Thursday, April 27, 2017

Today -100: April 27, 1917: The world cannot exist half democratic and half autocratic


A German newspaper says Woodrow Wilson’s reported support for a Jewish state in Palestine (which if true I’ve missed) is “an English war aim against Turkey,” aimed at creating a land bridge between the British territories of Egypt and India.

Former senator, secretary of state and secretary of war Elihu Root, who will soon leave for Russia as part of a commission to coordinate war efforts, tells the American Society of International Law that the war against Germany is the great peace movement. “The world cannot exist half democratic and half autocratic. It must be all democratic or all Prussian.”

Woodrow Wilson writes the editor of the New York Evening Journal to deny any intention to use the broad powers of the Espionage Bill to suppress criticism. He almost sounds sincere. Well, until he adds a few adjectives, saying he wouldn’t want to lose “the benefit of patriotic and intelligent criticism.” “Unless it’s by that fucker Eugene Debs,” he doesn’t add, it’s just kind of implied, but then Wilson’s tolerance for patriotic and intelligent criticism of himself was never very high and declined steadily during the war.

Again, the Espionage Act is still in force and it’s the law Obama used to go after leakers. Or, as Glenn Greenwald would point out, to selectively go after only those leakers who damaged the White House politically.


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