Archive

Archive for February, 2015

Upton Sinclair: U.S. invasion of Russia: nothing but wholesale murder; American army and navy as a world police-force

February 28, 2015 Leave a comment

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war

Upton Sinclair: Selections on war

====

Upton Sinclair
From Boston (1928)

1_2-Sinclair-young-man

It was time to get excitable young rebels out of the country; the family realized that clearly more and more every day. For it appeared that the signing of the armistice was not going to mean peace; not even the signing of a treaty would mean it. Our troops were to stay in Germany; worse yet, they were to stay in Siberia and Archangel, and wage President Wilson’s private war upon the Russian people. The American army and navy were to service as a world police-force for the capitalist system. Exactly what Cornelia had seen the Boston police do in Plymouth, the national police were going to do all over Europe and Asia, sometimes under our command, sometimes under British command. And any persons at home who objected to this program would be hit over the head with the so-called espionage act; a law enacted to punish enemy spies, and now serving to jail American citizens for protesting against attacks upon a friendly people without a declaration of war.

It was the White Terror. Conducted partly by mobs, and partly by police and government agents acting as mobs, it had for its aim the destruction of every means through which the American people might learn how their blood and treasure were being wasted. It stopped at no crime; the law-enforcers of city, state and nation became the leading criminals. In New York four Russian boys and a girl, all of them under age, attempting to distribute a circular against the invasion of Russia, were seized by the police and tortured until one of them died; the rest were prosecuted in the federal courts and received sentences of twenty years’ imprisonment.

***

“It is nothing but a coward’s attempt to frighten and distress us. Joe was connected with the American legation in Russia, when President Wilson begin his private war on the Russian people, which was nothing but wholesale murder for the benefit of the British Tories. Joe said what he thought about it, and he may actually have done something to try to stop it. If he has a ‘criminal record,’ that is it. I’m sure.”

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized

Edward Bulwer Lytton: The heartless and miserable vanity from which arose wars neither useful nor honourable

February 27, 2015 Leave a comment

===

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Edward Bulwer Lytton: The sword, consecrating homicide and massacre with a hollow name

===

Edward Bulwer Lytton
From Devereaux (1829)

lytton

One evening I was engaged to meet a large party at a country-house about forty miles from Paris. I went, and stayed some days. My horses had accompanied me; and, when I left the chateau, I resolved to make the journey to Paris on horseback. Accordingly, I ordered my carriage to follow me, and attended by a single groom, commenced my expedition. It was a beautiful still morning, – the first day of the first month of autumn. I had proceeded about ten miles, when I fell in with an old French officer. I remember, – though I never saw him but that once, – I remember his face as if I had encountered it yesterday. It was thin and long, and yellow enough to have served as a caricature rather than a portrait of Don Quixote. He had a hook nose, and a long sharp chin; and all the lines, wrinkles, curves, and furrows of which the human visage is capable seemed to have met in his cheeks. Nevertheless, his eye was bright and keen, his look alert, and his whole bearing firm, gallant, and soldier-like. He was attired in a sort of military undress; wore a mustachio, which, though thin and gray, was carefully curled; and at the summit of a very respectable wig was perched a small cocked hat, adorned with a black feather. He rode very upright in his saddle; and his horse, a steady, stalwart quadruped of the Norman breed, with a terribly long tail and a prodigious breadth of chest, put one stately leg before another in a kind of trot, which, though it seemed, from its height of action and the proud look of the steed, a pretension to motion more than ordinarily brisk, was in fact a little slower than a common walk.

This noble cavalier seemed sufficiently an object of curiosity to my horse to induce the animal to testify his surprise by shying, very jealously and very vehemently, in passing him. This ill breeding on his part was indignantly returned on the part of the Norman charger, who, uttering a sort of squeak and shaking his long mane and head, commenced a series of curvets and capers which cost the old Frenchman no little trouble to appease. In the midst of these equine freaks, the horse came so near me as to splash my nether garment with a liberality as little ornamental as it was pleasurable.

The old Frenchman seeing this, took off his cocked hat very politely and apologized for the accident. I replied with equal courtesy; and, as our horses slid into quiet, their riders slid into conversation. It was begun and chiefly sustained by my new comrade; for I am little addicted to commence unnecessary socialities myself, though I should think very meanly of my pretensions to the name of a gentleman and a courtier, if I did not return them when offered, even by a beggar.

“It is a fine horse of yours, Monsieur,” said the old Frenchman; “but I cannot believe – pardon me for saying so – that your slight English steeds are so well adapted to the purposes of war as our strong chargers, – such as mine for example.”

“It is very possible, Monsieur,” said I. “Has the horse you now ride done service in the field as well as on the road?”

“Ah! le pauvre petit mignon, – no!” (petit, indeed! this little darling was seventeen hands high at the very least) “no, Monsieur: it is but a young creature this; his grandfather served me well!”

“I need not ask you, Monsieur, if you have borne arms: the soldier is stamped upon you!”

“Sir, you flatter me highly!” said the old gentleman, blushing to the very tip of his long lean ears, and bowing as low as if I had called him a Conde. “I have followed the profession of arms for more than fifty years.”

“Fifty years! ’tis a long time.”

“A long time,” rejoined my companion, “a long time to look back upon with regret.”

“Regret! by Heaven, I should think the remembrance of fifty years’ excitement and glory would be a remembrance of triumph.”

The old man turned round on his saddle, and looked at me for some moments very wistfully. “You are young, Sir,” he said, “and at your years I should have thought with you; but -” (then abruptly changing his voice, he continued) – “Triumph, did you say? Sir, I have had three sons: they are dead; they died in battle; I did not weep; I did not shed a tear, Sir, – not a tear! But I will tell you when I did weep. I came back, an old man, to the home I had left as a young one. I saw the country a desert. I saw that the noblesse had become tyrants; the peasants had become slaves, – such slaves, – savage from despair, – even when they were most gay, most fearfully gay, from constitution. Sir, I saw the priest rack and grind, and the seigneur exact and pillage, and the tax-gatherer squeeze out the little the other oppressors had left; anger, discontent, wretchedness, famine, a terrible separation between one order of people and another; an incredible indifference to the miseries their despotism caused on the part of the aristocracy; a sullen and vindictive hatred for the perpetration of those miseries on the part of the people; all places sold – even all honours priced – at the court, which was become a public market, a province of peasants, of living men bartered for a few livres, and literally passed from one hand to another, to be squeezed and drained anew by each new possessor: in a word, Sir, an abandoned court; an unredeemed noblesse, – unredeemed, Sir, by a single benefit which, in other countries, even the most feudal, the vassal obtains from the master; a peasantry famished; a nation loaded with debt which it sought to pay by tears, – these are what I saw, – these are the consequences of that heartless and miserable vanity from which arose wars neither useful nor honourable, – these are the real components of that triumph, as you term it, which you wonder that I regret.”

Now, although it was impossible to live at the court of Louis XIV. in his latter days, and not feel, from the general discontent that prevailed even there, what a dark truth the old soldier’s speech contained, yet I was somewhat surprised by an enthusiasm so little military in a person whose bearing and air were so conspicuously martial.

“You draw a melancholy picture,” said I; “and the wretched state of culture which the lands that we now pass through exhibit is a witness how little exaggeration there is in your colouring. However, these are but the ordinary evils of war; and, if your country endures them, do not forget that she has also inflicted them. Remember what France did to Holland, and own that it is but a retribution that France should now find that the injury we do to others is (among nations as well as individuals) injury to ourselves.”

***

“Yes,” renewed my comrade, colouring with evident shame and drawing his cocked hat over his brows, “yes, I received my last wound at Ramilies. Then my eyes were opened to the horrors of war; then I saw and cursed the evils of ambition; then I resolved to retire from the armies of a king who had lost forever his name, his glory, and his country.”

Was there ever a better type of the French nation than this old soldier? As long as fortune smiles on them, it is “Marchons au diable!” and “Vive la gloire!” Directly they get beaten, it is “Ma pauvre patrie!” and “Les calamites affreuses de la guerre!”

Categories: Uncategorized

Alfred Neumann: Ten million lives for one man’s glory; the emperor changes his hat

February 26, 2015 Leave a comment

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Alfred Neumann: Selections on war

====

Alfred Neumann
From Empire (1936)
Translated by Eden and Cedar Paul

184712-e1396646576143

Here is a remarkable head, crowned with a Kepi…Yes, the Emperor is wearing the Kepi of active service, like everyone else. His name is Napoleon, and…he will fulfill the warlike obligations of his name…There was a time, soldiers, you will remember, when he sported the famous little hat that was unique, that had been so frightfully individual when flaunted above the crater of a Europe vomiting wars and compelled to sacrifice ten million lives for the Corporal’s gloire…The times have changed, soldiers of the people; the Emperor will not send you to the front while he himself stays safe at home, as he did when he despatched you to the Crimea where pestilence raged as well as war…

This almighty and immense plain of the Po, adapted by nature and art for the production of food, is permanently hostile to destruction; the pregnant, peaceful earth is permanently antagonistic to war. The man in the Kepi, soldier and commander, stands at its very marge, and he has already become aware of God’s enmity. That is no feeling to animate a solider; and it may lead him in the wrong direction. It may lead him back into civilian dress, which he has just laid aside; to a civilian mood which would make him see or desire to see the critical and discontented professional generals of his immediate environment peep out throughout all the holes in this threadbare war…A fine horse, as quiet as a lamb, reins loose on the neck, was standing across the road, motionless, obedient, and indifferent. The Emperor rose a little in his stirrups, bent forward and to one side to look past the beast’s twitching neck into the ditch. In the ditch lay a volunteer voltigeur, whose legs in their red trousers were higher than his head, and higher than anything else were the boots, almost new boots made of good, solid leather. Not a button was missing from the white gaiters. Since a heavy soft-nosed bullet or a shell-splinter had cut off the top of the man’s skull, some kindly hand had laid a kepi over the dead face; not necessarily his own kepi, but Everyman’s kepi, the burning-red kepi. What is one to say when a kepi is used to cover something half of which is gone? A horrid position for a kepi, a lapse into non-entity, making mock of the gaiters and boots that were so beautifully uninjured. Of the poor mutilated face nothing more remained than the mouth with the prescribed imperial. Over what was non-existent above had been clapped the kepi, whose peak yawned to disclose the imperial, and the open mouth, through which the tongue protruded, and on which metallic looking blow-flies had already settled. Kepi looked down from horseback upon the kepi in the ditch, which showed him its tongue, and hos own goatee, as surviving remnants of young life. He did not hurry himself over his study of this “casualty”, and his suite had plenty of time to watch how the amateur commander-in-chief stood the grisly test. It was said that he turned quite yellow; but then he was always yellow of visage.

***
Yes, the amateur plan of campaign was both spirited and venturesome. Perhaps the victor of Marengo would have done the same thing, without a siege-train or bridge-building apparatus. But the War God would not have spent so many minutes looking at one dead soldier. He had left so long a train of corpses that if he has stopped to look at them all, he would have had no time to keep his eyes fixed on victory.

Still, Kepi must not be grudged that long look at his victim, and his almost theological understanding of the way in which the peaceful earth resisted war-making…

Categories: Uncategorized

Robert Graves: Military madness degenerating into savagery

February 25, 2015 4 comments

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Robert Graves: Selections on war

====

Robert Graves
From Good-Bye to All That (1929)

143793-004-CD711B42

England looked strange to us returned soldiers. We could not understand the war madness that ran everywhere, looking for a pseudo-military outlet. The civilians talked a foreign language; and it was newspaper language. I found serious talk with my parents all but impossible…

The training principles had been recently revised. Infantry Training, 1914, laid it down politely that the soldier’s ultimate aim was to put out of action or render ineffectively the armed forces of the enemy. The War Office no longer considered this statement direct enough for a war of attrition. Troops learned instead that they must HATE the Germans, and KILL as many of them as possible. In bayonet-practice, the men had to make horrible grimaces and utter blood-curdling yells as they charged. The instructors’ faces were set in a permanent ghastly grin. ‘Hurt him, now! In at the belly! Tear his guts out!’ they would scream, as the men charged the dummies. ‘Now that upper swing at his privates with the butt. Ruin his chances for life! No more little Fritzes!…Naaoh! Anyone would think that you loved the bloody swine, patting and stroking ’em like that. BITE HIM, I SAY! STICK YOUR TEETH IN HIM AND WORRY HIM! EAT HIS HEART OUT!’

***

[Siegfried Sassoon] wrote how mad it made him to think of the countless good men being slaughtered that summer, and all for nothing. The bloody politicians and ditto generals with their cursed incompetent blundering and callous ideas would go on until they tired of it or had got as much kudos as they wanted…

Categories: Uncategorized

Joseph Addison and Richard Steele: It is a stupid and barbarous way to extend dominion by arms

February 24, 2015 Leave a comment

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Joseph Addison: Already have our quarrels fill’d the world with widows and with orphans

====

Joseph Addison and Richard Steele
From The Sir Roger de Coverley Papers (1711)

download

He is well acquainted with commerce in all its parts, and will tell you that it is a stupid and barbarous way to extend dominion by arms; for true power is got by arts and industry. He will often argue that of this part of our trade were well cultivated, we should gain from one nation; and if another, from another. I have heard him prove that diligence makes more lasting acquisitions than valour…

***

…I remembered that Monsieur Pascal, in his most excellent discourse on the ‘Misery of Man,’ tells us that our endeavors after greatness proceed from nothing but a desire of being surrounded by a multitude of persons and affairs that may hinder us from looking into ourselves…

***

A furious party spirit, when it rages in its full violence, exerts itself in civil war and bloodshed; and when it is under its greatest restraints naturally breaks out in falsehood, detraction, calumny and a partial administration of justice. In a word, it fills a nation with spleen and rancour, and extinguishes all the seeds of good-nature, compassion, and humanity.

