A message from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Canada had 1 million Canadian serve in the Second World War during 6 long years.
Dresden is a city in Saxony, Germany we have often visited since 1998. This city was until 1989 in East Germany after the partition of 1945. It survived the war unscathed because it was a city known for arts and culture with no military vocation. However all that changed on the nights of February 14 and 15, 1945 just 2 and a half months before the end of the war, when the British launched massive aerial fire bombing of the city.
The old Dresden was completely destroyed and tens of thousands died. After the war under the communist dictatorship of the GDR, the old city was left pretty much as it was with its pile of rubble. Since 1990 it has been rebuilt completely and now there are no traces of the destruction. This in itself presents a problem, if visitors are told the story of the City they will think it odd that no visible sign remain. On the other hand it all looks pretty new though built in the same style as before the destruction of 1945.
This is the old public square by the Frauenkirche, the lutheran church of our lady. None of the buildings in this photo including the church existed prior to 2010. It was all rebuilt to look and feel exactly as it use to be. Queen Elizabeth II gave the new cross atop the Church lantern in a gesture of reconciliation.
The most impressive reconstruction in Dresden is the lutheran church of our Lady ”Frauenkirche” built by Georg Bahr between 1726-43, measuring 90 meters in height and all made of stone. We saw it being rebuilt during 3 visits to the city. The interior is beautiful in its baroque decor. The original church like the reconstructed one was built with donations from Lutherans and others. Originally it was a protest by the people against their King August the Strong who had wild ambitions. He decided that he wanted to be King of Poland and of Saxony. The problem was that he would have to convert to the Roman Catholic Faith of the Poles to achieve his goal. He did and built a Catholic cathedral next to his palace. The population was not happy with his decision.
Photo of 1920 of the Frauenkirche
Photo from 1970 the Frauenkirche a ruin, we first saw it in this state prior to the start of the reconstruction. The building itself survived the fire bombing but on 16 February 1945 in the morning the Ministers of the Church went in to see about the damage and while inspecting it the cooling stone of the Church started to crack violently and crashed on top of them. In this photo you see a vast empty field compared with the reconstructed area today.
If you have a chance to visit Dresden, it is well worth it, located halfway between Berlin and Munich.
Usually a few days before the New Year I always wonder what the new year will bring for me personally and for us as a family and then for Canada and the world. It seems that if our domestic life continues apace and no great event changes our lives beyond what is to be normally expected, the situation in the world is a vastly different matter.
I have come to expect some kind of disaster, natural, man made or other. In 1990 while in the Middle East, I and my colleagues knew was imminent with Iraq for invading Kuwait and the oil fields. So that Christmas in Cairo, my boss at the time told me to take my little puppy Bundnie with me to Canada because I might not be able to return and it was best not to leave her behind. I did return in the New Year but Bundnie was safe at home in Canada. The first Gulf war was short really, the Iraqi army was not professional and ill equipped for any war against a Western army. Other years brought other terrible events. So why would 2020 be any different.
The Middle East has been since 1914 a huge trouble spot and a play ground for the great powers, Britain, France, USA, Russia and now China. The people of the region do not count for much in the final analysis. Much racism and bigotry at play. Trump’s decision is one of a man who has NO understanding of the world and history or international commitments for that matter. His mistake has given Iran a victory today.
The Iraqi Parliament today has voted to oust all USA troops from Iraq. The domino effect is that the NATO mission to train Iraqi soldiers is at an end, they too will have to leave. Iran becomes de facto the only power to control the militias and political life in Iraq.
All NATO operations against ISIS are also at an end. ISIS will probably make the calculation of now attacking only Western forces, siding with Iran because it is convenient for them. Russia is also winning with the USA out of the way. Iran is also re-starting its enrichment of Uranium program.
The assassination of Qassim Suleimani was a terrible mistake and it is difficult to understand how the State Dept, The National Security Council, experts and advisors could not point out the obvious to Pres. Trump. Suleimani was similar to Iran killing the US Secretary of State or the Chief of the Defense Staff. It reminds me of a story involving the Duke of Wellington at the battle of Waterloo. Prior to the battle as was custom at the time generals would go up and down the line to harangue soldiers prior to the battle.
