Historical Grudges

I was watching James Bond "Goldeneye" and there was mention of a British betrayal of Cossacks in WWII. I did a bit of research and found this article from 2006 with a Cossack hating the British today. And this article explaining what happened.

A number of points here. First of all, Britain has done a hell of a lot for the free world, most recently being the 2nd largest contributor to the liberation of Iraq. People should be judging Britain by its current behaviour rather than past bad behaviour. Secondly, even the past behaviour is not so straightforward. Britain did a hell of a lot more good than bad, especially in WWII!!! Thirdly, the Cossacks should take a hard look at their own behaviour, aligning with the Nazis. They should instead have been helping to protect the free world. Fourthly, it was Stalin who executed them, not Britain. Fifthly, I wonder what religion the Cossacks are? If they're Christian, they're meant to be following "love thy enemy", let alone deliberately creating enemies out of people who have no animosity for the Cossacks at all, regardless of their alignment with the Nazis.

This is another thing that the Anglophones have in common. We judge people by their current behaviour rather than past bad behaviour. We don't hate Germans, Japanese or Turks. We are instead extremely happy that these people are our allies today. Although there's certainly room for improvement if Iraq is any indicator! It is because we don't teach children hatred that these different countries trust us, and ally with us. And that has allowed us to create an unbelievably strong alliance. One particularly helpful habit America has is that after having defeated an enemy, instead of rubbing the enemy's nose in defeat, it helps it to its feet. This is a crucial lesson that should be learnt, and that lesson can be transferred to the playground.

So the enemy is not just Muslims whinging about Christian crusaders (and at the same time not seeing wrong with all the killing done by Muslims, including Mohammed himself). The enemy is people who hold historical grudges. And it extends to the Irish whinging about the potato famine too. There's nothing anyone in Britain can do about the potato famine. The people responsible (and even that is not straightforward) died a long time ago. But this hatred is being passed on to children. These are people who pretend to be followers of Christ and "prove" their morality by outlawing abortion, thinking they're doing God's will. Meanwhile, something that actually is in the bible, "love thy enemy", is ignored, as it prevents them from being able to claim perpetual victim status. If these people were to take a look at themselves for a change, they should ask why their own country didn't lift a finger help real live Iraqi women from being raped by their own government. And this occurred in 2003, by Irish alive today, not centuries ago by people who are no longer here.

It is important that people are given a balanced view of history, noting that everyone did good and bad things, and blame should not be transferred to completely innocent people on the basis of shared race/religion/sex/nationality/eye colour/ancestry/etc. Actually it would be better if people spent more time learning about the forces in play in the current world rather than ancient history.

A good example is on relations with Russia. We want to be friends with Russia. As such we should put pressure on Eastern European NATO members to forget the past slavery by Russians, and instead point out that the Russians themselves were victims of slavery and the most recent thing the Russians did was actually WITHDRAW from Eastern Europe, not INVADE. Although CURRENT Russian nostalgia for Stalin is certainly worrying, and we simultaneously need to be securing as many countries as we can in NATO before the Stalin revivalists get back into power. We don't have the luxury of raking over historical grievances, even if we wanted to. It is vitally important for our own security to turn these former enemies into friends, so that they will help defend us instead of forming an alliance against us. All of our effort should be focussed on doing this, and that includes pressuring Eastern Europeans to try to find something nice to say about Russia, as their contribution to collective security. Hopefully the Russians will learn to adopt some self-criticism of their own one day. When they do, NATO will be waiting for them with open arms.

UPDATE: Here is a really nasty example of people holding innocent children responsible for something they never did - in Norway! Putting children in a pig sty. Unbelievable.

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