Plutarch says, very finely, that a man should not allow himself even to hate his enemies; – “Because,” says he, “if you indulge this passion in some occasions, it will rise of itself in others; if you hate your enemies, you will contract such a vicious habit of mind as by degrees will break out upon those who are your friends, or those who are indifferent to you.” I might here observe how admirably this precept of morality – which derives the malignity of hatred from the passion itself, and not from its object – answers to that great rule which was dictated to the world about an hundred years before this philosopher wrote…

***

How many honest minds are filled with uncharitable and barbarous notions, out of their zeal for the public good! What cruelties and outrages would they not commit against men of an adverse party, whom they would honour and esteem, if, instead of considering them as they are represented, they knew them as they are! There are persons of the greatest probity seduced into shameful errors and prejudices, and made bad men even by that noblest of principles, the “love of their country.”

medRichard_Steele

Categories: Uncategorized

George Borrow: Prisoners of war: misery on one side, disgrace on the other

February 23, 2015 Leave a comment

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

George Borrow
From Lavrengo (1841)

download

And a strange place it was, this Norman Cross, and, at the time of which I am speaking, a sad cross to many a Norman, being what was then styled a French prison, that is, a receptacle for captives made in the French war. It consisted, if I remember right, of some five or six casernes, very long, and immensely high; each standing isolated from the rest, upon a spot of ground which might average ten acres, and which was fenced round with lofty palisades, the whole being compassed about by a towering wall, beneath which, at intervals, on both sides, sentinels were stationed, whilst outside, upon the field, stood commodious wooden barracks, capable of containing two regiments of infantry, intended to serve as guards upon the captives. Such was the station or prison at Norman Cross, where some six thousand French and other foreigners, followers of the grand Corsican, were now immured.

What a strange appearance had those mighty casernes, with their blank blind walls, without windows or grating, and their slanting roofs, out of which, through orifices where the tiles had been removed, would be protruded dozens of grim heads, feasting their prison-sick eyes on the wide expanse of country unfolded from that airy height. Ah! there was much misery in those casernes; and from those roofs, doubtless, many a wistful look was turned in the direction of lovely France. Much had the poor inmates to endure, and much to complain of, to the disgrace of England be it said – of England, in general so kind and bountiful. Rations of carrion meat, and bread from which I have seen the very hounds occasionally turn away, were unworthy entertainment even for the most ruffian enemy, when helpless and a captive; and such, alas! was the fare in those casernes. And then, those visits, or rather ruthless inroads, called in the slang of the place “straw-plait hunts,” when in pursuit of a contraband article, which the prisoners, in order to procure themselves a few of the necessaries and comforts of existence, were in the habit of making, red-coated battalions were marched into the prisons, who, with the bayonet’s point, carried havoc and ruin into every poor convenience which ingenious wretchedness had been endeavouring to raise around it; and then the triumphant exit with the miserable booty; and, worst of all, the accursed bonfire, on the barrack parade, of the plait contraband, beneath the view of the glaring eyeballs from those lofty roofs, amidst the hurrahs of the troops, frequently drowned in the curses poured down from above like a tempest-shower…

Categories: Uncategorized

D.H. Lawrence: In 1915 the world ended with the slaughter-machine of human devilishness

February 22, 2015 Leave a comment

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

D. H. Lawrence: Selections on war

====

D.H. Lawrence
From Kangaroo (1923)

D_H_Lawrence_passport_photograph

Those days, that autumn…people carried about chrysanthemums, yellow and brown chrysanthemums: and the smell of burning leaves: and the wounded, bright blue soldiers with their red cotton neck-ties, sitting together like macaws on the seats, pale and different from other people. And the star Jupiter very bright at nights over the cup hollow of the Vale, on Hampstead Heath. And the war news always coming, the war horror drifting in, drifting in, prices rising, excitement growing, people going mad about Zeppelin raids. And always the one song:

“Keep the home fires burning,
Though your hearts be yearning.”

It was in 1915 the old world ended. In the winter 1915-1916 the spirit of the old London collapsed; the city, in some way, perished, perished from from being a part of the world, and became a vortex of broken passions, lusts, hopes, fears, and horrors. The integrity of London collapsed, and the genuine debasement began, the unspeakable baseness of the press and the public voice, the reign of that bloated ignominy, John Bull.

No man who has really consciously lived through this can believe again absolutely in democracy. No man who has heard reiterated in thousands of tones from all the common people, during the crucial years of the war: “I believe in John Bull.” Give me John Bull,” can ever believe that in any crisis a people can govern itself, or is even fit to govern itself. During the crucial years of the war, the people chose, and chose Bottomleyism. Bottom enough.

***

He had enough influential friends in London to put him into some job, even some quite congenial, literary job, with a sufficient salary. They would be only too glad to do it, for there in his remoteness, writing occasionally an essay that only bothered them, he was a thorn in their flesh. And men and women with sons, brothers, husbands away fighting, it was small pleasure for them to read Mr. Somers and his pronunciation. “This trench and machine warfare is a blasphemy against life itself, a blasphemy which we are all committing.” All very well, they said, but we are in for a war, and what are we to do? We hate it as much as he does. But we can’t all sit safely in Cornwall.

That was true too, and he felt a most dreary misery, knowing how many brave, generous men were being put through this slaughter-machine of human devilishness…

Categories: Uncategorized

Nathanael West: The noble motives, the noble methods of war

February 21, 2015 Leave a comment

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war

Nathanael West: Selections on war

====

Nathanael West
From Good Hunting (1938)

4f053febe10ce

THOMPSON
(Into transmitter – ad libs)

‘Lo, Crecy…Paris, please…Grenoble…Paris…American Press.

RUSSO
(Slipping Thompson a bill)

Here’s your five.

THOMPSON

You said ten.

RUSSO

You’ll take five – or I’ll charge you with accepting a bribe.

THOMPSON

But you’re giving it to me!

RUSSO

I’m a war correspondent, I’m immune.

***

SIR ARTHUR
(Sternly)

I know your troops are tired…But I will brook no delay. I demand superhuman efforts. Attacks!

HARGREAVES

Yes, sir…but…but…

SIR ARTHUR

Damn it, man! stop mumbling! We attack tomorrow, that’s final! Lloyd George and his committee were with us all week. They’re having plenty of trouble with the Colonies and the draft. An election is approaching – victories mean votes! This has to be kept a popular war.

HARGREAVES

I don’t underestimate the importance of victories – but –

SIR ARTHUR
(Cutting him short)

A decisive one right now will encourage America. Their bankers are beginning to worry about the money they’re lending us.

***

JERVAIS
(Ferociously)

The enemy must be exterminated – man, woman and child!
(With mounting hysteria, surprising in such a mild looking gent)
Torn out, root and branch. Slaughtered! Annihilated! Their cities must run with blood. Their brains must be dashed out! Their hearts plucked quivering from their bodies!

Categories: Uncategorized

Paul Morand: Nations never lay down their arms; death which is still combative

February 20, 2015 Leave a comment

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Paul Morand: The magic disappearance of ten millions of war dead

Paul Morand: The War for Righteousness ends in the burying of moral sense

====

Paul Morand
From The Living Buddha (1928)
Translated by Madeleine Boyd

???????

“Life is bad, Monseigneur, but everybody is attached to it.”

“Why?”

“Because we are rich in reasons for being alive. To covet is the first. A thing is worth something in our eyes when it belongs to someone else. It is cupidity which once upon a time threw the bourgeois upon the nobles and to-day the people upon the bourgeois; the strong upon the weak; the young against the old; the women against the men. Everything crashes with us and that may be why there are so many flashes of lightning…What is true of the West is true of the nations. They never lay down their arms. Some perish, are devoured, others wounded. Some stopped, seized with uneasiness. A few hours before, they looked healthy, with gold in their banks, with allies and invincible armies: now they are down, their strength ebbing through new or old wounds; their unguided mechanism goes on functioning in emptiness, producing, perhaps, or poisoning. Proud, hardened to suffering, those nations are the last to doubt their own power, and they are wrong. Look at England.”

“Then there are illnesses of nations?” asked the Prince.

“There is also old age of nations; constitutions that are too old; arterio-sclerotic administrations; no money for medicines and a senile taste for economy; a horror of fresh air; alcohol at all the street corners and no milk; soon, disordered reflexes, a panic of healthy organs at the expense of others; prostration, a delirium of persecution; poverty. I have seen that a short while ago.”

“Where?”

“In France, Monseigneur, in my own country.”

“And afterwards?”

“Afterwards comes general paralysis and death.

“Of course, life is an illness we all die of; but what one sees there is death without rest, death which is still combative, an end without hope, a shout which is suddenly choked, an interrupted curse…”

Categories: Uncategorized

Richard Aldington: The criminal cant and rant of war

February 19, 2015 Leave a comment

====

Richard Aldington: The Blood of the Young Men

Richard Aldington: Selections on war

====

Richard Aldington
From Death of a Hero (1929)

aldingtonnpgport

All this time the war was drawing steadily nearer. Probably it had become certain since 1911, though most people were taken unawares. Why did it happen? Who was responsible? Questions which have been interminably debated already and will furnish exultant historians with controversial material for generations to come. Already one foresees the creation of Chairs in the History of the First World War, to be set up in whatever civilised countries remain in existence after the next one. But for us the debate is vain, as vain as the pathetic and reiterated enquiry, “Where did I catch this horrible cold?” If any body or bodies engineered this catastrophe they must have been gratified by its shattering success. Few lives indeed in the belligerent countries remained unaffected by it, and in most cases the effect was unpleasant. Adult lives were cut sharply into three sections – pre-war, war, and post-war. It is curious – perhaps not so curious – how many people will tell you that whole areas of their pre-war lives have become obliterated from their memories. Pre-war seems like pre-history…

Talleyrand used to say that those who had not known Europe before 1789 had never known the real pleasure of living. No one would dare to substitute 1914 for 1789 in that sentence. But such a wholesale shattering of values had certainly not occurred since 1789. God knows how many governments and rulers crashed down in the earthquake, and those which remain are agitatedly trying to preserve their existence by the time-honoured method of repression and persecution. And yet 1914 was greeted as a great release, a purgation from the vices supposed to be engendered by peace! My God! Three days of glory engender more vices and misery than all the alleged corruptors of humanity could achieve in a millennium. Les jeunes would be amazed if they read the nauseous poppycock which was written in 1914-15 in England, and doubtless in all the belligerent countries, except France, where practically nothing was printed at all. (However, the French have made up handsomely for the loss since then.) “Our splendid troops” were to come home – oh, very soon – purged and ennobled by slaughter and lice, and were to beget even nobler fellows to go and do likewise…

***

It was the régime of Cant before the War which made the Cant during the War so damnably possible and easy. On our coming of age the Victorians generously handed us a charming little cheque for fifty guineas – fifty-one months of hell, and the results. Charming people, weren’t they? Virtuous and farsighted. But it wasn’t their fault? They didn’t make the War? It was Prussia, and Prussian militarism? Right you are, right ho! Who made Prussia a great power and subsidized Frederick the Second to do it, thereby snatching an empire from France? England. Who backed up Prussia against Austria, and Bismarck against Napoleon III? England. And whose Cant governed England in the nineteenth century? But never mind this domestic squabble of mine – put it that I mean the “Victorians” of all nations.

One human mind cannot hold, one memory retain, one pen portray the limitless Cant, Delusion, and Delirium let loose on the world during those four years. It surpasses the most fantastic imagination. It was incredible – and I suppose that was why it was believed. It was the supreme and tragic climax of Victorian Cant, for after all the Victorians were still in full blast in 1914, and had pretty much the control of everything. Did they appeal to us honestly, and say: “We have made a colossal and tragic error, we have involved you and all of us in a huge war; it’s too late to stop it; you must come and help us, and we promise to take the first opportunity of making peace and making it thoroughly”? They did not. They said that they didn’t want to us, but they thought WE ought to go; they said our King and Country needed us; they said they’d kiss us when we come home (merci! effect of the Entente Cordiale?); they said one of the most civilized nations in the world were “Huns”: they invented Cadaver factories; they asserted that a race of men notorious during generations for their kindliness were habitual baby-butchers, rapers of women, crucifiers of prisoners; they said the “Huns” were sneaks and cowards and skedaddlers, but failed to explain why it took fifty-one months to beat their hopelessly out-numbered armies; they said that they were fighting for the Liberty of the World, and everywhere there is less liberty; they said they would Never sheath the Sword until etcetera, and this sort of criminal rant was called Pisgah-Heights of Patriotism…They said…Why go on? It is desolating, desolating. And then they wonder why the young are cynical and despairing and angry and chaotic! And they still have adherents, who still dare to go on preaching to us. Quick! A shrine to the goddesses Cant and Imprudence…

Categories: Uncategorized

H.G. Wells: When war comes home

February 18, 2015 Leave a comment

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

H.G. Wells: Selections on war

====

H.G. Wells
From Mr. Britling Sees It Through (1916)

download

In this fashion it was that the great war began in Europe and came to one man in Matching’s Easy, as it came to countless intelligent men in countless pleasant homes that had scarcely heeded its coming through all the years of its relentless preparation. The familiar scenery of life was drawn aside, and War stood unveiled. “I am the Fact,” said War, “and I stand astride the path of life. I am the threat of death and extinction that has always walked beside life, since life began. There can be nothing else and nothing more in human life until you have reckoned with me.”

