Sunday, January 1, 2017

Woodrow Wilson's failed Peace Initiative w/ Germany

In honor of the centenary of the First World War, I thought I'd post Chapter 1 "The Severing of Relations with Germany, the Zimmermann Note, and the Senatorial Filibuster: December 12, 1916 - March 26, 1917" from Halsey, Francis Whiting. The Literary Digest History of the World War: Compiled from Original and Contemporary Sources: American, British, French, German, and Others. Vol. IV. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1919. Print. that discusses President Woodrow Wilson's failed peace initiatives with Germany.















































Content note: These books were told from a decidedly unabashedly pro Ally and unalloyed anti German point of view.

Style note: There is frequently little to no correlation between illustrations and surrounding text. Photographs of random people and scenes are often included rather higgedly piggedly.

I included footnotes inline in the text separated by brackets {}

I included additional commentary between scissor snippets

✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------
| [additional commentary]
✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------

PRESIDENT WILSON [far left] AND HIS CABINET IN 1917
















Chapter 1: The Severing of Relations with Germany, the Zimmerman Note, and the Senatorial Filibuster: December 12, 1916-March 26, 1917


In the presence of all members of the Reichstag, even those who had been serving at the front, and of the entire Diplomatic Corps, a declaration of historic importance having to do with peace was made by the German Government on December 12, 1916 -- an event which, as it eventually came to be understood from the German point of view, brought about a severing of diplomatic relations between the United States and Germany, followed with a few weeks by a declaration from the United States of a "state of war."  The announcement as made by Chancellor von Bethmann-Hollweg was that he had that day dispatched of the Entente Allies, and to neutral countries, a proposal for opening peace negotiations.  Preliminary to this statement he reviewed the recent progress made by German armies, including the entrance of Roumania into the war against Germany, which, designed by the Entente Allies as a fatal blow, had instead led to German victories and provided grain, oil, and other goods sufficient to relieve Germany's needs.  Attacks made in other fields at the same time by British, French, Italians and Russians he represented as having been successfully resisted, and concluded his address in words accepted by the Entente Allies as a continuance of his intolerable arrogance:

"Our strength has not made our ears deaf to our responsibility before God, before our own nation, and before humanity.  The declarations formerly made by us concerning our readiness for peace were evaded by our adversaries.  Now we have advanced one step further in this direction.  On August 1, 1914, the Emperor had personally to take the gravest decision which ever fell to the lot of a German -- the order for mobilization -- which he was compelled to give as a result of the Russian mobilization."



✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Chancellor von Bethmann-Hollweg use of the term "compelled" to describe Germany's actions at
| the beginning of World War I validates the theory Ole R. Holsti proffered in his article "Theories of
| Crisis Decision Making" in Viotti, Paul R., and Mark V. Kauppi. International Relations Theory:  Realism, Pluralism, Globalism. New York: Macmillan, 1987. Print. pp 244-281 that each belligerent | country ascribed greater freedom to their opponents than to themselves. It's a more sophisticated
| version of the little sibling defense "the other guy started it!"
|
|
|
|



















|
| p. 256
|
| DECISION MAKING IN THE 1914 CRISIS
|
|
| The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, set off a chain of events that,
| within six weeks, brought all of the major powers of Europe into war. Soon after Prince von Bülow
| asked German Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg how the war had come about. "At last I said to
| him:'Well, tell me, at least, how it all happened,' He raised his long  thin arms to heaven and
| answered in a dull exhausted voice: 'Oh -- If I only knew.'" Another colleague wrote that "since the
| Russian mobilization the Chancellor gave one the impression of a drowning man.'" {Prince
| Bernhard von Bülow, Memoirs of Prince von Bülow, 3 vols. (Boston: Little, Brown, 1932), Ill: 166;
| and Alfred von Tirpitz, My Memoirs (London: Hurst and Blackett, 1919), p. 280} Are these merely
| the self-serving recollections of war criminals or of fools whose incompetence visited upon the
| world a war of unparalleled devastation? If the answer is an affirmative one, the 1914 case is of little | interest to the student of crisis, and the prescription is relatively simple -- keep war criminals and
| fools out of high office.
|
|
|     But perhaps the answer to "how it all happened" is not quote so simple. The proposition to be
| explored in this section is that the individual stress model may help to explain the disastrous events
| of 1914. It should be made clear at the outset that what follows is an illustration and not an attempt
| at a full-scale explanation. {Further discussions of the 1914 crisis may be found in chapter by
| Robert Jervis and Samuel Williamson in this book. [Lauren, Diplomacy] } It does not deal with the
| state of military technology, European alliance commitments, the balance of power, contingency
| plans of foreign and war offices, historical enmities, economic competition, or imperial ambitions
| and rivalries.  All of these were important in 1914 and nothing in the analysis that follows is
| intended to deny their relevance. Nevertheless, these were also important in 1911, in 1908, and in
| other years that featured confrontations among the major powers.  But, unless we adopt a
| deterministic view -- as is implied, for example, by the popular metaphor of the assassination as a
| lighted match thrown into a keg of powder -- it is appropriate to consider not only the European
| context in 1914, but also the decision processes. [I'm an en engineer but I question the validity of
| simplifying human interactions to be analogous to the deterministic relations in Newtonian
| mechanical equations governing insensate things such as billiard balls - that a specific input will
| predictably always create the exact same output] The focus here is on two aspects of Figure 1 -
| perceptions of time pressure and of policy options.
|
| [skipping to p. 261]
|
| Policy Options
|
| One way of coping with decision stress is a form of bolstering, attributing to the adversary sole
| responsibility for choices and outcomes, while absolving oneself, owing to the absence of real
| alternatives. Data from the 1914 crisis provide some striking support for the proposition that, in a
| crisis situation, decision makers will tend to perceive the range of their own alternatives to be more
| restricted than those of their opponents.  That is, they will perceive their own decision making to be
| characterized by necessity and closed option, whereas those of the adversary are characterized by | open choices (Table 2).
|
|



















