Tag Archives: Ukraine

Never Again Is Now! Remembrance Day November 11, 2018

Never Again Is Now!

Yesterday, Traitor-In-Chief, Fake President Trump stayed in his hotel and tweeted hateful comments to Californians while their state became an inferno. Others, REAL Leaders honored those who served and died, to defend Democracy. They attended memorial services across France.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited the Vimy Ridge Memorial, where he laid a wreath and made a heart-felt speech in the pouring rain. Vimy holds a special place in Canadian’s hearts and consciousness. 66,000 fought and died during World War One. The Canadian Expeditionary Force served with distinction.

Trudeau at Vimy Nov 10 2018 Canadian Expeditionary Force Flag

They fought heroically at the Battle of Arras, wherein lies Vimy Ridge, and on other bloody battlefields across Europe. On the 11th hour of the 11th day, Armistice Day, we remember their sacrifice during the Great War. We said Never Again.

Canada itself had only become a nation in 1867. At the start of World War 1 in 1914, Canada’s population was just under 8 million. Over 619,000 Canadians enlisted and served, both at home and abroad. Putting that into context, our losses were staggering. While so many perished on the battlefield, many came home alive, but irreparably damaged.

World War 1 was the first major global conflict in which chemical weapons were used. In this case mustard gas, phosgene gas, chlorine gas and tear gas were deployed with deadly and life-changing consequences. The newly invented machine gun and bombs propelled the permanent need for on-site amputations of arms and legs. The number of those surgeries was astronomical. Shell Shock became the euphemism for PTSD. Needless to say, those who survived the Great War, came home with serious untreated mental health issues that they never talked about. Those issues haunted them to their grave. The painting below is by renowned artist John Singer Sargent…

Chemical Weapons Soldiers WW1 John Singer Sargent

The Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps and the Canadian Army Nursing Service performed heroically on the European battlefields. They had previously distinguished themselves attending to Canadian soldiers in South Africa, during the Boer War (1899-1902) and at home.

WW1 Royal Canadian Medical Corps  WOUNDED GROUP Canadian Soldiers WW1

Canada Remembers because the Battle to Save Democracy NEVER Ends.

Nurse with Wounded Soldiers  Canadian Nurses Burial WW1

That is why my Russian grandfather fled the Jewish Pogroms, joined the French Foreign Legion, then joined the British Army and fought in WWI. He eventually made his way to Canada, where he worked and raised a family. My father, his son, served in the Royal Canadian Navy during WW2, working on dangerous North Atlantic convoys. Two of his brothers served in the Royal Canadian Air Force. One became an acclaimed war artist, whose paintings of the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp, Hamburg and Hanover, hang in the National War Museum in Ottawa. What he witnessed, haunted him for the rest of his life.

Aba Bayefsky War Museum2  Aba Bayefsky War Museum1

Canadians have always had our American Cousin’s backs, never more so than today. We have served in the trenches of every major global conflict, with our American Cousins.

That is why it is so important, perhaps even more important today, to continue the Fight To Save Democracy. Make no mistake, nothing less than global Democracy is at stake in these perilous times. As Putin’s Puppet Donald Trump, meets with his master in France, the Republican Party that is no longer the Party of Lincoln, helped install him. We must understand that while many of the battlefields have changed, the battles are just as bloody.

Putin has weaponized social media and the internet. As he masses forces on Ukraine, Belarus, Polish, Finland & other borders, he has become the de facto ruler of Syria. He and Bashar Al Assad have bombed the Syrian People into oblivion. Putin is playing all sides against each other, hoping to draw America, Iran, Israel, Syria and Saudi Arabia into an all-out Middle East war. He has created chaos everywhere.

He finances and manipulates White Supremacists and domestic terrorists in Europe and North America, uses his own mercenaries in Africa and elsewhere. Very quietly, Putin has taken over much of the Arctic. His newest ice-breaking nuclear submarines have disappeared off the radar, but my money’s on them being in the Arctic, where drilling for oil has become a priority.

