prominent figure in English parliamentary history. The war against the Cathars of the Languedoc continued for two generations. In the later phases the Kings of France would take over as leaders of the crusade, which thus became a Royal Crusade.

          From 1208, a war of terror was waged against the indigenous population and their rulers… During this period an estimated 500,000 Languedoc men women and children were massacred – Catholics as well as Cathars. The Counts of Toulouse and their allies were dispossessed and humiliated, and their lands annexed to France. Educated and tolerant Languedoc rulers were replaced by relative barbarians; Dominic Guzmán (later Saint Dominic) founded the Dominican Order and soon afterwards the Inquisition, manned by his Dominicans, was established explicitly to wipe out the last vestiges of resistance. Persecutions of Languedoc Jews and other minorities were initiated; the culture of the troubadours was lost as their cultured patrons were reduced to wandering refugees known as faidits. Their characteristic concept of “paratge”, a whole sophisticated world-view, was almost destroyed, leaving us a pale imitation in our idea of chivalry. Lay learning was discouraged and the reading of the bible became a capital crime. Tithes were enforced. The Languedoc started its long economic decline to become the poorest region in France; and the language of the area, Occitan, began its descent from the foremost literary language in Europe to a regional dialect, now disparaged as a patois.

          At the end of the extermination of the Cathars, the Roman Church had convincing proof that a sustained campaign of genocide can work. It also had the precedent of an internal Crusade within Christendom, and the machinery of the first modern police state that could be wheeled out for the Spanish Inquisition, and again for later Inquisitions and genocides.

          The crusade against the Cathars of the Languedoc has been described as one of the greatest disasters ever to befall Europe….

          [http://www.languedoc-france.info/12_cathars.htm]

  13. There is so much garbage and filth in the Old Testament of the Bible, in Paul’s epistles, and in the Talmud.

    1. Peace,
      Yeah, there is quite a bit of garbage in the old testament and Talmud. So then that of course justifies and excuses the filth in the Quran, correct? And by the way, most Jews totally repudiate those things, can the same be said for Muslims?

      And by the way, most of the direct quotations of Jesus are nothing but peace and love, gentleness and kindness. Mohammad teaches his followers to be hard and ruthless against “unbelievers” where as Jesus says to love our enemies. But I guess you see the Quran and the bible as morally equivalent so I probably won’t be able to change your mind. It is already made up.

      1. These arcane theological discussions tell us nothing about the roots of modern terrorism, and simply comprise a means of deflecting empirical inquiry. The Christian west’s bloody track record proves as much, if half of what you say about the New Testament is true.

  14. “It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and sputtering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spreads of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country and invoked the God of Battles, beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpouring of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.

    It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety’s sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way….”

    [Mark Twain]

  15. The Inquisition goes down in history as one of the most horrible crime against humanity. To begin the story of the Inquisition, we must begin at the beginning, with the Albigensian heresy.

    The Albigenses, also called Cathari ("Pure Ones"), was a heretical Christian sect which had a large following in southern France, mainly in the regions of Toulouse and Languedoc, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Their name is taken from a city in Southern France called Albi. They rejected all church sacraments and believed that matter is intrinsically evil (a la the Gnostics). Jesus, they taught was an angel with a phantom body; he did not really suffer on the cross. The importance they attached to Jesus was to his teachings not his death and resurrection. Unusual for a Christian sect, the Albigenses were strictly pacifist and non-violent. They were also tolerant of other beliefs.

    The Albigenses were condemned by Church councils starting from 1165. At first Pope Innocent III (1160-1216) sent in the Dominican monks to try to convince the Albigenses, by public debate, of the error of their ways. But they were unsuccessful and the region remain firmly under the Albigensian heresy. With both the condemnation of the council and the public debates of the Dominicans unsuccessful, the pope decided to play his trump card: the sword. In 1209 Pope Innocent III initiated the campaign known as the Albigensian crusade. Like the crusades against the Muslims the pope offered indulgences to all its participants. This brought about twenty thousand eager Christians, knights and peasants, from all over Europe.

    The Albigensian crusade was to outdo all the atrocities of the past: for the first time a pope was sanctioning a holy war against other Christians. The crusaders attacked all the towns where the heresy was strong. An example of the senseless slaughter that took place can be taken from the storming of the city of Bezeirs. The papal appointee Arnald Almaric, Abbot of Cliteaux, was asked during the siege how he planned to distinguish the believers from the heretics in the city. His answer was spine-chilling: "Kill all, God will know his own." The killing, in many cases was not done instantly, the victims were first blinded, mutilated, dragged behind horses and used for target practice. By Arnald's own account, about 15,000 men, women and children were slaughtered there. Some chroniclers estimated the figure to be closer to 50,000.