***

He had always hated conflict and destruction, and felt that war between civilised states was the quintessential expression of human failure, it was a stupidity that stopped progress and all the free variation of humanity, a thousand times he had declared it impossible, but even now with his country fighting he was still far from realising that this was a thing that could possibly touch him more than intellectually. He did not really believe with his eyes and finger-tips and backbone that murder, destruction, and agony on a scale monstrous beyond precedent was going on in the same world as that which slumbered outside the black ivy and silver shining window-sill that framed his peaceful view.

War had not been a reality of the daily life of England for more than a thousand years. The mental habit of the nation for fifty generations was against its emotional recognition. The English were the spoilt children of peace. They had never been wholly at war for three hundred years, and for over eight hundred years they had not fought for life against a foreign power. Spain and France had threatened in turn, but never even crossed the seas. It is true that England had had her civil dissensions and had made wars and conquests in every part of the globe and established an immense empire…

***

“I tell you I never knew there was such a thing as war until this happened to me. In America we don’t know there is such a thing. It’s like pestilence and famine; something in the story books. We’ve forgotten it for anything real. There’s just a few grandfathers go around talking about it. Judge Holmes and sage old fellows like him. Otherwise it’s just a game the kids play at…And then suddenly here’s everybody running about in the streets – hating and threatening – and nice old gentlemen with white moustaches and fathers of families scheming and planning to burn houses and kill and hurt and terrify. And nice young women, too, looking for an Englishman to spit at; I tell you I’ve been within range and very uncomfortable several times…And what one can’t believe is that they are really doing these things…”

Categories: Uncategorized

Leonid Leonov: Tell me, is it right to kill – in war or anyhow?

February 17, 2015 Leave a comment

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Russian writers on war

Leonid Leonov: All the blood that has been shed has turned the air bad

====

Leonid Leonov
From The Thief (1927)
Translated by Hubert Butler

82731

“…They used to practice the read death in our parts. Have you heard of it?”

“I read about it in some book…the old men used to be suffocated with a red bolster…some kind of sect, wasn’t it?”

“Not only old men,” Agey waved his hand and cast down his eyes. “But the folk in our parts are quiet and peaceable. The hares come and play close to the houses. The bolster business…that all happened in old times…in any case, what do the bolsters matter? What’s the difference whether one smothers a man with a bolster or shoots him with a gun or hacks him to pieces with a sword or poisons him with poison gas? One might even say it’s softer with a bolster: it’s even a pleasure, if the other party’s agreeable. They say that the professor who invented this poison gas hasn’t been shot yet, but he is still running about…”

***

“You’re a brainy chap with those spectacles. Tell me, is it right to kill – in war or anyhow? While my father had me in his pocket, I used to think that one might kill anything up to a mouse, but nothing higher than that. I had wisdom bitten into my ear. I was a dreamy chap…In the night I used to get up and read, but in the war my mind went off the rails. It was during an attack – a hellish spot called Ferdinand’s Nose, a hill full of holes. I went ahead and cut the wire in two and ran in, and up against me came an Austrian officer with a red nose. He rushed at me with his sword, but I took a jab at him with my bayonet. Then I lifted up the butt of my rifle, and he looked at me as you are doing now, in a pleading kind of way. I saw his eyes growing dull. What did they want, Fyodor Fyodorich? And it’s true if a chap hits you with the butt of a rifle, it isn’t in the butt the death is, but in his eyes. When he winked at me I thought…’You’re cheating,’ though I. ‘You want to get into me with your eyes.’…And I screwed up my eyes, too.”

“It’s unbearably hot here,” murmured Firsov, who was streaming with sweat, and he got up from his chair.

“Sit down!” Agey ordered him, and pushed his knees down. “A little afterward there was a parade. Our general gave me a cross and praised me, and I began to think of the young hawk. ‘But, your serene excellency,’ said I. “I killed a man.’ I was stupid, I suppose, eh? I’m almost ashamed of telling it. And he screamed in my face: ‘You fool! If anyone gives you anything, well, you’ve earned it.’ For this bit of back chat I was under arrest for three days – quite the hero! – but I didn’t care a damn! ‘That’s easy work,’ thought I, ‘and I get distinguished for it into the bargain!’ In the end I got a taste for it. I did in seven of them with my bayonet at every attack, and I longed for each attack as if it was Easter Sunday. Once I hacked a man’s hand off, and brought it to the commandant. Another time I killed a dead man a second time: he was sitting by a gun carriage, and I gave him one just for the love of the thing. And when I’d learned to stomach it, I had a high old time with medals and crosses…”

Categories: Uncategorized

George Santayana: Fatal wars: equally needless, equally murderous

February 16, 2015 Leave a comment

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war

George Santayana: Selections on war

====

George Santayana
From The Last Puritan: A Memoir in the Form of a Novel (1935)

george-santayana-4

“I know, in the old days, a brilliant boy like that would have gone into the army, and there are wars everywhere in which to be killed. Mothers had that trial to endure; and I suppose it’s no worse now with motors and aeroplanes and submarines, and whatever else those scientific busybodies may find to invent. We blame those dangerous innovations and those fatal wars, both equally needless, equally murderous…”

***

Odds and ends of learning stuck pleasantly in his mind, like the adventures of a Gil Blas or a Casanova; it was the little events, the glimpses of old life, like the cadences of old poetry, that had the savour of truth. Perhaps there were no great events: a great event was a name for our ignorance of the little events which composed it. Summary views were necessary to the rhetoric of politics; they were gross masks made for the public eye, or made by it; but the humble truth of things was woven into their finer texture; it lay in the forgotten passions and forgotten accidents that really determined every turn of events…”

***

“At least you, Mr. Oliver, will be spared. There’s that advantage now in being an American.  They can’t drag you into this wicked war, not with all their picture-posters and conscription that they will say will have to come in the end. Our young men will drop like apples in a wet year in the orchard, some green and some ripe and some rotten and each with an iron worm in him…”

“These young recruits are told that they will be dying for their country. That’s sheer cant. Nobody knows if he’s doing his country any good by dying for it, or whether his country is better worth dying for than any other. And what is one’s country, anyhow? A piece of land? How is a piece of land in danger? Institutions and ideas? But institutions and ideas are always changing; by dying to preserve one set you will be creating another: and there will be less than you could care for in the world after that than there was before. It is a blind current that sweeps us on, we don’t know for how long or to what issue.”

***

He tried going to France and driving a motor-ambulance…The native women he found sly, the men false, and both avaricious. Moreover, the constant sight of the dead and wounded, when it did not turn his stomach or make his head swim, cut cruelly into his conscience. He couldn’t throw off the sense of indignation, the perpetual rebellion of his reason against such folly, so much suffering, so much unmitigated wickedness at the source of this carnage. He must retire somewhere beyond the sound of guns and Zeppelins, and recover his nerve.

Categories: Uncategorized

Bulgaria: Protesters Demand Withdrawal From NATO

February 15, 2015 Leave a comment

Sofia News Agency
February 15, 2015

Anti-NATO Protest Staged in Downtown Sofia

About a hundred people have demonstrated against Bulgaria’s NATO membership, calling on the alliance “to leave” the country.

The event started at Sunday noon at the square in front of Bulgaria’s Presidency and later headed to the National Assembly. It was formally organized by the Bulgarian Anti-Fascist Union.

Protesters demanded that Bulgaria remain neutral in any military action that could be carried out by the Alliance and revoke all of its commitments relating to a “direct or indirect war in Ukraine.”

The country should quit NATO as well, they believe.

Sunday’s event comes against the backdrop of an earlier decision to have a NATO command center located in Bulgaria alongside five other Eastern European member states.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, however, insists the units are to ensure rapid deployment in case of a crisis and will help coordinate joint drills and training.

Categories: Uncategorized

Liam O’Flaherty: Sounds from a dead world. Nothing but worms and rats feeding on death.

February 15, 2015 2 comments

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Liam O’Flaherty: The foul horror of war

====

Liam Flaherty
From Return of the Brute (1929)

liam-oflaherty-1-sized

The two enemy soldiers stopped chattering and began to move away.

“What did I tell you?” said Gunn. “See? They’re moving off.”

They listened to the queer, brutal sound of two human beings dragging themselves over the sodden mud in the darkness.

“It’s funny,” said Lamont, “those two blokes are soldiers same as we are, with people at home. And they’re wet and lousy and hungry and fed-up same as we are too. But we think…I mean to say that whenever I think of Fritz I see him only as some cruel giant that’s…No! But just as an enemy. What’s an enemy, I wonder?…”

***

“Now listen to me. I’ve been out here over two years on this lousy front and I’m as fed up with it as you are. I don’t give a curse who wins this rotten war and I’d like to run my bayonet through the fellahs that started it. We’re just fighting for a gang of robbers, as ’79 Duncan said. I’ve got my eyes open now, although I hadn’t when I enlisted…”

***

They became silent, standing side by side, looking out into the darkness over the parapet. With their steel hats and their oil-sheets, which they wore, laced about their throats, over their great coats, they looked like ghouls in the gloom, buried to their waists in a hole; while all around them the earth lay naked, turned into mud, holed, covered with the horrid débris of war, emitting a stench of rotting, unburied corpses.

From the pitch-dark sky the rain fell, unceasing and monotonous, like the droning of brine water falling on a floor of black rocks from the roof of a subterranean cave where moaning seals are hidden and flap themselves about on their ledges; sounds from a dead world; the mysterious gloom of the primeval earth, where no life had yet arisen; no sap of growing things; nothing but worms and rats feeding on death.

Categories: Uncategorized

Britain To Supply 75 Armored Vehicles For War In Ukraine

February 14, 2015 Leave a comment

UNIAN
February 13, 2015

British Saxon armored cars to be delivered to Ukrainian army after conversion and testing

1423839826-2507

A consignment of 20 British Saxon armored cars has been delivered to Ukraine, with another 55 of the vehicles expected to arrive in the country in the near future, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov has said.

Turchynov, speaking during a visit on Friday to a training center of the Ukrainian National Guard, said that in the near future the armored vehicles will undergo conversion work at the enterprise of state concern Ukroboronprom to adapt them to the needs of the Ukrainian army.

“These Saxons were obtained without weapons – they will be equipped with a weapons station made in Ukraine, which should provide effective fire cover for the National Guard or the other units that the vehicles will be delivered to,” Turchynov said.

After testing, the armored vehicles will “immediately enter service with our military,” he said.

As reported earlier, on December 5, 2014, First Deputy General Director of state-owned enterprise Ukroboronprom Sergiy Pinkas said that the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine had purchased 75 light armored vehicles from British manufacturer Saxon for about $3.8 million.

He also added that the Saxon armored cars are an affordable alternative to the outdated technology currently in service of the Ukrainian army, stressing that these machines are being upgraded and would be ready to provide the necessary protection for the Ukrainian military when carrying out missions in the combat zone.

Saxon armored vehicles were developed in the early 1970s to act as a cheap but efficient “battle-taxi” for security forces on missions. Saxons are currently used by several countries, including Oman, Bahrain, Malaysia and Nigeria.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Trains Georgian Forces For War On Russia’s Southern Border

February 14, 2015 Leave a comment

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
February 13, 2015

Jubilee of Sachkhere Mountain Training School

3199448401sachkherekursisgamoshveba3

Besik Kutateladze Sachkhere Mountain Training School celebrates its 9th anniversary. The solemn ceremony was held at Sachkhere Mountain Training School. Chief of General Staff of the GAF, Major General Vakhtang Kapanadze, Deputy Defence Minister Levan Girsiashvili and the leadership of the Georgian Armed Forces congratulated the personnel on their jubilee.

Today the graduation of Intermediate Winter Training Course was held at Sachkhere Mountain Training School as well. Deputy Minister Levan Girsiashvili and Major General Vakhtang Kapanadze handed the participants the relevant certificates of the course and wished them successful career.

Winter Course is underway within the frames of NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) Program. 12 military servicemen from Georgia, as well as NATO member and partner countries participated in the training. The trainings were led in two phases. The course attendees improved shooting capabilities from service guns in hard weather conditions and on difficult terrain. The military mastered in moving, searching and rescue operations as well as in technical skiing. Within the scope of the course, they were trained in the skills of crossing obstacle line by skis and making snow shelter “Iglu”.
====================================================================

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
February 13, 2015

Tactical platoon- level field exercise of 32 Battalion

9044454131qutaisi3scavleba1

A planned platoon-level tactical exercise came to an end at the Simoneti firing-ground. The military personnel of 32nd battalion of III Infantry Brigade took part in the two-week long exercise.

During the training, the soldiers had to perform various tasks including offensive and defensive operations along the forested terrain such as patrolling, searching and raiding.

At the final phase of the exercise, a combined training was conducted. The unit was tasked with neutralizing adversary. The solders coped with an entrusted mission successfully.

