The War to end all wars, still on after one hun­dred years…

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

GavriloPrin­cip’s name doesn’t mean much to­day. We can guess that nei­ther will the names of Martin Cou­ture-Rouleau and Michael Ze­haf-Bibeau in a hun­dred years from now. Prin­cip killed an arch­duke and that was enough, through a spi­ral of treaties, to get into another war. This one to end all the oth­ers.

We are still fight­ing it. A cou­ple of decades ago, it was Bos­nia. Re­mem­ber. Well, this is where Prin­cip came from and he was fight­ing for a na­tion­al­ist group from there. Now it is that Western in­ven­tion, Iraq and Syria; Cre­ated after the war to end all wars by the Brits and the French.

Need­less to say, nei­ther cared about Shi­ites, Sun­nites and Kurds. Or who was in charge. Let’s put the most cor­rupt­ible guy in charge for us and let’s reap the ben­e­fits. Which brought us the lat­est in the co­hort, Nouri al-Ma­liki, the one cho­sen as the least dan­ger­ous by the Americans. That he was a no­body doesn’t count much in th­ese sit­u­a­tions. So was a young un­em­ployed Aus­trian named Adolph Hitler, who, ac­cord­ing to pun­dits of the day, never stood a chance of be­ing the leader of Ger­many. In a way they were right: he never got a plu­ral­ity of votes be­fore be­com­ing dic­ta­tor. Democ­racy works in strange ways.

Last night, as a per­fect ex­am­ple, our Amer­i­can friends voted in an elec­tion that saw to it that money and big business rule. More or less the same sys­tem that got Hitler to power and saw a cou­ple of tens of thou­sands of peo­ple die, in­clud­ing those that we will re­mem­ber this week and on Re­mem­brance Day week­end.

Now, Mr. Hitler, as a for­mer Cana­dian Prime Min­is­ter called him once, was also a law and or­der type who saw to it that the Weimar ex­cess be brought un­der con­trol, giv­ing more power to the po­lice be­ing high on the list. Use­ful when you legally want to herd peo­ple to ‘work camps’ as they were en­e­mies of the na­tion.

Mean­while, in the Western drawn Mid­dle-East bound­aries, Cana­dian F-18s, on their last legs it must be said, are con­tribut­ing to the con­tin­u­a­tion of World War One. To no ef­fect, ISIL as it MUST be called, not ISIS, the last S be­ing for Syria while the group clearly says Le­vant, is win­ning on the ground. Try­ing to bring the fron­tiers where they were a cen­tury ago.

That peo­ple died then is sad, that some will die now is even sad­der. That Canada, the coun­try that in­vented the Blue Berets, whose sole Noble Peace Prize win­ner Lester Pear­son in­vented the con­cept of the United Na­tions in­ter­ven­tion as a go-be­tween and peace bro­ker, is in­volved mil­i­tar­ily in this mess is a shame.

In­late Septem­ber, Karen and I did a cruise on the Seine River and then spent a few days ex­plor­ing Paris. I couldn’t get over the many par­al­lels be­tween our ex­pe­ri­ences in France and our rou­tine at the cot­tage. Here are some ex­am­ples. France – In Paris at the d’Or­say Art Mu­seum, I saw a huge dis­play of sculp­tures chis­eled and pol­ished by master crafts­men from across Europe. Cot­tage – In Magog at the Cana­dian Tire, I saw a huge dis­play of Mastercraft chis­els and floor pol­ish­ers from across China. France – In me­an­der­ing streams at Claude Monet’s gar­dens in Giverny, I saw dozens of lily pads shim­mer­ing in the after- noon light. Cot­tage – In the drainage ditch in our back wood­lot, I saw dozens of gal­lons of swamp­wa­ter shim­mer­ing in the af­ter­noon light when a back­hoe ripped out a blocked cul­vert pipe down the road. France – I brought a smile to my wife’s face when I kissed her one night be­neath the twin­kling Eif­fel Tower. Cot­tage – I brought a smile to wife’s face when I re­mem­bered her first name and didn’t say “Hey you” for at least a week. France – On the sun­deck of our cruise-boat, I sipped a glass of Bordeaux as gen­tle breezes made cats’ paws on the Seine be­low us. Cot­tage – On our front deck, I cut short my af­ter­noon beer-break when gale-force winds whip­ping across the lake started tear­ing off our roof shin­gles. France – With our guide­book, I nav­i­gated the Paris un­der­ground to get us to a night­club where beau­ti­ful women (and men) sang and danced their hearts out. Cot­tage – With our flash­light, I nav­i­gated on my hands and knees in the crawl-space un­der our floor-boards to chase away ornery squir­rels (and chip­munks) that were chittering their brains out. France – Over brunch at our ho­tel on our last day in France, I talked about how our trip had ig­nited a re­newed sense of ro­mance in our re­la­tion­ship. Cot­tage – Over warmed-up leftovers for lunch on our last day at the cot­tage, I talked about how I re­paired the ig­niter switch on our gas bar­beque.

Photo cour­tesy

Kick­ing of the Mai­son Aube-Lu­miere’s an­nual Poin­set­tia fundraiser were (left to right): Sébastien Morin (Im­mex); Danny St-Pierre (honorary pres­i­dent); Él­iz­a­beth Brière (Mai­son Aube-Lu­mière pres­i­dent); Line Dargis (Sears); Mélanie Gré­goire (Serres St-Élie); Marie Bé­cotte (di­rec­tor of La Mai­son Aube-Lu­mière).

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