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I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.
( George McGovern, 1922 – 2012 )

Four Million People Died In An Unnecessary Famine.
1942 – 1943.
After Japanese forces captured Burma, the British started preparing for India being invaded.

Convinced that crops would fall into enemy hands, Britain removed anything that could help the invaders, including food.
The enemy never came and four million people died in an unnecessary famine.

Forty Million People Starve To Death.
1958 – 1960.
Chinese leader Chairman Mao decided to compete with the west and out-produce the British steel industry.

Farmers were told to ignore agriculture and concentrate on steel production instead.
A food shortage saw nearly 40 million people starve to death.

White Rose Leaflets.
Brother and sister, Hans and Sophie Scholl, students in wartime Germany, were arrested by the Gestapo on the 18th February 1943, as they distributed white rose leaflets at the university of Munich.

They were condemned to death four days later by the people’s court and executed the same day, by guillotine, along with their friend Christoph Probst.
The leaflets opposed the methods and policies of the Third Reich and Hitler’s Nazism.

The Genocide Of Native Americans.
From the time Europeans arrived on American shores, the U.S. government authorised over 1,500 wars, attacks and raids on the Native people, the most of any country in the world against the indigenous population.
By the close of the wars in the late 19th century, fewer than 238,000 indigenous people remained, a sharp decline from the estimated 10 to 15 million living in North America when Columbus arrived in 1492.
The European settlers were hungry for Native land and the abundant natural resources that came with it.

Denouncing The Indigenous People.
They have neither the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits, nor the desire of improvement which are essential to any favourable change in their condition.
Established in the midst of another and a superior race, they must necessarily yield to the force of circumstances and before long disappear.
( U.S. President Andrew Jackson, denouncing indigenous Indians, 1833 )

Pharaoh Thutmose 111 Of Egypt, 1479 – 1425 BC.
Responsible for the obelisk known as Cleopatra’s Needle on the bank of the Thames, Thutmose 111 never lost a battle in 18 summer campaigns.
He was one of the first rulers to understand supply lines and sea power.
Having inherited the throne of Egypt aged seven, he spent the first two decades as co-regent with his father’s wife.
When she died, he conquered lands in Palestine, Syria, Nubia and Mesopotamia.
It was Thutmose 111 who established Egypt as a major power in the eastern Mediterranean and his reign was a golden era of temple building and great riches (and he was humane in his treatment of the vanquished).
He died aged 61.

Britain’s Worst Maritime Disaster.
More than 5,000 British soldiers and civilians were drowned on the 17th June 1940, when the troopship HMT Lancastria was sunk by German bombers as it evacuated allied soldiers, airmen and civilians from France.

Although she was not equipped to hold more than 3,000 people, about 8,000 men, women and children were on board.
Within 25 minutes she sank.
Such was the scale of the tragedy, it remains Britain’s worst maritime disaster, that Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered a news blackout on it in the interests of public morale.

Battle Of The Somme.
20,000 British troops were killed on the 1st July 1916, the first day of The Battle of The Somme.
By the conclusion of the battle later that year, a total of 420,000 British troops had lost their lives, the French 204,000 and the Germans over 500,000.
Approximately 14 million people were killed in the first world war.

Israeli Army Officer Who Murdered A 13-Year-Old Palestinian Schoolgirl, Shooting Her 17 Times, Is Found Not Guilty.
An Israeli army officer who fired the entire magazine of his automatic rifle into a 13-year-old Palestinian girl and then said he would have done the same even if she had been three years old was acquitted on all charges by a military court.
The soldier, who has only been identified as “Captain R”, was charged with relatively minor offences for the killing of Iman al-Hams who was shot 17 times as she ventured near an Israeli army post near Rafah refugee camp in Gaza.
Palestinian witnesses said they saw the captain shoot Iman twice in the head, walk away, turn back and fire a stream of bullets into her body.
( Chris McGreal, 16.11.2005 )