Wellington did it and so did Napoleon on his white horse. An Officer pointed out to the Duke that it would be very easy to simply shoot Napoleon prior to the battle and that would be the end of that, Wellington said NO, we do not do that, it would be beyond the pale and contrary to the rules of engagement. If Napoleon dies during the battle fine but not prior to hostilities.
The killing of Suleimani is contrary to International Law, since there was no declared war between Iran and the USA. Despite the media depicting him as a terrorist etc. still no previous president or anyone else suggested killing him out right. Now we see the result, Iran is now at war with the USA. The Americans are loosing ground and outside of the UK it is very unlikely that any other ally including Canada will want to get involved in an un-winnable war.
Iran is not Libya or Syria or Iraq, it is a power in the region and has the capacity to wage a war, its soldiers are committed to a cause they believe in, can’t say the same for a Western soldier who may not see the point of fighting a war far from home for what goal exactly and for a President who has been impeached. Vietnam was lost because the Vietcong believe in what they were fighting for, not so on the American side.
Iran is a country in Western Asia. With 82 million inhabitants, Iran is the world’s 18th most populous country. Its territory spans 1,648,195 km², making it the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. An ancient culture, a highly educated population. What we see today is a failure of US diplomacy, since 1979 unable to resolve issues because the US administration has always treated Iran as an inferior. Then again Cuba comes to mind, another long standing failure of US diplomacy since 1959.
Now Pres. Trump wants to target specifically Iranian Cultural sites which are in most cases important to all humanity and some are protected under UNESCO. It seems that Trump wants to be declared a war criminal, what a distinction for a US President.
We live a very difficult moment in the world and none of this will make America great as Trump wishes, what a way to start the new year.
I was at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery today to have a good look at the new Winter Show. Several artists are presenting their works. One artist is Wafaa Bilal b. 1966 in Najaf, Iraq, he is an Iraqi American artist, a former professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and currently an associate professor at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. Wafaa Bilal fled Iraq in 1991 and spent 2 years in a refugee camp in Saudi Arabia. Many members of his family where killed during this period.
The exhibit is entitled 168:01
The title of the installation, 168:01, refers to the 13th-century destruction of the historic House of Wisdom library – then the largest in the world – at the hands of Mongol invaders. “Legend has it that they dumped its entire contents into the Tigris river to create a bridge to cross over, and that the pages bled for seven days – 168 hours,” Bilal said. “The extra 1 is that second when I imagine the books turned white and drained of knowledge.”
Wafaa Bilal’s powerful suite of photographs titled “The Ashes Series” brings the viewer closer to images of violence and war in the Middle East. In an effort to foster empathy and humanize the onslaught of violent images that inundate Western media during wartime, Bilal has reconstructed journalistic images of the destruction caused by the Iraq War. He writes, “Reconstructing the destructed spaces is a way to exist in them, to share them with an audience, and to provide a layer of distance, as the original photographs are too violent and run the risk of alienating the viewer. It represents an attempt to make sense of the destruction and to preserve the moment of serenity after the dust has settled, to give the ephemeral moment extended life in a mix of beauty and violence.” In the photograph “Al-Mutanabbi Street” from “The Ashes Series”, the viewer encounters dilapidated historic and modern buildings on a street covered with layers upon layers of rubble and fragments of torn books. Bilal’s images emanate a slowness that deepens engagement between the viewer and the image, thereby inviting them to share the burden of obliterated societies and reimagine a world built on the values of peace and hope.
You know the expression it is a slippery slope, a few months ago I was reading a book by Austrian author, journalist, poet, historian Stefan Sweig, 1881-1942. The book was entitled The World of Yesterday, it tells the story of life in Europe prior to the First World War 1914-1918, a world ruled by Emperors, Kings and old Empires, genteel and elegant, a world vanished by 1919, replaced by a frantic and disillusioned Europe gripped by economic chaos, revolutions, violence and hate, preparing itself for an even greater disaster the rise of Fascism and the Second World War 1939-1945.
The events of the last week makes me wonder if the world has not lost it’s mind. We learned that the Great Barrier Reef off Australia is now dead, a terrible ecological disaster with grave consequences. We have been warned for decades that this was going to happen if nothing was done, well nothing was done, no one cared and here are the results.
