I sympathize with Greek, Spanish and Irish people who are suffering unexpected and personally undeserved financial pain at the moment, but your take on the underlying story there is unpersuasive and its anti-German coloring is distasteful.
The Irish and the Spanish weren't forced into housing bubbles and the incidence of tax evasion in Greece is down to the Greeks. Of course, none of those things constitute the whole story but they are a significant part of it. The people of those countries may have a legitimate quarrel with their own Governments and financial sectors in the last decades but they don't have much of one with the Germans or the EEC and they - like the rest of us - need to think about the sustainability of endless growth based on credit.
I also have far too much respect for them (the Greeks, Spanish and Irish) - and perhaps understanding of them - than to imagine that they would have any problem at all with Remembrance Days in Canada or any of the other countries that remember their citizens who died in the Second World War, or feel any need to lament their current misfortunes in that context. They have no need of your protection from mention of such things. You have simply chosen an inappropriate occasion to make a simplistic argument.
That is most easily answered by the words condescending and poppycock but I will try and expand upon that initial reaction a little.
There are two strands emerging in the arguments here. The first is that I am being accused of being disrespectful of those who have fought in wars on the side of the west whilst the second is that I am trying to make a cheap and unfounded political point, both are seriously erroneous.
As one who was born and brought up in England I am perfectly well aware of the sacrifices that both the dead and surviving made in the fighting. As a scout and later as a scout leader I to marched alongside those who had fought and lost comrades as well a greater part of their youth. My respect for them is second to none here. I was also educated by and have worked alongside those who fought in the Second World War and the most overwhelming impression they left upon me is that they did it because they knew what they were fighting for and when they came home the put into effect their belief in trying to build a better world. War was a hateful thing to them and they did not wish to see another. These are the people I knew and the ones I remember. Now I thought I had made my point clear in an earlier posting but I will reiterate it.
What I see now is not just the remembrance of those who fought but an underlying glorification of war. A nation needs it's heroes, they provide a form of social cohesion, and there is no quicker way of creating a hero than by going to war. As the living veterans have passed away with time this is becoming ever more obvious. We do not see the death and destruction, misery and trauma inflicted upon millions, no, we are very carefully not reminded of that, instead we are only recounted the undoubted tales of courage and sacrifice. It has become completely unbalanced and the net effect is that we no longer recoil in horror from fighting but rather embrace it as a noble pursuit. How many coalition soldiers have been killed in the middle east over the past decade? Hush now, don't go spoiling the day, just keep your mind on the past and let the present take care of itself!
Remembrance day is a wonderful cause, but let us not allow it to become corrupted, a smokescreen behind which further atrocities are carried out in our name but which we are not encouraged to question. Is this really what they fought for?
This takes me neatly on to the second point about cheap political jibes. I now live in Ireland and so am not a disinterested observer from afar but someone who is living through the unnecessary pain of an unchosen austerity and it just these sort of know it all comments that enrage me and many others over here. Let me introduce a few facts relating to Ireland at this point.
The people of Ireland are told that we must pay the bondholders back their unsecured
loans. Everybody agrees that they were unsecured and therefore quite foolishly given (in fact they weren't just given but aggressively sold to an unsuspecting population by the banks, but that's another story). Our capital debt to the bondholders is something like €80bn, it now emerges that the 80 odd bondholders between them control 21tn worth of assets. In other words Ireland's 'debt' is less than one percent of the capital they manage. Ireland was but a tiny flutter in the great casino that is the global finance industry and make no mistake that's what it was, a gamble by the money men. It also emerges that 40% of the money we are told to repay is due to German banks who are by far the biggest group amongst the bondholders. Germany dominates the running of the Eurozone, it justifies this by pointing out that it is the biggest economy within it, it also points out it is the healthiest economy and preens itself on its fiscal rectitude. It can afford to because it is quite happily bullying the poorer states into coughing up it's banks gambling losses, money which it then 'lends' back at very healthy interest rates to those self same countries to pay off the self same gambling debts. We are being milked to keep Germany prosperous. We also have to suffer the indignity of having our budget inspected by unelected EU commissioners before it is implemented, so what you might ask has this to do with remembrance day?
The answer is quite simple. The allies went to war with a Germany (and Italy) that was dominating the rest of the continent by force. They fought for democracy, liberty and self determination all three of which are currently being compromised by the European Union. Did the brave soldiers of Britain, alongside a great many Irish, Canadians and Americans really fight for a political system that now seeks to remove all taxing and spending decisions from the various governments and pool that power in the hands of unelected commissioners and officials? That is precisely what the chancellor of Germany is calling for. The elected EU parliament BTW, is but a toothless spaniel keeping itself busy with annoying the citizens of Europe with pointless laws and legislation, it has no real say in anything important.
So my point is that those who gave their lives perhaps gave them in vain. They are probably turning in their graves as the centralisation of power proceeds not with tanks and bombs but coercion and oppression.
I weep for the loss of what it was they, my friends and mentors, so bravely fought for. It is not a cheap jibe but a lament for the pointlessness of their sacrifice.