By now, any decent and civilized person must have had a fill of the tedious coverage of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion at Normandy. The pretense of this celebration has been to honor those who died on that day, but the real purpose is to get you to reinvest your mind and soul in the gruesome butchery of the war system. When Queen Elizabeth II showed up at the ceremony, I recalled how her father, King George VI, was one of the first to storm ashore to help put an end to Nazi tyranny! No? He wasn’t there? But he must have been! Haven’t we been told that we need political leaders to protect us from foreign tyrants? Didn’t Ronald Reagan also show up on that beach (well, okay, World War II had been over for nearly four decades by that time, but it is the thought that counts, right)? Wasn’t there a time – long since passed – when monarchs DID lead the charge against the foe?
While others scheme to send other people’s children to the slaughterhouse that noncombatants praise as “American exceptionalism,” you might want to consider the warning offered by the historian William Henry Chamberlin. In 1941, on the eve of America’s entry into World War II, he observed that “War is an extremely unreliable weapon and often acts as a boomerang when it is employed not for direct national defense, not for some specific territorial expansion, but for some vague dream of determining the complex, changing and elastic pattern of international affairs.” And as our culture continues its downward plunge, recall the insight of the noted historian, Arnold Toynbee: “War has proved to have been the proximate cause of the breakdown of every civilization.”
Perhaps it is time to bring back the T-shirts and bumper-stickers from the 1960s, the ones that read: “what if they gave a war and nobody came?” If that message ever caught on, what would CNN, The New York Times, and Fox News – among others – have for our entertainment? Perhaps reruns of the 70th anniversary of D-Day?1:11 am on June 7, 2014 Email Butler Shaffer