Was the War Really Necessary: Reflections on World War I





Mr. MacLeod is an Associate Professor of History, University of Evansville, Indiana.

Several weeks ago I visited with my family the Soldiers' Memorial Museum in the heart of downtown St Louis. It is a huge and deeply impressive building, dedicated in 1936 by President Franklin D Roosevelt as a memorial to the 1075 men of St Louis who died in the First World War. The memorial is painfully beautiful, all mosaics and marble, with terrazzo floors and Bedford stone sculptures. It is dominated by the vast black granite cenotaph in its center, covered with the hundreds of dead men's names in neat row upon neat row.

On the day we visited this striking but haunted place it seemed completely empty. While empty of visitors, it was however full of the spirits and the voices and the faces of the pale, tousle-headed boys in neatly-pressed uniforms who had marched off from St Louis 86 years ago to fight in a glamorous and glorious war in a far-off land. Boys who had never come back home. The poignancy of that was rendered all the stronger by the fact that we are living daily with the repercussions of a current conflict, the savage and bloody war in Iraq. We read daily of boys who will never come back home.

What struck me most as I walked around the memorial and the museum, holding my newborn baby girl, was the fact that it looked just like so many of the war memorials that I had visited in my home country of Scotland. It also looked just like those I had visited in France, and in England, and in Canada, and in New Zealand. And it looked just like the memorials in almost every other country touched by the carnage of World War One. In almost every country that took part in that war - the so-called "War to End all Wars" - men rushed to join the military and marched off to war with great enthusiasm. They believed that it would be a short, sharp and successful war, fought for good reasons, and glorious for the winners. They believed that they were building a better world.

They were wrong. An average of 5,500 men died every single day for four and a half years in the First World War: that's roughly four men per minute, every minute, for four and a half years, until some 9 million men were dead. The First World War did more than just destroy lives; it destroyed the confidence in progress, in prosperity and in the reasonableness of civilized human beings that had become so characteristic of the nineteenth century. That war destroyed much of the next generation which would have provided leadership to Europe in the dark days of the twenties and thirties when the world flirted with the dark seduction of Fascism and once again Europe began sliding towards holocaust and Armageddon. And that war should never have been allowed to happen. It was the worst of all disasters, the disaster that could have been avoided.

And this morning, as I sit holding my baby girl and read daily reports of escalating violence in Iraq, with Iraqi, British and American men and women continuing to die, the St Louis Soldiers' Memorial - a memorial to a war that should have never been fought - haunts me. The neoconservative brains in the U.S. administration would have been wise to visit places like this and to think long and to think hard about the lessons of such memorials before embarking on a war in the Middle East that has already killed unknown numbers of people, and which will certainly kill many more, directly and indirectly.

Despite some superficial stylistic differences, every war memorial ultimately teaches the same lesson. The lesson is that whatever the cause, the fate of the young men and women who fight is the same. Whether the cause is that of Jesus or Muhammad, of oil or gold, of territory or sovereignty, the end result for the soldiers on the ground is always the same. Whether the battle is won or lost, and whether the war is successful or not, it is the common soldiers whose names end up, in neat row upon neat row, carved into the granite of war memorials all over the world. Having died among disorder and chaos, their names find order and dignity on marble slabs.

I believe that these words of Mayor Bernard Dickmann of St Louis, speaking when the Soldiers' Memorial was opened to the public in 1938, have great potency for us today: "We who live, because others have died, should make of this shrine a place of love and a monument of peace." Those neoconservative analysts who planned the war, the politicians and pundits who clamored for it, the businessmen who scrambled for the resultant profits, and the TV analysts and anchors that spoke with barely concealed glee about "shock and awe," should go to St. Louis. They should spend some time in silence at one of this nation's most poignant war memorials, reading the names of the naïve but well intentioned young men who died in one of history's most meaningless wars. Then, perhaps, the Soldiers' Memorial Museum could indeed become "a monument of peace." Then, perhaps, my baby girl could grow up in a world that is not ravaged, raped and wrecked by shortsighted and ill-considered wars.


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F.H.Thomas - 9/24/2003


Thank you for a commentary worth reading, particularly your comments about your father.

I give credence particularly to those with personal links to such events, and since I do too, I guess that makes us a couple of old farts, right?

