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OPENING CEREMONY SUCKED
boblonsberry.com ^ | 07/30/12 | Bob Lonsberry

Posted on 07/30/2012 8:12:04 AM PDT by shortstop

Actually, London, your opening ceremony was atrocious.

It was horrific.

It was a deeply troubling insight into a once-great nation.

I recognize that, in the grand scheme of things, the opening ceremony of the summer Olympics doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. Probably, the summer Olympics themselves don’t have any true significance.

After all, it’s just sports, and most of them are obscure sports.

But they are entertaining nonetheless, and we look forward to them each four years, and we enjoy the spectacle as much as we enjoy the competition.

Which is why on Friday night we lined our families up in front of the television set to see how London would open its season in the sun. Years of preparation, millions in expenses, thousands of volunteers.

The world convened happily in anticipation of the pure enjoyment of love of country and honest competition. Thankful for the every-four-year effort to out do previous the Olympiad, we were eager to see what the Brits would do to try to outshine the Chinese.

And it was a complete flop.

It was a stunning, enraging, insane flop.

Probably few things have been done in the history of England which have so damaged the kingdom’s esteem in the mind of the public.

Americans have the belief that, somehow, Brits are more educated, articulate and refined than most.

Those beliefs went down in quick flames Friday night, as the opening ceremony morphed into a sad commentary on the cultural decay of Great Britain.

Supposedly intended to highlight the fundamental strengths of British history and character, the spectacle instead reeked of ignorance and entitlement.

If anyone wondered why and how the British empire fell, the buffoonery of Friday night offers some pretty good insights.

It also offered a chagrining contrast between the precision of the Beijing opening ceremonies and the mindless meandering of the London opening ceremonies.

China had choreography, China had spectacle, China had vast quantities of people who could perform with computer-like precision.

London had an insane storyline through which many earnestly but pointlessly drifted. It left the world surprised at the cultural stupidity of the people of the British isles.

One of the purposes of an Olympics opening ceremony is to give the world a chance to see the culture and accomplishments of the host country.

Unfortunately, the people who wrote the London opening ceremony have no grasp of the culture and accomplishments of the British people.

For example, the opening ceremony focused on England’s children’s writers and its socialized medicine system.

Let me repeat that. England has the world’s attention. Perhaps a billion people around the globe are turned in.

And we get “A Hundred and one Dalmations” and the nationalized medical system that pretty much ensures people needing surgery will either have to do without, wait months to be seen, or travel to America for care.

This is the country of Shakespeare, Dickens and the Magna Carta. The nation whose colonial system left footprints of democracy across the globe. The birthplace of English common law which to this day provides the foundation of most legitimate legal systems.

It was England which first opened the door to political liberty.

And it was England which stood alone so long against Nazi Germany.

One of the most noble and noteworthy civilizations on earth and they do a parachuting-queen stunt that seems right out of a season finale of “Survivor.” Some indecipherable parade of people in old clothes, various strained efforts at political correctness, and a nightmare sequence with dancing doctors and prancing nurses was neither entertaining nor honest.

Because, contrary to the impression left by the Olympic opening ceremony, the British people are not idiots and their history is not insignificant. The ceremonies were trifling, but England is not.

And it’s unfortunate the opening ceremony didn’t make that point.

The English have given us the language of the modern era. They define our time and they paved the way to our liberties and our literature. The British empire left a string of former colonies that are among the modern world’s freest and most prosperous.

The English people, with the Scots and the Irish, are great.

But the fools who made the Olympic opening ceremony seemed oblivious to that fact. They seemed intent on nothing short of embarrassing the British.

And boring the world.

The Olympic opening ceremonies sucked.

And the jokers who put them on should be embarrassed.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: dannyboyle; england; nbc; olympics; ungland
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

Remember that line from “The Jerk”: “You wanna wait around for an oven mitt?”

I had that moment watching Olympic gymnastics in the early 80’s. I wondered what the heck I was doing watching something so boring. That was the beginning of the end for me, and it came rapidly.

I dumped TV in 1997 which means I see NO Olympic ads. I don’t get sucked into the marketing and it makes it easy for me to figure out they are going on just as they come to an end.

And that is a good thing.


51 posted on 07/30/2012 9:06:03 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: p. henry

Hardly seems like the same guy........