|
|
|
|
|     The 1914 documents are filled with such words as "must," "compelled," "obliged," "unable,"
| "driven," "impossible," and "helpless," but these rarely occur except when the author is referring to
| the policies of his own nation. To students of strategy the assertions of the Kaiser, the Czar, and
| others that they were helpless once they had set their military machines into motion may appear to
| be a "real life" application of the tactics of commitment, "a device to leave the last clear chance to
| decide the outcome with the other party, in a manner that he fully appreciates; it is to relinquish
| further initiative, having rigged the incentives so that the other party must choose on one's favor."
| {Thomas C. Schelling, The Strategy of Conflict (New York: Oxford University Press, 1963) pp. 137-| 138.} This explanation may be valid for messages that were intended for wide circulation among
| officials in allied or enemy countries. On the other hand, the most "private" documents -- those
| intended only for circulation within the various foreign offices -- do not differ materially from the
| entire set of documents in respect to the findings reported here. The clearest evidence in support of
| this assertion is to be found in the Kaiser's marginal notations and in the various minutes of Eyre
| Crowe, Assistant Under-Secretary of State, in the British Foreign Office.
|
|      Even a cursory survey of the diplomatic documents reveals that, with the exception of Austria-
| Hungary, European leaders consistently perceived fewer options open to themselves than to their
| adversaries.  Edward Grey, for example, who took the most active role in seeking mediation, wrote
| on July 24 [1914] that "we can do nothing for moderation unless Germany is prepared pari passu to | do the same." { Great Britain, Foreign Office, British Documents on the Origins of the War, 1898-1914, 11 vols., ed. G.P. Gooch and Harold Temperley, vol. 11, Foreign Office Documents June 28th-August 4th, 1914, collected by J.W. Headlam-Morley (London: His Majesty's Stationery Office,
| 1926),  #103. [Hereafter cited as Great Britain.]} Until the final hours of the crisis, leaders in Berlin
| were opposed to mediation of the local conflict, in part because previous conferences called to settle | international crises (such as Algeciras in 1906) had, in the eyes of the Kaiser and others, denied
| them the diplomatic victories to which they [felt they] were entitled.  According to Bethmann
| Hollweg,"We cannot mediate in the conflict between Austria and Serbia but possibly later between
| Austria and Russia." { Max Montgelas and Walter Schücking (eds.), Outbreak of the World War, German Documents Collected by Karl Kautsky (New York: Oxford University Press, 1924),  #247.
| [Hereafter this source will be cited as Germany.]} Nor were the Russians inclined to mediation
| because, in the words of Saznov, "we have assumed from the beginning a posture which we cannot
| change." {Russian, Komissiia po izdaiiu dokumentov epokhi imperializma, Mezhdunarodyne otnosheniia v epokhe imperializma; dokument 12 arkhivov tsarkogo i vremennogo pravitel'stv 1878-1917, gg. 3d series, vols. 4,5, (Moscow and Leningrad: Gosudarstvennoe sotsial'no-ekonomicheskoe izdatal'stvo, 1931,1934), #118. [Hereafter cited as Russia.]}
|
|     But the same leaders who expressed varying degrees of inability to cope with the situation in the
| Balkans tended to perceive more freedom of action for members of the opposing alliance. After the
| outbreak of war between Serbia and Austria-Hungary, Grey wrote: "The whole idea of mediation or
| mediating influence was ready to be put into operation by any method that Germany could suggest if | mine was not acceptable. In fact, mediation was ready to come into operation by any method that
| Germany thought possible if only Germany would 'press the button' in the interests of peace."
| {Great Britain, #263}
|
|     The tendency to perceive one's own alternatives to be more restricted than those of the adversary
| is also evident in the reaction to the events leading up to general war. The reaction of German
| decision makers was typical.  On the one hand, they asserted repeatedly that they had not choice but | to take vigorous military measures against the threat to the east. "Then I must mobilize too!... He
| [Nicholas] expressly stated in his first telegram that he would be presumably forced to take measures | that would lead to a European war. Thus he takes the responsibility upon himself." {Germany
| #399.} On the other hand, they credited Russia with complete freedom to take the actions necessary | to prevent war: "The responsibility for the disaster which is now threatening the whole civil world
| will not be laid at my door. In this moment it still lies in your [Nicholas] power to avert it."
| {Germany #480.} And Wilhelm, like the Czar, finally asserted that he had lost control of his own
| military and that only the actions of the adversary could stop further escalation: "On technical
| grounds my mobilization which had already been proclaimed this afternoon must proceed against
| two fronts, east and west as prepared. This cannot be countermanded because I am sorry your
| [George V] telegram came so late." {Germany #575.} The same theme of a single option open to
| oneself, coupled with perceptions that the initiative for peace rested with the enemy, is evident in the | French and Austrian statements regarding their own mobilizations.
|
|     An increasing sense of helplessness and resignation to the irresistible course of events is evident
| in many of the documents. On the day of the Serbian reply to the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum, Paul | Cambon, French ambassador to London, stated that he saw "no way of halting the march of events." | {France, Commission de Publication des documents relatifs aux origines de la guerre, 1914, | Documents Diplomatiques Francais (1871-1914), 3rd series, vols. 10, 11 (Paris: Imprimerie
| nationale, 1936), #38.  [Hereafter cited as France.]} In contrast to Edward Grey, who maintained the | hope that the European powers would find a way to prevent a general war, Arthur Nicolson asserted | on July 29 [1914], "I am of the opinion that the resources of diplomacy are, for the present,
| exhausted." {Great Britain #252.}  At the same time, in St. Petersburg, Sazonov wrote of the
| "inevitability of war" while in Berlin, the Kaiser, in one of the most vitriolic of his marginal notes,
| concluded that "we have proved ourselves helpless." {Russia, #221; Germany, #401.}
|
|     Significantly contributing to the belief that options were severely restricted was the rigidity of the | various mobilization plans. Austria-Hungary and Russia had more than one plan for mobilization,
| but once any one of them was set in motion, it could be altered only with great effort. The Russians
| could order either a general mobilization against both Germany and Austria-Hungary, or a partial
| one directed only at the latter.  But, as Russian generals were to argue vehemently during the crucial | says at the end of July, a partial mobilization would preclude a general one for months to come,
| leaving Russia completely at the mercy of Germany. According to General Dobrorolski, "The whole | plan of mobilization is worked out ahead to its end in all its detail.  When the moment has been
| chosen, one has only to press the button, and the whole state begins to function automatically with
| the precision of  a clock's mechanism....Once the moment has been fixed, everything is settled; there | is no going back; it determines mechanically the beginning of war." [sounds like one giant game of
| chicken] { Quoted in Sidney B. Fay, The Origins of the World War (New York: Macmillan, 1930
| ed.), II: 481.}
|
|     France and Germany each had but a single plan for calling up their armed forces and, in the case
| of Germany, political leaders were ill informed about the rigidity of mobilization and war plans.
| The Kaiser's last-minute attempt to reverse the Schlieffen plan -- to attack only in the East --
| shattered Moltke, Chief of the German General Staff, who replied: "That is impossible, Your
| Majesty. An army of a million cannot be improvised. It would be nothing but a rabble of
| undisciplined armed men, without a commissariat ...It is utterly impossible to advance except
| according to plan; strong in the west, weak in the east." { Moltke, Erinnerungen, quoted in Virginia
| Cowles, The Kaiser (New York: Harper & Row, 1964), pp. 343-346.}
|
|  
|     Finally, all of the mobilization plans existed only on paper; except for the Russo-Japanese War, no | major European power had mobilized since 1878. This fact rendered the plans all the more rigid and | made military leaders responsible for carrying them out less likely to accept any last-minute
| modifications. It may also have added to the widely believed dictum that one did not mobilize for
| any purpose other than war.
|
|
|     Just as European tended to perceive fewer alternatives open to themselves than to their
| adversaries, so they regarded their allies to be in a similar position vis-à-vis their enemies. On the
| one hand, German documents are replete with explanation that Austria was pursuing the only policy | open to her and thus Germany could not play a moderating role in Vienna, although only four
| months earlier Wilhelm had stated that if Vienna gets into a war against the Slavs through "great
| stupidity," it would "leave us [Germany] quite cold." {95 Quoted in Fay, The Origins of the World War, II: 207.} On the other hand, the Kaiser appealed to England, apparently convinced that the latter | could perform the very role which he felt was impossible for Germany -- restraining the most
| belligerent member of the coalition.  "Instead of making proposals for conferences, His Majesty the
| King should order France and Russia, frankly and plainly, at one and the same time -- they were HIS | ALLIES -- to DESIST at once from the mobilization, remain NEUTRAL and await Austria's
| proposals, which I should immediately transmit as soon as I was informed of them .... I could do
| nothing more direct; it was for him to take hold now and prove the honesty of English love of
| peace." [I'm certain the Brits loved peace - they just weren't interested in being Germany's punk] {
| Germany #474.} The assumption of British freedom to determine the policy of her allies, coupled
| with restrictions on German policy, is nowhere as clear as in one of the Kaiser's marginal notes: "He | [Grey] knows perfectly well, that if he were to say one single serious sharp warning word at Paris
| and Petersburg, and were to warn them to remain neutral, both would become quiet at once. But he
| takes care not to speak the word, and threatens us instead! Common cur! England alone bears the
| responsibility for peace and war, and not we any longer." { Germany, #368.}
|
|
|      This approach to the problem of allies was not confined to Berlin.  Adducing arguments that were | strikingly similar to those used by the Kaiser, British leaders denied their ability or willingness to
| dictate a policy of moderation in Paris or St. Petersburg. Nicolson wrote on July 29: "I do not think
| that Berlin quite understands that Russia cannot and will not stand quietly by while Austria
| administers a severe chastisement to Serbia. She does not consider that Serbia deserves it, and she
| could not, in view of that feeling and of her position in the Slave world, consent to it." {Great
| Britain, #264.} Grey assessed the requirements of his French ally in similar terms: "France did not
| wish to join in the war that seemed about to break out,  but she was obliged to join in it, because of
| her alliance." {Great Britain, #477. } At the same time, however, he believed that Germany could
| constrain the cause of her ally: "But none of us could influence Austria in this direction unless
| Germany would propose and participate in such action in Vienna." {Great Britain, #99.} On July 28 | Nicholas had appealed to his counterpart in Berlin: "To try and avoid such a calamity as a European
| war, I beg you in the name of our old friendship to do what you can to stop your allies from going too far." {Russia, #170.}
|
|     The few attempts made to restrain the militant members of each alliance were either halfhearted
| or too late. Typical was the advice of Sir Eyre Crowe, who had written on July 25: "The moment has | passed when it might have been possible to enlist French support in an effort to hold back Russia. It
| is clear that France and Russia are decided to accept the challenge thrown to them." He expressed
| the opinion that it would be both impolitic and dangerous to try to change their minds. {Great
| Britain, #101.} Similarly, a last-minute German attempt to hold Austria in check failed. At 2:55
| A.M., July 30, Bethmann Hollweg concluded a telegram to Vienna:"Under these circumstances we
| must urgently and impressively suggest to the consideration of the Vienna Cabinet that acceptance
| of mediation on the mentioned honorable conditions. The responsibility for the consequences that
| would otherwise follow would be an uncommonly heavy one both for Austria and for us."
| {Germany, #395.} A few minutes later, however, Moltke sent a wire to Vienna urging immediate
| mobilization against Russia, promising Germany's full support for such an action -- even if it led to
| general war. {Quoted in Fay, The Origins of the World War, II: 509.}
|
|
✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------

