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Old 30th October 2017, 10:01 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Where do you think the battlefield is, in a counterinsurgency where the enemy does not apply the principle of distinction?

Are you imagining a rocky hillside in Afghanistan, and there's a guy up there with an AK-47 and a talibani armband? And that's the battlefield?
I was thinking of the instances of US forces taking into custody anyone they laid their hands on - or handed to them by the Northern Alliance - mostly with no evidence they were members of AQ, Taliban, or whatever.
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Old 30th October 2017, 10:19 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
There are some parallels to the International Brigades returning after the Spanish civil war - some regarded them as dangerous communists - and some parallels with Nazis due to the similarity with that regime's horrible crimes.

Many of the Brigades members may have been zealous communists but after the Spanish Republic failed they didn't all go home and try to start fresh revolutions there. Without a Caliphate to fight for, won't some or possibly many ISIS supporters act the same?

And what we didn't do with Nazis is kill them all. The worst of the criminals, yes, but not the rank and file, not even zealots who thought the end justified the means. Just the blatant murderers.

So if we want to think of ourselves as the good guys, are we okay with saying "they knew what was going on" and summarily executing the lot of them? I'm not.
I simply don't understand your analogy with the International Brigades. They went to Spain to fight fascism. When they returned home, they continued that as resistance fighters when the Nazis occupied their countries.
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Old 30th October 2017, 10:35 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post

Many of the Brigades members may have been zealous communists but after the Spanish Republic failed they didn't all go home and try to start fresh revolutions there. Without a Caliphate to fight for, won't some or possibly many ISIS supporters act the same?
Have you watched any news in the last few years? There have been many, many ISIS inspired terrorist attacks in 'home' countries far away from the 'caliphate'. ISIS make a point of encouraging these attacks. AFAIK, the international brigades had nothing comparable.
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Old 30th October 2017, 10:42 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
I simply don't understand your analogy with the International Brigades. They went to Spain to fight fascism. When they returned home, they continued that as resistance fighters when the Nazis occupied their countries.
The International Brigades also included Americans, British, and other people from nations that were not occupied by the Nazis.
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Old 30th October 2017, 11:41 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
The International Brigades also included Americans, British, and other people from nations that were not occupied by the Nazis.
Yes, I understand that. I couldn't find figures how many of those volunteered for service in WW2.
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Old 30th October 2017, 03:28 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by Dabop View Post
YOU have been justifying US behaviour throughout the whole thread on the basis that the ISIS has done bad things.
Sorry, the USA doesn't get a pass just because other people have done bad things. Stop being an apologist for them!


You'll have to quote me where I have justified US behaviour. I haven't mentioned it as it is off-topic. You are the only one trying to excuse ISIS behaviour on the grounds of "hypocrisy".
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Old 30th October 2017, 06:08 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
And what we didn't do with Nazis is kill them all. The worst of the criminals, yes, but not the rank and file, not even zealots who thought the end justified the means. Just the blatant murderers.

So if we want to think of ourselves as the good guys, are we okay with saying "they knew what was going on" and summarily executing the lot of them? I'm not.
There is a huge difference between holding German soldiers (even if they were Nazis) accountable for fighting for their own country, and British Nationals who went to fight for an organisation that was responsible for terror attacks against Britain.

These ISIS returnees should at least be treated in similar fashion to how returning/captured members of the BFC (British nationals who fought for the Nazis) were treated after WW2 - court martialed if they were originally military or charged with treason if they were civilians. Some were sentenced to hard labour, some were executed.
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Old 30th October 2017, 06:13 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
I simply don't understand your analogy with the International Brigades. They went to Spain to fight fascism. When they returned home, they continued that as resistance fighters when the Nazis occupied their countries.
They went off to fight for a cause they believed in. Some of them were treated well when they got home since they appeared to be prescient about the threat from Nazi Germany which their home countries now faced. Others, for example those returning to the US and Canada, were treated with more suspicion and found it hard just to get work.

I'm not sure what it is about the parallel that you don't understand. They went to fight to establish a Caliphate which they were convinced was prophesied and was what their God wanted. So far, so idealistic. Just because we see ISIS as evil and murderous doesn't mean its recruits wanted to be evil murderers. They thought they were going there to do God's work. The fact that it involved terrorising and killing anyone who was off-message fills us with horror but they didn't see it that way.

People are just people. As I sometimes find myself saying about the Nazis, the great lesson from history is not that they were monsters. It's exactly the opposite. It's that they were ordinary people.
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Old 30th October 2017, 06:24 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Have you watched any news in the last few years? There have been many, many ISIS inspired terrorist attacks in 'home' countries far away from the 'caliphate'. ISIS make a point of encouraging these attacks. AFAIK, the international brigades had nothing comparable.
You're entirely right so far as I know. I suppose the parallel would have been sabotage or terrorism in Germany by supporters of the Spanish Republican cause which Germany were engaged in fighting. I'm not aware of any example of that happening.

