1.4.42

Greatly depressed by the apparent failure of the Cripps mission.  Most of the Indians seem down in the mouth about it too. Even the ones who hate England want a solution, I think. [I believe, however, that in spite of the “take it or leave it” with which our government started off, the terms will actually be modified, perhaps in response to pressure at this end.] Some think the Russians are behind the Cripps plan and that this accounts for Cripps’s confidence in putting forward something so apparently uninviting. Since they are not in the war against Japan the Russians cannot have any official attitude about the Indian affair, but they may serve out a directive to their followers, for whom it will get round to other pro-Russians. No sign yet from the English Communist party, whose behaviour might give a clue to the Russian attitude. It is on this kind of guesswork that we have to frame our propaganda, no clear or useful directive ever being handed out from above.

Connolly wanted yesterday to quote a passage from Homage to Catalonia in his broadcast. I opened the book and came on these sentences:

“One of the most horrible features of war is that all the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting…It is the same in all wars; the soldiers do the fighting, the journalists do the shouting, and no true patriot ever gets near a front line trench, except on the briefest of propaganda tours. Sometimes it is a comfort to me to think that the aeroplane is altering the conditions of war. Perhaps when the next great war comes we may see that sight unprecedented in all history, a jingo with a bullet-hole in him.” [1]

Here I am in the BC, less than 5 years after writing that. I suppose sooner or later we all write our own epitaphs.

[1] Homage to Catalonia, CW, VI, Appendix I, pp. 208 and 209. 

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6 Responses to 1.4.42

  1. We yearn for the simpler days of counting eggs.

  2. T. Marshal-Nichols says:

    Sometimes it is a comfort to me to think that the aeroplane is altering the conditions of war. Perhaps when the next great war comes we may see that sight unprecedented in all history, a jingo with a bullet-hole in him.

    Alas, not at all George. The shouts of the ‘true patriot’ just moved ever further from the front line and became ever more divorced from reality.

    Now when there’s a report on, say, Afghanistan where do most of the reporters go? Washington of course and conduct loads of interviews with so called military experts. Only a few ever go to Afghanistan and of those few that do most only speak to the US+allies side.

  3. andrew says:

    we do, we do..

  4. J. James says:

    I love that excerpt from Homage. Profound.

  5. Pingback: Indignant Desert Birds » Sunday Morning Reading Material Fourth Sunday in April 2012- Kitties and Laptop Edition

  6. sukusin says:

    Very true ! The soldiers always fight for non fighting and ever shouting people and that is the reason why wars are always there… let the soldiers talk also or the politicians to fight..wars will be ending :)

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