"During these long and earnest years of the war, the Emperor had been moved by a single thought: How peace could be restored to safeguard Germany after the struggle in which she has fought victoriously.  In a deep moral and religious sense of duty toward his nation and, beyond it, toward humanity, the Emperor now considers that the moment has come for official action toward peace."


It was understood that underneath this arrogance lay a desire by Germany that representatives of the belligerent powers should meet in conference at The Hague in January for a full discussion of all questions at issue.  What terms Germany was willing to concede was left as a matter only for surmise.  No authorized statement of German terms was made public then or afterward, but, from what was allowed to come out from semi-official sources, it was inferred that the basis was substantially the status quo ante bellum, or a return to conditions that existed before the war, except as to the Balkans and the Russian frontier.  Germany was thought willing to evacuate all territory occupied by her armies in Belgium and France. Belgium would be reestablished as before, altho Germany might insist on the defortification of Antwerp and other Belgian cities.

   
✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Being arrogant seems to have bee standard operating procedure for the German Foreign Ministry at
| the time. The German Minister threatened the US Ambassador with civic unrest if the USA refused
| to remain neutral:
|
|
| Unfortunately, Germany's bullying worked for most of the war, to the point where President Wilson
| falsely scapegoated US rail companies in order to exonerate German saboteurs. From 
| "History Detectives:Black Tom Shell"





| Gwen: Why did the press take almost eight years to acknowledge German involvement in 
| a devastating attack on a neutral United States? I’m meeting John Cooper, who authored a 
| biography of President Wilson, at the Woodrow Wilson house in Washington, D.C. He says
| the president knew almost immediately that the blast was not an industrial accident, but 
| almost certainly the work of German spies. 
|
| Gwen: So you’re suggesting that he knew it was German sabotage but did not want this to 
| become public.
| John Cooper: They had good intelligence about what was going on there. We don’t have the 
| FBI yet, but we do have a Bureau of Investigations already beginning to follow this and the 
| Secret Service is also on it… oh yeah, they knew about it.
| Gwen: At the time, however, President Wilson was only three months away from the next 
| election, and running on an anti-war platform.
| John Cooper: The reason that the administration sat on the Black Tom: they didn’t want to get
| into the war; it’s simply you want to keep it quiet. That’s why there is no official response 
| to the Black Tom. 


✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------







COL. EDWARD M. HOUSE
A snapshot of President
Wilson's representative
at the Supreme War
Council after a meeting
of the council in Paris































✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------

| Mr. House was only a "colonel" in the sense that KFC Colonel Sanders was. Even more annoying 
| than House's presumptive stolen valour was the fact that he wrote a book "Philip Dru Administrator" | that advocated a strongman dictator instigate a coup in the USA. 
|

|
|
|
 ✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------





     By an unexpected coincidence President Wilson on December 18 -- six days later -- sent a formal diplomatic communication to all the nations engaged in the war, inviting them to an exchange of views as to terms of peace.  The note was said to have been prepared several weeks before it was sent; in fact before the German Chancellor had made his announcement, the American Government stating this fact in order to dispel any suspicion on the part of the Allies that it was "backing" Germany.  President Wilson's communication was made in diplomatic terms and was not a proposal of intervention, or even of mediation, but simply a tender of good offices.  It met with prompt response from Germany and her allies, who, in substance repeated the proposal contained in the German declaration of December 12, but a little more explicitly, since they now proposed "an immediate meeting of delegates of the belligerent states at a neutral place."  As to the prevention of future wars to which the President's address had made particular reference, Germany declared that so great a work could be begun "only after the end of the present struggle of the nations."  Nor was any reference made to a suggestion President Wilson had offered that the warring nations should state their peace terms.  Prompt utterances in the parliaments of all the Entente Allies and by the Premiers of those countries, of which the speech of Mr. Lloyd George was the most conspicuous, foreshadowed the later formal Allied reply.  Mr. Lloyd George's phrase -- "Complete restitution, full reparation, and effectual guaranties" -- exprest the spirit of all the nations that were fighting Germany.  In the formal Allied reply a few days later peace terms were indicated as follows:

"The Entente objects of the war are well known.  The civilized world knows that they imply, in all necessity and in the first instance, the restoration of Belgium, of Serbia, and of Montenegro, and the indemnities which are due them: the evacuation of the invaded territories of France, of Russia, and of Roumania, with just reparation; the reorganization of Europe, guaranteed by a stable régime, and founded as much upon respect of nationalities and full security and liberty of economic development, which all nations, great or small possess, as upon territorial conventions and international agreements suitable to guarantee territorial and maritime frontiers against unjustified attacks; the restitution of provinces or territories wrested in the past from the Allies by force or against the will of their populations; the liberations of Italians, of Slavs, of Roumanians, and of Czecho-Slovaks from foreign domination;


✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------
|
| Seems progressives at the beginning of 20th Century thought the way to end all wars was to break
| up big empires into smaller constituent nation states. Conversely,  at the beginning of the 21st
| Century progressives now believe that creating a giant European supra state will end all
| international wars.....Standard Dilbert esque org chart reorg strategy
|
|
|



















|
✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------

the enfranchisement of populations subject to the bloody tyranny of the Turks; the expulsion from Europe of the Ottoman Empire, decidedly alien to Western civilization.

✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------
|Woodrow Wilson would be denounced as an Islamophobe for this request in today's day and age.
|
| The tenor of Wilson's letter presupposes the baseline in human civilization should be peace and that
| war is an aberration.  However, Frank Capra in a World War II propaganda film "Here Is Germany", | asserts that Germans  were taught to think just the opposite:
|
|
|

|
|
| "Prussian militarists who regarded each war as only one campaign in an unending war for Prussian
| supremacy."
|
|












|
|
| Unfortunately, there seems to be some Americans advocating adoption of the perpetual
| war Weltanschauung
|
|
|

|
|
|
✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------



The intentions of his Majesty, the Emperor of Russia, regarding Poland have been clearly indicated in the proclamation which he has just addrest to his armies.


✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------
|
| Both Prussia and Russia wiped Poland off the map in the 18thC. After a short lived rebirth, Hitler
| and Stalin conspired to wipe them off the map a second time in the 20thC
|
✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------


     "It goes without saying that if the Allies wish to liberate Europe from the brutal coveteousness if Prussian militarism, it never has been their design, as has been alleged, to encompass the extermination of the German peoples and their political disappearance.


✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------
|
| The Germans seem to be psychologically projecting their intentions and past actions onto the Allies. | After then being allowed to maintain their mainland homeland, they then moved the goal posts, and
| complained they weren't allowed to keep their overseas colonies and their entire empire.
|
✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------


That which they desire above all is to insure a peace upon the principles of liberty and justice, upon the inviolable fidelity to international obligations with which the Government of the United States has never ceased to be inspired.  United in the pursuit of this supreme object, the Allies are determined, individually and collectively, to act with all their power and to consent to all sacrifices, to bring to a victorious close a conflict upon which they are convinced not only their own safety and prosperity depend, but also the future of civilization itself."