Russian Nuclear Sub Prince Vladimir 2017  Medvedev Russian Nuclear Attack Submarine 4th Generation

He and his cronies the Russian Oligarchs have looted and pillaged Russia. They have become obscenely wealthy, at the expense of the Russian people. The economy has fallen flat. His propaganda machine is in overdrive. Once again the Russian people are at the mercy of a cold-blooded tyrant who is murdering his opposition, with impunity. My Russian grandfather is turning over in his grave.

Robert Mueller, his team of Trump Russia Investigators, other intelligence agencies, judicial bodies, investigative journalists – foreign and domestic, Allies around the World and concerned citizens everywhere, have a part to play in the Battle to Save Democracy. Now is The Time For All True Patriots To Come To The Aid Of Their Country – On this Remembrance Day 2018, Never Again is NOW!

– End –

In Flanders Field was written by  Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae, in 1915. It was written after the Second Battle of Ypres, in Belgium. Since World War One, the Canadian Legion, Canada’s War Amps, the Vimy Foundation, Veterans Affairs and others have played an important role in addressing Veterans needs, and making sure that their contributions to preserving Democracy are honored, from generation to generation.

in-flanders-fields-by-john-mccrae-in-flanders-fields-the-6375884  330px-Lieut.-Col._John_McCrae,_M.D.

Please donate to these organizations, so that the never-ending services and support that they give Our Veterans can continue: Lest We Forget

@RoyalCdnLegion https://www.legion.ca/ @TheWarAmps https://www.waramps.ca/home/ @vimyfoundation https://www.vimyfoundation.ca/ @CanWarMuseum https://www.warmuseum.ca/

Miss Myrtle’s Rectal Cranial Impaction Hall of Fame Part 9 – Update

Illegitimi non carborundum – Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down

Here for your edification and enjoyment are yet more Inductees into the Rectal Cranial Impaction Hall of Fame. These are the folks who leave us dumbfounded, dumbstruck and dumbfucked, in no particular order:

DISCLAIMERS: Any picture/Inductee duplication is purely intentional. You may also notice that the majority of Inductees are men. Dearies, that should require no further explanation. This blog post includes text and photos…because a picture is worth a thousand words.

SPECIAL THANKS to Colonel Morris Davis, former Guantanamo Chief Prosecutor for creating the phrase Rectal Cranial Impaction

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F**K TWITTER! Part 2

Since taking out my frustrations about constantly being suspended after strong anti- Vladimir Putin tweets in a blog-post on October 5, 2016, much has happened. https://missmyrtle2.wordpress.com/2016/10/05/miss-myrtles-rectal-cranial-impaction-hall-of-fame-part-9/.

Just before Halloween of that year, posted the following tweet with this pic of Putin and the comment “Sometimes It Just Sucks Being #vladimirputin #EverydayVampireProblems”

Putin Dracula Robin Lawson

Immediately my Twitter account was suspended again – this time for over 72 hours.

On October 19, 2016 – two weeks prior to this account lock, had concluded that Twitter (Canada) had a serious security issue: Russia. Never received any replies to my frantic requests that a real person contact me, not just a Twitter bot. I reached out to a business acquaintance high up at Google. He immediately connected me directly with the new Managing Director of Twitter Canada. Rory Capern has since mysteriously left the company. We talked via phone and emailed the week of October 19.

Capern connected me to his Director of Content, Christopher Doyle and his tech team. All of them had me answer many questions and ignored my responses and my clearly listed concerns. They inferred I was wearing a tin-foil hat. On October 21, the big East Coast Denial of Service (DDoS) Bot-Net hack occurred, affecting access to websites, social media, hundreds of corporations, infrastructure service providers, government agencies and others.

After the Halloween 2016 account lock-out, had multiple suspensions, well into the Spring of 2017. Had been tweeting relentlessly about the Syrian Genocide and the roles that monsters Putin and Assad were playing in it. Tweeted about Putin planning to invade Ukraine after annexing Crimea, and co-opting Netanyahu in Israel and Erdogan in Turkey. Included Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in some of those tweets. Also Putin Puppet General Mike Flynn. Used hashtags like #BackToTheGulag and #MakeRussiaGreatAgain

Always got the same automated response from Twitter:

Hello,

Your account is now unlocked, and we’re sorry for the inconvenience.

