3634) Who Was Roger Casement?

Who Was Roger Casement?
by Dr Pat Walsh

The following talk was given on 9th June 2017 in Donegall Street, Belfast, in launching the pamphlet ‘Roger Casement on the Great War: a commentary’. The pamphlet contains two of Casement’s lost writings: “Sir Roger Casement on Sir Edward Grey” and “A Pacific Blockade” originally published in the Continental Times, October and December 1915, as well as a commentary.

Who was Roger Casement? He was undoubtedly unique out of all of the leading figures of 1916. He was someone who was special and who did something of a greater magnitude than any of his comrades against British world domination. He publicly disputed the Great War narrative of Britain with an insider’s knowledge and then acted with ruthless consistency against it in alliance with Germany to bring about a multi-polar world. The British realised he was the most dangerous thing they had ever encountered from Ireland and he had to be hung. . . .

In fact, he not only had to be hung but the thoughts that had inspired his action had to be obliterated. But how do you destroy something that has been placed in the public domain? Only character assassination will do.

These two articles of Casement, originally published in The Continental Times, which have lain forgotten for nearly a century tell us more than most of the material published in the last half century about Casement and who he was. They show that Casement was a consistent Liberal at the moment when English Liberalism failed its great test at the ultimate moment of truth and morally collapsed. They show he was a consistent Irish Nationalist when the Home Rulers all collapsed into Imperialism. Remaining true to his principles Casement attempted to forge an Irish-German alliance. It really was the only logical thing to do in the circumstances that he found himself. The ground shifted under his feet but he remained solid.

In his incisive article about Sir Edward Grey Casement attempts to answer the question: how did it all go so badly wrong from the Liberal viewpoint, resulting in collaboration with what all true Liberals wished to avoid – catastrophic world war. He saw the truce between the British parties – Unionists and Liberals – over Foreign Policy as being at the root of what happened in August 1914. He identified the Liberal Imperialist tendency in British Liberalism as being largely responsible for this. Through this deviation from the Gladstonian tradition Liberalism made an accommodation with Imperialism that removed Foreign Affairs from the party conflict.

Casement saw Ireland as an integral part of this process, viewing the Liberal retreat from Home Rule after Gladstone’s failure in 1886 (and 1893), as intimately connected with its subsequent collaboration in Imperialism and War. Up until the 1880s Foreign Policy had been at issue at British General Elections but from around the Home Rule defeat the Liberal Party began to acquiesce in Imperialism. The long wilderness years of Unionist government had a chastening effect on the Party and it began to avoid any questioning of the direction of Foreign Policy, confining itself to reform at home. This began with Lord Rosebery, the founder of the Liberal Imperialist tendency, but Sir Edward Grey was the Liberal Foreign Secretary who achieved the transition in substance.

Casement describes Sir Edward Grey as “the shield behind which the permanent plotters” against Germany developed their plans for a Great War “unchecked and uncontrolled by the forces that were supposedly the masters of English public action.”

That Britain was responsible for the Great War there was no doubt in Casement’s mind. That was the reason he sided with the victim in the event against the perpetrator. He saw that Britain began the process of the Great War a decade before it started and was clear that motive lay entirely with London rather than with Berlin. The question Casement addressed himself to was how much was the British Foreign Secretary, whom he was acquainted with and whom he had served in an official capacity, to blame, personally for the War? Casement’s verdict on the charge against Sir Edward Grey that he had brought on the Great War on Germany is “Guilty, with diminished responsibility.”

Casement’s argument is that the Great War would have been organised without the particular participation of Sir Edward, as a distinct individual. He was “a fly on the wheel of state” using Grey’s own phrase. The prime movers within the British State were determined on their Great War, with or without Grey, and, according to Casement, he was essentially a “useful shield” between their manoeuvrings and his party colleagues, who dominated Parliament from 1906 to 1910, but who had mistakenly put their trust in Grey as a well-meaning and peace-loving Liberal.

