The second set of images from the Ireland trip are from our drive down to the old Head of Kinsale on the south coast of the country.
It was another amazing blue-sky day and my camera was screaming to get out of the bag. So, we set off early and arrived in Kinsale in time to have a breakfast at a small restaurant in the village itself.
Body nourished, it was time to feed our souls and so we headed off along the coast road away from the harbor in search of some scenery that would suffice. And we weren’t disappointed.
We gorged ourselves on scene after scene that played out in front of us. And by the time we were finished, we couldn’t consume another morsel.
Just off the head of Kinsale (in case you don’t know) is where the Lusitania sank taking with it almost 1,200 poor souls to the bottom of the ocean.
So, we had to take a somber moment and visit the memorial to the loss of life, which was just a little down the road from the head itself. Somber it certainly was and though it all played out over a hundred years ago, the tragic loss of life was still evident.
It sank in relatively shallow waters just 12 miles off the coast at 2pm on an August afternoon and you couldn’t help but imagine being there on shore watching it play out on the horizon.
As we stood there surrounded by the most beautiful of scenery, Inna pointed out how one man’s heaven can be another man’s hell and frankly it was easy to now see that.
I was already quite familiar with the Lusitania story, so there wasn’t really anything new in the story for me. But it was this aspect of the trip that brought home the idea for today’s blog; how people and governments tell the most stunning and shameless of lies and get away with it.
And that is why I wanted to lead off with one non-Kinsale image from the day before. We had brought Erin to the old ruins at Carraig Ui gConaill and marveled at her innocence and wonder at what was before her.
She believed each possibility that was offered to her about “here is where they kept the prisoners, or here is where the guards watched over the approach from the Shannon.”
Though we were trying to make it all more interesting, she had no reason to disbelieve our suggestions.
Similarly, when the US and the British government got together and told their big Lusitania lie, there was initially no reason for their citizens to believe otherwise either.
They blamed the Germans for sinking a passenger liner and used it as justification for the Americans entering World War One and as a method to demonize the Germans and sell more war bonds.
Yes, it was a German U-boat that fired the torpedo but they had warned in full page ads in American papers that they would do so as the US was sneaking arms and explosives to the British and prolonging the war.
One torpedo shouldn’t have been able to sink such a liner but the impact caused at least two huge explosions in the hull as these secret explosives went off and the ship sank in just 18 minutes.
Even the ill-fated Titanic took three hours to sink, so it should have been blatantly obvious that it was on-board explosives that truly caused the disaster.
But the US and the Brits lied to the world and claimed that they would never use a passenger liner to smuggle such dangerous arms and explosives at a time of war.
Those who bought their ticket for the voyage didn’t imagine for a moment that they were being transported with almost 175 tons of dangerous cargo.
But the story took and the whole world (almost) bought it. The Germans were vilified and the surge of hate and propaganda swung the war against them and they ended up losing the war.
The Americans used the lie as justification to enter the war and sell war bonds. The British used is as propaganda that showed the world how they were fighting for good against evil (Germany obviously pure evil).
It was only in 1982 that the US finally admitted that it had indeed shipped large quantities of munitions to the Brits on board the Lusitania. And that they had done so on many other ocean liners at the time.
If you think this is an isolated incident, read a little about the Katyn Forest massacre at the start of World War Two
Not familiar with it?
The year is 1940 and the Soviet Union is in control of much of Poland. At the Katyn Forest they executed 22,000 polish officers and intelligentsia and dumped the bodies into mass graves. Most were shot to the head, but others were just beaten to death or buried alive in order to save bullets.
Let me say that number again … 22,000 … can you imagine?
Nazi Germany discovered the graves in 1943 but lo and behold, the Soviets denied any knowledge of it and told the lie that the Nazis must have committed these murders and were now trying to blame the Soviets.
Once again the whole world (almost) bought the lie and the evil Nazis were blamed for an atrocity that motivated such hate and momentum against them that once again Germany lost the war.
It was only in 1990 that Russia finally admitted that the Soviets had committed the murders at Katyn Forest under the order of Stalin himself.
By this time, as in the case of the Lusitania lie, all those involved in the commissio0n of the act or the lie that ensued, were long since dead and beyond reproach.
If you haven’t already arrived at this understanding, then you will appreciate one of my favorite Hitler quotes: “History is written by the victors.”
While all lies eventually come to the surface, if you are powerful enough, you can keep it submerged during your lifetime and therefore get away scot free with it.
Lies are pervasive. Everyone tells them. Except me, of course.
They are part of the world we live in. When they are individual lies, they are often damaging enough but when the lies are organized and spun by those that rule countries, they are incredibly dangerous.
They are the weapons of mass destruction that justify invasions. They are the claims of stolen election that justify insurrection.
They are swallowed by their ignorant believers without question. Yes, there are millions of American’s who think the dotard won the election. These are the same morons that believe Hillary and her fellow democrats were engaged in human trafficking and child sex ring under a pizza restaurant in DC. They believe that Russia did not interfere in the prior election and that it wasn’t really the dotard’s voice describing how he liked to grab pussy and force kiss young women.
Ignorant people believe what they choose to believe and the problem with ignorant people is that they are too ignorant to know they are ignorant. But when you begin to accept as plausible that an ocean liner could be sunk in 18 minutes by a single torpedo, then you are choosing to be ignorant.
Common sense is one of our main defenses against lies. Even the big lies.
When someone tells us that the top secret documents seized by the FBI from their home were miraculously declassified and that the whole thing is just part of a political hit job, we need to take on the responsibility of what makes sense.
Otherwise, we become that proud mother watching the parade and commenting on how everyone else but her Johnny is out of step.
Most humans are not stupid. Yes, there are some genuinely low IQ folk who truly don’t know any better. But if your IQ is above 80, then you have a responsibility to inform yourself and be responsible for what you accept as truth or lie.
Just because the lie was told to you, does not mean that you were OK in believing it.
You are not absolved of responsibility when you follow lies. You become complicit in what you believe. So do your due diligence and confirm the truth for yourself.
Believing is easy. Confirming takes a little more effort.
… just a thought.