Twitter has automated systems that find and remove automated spam accounts and it looks like your account got caught up in one of these spam groups by mistake. This sometimes happens when an account exhibits automated behavior in violation of the Twitter Rules (https://twitter.com/rules).

Again, we apologize for the inconvenience. Please do not respond to this email as replies will not be monitored.

Thanks,

Twitter Support

My account was NEVER unlocked after receiving those messages. I had to bombard Rory Capern and Christopher Doyle with emails (to which they never responded), until 4 -7 days later, my account would finally be unlocked.

I lost over 5,000 REAL Followers as a result of the constant account suspensions (part of the hack attack) and have never been able to regain them, or rebuild that momentum. After Spring 2017 the account locks stopped. Maybe Twitter FINALLY improved its cyber security efforts.

In February and April of 2017, I posted Mike Luckovich cartoons re Putin, Trump, the GOP and James Comey: My account was locked soon after both times:

DT Putin In Bed Toon Mike Luckovich  DT Putin Comey I need Loyalty ML June 2017

Kept a running riff going on the Boris and Natasha TV cartoon characters in the much-beloved Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.  Made Putin Fearless Leader, Melania Natasha Fatale, and Trump Boris Badenov. Was often shut down after tweeting them:

Boris&Natasha Screw Amerika:
Putin: My Evil Plan is Working Bwahaha
Melania: #FlynnLies #PenceLied
Trump: And #Snowdon’s tied up with a bow

Boris and Natasha1           Boris Badenov NoGoodNik

My biggest concern is that Putin, in addition to weaponizing social media to spread dezinformatsiya – Fake News and cause global chaos, is also shutting down critics NOT just in Russia, but around the World. Miss Myrtle is just a tiny fish, caught up in a gigantic  Russian Bot algorithmic cyber net.

Twitter Canada, Facebook Canada and other social media platforms in this country, have NEVER been held to account for their failure to protect users from Russian bots not just spreading Fake News, but also stealing their private and financial information. Our CRTC (The Canadian Radio Television and Telecommunications Commission is a regulatory agency for broadcasting and telecommunications) per usual, it has its head in the sand. Wake Up Canada!

At least the House and Senate committees are looking into this situation. No matter how hard the Republicans try to obstruct the work being done, am hopeful the truth will prevail here.

This situation is also related to the recent Kremlinesque Trump Administration attack on Net Neutrality. Trump appointee Ajit Pai has gutted the FCC ( Federal Communications Commission, an independent agency of the US government created by statute to regulate interstate communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable). He reversed consumer internet protections. It has been confirmed that during the Public Commentary period on the FCC’s website, over 1 MILLION Russian-based bots swarmed the comments page.

Shutting down Freedom of Speech and the freedom to choose the news and other content that you consume, is what Putin and other dictators do. It allows him to spread his propaganda 24/7/365 and consolidate his power. He has run basically unopposed in the current Russian “election” and will be elected Czar For Life. If that isn’t Back To The Gulag, what is…

This discussion is far from over. Putin’s megalomaniacal plan to destroy America from within, affects us all. It affects Canada even more so, given our geography and our history. We live in perilous times, and the young entrepreneurs, the Jack Dorseys and Mark Zuckerbergs of Silicon Valley, never dreamed in a million years that their innovative platforms for social communication would ever be weaponized to perpetrate evil on a global scale.

We cannot and must not let Putin’s Useful Idiot, Donald Trump succeed. The battlefield has changed, but we must acknowledge that We Are At War.

To be continued…

*** Please share your Twitter – Russian Bot experiences @missmyrtle2***

 

Batman Robin and Villains

Have been feeling a bit depressed, irritable and overwhelmed lately, truth be told. Haven’t You?

The World is going to Hell in a Basket of Deplorables. The 2016 Armageddon Election that installed a Traitor, Brexit, terrorist attacks, the Parkland School and New Zealand Mosque Shootings, Putin, Xi, MBS, North Korea, Syria, Palestine, Yemen, South Sudan, Ukraine, Crimea invasions, bombings, floods, earthquakes, forest fires, teachers strikes, drone strikes, melting glaciers, doomed species, political gridlock and enmity, cancer, suicide, death and destruction: The list goes on and on and on…It’s in our faces 24/7/365.