Lurking In The Background Are The Sinister Agents.
Yes, we have had disarmament conferences and limitations of arms conferences.
They don’t mean a thing.
One has just failed.
The results of another have been nullified.
We send our professional soldiers and our sailors and our politicians and our diplomats to these conferences.
And what happens?
The professional soldiers and sailors don’t want to disarm.
No admiral wants to be without a ship.
No general wants to be without a command.
Both mean men without jobs.
They are not for disarmament.
They cannot be for limitations of arms.
And at all these conferences, lurking in the background, but all-powerful just the same, are the sinister agents of those who profit by war.
They see to it that these conferences do not disarm or seriously limit armaments.
( Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, 1881 – 1940 )

Victory At Trafalgar.
On the 21st October 1805, Lord Nelson was shot dead from the mizzen mast of the French ship Redoutable, which was locked in battle with HMS Victory at Trafalgar.
In those few hours our navy secured Britain for good from an invasion by 180,000 French troops led by Napoleon.
Had victory not been ours, Britain might now be part of France.

The 14 Year-Old Soldier.
A 14 year-old boy has been confirmed as the UK’s youngest known service member to have been killed in World War 2.

Reginald Earnshaw was aged 14 years and 152 days when he died under enemy fire on the SS Devon on the 6th July 1941.
The merchant navy cabin boy had lied about his age, claiming he was 15, so he could join the war effort.

The Shortest War In History.
The shortest war in history was between Britain and Zanzibar in 1896.
Britain declared war at 9.00am and Zanzibar surrendered 45 minutes later.

Ashoka The Great, 304 – 232 BC.
Born to the Mauryan (ancient Indian) imperial house, Ashoka loved to hunt and was a war-like young man, the favourite of his father.
When his father died, Ashoka killed all his brothers and went on a brutal rampage to expand the empire.
It culminated in the slaughter by the Daya river, where more than 100,000 citizens were killed by his army.
Afterwards Ashoka was appalled at the carnage and vowed then to embrace Buddhism.
He was a changed man.
The laws that followed were relatively just and he set up pillars with his edicts carved on them across India.
He even promoted vegetarianism and treated all his subjects as equals regardless of caste.
By the time of his death, he ruled India, Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan.

Bombing A Civilian Population.
Over several days in February 1945, the British RAF and the US Airforce jointly dropped around 4,000 bombs on the German city of Dresden.
The resulting firestorm razed 1,600 acres and killed 25,000 people.
Bombing a civilian population and not a military target is one of the most controversial incidents in the war.
( R W Hutchison, 1922 – 2006 )

Victory or defeat will be determined by the skill and ingenuity of our scientists.
If we put them to work making poison gas and more and more fiendish mechanical and explosive instruments of destruction, they will have no time for the constructive job of creating greater prosperity for all peoples.
Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, 1881 – 1940 )

The Spartacus Revolt.
He was the man who had the guts to raise the standard of revolt against the odius servitude that sustained the Roman economy.
He gave hope to the underdogs.

To the gladiators – the captives and criminals obliged to kill each other for the pleasure of spectators – he gave freedom.
He has been identified as one of the world’s first violent left wing revolutionaries.
Most Romans viewed Spartacus as a monster, a demon who almost destroyed the republic.
It was 73 BC when the ex-soldier and thief led a breakout from a gladiator’s training school.
He had only 70 accomplices, armed with no more than knives and skewers.
But in just one year he had accumulated an army of 70,000, and what terrified the Romans was the treachery of those who flocked to his banner.

It was the cooks, the cleaners, the housemaids, the labourers, the little-regarded, who turned against their masters in a rejection of the Roman system.
They defeated the armies of two praetors, then they humiliated two consular armies.
Romans started to fear that Spartacus intended to sack Rome itself.
The Spartacus revolt shows Rome was rotten to the core.

Organised Mass Murder In The Past Century.
The past century stands out in history not so much for the speed of technical innovation or the growth in life expectancy, but for the prevalence of organised mass murder.
That mass murder has, again and again, been inspired by a perverted dream of purity in which the enemy has to be ‘cleansed’ from a particular territory.

While the holocaust of the Jews was a shocking atrocity of the last century it was very far from being the only one.
The holocaust had a grotesque dress rehearsal 100 years ago in the German slaughter of the Herero people in South-West Africa.
When Hitler was still an adolescent, General Lothar Von Trotha was butchering an entire African people.

