Time Patrol. WWII or III?

Another rabid dog has rammed his lorry, truck, whatever, into a crowd of passersby. Dead? Several? Injured? More? Where? Stockholm. I searched my memory. Was Sweden a colonial power? No. Involved in slavery? Probably not. Crimes of war? No. Well, some of their descendants conquered England in 1066, but I’m sure there is a statute of limitations on that. Let’s cut to the chase. Once more, a rabid dog has killed civilians. How long will we endure? Until WWIII? The following photos come from my father’s archives. Taken in 1948, they show scenes of Le Havre, a major harbour on the French North Coast, before and after WWII and the Allied bombings.

Le havre 01

Place Gambetta, le Havre. The only thing standing after the bombings are the lampposts and the statue on the right, probably a memorial to WWI, judging by its style. Look closely to the right on the upper photo.

This morning 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from a US Navy ship on the Mediterranean. Target? A Syrian Army base. I’m sure they are very scared. Now, I wonder: why 59? Why not 60? A round number. Or 55? Or 70? Why a Syrian Army base and not the Presidential Palace, where butcher El-Assad is?

Le havre 02 a-b

Couldn’t make my father’s handwriting at the back of these two. I suspect it is the same “Place Gambetta”, to the right of the first pictures. Same statue in the centre.

Earlier this week, “someone” dropped what is likely Sarin gas on civilians in Syria. Children died in atrocious suffering. Sarin is a nasty beast. But no-one did it. Cross my heart.

Le havre 04 a-b

L‘Hotel de ville. City Hall, Le havre. More French possibly died under the Allied bombings than at the hands of the Nazis. No hard feelings. Just a fact. Air raids, on whatever strategic targets always claim mostly civilian lives. Not very “efficient”, military-wise, but still is high usage.

Was it this week too, that another dog put a bomb in the Saint-Petersburg Metro?

Le havre 06 a-b

Le ThéÒtre, the Theatre, le Havre. The angles are slightly different but one can recognize the round roof of the theatre in the second picture. In the midst of the rubble. An estimated 75,000 French civilians were killed under Allied bombings, 300,000 injured or maimed. In Germany, more than 600,000 civilians were killed under the bombings. Overall in WWII? 60 million dead? How many will there be in WWIII? One or two Billions?

Meanwhile, the Eiffel tower will turned off again tonight as an hommage to the fallen in Sweden. Big deal.

I urge you to listen to the following video by journalist Lucy Aharish. Only two minutes. No horror images. Just plain words. And reflection.

To be honest, ever since the Charlie Hebdo killings I have found it increasingly… difficult to post on “mundane” topics. Nothing wrong with going on with our lives. In fact it is probably the only response any of us has against the mounting barbary. No fear. Go on with our lives. But some days, some days, I just can’t take it any more. Next week is Holy week for many. I will take advantage of that to take a break from blogging. And think. And to all of you: watch your back wherever you are.

47 thoughts on “Time Patrol. WWII or III?

    • Thank you Coeur de Feu. It is getting out of control. And yet, there has to be something that can be done, within the limits of who we are, and yet stop acting like sitting ducks. (And the French election is in 2 weeks… with all the makings of a potential major disaster) You too be safe. ❀

    • Thank you Janet. Much appreciated. Though if I were so wise, I wouldn’t be so angry, would I?
      I’m tired of loonies killing my people, our people, and we do nothing.

      • I don’t know. Anger is useful in that it can change things, send us into action, but it also can make us lose perspective. I spent a lot of years being angry, now I watch, try to do whatever I can to be kind, and avoid the anger that leads me often to unkind actions. Mostly I don’t have answers to the big questions. But I doubt that’s a useful answer.

      • Agree totally about the loss of perspective. As an entrepreneur I never got angry with my people. Which did not mean lenient. Only a few times did I really get angry with one or the other, but I did it on purpose. πŸ™‚ So I chose anger here for the possible focus into action. Now, what action? We need to reflect on who we are? Who we want to be? And And where do we want to lead our civilization. Until we answer those three simple questions, we will keep being hit over the head. Thank you for your words Janet.