    The papal legates tried to outdo each other in the level of cruelty imposed on the Albigenses. One of them, Simon of Montfont was truly a crusader in the traditional mould. In his piety he prayed to his God before every battle. The chronicler Pierre des Vaux-de-Cernay described one of Simon's prayer:

    “Having prayed at length and with great devotion, he grasped the sword hanging by his side and laid it on the altar, saying, "O good Lord, O Gentle Jesus! You have chosen me to wage your wars in spite of my unworthiness. It is from your altar that I receive my arms today, so that in the moment of fighting your battles I may receive my weapons from you."

    Divinely inspired, Simon captured one Albigensian stronghold after another. He used torture as a method of slowly killing his victims before burning them. As for those whose live he decided to spare, he had their eyes torn out. The crusade lasted for more than twenty years and the estimated casualty was about one million dead.

    This wholesale massacre almost completely destroyed the nascent civilization of a brilliant people.

    Almost was not enough for the pious Christian bishops. In 1233, Pope Gregory IX (c1148-1241) established the Inquisition or, more formally, The Congregation of the Holy Office. Its aim was simple, to seek out and eradicate the Albigensian heretics. Gregory entrusted the Inquisition to the Dominican monks. As an ecclesiastical court, with a "secular arm" for administering the death penalty, the Inquisition wielded immense power. Accusations can be made anonymously, which made the task of the defence all the more difficult. If a person accused of heresy refused to confess, he will be tried before an Inquisitor, who will generally be assisted by some members of the clergy and the lay community. The ultimate penalty was burning at the stake. Other penalties included imprisonment and confiscation of property.

    In 1251 Pope Innocent IV (d.1254) authorized the use of torture in the Inquisition to abstract confession from the accused. The tremendously added to the efficacy of the whole process. The methods of torture used must be described for its horror to be appreciated. Given below is a summary, by the Swiss historian Walter Nigg, of the torture used the Inquisition:

    “The thumbscrew was usually the first to be applied. The fingers were placed in clamps and the screws turned until the blood spurted out and the bones were crushed. The defendant might be placed on the iron torture chair, the seat of which consisted of sharpened iron nails that could be heated red hot from below. There were the so-called "boots" which were employed to crush the shinbones. Another favorite torture was the dislocation of the limbs on the rack or the wheel on which the heretic, bound hand and foot, was drawn up and down while the body was weighted with stones. So that the tortures would not be disturbed by the shrieking of the victim, his mouth was stuffed with cloth. Three- and four-hour sessions of torture were nothing unusual. During the procedures the instruments were frequently sprinkled with holy water.”

    Some people, unaccustomed to associating religion- or religious people- with atrocities, would tend to assume that these inquisitors acted against their religious beliefs and were, very probably, vandals and hooligans; and certainly not virtuous. But that would be a gross mistake; they were ruthless precisely because of their deep faith; as the ex-priest, Peter de Rosa clearly testifies:

    “The most frightening of the inquisitors were the incorruptible ones; they tortured purely and simply for the love of God. They had no financial interest…they acted solely for the good of the cause. The very asceticism of most of these pious God-fearing Dominicans made them pathologically harsh. Used to pain themselves, they had a spiritual yearning to inflict pain on others. The screams of their victims were a kind of theological music to their ears, a proof that Satan was taking a pasting. They also rejoiced like children at the pope’s benevolence towards them; he gave them the same indulgences he gave the knights who went to the crusades.”

    The Inquisition was extremely successful in southern France. By the middle of the thirteenth century, the Albigensian heresy there was extirpated. The Inquisition continued to ruthlessly hunt down the remainder throughout Europe. By the fourteenth century, the Albigenses had ceased to exist, a powerful testament to the strength of the Inquisition.

    [http://www.geocities.com/paulntobin/inquisition.h

  16. If the Somme had been on US soil Americans might remember, but the last war to be actually fought in the Continental US was the Civil War and virtually nobody remembers its brutality and destruction.

  17. Clarification. I mean Major War. I don’t consider Pancho Villa’s raids into the US a Major War.

  18. Bene, questa è la mia prima visita al tuo blog! Siamo un gruppo di volontari e di iniziare una nuova iniziativa in una comunità nella stessa nicchia. Il tuo blog ci ha fornito preziose informazioni su cui lavorare. Avete fatto un lavoro meraviglioso!

  19. Je suis vraiment plaisir à lire vos articles bien écrits. Il semble que vous passez beaucoup d'efforts et de temps sur votre blog. J'ai signet et je suis impatient de lire de nouveaux articles. Continuez votre bon travail!

  20. Une fois de plus grand poste. Vous semblez avoir une bonne compréhension de cesthemes.Come sur et garder sur votre écriture blog.expecting pour quelque chose de plus attrayant.

  21. Des Etats-Unis, Ralph lauren 2012 marque de style printemps de nouvelles chaussures avec une approach lourde aristocratique médiévale. Bullock couleurs de chaussures durante cuir design and style mixte, ou the ministère de la princesse T-chaussures de design and style, ont adopté l'ensemble des meilleures de la première couche de tissus durante cuir, l'utilisation intelligente d'une boucle, creux, et de glands et d'autres éléments, donc chaussures de cette saison de changer de forme and also multiports.

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