Monday, February 12, 2018

Today -100: February 12, 1918: One party in Germany is apparently willing and able to send millions of men to their death to prevent what all the world now sees to be just


Germany announces that peace has been made with Russia, whose army will now stand down, or would if it were still standing up. The NYT, which is not at all pleased with Mr. Trotsky, calls this an “unconditional surrender.”

Headline of the Day -100: 


And wet in cheerful trenches.

Woodrow Wilson addresses Congress in a speech framed as a response to German Chancellor Georg von Hertling’s own speech last month, you know, a tweet war. Wilson says the US won’t “recognize” the Brest-Litovsk peace deal. How does that even work? Can you tell 2 countries, No, we’ve decided that you’re still at war. Anyway, the US also won’t recognize any other separate peace because “All parties to this war must join in the settlement of every issue anywhere involved in it, because what we are seeking is a peace that we can all unite to guarantee and maintain, and every item of it must be submitted to the common judgment whether it be right and fair, an act of justice, rather than a bargain between sovereigns.” He says the principles of the 14 Points (still not called that) are “already everywhere accepted as imperative except among the spokesmen of the military and annexationist party of Germany. ...The tragical circumstance is that one party in Germany is apparently willing and able to send millions of men to their death to prevent what all the world now sees to be just.” Wilson also suggests that Austria’s interests are not the same as those of the German “military and annexationist party.” So, really, the US is at war with, like, just 6 or 7 guys.

He concludes, “The power of the United States is a menace to no nation or people. It will never be used in aggression or for the aggrandizement of any selfish interest of our own. It springs out of freedom and is for the service of freedom.” And Wilson actually believed this shit.

Speaking of delusions of grandeur, Kaiser Wilhelm thinks that “Our Lord God wishes us to have peace, but a peace wherein the world will strive to do what is right and good.” “The Lord pointed out to us by a hard school the path by which we should go. The world, however, at the same time has not been on the right path. We Germans, who still have ideals, should work to bring about better times.” “We desire to live in friendship with neighboring peoples, but the victory of German arms must first be recognized.”


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