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Learn our lessons from World War I? No!

6

August 5, 2015 by wimvincken

This article describes the World War I, politics, League of Nations, United Nations and the continuation of wars and conflicts. Did the world learned its lesson from the WW1? Many tried with the creation of League of Nations and United Nations, but the conflicts and wars are growing. The UN as organization is an absolute failure. The world as we know is slowly sinking in a pool of violence, genocide, war and passivity.

In an article “The Lesson our sabre rattling leaders can learn from the Great War carnage” at the online newspaper Dailymail by Dominic Sandbrook, he declared that English involvement in WW1 was a mistake. Why? England went from the ” … world’s biggest creditors to one of the biggest debtors“. They lost the “… position as world’s greatest economical and financial superpowers“.

True. His arguments are of course limited to the position of Britain only, before, during and after the WW1.

From my personal perspective, it’s a global disaster. The same question can be applied here, but with the perspective of “Can we avoid something similar as Word War I?

Word War I

Some statistics about WW1. 16 Million people died (7 million civilians) and 32 countries were involved in the war. The war started at 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918.
There were two sides in this war:

  1. The allies – UK, France and Russia. Italy, Japan and the US were later added to the conflict.
  2. Central Powers – Germany and Austria-Hungary. The Ottoman empire and Bulgaria were later added to the conflict.

More then 70 million people were mobilized!

Politics

At the end of the WW1, four empires were destroyed: the German, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, and Russian. Millions of death. Many countries ruined. The formal end of the WW1 is declared during the Treaty of Versailles with Germany on 28 June 1919.
However, the Americans opposed the treaty. Knox–Porter Resolution was signed on 2 July 1921 by President Warren G. Harding.
Why? In the Treaty of Versailles, Germany supposed to pay 132 billion gold marks, which they could not pay and there was no declaration of war guilt from Germany. That caused several countries like France to plunder the industry of Germany and kept Germany poor for many years to come, laying the basis of the growth of the Nazis.The Great Depression in 1929 did not help the case at all.

And here is the core of the problem. War is the extension of politics, or “War is the continuation of Politik by other means” as Carl Philipp Gottfried defined it. The Treaty of Versailles with Germany on 28 June 1919 was an incomplete treaty, where major war parties left unsatisfied and frustrated (US and Britain), and major war parties (Germany) citizenry were being suppressed, causing the basis of the next war (WW2), with even more casualties. Take a look at the WW1 treaties. Take a look at the WW2 treaties. Take a look at the 20th century treaties. Take a look at the 21th century treaties. Hundreds of treaties and the majority failed. But on the other side, some of the treaties were justified pieces of work and avoided additional conflicts. All the treaties are the work of performing politics.

The purpose of a treaty is to end the conflict, (temporary or permanently).

When a treaty is being enforced to unwilling partners (mostly the losers), the likelihood of keeping the treaty intact is low. When a treaty is being written wrongly and/or one-sided, it will be basis for a next conflict.

The League of Nations

The League of Nations was an international organization, created an 10 of January 1920 with as task to maintain world peace and was located in Geneva, Switzerland.
Success stories (by politics) are Aland crisis, Upper Silesia, Albania, Memel, Hatay, Mosul, Vilnius, Columbia and Peru, and Saar.
They ‘fought’ against sexual slavery, international trade of opium, plight of refugees and they lay the foundation of Nansen passport, which is the first internationally recognized identity card for stateless refugees.

The weakness of the League of Nations was the prevention of another Word War and the inclusion of certain major powers in the world, like the US.

United Nations

The United Nations is an “intergovernmental organization established on 24 October 1945 to promote international co-operation” and was a replacement of the League of Nations, which was seen as ineffective. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states, now it has 193 member states.

Is the United Nations effective?

Let’s see. Instead of detailing all the good points of the UN, and it’s problems, let’s look at what is going on currently.

Did the UN prevent another Word War?

What is the definition of a world war? A world war is a war affecting most of the world’s most powerful and populous countries. World wars span multiple countries on multiple continents, with battles fought in multiple theaters. (Wikipedia)

  1. In WW1, 32 countries were involved and 16 million people died.
  2. In WW2, nearly every country in the world participated, which killed 60 million people.
  3. Currently, 43 different conflicts in 41 countries are in war with 10,286,912 death until now and is still counting. America (as most powerful and populous country) is involved in (some) wars, as is Russia and England and France, etc.

