The 100th Anniversary of The Tragic End of World War I .“Those Who don’t Know History are Doomed to Repeat It”
By Stephen Lendman
Global Research, November 12, 2018

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Edmund Burke put it this way, saying: “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

George Santanyana said “(t)hose who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Kurt Vonnegut said “I’ve got news for Mr. Santayana. We’re doomed to repeat the past no matter what. That’s what it is to be alive.”

In his novel Bluebeard, Vonnegut said

“(i)t’s pretty dense kids who haven’t figured that out by the time they’re ten…Most kids can’t afford to go to Harvard and be misinformed.”

November 11 marked the 100th anniversary of WW I’s end – officially at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

The so-called war to end all wars was prelude for much worse to come. In 1928, Kellogg-Briand policy renounced aggressive wars. The UN Charter’s Preamble states:

“We the Peoples of the United Nations Determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind…”

Washington, its key NATO partners and Israel wage endless wars of aggression in multiple theaters with no prospect for resolution anywhere.

Are more wars coming? Possibly with thermonuclear weapons.

What are the lessons of History? The US has been at war throughout its entire history, The business of America is war, the world’s leading purveyor of state-sponsored terrorism globally.

Hannah Arendt once said crimes of state aren’t committed by fanatics or sociopaths, just “terrifyingly normal” (people)…neither perverted or sadistic…who accepted the premises of their superiors and their state” to continue current and/or longstanding policies.

US history from the republic’s inception shows it’s addicted to endless war – glorified in the name of peace, its violent culture believing war is peace.

Pacifist nonviolence is considered sissy and unpatriotic. US foreign policy is based on pursuing interests belligerently, forcing other nations to bend to America’s will, sovereign independent ones going their own way not tolerated.

Presidents “reserve the right to act unilaterally if necessary to defend our nation and our interests,” Obama said.

Bush/Cheney operated the same way. Trump aggressively follows in their footsteps, continuing preemptive wars he inherited, escalating them, reserving the right to use first-strike nuclear weapons, including against non-nuclear states.

US presidents claim it’s to defend national security and advance the nation’s values and ideals – at a time America’s only enemies are invented ones. No real ones exist.

So-called values and ideals rape and destroy one nation after another, an endless cycle of aggressive wars – making the world safe for militarists and monied interests.

The US is virtually on a nuclear hair-trigger. Squeezing it could happen by accident or design. Trump has no understanding of what nuclear armageddon could mean, risking the end of life on earth by nuclear winter.

It’s defined as “a long period of darkness and extreme cold that scientists predict would follow a full-scale nuclear war, a layer of dust and smoke in the atmosphere cover(ing) the earth and block(ing) the rays of the sun, (causing) most living organisms (to) perish.”

Anti-nuclear expert Helen Caldicott earlier said

“(o)ne single failure of nuclear deterrence could end human history (quickly). Once initiated, it would take one hour to trigger a swift, sudden end to life on this planet.”

Nuclear disarmament followed by ending wars before they end us may be the only way humanity can survive.

A nation addicted to endless wars for wealth and power risks ending life on planet earth to own it.

Congressional Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) in September 2001, granting carte blanche warmaking authority to presidents, may end up becoming a doomsday authorization if things are recklessly pushed too far.

If nuclear war erupts, there’s no putting the genie back in the bottle, no second chance to step back from the brink, no way to avoid the destructive power thermonukes – making Fat Man and Little Boy look like toys by comparison.

A Final Comment

During WW I, an unplanned Christmas truce occurred over the 1914 Christmas period.

Both sides stopped fighting, fraternizing instead. On both sides, soldiers left trenches over half of the front – defying orders, calling “such an attitude…dangerous (saying it) destroys the offensive spirit…”

What was unimaginable happened. Both sides took time off from fighting, shook hands, buried their dead, chatted with each other, enjoying the calm, even played football with each other.

Unofficial truces occurred other times throughout history, several times during WW I, never like Christmas 1914.

The message was clear. Ordinary people deplore war. It’s the enemy of peace, humanity’s scourge.

Good wars don’t exist, nuclear war worst of all if occurs. Power-hungry madness may doom us all if not curbed – not a hint of it so far today in Washington.


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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

Visit his blog site at

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.