My father was a machine gun platoon leader in the 137th mg battalion, attached to various units in Chateau Thierry, and other engagements. On October 11th, while firing in support of an American assault, he was wounded by a burst of his adversary's fire, and received five deadly wounds, or at least they should have been deadly. His jaw, hand, abdomen, and both legs were hit, and he spent more than a year coming back.

He was an alpha dog in every sense, and recoveed from this to become an outstanding businessman, golfer, and historian. If when I die, I believe myself to have done half as well as he, I will be happy.

He related the following: first his great respect for his foe, secondly the total waste of that war, the worst aspects of which he could not bring himself to discuss.

I highly recommend to you Moser's "The Myth of the Great War". Remember that by the time the Americans arrived, the French had endured a mutiny, and the Brits the same, except being Brits, they were better at lying about it.

Thanks again.


Ben Soas - 9/20/2003

If communism is so heartedly embraced by many of the contributors to this thread, then I would opine that being called a "communist" would be construed as praise and not as insult!


Historian on the Run - 9/20/2003

I wanted my post to go here and not below. Sorry for the replication.

Note how Mr. Soas does a little red baiting despite his "academic" style of discourse. If a historian or grad student makes a comment that either praises or defends Marx, they are called "communist." The New McCarthyism that was alluded to above is quite appropriate in this instance.


Historian on the Run - 9/20/2003

Note how Mr. Soas does a little red baiting despite his "academic" style of discourse. If a historian or grad student makes a comment that either praises or defends Marx, they are called "communist." The New McCarthyism that was alluded to above is quite appropriate in this instance.


Ben Soas - 9/20/2003

If HNN could reproduce this thread and send it nationally, it would confirm the perception that academe is simply incapable of
comprehending the limits of radicalism and assessing its own romantic notion of violence and revolution as borne out by communism. I have followed HNN for several years and have never until now responded. This is just the most amazing, almost unbelievable thread I have seen.


R C Stemler - 9/20/2003

Thank the lord Jen, that not all the leftist professors have been purged by the New McCarthyism. It is apparent you are being educated quite well and I admire your courage. You are a role model for the dwindling group of leftist historians and their scholars (students). Keep up the faith and when you teach, remember Marx, Castro, Che, Ho, Mao, Lenin. I am impressed by your knowledge and your fortitude.


Jen Fourterier - 9/19/2003

As a gradaute student in American history, I am deeply insulted that someone would call Marx a criminal. He died before 20th Century Communism and I am unaware of his commiting any criminal acts. Yes he was frequently expelled from nations but only due to his journalistic writings. I do not understand why this country does not understand that Marx was emblematic of our ideals--at least rhetorically. So please no more insults on HNN against Dr Marx.


R C Stemler - 9/19/2003

Let me be clear. Marx stood for freedom, liberation, the destruction of the oppressor white industrial class. His statement based upon Feuerbachian materialism that "Religion is the opium of the people," is so wondrous and innovative that I weep for his greatness, his insights, his vision, his majesty.

May this nation be a Marxian country with communism, no classes and no religion. President Kucinich's favourite song is John Lennon's Imagine. Imagine this! The overthrow of this government, the American nazis who wage war and lie about its causes. Yes, Marx is wonderful; yes we should worhsip him!!!


Bill Heuisler - 9/19/2003

Mr. Moner,
Your eagerness to acquit a known enemy is peculiar, and it's all of our Cabinet - not just mine - unless you've given up your citizenship to protest all wars in the US national interest.

The words the President used were no direct evidence. To allege there is no evidence at all is to deny the Salman Pak training camp had two 707s and facilities for hundreds of Al Quaeda trainees. These 707s were not used to train IraqAir stewardesses to serve first class. Salman Pak is in Iraq near Arbil. Imagine the dictator killing thousands of Kurds in the north, thousands of Sunnis in the northwest and thousands of Iranians in the northeast, but missing the terrorist camp less than 350 miles north north west of Baghdad. You will believe that fantasy, but not your President?

Czech intelligence said there was a meeting - not there was no meeting. This meeting was then confirmed by a Czech diplomat. The CIA counter? Atta was in California at the time; no actual sighting, just a report from the local FBI field office that he was in Southern California the week in question. On that vague detail Tenet's CIA denies the Czech report.

The facts point to Saddam. Odd you would wish otherwise.
Bill Heuisler


Gus Moner - 9/19/2003

Ceylon for East Timor is a mental, not a typing error.

The occupation was ended, elections carried out, the people have their own government, “acts of God” aside. Would you call crop failures in Oklahoma Bush’s fault?