(Source: The World War)

Are we avoiding worldwide conflicts?

No. Let the facts ‘talk’.

Conflicts or wars per continent

  • We have 23 wars going on in Asia.
  • We have 12 wars going on in Africa.
  • We have 3 wars going on in South America.
  • We have 2 wars going on in North America.
  • We have 3 wars going on in Europe.

Type of conflicts

  • There are 31 wars, where Islamist are involved (75%).
  • There are 5 civil wars currently occurring.
  • There are 15 insurgencies currently occurring, 91% Islamist militants.

Number of death in conflicts

  • Total 10,286,912 death (and counting) worldwide since 9/11!

No, the United Nations is also not effective. But it supplies a groundwork for nations to perform international politics (with various results).

Can we avoid something similar as Word War I?

No. The results are speaking for itself.

Education

Many Arabs in the world have no idea who Hitler actually is. They didn’t learn it at school. They have also no idea what WW1 and WW2 is. They have also no idea how many countries in the Middle East were being created and how and why. Many of them truly think that a country like Lebanon or Jordan or Syria are thousands of years old and have never heard about the Ottoman empire.
But this ignorance is not only limited to Arabs, but to many civilians all over the world too. Many people in Europe have no idea who Hitler was. Many people in Israel think that there were 6.5 million death in the WW2!

The worse of everything is that they have no interest in learning more about it.

Education and politics

Countries sending people to the United Nations. Some of them are hardly able to read and/or write. Many of them have also no idea about Hitler, about the WW1 and WW2. Many of them don’t speak English.

In many Arab countries, history is being taught to everyone in schools. But politics forced the history ” to be rewritten”. Examples are everywhere, just like in Israel, where many parts of the history are removed from the curriculum and in Gaza, where history is taught one-sided. If you read the Russian history at Russian schools about the WW2, you would be surprised. This trend is everywhere in the world.

How can a WW1 be avoided if people don’t know what WW1 is?

Palestinians are being seen as Arabs. But Arabs are descendents from Sumer, while the Palestinians are descendents from Crete. Their own glorious history, more glorious then the history of most of the world population and they have no idea.

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6 thoughts on “Learn our lessons from World War I? No!

  1. wim.vincken says:

    Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is comparing the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu as Hitler.
    In Erdoğan's ignorance, he has no idea what would happen with the people in Gaza if that would be the case (Hitler in that position of power). I think that within a day, everyone would be killed and Gaza annexed (in any order).

    No, people have not learned the lesson of WW1. Worse then that, they don't even know what WW1 and WW2 is.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pierre says:

    Good article. And of course its true.
    Lack of education is the major thing here. And I must say, I also didn't know much about the WW1.

    Like

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why do you think that people did not learn their lessons?
    And what lessons?

    Like

  4. wim.vincken says:

    Mainly because of the lack of education. Many citizens in countries like Israel and many Arab countries too, have their educational system and curriculum adapted to the politicians (they call it Nationalism).

    A conflict like the first war caused so many casualties and was for a long time out of control. Nobody could stop the fighting and the numbers of civilians were being slaughtered into the millions. That lesson.

    And of course the other lesson is learn what a human is. If you think that Hitler was evil, in psychology, everyone runs around with little Hitlers in their heads. You too. If you fought in one of the old armies, you expected to rape women and to loot. This is what happens with those primitives like the IS or ISIS.

    Like

  5. wim.vincken says:

    I personally think that we need to do three things to avoid something like that:
    1. Work on our global education. That must be the biggest effort the UN needs to make.
    2. All education must be protected against politicians and regimes, which are muddling in the curriculum.
    3. Take care that our politicians are well educated. Politics must be upfront and binding.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. wim.vincken says:

    I asked my daughter (10 years old) what WW1 was. She didn't know. What was WW2? “Oh, that's the war where they killed 6.5 million Jews!”
    And she studied at the French school in Yafo! I would have expected that that school gives at least a proper education. The French school replied that they were restricted by the Israeli Ministry of education. Why the hell cost that school so much per month then? Arrch!

    Liked by 1 person

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