Remembering . . .
100 years ago, the first of the two world wars of the 20th Century was coming to a close. Between 1914 and 1918, on battle fields throughout Europe, tens of millions were killed or left seriously disabled. Those back home were suffering, too, from stress and deprivation, while being fooled or forced into backing a senseless and brutal conflict by powerful states competing for markets and influence.
In our own day the same pattern is being repeated. NATO, to which the UK belongs, continues to use military violence to pacify US “trouble spots”. As always, the real motivations for warfare are hidden by spin and falsehoods.
Depressing? It is certainly sobering but there is another thread connecting the two eras which offers hope –a thread that only appears rarely in mainstream accounts. In both centuries there has been resistance to warmongering, for example in Scotland through worker strikes, mass public protests and conscientious objectors refusing to fight.
And there is a new hunger among ordinary people here for a different way of being in the world – a way that responds to human need across the globe, that puts co-operation above competition, that actually cares about the planet and its future, that wants investment in the paths to peace instead of the machinery of murder. That road demands that we leave NATO and form peaceful connections across the world and, by scrapping Trident, share in the global move to ban nuclear weapons.
So let’s make sense of the First World War with a respectful nod to the past and a new determination to build a saner world, as we work together for No More Wars!
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