The goal of the exercise, which is held on a regular basis, is to ensure permanent combat readiness of the military.

Categories: Uncategorized

Richard Aldington: It is so important to know how to kill

February 14, 2015 Leave a comment

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Richard Aldington: Selections on war

====

Richard Aldington
From Death of a Hero (1929)

ra_by_manray

The business of “making a man” of him was pursued at School, but with little more success, even with the aid of compulsion.

“The type of boy we aim at turning out,” the Head used to say to impressed parents, “is a thoroughly manly fellow. We prepare for the Universities, of course, but our pride is in our excellent Sports Record. There is an O.T.C., organized by Sergeant-Major Brown (who served throughout the South African War) and officered by the masters who have been trained in the Militia. Every boy must undergo six months’ training, and is then competent to take up arms for his Country in an emergency.”

The parents murmured polite approval, though rather tender mothers hoped the discipline was not too strict and “the guns not too heavy for young arms.” The Head was contemptuously and urbanely reassuring. On such occasions he invariably quoted those stirring and indeed immortal lines of Rudyard Kipling which end up, “You’ll be a man, my son.” It is so important to know how to kill. Indeed, unless you know how to kill you cannot possibly be a Man, still less a Gentleman.

***

How curious are cities, with their intricate trench systems and perpetual warfare, concealed but as deadly as the open warfare of armies! We live in trenches, with flat revetments of house-fronts as parapet and parados. The warfare goes on behind the house-fronts – wives with husbands, children with parents, employers with employed, tradesmen with tradesmen, banker with lawyer, and the triumphal doctor rooting out life’s casualties. Desperate warfare – and for what? Money as the symbol of power; power as the symbol or affirmation of existence. Throbbing warfare of men’s cities. As fierce and implacable and concealed as the desperate warfare of plants and the hidden carnage of animals…

***

Of course, in that eternity of 1914-18 they must have come to feel that men were mortal, and they immortals…And then there was the deep primitive physiological instinct – men to kill and be killed; women to produce more men to continue the process…

***

There must be a vast amount of latent masochism in women…How ghastly – if you think about it – their passion for soldiers! To breed babes by him who has slain men – puh! there’s too much spilt blood in the world; one sickens at it…

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO, EU Continue Drive To Dominate Black Sea Region

February 14, 2015 Leave a comment

Civil Georgia
February 13, 2015

Romanian Foreign Minister Visits Georgia

Tbilisi: Romanian Foreign Minister, Bogdan Aurescu, who is visiting Tbilisi on February 12-13, reiterated his country’s support to Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

He said that Romania, which was the first EU-member state to ratify EU’s Association Agreements with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, is “supporting and advocating inside the EU [for] swift ratification by all the member states if possible before the Riga summit” of Eastern Partnership in late May.

He said that Romania also supports implementation of Georgia’s second phase of visa liberalisation action plan with the EU. “We consider that this is a very important objective and we politically support it firmly,” the Romanian Foreign Minister said.

He also said that Romania “remains determined to contribute to Georgia’s efforts” to implement substantial package of cooperation adopted by NATO leaders at the summit in Wales in September.

“Romania will contribute with experts to these efforts,” Aurescu said.

He said that there is a potential of boosting economic ties between the two countries. He noted that the ferry connection between Constanta, Romania; Batumi, Georgia and Illichevsk, Ukraine, which was launched in October, “is working very well”, linking Caspian and Black Sea regions.

Aurescu also said that possibility of expanding these transportation links will be one of the main issues on the agenda of discussions when Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili visits Romania on February 27.

During the visit the Romanian Foreign Minister held a meeting in the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia to which Romania is the largest contributor with up to 40 personnel. He will also meet President Giorgi Margvelashvili, PM Garibashvili and parliament speaker Davit Usupashvili.

Categories: Uncategorized

Military Headquarters: Top NATO Commander, Estonian Prime Minister Discuss War Plans

February 13, 2015 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe

February 13, 2015

Estonian Prime Minister Discusses Collective Defence at SHAPE

Mons, Belgium: General Philip M. Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, met with the Prime Minister of Estonia, Taavi Rõivas, during a visit to SHAPE today on February 13, 2015.

Prime Minister Rõivas was greeted with an official Honour Guard reception upon his arrival at SHAPE. He then met with General Breedlove and senior SHAPE officials, and toured the Comprehensive Crisis and Operations Management Centre (CCOMC). The CCOMC is the heart of NATO’s command and control network, responsible for anticipating, thinking, planning and reacting to significant events around the world.

Mr Rõivas and Gen. Breedlove praised SHAPE staff for their recent efforts in planning assurance measures in response to the Ukraine Crisis. The Prime Minister was also updated on the Alliance’s plans to enhance the NATO Response Force, including the establishment of a Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF).

“Estonia continues to play a key role in NATO’s response to the Ukraine crisis,” said Gen. Breedlove. “The hosting of exercises and the use of Amari Air Base for enhanced air policing have been essential to NATO’s ongoing assurance measures, which remind all of our rock solid commitment to our collective defence,” he said.

Story by: SHAPE Public Affairs Office.

Categories: Uncategorized

Swift Response: NATO Rehearses War In Europe

February 13, 2015 Leave a comment

U.S. Army Europe
February 12, 2015

10 NATO Allies come together to plan major crisis response exercise
By 7th Army JMTC Public Affairs

fig01

HOHENFELS, Germany: Military planners from 10 NATO nations came together this week in Hohenfels, Germany to plan for exercise Swift Response.

The exercise will take place at multiple locations across the U.S. Army Europe area of operations and is intended to exercise high-readiness forces from a coalition of NATO nations, including France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and the United States. The goal is to test the ability of the coalition forces to respond quickly and effectively to potential crisis situations on the European continent.

Swift Response will feature airborne forces from each nation, including the U.S. Army’s 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg and the Europe-based 173rd Airborne Brigade.

“This is a chance for us to do something that is new for our forces,” said Brigadier (UK) Giles Hill, Deputy Commanding General-Interoperability for the 82nd Airborne Division. “Swift Response will contribute to NATO’s capability to rapidly respond to crisis situations.”

Swift Response is scheduled to take place in Germany, Italy and Bulgaria from Aug. 18 to Sept. 15, 2015.

Categories: Uncategorized

Culmination Of “Active And Effective” NATO-Qatar Partnership

February 13, 2015 Leave a comment

Gulf Times
February 13, 2015

Qatar, Nato discuss Doha conference

Qatar, Nato discuss Doha conference

HE the Qatari Ambassador to Brussels and Nato, Sheikh Ali bin Jassim al-Thani, yesterday met Nato Assistant Secretary General Sorin Ducaru in Brussels as part of a series of consecutive meetings to put the final touches on Nato’s conference on the prevention of weapons of mass destruction, which will be held in Qatar on March 1-3.

The Nato official praised Qatar’s efforts in hosting the conference, the first time the event will be held in the Middle East, which he said culminates the active and effective partnership between Qatar and Nato.

Ducaru said that the conference bears special significance as it takes place during difficult circumstances, with many security challenges on the international front as well as the high-level participation of member states, those who have partnership and co-operation agreements with them, in addition to international organisations and the UN.

Categories: Uncategorized

Graham Greene: None of us can hate any more – or love. You have to feel something to stop a war.

February 13, 2015 Leave a comment

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Graham Greene: He carried the war in his heart, infecting everything

Graham Greene: A hundred English Guernicas

Graham Greene: Letter On NATO Threat To Cuba

====

Graham Greene
From The Confidential Agent (1939)

45889-004-ACCB5ABD

He was filled with a sense of amazement at these people; you could never have told from their smoky good fellowship that there was a war going on – not merely a war in the country from which he had come, but a war here, half a mile outside Dover breakwater. He carried the war with him. Wherever D. was, there was a war. He could never understand that people were unaware of it.

***

He turned up the collar of his macintosh and went up on the cold and foggy deck where the gulls were mourning, blowing over his head toward Dover. He began to tramp – up and down beside the rail – to keep warm, his head down, the deck like a map marked with trenches, impossible positions, salients, deaths: bombing planes took flight from between his eyes, and in his brain the mountains shook with shell-bursts.

***

D. found himself at a standstill. A very gentle man with a fair mustache said, ‘But do you mean that this photograph is – yours?’

D. said, ‘Of course.’ He looked down at it; it had never occurred to him to look at his own passport for – well, years. He saw a stranger’s face – that of a man much younger and, apparently, much happier than himself: he was grinning at the camera. He said, ‘It’s an old photograph.’ It must have been taken before he went to prison, before his wife was killed, and before the air raid of December 23 when he was buried for fifty-six hours in a cellar. But he could hardly explain all that to the passport officer.

***

‘You see, I come from two years of war. I should go along a road like this very slowly, ready to stop and get into a ditch if I heard a plane.’

‘Well, I suppose you’re fighting for something,’ she said. ‘Or aren’t you?’

‘I don’t remember. One of the things which danger does to you after a time is – well, to kill emotion. I don’t think I shall ever feel anything again except fear. None of us can hate any more – or love. You know it’s a statistical fact that very few children are being born in our country.’

‘But your war goes on. There must be a reason.’

‘You have to feel something to stop a war. Sometimes I think we cling to it because there is still fear. If we were without that, we shouldn’t have any feeling at all. None of us will enjoy the peace.’

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO’s Atlantic Resolve: U.S. A-10 Warplanes Arrive In Europe

February 12, 2015 Leave a comment

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
U.S. Air Force Africa

February 12, 2015

A-10s arrive in Europe
By Staff Sgt. Zachary Wolf
65th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

fig01

LAJES FIELD, Azores, Portgual: A-10 Thunderbolt IIs land at Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal, Feb. 11, 2015. The A-10s are being deployed as part of a Theater Security Package in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve. While deployed they will conduct training alongside our NATO allies to strengthen interoperability and to demonstrate U.S. commitment to the security and stability of Europe. The A-10s and Airmen are deploying from the 355th Fighter Wing, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.

Categories: Uncategorized

“Front Line State”: U.S. Army Europe Commander In Poland

February 12, 2015 1 comment

U.S. Army Europe
February 11, 2015

Army Europe commander travels to Poland, meets with MNC-Northeast

fig01

SZCZECIN, Poland: Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commander, Army Europe, arrived in Poland today to meet with Multi-National Corps-Northeast commander, Maj. Gen. Boguslaw Samol, and the headquarters staff.

The MNC-NE framework nations of Denmark, Germany and Poland recognize the need to change the unit’s mission to adapt to the changing threat in Europe and shift focus on Article 5 protections.

Army Europe is committed to helping MNC-Northeast — be it communications, intelligence, joint fires and effects — as they prepare for exercise Anakonda 16 next year.

About us: U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned in its 51 country area of responsibility to advance American strategic interests in Europe and Eurasia. The relationships we build during more than 1,000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships and enhance global security.

Categories: Uncategorized

Valhalla Valiant Victors: Kiev Gets Intoxicated On Nazi Metaphysics

February 12, 2015 1 comment

Interfax-Ukraine
February 12, 2015

February 20 to be commemorated as Heavenly Hundred Heroes Day– decree

fig01

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has signed a decree “On the tribute to the feat of the participants of the revolution of dignity and the commemoration of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes”.

“The document declares February 20 as the Day of the Heavenly Hundred Heroes, as a tribute to courage, willpower and fortitude of citizens who sacrificed their lives in the course of the Revolution of Dignity (November 2013 – February 2014), defending the ideals of democracy, human rights and freedom, as well as the European future of Ukraine,” the president’s press service announced on Wednesday.

According to the decree, the Cabinet of Ministers is instructed to develop and approve an action plan to accomplish the following: establish a museum in Kyiv dedicated to revolution; involve the National Academy of Sciences, museum, archive and research institutions in the search for photos, videos and other materials that cover the Revolution of Dignity.

The Samopomich parliamentary faction addressed the President last week with a request to mark February 20 as the Heavenly Hundred Heroes Day.

At the end of February 2014, protest rallies in the center of Kyiv ended with nearly one hundred activists being shot to death. They are now called the Heavenly Hundred Heroes, or simply the Heavenly Hundred.

Categories: Uncategorized

Ukraine To Enforce Prison Terms, Martial Law, Forced Billeting

February 12, 2015 Leave a comment

Interfax-Ukraine
February 12, 2015

Evasion from mobilization or civil protection service during special period punishable by up to five years in prison – law

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has adopted amendments to the laws regarding responsibility for evasion from the civil protection service during the special period or in case of special purpose mobilization.

A total of 238 MPs voted in favor of the bill on Thursday.

According to the law, evasion from the civil protection service during the special period (excluding the rehabilitation period) or in case of special purpose mobilization is punishable by two to five years in prison.

The law also establishes that in areas subject to martial law, if requested, private persons and legal entities must provide a place to stay for army personnel and civil protection units, as well as evacuated citizens.

The law comes into effect on the day after being posted.

Categories: Uncategorized

Interview: Ukraine War Is Inevitable

February 12, 2015 3 comments

Corbett Report
February 12, 2015

Interview 1000 – Rick Rozoff Warns Ukraine War is Inevitable

Audio

Rick Rozoff of Stop Nato joins us to go over the context of the US/NATO/EU/IMF takeover of Ukraine, why it is taking place, and where it is ultimately leading. Rozoff warns that war is not a potential outcome but is in fact already taking place, and full-scale US/NATO intervention is virtually unstoppable at this point.