52 posted on 07/30/2012 9:06:21 AM PDT by Red Badger (Think logically. Act normally.................)
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To: dfwgator

I imagine the organizers decided not to invite her. She does not have to open the games and in the case of Sydney 2000 her representative the Governor General opened the games. Also Melbourne 1956 only Phil showed up. For Calgary 1988 and Vancouver 2010 the GGs at the time opened the games. Curiously for Montreal in 1976 the separatist opposition leader for the Quebec legislature sent a letter to the Queen asking her not to come to open the games but since he had no standing she opened the games because she had been invited to. She has a history of doing her duty even in the face of opposition.


53 posted on 07/30/2012 9:11:24 AM PDT by xp38
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To: dfwgator

Cheerleaders and pickups is all I recall from that disappointment.


54 posted on 07/30/2012 9:12:36 AM PDT by VanDeKoik
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To: shortstop

How did Bob feel about all the opening fakery of the Bejing games?


55 posted on 07/30/2012 9:13:04 AM PDT by treetopsandroofs (Had FDR been GOP, there would have been no World Wars, just "The Great War" and "Roosevelt's Wars".)
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To: shortstop

I wish they did what Athens did with their history segment.

That was mesmerizing and dignified.


56 posted on 07/30/2012 9:14:42 AM PDT by VanDeKoik
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To: ichabod1
pssst... what about the Welsh? You can’t forget the Welsh.

I'll say.

57 posted on 07/30/2012 9:14:46 AM PDT by dfwgator (FUJR (not you, Jim))
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To: Cyber Liberty

I DID see a suspended pink pig in the air over London when they were doing one of their helo fly-by tour thingees.

I LOVE that the Olys are in London - I’ve been there twicet, love the City. I feel very safe and at home there. The ceremonies were vulgar, but they, I suppose, figgered it’s FOR the vulgate, so by all means make it as vulgar as possible.


58 posted on 07/30/2012 9:14:57 AM PDT by ichabod1 (Spriiingtime for islam, and tyranny. Winter for US and frieeends. . .)
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To: sarasota

Worst. Opening. Ever.

It was all psyops propoganda. Dirty smoke stacks, ghouls chasing kids in hospital beds...it could have represented a great history, but the PC crowd took over


59 posted on 07/30/2012 9:15:50 AM PDT by Rennes Templar
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To: shortstop

Hey, I’m an old fuddy duddy, but I agree, the opening ceremonies were horrific. The writer of this article makes the mistake of referring to Great Britain as “England”...a pet peeve of mine. Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales comprise Great Britain and it should be referred to as such, not as England. This half baked, nonsensical ceremony was held in England, the country is Great Britain. When the author further remarks Scotland, England and Ireland make the country great, he totally omits Wales, which must peeve the Welsh. How did the Queen get talked into the buffoonery of “parachuting in”, bloomers and all, even in jest, I felt was an indignity. I admire the Queen, she should neither laugh at herself, or permit others to,if she intends the monarchy to survive. In earlier times, such a spoof would have resulted in “off with their heads”. OK...yield the soapbox for now.


60 posted on 07/30/2012 9:16:29 AM PDT by kiltie65 (ui)
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To: dfwgator

Agree.


61 posted on 07/30/2012 9:16:57 AM PDT by chessplayer
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To: VanDeKoik

The many pianos at Los Angeles 1984 opening were memorable.


62 posted on 07/30/2012 9:17:46 AM PDT by xp38
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To: kiltie65
In earlier times, such a spoof would have resulted in “off with their heads”.

Or at least, "We are not amused."

63 posted on 07/30/2012 9:17:53 AM PDT by dfwgator (FUJR (not you, Jim))
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To: karnage

It was grotesque. I turned off the tube and told my kids a little bit about Britain’s great history - something the opening ceremony utterly neglected.


And an awful lot of that history included colonialism, as dfwgator mentioned. I recall we had a problem with that colonialism in the past.


64 posted on 07/30/2012 9:21:06 AM PDT by chessplayer
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To: baddog 219

The worst opening. I gave up when all those hospital beds appeared.


65 posted on 07/30/2012 9:22:33 AM PDT by apocalypto
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To: oh8eleven

Should Atlanta have showed slaves getting whipped or the KKK?


66 posted on 07/30/2012 9:30:02 AM PDT by VanDeKoik
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To: shortstop

The opening ceremony celebrated degradation. The white pony instead of the American Flag on the uniforms of the American athletes fit right in with the degradation theme.