Remember that the UN became a functioning body when the Cold War ended. It is in its infancy.

”A strong case can be made that the United Nations has been the major problem in East Timor”.

OK, Make it.


Gus Moner - 9/19/2003

Mr. Heuisler,

1) “Obviously, there are many who believe in a 9/11-Iraq connection (70% of those polled evidently) … if you wish to deny a 9/11 connection have the good sense to present factual reasons”

Well, Mr Heuisler, your entire war cabinet has just told you and the 70%, between the 17th and 18th of September, that there is no known connection. How’s that? Factual enough?

What is poo-pooed? A Czech report that there was no meeting? What do you need, a signed statement from the terrorist in question?

2)You wrote: "Other men elsewhere were also setting the bases for liberty..." Really? Who? Name one great leader who was not willing to give his or her life for the Cause they believed in.

Sorry, I don’t understand your response to my comment. People in Europe were also writing, revolting and setting the bases for ‘democracy’. It was a worldwide movement.

3)You called that nattering know-nothing Wright brilliant. Why?

Why not?

4)”Bringing up Ceylon again after the massacres and political murders literally under UN noses makes my point”…

Now Mr Heuisler, It was not Ceylon, now called Shri Lanka, for your information. It was Timor. The UN has been in Kosovo, The Sinai and numerous countries where it has helped sort out wars and conflicts. Study the topic; I am tired of instructing you on it.


”Mr. Moner simply saying something does not make it so, and sometimes simply saying something without evidence makes you appear naive and closed minded. Include facts with your opinions or responding to you becomes a waste of my time”.

You are not obliged to respond. Some facts are well known and others accepted, you are expected to know these BEFORE responding.





Bill Heuisler - 9/18/2003

Mr. Moner,
You've probably noticed my typing Ceylon instead of E. Timor. Both countries are illustrative, but you brought up East Timor as an example of UN benevolence and success.

First, instead of reading Nairn in The Nation and studying Chomsky/Herman's propaganda, try reading Ramos-Horta (the current Foreign Minister's) book "Funu: the unfinished saga of East Timor". Read how Moynihan, US Ambassador to the UN - carried water for most of Europe and Asia in blocking efforts to force Indonesia out of East Timor for years. Was UN the problem more than solution? After twenty-plus years of bloodbath the now deceased de Mello only managed to establish law and order three years ago with the backing of the Australian-led Interfet.
Three years ago!

And now East Timor faces mass starvation after only two crop failures. You call that a UN success? A strong case can be made that the United Nations has been the major problem in East Timor.
Bill Heuisler


Bill Heuisler - 9/18/2003

Mr. Moner,
Are your non-responses meant to provoke answers? To what?

1)Obviously, there are many who believe in a 9/11-Iraq connection (70% of those polled evidently) due to Salman Pak courses in hijacking, hostage-taking and demolitions; due to the often poo-pooed Czech intelligence report and the general Anti-American demeanor of Saddam. See the law suit by two New York 9/11 families against Iraq and note the testimony of Clinton's CIA Director, Woolsey. Please, if you wish to deny a 9/11 connection have the good sense to present factual reasons.

2)You wrote: "Other men elsewhere were also setting the bases for liberty..." Really? Who? Name one great leader who was not willing to give his or her life for the Cause they believed in.

3)You called that nattering know-nothing Wright brilliant. Why?

4)Bringing up Ceylon again after the massacres and political murders literally under UN noses makes my point; giving the UN credit for serving freedom or keeping the peace anywhere is as laughable as crediting France for winning two World Wars.

Mr. Moner simply saying something does not make it so, and sometimes simply saying something without evidence makes you appear naive and closed minded. Include facts with your opinions or responding to you becomes a waste of my time.
Bill Heuisler


Stephen Thomas - 9/18/2003

Amazingly, I am the son of non-union factory workers, so I know the people you purport to represent. I grew up with them.

The workers loathe you. Your ideas are anathema to them. They regard people like you as somewhere betwen laughable and in need of institutionalization.

Most of them have a nice house, two cars and a boat in the back yard. They are religious. They are happy with their lives.

Ground control to Major Tom. You are not among the sane.