Categories: Uncategorized

Oliver Goldsmith: I am an enemy to nothing in this good world but war

February 12, 2015 Leave a comment

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Oliver Goldsmith: Selections on war

====

Oliver Goldsmith
From Citizen of the World (1762)

374364

Now turn from this happy peaceful scene to Europe the theatre of intrigue, avarice and ambition. How many revolutions does it not experience in the compass even of one age; and to what do these revolutions tend but the destruction of thousands. Every great event is replete with some new calamity. The seasons of serenity are passed over in silence, their histories seem to speak only of the storm.

There we see the Romans extending their power over barbarous nations, and in turn becoming a prey to those whom they had conquered. We see those barbarians, when become Christians, engaged in continual wars with the followers of Mahomet; or more dreadful still, destroying each other. We see councils in the earlier ages authorizing every iniquity; crusades spreading desolation in the country left, as well as that to be conquered. Excommunications freeing subjects from natural allegiance, and persuading to sedition; blood flowing in the fields and on scaffolds; tortures used as arguments to convince the recusant; to heighten the horror of the piece, behold it shaded with wars, rebellions, treasons, plots, politics, and poison!

And what advantage has any country of Europe obtained from such calamities? Scarce any. Their dissensions for more than a thousand years have served to make each other unhappy, but have enriched none. All the great nations still nearly preserve their ancient limits; none have been able to subdue the other, and so terminate the dispute. France, in spite of the conquests of Edward the third, and Henry the fifth, notwithstanding the efforts of Charles the fifth and Philip the second, still remains within its ancient limits. Spain, Germany, Great Britain, Poland, the states of the north, are nearly still the same. What effect then has the blood of so many thousands, the destruction of so many cities, produced? Nothing neither great or considerable. The Christian princes have lost indeed much from the enemies of Christendom, but they have gained nothing from each other. Their princes, because they preferred ambition to justice, deserve the character of enemies to mankind; and their priests by neglecting morality for opinion, have mistaken the interests of society.

On whatever side we regard the history of Europe, we shall perceive it to be a tissue of crimes, follies and misfortunes, of politics without design, and wars without consequence; in this long list of human infirmity, a great character or a shining virtue may sometimes happen to arise, as we often meet a cottage or a cultivated spot, in the most hideous wilderness. But for an Alfred, an Alphonso, a Frederic, or one Alexander III. we meet a thousand princes who have disgraced humanity.

***

Let others, my friend, bestrew the hearses of the great with panegyric; but such a loss as the world has now suffered affects me with stronger emotions. When a philosopher dies, I consider myself as losing a patron, an instructor, and a friend. I consider the world as losing one who might serve to console her amidst the desolations of war and ambition. Nature every day produces in abundance men capable of filling all the requisite duties of authority; but she is niggard in the birth of an exalted mind, scarcely producing in a century a single genius to bless and enlighten a degenerate age. Prodigal in the production of kings, governors, mandarines, chams, and courtiers, she seems to have forgotten for more than three thousand years, the manner in which she once formed the brain of a Confucius; and well it is she has forgotten, when a bad world gave him so very bad a reception.

***

I am an enemy to nothing in this good world but war; I hate fighting between rival states; I hate it between man and man…

***

There are some here who, I am told, make a tolerable subsistence by the credulity of their countrymen. As they find the people fond of blood, wounds, and death, they contrive political ruins suited to every month in the year. This month the people are to be eaten up by the French in flat-bottomed boats; the next, by the soldiers designed to beat the French back…

***

The most ignorant nations have been always been found to think most highly of themselves. The Deity has ever been thought peculiarly concerned in their glory and preservation; to have fought their battles, and inspired their teachers; their wizards are said to be familiar with heaven; and every hero has a guard of angels, as well as men, to attend him…

***

What cities as great as this have once triumphed in existence, had their victories as great, joy as just, and as unbounded; and, with short-sighted presumption, promised themselves immortality! Posterity can hardly trace the situation of some; the sorrowful traveller wanders over the awful ruin of others; and, as he beholds, he learns wisdom, and feels the transience of every sublunary possession.

“Here,” he cries, “stood their citadel, now grown over with weeds; there their senate house, but now the haunt of every noxious reptile; temples and theatres stood here, now only an undistinguished heap of ruin. They are fallen, for luxury and avarice first made them feeble. The rewards of the state were conferred on amusing and not on useful members of society. Their riches and opulence invited the invaders, who, though at first repulsed, returned again, conquered by perseverance, and at last swept the defendants into undistinguished destruction.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Ukrainian Junta Ready To Declare Martial Law In 302-Day War

February 11, 2015 Leave a comment

UNIAN
February 11, 2015

Poroshenko: We are ready to declare martial law in Ukraine

The Ukrainian government is ready to declare martial law throughout Ukraine if there is an escalation of the conflict in the east, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Wednesday during a government meeting with the heads of regional state administrations, according to an UNIAN correspondent.

“I can say that I, the government and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine are ready to take a decision on the introduction of martial law throughout the country. In any case, I will not be late with this decision, if the irresponsible actions of the aggressor lead to a further escalation of the conflict,” Poroshenko said.

Poroshenko is due to attend peace talks in Minsk on Wednesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.

There has been a further increase in fighting in the run-up to the talks…

According to some reports from unofficial sources, agreement was reached between negotiators ahead of the Minsk summit on a ceasefire deal, including the pull-back of heavy weapons and international monitoring of the front line.

However, the Ukrainian side is said to still be insisting that it be allowed to regain control of the parts of Ukraine’s border with Russia where militants have seized control…

That point may well scupper the talks, as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that it was “unrealistic” for Kyiv to put this condition forward in the peace talks, according to Reuters.

Categories: Uncategorized

Report: Georgia’s Saakashvili Named Head Of Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Advisors

February 11, 2015 1 comment

Trend News Agency
February 11, 2015

Georgia’s ex-president named head of Ukrainian presidential advisors

Baku: Georgia’s former president, Mikheil Saakashvili, has been appointed the chairman of the council of advisors for international affairs under Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, News- Georgia agency reported citing the Pirveli Radio.

Georgia-News also reported citing the radio that a briefing to be held in Kiev will be also attended by Saakashvili.

Meanwhile, the press service of Saakashvili’s party, the United National Movement, said they currently can’t confirm the report.

“So far we have no information,” said the press service.

The MPs from the United National Movement haven’t commented on the report either.

“I have no information on the matter, and I can’t confirm it,” Goga Khachidze, an MP from the United National Movement, told News-Georgia.

Saakashvili left Georgia after the inauguration of the new president, Giorgi Margvelashvili, in November 2013.

The Georgian Prosecutor General’s Office filed charges in absentia against Saakashvili on several criminal cases, including the embezzlement of about $5 million of public funds for personal needs.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Partners: Pentagon Signs Memorandum Of Understanding With Estonian Defense Ministry

February 11, 2015 1 comment

U.S. Department of Defense
February 10, 2015

Department of Defense and Estonia Ministry of Defense Sign Memorandum of Understanding

The Department of Defense signed a memorandum of agreement today with the Estonia Ministry of Defense, signifying expanding international relationships while serving a valuable role in security cooperation.

Estonian Ambassador Eerik Marmei and the Principal Deputy, Assistant Secretary of the Defense for Reserve Affairs Richard O. Wightman Jr., who is performing the duties of the assistant secretary of defense for reserve affairs, signed the Military Reserve Exchange Program (MREP) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

“This memorandum of agreement between the U.S. and Estonia provides ongoing proof of our continued dedication to our NATO partners,” said Wightman. “The Military Reserve Exchange Program further strengthens the partnership between our two nations and plays a key role in the development of the Reserves and their contribution to national defense.”

The signing ceremony follows an agreement between the two nations to allow the individual reciprocal exchange of Reserve forces exhibited through the MREP. This agreement demonstrates U.S. commitment to NATO members and their militaries and provides unique multi-service/multi-component training. For the past 25 years the U.S. has conducted the MREP program with Germany, United Kingdom and most recently Denmark beginning in 2013, exchanging more than 300 personnel each year.

Estonia has a Reserve force of more than 13,000 and is anticipating exchanging cyber, Special Forces, maneuver and medical personnel with the U.S. As Estonia holds the title as the Cyber Center of Excellence for NATO, this partnership provides participants with unique training opportunities while imbedded in host nation units during annual training. MREP fosters international cooperation and creates enduring friendships with our allies while building partnership capacity.

“This agreement complements our European Command’s Theater Security Strategy and the National Guard’s State Partnership Program,” said Wightman. “By entering into these partnerships, our two nations hope to enhance the reserve component capabilities and training opportunities. This MOU opens the way to closer cooperation between the Estonian Defence League and U.S. Reserve Component force that should improve the interoperability and capabilities of the Estonian military.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Almost 100 Ukrainian Government Soldiers Killed, Wounded In Day Of Fighting

February 11, 2015 Leave a comment

Interfax-Ukraine
February 11, 2015

19 Ukrainian servicemen killed, 78 injured near Debaltseve – general staff

Nineteen Ukrainian servicemen have been killed as a result of artillery attacks near the Hostra Mohyla barrow in the vicinity of Debaltseve, Donetsk region, spokesman for the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces of Ukraine Vladyslav Selezniov has said.

“In the area of the Hostra Mohyla barrow as a result of artillery attacks and fighting Ukraine has lost 19 soldiers, including 17 servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and two officers of the Interior Ministry,” he said at a briefing on Wednesday morning.

Selezniov added that 78 soldiers received injuries of varying severity. They have been hospitalized.

The General Staff spokesman also said that 591 servicemen are currently undergoing medical treatment, of them 26 have serious injuries. In addition, rebels hold captive 204 Ukrainian servicemen.

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. Congress Readies $1 Billion For War In Ukraine

February 11, 2015 4 comments

Interfax-Ukraine
February 11, 2015

U.S. congress prepares bill on providing $1 bln to arm Ukraine
 

Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress have prepared a bill on the provision of $1 billion in lethal defensive aid to Ukraine.

The proposed bill envisages the provision of training, equipment and lethal defensive weapons to the security forces of Ukraine through September 30, 2017.

Member of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, Congressman Adam Smith told reporters: “It seems Russia has decided to go back to the Cold War.”

In his words, the introduction of economic sanctions has not changed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans.

Categories: Uncategorized

Charles Yale Harrison: Two kinds of people in the world, those who like wars and those who fight them

February 11, 2015 Leave a comment

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war

Charles Yale Harrison: Selections on war

====

Charles Yale Harrison
From Generals Die In Bed (1928)

To the left, up towards the line a mile or two away, we see an ammunition dump blowing itself up in sporadic explosions. It must have been hit by a stray shell. In the blackness of the night it looks as though a boy had thrown a match among a giant heap of fireworks. We have seen these things before – they keep on going off for weeks – open-air enormous storage places for ammunition supplies, sometimes a square mile in area.

We crowd to the side of the truck to watch the sight. We talk among ourselves about it.

“They say those ‘coalbox’ shells cost about five thousand dollars each.”

“Can you imagine what a little barrage costs, then?”

We lapse into silence as we try to calculate the possible cost of a preliminary bombardment. After a while someone says in an awed voice:

“Millions, I guess.”

“Then what must a scrap like Passchendaele cost? They were hammering away there for months. First the Belgians tried to take it, then the Imperials, then the Anzacs, and then we did. They must’ve fired millions of shells…”

This problem in mathematics is too much for us.If one twelve-inch shell costs five thousand dollars, then a major battle must cost – it is too much…

“I bet that dump going up over there must cost a billion dollars.”

“And I’ll bet somebody is making a profit on those shells whether they are fired at the Germans or whether they just blow up…”

“Sure they do.”

A surprised voice from a corner says:

“Just think of all the people that’s getting a big hunk of swag out of it. Shoes, grub, uniforms, bully beef…”

He breaks off.

We all join in enumerating the various materials of war on which someone may be making a profit.

“…and big profits, too.”

The lorry hits a shell hole and knocks the breath out of us for a while.

We continue the conversation.

“Sure, and I’ll bet that those people don’t want the war to end in a hurry.”

“Course not.”

“At Étaples when I was goin’ on my leave I heard a madame in an estaminet say she hoped the war never ended – with her gettin’ five francs for a bottle of vinegar what she called vin blanc. Why should she?”

“All of us wish the war was over, but believe me, there’s plenty that don’t.”

“…there’s those that make the shells, the clothes; them that sell the food, rifles, socks, underwear, ships, boots…”

Others break in:

“Flags, airplanes, artillery…”

“Officers with cushy jobs in Blighty…”

“Paymasters in Millbank…”

“Society dames playing the Florence Nightingale with wounded officers…”

“…these men who are making money on war have wives and daughters and women…”

“…there must be millions of them…!”

“…and in every country, too. In Germany and France and America…!”

“…and they’re praying to God tonight for the war to last forever while we’re riding in this goddamned lorry…”

“…and God must be listening to them. Look how long it’s been going on.”

***

“There’s two kinds of people in this world – there’s those who like wars and those who fight ’em, pal.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Britain To Sign Military Cooperation Agreement With Kiev

February 10, 2015 4 comments

Interfax-Ukraine
February 10, 2015

Ukraine and UK to sign defense cooperation memorandum – Kyiv official

Ukraine and the United Kingdom will soon sign a memorandum on mutual understanding and defense cooperation, Ukrainian Defense Minister Col. Gen. Stepan Poltorak has said.

