Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Christmas Truce: What a Joke!

You know the story of the Christmas truce: on Christmas Eve, 1914, German troops started celebrating Christmas. The British joined in, eventually the trenches emptied, and for more than twenty-four hours nationality took second place to shared humanity. Eventually, however, "sanity" was restored, and the boys went back to shooting at each other.
A sympathetic account of the incident is here.
The story of the Christmas truce is about as heart wrenching as it gets. Trenches on both sides were full of men who had been conscripted -- i.e., they were slaves -- on the basis of lies: not only "you'll be home by Christmas" but "the war to end all wars" and "our nation is in mortal danger." It was the father of lies, not God, that had those men in those trenches.
Further, commanding officers on both sides were under orders to shoot "deserters" -- anyone who remained in the trenches when orders were given to attack. I don't know about you, but I'm guessing that when those guys got out of the trenches, they were shooting to protect their lives -- Mom, apple pie, and country were far behind just staying alive -- and remembering the Christmas truce as they shot, hoping that the guys shooting at them felt the same way.
"Shoot first and ask questions later" is the modus operandi of any military power that thinks it can get away with it. If power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, there is no clearer symptom than the tendency of stay-at-home warmongers to send other people's kids off to war instead of working things out diplomatically.
The author of the article linked to above doesn't state the obvious conclusion to the first part of the article: Government destroyed the peace of Christmas. The war went on for almost four more years, and the horrific number of deaths he mentions mostly took place after the Christmas truce.
A hodgepodge of cultural and religious values provides no basis for law – except the raw power of the pre-Christian past.
All Americans have a huge stake in Christianity. Whether or not we are individually believers in Christ, we are beneficiaries of the moral doctrine that has curbed power and protected the weak. Power is the horse ridden by evil. In the 20th century the horse was ridden hard, and the 21st century shows an increase in pace. Millions of people were exterminated in the 20th century by National Socialists in Germany and by Soviet and Chinese communists simply because they were members of a race or class that had been demonized by intellectuals and political authority [Emphasis mine - HW]. In the beginning years of the 21st century hundreds of thousands of Muslims in seven countries have already been murdered and millions displaced, because their religion does not submit to Washington’s hegemony.
Power that is secularized and cut free of civilizing traditions is not limited by moral and religious scruples. V.I. Lenin made this clear when he defined the meaning of his dictatorship as “unlimited power, resting directly on force, not limited by anything.” Washington’s drive for hegemony over US citizens and the rest of the world is based entirely on the exercise of force and is resurrecting unaccountable power.
If we fly the flag of raw, unaccountable power in our sanctuaries, we can expect "the republic for which it stands" to obliterate our peacemaking efforts as the Brits and Germans made a mockery of the Christmas truce.

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