67 posted on 07/30/2012 9:32:11 AM PDT by Helen
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To: shortstop

Thank goodness! I thought I was the only one who thought the ceremony was horrible!


68 posted on 07/30/2012 9:35:08 AM PDT by siamesecats (God closes one door, and opens another, to protect us.)
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To: shortstop

Vancouver, now THAT was bad. The flame ceremony was totally botched. Remember that lame poet they had?


69 posted on 07/30/2012 9:40:12 AM PDT by dfwgator (FUJR (not you, Jim))
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To: shortstop
Actually, I liked the fact that they opened with "Jerusalem", a sort of semi-official English anthem and one of the more kooky local legends that somehow manage to survive into modern times.

While I wasn't fond of the dancing NHS segment, there was at least a tenuous tie-in with Peter Pan, as Barrie donated the rights to the work to the children's hospital featured.

On the whole, I think it was mediocre. It had good moments and bad moments. I did like the lighting of the torch sequence, though. (Nothing in my mind can top Barcelona or Lillehammer lightings, but they're in a class of their own.)

70 posted on 07/30/2012 9:48:33 AM PDT by kevkrom (Those in a rush to trample the Constitution seem to forget that it is the source of their authority.)
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To: shortstop

‘For example, the opening ceremony focused on England’s children’s writers and its socialized medicine system.’

Peter Pan was written by a Scotsman. And Mary Poppins by an Aussie.

‘And it was England which stood alone so long against Nazi Germany.’

And this man is lecturing others on bad history?.


71 posted on 07/30/2012 9:49:06 AM PDT by the scotsman (i)
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To: VanDeKoik
The Greece parade of history was awesome. Although I am sure the Iranians were offended with the float of Alexander the Great leading the phalanx. I got a chuckle when the Greeks decided to omit any reference to the almost 4 centuries of Ottoman rule. At least there is one people in Europe who still are proud of their history even if the contemporaries look bad in comparison.
72 posted on 07/30/2012 9:50:01 AM PDT by C19fan
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To: C19fan

I remember back expecting the Athens games to be terrible, but they turned out to be one of the best, ever.


73 posted on 07/30/2012 9:51:00 AM PDT by dfwgator (FUJR (not you, Jim))
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To: VanDeKoik
Should Atlanta have showed slaves getting whipped or the KKK?
Why bring your family into this?
74 posted on 07/30/2012 9:53:01 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: shortstop

I thought I was watching New Year’s Eve in Philadelphia.


75 posted on 07/30/2012 9:57:27 AM PDT by ex-snook (without forgiveness there is no Christianity)
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To: shortstop
"And the jokers who put them on should be embarrassed."

They should be flogged and banished.

76 posted on 07/30/2012 10:08:24 AM PDT by redhead (Guns don't kill people...Planned Parenthood kills people.)
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To: shortstop
At the beginning, there was a little kid who soloed ... in front of a billion+ people.

It was amazing. My wife looked at me and said "Hunh. No pressure."

Otherwise, the rest was crap. We turned it off after 5-10 minutes.

77 posted on 07/30/2012 10:18:24 AM PDT by wbill
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To: Red Badger
I would vote for Blackadder to hold any office at all.

I could trust him implicitly.....to be had for a price, you see.

78 posted on 07/30/2012 10:23:45 AM PDT by wbill
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To: shortstop

It was the kind of Opening Ceremony a city with no t*sticles would enjoy. A celebration neutered excellence.


79 posted on 07/30/2012 10:34:16 AM PDT by servo1969
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To: dfwgator
You are right. Shouldn't blame Costas. Don't even blame Lauer (not a fan).

Agree that Lauer and Viera were having a hard time trying to follow the script to explain to us what the hell was happening before our eyes. The industrial revolution? The Sgt. Pepper uniforms? The crazy beds with sick kids jumping around? How did they keep a straight face trying to describe that lunacy? Felt bad for them, actually.

80 posted on 07/30/2012 11:03:33 AM PDT by dan on the right
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To: dfwgator

Yet Costas is looking more and more like an animated corpse every year. “Like he’s wearin’ an Edgar-suit!” :)

From the squirrel lying so still on his head to the (apparent) plastic lift to those empty, soul-less eyes (shudder)!

:)


81 posted on 07/30/2012 11:06:04 AM PDT by SparkyBass
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To: SparkyBass

But the games themselves are good. Especially the turkey bowling. There should be multiple gold metals for variations, such as turkeys with and without feathers, frozen, fresh, etc. Should be able to get that up to about 8 gold metals I would think.