“We are working hard to prepare this document, which will become a logical follow-up to cooperation between our countries,” Poltorak said at a meeting with British Ambassador to Ukraine Simon Smith and Director of International Security Policy at the British Ministry of Defense Nick Herr, according to the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s press service.

The meeting also addressed the situation in the east of Ukraine.

“Cooperation between the Defense Ministries of our two states has always been constructive. I am convinced that it will continue to develop successfully,” he said.

Herr, for his part, noted that Ukraine could count on any possible support from the UK.

====================================================================

Ukrinform
February 10, 2015

Great Britain sends humanitarian aid to Ukrainian army

KYIV: Ukrainian army has received humanitarian aid from the UK worth nearly $2 million.

The press service of Ukrainian Defense Ministry reported the news.

“Kevlar helmets, body armor, sleeping bags and group medical aid kits for military vehicles were sent by the British government to Ukraine as its supplies and technical assistance totaling $1,872,921,” the statement said.

According to Acting Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine for European Integration Lieutenant General Leonid Holopatiuk, most of the humanitarian aid has already been shipped to the military, in particular, to the soldiers of 93rd Brigade.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Great Britain to Ukraine Mr. Simon Smith said that Ukraine can count on the continued support and assistance of the British government.

“The UK will deliver 75 thousand tonnes of diesel fuel to the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the near future,” informed the press-service.

Categories: Uncategorized

William Dean Howells: On Mark Twain and war

February 10, 2015 Leave a comment

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war

William Dean Howells: Selections on war

====

William Dean Howells
Member of the Anti-Imperialist League
From letter to Aurelia Howells
February 24, 1901

download

I see a great deal of Mark Twain nowadays, and we have high good times denouncing everything. We agree perfectly about the Boer war and the Filipino war, and war generally…Clemens is, as I have always known him, a most right-minded man, and of course he has an intellect that I enjoy. He is getting some hard knocks now from the blackguards and hypocrites for his righteous fun with McKinley’s attempt to colonize the Philippines, but he is making a host of friends, too.

***

From a letter to Charles Eliot Norton
August 15, 1903

I have heard that this year’s dinner is to be the last of these occasions at Ashfield which have made so much for righteousness during the last twenty years, and I wish to express my part of a general sense of their usefulness. You have know how to speak the truth and have spoken in in the ears of a generation not so deaf as it would like to be, and have helped keep the popular conscience alive in times when it seemed past hope. The word of Ashfield has gone far, but better still it has gone deep, and has uttered the heart, otherwise silent, of those who believed the Spanish war wrong, and the Philippine oppression doubly wrong; and I hope that it will not fail now to confess the national shame for the hideous popular massacres with which we have crowned the cruelty and folly of our dealings with a people we enslaved…

Categories: Uncategorized

Strategic Command Chief: Pentagon Must Maintain, Expand Space Dominance…Against “Disinformation”

February 9, 2015 1 comment

U.S. Department of Defense
February 9, 2015

Stratcom Chief: U.S. Must Maintain Space Dominance
By Jim Garamone

WASHINGTON: The space domain is changing, and the U.S. military must remain ahead of these changes to maintain the nation’s military dominance, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command said here today.

Navy Adm. Cecil D. Haney spoke at a Peter Huessy Breakfast Series seminar sponsored by the Air Force Association, the Reserve Officers Association and the National Defense Industrial Association.

The playing field in space is changing…Haney said. “Today, our nation is dealing with a global security environment that is more complex, dynamic and volatile than at any time in our history,” he added.

Tensions With Nation States, Ungoverned Environments

“In addition to significant tensions involving nation states,” Haney told the audience, “we are in an environment that is flanked with numerous ungoverned or ineffectively governed areas that are breeding grounds for bad actors and violent extremist organizations.” These groups, he added, also use space and cyberspace to recruit and spread propaganda — including misinformation — in support of their causes.

“Perhaps of greater concern, however, is the proliferation of these emerging strategic capabilities attempting to limit our decision and maneuver space that ultimately impacts strategic stability,” Haney said.

The admiral focused on the emerging capabilities and what it means for the United States. Space is getting cluttered, he said, noting that it is more “congested, contested and competitive.” That alone makes U.S. capabilities increasingly vulnerable, he said.

“Iran, just this past week, successfully launched a satellite into orbit after a string of failures,” he said.

China has publicly stated that its goal for the next decade is to outperform all other nations in space, investing large amounts of money in increasing the number of platforms in every orbital regime, and increasing their influence, Haney added.

Nations Seek to Take Away U.S. Strategic Advantage

Countries also are working to take away America’s strategic advantage in space, the Stratcom commander said. “U.S. national security space systems are facing a serious growing threat,” he added. “For example, multiple countries have developed and are frequently using military jamming capabilities designed to interfere with satellite communications and global positioning systems.”

China and Russia warrant the most attention, the admiral said. “Both countries have acknowledged they are developing — or have developed — counter-space capabilities,” he said. “Both countries have advanced directed energy capabilities that could be used to track or blind satellites — disrupting key operations — and both have demonstrated the ability to perform complex maneuvers in space.”

Operational Planning Comes First for Stratcom

Strategic Command is working to ensure the United States maintains the strategic advantage in space today. Operational planning is first with the command, the admiral said, ensuring it is prepared for all phases of potential conflict. This means characterizing the operational environment, allowing timely and accurate warning and assessment of threats to senior leaders including the president, Haney said.

Operationally, the admiral said, Stratcom must protect and defend space capabilities using new tools and new tactics, techniques and procedures. The command, he said, also must use new partnerships and new command and control relationships.

All this is happening at a time of constrained budgets, he noted.

“I am pleased to see the president’s budget for fiscal 2016 recognizes the growing and demonstrated threat to our vital space assets — assets our forces are reliant upon and assume will always be there,” Haney said.

“We are early in the process, but let me make clear: Any retrograde in the president’s budget could jeopardize these investments and diminish our asymmetric advantage in space, exposing our nation to significant risk in this foundational area,” he said.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Chief: Military Cohesion Needed To “Prevent New Age Of Disorder”

February 9, 2015 3 comments

U.S. Department of Defense
February 9, 2015

Unity Will Prevent New Age of Disorder, NATO Chief Says
By Jim Garamone

[Perhaps Stoltenberg meant to employ the verbs create, spread or maintain for “prevent.”]

WASHINGTON: Solidarity is needed to prevent a new age of disorder, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said yesterday in Munich.

“History is not written in advance,” the secretary general said at the annual Munich Security Conference. “We can prevent an age of disorder if we have the will. We can keep the international order that has served us so well if we stand up for its rules and if we stand up for each other.”

Last year marked a turning point for European security and the global order, he said. In Europe, Russia annexed Crimea and is seeking to destabilize Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin is seeking to intimidate the Baltic republics, Poland, Romania and Georgia.

“North Africa and the Middle East are also in turmoil,” Stoltenberg said. “States are breaking up, and conflict is at our borders. Extremism is fueling barbaric violence across the region and inspiring terrorism on our own streets.”

Maintaining Order

But the international order can be maintained if like-minded nations stick together, he said.

One of the tools, he said, is NATO — the most successful international security pact in history. “Since its foundation, NATO has been a resolute guardian of the international order,” Stoltenberg said. “That order is being challenged, and we must do our utmost to protect it.”

NATO must change to address the threats of the 21st century, and it must maintain and increase its strength, the secretary general said…

NATO and allied forces must be ready to deploy at a moment’s notice and must be able to deter any threat from any direction, Stoltenberg said, including countering the so-called “hybrid warfare” that Russia has used in Ukraine.

‘We Cannot Do More With Less Forever’

This is going to require resources, the secretary general said, noting that since the end of the Cold War, European defense spending has fallen steadily. “We cannot do more with less forever,” he added.

At NATO’s summit in Wales, alliance leaders agreed to increase defense spending as their nations’ economies grow. “It cannot be done overnight,” Stoltenberg said, “but it can be done.”

“We are stepping up our support for Jordan, and Iraq has asked us to help improve its defense capacity,” he added. “In this way, we can project stability without deploying large numbers of troops, because most of the time, it will be more effective to help countries look after their own security.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Germany: U.S. Army’s No. 2 Inspects New Anti-Russian Capabilities

February 9, 2015 1 comment

U.S. Army Europe
February 6, 2015

Allyn visits Army Europe, praises role in Operation Atlantic Resolve
By Sgt. 1st Class John S. Wollaston, U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

WIESBADEN, Germany: Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Daniel B. Allyn recently visited U.S. Army Europe headquarters and received several briefings there.

Allyn received updates from commanders throughout Army Europe’s theater of operations on topics ranging from Operation Atlantic Resolve to ongoing training missions with NATO allies and partner nations.

“Training with our partners and the leader development that is happening across the multi-national forces is exactly what makes our Army great,” Allyn said. “It enables us to not only be Army Strong but to also exemplify and demonstrate Strong Europe.”

Allyn also praised the job Army Europe Soldiers are performing with their counterparts from other nations to ensure security and stability there.

“The missions that our young commanders, sergeants major and first sergeants are performing are exactly the types of missions that they’ve been trained for,” Allyn said. “They’re having effects well beyond the tactical and operational environment; they’re truly having strategic effects. It’s an exciting time to be a Soldier in Army Europe.”

About us: U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned in its 51 country area of responsibility to advance American strategic interests in Europe and Eurasia. The relationships we build during more than 1,000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships and enhance global security.

Categories: Uncategorized

Samuel Lover: The demon of war casts his shadows before

February 9, 2015 Leave a comment

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Samuel Lover: The trumpet and the sword

====

Samuel Lover
From He Would Be a Gentleman (1844)

xjf284806

It was a beautiful morning in spring, when the active inhabitants of two neighbouring villages in the province of Hainau, adjoining French Flanders, had just finished their morning meal, and were outgoing again to the fields, to continue the healthful industry with which the morning opened, when the blast of a trumpet attracted their attention, and the peaceful peasants were startled at the sound; for who could live in that province and not know that any day might bring the horrors of war to their door, and, though the little villages of Fontenoi and Antoine had hitherto escaped that perennial scourge of the Lower Countries, the sinking heart of every inhabitant foreboded that their hour was come at last; and the happy hamlets which hitherto had known no greater excitement than a wedding-feast or a christening, were about to have a burial-service celebrated on a large scale. The implements of husbandry, which had been cheerfully flung over the shoulders of sturdy men as they went a-field, were suddenly cast downwards again, and the listeners to the trumpet leant thoughtfully on spade and hoe, as they caught the first glimpse of the party whence the warlike warning proceeded, and some squadrons of French horse were seen approaching! Women and children now crowd the village streets, as the cavalry ride in and dismount, and appropriate houses and stables to their use, as they are billeted by the proper officer, – and when houses and stables can hold no more, the horses are picketed and the men bivouac.

When all is, so far, settled, the peasants go to work, but they cannot work with that heart-free spirit which makes toil pleasing. The demon of war

“Casts his shadow before,”

and all is darkened beneath it. The women in the villages are busy with ordinary cares; they are preparing “sops for Cerberus,” and hope to soften the hearts of the men of war by roasting and boiling. So far, so well. But, in another hour, the engineers arrive, and, shortly after, a group of officers of the higher rank gallop into the town, — rapid orders are given, and the officers depart swiftly, as they came, and then a terrible work of destruction commences. Whole families are turned out of their houses ; the engineers set to work, the rafters of the cottages are sawn through — in tumbles roof after roof, and each house is made the platform for a piece of artillery. Yes, the smoke of the happy hearth that curled in the golden mist of evening, and invited the weary traveller from afar, was to be replaced by the repellent vapour of the cannon’s mouth!

“The war clouds rolling, dun.
Where furious Frank and fiery Hun
Shout in the sulphurous canopy.”

The hospitable village that afforded welcome and healthful fare, and wholesome slumber to the wayfarer, was preparing to hurl destruction on all who should approach it. The homes that heard the first fond whispers of bride and bridegroom, and the after holier blessings of fathers and mothers on their children, were soon to hear the roar of cannon thundering above their ruins.

When this work of destruction began, the men ran back from the fields, while the women and children stood in the streets into which they were turned, and looked on, — some with horror, others with the clamour that bereavement will produce in the most patient. Here was a woman, in silent despair, looking on at her dwelling tumbling into rubbish, – there was some youthful girl, struggling with a swarthy pioneer, endeavouring to stay the upraised axe, about to fell some favourite tree. The men, returning breathless from the field, add to the clamour in a different fashion; but curses or prayers are alike unavailing, – the work of destruction goes on.

Far apart, sitting by the road-side, was a woman, whose tears fell fast, as she held her baby to her bosom, — the fountains of life and of sorrow were both flowing. The unconscious baby smiled ever and anon, and looked up with its bright eyes at the weeping mother, while an elder child, who could just lisp its thoughts, was crying bitterly as she told her little grief -that the soldiers had trampled down all the pretty flowers in the garden…

Categories: Uncategorized

Georgian Defense Chief Leaves NATO Headquarters After Commission Meeting

February 8, 2015 Leave a comment

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
February 6, 2015

Defence Minister of Georgia Completed Visit to Brussels

Defence Minister of Georgia completed three-day long official visit to Brussels. Mindia Janelidze took part in NATO-Georgia Commission in NATO HQ.