While listlessly draped on the sofa watching TV, quite by accident, flipped onto an old episode of Batman. Holy Bat Cave!!!

BatCave Adam-West-Batman-Burt-Ward-Robin-Batcave

Laughed so hard for the next half hour, at the beautiful uncomplicated silliness of it all, and also cried for the sheer joy of remembering a kinder, gentler time. As a kid, never ever missed a single original show, and the absurdly wonderful humor is even funnier today, than it was then.

So many thoughts and memories: The Villains. Who can forget The Joker, Catwoman, The Penguin and The Riddler?  Their dastardly evil plots were quite benign by today’s standards. The sheer joy with which Cesar Romero, Eartha Kitt,  Julie Newmar, Burgess Meredith, Frank Gorshin and others played their roles, was not lost on us kids. No scenery was left unchewed, no cliché held sacred…KAPOW!!!

Eartha Kitt Caesar Romero Batman Catwoman  Batman the Joker Pie

The sets were absurdly simple and whimsical. Yes, they had a sense of whimsy without cutting-edge technology getting in the way. The props were hysterical. From the looks of the old TV episodes, it must have cost $50 to make a show, excluding actors salaries (which by today’s standards would be absurdly low). That includes costumes and make-up. The wonderful cheesieness of it all, enhanced the shared experience. WE HAD TO USE OUR IMAGINATIONS.

Reminds me of the early Dr. Who and the TARDIS/Phone box from Britain’s BBC. The austere rough-hewn simplicity and boundless fun of its earlier incarnation was equally and wonderfully cheesy. These were after all, the same folks who brought us Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men.

DoctorWho_Hartnell_2741758k Bill and Ben The Flowerpot Men

The sheer darkness and introspection of what followed, the Big Screen versions of Batman and Robin, have to a large degree mirrored the ever darkening lens of world events. Early magical Super Heroes like Adam West and Burt Ward, have been supplanted by the likes of Michael Keaton, Christian Bale and Robert Downey Jr., worthy actors in their own right, commanding a larger, brooding stage.

michael-keaton Batman  christian-bale Batman

The gazillion dollar budgets for each new Batman movie and its Super Hero cousins, become more obscene with every film. These budgets could lift several Third World countries out of poverty permanently. But I digress…

The witty repartee flew fast and furious with each Batman TV episode. Even as kids, we knew it was funny and as  an adult, it is even funnier.

Thelonious Armstrong compiled a list of some of “Adam West’s Funniest Quotes as Batman”. Here are a few of them. You probably have a favorite. It’s amazing how they relate to today’s global Gotham…

Batman POW 2Batman SPLATT!

1. “It’s obvious. Only a criminal would disguise himself as a licensed, bonded guard yet callously park in front of a fire hydrant.”  Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin need to be tied to fire hydrants and forced to watch old Batman TV episodes.

 2. We’ve come a long way from the Prime Minister’s exploding cake. Or have we?” Actually Dear Hearts,  we are not even close. Political  character assassinations have become a way of life. In some ways, Mitch McConnell has become the Martha Stewart of exploding cake…

Mitch McConnell Cake Photo

3. “A reporter’s lot is not easy, making exciting stories out of plain, average, ordinary people like Robin and me.” As Comrade Trump and Fox News never tire of telling us, media needs grist for its never-ending 24/7 mill. As Vladimir Putin’s minions at RT would tell you, hacking makes it a hell of a lot easier.

4. Robin: “You can’t get away from Batman that easy!”

Batman: “Easily.”

Robin: “Easily.”

Batman: “Good grammar is essential, Robin.”

Robin: “Thank you.”

Batman: “You’re welcome.”

