Monday, June 30, 2014

SO IT BEGAN AND BEGINS

It was on a State Visit by the Austro-Hungarian Archduke and his wife to Serbia that the event occurred which set off World War 1.  While visiting Sarajevo on June 28, 1914 a bomb was thrown in a botched assassination attempt which failed to kill the Archduke but injured several bystanders.  Later in the visit the Royal couple being concerned for those injured decided to visit them in the hospital.  Unfortunately on the way there they were spotted by some of the group sent to assassinate them and both were shot dead by a member of that group.  Sadly their act of kindness somewhat rare in those times by such people led to their assassination. 


 

Even worse of course was that the Austro-Hungarian Empire attacked Serbia with artillery fire on July 28, 1914.  This was followed by the various European Nations and Russia taking sides resulting in The First World War which lasted until an Armistice was agreed to beginning on November 11, 1918 at the eleventh hour.

In its turn this Armistice led to the Second World War when the Germans who had actually marched home from the WW1 battlefields in France and Belgium were regarded by many as victors.  However the Revolution in Russia led to one in Germany with the Kaiser of the German Empire being deposed and going into exile in The Netherlands.  After considerable turmoil in Germany the National Socialist Party became dominant and it's leader Adolf Hitler was appointed by President Paul von Hindenburg of the Wiemar Republic (1925-1934) to form a government.  In turn this led to the Nazi dictatorship and the Second World War.

The root causes of the crisis in Europe that led to WW1 were poor leadership and a reluctance to adapt to a changing social world and a move against rule by Royalty.

Does any of this have a familiar ring because it should.  At present we are seeing the results of a botched war in Iraq a country created by the British after The Second World War along with several others in that Region.  The United States involvement in Iraq under a Republican Administration included a change of Administration with the election of a new President from the Democratic Party.  As things turned out the new President waffled and wimped his way to a departure from Iraq which had elected a biased Prime Minister who demanded the United States forces leave without any agreements in place.  

This gave the perfect opportunity to the radical Muslims of the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) to form a force based in Syria which was already fighting a civil war to attack across the border into Iraq.  With lightening speed they have captured huge tracts of that country as the Iraq defence forces deserted the battlefield.  Now they have declared a Muslim Caliphate which was the term used in Medieval times to describe an Islamic State ruled by Sharia Law.  A self-appointed Caliph is demanding that all Muslims wherever they are living become loyal to this Muslim Caliphate and obey its demands just in time for Ramadan the lunar month of Muslim fasting.

Once again as for WW1 poor leadership and a reluctance to adapt to social change has contributed in a major way to this ISIS success.  An example of just how severe this poor leadership is resulted in the U.S. President being called a "coward" by a retired Lt. Col. of the U.S. military on U.S.national television during a News show.

Count D. Peter Boucher, Kt. SMOM.

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