The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #106200   Message #2195207
Posted By: McGrath of Harlow
16-Nov-07 - 07:54 AM
Thread Name: Anyone watching My Son Jack?
Subject: RE: Anyone watching My Son Jack?
"Home rule for Ireland" had overwhelming support in Ireland, as it had for generations. And it was a policy on which the Liberal British Government in office since 1905 had actually repeatedly been elected, but had failed to deliver.

But all that's drifting the thread excessively, and belongs in other threads, I suggest.
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There's an almost irresistable tendency when looking back on historic disasters to make judgenments as if the people involved were acting in the knowledge of what actually transpired later. We see the war hysteria of 1914, and see it through the slaughter of the trenches. Future generations will see the Iraq invasion and see it through the nightmare of what has become of Iraq since sectarian mass murder, repression of women and religious minorities, Abu Ghraidb and Guantanamo.

But the naive people (including the likes of Kipling) who cheered on the troops and talked about a war to bring freedom weren't thinking in those terms. They fantasised about a quick and decisive campaign that they believed would change the world radically for the better. And they were in the vast majority.

The point of looking back is not to dole out blame, or for that matter praise, it is surely to try to examine why they were so catastrophically wrong in their judgement, and why those who were far closer to the truth in their warnings were dismissed and marginalised.