Just a few years later, in the shadow of the First World War, the German-trained officers of the Turkish Army presided over another genocide, the slaughter of the Armenian Christians within Muslim Turkish lands.
Thousands died in what was considered a ‘holy war’.
Rarely mentioned in the West is the 18 million Soviet citizens and 8 million Soviet troops killed by Nazi Germany.
Other slaughters include the Khmer Rouge’s genocidal campaign, the Soviet Union’s war against it’s own peoples through famine and labour camps, China and North Korea’s adoption of the same techniques, Saddam Hussein’s extermination of Kurds, Serbian atrocities in Bosnia and Kosovo, Hutu genocide of the Tutsis in Rwanda, the genocidal campaign against African Christians waged by the Islamist regime in Khartoum, and that same regime’s genocidal onslaught against the people of Darfur.
We have allowed mass murder to continue by failing to recognise that genocidal campaigns have killed more than wars in the past century.
And we have the power to end genocides if we simply take steps to remove the tyrannical regimes that use genocide as a political tool.
It is important for democracies to unite, and fight those behind the genocidal campaigns.

Charlemagne, 742 – 814.
Charles the Great, King of the Franks, ruled a European empire based mainly around France, Germany and parts of Italy.
Although he could not write, he spoke Teutonic, Latin and Greek.
He was 6ft 4in, a monstrous height for the period, which has since been confirmed by measurement of his skeleton.
Oddly, his father was known as Pepin the Short and was around 5ft tall.
Charlemagne’s first campaign came at the age of 27, when the Pope sought his aid in repelling the Lombards of Italy.
Charlemagne smashed them in the field and took the crown of Lombardy as his own.
From his capital of Aachen in modern-day Germany, he went on to fight 53 campaigns, most of which he led himself.
He defended a Christian Europe from Muslim Saracens and pagan Saxons, often beheading thousands in a single day.
He died aged 72 from a fever.

We Must Take The Profit Out Of War.
Three steps must be taken to smash the war racket.
We must take the profit out of war.
We must permit the youth of the land who would bear arms to decide whether or not there should be war.
We must limit our military forces to home defence purposes.
Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, 1881 – 1940 )

The Crusade-Hungry Popes.
The crusades were a blot on the pages of history.
They were a parade of depravity in the name of the Christian religion, and it is hard to know which episode was the most disgusting.
Whipped up by Pope Urban’s extraordinary speech at Clermont in 1095, the first crusaders launched themselves, with sublime stupidity and irrelevance, at the Jews of Germany, killing as they went.
On they careered through Southern Europe and what is now Turkey, and by the time they reached Ma’Arrat in Syria they were so badly led that they resorted to cannibalism, slicing off and eating the buttocks of dead Saracens.

When they captured Jerusalem in 1099 the slaughter was immense, with piles of heads lying in the street while crusaders seized babies by their feet and dashed their brains against the walls.
Of all the atrocities, perhaps the most sickening was the fourth crusade.
In 1204, the greedy, doltish knights were somehow persuaded to launch an attack not on Muslim-held Jerusalem, but on Constantinople.

Pack mules were driven into the great church to carry off the loot.
What lunacy drove these Franco-Belgo-Anglo-Italo-German knights to spend vast sums on trips to the holy land?
It was partly politics.
Crusade-hungry popes were not only trying to recapture Jerusalem for the cross, they were also keen to assert the primacy of the Roman Church over Eastern Christianity.

It was partly the hope of getting rich, it was also sheer religious mania.
These people really believed the Pope when he said that if they went on a crusade they would get out of hell free, and they believed that the more devout and holy they were, the better their side would do in war.
So when Christian forces were facing a critical battle against Muslims in Spain in 1212, Pope Innocent got the entire population of Rome to march through the city in prayer.
The Christians prevailed.

Yippee! Said the Pope. It was prayer that won it.
The crusaders were holy warriors, but it was the Muslims who had invented holy war, and they conquered 7th century Jerusalem in the name of Islam.
( Fred O. Wilson )

And even now the families of the wounded men and of the mentally broken and those who never were able to readjust themselves are still suffering and still paying.
Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, 1881 – 1940 )

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