Michael Myers - 9/18/2003

I aim my comments not at the article, which I find thoughtful and evocative, but really to the majority of the responses. Except for the "Maybe Emoting is Not all Bad" responses, the other response represent the worst of knee-jerk reactions, nit-picking, slandering, name calling, and out-of-context diatribes lacking reflective and criticaly analysis. And, the most tasteless, others who reduce the suffering of others to mere statistical computation. Written not by mature minds, but by the minds of myoptic and squabbling-school children.


TCG - 9/18/2003

Answering your presentations:
I do not believe that most political figures were necessarily "over the top" in their representations regarding the War. Certainly, Lloyd George could be an example. His work on the Ministry of Munitions should be brought to mind. Perhaps he had ulterior motives for future considerations, but he was already an opposition political figure. If you have a spare weekend I might recommend R.J.Q. Adams' _Arms And The Wizard_" for an engaging read. I just opened my copy after several years and was amazed at my marginalia...
As far as Balfour and Clemenceau being propaganists, perhaps. But I am sure I could find similar remarks from all German and Austro_Hungarian periodicals to mimic if not surpass 'Fleet Street'. The "Hun With A Baby On Bayonet" is a familiar canard, not made less so even though the Germans shot Edith Cavill. The belief of the Canadians that the Germans crucified one of their members (a Sgt. if I recall properly) remained and was carried with each member of the CEF during the war, let alone at a later time.
The Lousitania is another matter. I believe you are correct, that it was loaded with gun cotton, munition, etc. That should exonorate the German U-Boat captain and crew, but not necessarily the Wilson Administration. Better to vocally support your Allies than under the table. Of course, he would have had a heck of a time with Congress, but he might have tried.
War guilt is a more complicated issue... I need to do some checking, but I seem to remember after the collapse of the 14 points, everything was open. Please excuse me, as I shall be hunting my WW1 library before I remark on war guilt.
I may say though, that it seem remarkable that descendants of the victors of WWI should feel an attachment to 'war guilt'. Might this be a reaction to the famous Allied (read British) Great War Poets? Curious.


Marx is Better than Smith - 9/17/2003

Marx stood for the overthrow of capitalism, the destruction of the bourgeoisie. The man wanted to liberate the workers. OHHH, for his insights now over globalisation and the containment of this terrorist democracy. His majesty and his courage and his dialectical materialism is what we historians love and pine for.

OHHH, to see him alive and fulminate against this dreaded nation with its butchery and savagery. OHHH, all we can do is dream!


F.H.Thomas - 9/17/2003


Thank you for your learned and thoughtful comments.

When great criminals conspire, great myths result from their planning, but they are still myths.

I would recommend that you take a weekend and enjoy Fleming's bestseller on WW I, "The Illusion of Victory", or for that matter Moser's "The Myth of the Great War".

We as men of integrity cannot let mythologizers like Balfour and Clemenceau simply regurgitate their stuff and simply accept it. The myth machines of Whitehall and Fleet Street got into action early and with evil effectiveness, implementing the plan set in motion years before. Fleming does a terrific job of finding political dirt which has been covered for years.

The propaganda campaign in the US, managed by professional propagandists, was completely effective in putting forward an entire program of myths, shadings, and simple lies as the absolute ultimate truth.

Germans with the highest education level, highest standard of living, and most just society, including impossibly advanced things like health insurance and retirment, throwing babies into the air, and impaling nuns? If you believed that, they had a bunch more for you. How about the Lusitania? They had that one packed with high expolsives like gun cotton and artillery rounds, armed with hidden 8" guns, this well known to the US administration, which then encouraged Americans to sail her.

The whopper was "war guilt", without which France and Germany could not have raped Germany and caused WW II. The fact is that the big domino was Russia declaring war by mobilizing against Austria, hence Germany, while Kaiser Willie pathetically begged his cousin to avoid this unnecessary horror.

As far as Vietnam was concerned, consider where and how Ho Chi Minh got his education, and the fact that without Communism, he would have had no ideology.


NYGuy - 9/17/2003

TCG,

On another note, having read many memoirs and accounts of participants of the war, very few dwell on their misfortune. Indeed, some, like H.W. McBride and E. Junger relished their experiences during the war.

NYGUY,

Thank you TCG.

My father was in the final assault and in the front lines from September until Armistice day. His only complaint was the Armistice did not come soon enough, and of course he hated the rats. Otherwise we knew nothing until I did the research on his unit, the 27th Division, the "Hindenberg Line Busters".