A passenger on a flight beaten by security goons in Chicago in what I call the Airport Security Circus, an airline unable to apologize and admit its fault. Only after a Public Relation nightmare did the CEO of United finally apologize. But what does that say about the world we live in, no one is safe now, Corporations use the police to beat people with impunity. In Canada our Minister of Transport in Parliament announces new security measures at airports, when asked during Question Period what they are, he refuses to answer stating Security reasons and State Secret to justify his non answer.
In Syria more atrocities, gas used on civilian population, a clear crime against humanity. In fact the use of gas or chemicals is strictly forbidden under International Law for civilians and military. In response US President Trump bombs an empty air base, provoking a strong warning from Russia, not to cross that line again because they will retaliate against the USA. China also condemns the USA the day the Chinese President leaves Mar-a-Lago after his visit with Trump. Secretary of State Tillerson is unable to get the G-7 countries to back more sanctions against Russia despite Canada and the UK support. Tillerson uses un-diplomatic language calling the Russian incompetent in controlling their ally Syria. Tillerson is to visit Moscow on Wednesday 12 April, what will that achieve and for what purpose?
War ships are being sent to the China Sea to threaten North Korea over the ballistic Nuclear weapons dispute. South Korean government is so worried that Trump will launch a pre-emptive strike against North Korea that it has to reassure its own people that a military strike won’t happen. Trump finally tells China that if they do nothing about North Korea he will retaliate militarily, however if the Chinese cooperate they might get economic concessions, such talk angers the Chinese. So an erratic American Foreign Policy seems to be the way Trump wants to play this game, which is confusing to all and dangerous.
Wars are started on pretext and incidents usually after an escalation of rhetoric. Russia will not be impressed nor bullied by the USA and China can flex its own muscle to harm the economic interests of the USA.
Like many now I am worried about war and the behaviour of this President who fails to appreciate that World politics is complex and delicate. Russia may very well call Trump’s bluff and he will loose face. China has, through its official newspaper The People’s Daily already ridiculed Trump. It looks like a new Cold War but without the old reserve and careful maneuvering of the past.
The deadly Sarin gas attack on a town in Syria got the world’s attention with the publication by the Media of bodies of dead children frozen in a death pose. Immediately everywhere comments on how shameful it is and we must stop this war. Why is nothing being done, we will be held accountable and we should be ashamed, etc.
The use of the word ”They” comes back a lot in comments, but who is they? Everyone wants to stop this war, but how? We must intervene, we must protest, again who is ”We”. Those making such comments are probably expressing honest feelings of disgust at such scenes. Hopefully many realize that a solution is not being pursued by the great powers, USA, Russia or China and other regional powers like Turkey and Iran are looking for political advantage. Israel is keeping quiet, this war is a good thing politically, Lebanon and Jordan are hoping not to be destabilize by the conflict on their doorstep. Iraq has its own problem trying to get rid of ISIS on its territory and is making progress at great civilian cost.
This Syrian Civil War is not about to end quickly, it has now been 6 years of indiscriminate killings, civilians are always caught in between, hostage to various armed groups. The casualties are by far civilians, war today has been escalated to levels of uncivilized barbarity seen centuries ago but thought to have disappeared with the modern age, well that was just a fiction.
To stop this war there would have to be an agreement by various rebel groups and governments to stop all fighting, ISIS would have to be neutralized and destroyed, finally the super powers, USA, Russia and China would have to agree to look for a solution which would not favour essentially their political interests. We all know that is not going to happen, this is not how powers operate today or in the past. War is about gaining an advantage on your opponents and to hell with the cost. Politicians are willing to sacrifice their own army, people, and as for the opponents or in this case the Syrians well they simply don’t count and if they have to die, well so be it, political, commercial and regional domination is far more important.