When I said there were some parallels, that's all I meant. Idealistic young people went off to fight for a cause they believed in. Just because we see it as savage, brutal and evil doesn't mean they saw it that way. Not many would have signed up if ISIS's campaign had been "Henchmen wanted; baddies recruiting now".
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Old 30th October 2017, 06:39 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
There is a huge difference between holding German soldiers (even if they were Nazis) accountable for fighting for their own country, and British Nationals who went to fight for an organisation that was responsible for terror attacks against Britain.

These ISIS returnees should at least be treated in similar fashion to how returning/captured members of the BFC (British nationals who fought for the Nazis) were treated after WW2 - court martialed if they were originally military or charged with treason if they were civilians. Some were sentenced to hard labour, some were executed.
Yes, that's an interesting angle. Since the cause they went to fight for was itself being fought against by their own country, they were potentially guilty of treason. Quite a dilemma. I suppose a similar thing would have applied to German communists who fought in the International Brigades. Traitors to the regime in their homeland at the time, but they were lauded by the later East German regime (for whatever that's worth).

I suppose what I'm saying is that it's not always possible for people to square the circle of supporting a cause they believe in with the loyalty they owe their home country. In which case, what do you do?

And if the cause they believe in is one which terrorises, tortures and murders all who oppose it, well once more I despair of what zealous conviction can make humans do to justify such obscenity to themselves, but I think it's a separate issue to the divided loyalty one.
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Old 30th October 2017, 07:56 PM   #91
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Originally Posted by Dabop View Post
They dont have to claim it, signatories are bound by it, you dont get to pick and choose who it applies to (despite the US trying to do so by redefining people)
And I suspect eventually that the people involved will stand trial for their war crimes- on both sides...
In terms of how the war is conducted the Hague conventions only apply when both parties are signatories or have declared their intention to abide by the regulations.

ISIS and the caliphate are not signatories and have shown a blatant disregard for the Hague and Geneva conventions so their protection under those conventions is purely at the discretion of the nations they come into conflict with.


Quote:
Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague II); July 29, 1899

Article 1

The High Contracting Parties shall issue instructions to their armed land forces, which shall be in conformity with the "Regulations respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land" annexed to the present Convention.
Article 2

The provisions contained in the Regulations mentioned in Article 1 are only binding on the Contracting Powers, in case of war between two or more of them.

These provisions shall cease to be binding from the time when, in a war between Contracting Powers, a non-Contracting Power joins one of the belligerents.

Quote:
Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV); October 18, 1907

Art. 2.

The provisions contained in the Regulations referred to in Article 1, as well as in the present Convention, do not apply except between Contracting Powers, and then only if all the belligerents are parties to the Convention.
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Old 1st November 2017, 01:29 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
Yes, I understand that. I couldn't find figures how many of those volunteered for service in WW2.
Those from the UK still young enough would have been conscripted in due course. Older ones like Tom Wintringham and John Langdon-Davies put their experiences in Spain to good use in a training capacity. Even Eric Blair (a.k.a. George Orwell) joined the Home Guard, which coincidentally is the original and actual context of his "rifle on the wall" quote so beloved of - and utterly misrepresented by - the pro-gun lobby in the States.

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Old 1st November 2017, 02:11 PM   #93
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Even Eric Blair (a.k.a. George Orwell) joined the Home Guard, which coincidentally is the original and actual context of his "rifle on the wall" quote so beloved of - and utterly misrepresented by - the pro-gun lobby in the States.
How is it being misrepresented (or was this just a chance for an off topic snark)?


"...Even as it stands the Home Guard could only exist in a country where men feel themselves free. The totalitarian states can do great things, but there is one thing they cannot do, they cannot give the factory worker a rifle and tell him to take it home and keep it in his bedroom. THAT RIFLE HANGING ON THE WALL OF THE WORKING-CLASS FLAT OR LABOURER'S COTTAGE IS THE SYMBOL OF DEMOCRACY. IT IS OUR JOB TO SEE IT STAYS THERE..."


I'm interested in seeing how "utterly different" your representation is!
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Old 2nd November 2017, 02:44 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
How is it being misrepresented (or was this just a chance for an off topic snark)?


"...Even as it stands the Home Guard could only exist in a country where men feel themselves free. The totalitarian states can do great things, but there is one thing they cannot do, they cannot give the factory worker a rifle and tell him to take it home and keep it in his bedroom. THAT RIFLE HANGING ON THE WALL OF THE WORKING-CLASS FLAT OR LABOURER'S COTTAGE IS THE SYMBOL OF DEMOCRACY. IT IS OUR JOB TO SEE IT STAYS THERE..."


