Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Today -100: May 16, 1917: A program of conquest helps us as little as a program of reconciliation to win victory and the war

Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg tells the Reichstag that he rejects demands that he express Germany’s war aims coming from both the left (no annexations or indemnities) and the right (big-ass annexations and indemnities). To declare what Germany is fighting for, he says, “would not serve the country’s interests.” He says if he renounced annexations, the enemy could continue to fight without risk. And he has the kaiser on his side, so suck it.

He does make an exception for Russia, which he tells that there is a No Annexations deal to be made which “excludes every thought of oppression and which would leave behind no sting and no discord.”

The Petrograd Workers’ and Soldiers’ Soviet agrees to join a coalition government. Meanwhile, several commanding generals have resigned over the new policy allowing soldiers to vote on whether to obey orders. The Petrograd Soviet’s main strategy seems to be encouraging Socialists in Germany and Austria to prevent their armies being used as “the executioners of Russian liberty.”

The Turks are supposedly deporting the Jewish population of Jaffa. During Passover, no less.

Headline of the Day -100: 

You’d think he’d have more important things to do than stand in an intersection in a yellow rain jacket and wave cars through, but...

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