Batman and Robin 2

Never has there been a greater need for both civility, and good grammar. Bigly! Canadian, American and European politicians are constantly breaking new ground in nastiness. In the Ukraine, they have all-out brawls. But No One has destroyed civility and good grammar with greater zeal and success, than the Traitor-In-Chief, Fake President Trump. Because he is a Very Stable Genius…

Ukraine Parliament 1  President Trump Holds Rally In Phoenix, Arizona

5. “Yes, he moves very quickly for an overstuffed and unlikely Egyptian Pharaoh”  THIS is my new go-to description for Don the Con… with apologies to the late Victor Buono.

Batman Pharoah

6. Robin: “Let’s go!”

Batman: “Not you, Robin. They have strict licensing laws in this country. A boy of your age is not allowed in a drinking tavern.” Haven’t been in a ‘drinking tavern’ in years. Have left all that to Brett Kavanaugh. Funny how in the US you can do your grocery shopping and buy all the alcohol you need at the same time. Here in Cantada, well British Columbia to be exact, we have to go to the government liquor store to buy  champers and single malt whisky. But I digress…

Batman Robin in a Bar

7. Batman “Catwoman, I find you to be odious, abhorrent, and insegrievious.” Don’t know about you, but I just adore that word insegrievious. Am going to make it my word of the month. And how anyone could find the delectable Julie Newmar odious, is beyond me.

Catwoman Batman Insegrevious

8. “Robin: Where’d you get a live fish, Batman?”

Batman: “The true crime fighter always carries everything he needs in his utility belt, Robin.” Am firmly convinced that this is the perfect metaphor for Hero Robert Swan Mueller…

Batman Words 3 Mueller Its Mueller Time Meme

9.  “It is the duty of every good citizen of Gotham City to report meeting a man from Mars in a public park”. Will keep this in mind while watching jailbird George Papadopoulos lie his way through more TV interviews, or during the next wave of Border Patrol and ICE putting more Children In Cages in Trump Concentration Camps, as “illegal immigrants”.

10.   “No, Robin. With my head sticking out of this neosaurus costume, I might not appear like an ordinary, run of the mill crime fighter.”  Said Trumpanzee Alex Jones, to no one in particular – EVER.

Alex Jones Frog

11. .“Bartender, a bit of advice. Always inspect a jukebox carefully. These machines can be deadly.”  This ad hominem always worked well for Brett Kavanaugh, and in various pubs in Northern Ireland.

12. “Let that be a lesson. In future, be more careful from who you accept free lemonade.”  Dear Trumpanzees and Trump Base, Batman was speaking to you!

Batman Robin Lemonade

13.  (after coming through Barbara’s window): “We would have entered the building by more conventional means, but we didn’t want to startle the tenants.”  Am certain this was meant as a cautionary tale re Vladimir Putin and his army of Russian hackers.

Batman Robin Climbing Bldg

All thanks to the Original Guys in Tights, those fearless and pithy crime fighters, The Caped Crusader and Robin.

They weren’t slick or technologically advanced. They just got the job done, and always saved the day. They brought us joy and laughter. Raising a dram to Adam West who will forever be my Batman, Burt Ward who played Robin, Alan Napier, who played  Alfred Pennyworth, and the rest of the glorious cast of unforgettable characters, May the Road Always Rise Up to Meet You!

Alfred Batman Robin in Batcave

Miss Myrtle’s Rectal Cranial Impaction Hall of Fame Part 9

Illegitimi non carborundum – Don’t Let the Bastards Grind You Down

Here for your edification and enjoyment are yet more Inductees into the Rectal Cranial Impaction Hall of Fame. These are the folks who leave us dumbfounded, dumbstruck and dumbfucked, in no particular order:

DISCLAIMERS: Any picture/Inductee duplication is purely intentional. You may also notice that the majority of Inductees are men. Dearies, that should require no further explanation. This blog post includes text and photos…because a picture is worth a thousand words.

SPECIAL THANKS to Colonel Morris Davis, former Guantanamo Chief Prosecutor for creating the phrase Rectal Cranial Impaction

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F**K TWITTER! 

There, I’ve said it. In the strongest terms possible. Miss Myrtle does not use foul language unless there is no other choice.

Have officially inducted Twitter into The Rectal Cranial Impaction Hall of Fame, and am devoting the entire blogpost to them.

