Disgraceful Partisanship from Prince William 103

A jarringly inappropriate nationalistic speech from Prince William hit entirely the wrong tone and drew desultory applause at the commemoration ceremony for the start of the First World War, in Belgium today.

William’s whole attitude was based on the ludicrous jingoistic myth that there was a “right” and a “wrong” side in the First World War. This attitude pervaded the entire sickening performance. More than once he said we were “grateful” to Belgium for its “staunch resistance”. He mentioned the execution of Edith Cavell and the burning of the library of Loeven, with no balance of the equal war crimes on the other side.

In the dreadful nationalistic war between rival Imperial powers, the Belgian Empire was probably the most evil of all. To commend its resistance is ridiculous. Joseph Conrad’s great “Heart of Darkness” and “Congo Diary”, and the formal revelation by British Consul Roger Casement of the dreadful enslavement and abuse of the Congo population to provide vast profits to the Belgian crown, provide lasting testimony to the malignity of the Belgian Empire.

William referred to Cavell’s execution: he did not mention the execution of the heroic Roger Casement by the British, another key incident of the First World War.

The First World War was a terrible, terrible event. The millions of soldiers may have been activated by motives they believed to be noble, but the cause of war was the rival desires for aggrandisement of the very rich who ran and profited from the Empires. The Second World War was a fight against the evil philosophy of fascism, but there was no such cause for the First World War, which was simply a clash between Empires, and whose vindictive conclusion laid the foundations for fascism.

Commemorations which play to the “good side” “bad side” myth are uncalled for and should be widely condemned. That we still have a monarch-led elite which cannot admit the First World War is wrong is ludicrous. William stands baldly revealed as a reactionary ass.

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

103 thoughts on “Disgraceful Partisanship from Prince William

1 2 3 4
  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    I could say more, but I’ll limit myself to three observations.

    1/. “He mentioned the execution of Edith Cavell and the burning of the library of Loeven, with no balance of the equal war crimes on the other side.”

    Please refer to a couple of these (Western Front).

    2/. “In the dreadful nationalistic war between rival Imperial powers, the Belgian Empire was probably the most evil of all.”

    Probably true. But, given that the war started in Europe and was, for all practical purposes, a war between European powers fought on the continent of Europe for European geo-political purposes, it is unwise to go on to say, immediately afterwards:

    “To commend its resistance is ridiculous.”

    3/. “William referred to Cavell’s execution: he did not mention the execution of the heroic Roger Casement by the British”

    Most people would probably see a difference between executing a nurse who hid allied soldiers from the German invaders and a person who was attempting to further an armed rebellion in a part of one of the combattant powers in the mddle of a war.


    The cleverness with which it’s been written (all the right and varied triggers are there to get the regulars going)cannot hide the fact that this is a disappointing and rather pointless post.

  • MJ

    “William stands baldly revealed as a reactionary ass”

    When it comes to the royal family, reactionary views and hair loss are genetic traits and must be expected.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    I liked your comments but would wish to add a couple of my own to reinforce yours.

    1/. “I wonder, once Ferdinand was assassinated, how would you have recommended the Allies behaved to avoid war? Leave Serbia to Austria-Hungary and cross their fingers that the Russians didn’t get involved?”

    You should have situated your question a few days down the line: what was the UK supposed to do once Germany, Russia and France were sucked into the conflict?

    2/. “I’m not surprised the Allies tried to crush Germany in the post war settlement.”

    The Versailles Treaty would have been a damn sight harder on Germany if the French demands had been taken on board in their entirety. This was very far from the case.


    And a couple of further observations:

    a/. Both Germany and France had War Plans which pre-dated the outbreak of hostilities by several (many years). The difference is that the German one was an offensive War Plan involving an invasion of Belgium and France (and, in one of its versions, the Netherlands); the French one was an essentially defensive one, the only offensive element of which consisting of a French advance into Belgium to counter a German offensive from Belgium.

    b/. The harshness of the Versailles Treaty terms has been greatly exaggerated as far as its “material” (ie, non-military) provisions are concerned; Keynes’s book must assume much of the blame for this misconception. As examples, the German hyper-inflation of 1923/4 was engineered by the German govt itself and the reparations actually paid by Germany, whether in gold marks or goods, were in fact negligeable from the beginning.