82 posted on 07/30/2012 12:02:28 PM PDT by Voltage
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To: shortstop

I agree with Mr. Lonsberry - I didn’t watch much of it because it was so painful to see what the British have fallen to - hard to believe they once pretty much ran the world.


83 posted on 07/30/2012 6:03:18 PM PDT by Some Fat Guy in L.A. (Still bitterly clinging to rational thought despite it's unfashionability)
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To: chessplayer

Bejing’s opening ceremony was fantastic, but it was also curiously unengaging.


84 posted on 07/31/2012 4:28:52 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: ichabod1

I think the idea was a potted history, and the smokestacks represented the coming of the industrial revolution over “England’s green and pleasant land”.


85 posted on 07/31/2012 5:58:15 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: oh8eleven

Thank you for those few kind words.


86 posted on 07/31/2012 5:59:45 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: chessplayer

The colonialism was how you got to America in the first place.


87 posted on 07/31/2012 6:03:56 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: shortstop

Actually I think its actually better that England did show off its socialized healthcare now, because in a way they have planted the seeds of failure of what America will become.

Let us skip forward to the near future when America again hosts the games, since then either Obama has been re-elected or became a sworn dictator for life, and Obamacare has raved America.

And our version of an Olympic opening instead is basically an updated version of Soylent Green (the movie).

All the right reasons why we must not only remove Obama but erase all his mistakes, erase his past.

If he can be internet manufactured he can also be deconstructed.


88 posted on 07/31/2012 6:06:36 AM PDT by Eye of Unk (Going mobile, posts will be brief. No spellcheck for the grammar nazis.)
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To: Vanders9

Yes, I’m sure you’re right. I just think if you’re going to go to the effort and expense to do something that spectacular, and 10 story smokestacks rising out of the infield was admittedly spectacular, you should use it to send a spectacular message.


89 posted on 07/31/2012 11:54:40 AM PDT by ichabod1 (Spriiingtime for islam, and tyranny. Winter for US and frieeends. . .)
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To: shortstop
If anyone wondered why and how the British empire fell, the buffoonery of Friday night offers some pretty good insights.

No it had no relationship. The British empire didn't actually "fall" -- except it's first empire in the USA and even then they got away with Canada

the British rule in India only started in 1757 with the battle of plassey when the British East India company (note: this was not the British government defeating the Nawab of Bengal and capturing Bengal (present day West BEngal and Bangladesh). they had small factories around the coast but the interior was still ruled by the Marathas, the Sikhs, the Afghans, the Nizam of Hyderabad, etc. etc. Company ruled creeped along, mostly by means of telling the princes "we'll take care of everything and pay you a stipend" with a few bumps like the anglo-maratha wars and the anglo-sikh wars.

it was only the latter, Anglo-sikh wars concluded in 1810 which really started anything resembling an empire, small "e". After 1857 when the company was shut down, then it really became an Empire, the British Empire

The British Empire lasted until the early 1900s when the Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders got dominion status and india clamoured for the same.

The British empire went out quietly because they knew when to leave -- rather than have a blood-bath (note the indian naval strike in 1946 scared them).

British degeneration happened long after the Empire ended - in the 60s with the flower-power baby boomers....

90 posted on 08/01/2012 3:52:35 AM PDT by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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To: shortstop
China had choreography, China had spectacle, China had vast quantities of people who could perform with computer-like precision

Yeah, just like the computer-like precision one sees in the Nuremberg rallies.....

91 posted on 08/01/2012 3:53:30 AM PDT by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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To: shortstop
It was England which first opened the door to political liberty.

Not really. There were republics in the Greek states and in India prior to the Mauryas (the Licchavi republic for instance)

And in Europe the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth had significant liberty for its citizens in the 15th, 16th , 17th and 18th centuries -- while England was crushing the Welsh, Scots, Irish and having the tyrannies of Bloody Mary, Oliver Cromwell etc.