For the second time in 6 weeks Twitter has seen fit to lock my account. Was unable to tweet the Vice Presidential Debate last night, or anything today. The last time this happened, the account was down for 72 hours.

Just received the following  email from Twitter Support illuminati. They state my account has been unlocked. IT HAS NOT.

@MissMyrtle2

Hello,

Your account is now unlocked, and we’re sorry for the inconvenience.

Twitter has automated systems that find and remove automated spam accounts and it looks like your account got caught up in one of these spam groups by mistake. This sometimes happens when an account exhibits automated behavior in violation of the Twitter Rules (https://twitter.com/rules).

Again, we apologize for the inconvenience. Please do not respond to this email as replies will not be monitored.

Thanks,

Twitter Support

I stand accused of exhibiting “automated behavior” – a crime obviously punishable by a slow and excruciating death in earlier times. Twitter is a legend in its own mind, and as such has insulated itself from dealing with its pesky users on a true Customer Service basis. You cannot speak with a Twitter human you must use their on-line forms to plead your case and they will get back to you whenever they feel like it.

Dear Twitter, One Algorithm Does NOT Fit All. 

Had just sent a very strong tweet to Donald Trump surrogate General Flynn and not long thereafter the account was blocked. Had also sent multiple tweets to the GOP, Senate GOP, House GOP, Speaker Ryan, Reince Priebus (whose name reminds me of a stray pubic hair), Trump Campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway, Trump surrogates Newt Gingrich (never trust a grown man willingly going through life with the name Newt) Governor Chris Christie and others.

Have also been tweeting about Vladimir Putin and Sergey Lavrov regarding the bombing of Syria and its children, into oblivion. And Russia’s aggression in Ukraine/Crimea.

So here is the thing. ANYONE who believes that the Russian hacking and monitoring of the US election and beyond, is not a reality and a SERIOUS one, needs to rethink that position.

There is an insane madman out to control the World, and for once, I am not talking about Donald Trump. Vladimir Putin has crawled forth from a primordial swamp and is determined to Make Russia Great Again. Which in his case means Back To The Gulag.

In World Wars One and Two, the enemies were clear, The Kaiser, Adolf Hitler. During the Cold War it was Stalin. Now, the Enemy is hidden. Cyber warfare has turned the battlefield upside down and no one has used this more astutely for greater self-interest than Vladimir Putin. He and China have turned cyber warfare into an art-form.

Throw into this toxic brew the recent explosion of social media and its global impact, and you have set the stage for an ongoing drama. Social Media has driven the 24/7 news cycle – not the other way around. It disseminates information and dis-information at the speed of light.

Dezinformatsiya is an old KGB term for spreading false information of all kinds, to undermine your enemy. One of my favorite authors, John Le Carre, created one of the greatest unglamorous, brilliant and world-weary spies of all time, George Smiley. Smiley oversaw the British effort to shut down The Soviet Union’s Cold War spy apparatus.He was a metaphor for the decline of the British Empire, amongst other things.

The Cold War never really ended, despite what Reaganites would have you believe. It has just entered a new and equally dangerous phase. Former KGB agent Vladimir Putin has assassinated or disappeared all serious Russian opposition at home and abroad, to make himself Emperor For Life. He is using cyber warfare to manipulate the US Presidential Election, in addition to supporting his candidate for President, Donald Trump. That is a whole other discussion for another time.

My questions for Twitter are this: Have you been compromised by Russian hackers in the following ways:

  1. They create spam  characteristics for Twitter Accounts that are critical of Russia and Vladimir Putin. You lock these accounts.
  2. They ficticiously report abuse by Twitter Accounts that are critical of Russia and Vladimir Putin. You lock these accounts.
  3. What are you doing to prevent AND deal with this.
  4. Can you assure users that they can trust Twitter to deal with this.
  5. Why do you give Twitter users no recourse to deal with their accounts being  locked other than online forms that are rarely responded to efficiently or effectively.

Dear Jack Dorsey – One Algorithm Does NOT Fit All

 

In Remembrance…Since humans emerged from the primordial slime, man has waged war.

