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1916: Sorry, President Wilson, but this is not a gentlemanly war

We are not engaged in an 18th-century duel, but in a fight for the survival of civilisation

4 June 2016

9:00 AM

4 June 2016

9:00 AM

From ‘President Wilson and the Lessons of History’, 2 June 1916: Emphatically it is not a war of what we may call the old eighteenth-century pattern, where any one could step in and say, as if speaking to a couple of duellists: ‘You have had a good honest fight. Honour is satisfied. Now don’t you think the sensible and the humane plan would be to shake hands and try to forget all about your unfortunate quarrel?’ There is nothing whatever of that nature about the present struggle. The peoples of Europe are not arrayed upon what used to be called the field of honour, but engaged in a death-struggle in which one side is fighting for domination, and the other for security that peace, justice, and national independence shall continue on the earth.

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  • Father Todd Unctious

    What a betrayal of those who died on the battlefields 100 years ago for anyone to be advocating or voting Out.

    • Tamerlane

      I have zero time for this sort of arrogant nonsense. Those who died a hundred years didn’t do it for some abstract idea of a future greater European super state, of that I’m certain. I’m pretty sure if they fought for anything it would have been King, Country, Empire, and their mates, a lot of the things the EU stands against. It is absolutely repellent that you and your ilk dare to think you can speak for these brave heroes or indeed exploit their deaths for your own personal political agenda. It’s despicable of you frankly. I don’t know what each and every one of them died for but I don’t for one minute use their memory or suffering to further my cause.

      Shame on you.

      • Father Todd Unctious

        What a disgusting and ignorant comment. My whole point is the EU makes pointless savage conflicts like WW1 much less likely. By getting rid of Kings and even countries we have as good as banishedthe need for naive young men to be forced to die for ” King and Country” in appalling circumstances.
        Nobody needs to see their friends slsughtered or their families suffer, nor incur the huge cost for pursuing the ludicruous expansion and vanity projects of the elite.
        Ultimately the Brexit campaign puts us at much more risk of war. Disgraceful.

        • Tamerlane

          You have no business whatsoever bringing your odious politics into this. No one made sacrifices in WWI for the EU, nor did they die to get rid of Kings or even countries, quite the opposite in fact.

          You are despicable.

          • Father Todd Unctious

            But as usual I haven’t said that. You try to put words i to my mouth. I have not suggested the casuslties of WW1 were sacrifices to create the EU.
            On the contrary I say the EU avoids the horrific possiblity of a repeat of WW1.
            For someone who doesn’t have the time you are strangely preoccupied with my politics. The politics of fairness abd reason has always irked you and your rich friends.

          • Tamerlane

            I don’t care what you think the EU does or doesn’t do, it has no place on this thread. Disgusting.

          • Father Todd Unctious

            It has everything to do with this thread. We are currently in the Centenary of Verdun, the Somme and Jutland. The EU as Churchill himself realised was a significant step to ending such horrors. Only your Russian pals , the rich and the timid think otherwise.

          • Tamerlane

            Grow up. You can’t justify your behaviour and you know perfectly well your comment was inappropriate and out of place. Next time be man enough to apologise.

          • Father Todd Unctious

            Rubbish. I do not need to grow up. My comment is not inappropriate. Nobody other than you has said so. The mods have allowed it.
            I assume now you will go into one of your five other guises and pretend somebody agrees with you.

          • Tamerlane

            Too many good men died for you to use this article to comment on the EU. Shameful. These were good people and you exploit them.

          • Father Todd Unctious

            Do you work for them? I thought you worked with them.

          • Tamerlane

            Very poor taste. You shouldn’t be commenting on the EU here, it has no place here. You should know better.

          • Father Todd Unctious

            This seems to be your tack for shutting down discourse now. You say “shut up” or ” shoo” or ” go away” to those a who disagree with you.
            Move along you say as if you are the authority, policing the site. Like you own it.
            News for you Tammy. You own nothing on public forums. My reasonable views are valid. You are dusgusting for trying to stifle debate you shamefaced bighead.

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