There is, of course, a wealth of evidence that has emerged since that Sir Edward Grey was much more personally responsible for what happened than Casement believed. He was much more than just the driver of an unstoppable train. He was a strong anti-German in his own right (unlike Rosebery); he helped write the ABC etc. articles in Leo Maxse’s National Review in 1901 that set out the Revolution in British Foreign Policy, altering the object of Britain’s Balance of Power; he acted in conjunction with political opponents in the Committee of Imperial Defence to plan the War; he brought the White Dominions into the War planning even before informing the Cabinet and his tricky behaviour in July and early August 1914 oiled the wheels of war in a way that no other could have achieved.

He drove the train toward destruction whilst assuring the worried crew that all was fine and they need not worry because he was in control.

Casement wrote that:

“The ten years of ‘Liberalism’ at the Foreign Office since 1905, under the nominal direction of a Liberal Minister, will go down in history as the most criminal, the most audacious and, I believe, in the end the most disastrous in all English history.”

There can be little doubting the truth of that statement.

Casement saw Grey as unfitted by temperament to the role he had taken up through duty. He was from a famous political house and had been groomed as Lord Rosebery’s successor, to keep any Radical out of the Foreign Office and preserve “continuity” in British policy in the world.

The 1906 Liberal Government was the Government that planned the Great War behind the backs of its own backbenchers and most of the Cabinet. The Liberal Imperialist cabal who headed this Government and occupied the important positions of State worked closely with the Unionist front bench opposition on this project of a War on Germany. They did so as they engaged in the routine of parliamentary conflict. The new Foreign Policy was said to represent continuity with the old but in its important aspects it represented a great discontinuity and was actually a revolution. It was a truly collaborative effort involving the Liberal Imperialists, senior Unionists, important military and naval figures and individuals like Lord Esher and Maurice Hankey, who steered the ship of state toward the War on Germany they all felt was necessary to preserve British domination.

The 1906 Liberal Government kicked the Gladstonian Irish Home Rule policy into the long grass after winning a landslide victory. This is the territory I explored in The Rise and Fall of Imperial Ireland – how the sea-change in English Liberalism impacted on the Home Rule movement and produced what is called Redmondism. This is the subject matter of Casement’s article on Sir Edward Grey, though I was not aware of it when writing Imperial Ireland. Casement had it all worked out, or most of it, a hundred years ago.

When the Home Rule struggle reappeared as a result of the British electoral stalemate of 1910 it had a lot to do with the silencing of a Liberal opposition to what Grey was doing. The attempts made by John Dillon and some Liberal backbenchers to draw attention to what Grey was working at in the background – bringing on a World War – ceased from around 1910 as Home Rulers and Gladstonian Radicals were drawn into the intense party conflict which then developed against the Unionists, over Constitutional issues. In August 1914 Redmond and his acolytes achieved the total subordination of Home Rule to Imperialism and the effective subduing of Liberal opposition to War. Even John Dillon, who had a position similar to Casement, fell into line.

Casement’s argument that it was Britain’s intention to make War on Germany has never been challenged on its own ground. That is hardly surprising. Any historical knowledge of what Britain was doing from 1905, as well as as the course of actual events, along with documents and diaries of the important people revealed in later years, would make any contesting of his view impossible. What has been required is mystification and diversion.

Mystification has been achieved through the diversionary activity whose seed was planted by the Black Diaries. The obsession with Casement’s private life that the Black Diaries introduced has proved a “useful shield” in preventing understanding of what Casement represented in his real substance.

Casement’s writings on the international situation have been ignored and his sympathy for Germany, arising out of a principled opposition to what he knew was being done in high places in England, is put down to a simple intensification of Irish nationalist sentiment within him. He was, in other words, deluded, and went into alliance with something he did not really understand the true evil of. That is the caricature of Casement that the revisionists have achieved – the incomprehensible Casement.