Obviously our politicians cannot speak the truth on what they want to achieve the good people they govern would not understand. So here in Canada our Prime Minister read a prepared statement in the House of Commons yesterday about the gas attack in Syria, it was rather surprising that he could not speak off the cuff clearly and express his feelings and opinion on the matter, well he had other things to think about like appearing today at the UN in New York to lobby for a Seat for Canada at the Security Council. Our Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said this attack was unacceptable and went on to speak as a mother of small children. Fine but what can Canada do in this case? We are not a super power and we are on the margins in the region, have always been. We have neither the military capacity nor is there any stomach in Canada to get more involved, the cost alone would anger many.
The situation in Syria and the region is a complex one and an old one, the root of the conflict is at least 100 years old. It all started with Britain and France plotting to destroy the Ottoman Turkish Empire that ruled the area for 500 years and turn it into a colonial outposts for their profit. In the 1930’s with the rise of Fascism in Europe and the growing power of the Soviet Union, destabilization of the area was the main game.
With the start of the Second World War, the Soviets played on the unhappiness of the population in the area under British and French Colonial rule to sow the idea of independence. The end of the war in 1945 saw a collapse of British and French Colonial power, replaced by a new super power the USA. In the 1950’s with the rise of Gamal Abdel Nasser in Egypt and the overthrown of the Monarchy, the Soviets gave full support to his Pan-Arab Socialist Movement, Syria was an easy target, Iraq another one where in a violent coup the Royal Family was massacre in 1958 and a group of military officer took over. The population in these countries were nothing more than pawns, serving the interests of either Soviet Russia or the USA. The whole region from Iran to Egypt and including the Levant was a big chess game between the USA and Soviets, oil played a part but many countries did not have significant oil deposit but they had strategic military importance.
Both the USA and Soviet Union encourage coups and wars in the region, often arming and paying various groups to push by proxy their agenda.
Massacres in Iraq by the late Saddam Hussein of his own countrymen with mustard or sarin gas was done in the 1990’s. In Syria Hafez Al-Assad the father of the current President Bashar, used his army to raze to the ground entire villages killing all who oppose or simply thought of opposing him in the 1980’s. His secret police and their prisons were feared by all. What we see now is just a continuation of the same.
Could politicians suggest we send our soldiers to fight on the ground there? No, in Canada our Prime Minister has been clear that he is looking for other ways to help. We are waiting 2 years after he came to power for his ideas on the matter. We withdrew our Air Force from Iraq to save money. We did take 40,000 Syrians refugees however they were selected following very specific instructions by Cabinet on who we would take mostly Christian Armenians. Though this was done with much criticism in Canada about cost. We now also have people crossing our US Southern Border into Canada to the alarm of the communities on that border.
So as long as Russia and the USA use Syria to wage war to gain influence or retain their advantage nothing will change and there will be more horrors to come. Just this week King Abdallah of Jordan and President Al Sisi of Egypt visited the White House to ensure that their insurance policy is renewed and the USA will continue to protect them with generous financial aid in the Billions of US $$$. Iraq is also looking for protection from whoever can deliver stability. Turkey’s President Erdogan is trying to give himself dictatorial powers and Russia is willing to help him, this means Turkey would leave the military alliance of NATO to forge a closer military union with Russia. This is a surprising development when one thinks of the acrimonious relationship between Turkey and Russia for the last 500 years. But when one sees an advantage, your thinking can change, the old enemy of yesterday because a good friend.
I know many have spoken of the immorality of war, however when it comes to political question, morality makes a quick exit, there is no morality nor ethical behaviour amongst countries, only the law of the mighty. He who wins not only writes history but is always right.
But people who leave comments on News chatlines should also honestly ask themselves if they really care for the population of Syria or the region in general. Do we only care because we do not like to see pictures of dead children. Are we willing to write to our politicians and say, Yes I am willing to pay more taxes to support a program to help Syria, Iraq, the Kurds, etc. I am willing to send my kids to war to end this conflict, I am willing to take in as many refugee as possible and help them financially, to do whatever is necessary to end these atrocities.
I am willing to bet that the answer is no to all those questions, so is human nature and our politicians know it.
Oh and let’s not forget North Korea and the nuclear question, now that is another tricky question. We do live in interesting times, a curse if you ask me.
