Preserved Stories Blog


Not a good day, some days ago: Graeme Decarie, who taught history at Concordia University for many years, shares some thoughts about mass murders

I’m just catching up with posting of a message from Graeme Decarie.

Graeme Decarie was a history teacher at Malcolm Campbell High School in Montreal. I didn’t have a history class with him but he was an advisor to the student council, of which I was a member.

In the fall of 1963 (if I recall correctly) Graeme decided to pursue graduate work and ended up in time with a PhD in history from Queen’s University. He spent many years as a history teacher at Concordia University in Montreal, where he also worked as a CBC commentator. After he was dropped by CBC because of his prominent role in the English rights movement, he began working as a commentator at CJAD Radio.

Click here for previous posts featuring Graeme Decarie >

Below is the text of a May 23, 2017 message from Graeme Decarie

[Please note that I have omitted some links that Graeme sent; you can probably find all of the links and more at his website.]

Text from Graeme Decarie:

I was doing a bit of research on mass murders by nations. It’s below. Then I heard the news about the theatre bombing in Britain. The report was as one might expect one of condolences for families – that sort of thing. But then, as I listened, I thought, “Hell, our side does that every day many times a day to Muslims – including children in very large numbers.” But I have never heard one of our news people speaking sympathetically of the Muslim dead.

When the war ended in 1945, we promptly forgot all the things we were told we were fighting it for. Instead, the U.S. embarked on a billionaire’s crusade to conquer the world and all its economies.

That’s what the Korean War was really all about.It was to establish a U.S. base for an invasion of China. The American wealthy had wanted control of the China trade for almost a century. (That’s why the naval base of Pearl Harbour was planted in the middle of the Pacific instead of being on the American mainland.) That’s why wars went on in Vietnam. And Afghanistan and Iraq and Syria and Yemen where we are now starving children to death by the millions. And it was all done to please the very wealthy who were also given the right to avoid paying taxes at all. So they get their wars fought on the cheap. And not a word of all this in our news media (Most of which are owned by the very wealthy.)

And there are the wars we never heard of. Did you ever hear about how the CIA with full support and financing by the U.S. and using Guatemalan troops, massacred some 200,000 Mayans in Guatemala – including women, children, missionaries….. ?This was in the 1970s and 80s, and was master-minded by George Bush Sr. who was then head of the CIA. Not a single North American news medium carried the story.

In fact, the U.S. has fought at least 75 wars in the last 65 years. Almost all were fought to make money for big business – like oil. And almost all were illegal by international law and the rules of the UN.

It’s anybody’s guess how many were killed. I made a rough count of maybe 30 million. But nobody knows. And then there are the tens of millions of refugees with far, far more on the way as Africa enters what may be a permanent state of starvation.

And why do we support this? Because our governments are exactly like Hitler’s Germany. They use racism. Trump is obvious in this respect. But the U.S. has been profoundly racist from the start. In fact, almost all imperial nations rely on racism to justify their acts.

The British Empire was even more murderous and thieving than the American one is. So was France. And Canada? We’re a colony in the American empire.

And can all this be maintained? No. It can’t. Quite apart from the stunning problems of climate change (and that would take too long to get started on), the U.S. is a crashing empire.

No. It’s not because of Trump. Trump exists because he was produced by the American social and political setting. but he didn’t create it. That has been racist, stunningly corrupt, and thoroughly rotten for a very long time.

Hitler lost the war. But we weren’t the winners. Naziism was.

We still know very little about ‘extra-curricular’ killing in world war 2.

France was the same in places like French Indo-China. Algeria… I well remember a French soldier (he left the army to become a teacher in Canada) who treasured photos of himself torturing prisoners.

Hitler was not an unusual figure in history. He committed genocide. He was a believer in racism and in racial superiorities. He used torture. He ordered mass murder of civilians. He built his power on long-existing hatreds. There have been a great many Hitlers going back thousands of years.

Donald Trump is a Hitler. So was Obama. So was Bush, Johnson, Reagan, etc. – and more before them.

And the major supporters (and owners) of all of them have been the very wealthiest of the world’s corporation bosses – who are both vicious and stupid.

And no, Canada is not an exception.

Graeme

[End]

Comment

Graeme’s comments bring to mind a post I wrote a couple of years ago:

Christian Gerlach’s 2010 genocide-related study focuses on extremely violent societies

I also think there is value in equating Communism with Nazism, a topic I have explored in a post entitled:

The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression (1999)

In terms of contemporary trends, a useful resource in my view is Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin (2015):

An exemplary study in story management: Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin (2015)

In terms of where the current American administration is coming from, the following post comes to mind:

We have a white extremism problem, Doug Saunders argues – Globe and Mail, Nov. 12, 2016

British colonial history is a source of enduring fascination for me.