One of the interesting points I read was the large number of Congressional Medal of Honor winners by the American Troops. They certainly believed in something that should not be cheapened. As I understand it, there was tremendous courage and skill in crossing the Meuse, a difficuilt task, and I read of the Germans praise for the American soldiers who stopped the slaughter, something that was not possible until they entered the war. Remember the technology of war had advanced particularly with artillery, including Big Berta a railroad gun that could fire a shell for 21 miles. Meanwhile the tactics of trench warfare presented a sitting target the troops on both sides. It became know as the "meat grinder", and we put "shell shock" into our vocabulary. All sides lost the prime of their young folks.

I don't want to question the sincerity of Professor MacLeod, but I do believe that for someone to write such an article does not truly understand our fighting men who fought and died for this country. They did not brag about their battles during life, and I don’t think they want to be remembered as a political icon.


TCG - 9/17/2003

I believe certain Treaty obligations and Belgium were rather more important in Great Britain's decision making than the German Education system,which for all it's superiority, didn't keep educated young German men from enlisting in droves. Remember that "..scrap of paper..." which so frustrated the Kaiser. Why not blame Belgium for placing it's territorial integrity above the future well-being of it's soldiers and population. They could have easily let the German Army march through to attack the French, a la Schlieffen. Also, keep in mind that it was the Kaiser who wouldn't try to restrain an Austro-Hungarian reaction to the assasination which formented the 1914 crisis. Not much the Brits could do there.
On another note, having read many memoirs and accounts of participants of the war, very few dwell on their misfortune. Indeed, some, like H.W. McBride and E. Junger relished their experiences during the war.
I don't see how allowing an Imperial Germany to hold large sections of Belgium, France, Italy and Russia would have prevented the Vietnam War, though it might have. But what wars would have had to have been fought in its stead in other areas. Those who served derserve our remembrance, as do you as well, and our thanks and admiration, not necessarily our pity. After the early battles of 1915, most men enlisting knew what they were entering, and went willingly. The same applies to those returning from hospital after recovering from wounds, eager to rejoin their units.


Stephen Thomas - 9/17/2003

Karl Marx strikes you as a worthy source of anything?

I guess we know what you are about, comrade.

You are not a war resister. You are something else... quite unmentionable. I can't think of a way to say it politely, so I won't say anything at all.


Gus Moner - 9/16/2003

“Do you seek in a roundabout way to sever the War in Iraq from the attack on our country on 9/11?”

Where’s the knot to sever?

“Remember, there would be no United States, no free Europe, and very little Liberty in this world of ours had some brave and optimistic men not decided there was something worth dying for”.

Other men elsewhere were also setting the bases for liberty. Who knows what the course of history might have been, better worse?


C. Parker Sheaffer - 9/16/2003

Great. Now Serbia is Afghanistan, the Black Hand is Al Qiada and the British Foreign Office is the CIA. I guess that means the "real reason" World War One was fought was so that the British could get their hands on Germany's coal and iron so that they could keep cranking out those dreadnoughts.

It's all so clear to me now.


F.H.Thomas - 9/16/2003


Gentlemen:

There are reasons to be particularly sad in reflecting on this war, which like most wars was fought for money and power, in this case British power.

The Brits rightly saw that Germany, with its superior education system, modern industry, and large active population, was gradually taking their commercial empire. "Germany had to be stopped before it got any further!" (Balfour, Churchill, etc).

France, still angry about the Franco Prussian war, which France started and immediately lost, was eager to join in.

How to proceed? The best way was indirectly. Get Serbia involved against Germany's ally Austria-Hungary, which would bring Russia in to help Serbia, while France and Britain would come in to help Russia, and Germany would enter to help Austria-Hungary! Perfect, if you like realpolitik at its smoking, reeking worst.

The event? An assassination, of course! Very emotional, and all that. The method? Find a Seriban hothead, still angry about the battle of Kosovo, and make it happen in half-Muslim Bosnia!

Out of this came the worst carnage the world had ever seen. How many great young men died? Well, 10 million total. Would we have the cure to cancer by now, or interplanetary travel, or other works of genius, if some of them had not perished?

It is pretty certain, that without WW I, we would have had no Communism, no depression, no WW II, no cold war, no Iron Curtain, probably no Vietnam, no memories of mass-murders, no Hitler, probably no Israel*, no Stalin, no Pol Pot, and no Mao.

(*Remember the Balfour Declaration)

For those things, a little emoting is in order.