    The reply of the Entente Allies was dated January 10.  Twelve days later President Wilson delivered before the United States Senate an impressive address in behalf of peace.  The keynote of the speech was that, while the United States would willingly join in any international movement to secure the future peace of the world, the basis of peace must be just and lasting and such as the United States could approve.  Such a peace could only be brought about by general consent, and should not be imposed by force of arms upon vanquished nations.

✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------
|
| Wilson's response sounds like namby pamby stuff and I'm certain WWI Germans just rolled their
| eyes, similar to WWII Germans laughing at FDR's similar requests. The WHOLE POINT of war is
| impose your will upon vanquished enemies, not hold hands and sing kumbaya.
|
|
|

|
|
|
|
|
✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------

It should recognize the principle of nationality and the right of every people to political and economic freedom.  To illustrate these general principles, the President specified as desirable the creation of a "united, independent, and autonomous Poland" and a general recognition that "the paths of the sea must alike in law and in fact be free."  If a satisfactory readjustment of international relations could be secured as a result of the war, the President was sure that America would not be backward in guaranteeing its permanence, since that would not be abandoning the principle of the Monroe Doctrine, but applying it to the whole world.

     This address profoundly stirred the nation [of the USA]. Many even of President Wilson's political opponents found much to praise in it.  Pacifists of all parties welcomed it as a most important diplomatic step and one much to the credit of the administration. This was not the famous "Fourteen-points" speech which played so large a part in the final settlement of the issues of the war at the Peace Conference in Paris in the winter and spring of 1919.  The "Fourteen Points" speech was not made until January 8 of the following year, and was Wilson's answer to Germany's so-called peace offensive at Brest-Litovsk.

✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------
|
| If Wilson's 14 points - peace without victory - proposition was meant to counter Germany's rather
| harshly termed Brest-Litovsk treaty - it must have boomeranged and prolonged the war. If Germans
| knew they might have to pay the same high price from the Allies that Russia paid to the Kaiser, they | might not have gambled by prolonging hostilities.  As far as Germany was concerned, it was a win,
| no-lose gamble. If they won the war, they'd demand territory and tribute from defeated countries,
| like they did from Russia. If Germany lost, they thought the Allies, according to Wilson's hippy
| dippiness, would not ask any sacrifice from them. The German high command condescending dismissive haughtiness with respect to the USA was illustrated with their saber rattling bullying to the USA ambassador:




|
✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------



     A week later came from Germany a note by the side of which all events in the trenches, and all discussion of peace possibilities in various parliaments paled into insignificance.  The world now had from Germany a new ultimatum in the form of a reply to the address of President Wilson in the Senate.  Asserting that the main tendencies of the President's address as to peace corresponded largely with the desires and principles profest by Germany , and declaring that Germany's opponents had declined to accept these principles, the ultimatum proceeded to state that the German Government was now compelled to continue its fight for existence, again forced upon it, with the full employment of all weapons that were at its disposal.  Germany therefore announced that , on and after February 1, she would pursue what was popularly known as the von Tirpitz system of ruthless submarine warfare.  Se traffic was to be stopt "with every available weapon and without further notice," in what she defined as "blockade zones" about Great Britain, France, Italy and the eastern Mediterranean.  Germany went so far in this extraordinary document as to issue instructions to the United States as to how American vessels should be marked by flags and painted with sign in order to avoid being torpedoed, and further, announced that the United States would be permitted to dispatch only one steamer a week in each direction to England, and only then when the point of destination was Falmouth, England.  Moreoever, this single weekly steamer would have to arrive "at Falmouth on Sunday and depart from Falmouth on Wednesday, taking a lane that Germany prescribed."

     Germany's action in this matter was accepted as virtually a declaration of war against the whole world.  Specifically it amounted to a declaration of war against the United States, unless the people of the United States were willing to take their instructions from Germany as to what ships they should send out on the high seas and how they should sail them, and death as an alternative.

✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------
|
| It seems rather high handed of Germany to make such demands.
|
|
| However, taxpayer supported PBS American Experience : "The Great War: 1918" seem simpatico
| with blaming the victim of Germany Uboat warfare:
|
|
|
|
video
|
|
|
| McCullough: Good evening, I'm David McCullough. "The lamps are going out all over Europe,"
| said the British Foreign Minister Lord Grey. "We shall not see them lit again in our lifetime." It was
| August 1914, the eve of the Great War, as it was called. The war that supposed to end all wars. The
| slaughter was appalling, unimaginable, year after year. We [the United States] vowed to keep out,
| but that proved impossible. "The Yanks are coming over there," we sang in 1917. "I felt I was
| Galahad after the grail," remembered Captain Harry Truman of Missouri.
|
|
|
|

|
|
|
| McCullough: They mostly all felt that way as they sailed for France to make the world "Safe for
| Democracy".
|
|
|
|

| McCullough: from World War I came a whole new vocabulary: Buck Private, Brass Hat, Dog Tag,
| Chow Line, Red Tape, Shell Shock, and Basket Case. A basket case was a quadruple amputee. The
| new modern tools of slaughter included the flame thrower, the machine gun, the hand grenade, the
| tank, the airplane and poison gas. Yet it was also a war in which hay supplies were vital for the tens
| of thousand of horses used. It was where the 19th and the 20th Centuries parted ways forever.
| Imagine in the frenzy of battle trying to put a gas mask on a horse.
|
|
|
|
|

| McCullough: No larger American army had ever been seen than the one that moved to the front for | the Meuse-Argonne offensive. That dramatically figures in tonight's film, "The Great War of 1918."
| By the war's end, American casualties exceeded 120,000.  More Americans were killed in battle in a | year and a half than were killed in Vietnam in nine years.
|
|
|
|
video
|
|
|
| Narrator: In 1916 we had been emphatically against the war. President Woodrow Wilson was
| hailed as a tough idealist reelected as the man who had kept us out of Europe's madness. In his
| speeches he drew a vision of a world without war created through American diplomacy. We would
| be the peacemakers. But as Wilson spoke of peace our country became rich on wartime trade.
| American food was sold to feed England and France; American steel was sold to supply their
| factories. Finally, in January 1917 the German navy moved to cut the allies' supply lines [and at that | time, the USA was still a neutral country]. On February 3, Wilson broke off diplomatic ties with
| Germany [after Germany declared unrestricted submarine warfare against neutral shipping].  The
| first American vessel was sunk a few days later. In March, three more of our ships went down [after | being attacked by Germany]. On April 2, 1917, the President went to Congress to ask for war. He
| said on that day,"It is a fearful thing to lead this great peaceful people into war, civilization itself
| seeming to be in the balance."
|
|
|
|
video
|
|
|
|
|
|
| Narrator: Few realized that [Pershing] was a general without an army. Back home. public opinion 
| had to be changed before we could raise the men and the money for war. The government launched 
| a propaganda campaign unprecedented in American experience. Speakers told the people that we 
| were going to war to save democracy from death. Hollywood stars like Mary Pickford, Charlie 
| Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks were enlisted to sell Liberty Bonds. They said the war was going to cost | a lot of money. Few people understood the political intrigues that had caused the war or the 
| commercial interests that had led Germany to become our enemy. But that didn't seem to matter. | If you loved your country, you were for the war. 
|
| Dorothy Frooks [US Navy recruiter] : We all felt that Woodrow Wilson was right; that anybody 
| who invaded our privacy, our way of life, anybody who disturbed us -- which [the Germans] did 
| when they sank our ship -- that was a reason to go into war. 
|
|
| Narrator: If you were for the war, you learned to hate the enemy. At official rallies, effigies of 
| German leaders were hung. You paid a dollar to the war fund to bang a nail into the Kaiser's coffin. 
| The teaching of the German language was banned in schools and Germans themselves became 
| known as "the Boche" and "the Hun."  When we declared war we had a standing army of only 
| 130,000 men. We needed to draft and recruit four million. 
|
|
|
|
video
|
|
|♪ Johnny get your gun, get your gun, get your gun
| Take it on the run, on the run, on the run
| Hear them calling you and me, everyone for liberty... ♪ 
|
| Narrator: They were described as "Pershing's crusaders" in one propaganda film. Modern knights 
| crusading for a new world. 
|
|♪ Tell your sweetheart not to pine
| To be proud here boy's in line
| Over there, over there
| Send the word, send the word
| over there
| That the Yanks are coming...♪
|
|
| Narrator: Last letters posted on this side of the Atlantic read: "Dear Folks, I am doing the world's
| work and I'm in it to the finish for God, for liberty, for honor."
|
|
|
|♪ Send the word over there,
| That the Sammies are coming,
| The Sammies are coming
| The drums rum-tumming everywhere
| So prepare.....♪
|
| Narrator: Many, many years later a man who lived through it wrote this: "We were not hypocrites,
| only innocent. We went to war like sleepwalkers muttering incantations."
|
| Another quote"Dear Folks: I am leaving toady for the Great Adventure."
|
|
|

