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The Christmas Day that Peace Broke Out


#1

The Christmas Day that Peace Broke Out

Michael Winship

Last Friday night, I went to a small off-Broadway theater to see an engaging, poignant one-man show about the Christmas Truce of 1914. The title was Our Friends, the Enemy, written and performed by a young British actor named Alex Gwyther.

I felt bad for him; the theater was only about a third full that evening, probably because of the approaching holiday, but perhaps also because we Americans simply are too often indifferent to a century-old fight that scorched the European continent.


#2

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#3

Hearing the "war to end all wars" slogan growing up always perplexed me, perhaps because I knew that it didn't work. Did people really believe it during the "Great" War? So much idiocy and desperation must be instilled into soldiers to get them to follow a battle rag unto their death, if necessary. The antidote to war, if ever found, will be steeped in education and opportunities needed for a fulfilling life. Every student should read Gen. Smedley Butler's "War is a Racket." War, Inc. needs to be retooled to stop making bullets and start making bullet trains powered by renewable resources that require no war to secure. Peace starts with stopping the wars not only with each other, but also with our planet.


#4

Saddeningly but predictably, according to contemporary accounts many people did indeed believe it, They listened to the psychopaths, who are always very convincing (e.g.Trump).

Spot on. If we ruthlessly and relentlessly box up the psychopaths, reduce the human population to the point where "Lebensraum" is readily available to all and maintain it at that level, and educate everyone up to their personal limits, there will never again be any role for war.


#5

Wow. How appropriate. I just posted a video on the Christmas Truce on Facebook yesterday...as a reminder that Christmas is more than presents and malls.

Most of my friends had never heard of it.


#6

Enjoyed Winship's essay, but in an article I wrote on the topic a year ago (the 100th anniversary)
I stressed that the truce was actually a mutiny . .
http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/28186-how-about-another-christmas-truce


#7

My interest in The Great War stems, I suppose, from the fact that a relative of mine lived his last "over there" in France, he was 24 years old. Although it had been running for several years prior to the United States entering the War, apparently the horrors had not yet throughly sunk in, according to some accounts, I've read, there was an almost festive eagerness to join in, to go over there until it was over. George M. Cohan's "Over There" became a classic of the genre. A great book and a favorite of mine is Robert Graves, "Goodbye to All That," appropriately bitter, but also a paean to the human spirit. Add to Graves descriptions of the horrors, Wilfred Owens brilliant "Dulce et Decorum Est" and readers will understand why the men in the trenches did what they did, that Christmas Day, it was a collective statement of their worth, their humanity.


#8

Is war natural?


#9

Too late the military's glorification of everything war, including blood profits, has relegated PEACE to the unacceptable pile of four letter words.


#10

This is a very moving article.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." Matthew 5:9. After reading this article, I realized that we are and must be the peacemakers. The sociopath criminals, the 1%, will never be peacemakers. They make a fortune on war, their children never have to participate and they never suffer the consequences.

"Afterwards, word came from on high that such behavior — insubordination!" Well I am proud to be in such great company of insubordinate people!


#11

I knosw that Michael Winship is trying to "give peace a chance" and seeking to provide something of a warm and fuzzy feeling for the holiday season. However, if we step back and think about this for a minute the entire scene is absurd. Groups of so-called Christian soldiers taking a break from killing and maiming each other to celebrate a common holiday after which the killing resumed as if nothing had happened.


#12

For a brief moment the world was shown what it would look like if the warmongers( the banksters; the greedy weapons manufacturers; and their psychopath political, fawning parasites ) gave a war and nobody came.


#13

Would it have been better to mow down the Germans as they walked across no man's land on that Christmas Day? It is meant to show the humanity of both sides, and that the young men decided not to kill each other for at least a few hours...no matter what the old men's orders. Merry Christmas.


#14

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#15

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#16

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#18

If war is competition, is it not an evolutionary imperative?


#20

But is our responsibility to avoid competition (and war) or to ignore its role in evolution?


#22

I'm not sure anything cares if we go the way of the dinosaurs. Nature seems to function around competition and conflict. Maybe the gods enjoy a good joust like the rest of us do.