The Chinese curse is ”May you live in interesting times” well we are living in such times now. Turkey a NATO country has been acting with great belligerence towards Germany and The Netherlands over the refusal of both countries, also NATO members, to allow Turkish politicians allied to President Erdogan to campaign on the up-coming referendum to give him near dictatorial powers on their national territory and speak to the ex-pat Turkish community living there. Germany has a large and well established Turkish population going back 130 years. This behaviour by President Erdogan of Turkey and his rapprochement with Putin is destabilizing NATO and is difficult to understand.
On the one hand Turkey has never had good relations with Russia in over 500 years. Continuous wars and conflict, Turkey joined NATO after the Second World War to counter Soviet influence in the Mediterranean since they control access from the Black Sea via the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. Also in this diplomatic conflict with The Netherlands, Turkey risk loosing billions of Euros in trade and tourism. There is already damage but Erdogan does not seem to care, did Russia promise investments? Most probably and China is not far behind, clever Chinese silent but deadly.
Which brings me to a far more dangerous and deadly possible conflict, that involving North Korea and the USA. In the Nuclear age a doctrine was established that no country would ever be allowed to develop ballistic Nuclear weapons to be used against the USA and its allies, but more importantly against a direct attack against the continental USA, this includes Canada since the USA is directly responsible for our Nuclear defence in case of attack.
The Trump administration has made it clear this week that it is not interested in continuing negotiations with the North about its developing nuclear missile facilities. For many years the USA have negotiated with the North Korean leadership and provided a sweetener in the form of aid. China who is the nominal protector of the North Korean Regime since the truce* in the Korean War in 1952 has also used leverage with the Kim family, it is not working anymore and China is frustrated. North Korea has been developing ever more sophisticated nuclear weapons and now are about 3 years away from having Inter-Continental Ballistic missiles capable of reaching the Western Coast of the USA. This means that the US Government and the President must stop North Korea before it is too late, the afore mentioned doctrine dictates it. Such North Korean missiles could easily be fired and reach the USA in 20 minutes, not enough time to properly respond in kind and this is why a sophisticated computer program monitors 24/7 the world in case of such an attack, which could come from Russia or China but it highly unlikely for a host of reasons including leadership ones who understand all too well what it means in terms of survival for us all. The computer system detecting such an attack can automatically launch missiles in case the White House does not respond quickly enough.
This week Secretary of State Rex Tyllerson was in South Korea and is then going to visit Japan and China. He has made it clear that the USA is considering a pre-emptive strike against North Korea if there is any further escalation or un-acceptable behaviour, what does that mean exactly is anyone’s guess. But the visit itself to China is to warn the Chinese President and leadership that President Trump is going to act differently from the past and a strike could come at any time, maybe even a nuclear one.
Trump is clearly after regime change in North Korea, the Kim family have for far too long teased the USA and made threats, testing missiles by launching them repeatedly to show they are capable of attack.
Rex Tyllerson is going to tell the Chinese that the time for discussion is over and if they do not act to change the leadership in North Korea, which they can easily do, given their enormous influence, the USA will strike. The big problem is that Nuclear weapons today are one thousand time more powerful than the one used in Hiroshima and then Nagasaki in August 1945. No one has seen the power of today’s weapons and it is truly terrifying. What would be the reaction of Russia in such a case, probably annoyance but not much more as long as their territory is not affected by the fall-out, though they border North Korea. What about China, major cities like DanDong across the Yalu river from North Korean, sharing 1000 Km border and they could suffer from the fall-out with all the horrors it entails. South Korea would certainly by affected given how close the Capital Seoul is to the North, only 22 minutes by air separate the two capitals or 121 miles.
Given that Mr Trump does not appreciate the power of Nuclear weapons nor the complicated balance between States and other great powers, such a pre-emptive strike could easily lead to a major catastrophe or doomsday for life on this planet. Most people do not want to believe this possible, but the unpredictability of Trump makes this quite possible. At the same time Kim Jong Un is equally responsible for this state of affair and he is not without knowing that a direct nuclear threat to the USA invites automatically a terrible response.