England had political liberties, but it was not the only one and wasn't the one that "opened the door". Even in Italy the city states had more freedoms and in the free-cities of the Holy Roman Empire

92 posted on 08/01/2012 3:57:06 AM PDT by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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To: shortstop
And it was England which stood alone so long against Nazi Germany.

err... yes and no. The Battle of Britain was from 10 July to 31 October 1940. yes, they were brave, but it was for 4 months and they were on an island. An island is far easier to defend (as is a continental nation like the USA) rather than France with it's land-borders

The British were also not alone -- they had lots of servicemen from Poland, France, etc. who volunteered -- the largest % of planes by any squadron was by the Polish Kosciuszki squadron. There were also tons of New Zealanders, Canadians, Australians, Indians etc who VOLUNTEERED to fight for the Brits (which says a lot about the way the Brits conducted themselves in their empire).

so, they were brave, but not "standing alone". The truth is impressive but not as impossible as the myth around it.

93 posted on 08/01/2012 4:04:45 AM PDT by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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To: shortstop
The English people, with the Scots and the Irish, are great.,

Correction, they were great. Since the 90s, no. Thatcher was the last gasp of greatness.

I lived in England for years in the early 2000s -- the youngsters there are horrible, their education is a joke and their culture is destroyed (by the English themselves note).

94 posted on 08/01/2012 4:06:43 AM PDT by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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To: oh8eleven

Well, they didn’t seem to mention the Empire at all, even though there is much about it to be proud of.

In any case, would you septics be happy to have an opening ceremony full of references to slavery, the ethnic cleansing of native Americans and racial segregation? Or would you rather focus on the good bits?


95 posted on 08/01/2012 3:04:39 PM PDT by sinsofsolarempirefan
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To: oh8eleven; sinsofsolarempirefan
well, they didn't abuse the Irish for 800 years. Until 1168 time the Irish were pretty much on their own with their own High Kings. Yes, the Normans invaded, but they become very Irish -- hibernios ipsos hibernis! More irish than the irish themselves. The Normans controlled the coast while the Irish were pretty much to themselves in the interior. Then the Tudors came in 1536 (henry 8) but this was nothing compared to the genocide that Cromwell visited on the Irish, yes genocide

This is the time when the Irish stereotypes were laid -- as drunken savages closer to monkeys than humans (I kid you not, that is what the English under Cromwell and into Victorian times saw the irish as).

They didn't impose cruelty on India for hundreds of years -- they only ruled India for 150 years, the first 50 being Company rule. From 1850 until the 1920s there were incidents of cruelty -- some extremely cruel like Jallianwala bagh, but the English had the sense to realise that if they were constantly cruel, they would lose their empire quickly

96 posted on 08/02/2012 12:28:43 AM PDT by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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To: Cronos

It is often said that Cromwell visited ‘genocide’ on the Irish, but where is the evidence for this? The most cited example, the butchery at Drogheda, occurred as the result of the Irish Royalist’s refusal to surrender, necessitating the Parliamentarian Army storming the town, taking heavy casualties as a result, and according to the rules of war at the time, the garrison thus had no right to expect quarter. In any case, far from all the people in Drogheda were killed.


97 posted on 08/02/2012 1:33:02 AM PDT by sinsofsolarempirefan
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To: sinsofsolarempirefan
Well, 30% of Ireland's population was killed or fled to exile after Cromwell's genocidal actions. That was more than the percentage of Poles killed by the genocidal Germans

I'm not talking about Drogheda which was war and you are correct that this was as per the rules of war

I'm talking about the Sack of Wexford, and John Hewson destroying food stocks in counties Wicklow and Kildare and other places and the English's scorched earth policy whereby folks would be slain and their cattle and goods taken or spoiled. This led to famine.

At the same time the Irish were sold as indentured labor throughout the colonies

98 posted on 08/02/2012 4:48:00 AM PDT by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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To: Cronos

Bear in mind that the Irish Royalists and Confederates committed atrocities of their own against Protestants and Parliamentarians during the ECW (the 1641 Portadown Massacre springs to mind). The 1640s was frankly, barely out of the Middle Ages, and there is a certain brutally rational logic to engaging in genocide against hostile populations who are causing problems that both sides were fully aware of. The Irish Confederates were certainly doing their own best to implement a genocide of their own against their enemies.
The only difference really was that Cromwell’s New Model Army won the upper hand. Make no mistake, the Irish Confederates would have done the same if not worse if they had won the war in Ireland.
The Geneva Convention and the concept of ‘Human Rights’ was well off into the future, and frankly, considering what the American settlers were already up to in the colonies, and all kinds of things for a further 250 years, no American has any right to be snooty about what the English were up to in Ireland without looking extremely hypocritical...


99 posted on 08/02/2012 7:38:58 AM PDT by sinsofsolarempirefan
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