  • Ben-American Fascist Flechette


    “Here was the situation. By 1916, the Germans, Austrians, and Ottoman Turks had seemingly won the war. Russia was in turmoil and about to be swallowed up by communist revolution. France had suffered horrible losses, and Britain was under a German U-boat blockade. Germany made an offer to Britain to end the war under conditions favorable to Britain. But the British, and the international Zionists, had one more card to play!

    The British government and the Zionist leaders struck a dirty deal. The Zionists were led by Chaim Weizmann, the man who one day become the first President of the State of Israel. The idea was for the Zionists to use their influence to drag the mighty USA into the war on Britain’s side, so that Germany and it’s Ottoman allies could be crushed. In exchange for helping to bring the USA into the war, the British would reward the Zionists by taking over Palestine from the conquered Ottomans after the war was over. The British had originally wanted to give the Zionists a jewish homeland in an African territory. But the Zionists were fixated on claiming Palestine as their land. Once under British control, the jews of Europe would be allowed to immigrate to Palestine in great numbers.

    Zionists powerbrokers such as Bernard Baruch, Louis Brandeis, Paul Warburg (father of the US Federal Reserve), Jacob Schiff, and others immediately went to work to put the screws to President Woodrow Wilson. Overnight the Zionist influenced press transformed the German Kaiser and his people into bloodthirsty “Huns”, determined to destroy western civilization. In 1916, the US, with the help of the previous year’s Lusitania “incident”, entered the war on Britain’s side under the ridiculous pretext of “making the world safe for democracy”.

    Hmm. What was the origin of such?


    “The Cromwell sect was in turn overthrown at the end of the “First English Civil War,” his supporters killed or exiled and the Anglican monarchy was restored. Zionism (that is to say, the proposed creation of a state for the Jews) was abandoned. It reappears in the eighteenth century with the “Second English Civil War” (according to UK school history textbooks), which the rest of the world knows as the “War of Independence of the United States” (1775 – 83). Contrary to popular belief, it was not undertaken on behalf of the Enlightenment ideal that animated a few years later the French Revolution, but funded by the King of France and conducted on religious grounds shouting “Our King is Jesus! “.

    George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, to name a few, presented themselves as the successors of the exiled supporters of Oliver Cromwell. The United States logically resumed the Zionist project.”

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Craig to Kempe


    Don’t be an ass. He could have simply commemorated the dead on all sides, without praising the fighting qualities of a particular side. It was in Belgium, but Germany and Austria were represented and his approach was offensive.”

    With respect, Craig, you shouldn’t be calling Kempe an ass for his comment.

    You may know – or perhaps not – that Armistice Day 11 November, while commemorated in Belgium, France and the UK (and not, in my opinion, as a glorification of war or victory but as tribute to the fallen), has never been commemorated in Germany. That is indicative, I believe.

    Furthermore, the Federal Chancellor attended the commemoration which is the subject of your post – and he found no difficulty in referring to the German invasionS (two of them!) of Belgium. You shouldn’t attempt to be more Catholic than the Pope.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    for being the first commenter to get Zionism into the narrative!

    And only a little over 3 hours in!

  • Ruth

    ‘The Second World War was a fight against the evil philosophy of fascism’

    There was more to it than that. Where did the finance for the re-arming of bankrupt Germany come from? In my view the purpose of WW11 was that Germany could crush the communist USSR, the West’s real enemy.

  • Ed

    Having an heir to a throne delivering a grandiose speech comprised of a flawed reading of history to a supine audience seems an oddly appropriate way to commemorate WW1, no? Maybe an FCO speechwriter was indulging himself at the expense of the royals.

    There’s no better book about the origins of WW1 and its tragic course than The Guns of August, and Adam Hochschild’s book, “King Leopold’s Ghost”, is a very good modern account of the horrors of Belgian Congo.

  • Ben-American Fascist Flechette

    Six million human shields.


    “President Roosevelt was deeply concerned with the plight of the European refugees and thought that all the free nations of the world ought to accept a certain number of immigrants, irrespective of race, creed, color or political belief. The President hoped that the rescue of 500,000 Displaced Persons could be achieved by such a generous grant of a worldwide political asylum. In line with this humanitarian idea, Morris Ernst, New York attorney and close friend of the President went to London in the middle of the war to see if the British would take in 100,000 or 200,000 uprooted people. The President had reasons to assume that Canada, Australia and the South American countries would gladly open their doors. And if such good examples were set by other nations, Mr. Roosevelt felt that the American Congress could be “educated to go back to our traditional position of asylum.” The key was in London. Would Morris Ernst succeed there? Mr. Ernst came home to report, and this is what took place in the White House (as related by Mr. Ernst to a Cincinnati audience in 1950):

    Ernst: “We are at home plate. That little island [and it was during the second Blitz that he visited England] on a properly representative program of a World Immigration Budget, will match the United States up to 150,000.

