Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Target for Today
Theres something about the 1930's and 1940's. They were glamourous but gruesome. People were polite, but they slaughtered each other. Decency meant acting in an appropriate manner but often whilst ignoring infamy and horror. Its hard to reconcile how 'the good guys' could fire bomb entire cities and often call it precision bombing.
And yet, it is upon such tragedy our society is built. Dresden was the new foundation of our western democracies; democracies which had refused to act against Hitler, Mussolini, Franco and Stalin for fear of the consequences. The object lesson of the 1930's and 1940's is that allowing fear of the consequences to dictate your actions when faced with infamy, will inevitably lead to infamy.
Those people, with their old accents and old fashioned clothing, are all gone now and time has almost rendered their sacrifices moot. When I see whats going on n Europe today, I am worried that the cycle of violence is coming full circle again. The lessons of the past are being ignored (I read yesterday that Winston Churchill is no longer on the English school syllabus, which I can hardly believe) and the reasons are the same as always, a short term fear of the consequences.
So now I wonder, will my son have to go to war in two decades time because today we are ignoring a rising tide of intolerance, extreme religious and political sentiments? No one in the 1930's wanted to believe that war was coming, which is ultimately why it came.