The Great War of 1914 was Britain’s Great War. But it should also be called Britain’s Great Fraud on Ireland and the world.
When Britain encouraged and then entered the European war that was taking shape in August 1914 it made it into a Great War. It was Great Britain that put the Great in the Great War. That is to say that without Great Britain’s participation in it there would have been no Great War.
In entering the European war Britain stated its aims in grand universalistic terms that were idealistic in the extreme. These aims were not only idealistic and unachievable but they were fraudulent.
The objective of the Great Fraud was to show to the world that Britain was fighting a good war against an evil that had to be vanquished. The war was proclaimed as being for “civilisation against the Barbarian”, for “democracy” against “Prussianism”. And it was also supposedly a “war for small nations” for “poor little Belgium” or for “gallant Servia” and for a host of other long forgotten things.
But what it came down to was a pulverising of Germany and the taking of its trade and markets in what was a traditional Balance of Power war catastrophically invested with a great moral mission.
The Fraud that was perpetuated on Ireland and the world concerning the character of the war Britain proclaimed itself to be fighting was produced in order to convince any doubters, at home and abroad, about the rightfulness of it.
These reasons were also later useful in enlisting the cannon fodder necessary to see the job through. And when Britain’s Great War did not prove great enough to achieve its objectives and the United States had to be procured as an ally to complete the job the Great Fraud was both perpetuated and enhanced. A massive propaganda effort was launched that not only coloured the settlement of the war to the detriment of Europe and beyond but also created the myths that mystify understanding of it to this day.
And so vast armies were recruited for the waging of the war and millions of people were killed in it, including tens of thousands of Irishmen who enlisted in the British Army to fight, inspired by the professed ideals of establishing ‘Democracy’ and the ‘Rights of Small Nations’ universally, and especially in Ireland.
Britain’s Great War and the Home Rulers decision to take part in it had momentous consequences for Ireland. Out of it came the fall of the Home Rule party and Imperial Ireland as well as the rise of the Irish democracy and the Irish Republic.
The British declaration of war in August 1914 was the point of origin for the catastrophic history of Europe and its hinterlands in the twentieth century. The manner in which Britain fought that war and the peace settlements it determined at the end of it set in motion a train of events that are still working themselves out today with tragic consequences for humanity.
Read more about the First World War, its British origins and its effects on Ireland, Ottoman Turkey and other regions of the world, still being felt today, in ‘The Great Fraud of 1914-18’ published by Athol Books