In response to an FT article by Hugh Carney on 28th July 2014, entitled 'Crisis-hit France finds source of pride in La Grande Guerre'
WW1 was a senseless war started by madmen. It took about four weeks to escalate from the assassination of Ferdinand to declaration of war. We now have 'wars' in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Palestine and posturing in the South China Sea, not to mention Bahrain and other lands which don't get airtime amongst the ones mentioned above.
It disturbs me when people start reminiscing about the 'good' things war has brought in the past - phrases like 'source of pride' take it away from what it was - the slaughter of innocents, and the countless deaths of people who had very little idea what they were fighting for, except the sense of 'patriotism' that was fuelled by politicians who would never get within a mile of harm's way.
I'm sure the 1914 madmen sounded 'reasonable' to many when they justified going to war. We have some madman now; they come in all shapes and sizes and drape themselves in many different flags - the one thing they all have in common is that they tell us whose fault it is, and they try to convince us that our cause is the just cause. Beware the glorification and justification of slaughter.