Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Thursday, January 24, 2019 03:45:16 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Opinion

A Christmas Truce

By
01st-Jan-2015       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Joel Schlosberg :
A new finding of bloodshed in WWI's "Christmas truce" on the cusp of its hundredth anniversary strengthens, rather than undermines, its example for peace.
The UK's Telegraph reports ("Christmas truce of 1914 was broken when German snipers killed two British soldiers," December 22) the incident, pieced together from historical records. On the front lines in France, British sentry Percy Huggins was felled by a German sniper; his platoon leader Tom Gregory retaliated against that sniper, only to be outgunned by another.
This may not fit the sentimentalized image of the truce, but taking it off such a pedestal makes it relevant to our messy world.
Bertrand Russell noted that to "admit in theory that there are occasions when it is proper to fight, and in practice that these occasions are rare" yields far less war in practice than to "hold in theory that there are no occasions when it is proper to fight and in practice that such occasions are very frequent."
The truce's breakdown in this case remained an isolated flashpoint; it held on both sides, as close as under a mile away. The influence of an "incredibly professional" duty-bound Guards Brigade kept local tensions high from the beginning, with immediate rejection of Germans' bid for a cease-fire.
Also instructive is the clear tit-for-tat aspect, driven by retaliation for specific aggressions rather than by general warlikeness. (One sniper indicating more made a third death inevitable.) Something needs to tip the balance to make hostility spread faster than toleration. That something, in one word: Politics.
Emma Goldman contended that without the socialist movement's turn away from direct action and toward a reliance on political means, "the great catastrophe would have been impossible. In Germany the party counted twelve million adherents. What a power to prevent the declaration of hostilities!
But for a quarter of a century the Marxists had trained the workers in obedience and patriotism, trained them to rely on parliamentary activity and, particularly, to trust their socialist leaders blindly. And now most of those leaders had joined hands with the Kaiser … Instead of declaring the general strike and thus paralysing war preparations, they had voted the Government money for slaughter."
And only the tripwire pitting of national leaders against each other could turn the assassination of an archduke into a feud that would multiply the tripling of Huggins's death five-million-fold.
In his final letter, Huggins told his family: "I long for the day when this terrible conflict will be ended. You consider war a terrible thing but imagination cannot reach far enough for the horrors of warfare that can be seen on the battlefield are indescribable and I pray this may be the last war that will ever be."
A century of advance in global communications and commerce gives today's Hugginses ample basis to coexist without politicians and the means to verify trust. It should not take another century to reach "the last war that will ever be."

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Cricket »

India's Virat Kohli plays forward during the one day international between New Zealand and India in Napier, New Zealand on Wednesday.


A match billed as a runfest was turned upside-down by India's spin twins Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal on Wednesday, as New Zealand were crushed by eight wickets in the first one-day international in Napier.India arrived at the ground with captain Virat Kohli expecting 300-plus to be par but when ...

International »

Priyanka Gandhi also enters politics


AP, New Delhi :A scion of India's most famous political dynasty on Wednesday formally entered politics, with the opposition Congress party assigning her a position as it prepares for national elections due before May.Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is the 47-year-old daughter of Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. She has in the ...

City »

People from all walks of life paid last respect to noted musician and freedom fighter Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul by giving floral wreaths on his coffin at the Central Shaheed Minar in the city on Wednesday.


Entertainment »

Sonam Bajwa is all set to make her big Bollywood debut


After creating an immense sensation in the Punjabi film industry, Sonam Bajwa is now ready to make her foray into Bollywood with Varun Dhawan. Yesterday Varun posted a video on social media where he was en route to Punjab for shooting and while on board Varun introduced film’s producer Bhushan ...

Editorial »

Doctors should ensure quality healthcare service to patients


IN a surprise visit to 11 government hospitals and health complexes in eight districts including Dhaka on Tuesday, the Anti-Corruption Commission found 92 doctors out of a total of 230 absent at their workplaces. Eleven teams from the ACC made the visits between 9:00am and 2:00pm.Recently, the ACC received allegations ...

City »

General students of Dhaka University formed a human chain in front of Aparajeya Bangla of the university on Tuesday demanding proper probe into the suicidal case of Taifur Rahman Protik, a student of Genetics Engineering and Bio-technology Department of Shahjalal Science and Technology University.


Editorial »

ACC's role in fighting corruption


THE Anti-Corruption Commission on Tuesday suspended one of its directors for allegedly leaking information about its investigation beforehand and also having nexus with the accused.  The suspended official was recently promoted as director. In May last year, the ACC also dismissed one of its assistant directors and suspended another for ...

Sports »

Rangpur Riders beat Khulna Titans


Sports Reporter :Rangpur Riders beat Khulna Titans by six wickets in the 25th match of the UCB 6th Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 cricket at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the city's Mirpur on Tuesday.Chasing Khulna's competitive 181 for the loss of six wickets in the allotted 20 overs, ...

Sports »

Greek sensation Tsitsipas into first Slam semi-final


AFP, Melbourne :Greek sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas showed resilience and maturity Tuesday to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/2) win over Roberto Bautista Agut.Roger Federer's conqueror had to contend with dropping his serve early in each of the first three sets to the Spanish ...

International »

Ex-diplomats, scholars urge China to release Canadians


AFP, Beijing :A group of more than 100 former diplomats and academics have signed an open letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping calling for the release of two Canadians who have been detained on allegations of espionage.Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and businessman Michael Spavor were on December 10 arrested for ...

International »

France, Germany seek closer bond to tackle EU crisis


AFP, Aachen :France and Germany will on Tuesday sign a new friendship treaty to deepen their alliance at a time of crisis for the EU, drawing fire from the far right and a flurry of alarmist fake news reports.French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are to sign ...

Business & Economy »

IMF cuts growth forecasts as world economic forum begins


AP, Davos, Switzerland :The world economy absorbed more bad news Monday: The International Monetary Fund cut its growth forecast for 2019. And China, the world's second-biggest economy, said it had slowed to its weakest pace since 1990.The IMF cut its estimate for global growth this year to 3.5 percent, from ...

Entertainment »

Sherlyn Chopra raises the mercury in her latest video `Tunu Tunu`


The amorous Sherlyn Chopra has always treated her fans with her raunchy photoshoots and now the seductress diva is back with another treat for her fans. After treating the fans a few days back with a short teaser, now the diva has treated her fans with the full music video. ...

Editorial »

The miseries of River Karnafuli must end


WITH alleged support from a section of officials, the encroachment of Karnafuli banks is still rampant by some powerful quarters flouting the High Court order.  Quoting investigation report done by the National River Conservation Commission (NRCC), the media yesterday reported that none of the 2,181 illegal structures has been removed ...

Cricket »

David Warner to undergo surgery on injured elbow


Banned former Australian vice-captain David Warner is expected to undergo minor surgery on his elbow Tuesday after returning home from the Bangladesh Premier League with an injury.Warner, alongside former skipper Steve Smith and batsman Cameron Bancroft, was suspended from international cricket over a ball-tampering scandal during a Test match in ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news