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Peter Jackson’s Cartoon War


Peter Jackson’s Cartoon War

Chris Hedges

When director-producer Peter Jackson’s World War I film, “They Shall Not Grow Old,” which miraculously transforms grainy, choppy black-and-white archival footage from the war into a modern 3D color extravaganza, begins, he bombards us with the clichés used to ennoble war.



And no different today as we never hear about the profits of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan only the costs.


the Lethe river, Ameles potamos , dagnabbit, I KNEW Drumph wasn’t a real POTUS. He’s (forget the first part Ameles) POTAMOS!!! No doubt true that he sippeth not the brew, but he has studiously studied ‘his generals’ in dropping jaw for the Lethe!


Nice job, Chris! Too many young people filled with foolish notions by their elders. Shame on the elders! Tell the truth to your young ones, even if it reveals the government to be fraudulent. Better to know.


And this year’s Ken Burns Award for Excellence in Historical Revisionism goes to (drum roll) Peter Jackson!




It’s too bad only “the choir” will read this article! I have many cousins and friends and neighbors who glorify war and soldiers. They are continually sending me articles about how proud we should be of our country and our “troops” fighting for our rights and for freedom. I want to vomit! I want to scream! I want to make them see reality…but alas, I cannot change them or their minds.


American exceptionalism 1989
Cops Of The World Lyrics
Phil Ochs
Come, get out of the way, boys
Quick, get out of the way
You’d better watch what you say, boys
Better watch what you say
We’ve rammed in your harbor and tied to your port
And our pistols are hungry and our tempers are short
So bring your daughters around to the port
'Cause we’re the Cops of the World, boys
We’re the Cops of the World
We pick and choose as please, boys
Pick and choose as please
You’d best get down on your knees, boys
Best get down on your knees
We’re hairy and horny and ready to shack
And we don’t care if you’re yellow or black
Just take off your clothes and lay down on your back
'Cause we’re the Cops of the World, boys
We’re the Cops of the World
Our boots are needing a shine, boys
Boots are needing a shine
But our Coca-Cola is fine, boys
Coca-Cola is fine
We’ve got to protect all our citizens fair
So we’ll send a battalion for everyone there
And maybe we’ll leave in a couple of years
'Cause we’re the Cops of the World, boys
We’re the Cops of the World
And dump the reds in a pile, boys
Dump the reds in a pile
You’d better wipe off that smile, boys
Better wipe off that smile
We’ll spit through the streets of the cities we wreck
And we’ll find you a leader that you can’t elect
Those treaties we signed were a pain in the neck
'Cause we’re the Cops of the World, boys
We’re the Cops of the World
And clean the johns with a rag, boys
Clean the johns with a rag
If you like you can use your flag, boys
If you like you can use your flag
We’ve got too much money we’re looking for toys
And guns will be guns and boys will be boys
But we’ll gladly pay for all we destroy
'Cause we’re the Cops of the World, boys
We’re the Cops of the World
Please stay off of the grass, boys
Please stay off of the grass
Here’s a kick in the ass, boys
Here’s a kick in the ass
We’ll smash down your doors, we don’t bother to knock
We’ve done it before, so why all the shock
We’re the biggest and the toughest kids on the block
And we’re the Cops of the World, boys
We’re the Cops of the World
And when we butchered your sons, boys
When we butchered your sons
Have a stick of our gum, boys
Have a stick of our bubble gum
We own half the world, oh say can you see
And the name for our profits is democracy
So, like it or not, you will have to be free
'Cause we’re the Cops of the World, boys
We’re the Cops of the World


I urge everyone to read Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain. She was an upper class woman in England when WWI broke out and was very enthusiastic about the war. She left Oxford to be a nurse ending up close to the front in France in makeshift hospitals. It changed her forever. The book is the most eloquent anti-war book you will ever read.



Dulce et Decorum Est

BY WILFRED OWEN (Wilfred Owen was killed in WWI.)

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,

Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,

Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,

And towards our distant rest began to trudge.

Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,

But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;

Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots

Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling

Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,

But someone still was yelling out and stumbling

And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—

Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,

As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight,

He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace

Behind the wagon that we flung him in,

And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,

His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood

Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,

Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud

Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—

My friend, you would not tell with such high zest

To children ardent for some desperate glory,

The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est

Pro patria mori

One of my favorite WWI books is “Goodbye to All That: An Autobiography” by Robert Graves.


Thanks for the book recommendation. It’s now on my list of books to read at the local library.


I grew up idolizing war. My father told me how his life changed for the better once he joined, but he did his best to avoid conflict during his time in North Africa and Italy. The movies of my era made you yearn for a chance to be a war hero and to fight the forces of evil. It was only as a young adult that I finally realized that “war is a racket” and that the real heroes are the ones who prevented war.
Today the hyper-glorification of war has seeped into everything from watching a ball game to DoD sponsored Hollywood blockbusters as the wealthy worry that an ‘all volunteer’ army cannot last for long. The 1% worry that we’re (the 99%) about to catch on and figure it all out, but alas too many of us fall for the propaganda and sign up to serve the robber baron’s and their endless quest for more wealth. We’re told that “America is fighting for freedom and democracy” and not oil in the Middle East as we prop up ruthless dictatorships around the globe when it’s convenient and wage war against those who defy corporate ambitions.
Those unfortunate to live in countries with resources that multinationals crave, are told that U.S. military forces are bombing them because America is a democracy and their leaders are elected to force regime change around the planet, police countries that are inferior to the American way of life and to protect those ignorant souls from the ravages of socialism. The result is that so many abroad hate us, the 99%, for sending weapons of mass destruction to their peaceful world.
We can only set the record straight when We the People, finally seize control of our misguided and evil system that has left such a dark stain on the planet. If we could replace our three million men and women serving in the Army and the Marine Corps with three million in the Peace Corps (and the budget that the military has!), we would finally be free of this wretched system. In the meantime though we will be subjected to the usual rhetoric of “Support the Troops” and “Hail to the Chief” regardless of which corporation we’re asked to sacrifice our lives for.


