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View Diary: The Bravest Man Who Ever Died (63 comments)

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  •  Thank you (4.00)
    Bearing witness to such examples is good work. We need to be reminded of courage in times like these. Think of how different things would be if the average person had just a bit more of the quality that characterized Pilecki -- oppressive regimes could never take hold in the first place. It is so bizarre that they must be opposed and destroyed later, at such enormous cost, because they have been initially tolerated for so long.

    "The universe is a sphere whose center is wherever there is intelligence." -Thoreau

    by samizdat on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 08:10:13 AM PST

    •  Isn't it interesting? (4.00)
      Here's the part that struck me:
      Pilecki got this information to the Tajna Armia Polska who passed it onto the British foreign office. This information was then passed on to the governments of other Allied countries. However, most people who saw the reports refused to believe them and dismissed the stories as attempts by the Poles to manipulate the military strategy of the Allies.

      Consider the irony of this situation, and how the resulting reluctance to dismiss such claims has been cynically utilized in later years to do just what was feared: to manipulate our military strategy.

      Babies being stolen out of incubators? Smoking guns in the form of mushroom clouds?

      •  You have to go backwards... (4.00)
        ....as well as forwards. One major factor was the extreme claims that Allied propaganda had made against the Germans in the First World War. When it turned out that the Kaiser hadn't been eating roasted Belgian babies for breakfast after all, this engendered a reluctance among leftists and centerists to believe any war atrocity stories at all. Once bitten, twice shy.

        Lux in tenebris lucet et tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt.
        (The light shines in darkness and the darkness has not understood it.)

        by sagesource on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 09:38:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for reminding us (none)
          WWI marked the advent of modern propaganda and pr - wild, willful lying, really - and the Brits and Americans were at the forefront.  We have all suffered for it.
          •  The problem is complex.... (4.00)
            For one thing, the extreme lies told about German behavior in WW I in Belgium also obscured the fact that in a number of well-documented cases the German troops HAD behaved in a grossly criminal fashion, quite apart from the fact that their invasion of a neutral country merely to make it easier to get at France was a clear violation of international law (the German Chancellor was supposed to have said the treaty by which Britain guaranteed the Belgian frontiers was a mere "scrap of paper" -- hm, sounds like anyone we know?).

            The lesson is simply that once you start lying, you don't know, or control, where it will lead. You can, ironically, obscure the very crimes you supposedly wanted to underline, or you can make them harder to see when they really occur in the future. There might be a ruler one day with all the evil attributes that Bush ladeled onto Saddam, but will anyone ever believe it?

            Lux in tenebris lucet et tenebrae eam non comprehenderunt.
            (The light shines in darkness and the darkness has not understood it.)

            by sagesource on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 11:29:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I you were a President or Prime Minister (none)
          who had recieved multiple reports of atrocities, would you not at least send an agent to investigate?
          The AK could easily have gotten a British or American agent into a camp as a guard, they did that several times with Poles. Or at the very, least some arial photos might reveal something.

          You do make a good point; I'm just not sure that the allies wanted to do anything.

          Do not feel safe. The poet remembers.
          You can kill one, but another is born.
          The words are written down, the deed, the date.

          Czeslaw Milosz

          by Chris Kulczycki on Wed Dec 14, 2005 at 02:45:26 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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