|
| However, at the beginning of World War I, England imposed a similar ultimatum on neutral
| countries, including the USA, and implemented an embargo of Germany. Instead of a replay of the
| War of 1812 when the UK tried a similar embargo on Napoleonic France, which eventually led to
| President Madison declaring war on England:
|
|
|














|
|

















|
| England agreed to reimburse the USA for any commercial loss a British embargo would have on
| American trade with continental Europe. Wilson took this gamble.
|
|
|

|
|
| However, after the war, the UK first left the gold standard, as was obliquely suggested in Q and A
| scene in "Remains of the Day".
|
|
video
|
|
| 1st snotty British rich guy: You cannot go wrong if you listen to the opinions of your ordinary man 
| in the street. They're perfectly entitled to give an opinion on politics
|
| 2nd snotty British rich guy: Such an old-fashioned view. They have no qualifications whatsoever. 
|
| 1st snotty guy: Of course they have
|
| 2nd guy: No
|
| Lord Darlington: Stevens, Mr. Spencer would like a word with you.
|
|
| Stevens, the Butler: Sir
|
|
| Mr. Spencer: My good man, I have a question for you.
|
|
| Stevens: Yes, sir?
|
|
| Spencer: Do you suppose the debt situation regarding America is a significant factor in the present 
| low levels of trade or do you suppose this is a red herring, and that the abandonment of the gold 
| standard is at the root of the problem? 
|
| Stevens: I'm sorry, sir, but I am unable to be of assistance in this matter.
|
|
| Spencer: Oh, dear, what a pity. Well, perhaps you can help us on another matter. 
|
|
| 2nd snotty guy: Oh, no [chuckling]
|
|
| Spencer: Do you think that the currency problem in Europe would be alleviated by an arms 
| agreement between the French and the Bolsheviks? 
|
|
| Stevens: I'm sorry, sir, but I am unable to be of assistance in this matter.
|
|
| Darlington: Very well, Stevens, that'll be all.
|
|
| Spencer: Uh, one moment, Darlington. I have another question to put to our good man here.
|
|
| 2nd snotty guy: Oh, no.
|
|
| Spencer: My good fellow, do you share our opinion that Monsieur Daladier's recent speech on the  
| situation in North Africa was simply a ruse to scupper the nationalist fringe of his own domestic 
| party? 
|
| Stevens: I'm sorry, sir, but I am unable to be of assistance in any of these matters.
|
|
| Spencer: You see, gentlemen, our good man here is unable to assist us in these matters. And yet we 
| still go along with the notion that this nation's decisions be left in the hands of our good man here 
| and a few millions like him.  You may as well ask a committee of the Mothers' Union to organize a 
| war campaign. 
|
|
| Darlington: Thank you, Stevens.
|
| Stevens: Thank you, my lord. Thank you, sir.
|
|
| 2nd snotty guy: Yes, well, you certainly proved your point there, Spencer.
|
|
| Spencer: Q.E.D., I think.
|
|
| 1st snotty guy: No, not at all
|
|
| 2nd snotty guy: [Chuckling] Oh, yes, he has.
|
🎭
|
|
| Then both France and England out and out defaulted on their WWI loans. Finland was the only 
| country to pay back their loans to the USA in full.
|
|
|

|
|
| Lucky for the continuance of our NATO alliance, most Americans ignore Britain's financial
| malfeasance and solely blame Smoot Halley Tariff vs loan default for the Great Depression'
|
|
|

|
|
|
✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------

The new policy was a revival, with some added and more obnoxious details, of the policy Germany had declared in February, 1915, and against which President Wilson had protested by saying that Germany would be held to "strict accountability" if American rights were injured or American lives were lost.  The President had then said the United States regarded such a policy as "an indefensible violation of neutral rights which it would be very hard indeed to reconcile with the friendly relations existing between the two Governments. {Of this note, and other negotiations with Germany covering two years and pertaining to the sinking of the [RMS] Lusitania [a British flagged ship] and other ships on which American lives were lost, more detailed accounts are given in that part of this work which deals with the ear on the sea.  See Volume IX}

      The German Government now said it would torpedo every American ship found in this zone, other than one that was proceeding on a certain date over a route Germans had prescribed.  In the same breath it had the audacity to assert that "the freedom of the seas has always formed part of the leading principles of Germany's political program."  The note concluded with a hope that the United States would "view the new situation form the lofty heights of impartiality, and assist, on their part, to prevent further misery and unavoidable sacrifice of human life." This expectation from Germany that the United States would cheerfully put its merchant marine under the specific charge of the German Government would have been thought comic, had it not been so tragic, so utterly self-sufficient.  Read after the return of peace, it seemed like a bit of German sarcasm, rather than a sober and determined statement of war policy by men still possest of sane minds. It had become clear tot he Allies, moreover, that the Chancellor's peace bid of December 12 was merely a mask covering an ulterior purpose; that what the Chancellor really meant was, " Now be good and give us what we want, or you'll be sorry."


THE NEW YORK PREPAREDNESS PARADE OF MAY, 1916
One of the earliest notable demonstrations of the growing popular conviction
that a break with Germany was inevitable




























     A second memorandum which followed from the German embassy, on instructions from Berlin, said that Germany would meet the activities of her enemies by forcibly preventing, in a zone around Great Britain, France, Italy, and in the eastern Mediterranean, all navigation, that of neutrals included, from and to England, and from and to France.  "All ships met within that zone," said the memorandum, "will be sunk." The Imperial Government was confident that this measure would result "in a speedy termination of the war and in the restoration of peace which the Government of the United States has so much at heart" -- a statement which to most Americans seemed still more a piece of sarcasm, or insolent irony rather than a grave diplomatic utterance.




JAMES W. GERARD
American Ambassador to Germany
until 1917
























     Three days later President Wilson sent to Count von Bernstorff his passports and recalled the American Ambassador, Mr. Gerard, from Berlin -- an act which met with much popular approval.  When Bernstorff learned that he was to go home he said: "I am not surprized.  My Government will not be surprized either.  The people of Berlin knew what was bound to happen if they took the action they have taken" -- a statement seen later to have been strictly true.  Germany really believed she could starve England before the United States could become effective, should we choose to go to war, and hence Germany was safe in defying us.  President Wilson told Congress on February 3 that the United States Government had announced, after the sinking of the Sussex [A French flagged ship], that it would break off diplomatic relations with Germany unless she abandoned certain features of her submarine warfare.  As she had now declared her purpose to resume these methods -- in fact was greatly to intensify and extend them -- our Ambassador at Berlin had been recalled and passports had been handed to the German Ambassador at Washington.  President Wilson had informed Germany that if American ships and American lives should again be sacrificed by German submarine commanders "in heedless contravention of the just and reasonable understandings of international law and the obvious dictates of humanity," he would go again before the Congress and ask that authority be given him to use any means that might be necessary for the protection of our seamen and our people in the prosecution of their peaceful and legitimate errands on the high seas.