  1. Targeted in some way should be those who propagate the lies which inspire the faithful to believe that such acts are justified or desirable. How? There lies the rub.

    • “How” is the good question. When Algeria got its independence, close to a million french “pieds noirs” were forced to live the country they were born in. In just a few weeks, they all “returned” to France. Of course nobody accused Algeria of anything.
      (How long will white Africans be able to stay in Africa?) Why should Europe keep and maintain people who hate our guts? That is stupid. In 1941, after Pearl Harbour, the US interned all Japanese residents in the US. Some probably had been born in the US. Too bad. But because of that stupidity, Marine Le Pen may be the next French President (God forbid). I’m very pissed. (Pardon my French). Thanks for your comments, Col.

  2. Seeing your photos shows me that not much has changed. Only the places and the people. It’s kinda depressing to think like that.

    Having said that though it is always so interesting to see the older photos of these iconic places. It reminds me of the classic photo of them removing the crated Winged Victory down the magnificent staircase in the Louvre in anticipation of Nazi bombing in the war. Don’t know why exactly it reminded me of that but it did.

    Good night from rainy California.

  3. Reblogged this on Scotties Toy Box and commented:
    This is a powerful post that can either dislodge your reality or reaffirm it. It speaks eloquently on a subject that has no right to exist. I hope that everyone who reads it can find the peace in themselves, and that it soothes the body as it does the mind. I wish you well. Hugs

  4. Those photos said everything about conflict but your words were even more powerful. What can we do? What can I do?

    I’m so angry and upset about the state of the world that I cannot engage with the news anymore, but turning my back on what is happening will not serve any purpose.

    The woman in the clip was so articulate and powerful. And she is right, we should all be ashamed.

  5. Good words. Growing up in the bombed area of the docks in London, my dad returning from world war 2 in 1946, grandfather collecting dead bodies in during World War 1 from the battlefields in France and all we can do today is have long discussions on who is doing the right thing. I am now 70 years old and did we ever learn anything?

    • And my father’s english cousins were fighting the Battle of England; and my grandfather lost half a dozen brothers in the trenches of WWI. No we haven’t learned. Thank you for your comment.

  6. yes, mundane topics seem almost irrelevant. But they are not, it comes to what else we do. So I have decided, many years after the social changes of the 70’s to become involved at some level. Honestly, I had hoped younger generations would pick up the torch in great numbers as I can see 68 and then 70 and had hopes of fluttering away my time. I guess not. If you are curious as to what I decided, look at Up To Us on Pachamama.org.

  7. Thank you for dropping by my blog. Your post left me deeply sad but relieved that some people still have the integrity to call a spade a spade. My personal battles evaporated in the light of all that is going on in the world today…

  8. Extraordinary and moving Brian. It often feels like we are just watching and not doing anything, to paraphrase the video of Lucy Aharish. It seems increasingly hard to see how lone voices can make a difference in the face of such immense hatred and suffering (Syria, Yemen, Isis, the Horn of Africa, Chechnya…the list is endless). Take care.

  9. Easy enough to say we can’t let the shitheads get us down, my language has deteriorated severely these past few months, but they have power and aren’t afraid to use it. And to hear awe and respect for such actions as deployment of missiles being the moment our certain shithead “became President” was just too much. I haven’t blogged here for ages . . .
    Poignant postcards of Le Havre . . . .

    • language? No worry. Mine has deteriorated too. In several tongues. 😦
      Yes the photos of Le Havre are strong. They also have my father’s handwriting on the back. Blue ink. Parker or Schaeffer gold fountain pen. (We are so bourgeois). 1948. Not quite sure what he was doing in Le Havre then. Need to ask my older brothers.
      A bientΓ΄t Patti. I hope all is well with you.

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