Click here for previous posts about the British empire >

Readings about the Second World War

Over the past few weeks I’ve been reading about irregular warfare in the Second World War. Today I’ve posted a comment, in response to some comments from Bob Carswell, at the landing page of this website. By way of bringing attention to the comments, I am posting them here as well:

Over the past week I’ve been reading Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare: The Mavericks Who Plotted Hitler’s Defeat (2017).

I’ve also been reading A Most Ungentlemanly Way of War: The SOE and the Canadian Connection (2015).

I’m getting acquainted with several books that deal with this and related subjects.

I became interested in these topics first of all because years ago I met Dorothy Maclean on several occasions in the 1970s and 1980s, and she once mentioned that she had worked with Sir William Stephenson during the Second World War. I wanted to learn everything I could about Stephenson’s role in running Britain’s security apparatus in the Americas during the Second World War. A discussion on pp. 42-52 of A Most Ungentlemanly Way of War (2015) provides a good overview of his career.

My second interest concerns the role that women played on behalf of the Allied side during the Second World War. My interest in that topic stems from my interest in the story of the Small Arms Building in Mississauga, concerning which I have spent recent years visiting, and writing posts about. There is so much to learn!

My approach to reading

When I read about a subject, I like to read as many accounts as I can, about the topic at hand. I want to know what the primary sources are, what the secondary sources are, and what frameworks and narrative structures are brought into play in presentation of the accounts.

Just by way of example, Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare (2017) is written by a journalist who has written a number of books of a similar nature related to military history.

So, that is one way to produce an account of selected events from World War Two. On the other hand, A Most Ungentlemanly Way of War (2015) is written by a Canadian military person. The are inevitably differences in the frameworks and narrative structures that the reader will encounter, in each of these books. I mention these books as solely two examples.

Here are some quick notes about the above-noted account written by a journalist. That is, I refer to Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare (2017). I would say, just off the top of my head, that the book provides an entertaining film noir version of irregular warfare in the Second World War.

The strengths of such an approach include the entertainment value. The drawback is that, of necessity, such an approach must leave out quite a bit of material, in order to get the story on the road. Overall, the book is a valuable part of my own study of the events and personalities under discussion.

So, let’s say the same thing in another way. The book under review is an effective form of PR writing. I am reminded of Time, Newsweek, and the old Life Magazine. The facts are presented, and the presentation of the facts is managed by a team of editors to create a particular view of reality.

When you work with PR (as I have done for many years as a volunteer, in particular in my days as a co-founder of varied national and international non-profit organizations), the story is of necessity managed to suit the PR requirements. This particular book manages the PR really well. The story moves along briskly and (unlike life), every part of the story fits in perfectly. This is a great book. I recommend it highly!

 

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One Response to Not a good day, some days ago: Graeme Decarie, who taught history at Concordia University for many years, shares some thoughts about mass murders

  1. Jaan Pill Jaan Pill says:

    Also of relevance is a book I learned about from a New York Times article, namely Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law (2017).

    Summary

    How American race law provided a blueprint for Nazi Germany

    Nazism triumphed in Germany during the high era of Jim Crow laws in the United States. Did the American regime of racial oppression in any way inspire the Nazis? The unsettling answer is yes. In Hitler’s American Model, James Whitman presents a detailed investigation of the American impact on the notorious Nuremberg Laws, the centerpiece anti-Jewish legislation of the Nazi regime. Contrary to those who have insisted that there was no meaningful connection between American and German racial repression, Whitman demonstrates that the Nazis took a real, sustained, significant, and revealing interest in American race policies.

    As Whitman shows, the Nuremberg Laws were crafted in an atmosphere of considerable attention to the precedents American race laws had to offer. German praise for American practices, already found in Hitler’s Mein Kampf, was continuous throughout the early 1930s, and the most radical Nazi lawyers were eager advocates of the use of American models. But while Jim Crow segregation was one aspect of American law that appealed to Nazi radicals, it was not the most consequential one. Rather, both American citizenship and antimiscegenation laws proved directly relevant to the two principal Nuremberg Laws–the Citizenship Law and the Blood Law. Whitman looks at the ultimate, ugly irony that when Nazis rejected American practices, it was sometimes not because they found them too enlightened, but too harsh.

    Indelibly linking American race laws to the shaping of Nazi policies in Germany, Hitler’s American Model upends understandings of America’s influence on racist practices in the wider world.

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