Well tomorrow the USA will have a new President, gloom and doom, much apprehension and despair. Fear of war and economic collapse that is what is in the news. No one knows what will happen and in my life I have seen quite a few swearing in of new Presidents starting with JFK but I do not remember anything like this in the past. There was drama as when Lyndon Johnson became President after the assassination of JFK in Dallas, Nixon’s second term, though unpopular there was no hysteria. Many were no happy with George W. Bush there was ridicule but again life went on. This time something is clearly unhinged, I deliberately did not watch or listen to much about Trump until a few days ago. It is not my country, I did not vote in this election and could not anyway, the USA is another political culture very different from ours, we have our own problems in Canada and things to worry about here. Our Prime Minister is currently on a tour of Canada stopping in many small towns to meet people here and there, people are invited to ask him questions on the spot, he has made some mistakes and maybe he is tired but twice he showed poor judgement in the way he answered questions and the Press pounced at once. He then went on do to a bizarre thing in Sherbrooke, where a women asked him a question in English and he replied in French, that did not go down well. The Conservative Party now has 15 leadership candidates, all more stupid than the next, men and women, three of them would like to be Donald Trump, no seriously, just weird.
What struck me this week, I listened briefly to the confirmation hearings, some of the questions were loaded and the candidate had to be careful not to endorse a point of view. Most answers given were not answers and the candidate showed they had an agenda. Rick Perry discovered that the Energy Dept is about nuclear matter and not oil and gas. Tillerson gave the impression that he would like a war with China, a nuclear power. DeVos though well spoken is clueless. Wilbur Ross the Commerce Secretary nominee appears ready to do a lot of harm to trade on NAFTA, which will harm many American workers whose job exist because of the Free Trade Agreement. What will happen in Canada, our economy is very well integrated with the American economy, so Ross has to be careful and I wonder if causing a lot of economic pain in Mexico is a good idea, given the number of Americans who go there on vacation or own homes.
It is all pretty sad and I have the impression that we are entering the age of Ignorance and greed something we should worry about a lot. I also worry about all those Americans, millions of them, who are likely to loose medical insurance under ACA. How can any elected official take away from Citizens something as vital as Health Care, I do not understand. Is Trump the Manchurian Candidate, is he Russia’s man. I cannot imagine in all the movie thriller scenarios, such a plot where the American President would be the puppet of Russia, formerly the Soviet Union, Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy would be stunned. Well we will have to wait and see. But I will not pass judgement or give out an opinion on what is happening South of the border, it is not for me to say.
The Embassy of Canada entrance 501 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C. the inaugural parade will pass in front of our Embassy.
Recently I was surfing on You Tube and found two short documentary films both made in 1946. One is British and the other is American, same topic, same story but completely different approach. The British one is highly moralistic and full of condescension, preachy and negative. The American one is Bon Enfant in tone that American way of being optimistic and full of yes we can do this and all will be well now, no worries folks, we are here to make friends and build the future. I often long for that America which appears to have vanished.
Of course the two documentaries are about Germany 1946, the war is over, the Nazi regime defeated, its leadership dead or in jail. Now it is time for re-construction and with that post war view of all is possible. The American want to bring prosperity to the defeated nation, it shows us a German family, father, mother and two kids. Father works in a factory, responsible fellow, mom the good housewife and the kids happy. The nightmare of the Nazi dictatorship which lasted 12 years is over. The narrator even inserts German words into the dialogue so the viewer can see that the former enemy is now just a simply guy wanting to get on with life. The family has a meal together, father smokes a pipe, kids do homework and their home is simple but clean. For all you know this could be an American family. The American documentary is somewhat naive, you think of innocents abroad as Mark Twain use to say.
Contrast this with the British documentary, it is full of reproach against that awful people who inflicted two world wars on the World in the space of 20 years. Forgetting that the First World War was about Europe including the British sleepwalking into a conflict that could have been averted. The narrator then goes on to mention the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 as further proof of the perfidious Germans. Forgetting to tell us that Queen Victoria, the most German of British Monarchs cheered Bismarck on that one and only changed her tune when her Ministers told her the public could not understand her pro-German sentiment.