    Roosevelt: “150,000 to England—150,000 to match that in the United States—pick up 200,000 or 300,000 elsewhere, and we can start with half a million of these oppressed people.”

    A week later, or so, Mr. Ernst and his wife again visited the President.

    Roosevelt (turning to Mrs. Ernst): “Margaret, can’t you get me a Jewish Pope? I cannot stand it any more. I have got to be careful that when Stevie Wise leaves the White House he doesn’t see Joe Proskauer on the way in.” Then, to Mr. Ernst: “Nothing doing on the program. We can’t put it over because the dominant vocal Jewish leadership of America won’t stand for it.”

    “It’s impossible! Why?” asked Ernst.

    Roosevelt: “They are right from their point of view. The Zionist movement knows that Palestine is, and will be for some time, a remittance society. They know that they can raise vast sums for Palestine by saying to donors, ‘There is no other place this poor Jew can go.’ But if there is a world political asylum for all people irrespective of race, creed or color, they cannot raise their money. Then the people who do not want to give the money will have an excuse to say ‘What do you mean, there is no place they can go but Palestine? They are the preferred wards of the world.”

    Morris Ernst, shocked, first refused to believe his leader and friend. He began to lobby among his influential Jewish friends for this world program of rescue, without mentioning the President’s or the British reaction. As he himself has put it: “I was thrown out of parlors of friends of mine who very frankly said ‘Morris, this is treason. You are undermining the Zionist movement.’ ” He ran into the same reaction amongst all Jewish groups and their leaders. Everywhere he found “a deep, genuine, often fanatically emotional vested interest in putting over the Palestinian movement” in men “who are little concerned about human blood if it is not their own.”

    This response of Zionism ended the remarkable Roosevelt effort to rescue Europe’s Displaced Persons.

  • Ангрысоба


    Just to answer your question about war crimes committed by the good guys, I think it is fair to say that there were plenty of them such as the shooting of prisoners of war, which was a regular occurrence by British troops. And the use of gas even if the Bad guys (the Germans) started it, thanks to Fritz Haber.

    But I think Craig Murray was also making the further point about the executions (for treason) of Irish nationalists such as those hanged after the Easter Rising including Sir Roger Casement.

    I agree with you over Treaty of Versailles, however. I won’t allow anyone to tell me that World War Two began because of legitimate grievances with the Treaty of Versailles. That is something that was often peddled in GCSE history lessons because it sounds simple enough for kids to understand, and yet it is pretty much nonsense for any number of reasons, but starting with the fact that Brest-Litovsk was far more draconian.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    “‘The Second World War was a fight against the evil philosophy of fascism’

    There was more to it than that. Where did the finance for the re-arming of bankrupt Germany come from? In my view the purpose of WW11 was that Germany could crush the communist USSR, the West’s real enemy.”

    Oh, for God’s sake.

    Why does every single thread on here get infested by the Lunatics?

    Thank Heaven they only represent about 0.000000001% of the population, otherwise we’d have a serious problem on our hands (or, rather, the NHS would).

  • passerby

    This response of Zionism ended the remarkable Roosevelt effort to rescue Europe’s Displaced Persons.

    Jewish Nationalism pre-dates all other nationalist movements (started with Moses), and to date is the most virulent kind of nationalism to be found. The fact that Jews see themselves as the “chosen tribe” is augmented by the special status of the Jew in the wider world context, this leaving the path clear for the carpetbaggers in the zionist movement to cash in. Cash in they did, and to date we can see the fascists in various streets of Isreal effectively suppressing thorough attacks, beatings, verbal humiliation and stabbings and gassings (pepper) on anyone who is not as steadfastly zionist as they ought to be.

    It is worth reading up on Morris Ernst further.

  • Ed

    “I won’t allow anyone to tell me that World War Two began because of legitimate grievances with the Treaty of Versailles.”

    Are you trying to suggest Versailles was NOT a contributing factor? I mean, I agree completely it was not the sole cause, but no less a mind than Keynes walked out of the British delegation because he feared the debts especially being imposed on Germany would lead to another World War.