Within NATO Defence Ministerial, Mindia Janelidze held bilateral meetings with his American, British, Polish, Belgian, Romanian and Lithuanian counterparts. At the meetings the sides highlighted the importance of deepening cooperation in defence sphere. Foreign colleagues expressed readiness to Georgian Defence Minister to support the implementation process of NATO-Georgia Substantial Package.

Mindia Janelidze positively evaluated the official visit to Brussels: “NATO-Georgia Commission was very fruitful, interesting and very hopeful as the most part of Georgia’s partner countries expressed readiness to participate in the implementation process of NATO-Georgia Substantial Package. On the sidelines of the Ministerial, I held meetings with my foreign counterparts. We discussed bilateral cooperation issues, future cooperation directions and initiatives. The visit was very interesting and fruitful. The results of the visit will be aimed at developing capabilities of Georgian Armed Forces and the MoD, as well as deepening and strengthening relations with our partners”.

Categories: Uncategorized

Munich: Top NATO Commander Accuses Russia Of “Diplomatic Pressure”

February 8, 2015 2 comments

Xinhua News Agency
February 7, 2015

The West discusses defense in “hybrid warfare” threats

images

MUNICH: Western countries discussed “hybrid warfare” threats in Munich on Friday, accusing Russia of using multiple conventional and unconventional tools of warfare in the Ukrainian crisis.

Experts, however, believe the West itself is exploiting new cyber war tactics to corner Russia.

In a panel discussion titled “Hybrid Warfare: Who Is Ready” at the ongoing 51st Munich Security Conference, officials from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and Norway said the West should strengthen cooperation and increase investment in defence and security to address hybrid warfare challenges.

“We have to take it seriously,” said Norwegian Defence Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide, adding that the West is facing increasing conventional and unconventional threats.

As defined by the West, hybrid warfare entails a combination of multiple conventional and unconventional tools of warfare, including regular military forces, irregular forces, support of local unrest, cyber attacks and economic warfare.

In Friday’s discussion, Philip Breedlove, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, accused Russia of using diplomatic pressure, information campaign, economic coercion and other elements of national power in its conflicts with Ukraine and the West.

But in the opinion of some experts, the West itself was doing what it claimed as new threats to Russia.

“The West is taking advantage of its financial structure, energy structure and media power to coerce Russia, hurting its economy, damaging its reputation and causing enormous losses,” said Gu Xuewu, director of Center for Global Studies in Bonn University in Germany, in an interview with Xinhua.

Russia has suffered from economic sanctions from the United States and the European Union because of its stance on the the Ukraine crisis. The sanctions, together with the recent drops in oil prices, have forced the Russian government to cut its 2015 growth forecast to minus 3 percent.

Slamming Russia for direct involvement in the Ukraine conflict, which Moscow has denied repeatedly, Washington is considering offering Ukraine lethal weapons to boost its fight against militants in the eastern part of the country.

“The United States and its European allies share most of the responsibility for the crisis,” said John J. Mearsheimer, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago, in an article published in the Foreign Affairs magazine.

In the article titled “Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West’s Fault,” Mearsheimer said the West had threatened Russia’s core strategic interests via NATO enlargement, EU expansion and value promotion in Russia’s backyard, ignoring Moscow’s repeated warnings.

“U.S. and European leaders blundered in attempting to turn Ukraine into a Western stronghold on Russia’s border,” he said.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Chief Lays Out Plans For Spearhead, Strike Forces

February 8, 2015 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
February 5, 2015

Doorstep statement
By NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the start of the meetings of NATO Defence Ministers

Good morning – and thanks for coming so early!

Today we will have a very busy day . We are going to start with a meeting of the Nuclear Planning Group. Then we will have a meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission. And then we will have a meeting of the North Atlantic Council with ministers.

And we have many important decisions to take.

Decisions related to how we can strengthen our collective defence. And build the stability with our partners.

This is a very critical time for security in Europe, and across the world.

In Ukraine, violence is getting worse and the crisis is deepening. Russia continues to disregard international rules and to support the separatists with advanced weapons, training and forces.

In North Africa and the Middle East, violent extremism is spreading. And this turmoil fuels terrorism in our own countries.

So we are adapting our posture and our forces to this changing security environment. To conduct NATO’s full range of missions. And to deal with challenges from any direction.

We have already increased our military presence in the eastern part of the Alliance.

Today, we will take further steps to make our forces more ready and more responsive.

We will decide on the size and the composition of the new spearhead force. And ensure that it can be deployed in a matter of days.

We will strengthen our existing NATO Response Force.

And we will decide on establishing command and control units in six of our eastern Allied countries.

These units will make it easier to deploy NATO forces rapidly.

They will support collective defence planning. And help coordinate multinational exercises.

Our decisions make clear that NATO is determined to defend all Allies against any threats from any direction.

We will also meet in the NATO-Georgia Commission. To discuss current security challenges. And priorities for our cooperation.

We are working with Georgia to implement a substantial package which strengthens Georgia’s defence and ability to work with NATO.

With this, I am ready to take your questions.

QUESTION: BFBS_ JAMES HURST: Can you give us a little more idea about the scale and composition of the spearhead and the changes to the reaction force and your thoughts on whether its the start of an inevitable build-up to a new cold war?

SECRETARY GENERAL: I will not prejudge the conclusions of the council today, but I expect that the ministers will agree on several important elements of a package that increases our collective defence. And that is about enhancing our NATO Response Force. The current size is around 13,000. I expect that they will decide on a force which will be around 30,000 and part of that enhanced NATO Response Force, I expect will be the establishment of this Spearhead Force, which I expect will be of a size of around 5,000. And this Spearhead Force will have some lead elements which will be able to deploy within a very very short notice. We speak about a few days. So these are two important elements. The establishment of a Spearhead Force, expected to be around 5,000 and the enhanced NATO Response Force of about 30,000. But this is going to be decided later on today and its too early to tell the final conclusions.

In addition, we are going to, I expect also the ministers to decide on these six command and control units which are going to be established in six of our eastern allies. And as I said they are important units, because they are the link between national defence and multinational NATO forces. They will plan, they will organise exercises. And they will be key for connecting national forces with NATO reinforcements. And we are also working on enhancing the multinational command northeast in Szczecin and we are also looking into developing something similar or parallel thing in the southern part of , the eastern part of the alliance. So these are among the elements which are now on the table. Its, the decisions are going to be taken later today. But I expect this will be the main elements.

QUESTION: (ARD): Yesterday you had the opportunity to meet the new Greek Minister of Defence. Which impression do you have and do you think he will support you in defending the eastern borders of NATO?

SECRETARY GENERAL: The new Greek minister of defence he underlined very strongly for me that they are going to continue to be a committed partner, ally in NATO and I’m looking forward to work with him and the new government in Greece. Because Greece has for many, many years been a very committed partner of the NATO alliance and I’m looking forward to see Greece continue to be so and the new defence minister underlined that very strongly for me that they are going to remain and continue to be a committed partner in NATO. So I’m looking forward to work with him. And I would like to also underline that one of the strengths, one of the strong signs of NATO is that NATO is an alliance of 28 democracies. Meaning we elect different governments of different political colours but we are united and stand together in the alliance protecting and defending each other. And Greece is going to continue to do that. That was very much underlined by the new Greek defence minister.

Categories: Uncategorized

D.H. Lawrence: The price to pay at home for terrible, terrible war

February 8, 2015 Leave a comment

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

D. H. Lawrence: Selections on war

====

D.H. Lawrence
From Kangaroo (1923)

147580-004-06D9D594

But in England, during the later years of the war, a true and deadly fear of the criminal living spirit which arose in all the stay-at-home bullies who governed the country during those years. From 1916 to 1919 a wave of criminal lust rose and possessed England, there was a reign of terror, under a set of indecent bullies like Bottomley of John Bull and other bottom-dog members of the House of Commons…

The terrible, terrible war, made so fearful because in every country practically every man lost his head, and lost his own centrality, his own manly isolation in his own integrity, which alone keeps life real. Practically every man being caught away from himself, as in some horrible flood, and swept away with the ghastly masses of other men, utterly unable to speak, or feel for himself, or to stand on his own feet, delivered over and swirling in the current, suffocated for the time being. Some of them to die forever. Most to come back home victorious in circumstance, but with their inner pride gone: inwardly lost. To come home, many of them, to wives who had egged them on to the downfall in themselves: black bitterness. Others to return to a bewildered wife who had tried in vain to keep her man true to himself, tried and tried, only to see him at last swept away. And oh, when he was swept away, how she loved him. But when he came back, when he crawled out like a dog out of a dirty stream, a stream that had suddenly gone slack and turbid: when he came back covered with outward glory and inward shame, then there was the price.

Categories: Uncategorized

Ukraine’s Poroshenko: We Count On NATO Solidarity

February 7, 2015 2 comments

Interfax-Ukraine
February 7, 2015

Poroshenko, Stoltenberg discuss how NATO supports Ukraine
 

2207_154839

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko expressed gratitude to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg for the support of NATO member states to Ukraine.

“We count on unity and solidarity of NATO countries, “Poroshenko said, as his press service reported on Saturday.

During the meeting with the Ukrainian leader on the sidelines of the Munich conference on Saturday, Stoltenberg said NATO would strengthen the collective security system and provide political and practical support to Ukraine.

Besides, the parties discussed the situation in Donbas.

====================================================================

Interfax-Ukraine
February 6, 2015

Conflict in Ukraine deepening due to Russia’s behavior – NATO
 

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, delivering a speech at the Munich Security Conference on Friday, has said Russia continues to destabilize situation in Ukraine.

“Russia continues to provide training, equipment, and forces in support of the separatists. And it continues to destabilize Ukraine in utter disregard for the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said delivering a speech at the Munich Security Conference on Friday.

According to Stoltenberg, the conflict in Ukraine is deepening with a horrific cost to civilians.

He said last year was a turning point for European security and for the global order.

“Here in Europe, we see a dangerous pattern of Russian behavior: annexation, aggressive actions, intimidation,” the Secretary General stressed.

“Since its foundation NATO has been a resolute guardian of the international order,” he said adding that now that order is being challenged.

“And we must do our utmost to protect it,” he appealed to the NATO members.

Categories: Uncategorized

Munich Security Conference: From Transatlantic Family Meeting To U.S./NATO Vs Russia

February 7, 2015 Leave a comment

RT
February 7, 2015

From ‘transatlantic family meeting’ to Russia opposing US and NATO expansion

The Munich Security Conference was once a “transatlantic family meeting” for NATO member states only. When the Cold War ended, new key players, Russia among them, joined the discussions, to have their say on global security threats and challenges.

1963. NATO ‘family meeting’

The Munich Security Conference has been taking place since 1963. During the first decades, the conference was often dubbed a “transatlantic family meeting”, with debates focusing on Western policy within the framework of Cold War confrontations. When the Cold War was finally over, it was decided to invite participants from countries that had previously not been part of the Western world, including Central and Eastern European countries, Asia and Russia.

1999. Russia joins Munich conference
A new era in the conference’s history began with the 35th Munich Conference on Security Policy. The summit was open to representatives of the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the business community. For the first time, non-NATO countries, including Russia, participated in the biggest get-together of its kind. Moscow used the invitation to mobilize against further eastward expansion of the alliance.

2007. A touch of the Cold War

Russian President Vladimir Putin made headlines at the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy when he accused the US of trying to establish a “unipolar” world. “What is a unipolar world? No matter how we beautify this term, it means one single center of power, one single center of force and one single master,” he noted, adding that the United States “overstepped its borders in all spheres – economic, political and humanitarian, and has imposed itself on other states.” Putin said the US went “from one conflict to another without achieving a fully-fledged solution to any of them,” and called for the review of global security’s architecture. Then-NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer deemed the Russian president’s speech in 2007 “disappointing and not helpful.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin addressing the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy held at the Bayerischer Hof Hotel October 2, 2007.Russian President Vladimir Putin addressing the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy held at the Bayerischer Hof Hotel October 2, 2007.

2009. The White House presses ‘reset’ button

In 2009, only days after President Barack Obama’s inauguration, Vice President Joe Biden and National Security Adviser James Jones laid out the new administration’s foreign-policy agenda to an international audience in Munich. At the 45th Security Conference Biden famously called for a “reset” in the US relationship with Russia. “The last few years have seen a dangerous drift in relations between Russia and members of our alliance,” Biden said. “The US and Russia can disagree but still work together where its interests coincide,” he added. Then French President Nicolas Sarkozy dismissed US efforts to expand NATO to include Georgia and Ukraine, saying he did not believe that “modern Russia constitutes a military threat to the European Union and NATO.”

US Vice-President Joe Biden adddresses the Munich Security Conference, in Munich, southern Germany on February 7, 2009. (AFP Photo)US Vice-President Joe Biden adddresses the Munich Security Conference, in Munich, southern Germany on February 7, 2009. (AFP Photo)

2015. Ukraine tops agenda

The escalating conflict in eastern Ukraine has taken center stage at the 51st Munich Security Conference, with international efforts taking place to heal the rift between the US, Russia and Europe. While Washington is discussing plans to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine, European nations are strongly opposing the dangerous move, with tensions between NATO and Russia running perilously high. “NATO plays an indispensable role in the ongoing war. The Ukrainian crisis in fact is a war,” political analyst Rick Rozoff told RT. “What we have seen is that the crisis in Ukraine has provided NATO with the pretext for moving further [forward]. Plans are well underway for an advance of that crisis. What the US has succeeded in doing with NATO expansion is to set up a military Iron Curtain along Russia’s entire western border,” he said.