I am not sure how many of this distinguished group has experienced war. I have taken life for this country, almost given mine many times, seen friends and adversaries die.

It does leave me depressed, at times, when I think of it. But one thing is certain: for every evil I faced in Vietnam, the soldiers in France faced ten. They deserve our remembrance.

What do you do? To me, one thing is to permit the sadness to enfold me like a cloak when I enter any memorial, of any war, on either side. I stop talking, and let their spirits speak to my imagination.

Please reconsider. You may, upon reflection, find the good doctor's words strangely in order.





Historian on the Run - 9/16/2003

Karl Marx: "The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways. The point however is to change it." Only President Kucinich can save the world from this liberal terrorist democracy.


Bill Heuisler - 9/15/2003

Dr. MacLeod,
Are there are no good reasons to fight? Is nothing worth your life? Do you seek in a roundabout way to sever the War in Iraq from the attack on our country on 9/11? If so, please say so. Otherwise we are left with the impression that Dr. MacLeod would bear any burden, suffer any injustice and ignore any atrocity for fear of someone losing a life. A sad commentary. Throughout human history men afraid to die on their feet eventually died on their knees. WWI was a terrible waste, a series of blunders that were avoidable and produced by hubris. Condemn WWI if you like but, after the ten-year series of Moslem Terrorist attacks on the United States - and 9/11 - don't preach suicidal forbearance to the United States. How many murders is enough, Doctor?

Remember, there would be no United States, no free Europe, and very little Liberty in this world of ours had some brave and optimistic men not decided there was something worth dying for.
Bill Heuisler


C. Parker Sheaffer - 9/15/2003

addendum:

according to the AP the 294th fatality occurred today, which doesn't effect the calculation for the rate of loss. I did however neglect to take into account leap years when I projected the date for the 77,805th day from March 20 (1st day of ground operations) upon which our dead in the Second Gulf War will have equaled our dead from the First World War . My apologies.


C. Parker Sheaffer - 9/15/2003

Dr. McLeod's overwrought rhetoric finely illustrates the emotionalism that has supplanted rational thought in our civil discourse. He compares Operation Iraqi freedom to the First World War, which he rightly calls "a savage and bloody conflict" noting that 5,500 men died per day -"roughly four per minute, every minute, for four and half years." Oh wait, my mistake. I just reread the second paragraph and its Iraq that Dr. McLeod says "is a savage and bloody conflict." Perhaps Dr. McLeod is privy to information unavailable to the rest of us, but I don't recall hearing that we're losing casualties at the rate of roughly four per minute.

According to the latest numbers I could find after the briefest of searches 286 Americans have lost their lives in Iraq. (This was as of Sept. 3, from an opinion piece in Foreign Policy in Focus, "Quagmire, What Quagmire?" by Col. Daniel Smith (ret.), like Dr. Mcleod, no supporter of the war). Admittedly this number is out of date, but still fewer than the 297 fatalities of the First Gulf War. Since sooner or later, we will surpass that number (an occurence which the media will observe with the appropriate hand-wringing and navel-gazing) that is the number I will use for the sake of comparison.

Lets see...

(less than) 297 fatalities in 194 days (as of 9/15). That's (less than) roughly 1.5 per day, (less than) 1 man every 480 minutes.

At this rate, unless we get out of Iraq right this minute our fatalities will equal our World War I dead, (116, 708, all causes --taken from United State Civil War Center, "Statistical Summary America's Major Wars [http://www.cwc.lsu.edu/cwc/other/stats/warcost.htm]) sometime in May, 2216.

Forgive me if I'm not quivering under my blanket in fear of the impending military catastrophe.


NYGuy - 9/15/2003

Sorry not everyone has your brillance, but as a dedicated educator perhaps you could share the solutions proposed in the article with all of us. After all you tell us that is why you teach.

Waiting to learn.


Gus Moner - 9/15/2003

The solution was implicit in the article. It's a pity you did not discern it amidst all the carnage.


NYGuy - 9/15/2003

The ultimate distillation of the history profession has been finally achieved. "Soldiers die in war"

Of course there were those who died before WW1 for many reasons, but the wishful lesson this uniquie father teaches every parent, grandparent etc. is the "true meaning of life.

Thank you.

I too want a peaceful world for my wife, my children my grandchildren, my brothers and sisters, my friends and all the living souls who I know and do not know.

Perhaps in the future you will share you solutions with the rest of us.