  • Ангрысоба

    And just as a reference for my claim that shooting prisoners was a regular occurrence, I just found a citation which is Niall Ferguson’s The War of the World pp.123-130.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    “…but starting with the fact that Brest-Litovsk was far more draconian.”

    That is entirely correct.

    And it’s worth repeating that the Versailles Treaty was a pussy-cat both in its material provisions and in the way the latter were actually implemented (or rather, not implemented).

  • Dan Huil

    The war to end all wars? As long as politicians are hand-in-glove with arms dealers…

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    A separate response/comment so as not to mix up issues.

    1/. Of course prisoners were often shot by both sides. But Craig chose to use Cavell and Leuven library (not only the library, btw!) as his examples of war crimes and I merely asked him to furnish similarly egregious examples of Allied war crimes. I suspect he will not be able to do so.

    2/. You mention “Irish nationalists”. I am aware that Casement was an Irish nationalist, but that in no way invalidates what I wrote earlier on. There is not a single belligerent of the time who would not have dealt with their local Casement in exactly the same way.

    But you “writing “nationalist” gives me an opportunity to voice an ignoble thought of mine, namely, that this post of Craig’s has more to do with the forthcoming Scottish referendum than with 4 August 1914 or anything else for that matter. Look at some of the motifs carefully.

  • Abe Rene

    @johnstone “25 years” – what’s that referring to?

    They were being rescued from a country in a state of unrest by a country with whom they are now on reconciled and friendly terms.

    But if there had to be a bad guy in WWI it would be Germany. For many years before there had been suspicion in Great Britain that Germany was up to something. We see this reflected in Erskine Childers’ novel The Riddle of the Sands, and the formation of the modern Secret Services in 1909. If I understand correctly, Buchan actually began writing The 39 Steps before the war began, though it was published during it.

  • Rehmat

    On Tuesday September 9, 1947, American newspaper The Argus reported the arrest of 16 members of Jewish terrorist groups Stern Gang and a US Army Air Force (USAAF) pilot Reginald Gilbert by the French police at the Toussus le-Noble airport near Versailles.

    The terrorist group was lead by a Ukrainian-born Rabbi Baruch Korff, chairman of the American Political Action Committee for Palestine and his private secretary Judith Rosenberger, a Hungarian-born US citizen. All of them were accused of trying to bomb the British Foreign Office building in London in order to force London to withdraw its forces from Palestine which the World Zionist movement had decided to turn into “for Jews only” Israel by armed terrorism.

    In 2003, the released British secret service MI5 documents also confirmed that there was a “Project for a air raid over London City, in the course of which leaflets were to be dropped in the name of Stern Gang, together with high-explosive bombs“.


  • conjunction

    I have been interested in the causes of the first world war for a number of years. I have always thought that if Lord Salisbury and Bismarck had still been around it would never have happened, they were consummate diplomats, constantly tweaking the balance of power. But after their day politics changed, partly because of the incoming of real democracy. There was only any kind of mass vote in the UK from 1870 onwards and politicians egos perhaps all got a big boost and they started playing to the galleries in a way they never had before.

    Joe Chamberlain has a lot to answer for in my opinion, arguably he started the Boer war.

    The heads of government in 1914 were not skilful – you had the Tsar whose main concern was to avoid a revolution in Russia and thought a war might bind the country together; France who would do anything to pay Germany back for the territory won off them in the Franco Prussian war of 1870, and who wound up Russia to fight; and Britain whose foreign secretary when not fishing or deciding not to tell his cabinet colleagues what he was doing refused Germany’s request to only get involved if France was invaded.

    Arguably, Germany would have had to have played a blinder to avoid war, and the Emperor was eccentric, shall we say.

    The other factor was that none of these countries had experience of modern weapons so they were like babies put into an armaments factory. Once the Tsar mobilised his army – which took about three weeks – Germany had to do the same or they would be caught napping.

    Alright yes it was capitalist influences but they will always be a problem until we have a political system which can work with them.

    And yes the Versailles treaty did cause the Second World War. Yes the reparations were not fully exacted but Germany did not know that at the time and they were humiliated because they got all the blame.

  • republicofscotland

    WWI, a war of the vanities of Queen Victoria’s grandchildren, to see Prince Charles in military regalia today at the high kik of Glasgow, with his chest bursting with medals (even though he’s never seen a minutes action in his life) put me in mind of despots like Gadaffi and Hussein.