The impression conveyed by those explaining Casement to audiences during the centenary events of 2016 was of a well-meaning but flawed fool. It couldn’t be quite said in the celebratory atmosphere but that was the intent of the reluctant guests at the party.

I noticed that people who should have known better seemed incapable of challenging this incompressible Casement – presumably because they had neglected their own history and had not bothered to understand the world outside of Ireland. They lived within the British world and its narrative, whatever their credentials and the greenest of their attire. They simply did not understand the world in the way Casement had came to understand it so they were lost in understanding Casement himself. And without having knowledge of the actual basis of Casement’s thought and consequent activity – his inside knowledge of what Britain intended to do to the world – the incomprehensible argument of the revisionists could past muster. From this viewpoint it was easy to leave the impression that Casement was a tragic figure – a misguided fool and the author of his own misfortune.

In reality, Casement was part of a great tradition with a substance that had the most massive effect on humanity. He had a very solid Liberal view of the world that helped him understand that a fundamental departure from principle was occurring. When Casement saw what Britain was intending to do with Germany it produced a recoiling from the State he had served. Casement’s understanding led him to predict a criminally irresponsible British made World War. And Britain proved him wholly right.

The person of Sir Edward Grey facilitated the War and this was a problem for Casement. He was on friendly terms with his old boss and obviously thought highly of him still.

The famous Dean Inge of St. Paul’s later wondered in his book England if the War, which he saw as the greatest catastrophe ever befalling the British Empire and Europe, could have been avoided. He concluded it couldn’t have. But all the reasons he puts forward why it could not have been avoided are connected to Grey’s activity. He said in a later book, Talks in a Free Country, that the Liberal Cabinet were intimidated into the War by the fact that Grey had made such arrangements with France that if England didn’t fight Germany it would lose France and Russia altogether and would have to fight a Franco-German-Russian alliance in the future. Liberal fears of a future bigger war were used by the Liberal Imperialists to face down principled Liberal opposition.

If the War plans had been openly made and declared by Grey there would have been no War to put them into practice. Germany would have been warned and the Kaiser would have backed off, as he always had done, when he saw he was offending Britain in a way that was unacceptable. So there needed to be the appearance of disinterest and an aloof altruistic morality to spring the trap on Germany. And Edward Grey was integral to the success of that.

Casement had the traditional Foreign Policy of an English Liberal, as John Dillon’s correspondence to C.P.Scott shows he also had. However, Dillon went along with his Chairman, Redmond, as he saw the Liberal opposition collapse in the face of the outpouring of Redmondite War frenzy. Dillon got swept away by the herd and kept his head down, hoping for the best.

Home Rule was intimately connected with the way in which the Great War was facilitated. The Liberal Government were dependent on the Irish Party for their Parliamentary majority and the moral weight the Irish Home Rulers added to the War swept aside the anti-war morality of Liberalism. Dillon hoped for a quick Entente victory to clear the unwanted issue out of the way and for the Liberal/Home Rule alliance to be resumed in 1915. But it wasn’t to be. The Liberals had bitten off more than they could chew taking on Germany and then the Ottomans, and they choked on it.

Redmond and his acolytes had shifted the ground under both Casement and Dillon’s feet. Dillon hoped the ground would return after a momentary earthquake but Casement calculated that Germany was more substantial than Dillon thought and Britain may have greatly miscalculated, to the cost of its Empire.

Because Casement held England largely responsible for the War he followed the logic of his position by aligning himself with Germany.

Casement understood commerce to be England’s life and no rival was to be going to be permitted to ever emerge. The Royal Navy was the controller of the world market and ensured a dominance that was not going to be surrendered even if the only alternative was to bring the world to catastrophe.

