The for­got­ten

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

April 27th 1916 is not an his­tor­i­cal day; noth­ing much hap­pened that would merit an en­try in the his­tory books. So un­less you are re­lated to one of the ca­su­al­ties of the day, it doesn’t mean a thing for his­to­ri­ans or, for that mat­ter, ed­i­to­ri­al­ists. War sto­ries be­ing obli­ga­tory for Novem­ber when the weather gets chill­ier by the day, not April when it is the op­po­site.

Yet, in some trenches in Europe, kids from our re­gion were try­ing to keep their san­ity. This, in a time when no real man could lose his san­ity be­cause, if he did, he would face the ex­e­cu­tion pla­toon as a de­serter. Yet, no­body can re­main sane when you don’t know when the next round of mus­tard gas or phos­gene is go­ing to fall on you. Worst when you know it is fall­ing on you. None are alive to­day to re­mem­ber the hor­ror. As wars go, this was the ugli­est up to then. Then came WWII, ugli­est too. Since then, we have learned to man­age the car­nage. No more ca­su­al­ties. Well, we should re­phrase, just the right amount of ca­su­al­ties. Not to achieve the com­bat re­quire­ment, but just enough to scare the folks back home. This goes not only for our men and women, but also for the en­e­mies. Col­lat­eral is a dirty word.

So hu­man­ity has taken a huge step from one hun­dred years ago. From the un­clean­li­ness of the trenches of WWI, unions, the NDP and Québec Sol­idaire would rise to the front to protest the work­ing con­di­tions of our noble sol­diers if it hap­pened to­day, to the Lysol® War.

With some ob­vi­ously ei­ther un­der­stand­ing the rules too much or not at all as this week’s be­head­ing of John Rids­del at­tests. Death is some­thing that all can look for­ward to; you can dream of win­ning the lot­tery, you can­not dream of es­cap­ing death. So these ig­no­rant, back­wa­ter ter­ror­ists are not even us­ing a drone to be­head the man! Shame on them.

Sorry for the wake-up call, but if he had been put to sleep with an in­jec­tion un­der med­i­cal su­per­vi­sion would that bring him back to life? Be­head­ing achieves the same re­sult, but with much bet­ter me­dia cov­er­age. We don’t doubt that Abu Sayyaf are not nice peo­ple. As we have no doubt that the Bri­tish were right in de­nounc­ing the Amer­i­can ter­ror­ists who wanted to sep­a­rate, or the Ir­ish in 1916. To­day would have been the fifth day of Bloody Easter by the way.

What we know is that the group was fi­nanced (do we hon­estly have to tell you? Have you guessed?) yes, by the Saudis! Enough said!

In fact, it is as if World War One was un­able to stop. Daesh is sim­ply try­ing to re­make the Ot­toman Em­pire, which was de­stroyed dur­ing that war. And who backed them fi­nan­cially first?

But for the poor (they al­ways die first in war) young man in a trench, one hun­dred years ago, the only fu­ture he had in mind was get­ting back home alive. If we had told him then that two more years of hell were ahead of him if he made it, he would have shat­tered in front of us.

And if we tell our­selves that this mad­ness will end soon, then we are in­sane.

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