Tag Archive for World War I

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Ron Paul and Lost Lessons of War

Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, answering questions while campaigning in New Hampshire in 2008. (Photo credit: Bbsrock)

Neocon dominance has grown so strong in Official Washington that old lessons about the hazards of ill-considered wars are forgotten and must be painfully relearned, a message from Ron Paul’s new book, Swords into Plowshares, as described by retired JAG Major Todd E. Pierce.

America’s Short-sighted ‘Grand Strategy’

Barack Obama, then President-elect, and President George W. Bush at the White House during the 2008 transition.

“Tough-guy/gal-ism” remains the dominant rhetorical approach to foreign policy emanating from Official Washington, which may protect the political and media careers of the tough-talkers, but it is doing grave damage to America’s strategic standing in the world, as military analyst Franklin Spinney explains.

The Christmas Truce’s Moment of Hope

Trench warfare during World War I.

A century ago, a remarkable moment for humanity occurred amid the killing fields of World War I as soldiers from both sides put down their guns and exchanged Christmas greetings, an unauthorized truce that was soon suppressed so the slaughter could continue – and in some ways never stop – as Gary G. Kohls explains.

Anything Learned from ‘Christmas Truce’?

British and German soldiers exchanging headgear during the Christmas Truce of 1914. (From The Illustrated London News of Jan. 9, 1915)

As the U.S. Congress votes for a military confrontation with Russia over Ukraine and even “liberal” commentators cheer the economic pain being inflicted by U.S. policies, it is worth recalling how big-power arrogance sparked the conflagration called World War I and how it could start World War III, writes Greg Maybury.

Asking Christians about Tolerance of War

Jesus delivering his Sermon on the Mount as depicted in a painting by Nineteenth Century artist Carl Heinrich Bloch.

Many Americans are tuning out on politics and international affairs – feeling they have no real say in what the government does – but there is a danger from such passivity, particularly the license given to the powers-that-be to make war and more war, as Gary G. Kohls explains.

Obama’s Risks of Escalation

President Barack Obama announces U.S.-led airstrikes against Islamic State and other targets in Syria in comments at the White House on Sept. 23, 2014. (Screenshot from White House.gov)

As President Obama launched the first waves of U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State and other targets in Syria, the risks of further military escalation or other expected developments abound, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Learning Little from World War I

Trench warfare during World War I.

Looking back on the century of war and slaughter that has followed the start of World War I, one is reminded of Pete Seeger’s classic lyrics: “When will they ever learn?” Today, major world leaders behave with much the same thoughtless hubris as their forebears in 1914, as Gary G. Kohls recalls.

The Wisdom of Lawrence of Arabia

Thomas Edward Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, a British intelligence officer who recruited Bedouin tribesmen during World War I.

A century ago, during World War I, a British intelligence officer known as “Lawrence of Arabia” deeply understood the Mideast and saw hope for rational politics, but Western imperial ambitions intervened to ensure regional instability, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship recall.

Reasons for Intellectual Conformity

President Woodrow Wilson.

In theory, many people hail the idea of independent thinking and praise the courage of speaking truth to power. In practice, however, the pressure of “group think” and the penalties inflicted on dissidents usually force people into line even when they know better, as Lawrence Davidson notes.

America’s War-Weary Public

Coffins of dead U.S. soldiers arriving at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware in 2006. (U.S. government photo)

A new wave of neocon opinion is pounding President Obama for failing to keep troops in Iraq and resisting wars in Syria and Iran – claiming U.S. prestige and power are in decline – but these bellicose appeals are, for once, getting little traction with a war-weary public, as Lawrence S. Wittner observes.