Casement saw England as an island Empire which had grown through 3 essential factors:

1. The subduing of Ireland and its reduction to a state of dependence.

2. The isolation of the Low Countries from Europe and their use as an instrument of British policy.

3. Playing the Balance of Power on the Continent to the advantage of England and the disadvantage of Europe.

Casement noted the truth of Bismarck’s view that England had made Europe into an “armed camp”. England compelled every continental nation to place itself on a permanent war-footing and build navies to defend their commerce as they entered the world market owned by England. They had to build navies because Britain refused to regard private property at sea as having the same rights as property on land. It was open to confiscation on the Royal Navy’s whim. Britain’s ruling of the waves meant that everyone’s property on the seas was fair game when England decided war was needed to disrupt the development of Europe. What could Germany do?

Britain said to the world that no one was allowed to build a navy half the size of the Royal Navy. This was known as the Two Power Standard – which could become a three or four Power Standard if required. Because Germany seemed to be ignoring this rule it was said to be after world domination. So the British plan was to:

1. Destroy her navy

2. Ruin her factories

3. Capture her trade

4. Confiscate her merchant marine

5. Dismember her territory

5. Teach her to never compete again.

Casement saw the War as not only aimed at destroying Germany but also at ruining France and Russia in the process by engulfing those countries in the bulk of the fighting on land and the destruction that ensued. Britain could remain largely aloof from the catastrophe from the security of its island fastness and make hay in the aftermath. All that was needed was the traditional detachment from the destruction. In the first year of war a kind of semi-detachment was largely achieved with the Royal Navy plus an expanded Expeditionary Force, but then England had to commit herself more substantially to land war as her allies proved not up to the job of destroying Germany.

Casement’s second article on the Pacific Blockade (meaning “peaceful” blockade) concerns Greece. It is about the British/Allied violation of Greek neutrality during a Great War that England was originally claiming to fight because of a violation of Belgian neutrality.

English Liberalism was opposed to military conscription. A conscript army was seen as an unnecessary luxury for an island state without frontiers to defend which only needed to dominate the seas to maintain world dominance. Liberalism saw entanglement in war as bad for commerce once Britain had control of the world market. There was a moral aspect to opposition to war as well, of course. But it had become a principle of Liberalism to oppose conscription to hinder entanglement in continental fighting and that made it necessary, once the Germans had not been defeated quickly, to get others to do the fighting for Britain – the fighting that the Liberal Party was reluctant to impose on its own citizens for fear of interfering with their freedoms. So began the process of intimidating and bribing other nations to fight to avoid Conscription at home.

While Liberal England hesitated to compel its own citizens to fight it trumpeted its crusade around the world looking for manpower to wage its moral War. The Liberal Government went to the neutral countries of Europe, carrying the message that this was a War of Good versus Evil and it would be morally inexcusable for them to abstain from it. But the contradiction of the whole thing began to disable Liberalism. To uphold the voluntary principle moral propaganda had to be churned out to the maximum to get the volunteers and stave off Conscription. But this begged the question why the Government was not compelling its citizens to fight the thing that was supposed to be the most evil thing the world had ever produced?

Casement points out that the difference between Liberals and Unionists regarding the coaxing of Greece into the War was one of form rather than substance. The Liberals, with their moral sensibilities and conscious of how they had themselves been brought to support the War, talked of executing “a form of pacific pressure to which Greece is peculiarly susceptible” (Daily News, 22.11.15) and used “euphemisms” to minimise the aggression implied in such threats. British activity against was merely to “assist the King of Greece to arrive at a decision” – namely the right one. The Greeks needed to “see sense”, which really meant co-operating with the British interest.

Casement predicted that British moral, political and military pressure to enlist the reluctant Greeks in their Great War would be absolutely disastrous for Greece if they succumbed to the pressure. And he was proved absolutely right.

Casement also noted how the Armenians were to be used as pawns in the British game of destroying the Ottoman Empire through the promotion of Insurrection. The Turks were to be encouraged into arranging an “Armenian Massacre” to provide moral cover for the British Imperialist land grab of Palestine and Mesopotamia. That would tug at the heart strings of the English Liberals of the Gladstonian tradition and make them good war-mongers. Arnold Toynbee and Lord Bryce were at the ready. The Armenians themselves were expendable, in all senses.

