The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand on June 28, 1914 led to the outbreak of World War I. The Gulf of Tonkin incidents on August 2 and August 4, 1964 enabled what we call the Vietnam War
By Prof. Graeme McQueen
Global Research, March 18, 201
R Editor’s Note
Russi-Gate, Novichok, Eastern Ghouta, False Flags?
This carefully research article by Professor Graeme McQueen presents a timely historical viewpoint which is routinely “censored” by the mainstream media as well by the search engines. The danger of World War III is not front-page news.
Kindly consider forwarding it Professor McQueen’s article to your friends and colleagues, crosspost it on alternative media and blog sites.
The threat of World War III is real, yet there is no anti-war movement in sight. In the US, Canada and the EU, the peace movement is defunct, ignorant of the broader implications of nuclear war.
This is why, dear readers, we call upon your support and endorsement. There is a real “conspiracy” to trigger war. That’s the truth. Establish community networks, spread the word, organize at the grassroots level.
In the words of Prof. McQueen:
“Our task is clear. We must mobilize both our investigative resources and our communication resources to nullify the efforts of those who specialize in the construction and encouragement of war triggers and who wish to keep the war system robust. We lost over 100 million people to war in the 20th century. Are we really going to let this happen again?”
Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research Editor, March 18, 2018
As we watch Western governments testing their opponents – today Iran, the next day the DPRK, and then Russia and China – we hold our breaths. We are waiting with a sense of dread for the occurrence of a catalytic event that will initiate war. Now is the time to reflect on such catalytic events, to understand them, to prepare for them.
The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand on June 28, 1914 in Sarajevo led to the outbreak of World War I. The Gulf of Tonkin incidents on August 2 and August 4, 1964 enabled what we call the Vietnam War.
Both events were war triggers. A “war trigger”, as I am using the term, is an event that facilitates an outbreak or expansion of hot war–that phase of the war system in which active killing takes place.
War triggers can lead affected populations to cast aside their critical faculties and their willingness to dissent from government narratives. They can also disable moral values and ideological commitments. At the outbreak of World War I the peace movement, the women’s movement and the socialist movement were all shattered.
Image result for Rosa Luxemburg
While there is debate among scholars today about the extent of the frenzy in Europe as World War I began, it is difficult to dismiss sophisticated eyewitnesses such as Rosa Luxemburg (image on the right), who referred to what she saw as:
“mad delirium”; “patriotic street demonstrations”; “singing throngs”; “the coffee shops with their patriotic songs”; “the violent mobs, ready to denounce, ready to persecute women, ready to whip themselves into a delirious frenzy over every wild rumour”; “the atmosphere of ritual murder”. (Luxemburg, 261)
What Luxemburg described was a subjective state produced by a successful war trigger, in which a population becomes extremely lethal as it readies itself to rush at its foe while simultaneously battering anyone in its own ranks that dares to dissent.
Luxemburg herself dared to dissent. This led to two and a half years in a German prison cell. During this time she wrote the Junius Pamphlet, criticizing Europe’s socialist leaders for having been captured by the spirit of war, and pointing to the consequences of their folly:
“the cannon fodder that was loaded upon the trains in August and September is rotting on the battlefields of Belgium and the Vosges…Cities are turned into shambles, whole countries into deserts, villages into cemeteries, whole nations into beggars, churches into stables; popular rights, treaties, alliances, the holiest words and the highest authorities have been torn into scraps”. (Luxemburg, 261-2)
Luxemburg’s anger had a solid basis in what has become known as “the August madness” that struck Europe. For example, on August 3, 1914, when the war had just begun, the following call went out to university students from the most senior officials in the Bavarian universities:
“Students! The muses are silent. The issue is battle, the battle forced on us for German culture, which is threatened by the barbarians from the East, and for German values, which the enemy in the West envies us. And so the furor teutonicus bursts into flame once again. The enthusiasm of the wars of liberation flares, and the holy war begins”. (Keegan, 358)
In response to this hysterical appeal, the German university students volunteered in large numbers. Untrained, they were thrown into battle. In the space of three weeks 36,000 of them were killed.
Germany was not unique, of course, in its vulnerability. Randolph Bourne, in an unfinished essay generally known as “War is the Health of the State”, described what he saw somewhat later in the United States as that country flipped from anti-war to pro-war and joined in the global disaster. He observed that once the executive branch had made the decision to go to war the entire population suddenly changed its mind. “The moment war is declared… the mass of the people, through some spiritual alchemy, become convinced that they have willed and executed the deed themselves.”
Therefore, the people, “with the exception of a few malcontents, proceed to allow themselves to be regimented, coerced, deranged in all the environments of their lives, and turned into a solid manufactory of destruction.”
It is true that war madness of the kind that accompanied WWI has been less common in the years since then, partly because that war turned out to be an unprecedented catastrophe. But I believe it is entirely wrong to think that in today’s era of high technology and digitalized war the arousing of the spirit of war in a population is no longer sought or needed. A highly influential analysis of American Vietnam War strategy, carried out by one Col. Harry Summers, concluded some years ago that a chief cause of the US downfall was the failure of leaders to arouse their population’s emotions. The American people, said Summers, had been forced to fight that war “in cold blood”, which they found intolerable. In fact, this failure to arouse the war spirit was taken by many US analysts to have led to the “Vietnam syndrome” – a reluctance to intervene in the affairs of other countries militarily. This was a timidity unsuitable, they felt, for an imperial power.
One of the purposes of the September 11, 2001 operation, in my view, was precisely to change that situation – to arouse intense feelings of unity, aggression and support for government in order to banish once and for all the Vietnam Syndrome and to launch with great energy the new global conflict formation (the “War on Terror”) so that the 21st century, with the military leading the way, would become another American Century.
Still, war triggers are not all the same, and we need to create categories. We can distinguish three broad types: accidental war triggers, managed war triggers and manufactured war triggers.
An accidental war trigger is an event that triggers hot war in the absence of intention. The pressure of events, random clashes, the everyday quest to satisfy physical needs – all these may, in the absence of warlike intent, produce a war trigger. After the event occurs it may lead, again without conscious plotting, directly to a hot and violent conflict between contending parties.
No doubt many war triggers throughout history fit the category of accidental war trigger. However, the more I have studied recent human wars the less ready I have become to promote the trigger
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