LETTER: Against celebrating Vimy Ridge

I am weary of the way Canadians allow Remembrance Day to be used.

Charles Jeanes writes to the Star about Vimy Ridge.

Charles Jeanes writes to the Star about Vimy Ridge.

World War One commemorations still drag on in 2017, with the Vimy Ridge ceremony just passed an example of the propaganda of war-mind-preparation. Democracies practise propaganda in subtler ways than dictatorships. Canada makes the minds of its citizens ready to accept war as a national choice in future by shaping memories of past wars.

I am weary of the way Canadians allow Remembrance Day to be used that way. Our elites cannot allow the memory of their horrible mistakes to be taught, and continue to tell us the war was heroic, noble, sacrificial and a great victory for “freedom.”

WWI proved war is avoidable, and yet that is not taught. It showed that the rulers of nations send peoples to death heedlessly, when generals fail to fight with skill. (Germany demonstrated much better skill.) The Russian people said “No” to being slaughtered, and overthrew their Tsar. Canadians obeyed.

Without the U.S. joining in the war, with millions to enlist, it would have been a negotiated stalemate peace. The winners concocted a famously unjust treaty.

I see Canadian schoolchildren force-fed propaganda of death and glory at Vimy Ridge, where over 10,000 such children went for the ceremony April 9; I want to weep from frustration that we allow this.

Children tell CBC reporters the “facts” they’ve been taught to regurgitate. Lie: Canadian freedoms were won on those battlefields. Lie: the death of soldiers is heroic sacrifice. Lie: that soil where they bled tells the world “here Canadian nationhood was baptized.”

Untaught truth: government forces killed draft-resisters in Quebec in 1918. Oops.

To question the “glory-story” brings fury on one’s head, from the Legion and military families on down to city councillors and crowds attending November 11. I know that from experience. I protested our “Afghan Mission” at Nelson cenotaph, 2003 to 2015.

Ever wonder how Germans teach their children about WWI? They’re not allowed to sacralize it as we do. They’re the losers but their motives were not evil.

The true evil of war is how it turns lies into truth at the time of the fighting, then future generations of politicians perpetuate the lies told, for fear of admitting what horror they are capable of ordering us into.

War is not a policy choice. It is a crime.

To know more history, please read Robert Everett-Green, page F3, Globe and Mail, April 1. Very persuasive.

Charles Jeanes



Nelson Star