    A for commemorating the beginning of a war, its unheard of, unless, it falls around the same time as the Scottish independence referendum,of course, a despicable and shameful act on the memory of the fallen soldiers, in my opinion anyway, and to see the BBC and press, constantly push this agenda, on behalf of the corrupt establishment,sticks deep in my craw, keep the very good work up Craig.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    “Keynes walked out of the British delegation because he feared the debts especially being imposed on Germany would lead to another World War.”

    Well, he was wrong (as great men can be, on occasion).

    The only serious effort to get Germany to pay any war reparations (which were, themselves, only a fraction of the assessed war damage caused by Germany to Belgium and France) was the French occupation of the Ruhr coalmines and that didn’t last too long.

    The fact is that only a fraction of war reparations was ever paid by Germany and its entire war debt (financed in part, btw, by American loans) had been written off by the beginning of the 1930s (Dawes and Young plans).

    Even the military provisions – which themselves were not onerous for a state not harbouring aggressive intentions – began to be evaded in practice only a couple of years after the Treaty.

    I could go on, but suggest, instead, some more intensive reading for those who disagree.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !


    “Yes the reparations were not fully exacted but Germany did not know that at the time”

    Sloppy reasoning. Germany did not know that in 1919 but knew it by 1931/2. WW2 started, to the best of my belief, in 1939.

  • passerby


    The dirty games they play, Snowden docs clarify that it is not just the Isreali mercenaries acting alone in the genocide of the Palestinians;

    Over the last decade, the NSA has significantly increased the surveillance assistance it provides to its Israeli counterpart, the Israeli SIGINT National Unit (ISNU; also known as Unit 8200), including data used to monitor and target Palestinians. In many cases, the NSA and ISNU work cooperatively with the British and Canadian spy agencies, the GCHQ and CSEC.

    The relationship has, on at least one occasion, entailed the covert payment of a large amount of cash to Israeli operatives. Beyond their own surveillance programs, the American and British surveillance agencies rely on U.S.-supported Arab regimes, including the Jordanian monarchy and even the Palestinian Authority Security Forces, to provide vital spying services regarding Palestinian targets.

    At least now it gets clearer, as for the reasons of Palestinian Unity is a dangerous thought!

  • Tony_0pmoc

    My Grandfather was an Officer in The Trenches and he survived 4 years of it. How, I don’t know. He had been a music teacher, and volunteered at the start. When he felt certain he was going to die, he composed a song on paper, which also survived, and my niece – also a musician found it and played it to my Mother on her 80th Birthday. Until then she had no idea her Dad had written this song.

    Anyway, rather than celebrating the start of This Disaster 100 years ago, we should be doing our utmost to try and stop the US neocons starting the final one. Yet we are failing miserably, because all of our Mainstream Press are literally controlled by them and the CIA with a mountain of lies and propaganda, that the vast majority of people believe, despite the overwhelming evidence that it is they who are the problem.

    You may think that a war with Russia, will not happen, but we are very close to the brink. It is far more dangerous now, than at any time in my lifetime. You cannot reason with insanity. JFK was not insane. The current lot most clearly are.

    Today a poster with handle “Where-Wolf” posted something quite spiritual on The Saker’s Blog. It resonated with me, even though I have rejected all religion. It is not in fact religious in nature and may well be appreciated by people who identify themselves as atheists.

    I also agree that the speculative analysis here, taking account of everything I have read from all sources on the subject…and seeing the photography of the wreckage – much of it in very high definition – and the reports of an OSCE inspector who was first on the scene – is probably pretty close to the truth. Not that that is likely to make very much difference to events yet to happen.



  • Ed

    @Habbabkuk – do you disagree that Versailles was a contributing factor? I agree that it is often overstated as a cause of WW2, but surely you don’t think it played no role?

    For me – I’m an economist so maybe I’m biased towards looking at the world through this lens – the debt/reparations provisions of Versailles led to this chain of events in the 1920s:

    1. Chronic depression
    2. Hyperinflation (an unintended consequence of monetary policy intended to combat the depression)
    3. The Bruning austerity program
    4. Adolf someone etc etc

    Obviously this is a highly simplified timeline, but the careening of Weimar Germany from one economic crisis to another was a direct consequence of Versailles and the burden of the debt + reparations, and it helped foster German nationalism and resentment.

    Of the many reasons the Marshall Plan was adopted post-WW2, it was in part an attempt to avoid the Versailles path.

1 2 3 4

Comments are closed.