Casement was a consistent Liberal who was appalled at the great departure from principle that led to the catastrophe. He saw the moral hypocrisy, stood his ground and chose sides. He was not just an Irish Nationalist availing of England’s difficulty, he was a principled Liberal standing up for the historic principles abandoned in the moral collapse of Liberalism in August 1914. And that is why he did what he did.

Earlier related Post

By Dr Pat Walsh
Sir Roger Casement wrote on October 11th 1915:

“A fresh ‘Armenian Massacre’ having been deftly provoked by a conspiracy engineered from the British Embassy at Constantinople, whereby English arms, money and uniforms, were to be furnished to the Armenians on condition that they rose against the Turkish Government, England now turns to the humanitarian impulse of the American people to secure a fresh sword against Turkey. America is being stirred with tales of horror against the Turks – with appeals to American manhood on behalf of a tortured and outraged people. The plan was born in the (British) Foreign Office; and the agency for carrying through the conspiracy against Turkish sovereignty in Armenia was Sir Louis Mallet, the late British Ambassador at Constantinople.” (published on 18 October 1915 in The Continental Times)

This statement (recently discovered by Jack Lane) makes Casement, with his impeccable humanitarian credentials one of the first, if not the first, “denialist”.

So why was Casement the great humanitarian, exposer of genocidal behaviour of “gallant, little Belgium” against African natives in the Congo and abuses of the rubber plantation workers in South America, so dismissive of the Armenians in 1915?

During the summer of 1915 U.S. newspapers began to be deluged by reports of Turkish and Kurdish massacres of Armenians. Claims of half a million deaths appeared even at this stage. It was in response to these reports that Casement was writing his condemnation of Britain and Ambassador Mallet for what was happening to the Armenians.

Casement was an insider and knew the direction of British Foreign Policy and where it was leading. From 1906 he began discouraging Irish recruiting to the British Army whilst still working for the Imperial State.

Perhaps he did not know that substantial amounts of weaponry began to be filtered through to Armenian revolutionary groups in Ottoman territory from the time of the British/Russian understanding of 1907. This agreement, which partitioned Persia/Iran among the two Powers, was meant on the British side to prepare the ground for the “Russian Steamroller” to be employed against Germany in a future war. It was part of the encirclement of Germany, closing a large land area that Royal Navy Blockade was incapable of closing. It culminated in the Constantinople Agreement of 1915 in which the Tsar was rewarded for the lend of his army and the keeping of it in the field against Germany, with his heart’s desire – Istanbul. From this date onwards (1907) the Russians prepared the Armenian revolutionaries as a fifth column supporting the future invasion of Ottoman territories, now permissible with England as an ally rather than an enemy which had blocked its advance (The traditional British Foreign Policy having been expressed in the famous chorus: “The Russians Shall Not Have Constantinople!”)

The Times obituary to Ambassador Louis du Pan Mallet from 10 August 1936 says that his appointment by Edward Grey in 1913 came as a great shock:

“The appointment caused no little surprise, as it had been expected that it would be given to a member of the Diplomatic Corps with experience of Constantinople. Conditions in Turkey had greatly changed in the past 15 years. British influence had waned, while that of Germany had increased to the point of dominance. The Secretary of State considered it wise to have an Ambassador in Constantinople without prepossessions derived from former experience there. Mallet had wide experience of foreign politics in general; and, in Sir Edward Grey’s opinion, a special knowledge of the problems to be dealt with by a British Ambassador to the Porte.”

Ambassador to Constantinople, Louis Mallet, was a duplicitous servant of the British State where duplicity was absolutely essential, in Istanbul. The British State was playing a double game with Istanbul, contributing to its defences, whilst making surveys of them, making a naval alliance and having control of the supply of its ships, pretending to be fast friends whilst plotting with the Tsar to hand over Constantinople to him, and helping with policing and order in Eastern Anatolia whilst knowing what use was planned for the Armenian revolutionaries there.

