Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Today -100: September 3, 1914: Teach them how to shoot, and do it quickly

Fog of War (Rumors, Propaganda and Just Plain Bullshit) of the Day -100: The LA Times reports that Turkey has declared war on the Allies.  Although quoting “authentic word” “on the highest authority,” the LA Times is in fact wrong.

Supposedly, a shell almost killed Albert, King of the Belgians, blowing the rear wheel off his car.

Headline of the Day -100:  “Sioux Had Narrow Escape; Indians from Circus Saw Austrians Kill Many Supposed Spies.”  And saw 300 Serbs summarily executed for allegedly poisoning wells.

A British soldiers tells the London Standard, “The Germans are such sticklers for rules that I have seen their artillery keep firing away at a position of ours after it had been occupied by their own men”.  Never attribute to human error what can be attributed to a national stereotype.

An American newspaper, The Independent, interviews Count Johann von Bernstorff, the German ambassador to the US and Mexico.  It’s hard to say which of his lies is my favorite: Serbia rejected the “most important” of Austria’s demands, that it officially condemn Pan-Slavic propaganda and the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand to the officers of the Serb army; when Austria declared war on Serbia it promised Russia to maintain Serbia’s territorial integrity; France would have invaded Germany through Belgium if Germany hadn’t preemptively invaded Belgium first; the priests of Louvain distributed weapons to civilians who attacked German soldiers and “mutilated and treated [them] with acts of bestial cruelty,” etc.  Bernstorff condemns the use by France and Britain of African and Asiatic troops.

The French government is transferred to Bordeaux, but it does “recommend calmness and resolution” to the people of Paris, you know, the ones who aren’t fleeing to the south.

With Russian troops in East Prussia, the German papers are full of fake atrocity stories of their own: rapes, bayoneting children, etc.  As well as the ludicrous stories of Belgian women and children attacking poor defenseless German soldiers.

Quote of the Day -100: British Secretary of War Lord Kitchener: “Never mind whether they know anything about drill.  It doesn’t matter if they don’t know their right foot from their left. Teach them how to shoot, and do it quickly.”

Serbia is going to invade Austria while it’s otherwise occupied fighting Russian troops.

Despite the rebel victory in Mexico, the US is still occupying Vera Cruz, and says it will continue to do so until after general elections are held and the US recognizes a new Mexican government.

The Senate votes 46-16 for the Federal Trade Commission Bill, which will, among other things, ban interlocking boards of directors for competing companies, ban anti-competitive holding companies, etc.

Butte is under martial law, and the Montana National Guard are arresting leaders of the Mine Workers’ Union, but they cannot locate its president, “Muckie” McDonald.

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