A Conversation for Nelson, Horatio

Watching BBC-"ancestors"

Post 1


I just saw at BBC-2 the program; "ancestors" and this time it was about the Nelson Island near the Nile in Egypt, where admiral Nelson won the battle against the army of Napoleon.

Nelson appears to be - in the eyes of the British - a courageous and smart admiral in the old days against Napoleon.

I feel involved in that history with (warhappy) Napoleon* ,but don't know enough about the real political and cultural dangers of these days.(if there wére)
I dó know, that the British didn't like Napoleons appetite for colonial possessions overseas.

I just read the book; "diary of a soldier in the army of Napoleon"(ISBN 90-254-0382-4 "The diary of a Napoleonic foot soldier".) Some letters, mentioned in that book, were saved by history, because they were cénsored and put in royal archives, these days. Home front was not allowed to know the horrors in which their own "children" lived.

This posting of mine is nót about the British.
It is about war.
Any war, anywhere.

War is súch an outrageous violant act against men, women and children, that I feel great hasitation to easily admire any general, admiral, or whatever smart guy at any front, in ány country.

And I emphasize the word "easily".

I do want to become and remain fully aware of the bloody, killing acts during ány war and not romaticising it, or even see it as a kind of sport with European rivals.
It so easily becomes; "Hey guys, we gót ye!"

In The Netherlands we just as easily are proud of our admirals of the 17th century, but I do have a lót of questions of the real necéssity of their wars.
We call the 17th century our "Golden Age"...
Did the slaves also see it that way?

Only as a self-defense against real agressors, or as a prevention of a real big physical threat, I do see legitimate reasons to go out with the aim of killing, wounding and destroying.
(No, I do not take the words of mr. Bush who is hungry for oil).

But it hás to be by definition, in my view, the very, véry last option.
And nó economic reason legitimates professional killing, wounding and destroying of human beings.

Stopping the geopolitical colonial ambitions of Napoleon does not automatically justify professional killing and wounding of other young men in uniforms. Maybe there were tougher reasons, but I haven't heard them so far.

I feel obliged to say so, because of áll those young men who died in so many useless wars. And because of those who died in useful wars, like the invasion of allied forces in WW-II and in some other wars.
(I was sursprised to hear that also the Americans got involved at the end of WW-I and that their military efforts did make a decisive difference, ánd there success to eliminate by political pressure the central European royal courts as institutions)

In the old days victims were 90% soldiers and 10% civilians.
And now it is the other way around.
But ány life counts (including animals/tens of thousands of horses);
military or civilian.

It is very difficult to put the finger at the trigger of the start of any war;
- Civilians who are dancing around their soldiers who will fight a "liberation war", like we saw at the very beginning of the war in Chechenia in the Caucasus?
- The heavy overkill by the Russian troops as a reaction on that?
- Ceasars and politicians who want to polish their ego's?
- Merchants who ask for "freedom of their trade overseas"?
- Racial madness in the middle of Africa in the ninetees?
- Human need for violence?
- Violence of the rich and mighty against unskilled workers.
- Religious/political aims?
- Starting a war as an escape from national problems?
- So many, many more reasons and combinations of reasons.

Where does war start?
Where and when does it start in mé?

Well, this all came up in me again, after seeing the program.

*(because of my own search for my ancestors who appeared to have served in Napoleons army - the "Dutch regiment" = 123 Regiment Infanterie, in Stettin at the Oder.) And I found an historical self- written document from 1820, in which they describe what happened there.

Greatings from Amsterdam

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Watching BBC-"ancestors"

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