Casement knew Ambassador Mallet and there was a series of correspondence between the two men a few years before the Great War. It was in this period that Casement formed his understanding that there was something rotten at the heart of the Imperial State he served. Casement realised that there was going to be a Great War because the people he worked with in the British State were organising one. They had detailed plans in place and in the public sphere all the indications were there of preparation of the public consciousness. Liberals did not want to see it, particularly because it was their men -Asquith, Grey, Haldane, Churchill etc. – who were organising it within the Committee of Imperial Defence, with the Unionists who were threatening civil war against the Government over Irish Home Rule. But Casement, the insider, knew it. He perceived it, warned of it and he was proved correct.

With this in mind Casement had not only to be killed off but his reputation had to be destroyed. He was too clever by half.

In a review of US Ambassaor Morgenthau’s Story in 1919 The Spectator, as well as crediting the US Ambassador Morgenthau for facilitating Turkey’s entry into the War also described the role of Ambassador Mallet in the proceedings:

“The governing fact of the situation with which the Entente Ambassadors… had to deal was the entry of the `Goeben ‘ and ‘ Breslau ‘ into the Dardanelles, which British naval dispositions had failed to foresee, prevent, or follow up; for which the Ambassadors were not responsible (Sir Louis Mallet indeed only returned to his post after it had happened); and which Ille Morgenthau appears to have facilitated (through information given to the German authorities by his daughter on her arrival just before the German cruisers appeared) without probably fully realizing at the moment the decisive importance of this event (pp. 44-45). Reflecting upon it, however, he justly observes: ‘I doubt if any two ships have exercised a greater influence upon history than these two German cruisers,’ and adds that ‘their passage through the Straits made it inevitable that Turkey should join her forces with Germany’s when the proper moment came.’ No one more fully and instantly realized this truth than Sir Louis Mallet, who over and over again, in his telegraphic reports to the Foreign Office, repeated his conviction that ‘Germany had obtained complete control at Constantinople,’ and that the Dardanelles, Constantinople, and the Bosphorus were in course of becoming ‘nothing more or less than a sort of German enclave’; and who told the Grand Vizier that ‘Constantinople and the neighbourhood were an armed German camp,’ and that ‘we all, including his Highness, were at the mercy of Liman Pasha and the Minister of War’ (Cd. 7628 of 1914, pp. 14, 15, 28, he)”. (Spectator 11.1.1919)

Ambassador Morgenthau’s book, of course, is a central piece of evidence in the Armenian lobby’s case against the Ottomans. It purports to be a diary of events but comparison between the original diary, and the published book has shown the latter to be a piece of propaganda and embroidered fiction. However, if the Spectator is correct and the U.S. Ambassador was indeed a facilitator of the War on the Ottomans then he was an author of the later Armenian event, since no War/no Genocide, surely. As to whether he was unwitting; was there really a chance that a Zionist did not want the Ottoman Empire carved up and not be consciously working for it?

Ambassador Mallet mysteriously went “on leave” during a most crucial time in the summer of 1914. He got “off-side” in English parlance. This was the July/August period in which it was well known in England that the Germans would desperately seek out the Ottomans as allies to break their isolation. It was known that Enver Pasha had concluded that the Ottoman policy of neutrality would ultimately prove impossible with the Imperialist thieves mustering around the Ottoman territories, gemmies in hand. A defensive alliance was a distinct possibility. Did Britain want to go to war with the Ottomans as well as the Germans?

The British constructed a diplomatic record to serve the purpose of what their real objective was. That record demanded Germany and the Ottomans be placed in the wrong. Provocations, which in themselves were causes of war, were made on the Turks, such as the seizing of their battleships being paid for by popular subscription, in British shipyards. Churchill also blockaded the Straits, cutting Istanbul off from the Mediterranean. And there was the mysterious shepherding of the Goeben and Breslau battleships into the Straits by the Royal Navy to compromise Turkish neutrality. Margot Asquith noted in her diary the astonishment in London at the incompetence of the “pursuing” Royal Navy which, whilst controlling the Mediterranean, “lost” the German ships. Incompetence or design?