National_War_Memorial

Since humans emerged from the primordial slime, man has waged war.

And I do say “man” Dearies, because with all of that male testosterone raging, women in general, have kept the home fires burning.

Like other members of the animal kingdom, man has lifted his leg and marked his territory, fighting and dying to protect it.

From Biblical battles, to the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens, to The Crusades,

Thermopylae                    Crusaders

The War of the Roses, The Hundred Years War, The Napoleonic Wars and the Battles of Trafalgar and Waterloo,The War of American Independence, The Civil War, The Anglo-Egyptian War,The Russian Revolution, The Boer War, WW1.

Battle_of_Waterloo_1815  civil-war-generals-and-statesman-with-names-war-is-hell-store

WW1 – The Great War, The War to End All Wars, sadly didn’t. WW2 and the Holocaust followed, the Korean War, The Cold War, Vietnam, Margaret Thatcher’s sort of Falklands War. Ethnic Cleansing became the euphemism for genocide in Bosnia and Rwanda. These are just a few of the many wars waged around the world.

Archduke Ferdinand  hitleer  rwanda

And then came 9/11, and the subsequent War on Terror. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan/India/Kashmir, Iran, Korea.

twin towers

The Berlin Wall may have come down and détente prevailed, but Vladmir Putin takes Russia’s failed war in Afghanistan and turns to reconsolidating the old Soviet Union, starting with Crimea and the Ukraine.

Hutus/Tutsi, Hindus/Muslims, Israelis/Palestinians, and on and on and on…

The latest global threat is seen as Al Qaeda and ISIS. The radical Islamic World is at war with those who are non-believers. And so, history keeps repeating itself from The Crusades and beyond.

The world’s rivers have run red with blood. Empires have risen and crumbled. Democracy continues to be won and lost.

Canadians are world renown as Peace Makers but we descend from and can be the fiercest of warriors. Canada has never failed to step up to the plate, albeit with quiet humility.

My Canadian grandfather fled the Russian pogroms to join the French Foreign Legion and eventually the British Army in WW1. He married then, and emigrated to Canada to start a new life. A short, wiry, stoic man, he raised 4 children and never talked about the horrors he experienced.

My father lied about his age and joined the Royal Canadian Navy. He served in North Atlantic convoys throughout WW2. His older brothers joined the Navy and the Air Force. While the Navy lads rarely discussed the War, my other uncle was a war artist for the Air Force. He accompanied Canadian troops as they helped liberate the Bergen-Belsen and Buchenwald concentration camps. The horror of what he saw there, forever changed his life and influenced his art.

My father met my mother during a layover in Glasgow, when my Scottish grandfather came down to the docks to invite 3 sailors home for Saturday lunch. He regretted this generosity for the rest of his life. Dad returned to Glasgow after the war, and I was eventually born there. This is how War shapes lives.

On this Remembrance Day, I think about Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, standing ceremonial watch outside of the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa. Cpl. Cirillo served in the Argyll  and Sutherland Highland Regiment . He was gunned down as he stood safely at ease, after serving in Helmand Province in Afghanistan, the killing zone. Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was run over and killed near his barracks in Quebec earlier in the week. Both were murdered by acolytes of an ideology gaining ground among marginalized, disenfranchised youth.

Patrice Vincent  Nathan Cirillo

From pitched battles to trench warfare to guerrilla warfare to the current insurgencies and proxy battles of lone wolves and drone warfare…

And of course, War breeds spies, from ancient regimes to fictional Britain’s’ Cold War-weary George Smiley and America’s War on Terror, bipolar Carrie Mathison. Perhaps traitorous mole Bill Hayden said it best when explaining his betrayal to Smiley in John le Carre’s Tinker,Tailor, Soldier Spy: “We were bluffed, George. You, me, even Control. Those Circus talent spotters, all those years ago. They plucked us when we were golden with hope, told us we were on our way to the Holy Grail… freedom’s protectors!”

We have always commemorated War in stone and bronze and oil on canvas. My fondest wish is that we will also continue to fight for and commemorate Peace and Freedom, but at the same time remember the history that has brought us here.