Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Today -100: September 16, 1914: The pen is mightier

The Allies recapture Rheims.

Pres. Wilson orders the withdrawal of US troops from Vera Cruz and thus from Mexico.  Carranza seems to be obeying Wilson’s demands that he not take the provisional presidency.  He will therefore be able, under the Mexican constitution, to run for the presidency.  It’s not clear to me why Wilson is so concerned about abiding by the details of the Mexican constitution.

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: Two of the German officers involved in the Zabern affair in 1913, in which the German military trod rather heavily over Alsatian civilians, are reported killed in action.  They aren’t, but Lt. Baron von Förstner will be be killed in action in 1915.

The French have supposedly taken prisoner the German general who would have been Governor of Paris if the Germans had, you know, captured Paris.

Germany threatens China for its supposedly allowing Japanese troops to use its territory in their march on Kiao-Chau.  In response it will “deal with” China “as it sees fit.”

The British House of Lords passes the bill to postpone Irish Home Rule. Tory leader Andrew Bonar Law makes a speech in favor of postponed treason: when the war is over and Home Rule is implemented, he says, Tories will support Ulstermen in whatever steps they think necessary to “maintain their rights.”

The Chamber of German-American Commerce will try to get Belgian movies showing German troops committing atrocities in Belgium banned in the US, as violating the spirit of neutrality.  They’re not even claiming that these films distort the truth, just that they would inflame public opinion.

That article quotes a letter sent by the National Board of Censors to movie producers last month asking that any war scenes (re-enactments, there is as yet no real war footage) be preceded by a request to the audience to “refrain from any expressions of partisanship as the pictures are shown.”

South Carolina Gov. Coleman Blease’s loss of influence continues.  Early in the year, his candidates for the Democratic State Convention almost all lost, and badly.  Last month, he lost his bid for the US Senate, and now his choice to succeed him as governor loses spectacularly to Richard Manning, who is more or less a progressive, by South Carolina standards.

Click to enbiggen.  The papers Kaiser Wilhelm is writing with the lie-ink say “Germans approaching Petersburg,” “Great Austrian victory,” “British fleet wiped out,” “Paris in flames.”  Envelopes are addressed to the American press, the Italian press, Dutch, Swedish.  Caption: “I’m not quite satisfied with the sword. Perhaps, after all, the pen is mightier!”

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