An Old Lesson Is New Again
How does that saying go? Something about lessons not learned in the past are doomed to be repeated? It’s happened again. Two American journalists were executed by a group of terrorists trying to build their own national status. Their excuse was to avenge the American airstrikes in that area. Revenge. Maybe that’s the key word in this lesson. You be the judge. As a result, our President has vowed further revenge and promised to “degrade and ultimately destroy these terrorists.”
A century ago, another terrorist nation, Germany, decided to build their national status by conquering France in WWI. They had a brilliant plan to march through Belgium and take over Paris in just a few weeks. It was called the Schlieiffen Plan. Since Britain was an ally of France and promised to defend Belgium’s neutrality, they threw in their hat with their former French enemy. The truth is that despite the addition of British troops, the Germans were still winning–granted not as fast as they had planned before the pesky Brits settled in along the French border, but still ahead of the game.
Then the Germans did a very stupid thing. They executed a 49-year old British nurse in revenge for the British joining the fray. Mind you, they had done a lot worse than this before they shot Edith Cavell. They burned down Louvain, a sleepy town known for their scholars and religious institutions. They killed the priests and teachers, rallied the adults into the town square and shot them in front of their children and then shot the children. They sank the Lusitania causing 1,500 people to drown. I have a two-inch thick book on my shelf entitled “German atrocities: 1914.” That’s 600 pages of brutality and atrocities against humanity all in one year! But nothing they did got the Americans riled up enough to join their pals “over there,” –until they shot Edith Cavell.