Wednesday, August 05, 2009
The Guns of August 1914- and what the pundits were saying
Exactly 95 years ago this week, World War One broke out.
I’ve been busy trawling old newspaper archives and the internet to see what the commentariat/blogsphere/and various public figures were saying in what was arguably the most momentous week of the 20th century.
Here's a selection of what I've found.
If I find out that the stories of Huns raping nuns and bayoneting babies are not true, I will never believe another thing that I am told by our government. Well, at least not for another 89 years.
Sir David Aaronovitch, The London Times.
Let’s be under no illusions as to whose fault this war is. The Serbs. And in particular, one man: Slobodan Milosevic. Of course, leftwing apologists for Milosevic and Serbian aggression will point out that Milosevic will not be born until 1941 and so couldn‘t possibly be held responsible for World War One. What nonsense. It was Milosevic’s plans for a ‘Greater Serbia’, which inspired Gavrilo Princip to shoot Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Slobo was to blame (he was to blame for World War Two and the Spanish Inquisition too), and I‘m going to draw up his indictment right now.
Professor Mark O’Attila (Not the Hun) Hoare, European Director of the Andrew Jackson Society.
Let us be under no illusion as to what is at stake in this war. If the forces of civilisation do not prevail then the whole continent of Europe will be taken over by the fanatical Islamists who are hiding beneath the Kaiser’s cloak. A victory for Germany would be a victory for Islam. And then there’s those Turkish weapons of mass destruction….
Dame Melanie Phillips, The London Spectator.
What joy to be alive at this magnificent hour. Thousands of people going off to die for freedom and democracy. I would love to enlist for the front, but sadly I am in a reserved occupation (I’m a V.I.B. a Very Important Blogger)- so instead of fighting the Hun like those plebs and public school types, I’ll be blogging 24/7 on developments.
I cannot believe that war does anything else but debase and demoralise mankind.
George Lansbury, anti-war politician and editor, The Daily Herald.
Once again sections of the so-called left, such as George Lansbury, have shown their depravity by opposing the war and becoming apologists for German fascism and totalitarianism. This is a war all those who claim to be on the left should support. It's hard to think of a more progressive cause.
Sir Nicholas Cohen, political pundit.
I’m supporting the war because my statistical analysis reveals that it will be over in a few weeks- with a quick victory being as probable as a Woolwich Arsenal victory over Clapton Orient. And if I’m wrong, it’s not my fault because you can’t judge the quality of a decision by its outcome.
Sir Daniel Finkelstein, chief leader writer, The London Times.
The lights are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.Sir Edward Grey, Foreign Secretary.
What an awful bore.