FREDERICK CORTLAND PENFIELD
American Ambassador to Austria-
Hungary until 1917



























      Germany's action as to submarine warfare was interpreted in neutral countries as in one sense due to her having virtually reached the end of her land victories.  Brusiloff's advance in 1916 had been stopt only after a pro-German minister, Protopopoff, had become the Russian Minister of the Interior and virtually master of the Government, just as the year before the Grand Duke Nicholas, like Brusiloff, had swept all before hime, only to find, when he got into the enemy's territory, that another pro-German minister, Sukhomlinoff, had deprived him of ammunition and other supplies.  Germany had been able to keep up the illusion of victory for a while longer when Roumania, in the late autumn of 1916, dashed gayly and light-heartedly into the eagle's talons, but meanwhile she had found it impossible to defeat her real adversaries.  It had been easy enough to grab little kingdoms and conquer them -- easy in the case of Belgium, Serbia, and Montenegro, easy in the case of Roumania, when Germany had Bulgaria, Austria and Turkey to help her, but her people at home were losing faith in the fiction of an irresistible and all-conquering Imperialism, based on successful invasions of four small kingdoms, each having only a minor fraction of her own military resources.  With the supply of Roumanias, Serbias, Montenegros, and Belgiums exhausted, Germany at last saw around her the real adversaries whom she had to overcome; they had been growing continually and were now stronger than she was. She saw that the Turks could not long resist the Russian and the British; that she must give up her foremost line in France; that her allies in the Petrograd Government would not last much longer; that, in several trials of strength on the Western Front, she had failed to reach any success that suggested an ultimate decision in her favor; on the contrary, she had terrible losses on the Somme.

     In these conditions Germany proposed that peace be arranged in secret around a table at which the shrewdest manipulator would come off best.  When the Allies refused to be drawn into her trap and announced their peace terms openly, a complete discomfiture came to the German plan and Germany had to put forth a second plan which meant that she had cut loose from the restrictions of civilized warfare and declared a war of "frightfulness" on all the world, in the hope that by starving England she could halt the Allied military operations before spring was far advanced.  She had thus far failed completely in her effort to starve England, and her submarine war had become less terrible as it went on, altho it was still terrible enough.

     Meanwhile the Allied military operations she had hoped to check had not been checked.  The British had taken Bagdad and were pursuing the demoralized Turks into the jaws of the Grand Duke Nicholas's army, which was coming on from Persia without serious opposition and driving another Turkish army before it.  Defeat for the Turks was certain; the only question was whether it would involve the capture of Turkey as well.  In the west the Germans had retired to the Aisne, giving up before the Allied spring drive began more than Joffre and Haig had aimed at in their Somme campaign. On the 1,300-mile Russian front the weather still held armies fast bound; but the commander of those armies, Brusiloff, no longer was in fear of a ministerial traitor in his rear at Petrograd.

✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------
| It's somewhat ironic, tho unsurprising, that Allied propagandists use the same rationalization for
| battlefield defeats that Germans did - of military commanders being "stabbed in the back" by
| civilian bureaucrats
✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------

The events which Germany foresaw in December, the events which prompted her haughty but anxious offer of peace, and her desperate swing loose from the bonds of civilization on the sea were moving more swiftly even than her statesmen had expected.  They had expected to give up the Ancre sometime, but not in March; they had expected to lose their Petrograd alliance, but not in one day.

     The destruction by a German submarine of the Cunard passenger-steamship Laconia, off the coast of Ireland, on February 25, violated every principle of humanity and almost every principle of international law for which the American Government in its written statements to Germany had contended. If this were not an overt act of the kind which the President had in mind when he broke off diplomatic relations, and said he would go to Congress in case further hostilities were committed against us by Germany, it was difficult to say what would meet any definition of the term.  The Laconia was sunk in the night, without warning, by two torpedoes from a German submarine.  She was a merchant ship and carried many passengers, including women and children.  In the crew were ten or more Americans.  Two Americans were among the dead, while one other of the dead was believed to have been a naturalized American.


Admittedly, it's difficult not to view the described "frightfulness" in WWI anachronistically since German's Overton Windowed the concept of frightfulness a few decades later in WWII

     The story of the disaster was pitiful and moving.  Seventy-three passengers, men, women, and children were startled at half-past ten at night by the sudden lurching of the ship as the first torpedo struck.  Forty minutes later the Laconia went down. There was time only to lower and fill the boats with no delay for provisions or extra clothing.  The sea was running high, the water was icy cold, the danger to small boats imminent.  The submarine which had committed this act appeared on the surface, and its officer, in cold blood, left the boats to themselves, after saying that they might expect to be picked up by a British patrol-boat.  The loss of life was occasioned chiefly by the overturning of one boat.  Those who were thus cast into the sea were rescued by other boats, when in a desperate condition, some of them in a dying state {Floyd P. Gibbons in The Chicago Tribune.  Mr Gibbons was a passenger on the Laconia } Since the war began 230 Americans had now gone to their deaths through German and Austrian submarine operations. Most of them were traveling on unarmed merchant ships and, under the practises of International law and humanity, believed themselves secure.

     On February 21 the Associated press was able to reveal that Germany, in planning unrestricted submarine warfare and counting its consequences, had proposed an alliance with Mexico and Japan in order to make war on the United States provided this country did not remain neutral.  Japan, through Mexican mediation, was to be urged to abandon her Entente Allies and join in an attack on the United States.  Mexico, for her reward, was to receive a general financial support from Germany and was to reconquer Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona -- her "lost provinces" -- and was to share in the victorious peace terms that Germany expected to impose.

✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------
| The proposed territorial claims of the Zimmerman Telegram is  one reason why I was never
| sympathetic to German apologists who complain over the alleged harsh territorial concessions from
| Germany in the Versailles Treaty.  Germany/Prussia always demanded territory from defeated foes:
| Working with Russia to wipe Poland off map; Schleswig-Holstein from Denmark; Alsace Lorraine 
| from France; the harsh terms from Russia in the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.
|
|

|
|
✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------


Details were left to the German Minister von Eckhardt in Mexico City, who, by instructions signed by the German Foreign Minister Zimmermann in Berlin on January 19, 1917, was directed to propose this alliance with Mexico to General Carranza. These instructions had been transmitted to Exchardt through Count von Bernstorff, the former German Ambassador, then on his way home to Germany under a safe conduct obtained from Great Britain by this country.  Germany pictured to Mexico, by broad intimation, that Great Britain and the Entente were defeated, Germany and her allies triumphant and secure in world dominion by the instrument of unrestricted submarine warfare.  A copy of Zimmermann's instructions, as sent through von Bernstorff, was in the possession of the United States Government.  It read as follows:

"On the first of February we intend to begin unrestricted submarine warfare, notwithstanding this, it s our intention to endeavor to keep neutral the United States of America.  If this attempt is not successful, we propose an alliance on the following basis with Mexico.  That we shall make war together and together make peace.  We shall give general financial support, and it is understood that Mexico is to reconquer the lost territory in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona.  The details are left to you for settlement. You are instructed to inform the President of Mexico of the above in the greatest confidence as soon as it is certain that there will be an outbreak of war with the United States, and suggest that the President of Mexico, on his own initiative, should communicate with Japan suggesting adherence to this plan.  At the same time, offer to mediate between Germany and Japan.  Please call to the attention of the President of Mexico that the employment of ruthless submarine warfare now promises to compel England to make peace in a few months."



AFTER THE "IVERNIA" WAS TORPEDOED
This occurred in the Mediterranean January 1, 1917, the Ivernia being a
Cunarder. She was commanded by Captain Turner, who was captain of the
Lusitania when she was sunk [and seems to have been a jinx]























     Herr Zimmermann, in a published statement to the press, made before the Reichstag, defended this letter on the ground that if Germany was in danger of war with the United States it behooved Germany to "find new allies."  Many Americans recalled that only a few weeks after Zimmermann's note was sent to Mexico, Chancellor von Bethmann-Hollwegg had exprest in the Reichstag the high value Germany set on the friendship of the United States as "an heirloom from Frederick the Great."


✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------
| I'm not certain why the USA would like Frederick the Great since a number of German states sent
| over mercenary soldiers to fight for King George III during the American Revolution.  A walking tour of the Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania clears up matters, somewhat.
|
| Whereas the Hessians sent over soldiers that were put to work building gunpowder magazines:
|
|
|





   








|
|
| King Frederick signed a Treaty of Amity with the USA in 1785, two years before we ratified our | Constitution:
|
|












|
|
✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------

Zimmermann spoke of "right and duty" as having dictated an alliance with Carranza, in case of war between Germany and this country, but this was using a process or reasoning which had underlain the German invasion of Belgium, the sinking of the Lusitania, and the deportation of the Belgians.  His logical process was not hard to follow.  His German mind reasoned that Germany was at war, that war is fought in order to be won; that everything which contributed to victory was therefore justified, and that omission of any act tending to victory would be in a German statesman a betrayal of his right and duty.  Zimmermann was the man who, after the war, when he read reports of the probably Entente peace terms, remarked, "We supposed we were dealing with gentlemen."

✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Blue moon, I agree with American media wrt pointing out our opponents' hypocrisy. After a hundred | years, most of the American media seems to have suffered Stockholm Syndrome and feel the
| primary mission of the US military is to act like reverse mercenaries and to make the comfort and
| interests of our adversaries, versus our own force protection,  paramount.
|
|
|
✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------





     Reasoning of this sort, in its broad aspects, was not essentially different from the principles on which other Governments proceeded, but it was different in the merciless completeness with which Berlin applied it.  The German Government had become a victim of its own policy of "thorough". It had lost sense of proportion in morals as in practical wisdom.  Since it thought it was necessary for German armies to march through Belgium, therefore right and duty had dictated to it the assault on  Liège, Louvain, and Dinant.  Beyond that German logic could not go or see.  It did not see, or it chose to overlook, the power of Great Britain and the anger which its act would arouse in the neutral world.  It had argued that, since American munitions were being used against the soldiers of the Fatherland, therefore the Lusitania had to be destroyed. If it was a right and duty to sink a freighter with tens of thousands of shells in her hold, it was also a right and duty to sink anything that had shells on board or was supposed to have them.  But the Lusitania carried no shells.


✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------
|
| Trying to determine what, precisely, was in the cargo hold of the RMS Lusitania when she was
| torpedoed has been a point of contention for over a hundred years. A National Geographic
| documentary "The Last Voyage of the Lusitania" asserts there's documentation that the Lusitania
| carried small arms cartridges:
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|














|
|
| but did not carry major munitions. Lusitania was sunk by the German torpedo igniting coal dust
| from the boiler room versus hidden military weapons cache
|
|
|
|














|
|
| which, I suppose, the Kaiser just viewed as a mere technicality and a quibble or assert that the
| British were attempting to use the civilian passengers as human shields.
|
|
|
|

✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------




No attempt was made to strike a balance between the ammunition suspected to be in the Lusitania's cargo and the number of men, women and children known to be in her cabins.  Nor was any attempt made, from the point of view of cold reason, to strike a balance between the military advantage of the destruction of the Lusitania and the military disadvantage of arousing an outraged America to take sides against Germany,  The mere necessity for it was the compelling German argument.  Germany could not see why any nation fighting for self-preservation was not justified in picking up any weapon of defense that lay ready to hand; its mind did not grasp the fact that, even in the matter of self-preservation, there are acts against which the soul of man rebels.  Germans forgot that the soul has its claims against logic, there there are things which even the great States must not do, and doing, do at their peril.

      That same lack of sense of proportion, that application of mechanical reasoning to great world questions, appeared in Zimmermann's proposed overtures of Germany to Mexico and Japan.  What German statesmen failed to recognize was the enormous risk they were taking in order to gain at best a puny advantage.  On the one hand, they would have secured the mobilization of several thousand American troops on the Mexican border; on the other, the wrath of a nation which could bring forward against Germany fiftyfold the money, munitions and men that Carranza could draw from us against herself.  And besides there was always the chance of a discovery of the scheme before actual war came, and that was actually what did come to pass.  It was a case again of mechanistic German logic working without any appreciation of what Bismarck called, and set great value on, "the imponderables."


✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------
|
| Bismarckian "imponderables" or, what decades later, Rumsfeld might call "unknown unknowns"
|
|
|

✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------

Germany once more was the victim of her own "efficiency" as applied with thoroughness and determination, but with a minimum of mentality.  Perhaps even she, as well as the neutral world, would some day be able to see that, as a writer of old times has said, "The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong."


✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Uhm, "writer of old times" = Bible
|
|
|
✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------


     Germany, however, may have had greater hopes of alarming the timid element in America than of forming an alliance with Mexico and Japan, since the German mind accords much real power in the bogey man.  The result in any case was to clear the minds and rouse the spirit of such men in this country as had not already recognized the fact that Germany was already warring against the United States, and that to yield to her demands would be to make a weak and foolish surrender.  Even German-American papers found it hard to defend Germany's action in this matter.  Some actually attacked it, while others argued that she was justified from military and international points of view, but most admitted that Zimmermann had shown himself posset of mediocre diplomatic ability. Even Count Zu Reventlow, the most inflexible of Junker journalists, discerned that American sentiment, hitherto divided, "was now solidly behind the President."  A survey of the daily American press undertaken by the Literary Digest confirmed the accuracy of this Berlin judgment. It was notably true of the Middle West, which had not fully shared the indignation aroused in our Eastern population by the sinking of the Lusitania.  Many in that section had argued that, if Americans chose to risk their lives by sailing on British ships, it was their own affair; the country should not go to war merely for them.  But when the Zimmermann note came out, even the Middle West saw that the time for war had come.  Besides unifying sentiment all over the country, the Zimmermann note proved a real eye-opener. "Let us be grateful to Zimmermann," said the New York Tribune, "for he has contributed largely to our knowledge and understanding of the German method and the German idea."  Unwittingly, he had performed what the New York Journal of Commerce called "a service of lasting value to the cause of the humanity in the revelation made of German perfidy and mendacity -- of the impossibility of any civilized power living on terms of amity with such a Government."

      Not even the disclosure of Germany's plot to involve Mexico in war with us was able, however, to prevent a little group of obstructionists in the United States Senate from talking to death at this time a bill giving power to President Wilson to arm merchant ships.  This extraordinary procedure occurred on March 4 in the last hours of the life of the Sixty-fourth Congress, when the bill had already passed the House of Representatives by an enormous majority (403 to 13), and, when 76 Senators (more than two-thirds of the entire Senate), had signed a document expressing their willingness and desire to vote for the measure.  Under the rules of the Senate, which practically put it into the power of a few Senators, or perhaps a single Senator, to delay action so long that a vote became impossible in the closing days of a session, the will of the people, of the President, and of both branches of Congress was defeated.  President Wilson, in a public statement just after the adjournment of Congress, declared with indignation that "a little group of willful men, representing no opinion but their own, have rendered the great Government of the United States helpless and contemptible."


ALFRED ZIMMERMANN





















      The little group included five Democrats and seven Republicans. Some of these declared afterward that they were not opposed to the passage of a bill permitting the President to arm ships, but that they were opposed to certain provisions of the bill in question.  This, for instance, was the defense made by Senator O'Gorman, of New York.  Senator Stone, of Missouri, and Senator La Follette, of Wisconsin, who were concerned in the obstruction.  Men who regarded Germany's actual and avowed attitude toward our citizens on the high seas as one of virtual warfare saw in these filibusterers men who, in the very moment of attack, had snatched a weapon of defense from the hand of their Government.  Those, on the other hand, who regarded armed neutrality as an invitation to war rather than a defense against it, and who considered no price too high if it brought peace, did not hesitate to make dark allusions to British gold, to a subsidizes press, and to the greed of munitions-makers.

✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------
| There was a British subsidized psyops campaign during WWI, and it would have been naive not to
| recognize it as such:
| Here's an example of British subsidized propaganda leaflets dropped on the battlefield to demoralize | German troops:
|


















|
|
✂️------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Colonel Henry Watterson's Louisville Courier-Journal consigned the obstructionists to an "eternity of execration," and the Chicago Herald saw them "damned to everlasting fame." One of the Senators was hanged in effigy in a State near his own. Another received as a gift thirty pieces of silver. To a third was sent from his own State an iron cross weighing forty pounds made by a blacksmith and bearing an inscription, "Lest the Kaiser forget." State legislatures passed resolutions of condemnation similar in intention to that of the Kentucky Senate, which denounced filibusterers as "disloyal, traitorous, and cowardly."  At a patriotic mass-meeting held in New York under the auspices of the American Rights League, the venerable Lyman Abbott was greeted with roars of approval when he called the filibustering Senators "Germany's allies," saying "Germany has made and is making war upon America, and her allies in the United States Senate have violated the unwritten law of all honorable assemblages.  They have violated their trust to their country and have done their best to deprive us of our rightful protection." "Traitors! Hang them!" shouted back men in the audience. Whatever may have been the motives of the filibusterers, their action evoked much enthusiasm in the German press.  The Frankfurter Zeitung hailed them as "fine Americans who remained uncontaminated by Wilson's blind devotion to England." On Senator Stone and Senator La Follette special commendation was bestowed for having helped to frustrate what critics called President Wilson's plan to "wrest from Congress privileges vested in it by the Constitution."

     This episode was often cited afterward, by friends of Mr. Wilson, as justification for his course in dealing with Germany after the Lusitania was sunk -- a period now of almost two years.  Had Mr. Wilson sent Bernstorff home in May, 1915, and had he asked Congress to declare war on Germany when the Arabic was sunk three months afterward, it was clear to many minds that the country would not have been with him -- and notably the Middle West would not.  That he had been wise in delaying action until he was certain of support from the whole country the filibustering episode made clearer.  When at last war was declared, what remained of a former rather formidable group of pacifists had been rapidly dwindling into a scattered body of ineffective and helpless apologists for their own acts,

     What President Wilson would do in the emergency raised by the Senate remained for some days in doubt.  At last, by advice from official sources, he decided that merchant ships should be armed even tho the bill had failed.  War "within a month" was predicted by former Attorney General Wickersham as a result of arming our merchant ships.  "Thrilling events may follow shortly," said the Cleveland Leader, for "any day may witness a fight to the death between a German submarine and an American ship carrying guns supplied by the United States Navy and manned by naval gunners," and Germany "would doubtless declare war."  Germany's attitude was disclosed by Foreign Secretary Zimmermann: "We are determined to carry through the submarine war to the end," said he, "and have spoken our last word; the decision is in President Wilson's hands."  The President's act "will cause a thrill of patriotic enthusiasm throughout the land," said the Philadelphia Public Ledger. He "has done right and acted wisely," remarked the Utica Press; while the Albany Knickerbocker Press believed his action "well considered and thoroughly justified." The Boston Herald hoped there would be "no further faltering." The Springfield Republican put the case in these words: "Either the United States must stay on the seas or get off the seas; if it is to stay on the seas further delay in arming merchantmen can scarcely be tolerated."

     On March 12 "armed neutrality" became the settled purpose of the Government.  All the world was to be officially informed of it as soon as notifications delivered to the Embassies and Legations of Foreign Governments represented in Washington could be transmitted.  The German Government was to be notified through the Swiss Government, which was representing German interests in the United States.  The formal notice read as follows:


     "In view of the announcement of the Imperial German Government on January 31, 1917, that all ships, those of neutrals included, met within certain zones of the high seas, would be sunk without any precaution taken for the safety of the persons on board, and without the exercise of visit and search, the Government of the United States has determined to place upon all American merchant vessels sailing through the barred areas an armed guard for the protection of the vessels and the lives of the persons on board."


     By repeated acts Germany thus created a state of war between herself and the United States.  Her acts in fact were not to be looked upon as provocation to war; they were war itself.  Reports came late in March of the sinking of three more American ships by German submarines -- the Vigilancia, the City of Memphis, and the Illinois, two of which were westward bound in ballast.  All were trading vessels of American ownership and registry and manned by Americans.  Some parts of the crew were saved but many men were missing.  The destruction of these ships, after the warnings we had given by word and act, dispelled all doubt as to Germany's intentions.  It was impossible longer to entertain a belief that she would try to avoid war with the United States.  She was firing upon our ships, she was sinking them, and destroying or endangering the lives of our citizens, which was the essence of war, such acts being incompatible with a wish to avoid it.

     When German U-boats had thus added five to their already heavy toll of American loves, official Washington realized that we had passed, by the inexorable logic of events, from "armed neutrality" to "a state of war." That was the view taken by the Cabinet in its meeting of March 20. The following day the President issued a second call to Congress to meet on April 2, two weeks earlier than the date named in his first summons, "to receive a communication concerning grave matters of national policy which should be taken immediately under consideration." These "grave matters" related to Germany's attacks upon American ships and American citizens. A state of war between Germany and the United States actually existed, said Vice-President Marshall in a speech at Montgomery, Ala., on the 20th. This opinion was echoed by Charles E. Hughes [SCOTUS justice then Harding's Sect of State], Elihu Root [TR's Secretary of War], and Theodore Roosevelt [26th POTUS] "There is now a state of war, and the people of the United States should recognize the fact," said Mr. Hughes.  "Germany is making war on us and our reply must be either war or submission," affirmed Mr. Root. [Lt ] Colonel Roosevelt [an earned title - not an honorific fake title like "Colonel" House], after pointing out that German "had steadily waged war upon us" ever since her declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare on January 31, added: "Let us face the accomplished fact, admit that Germany is at war with us, and in turn wage war on Germany with all our energy and courage and regain the right to look the whole world in the eyes without flinching."







   
FOUR SUPPORTERS OF A DECLARATION OF WAR

   
























ELIHU ROOT







   















THEODORE ROOSEVELT






   















CHARLES E. HUGHES




















VICE-PRES. THOMAS MARSHALL






















   More than twenty American ships had now been attacked  by German and Austrian submarines and other Teutonic commerce raiders since the outbreak of the war, according to data compiled at the State Department. Ten had been destroyed by submarines, one, the William P. Frye, by the German converted cruiser and raider Prinz Eitel Freidrich, and one, the Cushing, by a German airship. On March 23 survivors of an American oil-steamship, the Healdton, sunk by a German submarine, arrived at Rotterdam.  Seven Americans had perished. The captain described how he had been in his cabin when aroused by a terrific concussion.  All the lights went out and he rushed on deck to stop the engines only to find that a torpedo had gone through amidships at the spot where the ship's name was illuminated brightly, and had wrecked the engine-room. The light clearly had served as a target. He rushed back to the cabin in the dark and was just able to grab a coat and his sextant before a second explosion shook the ship. This time it had been torpedoed aft, setting the tanks ablaze. Burning oil ran in all directions. The Healdton was settling fast by the stern. One or two men never came up. The submarine came forward at once and facing the sinking ship but no men could be seen on the submarine. She soon dived under the water again. In twenty minutes all was over. Then came twelve hours in open boats, every one insufficiently clad, and exposed to bitter hail and snow until picked up by the trawler Java. According to the captain's calculations he was well within the so-called safe channel when the Healdton was torpedoed. Two sloops with thirteen and seven men respectively, succeeded in getting away, but the third, containing twenty-one men, capsized and nearly all were drowned.

   
     The Healdton was an American ship; she was flying an American flag, and in her crew were thirteen American citizens. Without warning she was torpedoed twenty-five miles off the coast of Holland, outside the German barred zone and within the limits of the safety-zone. A score of human lives were lost. The act was one of the cumulative provocations that could make no change in our growing resolve to take up arms against Germany, save that it would stir the American people to a firmer determination. The only adequate explanation of Germany's behavior, the only one that really explained, was the assumption that she was afflicted with some hitherto unobserved and monstrous variety of rabies. {Principal Sources: The Independent, The Outlook, New York; The Chicago Tribune; The Times, The Evening Post, The Literary Digest, New York; Associated Press dispatches}


THE HOSTILE GERMAN  U-53 THAT CAME TO AMERICA IN 1916
In the period when relations between the United States and Germany were
growing more and more critical, but six months before we declared war
on Germany, the German U-53 suddenly made its appearance in Newport
Harbor and off Nantucket on October 8, sank the Newfoundland liner
Stephano and some smaller boats, the result as to marine insurance rates
being that they were advanced about 500 per cent.  It was not until the
late summer and autumn of 1918 that U-boats again visited the Atlantic
coasts.  Both visits were accepted at the time as German efforts to repress
the war spirit in the United States




























No comments :

Post a Comment