This is Part Three of a dialogue taken from the film “All Quiet on the Western Front”:
A group of German soldiers discuss their plight:
“Somebody must have wanted the war. Maybe it was the English. No, I don’t want to shoot any Englishman. I never saw one ’til I came here. And I suppose most of them never saw a German ’til “they” came here. No, I’m sure “they” weren’t asked about it.”
“Well, the war must be doing somebody some good.”
“I think maybe the Kaiser wanted a war.”
“I don’t see that. The Kaiser’s got everything he needs.”
“Well, he never had a war before. Every full-grown emperor needs one war to make him famous. Why, that’s history.”
“Yeah, generals, too. They need war.”
And Prime Ministers and even Presidents come to that. They think it will make them look good when somebody else takes the risks on their behalf.
14 responses to “All Quiet on the Western Front (3)”
Isn’t that so the truth!!!!?!!!
[sorry for all the exclamation marks, but those remarks couldn’t have expressed it any better]
Thank you. Only the Second World War could be excepted from this, and then only for the Allies.
Very provocative match up with words and images. I couldn’t agree with you more. Why can’t those tempermental leaders box it out in the ring themselves, or at least pick their own knight to fight for them?
Much better to have the real ones. George W. Bush versus Osama Ben Laden. Or Kaiser Wilhelm v Lloyd George.That would be great television!
Reblogged this on Lest We Forget and commented:
Why there are wars…
So simple to understand.
I don’t think I would have the courage to watch that movie.
I’m sure you would have, Pierre. It’s such a universal film and a universal truth.
Sums it all up beautifully! Somebody wants a war to make them look good!
Yes, and look at how many people are suffering from it now! Syrians. Crimeans, Ukrainians, Iraqis and Afghans. And who will be next?
I always thought that Bush junior wanted to be as successful as daddy and and where better to prove it than in the same region.
Quite right! I think that virtually every son wants to outdo his father, and Vietnam hero George W will be no exception. Thanks a lot for dropping by.
The tragedy of the Middle East has its roots one hundred years ago in the Sykes-Picot Agreement when the principal European powers carved up the carcass of the Ottoman Empire. Britain had an urgent need to fuel its navy as coal ceded to oil at the behest of Admiral John ‘Jacky’ Fisher. The Royal Navy of Fisher’s day numbered some 330 ships, a navy bigger than the navies of France, Russia, Germany and the US combined. Only the addition of the Italian navy would have produced a force bigger than the Royal Navy and then only by a margin of about two dozen ships. Oil fired boilers did not need an army of bloody-minded stokers to feed the gaping maws of the fire-boxes and further permiited the installation of an additional gun turret, plus the ammunition to feed it. Britain secured its interests in the former Mesopotamia (in which my great-uncle William fought) and in what was then Persia. This latter enterprise was vigorously promoted by one Winston Churchill, who coincidentally received £5,000 to lobby on behalf of Burmah Oil, which was a major shareholder in Anglo-Persian Oil. Anglo-Persian later metamorphosed into British Petroleum. As the Book of Exodus tells us, the sins of the fathers will be visited upon the children even unto the third and fourth generations – we are now about 4 generations on from Sykes-Picot.
Thanks a lot for your interest and your comment. It seems to prove my point to some extent in that the whole thing could have been settled easily if Admiral John ‘Jacky’ Fisher, Winston Churchill, the head of Burmah Oil and any other interested parties had stripped down to their underpants and fought it all out in a field. The problem seems to be that millions of people, most of them with no interest whatsoever in these so-called vital issues get dragged along, sometimes into wars where they lose their lives. And a lot of the time those millions of ordinary people don’t give a stuff. To change the geography a little, do we really care who rules Crimea or the eastern Ukraine? So long as it doesn’t happen in East Anglia or even closer, I don’t think we’ve much real genuine interest in such questions. The same is true about Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and all the rest. They have a thousand year history of repression and bloodshed so it’s unlikely that we’ll put a stop to it in a decade. And now, there may not be the need to worry about oil, with the imminent rise of electric cars and cheap fracking for one and all.