Ambassador Mallet was allowed to leave his post at this most crucial time, when prominent, but gullible people, in England were decrying the fact that Britain, friend of the Young Turks, was losing them as allies because of atrocious diplomacy. He was not there during Churchill’s provacative breaking of the naval alliance and returned to Istanbul only a month after the British Declaration of War on Germany, when all the important events had occurred that sealed the destiny of the Ottomans. As Admiral Fisher put it in his Memoir: “We kick their arses but they still love us!” And yet the Ambassador and the diplomats deserted their posts at the vital hour, when all logic said their efforts were most needed as the Germans intrigued, as only Germans could intrigue! (We know that the Germans make very bad intriguers. They are far too straight a people to be good at intrigue. And we know who the greatest intriguers in the world are, with centuries of practice and success.)

Upon Mallet’s return to his post he reported to Edward Grey that there was “a renewal of the insurrectionary activities of the non-Turkish races” which would precipitate Russian invasion in the East. He noted that the Armenian revolutionaries were heavily armed right across the Six Vilayets they claimed (though in a small minority numerically) and in Adana and would be able to take the leadership of the Armenian community in the coming situation.

It appears that Ambassador Mallet’s role was to keep Turkey sweet – and neutral – until it suited Britain to wage War on the Ottomans. He advised the Russians on September 3rd, two months before the British Declaration of War on the Ottomans, not “to raise the question of the partition of Turkey at the present time.”

War had to be waged, in the end, for the Tsar to believe he could acquire Constantinople and to keep his armies fighting, while the possibility of receiving this prize remained. It was reported that the Grand Vizier (Ottoman first minister) sobbed in despair to Ambassador Mallet: “Ne me lachez pas!” when the British representative left Constantinople a few days before the British Declaration of War on the Ottomans on November 5th. Mission accomplished!

It is unsurprising that Casement, knowing all that he did, took Ambassador Mallet to be a conspirator in the destruction of Ottoman Turkey and a collaborator with the Armenian revolutionaries, who were being armed and organised by the Tsar. Mallet could not possibly have been above all that was happening in the background, unless he was a complete and willing dupe of the British Foreign Office, allowing him to cultivate a friendship with the Ottomans as a decent English gentleman who knew nothing.

The Continental Times was a publication very popular among German-Americans and Irish Americans. It cut through the War Propaganda with which the British were deluging the U.S. at the time. At the outset of the War the Royal Navy cut the underseas cables that brought news to the U.S. from Europe. The British then took control of the news agencies to establish a monopoly of information to America. Wellington House was established as a Propaganda Department with the cream of British academia and literati doing their duty, supposedly independently, to propagate the British view of the War – which, of course, was not even the real view of Britain. And so many countries joined in the Great War for Civilisation, the War to end all Wars etc. only to find they had been duped by very gentlemanly and intelligent fraudsters.

It is ironic that Casement’s denial was published in a German newspaper, owned in Berlin, given the German Parliament’s recent decision to support the idea of an Armenian Genocide by the Turks. Germans were therefore the first denialists along with Casement.

Today, the Armenian lobby is starting to suffer its first defeats, most recently in Hungary. It presumed it could march forward irresistibly, gathering up the gullible in political resolutions of parliaments. It depended on humanitarian platitudes, extracted from historical context, which have been recently exposed as nothing but instruments of destabilisation in the world.

But the people are back! And the people tend to see the world in more simple terms than their Western liberal elite. And the Turkish position about 1915 is understandable to those who are seeing the realities of states and their stability. After all the world has seen what has happened in recent years in Iraq, Syria and Libya, and Europe has been flooded with those who have been forcibly migrated by humanitarian wars, or wars waged on the basis of humanitarian sentiment by the West. It is no wonder that the tide has turned against the Armenian lobby through the dash of reality that it has been drenched with.