Categories: Uncategorized

Charles Kingsley: Tyrannising it luxuriously over all nations, she had sat upon the mystic beast

February 7, 2015 Leave a comment

====

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Charles Kingsley: Empire, a system of world-wide robbery, and church

====

Charles Kingsley
From Hypatia (1853)

kingsley_c_2

He toiled on, every now and then stepping across a dead body, or clambering a wall out of the road, to avoid some plunging, shrieking horse, or obscene knot of prowling camp followers, who were already stripping and plundering the slain…At last, in front of a large villa, now a black and smoking skeleton, he leaped a wall, and found himself landed on a heap of corpses…They were piled up against the garden fence for many yards. The struggle had been fierce there some three hours before.

‘Put me out of my misery! In mercy kill me!’ moaned a voice beneath his feet.

Raphael looked down; the poor wretch was slashed and mutilated beyond all hope.

‘Certainly, friend, if you wish it,’ and he drew his dagger. The poor fellow stretched out his throat, and awaited the stroke with a ghastly smile. Raphael caught his eye; his heart failed him, and he rose.

‘What do you advise, Bran?’ But the dog was far ahead, leaping and barking impatiently.

‘I obey,’ said Raphael; and he followed her, while the wounded man called piteously and upbraidingly after him.

‘He will not have long to wait. Those plunderers will not be as squeamish as I…Strange, now! From Armenian reminiscences I should have fancied myself as free from such tender weakness as any of my Canaanite-slaying ancestors…And yet by some mere spirit of contradiction, I couldn’t kill that fellow, exactly because he asked me to do it…There is more in that than will fit into the great inverted pyramid of “I am I.” Never mind, let me get the dog’s lessons by heart first. What next, Bran? Ah! Could one believe the transformation? Why, this is the very trim villa which I passed yesterday morning, with the garden-chairs standing among the flower-beds, just as the young ladies had left them, and the peacocks and silver pheasants running about, wondering why their pretty mistresses did not come to feed them. And here is a trampled mass of wreck and corruption for the girls to find, when they venture back from Rome, and complain how horrible war is for breaking down all their shrubs, and how cruel soldiers must be to kill and cook all their poor dear tame turtle-doves! Why not? Why should they lament over other things – which they can just as little mend – and which perhaps need no more mending? Ah! there lies a gallant fellow underneath that fruit-tree!’

Raphael walked up to a ring of dead, in the midst of which lay, half-sitting against the trunk of the tree, a tall and noble officer in the first bloom of manhood. His casque and armour, gorgeously inlaid with gold, were hewn and battered by a hundred blows; his shield was cloven through and through; his sword broken in the stiffened hand which grasped it still. Cut off from his troop, he had made his last stand beneath the tree, knee-deep in the gay summer flowers, and there he lay, bestrewn, as if by some mockery – or pity – of mother nature, with faded roses, and golden fruit, shaken from off the boughs in that last deadly struggle. Raphael stood and watched him with a sad sneer.

‘Well! – you have sold your fancied personality dear! How many dead men?…Nine…Eleven! Conceited fellow! Who told you that your one life was worth the eleven which you have taken?’

Bran went up to the corpse – perhaps from its sitting posture fancying it still living – smelt the cold cheek, and recoiled with a mournful whine.

***

And as he followed, careless where he went, he continued talking to himself aloud after the manner of restless self-discontented men.

…’And then man talks big about his dignity and his intellect, and his heavenly parentage, and his aspirations after the unseen, and the beautiful, and the infinite – and everything else unlike himself. How can he prove it? Why, these poor blackguards lying about are very fair specimens of humanity. – And how much have they been bothered since they were born with aspirations after anything infinite, except infinite sour wine? To eat, to drink; to destroy a certain number of their species; to reproduce a certain number of the same, two-thirds of whom will die in infancy, a dead waste of pain to their mothers and of expense to their putative sires…and then – what says Solomon? What befalls them befalls beasts. As one dies, so dies the other; so that they have all one breath, and a man has no pre-eminence over a beast; for all is vanity. All go to one place; all are of the dust, and turn to dust again. Who knows that the breath of man goes upward, and that the breath of the beast goes downward to the earth? Who, indeed, my most wise ancestor? Not I, certainly. Raphael Aben-Ezra, how art thou better than a beast? What pre-eminence hast thou, not merely over this dog, but over the fleas whom thou so wantonly cursest? Man must painfully win house, clothes, fire…A pretty proof of his wisdom, when every flea has the wit to make my blanket, without any labour of his own, lodge him a great deal better than it lodges me! Man makes clothes, and the fleas live in them…Which is the wiser of the two?…

‘Ah, but man is fallen…Well – and the flea is not. So much better he than the man; for he is what he was intended to be, and so fulfils the very definition of virtue, which no one can say of us of the red-ochre vein. And even if the old myth be true, and the man only fell, because he was set to do higher work than the flea, what does that prove – but that he could not do it?

‘But his arts and his sciences?…Apage! The very sound of those grown-children’s rattles turns me sick..One conceited ass in a generation increasing labour and sorrow, and dying after all even as the fool dies, and ten million brutes and slaves, just where their fore-fathers were, and where their children will be after them, to the end of the farce…The thing that has been, it is that which shall be; and there is no new thing under the sun….

***

The last blue headland of Sardinia was fading fast on the north-west horizon, and a steady breeze bore before it innumerable ships, the wrecks of Heraclian’s armament, plunging and tossing impatiently in their desperate homeward race toward the coast of Africa. Far and wide, under a sky of cloudless blue, the white sails glittered on the glittering sea, as gaily now, above their loads of shame and disappointment terror and pain, as when, but one short month before, they bore with them only wild hopes and gallant daring. Who can calculate the sum of misery in that hapless flight?…And yet it was but one, and that one of the least known and most trivial, of the tragedies of that age of woe; one petty death-spasm among the unnumbered throes which were shaking to dissolution the Babylon of the West. Her time had come. Even as Saint John beheld her in his vision, by agony after agony, she was rotting to her well-earned doom. Tyrannising it luxuriously over all nations, she had sat upon the mystic beast – building her power on the brute animal appetites of her dupes and slaves: but she had duped herself even more than them. She was finding out by bitter lessons that it was ‘to the beast’, and not to her, that her vassal kings of the earth had been giving their power and strength; and the ferocity and lust which she had pampered so cunningly in them, had become her curse and her destruction…Drunk with the blood of the saints; blinded by her own conceit and jealousy to the fact that she had been crushing and extirpating out of her empire for centuries past all which was noble, purifying, regenerative, divine, she sat impotent and doting, the prey of every fresh adventurer, the slave of her own slaves…’And the kings of the earth, who had sinned with her, hated the harlot, and made her desolate and naked, and devoured her flesh, and burned her with fire. For God had put into their hearts to fulfil His will, and to agree, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God should be fulfilled.’…Everywhere sensuality, division, hatred, treachery, cruelty, uncertainty, terror; the vials of God’s wrath poured out. Where was to be the end of it all? asked every man of his neighbour, generation after generation; and received for answer only, ‘It is better to die than to live.’

And yet in one ship out of that sad fleet, there was peace; peace amid shame and terror; amid the groans of the wounded, and the sighs of the starving; amid all but blank despair. The great triremes and quinqueremes rushed onward past the lagging transports, careless, in the mad race for safety, that they were leaving the greater number of their comrades defenceless in the rear of the flight; but from one little fishing-craft alone no base entreaties, no bitter execrations greeted the passing flash and roll of their mighty oars. One after another, day by day, they came rushing up out of the northern offing, each like a huge hundred-footed dragon, panting and quivering, as if with terror, at every loud pulse of its oars, hurling the wild water right and left with the mighty share of its beak, while from the bows some gorgon or chimaera, elephant or boar, stared out with brazen eyes toward the coast of Africa, as if it, too, like the human beings which it carried, was dead to every care but that of dastard flight…

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Defense Chiefs Advance Georgia’s Full Membership In Bloc

February 6, 2015 Leave a comment

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
February 6, 2015

Meetings of the Defence Ministers at NATO Headquarters in Brussels- Meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission

Joint statement of the NATO-Georgia Commission at the level of Defence Ministers1. We met today in the NATO-Georgia Commission (NGC) to discuss priorities for cooperation between Georgia and NATO and Georgia’s security challenges.

2. We took stock of the implementation of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package which was endorsed by Allied Heads of State and Government at the Wales Summit. The measures in this Package aim to strengthen Georgia’s defence and interoperability capabilities with the Alliance, which will help Georgia advance in its preparations towards membership in the Alliance. We noted clear progress in implementing the Package, including setting up a NATO core team for Defence Capacity Building and making preparations for the NATO-Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre and the Defence Institution Building School. Allies will continue to work with Georgia to implement all elements of the Package.

3. Allied Ministers recalled the Wales Summit decisions, in particular that Georgia has made significant progress since the Bucharest Summit and has come closer to NATO by implementing ambitious reforms and making good use of the NGC and the ANP; and that Georgia’s relationship with the Alliance contains the tools necessary to continue moving Georgia forward towards eventual membership. NATO Ministers recalled the agreement of Heads of State and Government at the 2008 Bucharest Summit that Georgia will become a member of NATO, and reaffirmed all elements of that decision, as well as subsequent decisions.

4. NATO Ministers expressed strong appreciation for Georgia’s sizeable contribution to NATO’s operations and missions, including the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan to which Georgia is the second overall contributor. contributor. Together with Georgia’s participation in the NATO Response Force and in EU-led operations, these contributions demonstrate Georgia’s role as a contributor to our shared security in the Euro-Atlantic area and beyond. NATO Ministers expressed their gratitude to all the members of the Georgian Armed Forces who have served in ISAF, and extended their deepest sympathies to the families of those Georgian soldiers who lost their lives or were injured on this mission.

5. Georgia, an aspirant country, participates in the Interoperability Platform to work with NATO to take forward dialogue and practical cooperation on interoperability issues as part of the Partnership Interoperability Initiative launched at the Wales Summit. As a partner that makes particularly significant contributions to NATO operations; with a high degree of interoperability; and participating in a wide range of other major NATO initiatives and activities, Georgia benefits from enhanced opportunities to further deepen political dialogue and practical cooperation within the Partnership Interoperability Initiative.

6. NATO Ministers welcomed the steady progress Georgia has shown in implementing its ANP, including defence reform. NATO Ministers noted the positive trends in Georgia’s democratic development, and encouraged Georgia to continue implementation of reforms, including consolidating democratic institutions, taking forward judicial reforms, and ensuring full respect for the rule of law.

7. We condemn steps taken by Russia in Georgia which are in breach of Russia’s international obligations and commitments, and contradict the principles of international law, in particular the recent signature of the ‘agreement’ with the Abkhazia region of Georgia. We note with concern preparations for the signature of a similar ‘agreement’ with the South Ossetia region of Georgia. Allied Ministers reaffirmed their strong support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders, which these ‘agreements’ aim to undermine. NATO Ministers also reaffirmed their continued policy of non-recognition, and reiterated their call on Russia to reverse its recognition of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions of Georgia as independent states and to withdraw its forces from Georgia. Allied Ministers welcomed Georgia’s active and constructive participation in the Geneva talks and encouraged all participants to these negotiations to play a constructive role, as well as to continue working closely with the OSCE, UN and the EU to pursue peaceful conflict resolution on Georgia’s territory.

Categories: Uncategorized

28 NATO Air Chiefs Plan Spearhead Air War Thrust Against Russia

February 6, 2015 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Air Command

Febuary 6, 2015

NATO Air Chiefs discuss new ways for Air and Space Power

RAMSTEIN, Germany: Air Chiefs from all NATO nations gathered at Allied Air Command on Ramstein Air Base on Thursday, 5 February 2015, for the NATO Air Chiefs’ Symposium 2015.

AIRCOM Commander, General Frank Gorenc, welcomed the Air Chiefs by saying, “This is a pivotal time for our Air Forces. We are increasing our responsiveness and readiness. And, we are assuring our Allies while quickly adapting to the changing European security environment.”

Air Chiefs from all NATO nations gathered at Allied Air Command on Ramstein Air Base on 5 February to discuss airpower related matters which emerged from the NATO Summit in Wales. -Photo courtesy of Cynthia Vernat, HQ AIRCOM Public Affairs Office

The senior leaders focused their discussions on the implementation of airpower related matters which emerged from the NATO Summit in Wales. The primary theme was the Very-High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) and airpower’s role in guaranteeing the success of NATO’s Spearhead force.

For crisis response, AIRCOM is trained and equipped to provide operational command and control for Allied Air Forces contributing to the common defence of NATO Nations. This capability known as the Joint Force Air Component will be stood up at Ramstein by HQ AIRCOM, augmented by personnel from subordinated units and Nations and led by NATO’s primary air advisor, General Frank Gorenc.

“As for NATO, this is not business as usual. While we are conducting our standing peacetime missions, we are also discussing new ways for air and space power to address the changing security environment. That is why I’m thrilled to have this symposium with our NATO Air Chiefs who train, equip, and organize our NATO Air Forces.”

Story by HQ AIRCOM Public Affairs Office

Categories: Uncategorized