The British documentary shows you a lot of devastated German cities, people walking about aimlessly, stunned by the defeat and the catastrophe they brought on themselves. The narrator says “What are we to do with these people” “should we let them starve”, ” Kill them all”. All rhetorical questions of course, the narrator goes on to say it is our duty to reform them and educated them so they can set aside their terrible ideas. He also brings in Christian principals and values, all is presented as a burden for the civilized British people. Redemption of the German people will come through atonement for sins, the narrator then goes on to name German Industrialists like Krupp who made money from the war, comical really, as if no one in Britain ever made a huge profit from the war. Everyone must be punished! Emphatically states the narrator almost in hysterical tones.
Looking at it I thought, well here we go again, same nonsense from the British and the French we saw in 1919 which lead directly to hardship and the rise of Nazism. Luckily this time the new Super Power America is there to set the tone and by 1948 Britain will be pushed to the margins as the Empire crumbles, same fate awaits the French and their colonial empire.
You certainly do not see in the British documentary any spirit of Internationalism, it is still about revenge and the old European rivalries. The documentary in itself speaks to a British audience, holding fast certain beliefs about the enemy, which cannot be revisited or re-interpreted. In Canada we also bought into the British interpretation of the war and to this day presentation follows orthodox lines. The Americans being a new Super Power can be magnanimous, they have no past sins.
The British documentary forgets to mention that the war could not be won by Britain alone, all the Commonwealth countries and Canada came to the rescue. Britain was almost defeated by Germany during the Battle of Britain. They also forget to mention that Edward VIII and Ms Simpson’s were Nazi sympathizers and if Britain fell they would have been happy to help Herr Hitler, sanitize Britain and get rid of Churchill and brother George VI. Unclassified documents today show what had long been suspected but never mentioned publicly.
I just found those two documentaries fascinating and indicative of the post-war period.
This British exclusionary spirit still exist today, the latest is the Brexit vote on 23 June, will Britain leave the European Union over some imagined fantasy of not being able to control their own destiny? As if Britain today could go at it alone, what of all the British citizens now living, working for years in other EU countries, out of the EU means they go home to the Sceptre Isle which would certainly created an economic crisis of large proportions. Again it is this idea that people have to play by our rules and Britain is not open to working with others unless it can dictate the terms.
General DeGaulle back in 1969 said that Britain should not be allowed to enter into the Common Market as the EU was then called. He could foresee problems because of British attitudes. In Europe the rivalries die hard, sad really.
Journey as an owner of a Chinese restaurant in Montreal
Life of Yi Zhao, a Beijinger living in Provincetown, USA
Prince Edward Island From the Inside Out
VOYAGES, CITY GUIDES, CHATEAUX, PHOTOGRAPHIE.
from ancient to modern and beyond
ROME - THE IMPERIAL FORA: SCHOLARLY RESEARCH & RELATED STUDIES.
ROME – THE IMPERIAL FORA: SCHOLARLY RESEARCH & RELATED STUDIES.
The Unwritten Rules of History
In Defence of Westminster
Jerry and I get around. In 2011, we moved from the USA to Spain. We now live near Málaga. Jerry y yo nos movemos. En 2011, nos mudamos de EEUU a España. Ahora vivimos cerca de Málaga.
Stories, Excerpts, Backroads
... Soyons... Joyeux !!!
A place for Beards to contemplate and grow their souls.
Tutto iniziò con Memorie di Adriano, sulle strade dell'Impero Romano tra foto, storia e mito - It all began with Memoirs of Hadrian, on the roads of the Roman Empire among photos, history and myth!
To live is to battle with trolls in the vaults of heart and brain. To write; this is to sit in judgment over one's Self. Henrik Ibsen
Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin
Newly Single, Exploring Life
Reviewing Fish, Shellfish, and Seafood Products
The adventures of a Press Gallery journalist
A Historic England Blog
Remembering that life is a comedy and the world is a small town.
Telling the stories of the history of the port of Charlottetown and the marine heritage of Northumberland Strait on Canada's East Coast. Winner of the Heritage Award from the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation and a Heritage Preservation Award from the City of Charlottetown
Stories in words and pictures
So Many Years of Experience But Still Making Mistakes!
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”/Let us go and make our visit.
Procrastination is the sincerest form of optimism
I aim to bring delight to others by sharing my creative endeavours
A mix of corporate and private life experiences
Join me as we wind back the time in Ottawa.