I'm interested in seeing how "utterly different" your representation is!
Well, you're actually being a bit more knowledgeable and/or honest by including a bit that mentions of the Home Guard at all, which most don't. The vast majority only quote the bits capitalised in your quote (or a differently ordered variation), but which weren't in the original. Orwell's entire London Evening Standard article ("Don't Let Colonel Blimp Ruin the Home Guard" - 8 January 1941) was about the Home Guard, not private firearms ownership, and certainly not in a context analogous to current interpretations of the US 2nd Amendment.

Orwell was concerned with increasing the participation of socialists within the Home Guard, and the idea that the organisation should be something continued after the war. The rifles in question were those issued to members of the Home Guard for participation in its activities, not those bought by private individuals to use for any other purpose. At the time there was actually a public debate as to whether Home Guard members should be able to take issued firearms home with them, the better to react quickly to an emergency, rather than having to go to collect one from their drill hall, where they were normally kept.

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Old 2nd November 2017, 05:44 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by Dabop View Post
They dont have to claim it, signatories are bound by it, you dont get to pick and choose who it applies to (despite the US trying to do so by redefining people)
And I suspect eventually that the people involved will stand trial for their war crimes- on both sides...
Your opinion-machine is coming-across as not wrapped too tight. Let us know when you get it sussed-out.

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Old 2nd November 2017, 10:17 AM   #96
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Well, you're actually being a bit more knowledgeable and/or honest by including a bit that mentions of the Home Guard at all, which most don't. The vast majority only quote the bits capitalised in your quote (or a differently ordered variation), but which weren't in the original. Orwell's entire London Evening Standard article ("Don't Let Colonel Blimp Ruin the Home Guard" - 8 January 1941) was about the Home Guard, not private firearms ownership, and certainly not in a context analogous to current interpretations of the US 2nd Amendment.

Orwell was concerned with increasing the participation of socialists within the Home Guard, and the idea that the organisation should be something continued after the war. The rifles in question were those issued to members of the Home Guard for participation in its activities, not those bought by private individuals to use for any other purpose. At the time there was actually a public debate as to whether Home Guard members should be able to take issued firearms home with them, the better to react quickly to an emergency, rather than having to go to collect one from their drill hall, where they were normally kept.
I suppose I just don't see how that makes a material difference, let alone an "utter change". Either way, it's talking about how a gun in the home shows that you live in a free country and can be used to defend liberty.

Not trying to be dim, but I just don't see your point...
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Old 2nd November 2017, 10:41 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
I suppose I just don't see how that makes a material difference, let alone an "utter change". Either way, it's talking about how a gun in the home shows that you live in a free country and can be used to defend liberty.

Not trying to be dim, but I just don't see your point...
I'm not sure either but my guess would be that it's a distinction between weapons issued by the government for use in the service of (to borrow a phrase) a well-regulated militia and privately owned firearms carrying no such burden of responsibility even if their availability is protected by an assumption that such a responsibility is a public good.

Something like that?
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Old 2nd November 2017, 11:27 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
I'm not sure either but my guess would be that it's a distinction between weapons issued by the government for use in the service of (to borrow a phrase) a well-regulated militia and privately owned firearms carrying no such burden of responsibility even if their availability is protected by an assumption that such a responsibility is a public good.

Something like that?
That could well be it. It just seemed like the thrust and sentiment is very similar, rather than "utterly misrepresented".
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Old 2nd November 2017, 12:02 PM   #99
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
I suppose I just don't see how that makes a material difference, let alone an "utter change". Either way, it's talking about how a gun in the home shows that you live in a free country and can be used to defend liberty.

Not trying to be dim, but I just don't see your point...
The point is that the "rifle on the wall" symbolises membership of the Home Guard, not private firearms ownership. Many 2nd Amendment advocate claim that is the latter, presumably because it allows them - via the socialist Orwell - to claim cross-political support for their views. To do this the invariably only quote the "That rifle... democracy" element, and omit all mention of the Home Guard. In most cases it's probably ignorance, because they're unaware of the full article and its actual subject, but somewhere along the line some decided to quote mine it.

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Old 2nd November 2017, 12:10 PM   #100
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
The point is that the "rifle on the wall" symbolises membership of the Home Guard, not private firearms ownership.
The government trusts the people with individual control of firearms and it is a symbol of, and possible means to defend, liberty.

Still nowhere near an "utter misrepresentation"
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Old 2nd November 2017, 12:26 PM   #101
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
I suppose I just don't see how that makes a material difference, let alone an "utter change". Either way, it's talking about how a gun in the home shows that you live in a free country and can be used to defend liberty.

