Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Friday, June 5, 2020 03:37:23 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Opinion

A Christmas Truce

By
01st-Jan-2015       
Share
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Save
  • E-mail
  • Print
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

Editorial »

Education needs more allocation in budget to adapt with the new normal


A recent study revealed that the closure of educational institutions due to the coronavirus pandemic, dropout rates will increase significantly at schools which will subsequently cause a rise in child marriage, early pregnancy and child labour. Educationists demanded more budgetary allocation for education sector as part of two/three-year-long Covid-19 response ...

Cricket »

Spinners have chance to shine during saliva ban: Kumble


Cricket chief Anil Kumble hopes a ban on using saliva to shine the ball after the coronavirus shutdown could see a resurgence of spin bowling in Test cricket.The International Cricket Council is expected to order a temporary ban next week on using spit as a shining agent, as part of ...

Entertainment »

Runa Laila getting response for her composed two songs


Entertainment Report :At the end of last year, internationally renowned singer Runa Laila’s two songs were released in two separate YouTube channels. She lent her vocal for a song while noted Indian singer Asha Bhosle rendered another song. In last year November, Runa Laila composed her second song titled Ferate ...

Entertainment »

Nora Fatehi appeals to citizens to donate PPE kits to aid health care fraternity


Nora Fatehi joins Vidya Balan in urging people to donate PPE kits to help our medical fraternity in this tough time. Recently we all have seen Vidya Balan making a donation and requesting citizens to donate PPE kits for our nation's heroes. Now Nora Fatehi makes her sincere appeals to ...

City »

Members of Bangladesh Navy distributing Personal Protective Equipment to the doctors and nurses at Barguna Sadar Hospital recently to fight coronavirus.


Editorial »

More borrowing by govt will add to per head public debt


THE national budget will be placed before the parliament at a cost of Tk 5.569 trillion on June 11 for fiscal year 2020-21 aiming at a GDP growth of 8.2 per cent. The budget is going to be mainly based on bank and non-bank borrowing and will earmark Tk 635.25 ...

City »

Councilor of 26 No Ward of DSCC Hashibur Rahman Manik handing over vegetables among the low-income people free of cost after inaugurating a 'market for one minute'at Abdul Alim Playground in the city on Wednesday.


.

Sports »

Sky Brown, 11, targets Olympic gold despite horror


Agency :Eleven-year-old skateboarder Sky Brown is still targeting Olympic gold for Britain in Tokyo despite a horrific fall during training in the United States.Brown was rushed to hospital by helicopter after falling in training in California on Thursday.She was reportedly unresponsive on arrival at hospital, with her father Stewart saying ...

Editorial »

Welcome RSC as it takes over factory inspection regime


RMG Sustainability Council (RSC) - a local inspection entity jointly formed by BGMEA and representation of different brands, retailers and trade unions finally started functioning from June 1 taking over from Accord made up by European buyers. The handover basically shows the change of the guard from internationally supervised buyers' ...

City »

Mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation Sheikh Fazle Nur Taposh speaking at the first board meeting of the newly elected councilors of DSCC in Mayor Mohammad Hanif Auditorium of Nagar Bhaban on Tuesday.


Sports »

Kutubuddin Ahmed gets Knight Award of Spain


Sports Reporter :Former secretary general of Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) Kutubuddin Ahmed got Knight Award of Spain. It is the highest reward of Spain.Ahmed was one of the organiser of South Asian Games (SA Games) 2010, which was held in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. He distinguished his name ...

Entertainment »

Shirley on the cover of magazine


This young singer-actor enjoys a terrific fan following on social media. A look at her Youtube channel or a visit to her Instagram page can leave one astonished about her immense popularity among youth and music lovers! That’s Auckland based Shirley Setia for you who comes like a ‘Fresh air ...

Editorial »

Inadequate Covid testing facilities may deteriorate the pandemic situation


THE overwhelming demand for Covid-19 tests has rendered the designated private facilities also unable to offer the tests to test seekers. Now 50 labs, including 17 private ones, are doing the Covid-19 RT-PCR tests after the number of government-run facilities was found inadequate to handle the pressure of the test ...

Football »

Sancho nets hat-trick, joins US killing protest as Dortmund cruise


England winger Jadon Sancho scored a hat-trick and revealed a "Justice for George Floyd" protest message in Borussia Dortmund's 6-1 rout of bottom side Paderborn on Sunday that trimmed Bayern Munich's lead at the top of the Bundesliga to seven points.The outstanding Sancho, who now has 17 goals and 17 ...

Cricket »

Sabbir denies allegation of harassing RCC cleaner


National discard cricketer Sabbir Rahman denied the allegation of harassing a cleaner of Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) physically as the news spread around social media outlets.Sabbir who earlier was banned a couple of times for his off the field misbehave, admitted, he had some verbal spat with the cleaner, something ...

 
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