Great post. Imagine what we could do with millions in the Peace Corps and a trillion dollar budget!


Chris Hedges is someone who should be thanked for his service in fighting myth and propaganda with the most powerful weapon-----TRUTH.

In my opinion, he is one of the very best thinkers and writers living today.


And, as we speak, they are doubtless becoming tumescent over the prospects of war against Venezuela and Iran.


“War is organized theft.” – Dr. Jacob Bronowski

In addition to the excellent comments from Chris Hedges, World War 1 was part of another enormous tragedy. The war helped bring about the spread and increased severity of the worldwide pandemic called the “Spanish Flu”. It has been estimated that at least 50 million people died from this flu worldwide - far more than even the War itself was responsible for. The comments about General Haig were particularly appalling, showing a profoundly arrogant, reckless and clueless man who sent a whole generation of young British men to their deaths for nothing. The role in this slaughter by the British Army higher ups and the politicians should also never be forgotten.
I would like to mention that readers here who have access to Netflix can see a multi-part presentation about World War 1 from Cambridge historian David Reynolds. It is certainly more authoritative than this nonsense from Peter Jackson. Shame on him.


i sing of Olaf glad and big

E. E. Cummings, 1894 - 1962

XXX i sing of Olaf glad and big whose warmest heart recoiled at war: a conscientious object-or his wellbelovéd colonel(trig westpointer most succinctly bred) took erring Olaf soon in hand; but–though an host of overjoyed noncoms(first knocking on the head him)do through icy waters roll that helplessness which others stroke with brushes recently employed anent this muddy toiletbowl, while kindred intellects evoke allegiance per blunt instruments-- Olaf(being to all intents a corpse and wanting any rag upon what God unto him gave) responds,without getting annoyed “I will not kiss your fucking flag” straightway the silver bird looked grave (departing hurriedly to shave) but–though all kinds of officers (a yearning nation’s blueeyed pride) their passive prey did kick and curse until for wear their clarion voices and boots were much the worse, and egged the firstclassprivates on his rectum wickedly to tease by means of skilfully applied bayonets roasted hot with heat-- Olaf(upon what were once knees) does almost ceaselessly repeat “there is some shit I will not eat” our president,being of which assertions duly notified threw the yellowsonofabitch into a dungeon,where he died Christ(of His mercy infinite) i pray to see;and Olaf,too preponderatingly because unless statistics lie he was more brave than me:more blond than you.


I have never seen a Peter Jackson film and, after this, I doubt I ever will.

It’s hard to do better than Wilfred Owen when it comes to expressing anti-war sentiments. The one in the comments is but one of those he wrote. Owen also shared a hospital room with Sassoon.

Channel Firing by Thomas Hardy

That night your great guns, unawares,
Shook all our coffins as we lay,
And broke the chancel window-squares,
We thought it was the Judgment-day

And sat upright. While drearisome
Arose the howl of wakened hounds:
The mouse let fall the altar-crumb,
The worms drew back into the mounds,

The glebe cow drooled. Till God called, “No;
It’s gunnery practice out at sea
Just as before you went below;
The world is as it used to be:

“All nations striving strong to make
Red war yet redder. Mad as hatters
They do no more for Christés sake
Than you who are helpless in such matters.

“That this is not the judgment-hour
For some of them’s a blessed thing,
For if it were they’d have to scour
Hell’s floor for so much threatening…

“Ha, ha. It will be warmer when
I blow the trumpet (if indeed
I ever do; for you are men,
And rest eternal sorely need).”

So down we lay again. “I wonder,
Will the world ever saner be,”
Said one, “than when He sent us under
In our indifferent century!”

And many a skeleton shook his head.
“Instead of preaching forty year,”
My neighbour Parson Thirdly said,
“I wish I had stuck to pipes and beer.”

Again the guns disturbed the hour,
Roaring their readiness to avenge,
As far inland as Stourton Tower,
And Camelot, and starlit Stonehenge.


You beat me to it. Thanks for posting this Wilfred Owen poem in its entirety. I first read this poem while I lived in England with my parents in the early 1970’s. I attended a British school ( 6th form) and took English Lit. One part of the curriculum was British War Poetry. As an American kid I knew zip about WWI. This poetry shook me to my core. Learning how an entire generation of British men were lost, the price paid by the young women and parents of the time… changed my view of war past present and future. To this day in my early 60’s I cannot watch war movies, docs etc because I find that all glorify some or all aspects of war, albeit in different ways, and it all turns my stomach.