Not trying to be dim, but I just don't see your point...
Well, it was war time, the Home Guard were a reserve military unit under direct control of the army, issued with weapons by the army and subject to military discipline.

When the war was over and the Home Guard were disbanded the rifles were taken back by the army.

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Old 2nd November 2017, 02:17 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
The government trusts the people with individual control of firearms and it is a symbol of, and possible means to defend, liberty.

Still nowhere near an "utter misrepresentation"
Except it's not "the People," but rather - by implication "trusted" - members Home Guard, and it was Orwell's view that a diverse and long-lasting Home Guard was the means to defend against totalitarianism, which at the time obviously meant either Nazism or Communism.

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Old 3rd November 2017, 02:02 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Except it's not "the People," but rather - by implication "trusted" - members Home Guard, and it was Orwell's view that a diverse and long-lasting Home Guard was the means to defend against totalitarianism, which at the time obviously meant either Nazism or Communism.
Kind of like a well-regulated militia, in fact, rather than a bunch of random people with guns.

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Old 3rd November 2017, 03:24 AM   #104
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Kind of like a well-regulated militia, in fact, rather than a bunch of random people with guns.
Quite. I also think that, even when mentioned, the Home Guard means little to a population not brought up on steady repeats of Dad's Army....
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Old 3rd November 2017, 03:29 AM   #105
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
[...] a population not brought up on steady repeats of Dad's Army....
Is that even possible?

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Old 3rd November 2017, 07:49 AM   #106
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Except it's not "the People," but rather - by implication "trusted" - members Home Guard, and it was Orwell's view that a diverse and long-lasting Home Guard was the means to defend against totalitarianism, which at the time obviously meant either Nazism or Communism.
Except:

- We are talking about letting folks take guns home, where anyone could access them (no safe storage rules [i.e. gun safe] as far as I can see)
- These folks obviously aren’t viewed as highly reliable/vetted as there is controversy over this, and (most pertinently):
- Orwell thinks that them having a gun at home is a guarantee of democracy and that he wants more of his fellow thinkers to be so armed (i.e. it is a defence against domestic authoritarianism as well as against the Germans)

It's just not an "utter misrepresentation".

Look, it's OK, just accept that on this particular issue, Orwell was a bit more 'American' than 'Modern British' in his outlook.
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Old 3rd November 2017, 08:25 AM   #107
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I don't agree. Members of the military were not generally allowed to take their rifles home with them. This was an emergency measure due to the risk of invasion. The controversy was not because the Home Guard were not seen as reliable, it was controversial to let anyone take military firearms home. I see no reason to imagine that Orwell thought these rifles were a worthwhile defence for democracy against some imagined threat of a tyrannical British government rather than the more pressing threat of Nazi invasion.
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Old 3rd November 2017, 08:51 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
Except:

- We are talking about letting folks take guns home, where anyone could access them (no safe storage rules [i.e. gun safe] as far as I can see)
- These folks obviously aren’t viewed as highly reliable/vetted as there is controversy over this, and (most pertinently):
- Orwell thinks that them having a gun at home is a guarantee of democracy and that he wants more of his fellow thinkers to be so armed (i.e. it is a defence against domestic authoritarianism as well as against the Germans)

It's just not an "utter misrepresentation".

Look, it's OK, just accept that on this particular issue, Orwell was a bit more 'American' than 'Modern British' in his outlook.
No, I don't, because there is absolutely no evidence that he thinking along the lines that 2nd Amendment enthusiasts claim he was. Orwell was outspoken on many matters, and return to them again and again, but this quote - especially a very limited part of it - is all that they those enthusiasts can point to. As Captain Swoop points out, Orwell was taking about the rifles issued to members of the Home Guard under army command, not those bought by private citizens to act on their own devices.

The bulk of the original article can be read on Google Books here (from page 362.

Unfortunately the preview is missing the final page (365), which contains the contentious quote, but the general thrust of the first three pages that can be viewed are utterly clear: the Home Guard as means if countering a German invasion by irregular warfare. He says absolutely noting about private firearms ownership, let alone about it supposedly being a counterweight to "domestic authoritarianism." It is the Home Guard that is "a guarantee of democracy" and the rifle is only symbolic of the Home Guard.

Last edited by Information Analyst; 3rd November 2017 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 3rd November 2017, 09:46 AM   #109
Border Reiver
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
They went off to fight for a cause they believed in. Some of them were treated well when they got home since they appeared to be prescient about the threat from Nazi Germany which their home countries now faced. Others, for example those returning to the US and Canada, were treated with more suspicion and found it hard just to get work.
The Mac-Pap veterans actually found it challenging to get into the Canadian Army if they had been convicted under the Foreign Enlistments Act to fight the flippin' Nazis....
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