Liberals are now blaming U.S. identity politics for the reverses they are suffering. The Armenian lobby is the ultimate form of identity politics that has led the West astray into its existential crisis. It has bound a group together on the basis of a political campaign which is entirely negative and dysfunctional and generally debilitating as politics. The word “Armenian” cannot be typed into Google without the word “Genocide” appearing next to it, even though nothing of the sort exists in the sphere where it counts, Law. A people have been defined without reference to reality.

Casement had a good understanding of these things. He knew that the Armenians were a mere instrument of Imperial conquest in 1914. For decades he had heard the substance of Britain tell them to behave themselves because of their hopeless position, a scattered minority everywhere, within the Ottoman territories. Lord Salisbury had told them that the Royal Navy, powerful as it was, could not traverse the Taurus Mountains. And he had presumably heard George Curzon accuse the moralising Liberals of “Fatal Philanthropy” as they instigated the Armenians into insurrection. The Bulgarian template was tempting but ultimately fatal if applied to the Armenians, given their very different circumstances. And so it proved.

But in August 1914 the Balance of Power men and the Liberal moralists joined together for war-mongering and the moralists blew the trumpets to summon the cannon-fodder to England’s cause.

Casement was an associate of Lord Bryce of the Blue Book in humanitarian work for the Empire. They were both Ulster Protestants of sorts. But whilst Bryce was the academic poseur Casement was the general article, getting his hands dirty on the scene of real genocides and reporting on them. He saw how his reports were used by the British State, however, in having something over the Belgians over their behavior in the Congo, that could be used against them if they consented to a German traverse of their territory, when the bit came to the bit. That surely made Casement think about the relationship between humanitarianism and realpolitik.

When Casement saw Bryce lend his services to the Propaganda Department in 1914/16 he described him as a prostitute. This was a rather unfair comparison to make and deeply offensive to honest prostitutes. Casement described the work Bryce was doing, in describing German and Turkish atrocities on behalf of the War effort, as fraudulent. From the quotation in The Continental Times it is apparent that Casement realised that Britain was engaged in intentionally creating the conditions within which atrocities were bound to occur and then using them, through its sentimental moralists, in creating a feel good atmosphere about the killing-fest it had organised across the world. In all this the Armenians did not matter one jot. They were only useful as cannon-fodder and atrocity-fodder. The more that suffered and died the better for the War effort.

The Armenian lobby stay silent about Britain’s role in their annihilation. Is it so important to achieving the magic word to be such denialists about historical fact? That surely undermines their creditability as serious seekers of the truth if they are prepared to ignore such an important factor in their own destruction to get one over on the Turks. It is a sad affair indeed.

A final word needs to be said about Irish Republicans in all this. The present writer in researching this area, quite extensively, has yet to find an Irish Republican who was supportive of the Armenian case. Any Republicans that spoke or acted upon the War on the Ottomans were entirely with the Turks. The pro-Imperialist Redmondites, of course, were, to a man, pro-Armenian and one of the most famous, T.P. O’Connor, was not only a prominent Armenian campaigner but the suggester to Charles Masterman for Wellington House.

There are references to the plight of the Armenians by Priests in the North after the Pogroms against Catholics in Belfast. The Priests were supporters of Joe Devlin and John Redmond and had help recruits Irish cannon fodder for the British Army and Imperialist War. They were sorry that the loyal Catholics of West Belfast were treated so despicably by the loyal Protestants of Ulster having done their Imperial duty.

This must be where the current Sinn Fein policy comes from rather than from Roger Casement and Irish Republicanism.



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Please READ the POST FIRST then enter YOUR comment in English by referring to the SPECIFIC POINTS in the post and DO preview your comment for proper grammar /spelling.

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as we keep the latest version and delete the older version as default

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